What is CBD and CBD Oil?
CBD oil comes from the plant called Cannabis sativa plant, with the scientific name cannabidiol. It is just one among the 120 known chemical compounds found in marijuana plants. Currently, the popular assertion is that CBD can to help ease the suffering of individuals pained or diagnosed with different medical conditions, not limited to high blood pressure, sleep issues, and anxiety.
CBD oil is what healthcare providers are after, as this serves as the critical component found in the already growing number of CBD-based alternative healthcare medications and products now found in the market.
This oil is gathered, or extracted from the cannabis plant and then combined with other herbs as well as oils to form the CBD-based products being sold. Because of their sheer number now, one can observe differing degrees of recommendation and validation from healthcare professionals attached to these products.
Hemp and Cannabis: The Difference
Often, CBD and hemp are often misconstrued as similar. However, CBD is different from hemp as it has Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive cannabinoid that is within cannabis.
THC levels differ from one plant to another, and while CBD is not perceived by scientific experts to be psychoactive by itself, it is perceived as having advantageous components, offering health benefits.
Again, CBD oil should be differentiated from hemp oil, even though there is a natural tendency to think they are the same. On the one hand, hemp oil like CBD oil is derived from cannabis sativa containing THC, the component that allows marijuana to give users the psychosomatic kick they are looking for. However, not all cannabis sativa plants are similar.
Structurally, hemp oil differs from CBD oil according to where they are extracted from. The former is extracted from the hemp plant while the latter is gathered from different plants — not just hemp plants, but also marijuana and other plants. Even though CBD and hemp are derived from similar plant species, they are distinguished according to THC levels found in the plant.
Some cannabis sativa plants have lower levels of THC while some have higher levels. This level is a major differentiating factor between CBD oil and hemp oil. Essentially, any cannabis sativa plant that has over 0.3% of THC is taken as marijuana but anything lower than 0.3 is just considered hemp. CBD oil and hemp oil are differentiated therefore as such.
CBD oil and hemp oil however, are similar to each other in that they are both not linked to THC and therefore, will not give the high that THC is usually known for providing.
CBD and Cannabinoids
The human body is capable of making and managing cannabinoids in the endocannabinoid system or the ECS. According to Dr. Philip Blair, a CBD expert, in an interview with Biohackers lab, the endocannabinoid system regulates appetites, emotions, our neurotransmitters in a complex matter, with its own synthetic material to create the CBD oil.
The expert claimed that human body might generate its own CBD but this is usually deficient and therefore, need to be supplemented with plant-based CBD. The endocannabinoid system might be lacking in certain compounds, so people may need to supplement the deficiency using plant-sourced CBD.
This system can process both kinds of oils – CBD or hemp without experiencing getting high. Once processed by the endocannabinoid system, the human brain takes over, which regulates how the body reacts to the cannabinoids.
According to Blair, not only does it not get anyone high, but CBD oil is also determined not to be addictive, which is one factor prospective users are worried about. Other medical cannabis experts back this up. “CBD is the non-psychoactive portion of the plant, so what that means is you won’t have any effects like euphoria,” Junella Chin, DO, an osteopathic physician and a medical cannabis expert working for cannabisMD, stated. “You won’t feel sedated or altered in any way,” she added.
The World Health Organization asserted this claim in 2018 as well. The institution clearly stated that at present, no public health issues normally linked to substance addiction, such as driving under the influence, violence because of illegal drugs, and many more others can be associated with the use of pure CBD.
“In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD, the WHO statement reads.
Since cannabinoids have already proved to be successful in treating different medical as well as psychological conditions, it is not that farfetched to assume that CBD-based products are safe. Naturally, there is still a need to do due research, especially since some products might be solved with fake claims.
“Selling unapproved products with unsubstantiated therapeutic claims — such as claims that CBD products can treat serious diseases and conditions — can put patients and consumers at risk by leading them to put off important medical care,” said acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Ned Sharpless, shared to Trusted Source. “Additionally, there are many unanswered questions about the science, safety, effectiveness, and quality of unapproved products containing CBD,” he added.
CBD oil has many uses, with some commonalities to the hemp oil. In essence, CBD oil remains controversial right now but few can deny that they have several healthcare benefits.
They are even touted as the most effective of healthcare solutions to different types of illnesses. While other medications have failed, CBD oil works in addressing these ailments, naturally.
Below are just of the ailments that CBD oil has been used to combat.
Anxiety and Depression
One of the most prominent ailments that CBD oil is known to address and reduce, is anxiety. Since CBD oil is a natural relaxant, this can reduce the intense unease that people with anxiety can feel. In addition, this oil is said to pose a little risk even with regular usage to address anxiety.
According to the Depression Alliance, CBD oil can really be considered an effective option for addressing mental and emotional disorders, such as anxiety, stress, and depression. How does CBD oil work in this front exactly?
Because CBD has a direct effect on CB1 receptors, CBD oil can have an impact on the person’s serotonin levels, which are the crucial neurotransmitters playing a huge role in directing people’s moods or risks of mood disorders.
A study done in 2012 and published in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry showed that CBD oil’s impact on the serotonin levels Is the reason why it could be used to beat anxiety, stress, and depression. The findings also detailed how CBD oil can reduce social anxiety. This is one of the most common types of anxiety disorders than people are diagnosed with, and it is good news that CBD oil can alleviate this debilitating condition.
According to a 2019 study, CBD oil can be useful across different forms of anxiety disorders. Several studies have been published on this.
Pain Relief and Inflammation
CBD oil can also alleviate actual physical pains. Evidence has been found that chronic pain can be reduced with CBD oil, especially since this component has the ability to curb inflammation. One of the most common reasons people used CBD were to treat insomnia, apart from depression, anxiety and joint pain, as revealed by Dr. Perry Solomon, the Chief Medical Officer of HelloMD.
