By now you’ve probably heard a lot about CBD oil.
People who support it claim that it acts as a powerful remedy for a multitude of health issues—adversaries and those trying to suppress it claim it’s nothing more than a snake oil.
What’s the truth?
Fortunately, we don’t have to guess as there’s a lot of research on CBD, and many studies are pointing to some very promising results, most notably in the fields of pain management and anxiety reduction.
What is CBD oil?
CBD oil is a liquid extract of the second most prominent chemical compound unique to cannabis plants—cannabidiol (usually abbreviated as CBD).
Cannabidiol belongs to a group of chemical compounds called cannabinoids, which are synthesized naturally in cannabis.
Cannabinoids fit beautifully into the cellular signaling network we all have in our bodies, called the endocannabinoid system.
This system helps to maintain health on a cellular level, vigilantly reacting and adapting to the continuous changes our body encounters on a daily basis.
The premise behind CBD oil is that it can supplement our endocannabinoid system and keep it running smoothly.
CBD oil is still quite new, and people who haven’t had the chance to experience the effects of this oil often confuse it with other potent oils used for dabbing, which actually have a very high concentration of the main psychoactive cannabinoid THC, and very miniscule levels of CBD.
Based on the available research, CBD oil has a real application as a natural medicine and is a viable solution for many health-related issues, which is confirmed by studies that deal with CBD use patterns in general population.
What are the benefits of CBD oil?
Note: All scientific evidence we have on the benefits of CBD is based on very preliminary studies. This is why legalizing this compound on a federal level is important and will enable further research.
These studies showed that CBD may:
- Increase the rate of cancerous cell “suicide” (also known as cellular apoptosis) in leukemia and colon cancer patients
- Aid in battling inflammation and relieving the neuropathic pain caused by multiple sclerosis
- Can relieve pain and increase activity in dogs suffering from arthritis.
- Reduce dyskinesia
- Increase survival time for those infected with mad cow disease
- Accelerate bone growth
- Help treat psoriasis
- Reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures
Are there any side-effects of CBD oil?
Using CBD oil in adequate amounts doesn’t produce any serious side effects.
The worst reported side effect of CBD oil is being sleepy, hungry or lethargic. These side effects are quite similar to those from regular THC-rich cannabis.
In high doses, CBD may interact with medications. This is not yet thoroughly researched, but CBD does block an enzyme that’s involved in metabolizing many other drugs.
One study looked into the side effects of CBD oil, and found the following side effects to be possible, but highly unlikely:
- Anxiety and depression
- Dry mouth
- Increase in appetite
- Reduction in appetite
Have in mind that CBD tinctures are usually made through ethanol extraction, and ethanol is a type of alcohol.
Recovering alcoholics that take blockers such as acamprosate or disulfiram can have extreme reactions even with tiny amounts of alcohol because of these medications.
How to dose CBD oil?
CBD dosing is a pretty complex subject, and the best way to get started is to check out our dosage guidebook, which we made with the help of Dr. Dustin Sulak.
In this eBook you’ll find recommendations on consuming CBD (with precise dosage instructions), but also you’ll learn how to dose THC, and even how to combine the two cannabinoids.
According to PAIN, CBD provides best results when it’s administered chronically.
Anecdotal evidence shows that a good starting dose is a total of 12mg of CBD per day.
How to use CBD oil for pain?
There are several different ways to use CBD oil. The most popular way is through tinctures—this is because they are usually flavored and quickly absorbed.
If you’re fighting chronic pain, tinctures will serve you as good as any other form of CBD oil.
On the other hand, if you have some type of localized pain, like a post-surgery knee pain for instance, topical CBD creams are a far more suitable option.
Anecdotal evidence shows that people with advanced Parkinson’s are able to relieve symptoms of dyskinesia (uncontrolled muscle twitches and movements) minutes after ingesting CBD oil.
How to use CBD oil for anxiety?
Anxiety is a common, yet very misunderstood disorder. It is becoming more and more prevalent among the youth as the pressures of modern life continue to rise.
It’s also a very complex condition because the causes can be extremely wide-ranging.
In order to reduce the symptoms of anxiety you should spread out your CBD oil consumption throughout the day, and as evenly as possible.
Taking the oil once you start feeling the symptoms often proves to be a bit late. This is why it’s vital to have a well thought-out routine.
Additionally, having a routine may even enhance your absorption rate, and thus the efficacy of CBD.
Scientists have found that doses between 40 mg and 600 mg seem to be the most effective for reducing anxiety levels.
A study on social anxiety concluded that a daily dose of 600 mg of CBD oil was very effective against anxiousness. Note that this dose is very difficult to achieve with common CBD products, as you’d need to take whole bottles of CBD oil a day (they usually come in 10-20 mL bottles).
A study published in 2010 found that if you take CBD prior to a stressful event (for example before a public speaking gig) you may experience an improvement in speech performance.
Is CBD oil safe during pregnancy?
There aren’t any clinical studies looking at the effects of CBD on pregnancy, so there’s really not enough data to determine if it’s safe to consume CBD during pregnancy.
In general, I would advise against using any cannabis-related product during pregnancy just because there is not enough research on the topic.
CBD oil vs hemp oil
CBD oil can be made either from cannabis plants or from hemp.
Hemp is a subspecies of cannabis mainly used for industrial purposes—however hemp has almost no THC in it, which makes it legal almost everywhere around the world.
CBD oil made from cannabis plants is what we tend to refer to as full-spectrum CBD oil—it contains a variety of terpenes and minor cannabinoids which complement its health benefits.
What does CBD oil taste like?
Pure CBD oil has an earthy taste and is very similar to cannabis and hemp. It also has a strange aftertaste which many find disgusting.
Pure CBD is usually dark green or black, because it is a plant extract. Its consistency is thick and sticky.
CBD oil often comes in tinctures which mask its taste. These tinctures have different tastes based on the manufacturer.