Inflammation is one of the reasons why pains can be triggered in the human body. CBD oil reduce inflammation and therefore, the pain. One study published in the European Journal of Pain in 2018 showed that topical gel infused with CBD oil can reduce arthritis pain of rats, even inflammation.
Medical News Today has detailed extensively how CBD oil work to manage the pain of different times, including but not limited to:
- arthritis pain
- multiple sclerosis
- other chronic pains
CBD oil specifically cure the spasticity people diagnosed with multiple sclerosis feels. People with this condition often have to suffer from muscle spasms and can come in great waves that constant pain is an everyday occurrence. A study, as early as 2002, revealed that just with short term use of CBD oil can already lessen the levels of spasticity, which can then lead to less pain.
More studies are of course needed to verify these results, but again, the results cannot just be overlooked. At the present, more studies are still being done with human subjects rather than animals, so findings can become much more valid and credible in the near future.
People in chronic pain usually have sleeping issues as well, and CBD oil is the answer. The oil can promote better sleep, even while a person in pain.
Notwithstanding pain, this oil has been found to cure some people’s insomnia. According to the Mayo Clinic, insomnia is normally caused by:
- mental health disorders, including but not limited to anxiety and depression
- intake of certain medications, which can affect a person’s sleep-wake cycle
- physical disorders such as such as chronic pain as well as restless leg syndrome
- too much caffeine
- environmental factors, i.e. loud noises, uncomfortable bed, distracting light
If your insomnia is caused by external factors or related conditions, CBD may be perfect to induce sleepiness you need.
CBD oil is an essential component of some people’s skincare regiment as well. It has been found capable of improving various human skin problems such as blemishes, pimples, acne, and brown spots.
The major purported benefits of CBD in skin care can be associated to its anti-inflammatory effect, Mary L. Stevenson, M.D., assistant professor of dermatology at NYU Langone Medical Center, tells SELF. The anti-inflammatory ingredients found in CBD are capable of clearing and reducing occurrences of acne and pimples.
Moreover, the anti-oxidant properties of CBD can also reverse the aging process, which can make skin smoother and more youthful with constant use.
Scientists have noted how CBD oil can lower blood pressure, reducing their bodies’ systolic pressure in the arteries while the heart pumps out blood. A moderate dosage of this potent oil is found by experts to improve people’s blood flow, regulate heart rate and lessen the harmful effects of stress on people with high blood pressure.
“New research suggests that taking a single dose of cannabidiol [CBD] oil can lower blood pressure before and after a stressful situation,” said Brewer, on her website MyLowerBloodPressure.com.
Perhaps one of the reasons why CBD oil has leaped to popularity is the assertion that it can alleviate cancer-related symptoms. People diagnosed with cancer and suffering from the symptoms are usually full of dread as their conditions are no laughing matter.
Nausea and vomiting, apart from experiencing constant pain, can become an everyday occurrence. CBD oil can alleviate all these. Even though there are drugs that are already designed to address these symptoms, they are also sometimes deemed ineffective or insufficient. CBD oil serve as good alternative or complement.
More research is still needed. In fact, some are currently being undertaken. According to Dr. Hou, a specialist managing Memorial Sloan Kettering’s About Herbs database, “there is no clinical evidence for using CBD oil for cancer treatment or prevention.”
“Some studies in cancer cell lines and in animal models found that CBD caused cancer cells to stop spreading and eventually die of,” he added. “But those studies used highly concentrated and purified forms of CBD, which are not yet available to the general public. Clinical trials are needed to determine any potential anticancer effects of CBD,” he explained.
CBD Edibles: Candies, Lollipops, and Gummies
CBD edibles range from hard candy, lollipops, mints, and gummies. Majority of CBD oil users prefer to take their dosages orally through these edibles. Children can find gummies more fun to take.
Oral usage is also usually more recommended than other ways of using CBD oils because the individual can take full advantage of sublingual gland, found under the tongue. This gland can make oil ingestion happen faster and safer, compared to direct injection of this substance.
Apart from taking oils orally or having CBD edibles, CBD oil can also be taken through beverages. There are cannabis-related beverages out in the market such as teas and juices. People who have a problem chewing or sucking can certainly opt to take this oil in the liquid form. The only problem with this is that anything that because the liquids have to pass through the body’s digestive system first, the oils’ bioavailability can be affected.
Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum and Isolate
The key when shopping for CBD is to note the difference between the full spectrum, broad-spectrum, and CBD isolate. This is crucial, especially when one is confronted with these labels in the different CBD products now out in the market. Instead of just randomly choosing one, and run the risk of taking what the body might not necessarily need, knowing their differences is a must. The three terms sound quite similar, or CBD strength in varying degrees, but they are far from being similar and the meaning far from this straightforward.
According to Medium, it must be noted that when companies extract CBD oil from the cannabis, this is done in the method corresponding to the purpose of the end-product. Once extracted, the extract has to be refined further to ensure that only the necessary cannabinoids are included. The content of the refined extract is the determining factor if the CBD product will be labeled as full spectrum, broad spectrum, or CBD isolate instead.
In a nutshell, these terms distinguish the type of CBD is used in a product. Understanding the difference is essential for any CBD user or looking to buy their first CBD product.
- CBD Isolate
CBD isolate is the purest form of the compound. When a CBD product is labeled as CBD isolate, it means that the compound has been singularly extracted from the environment and then isolated from other types of compounds.
Other compounds that have to be isolated from the CBD are terpenes, flavonoids, and other plant parts. Other cannabinoids have to be removed as well. CBD isolate is usually gathered from hemp, particularly because it has only very little or no THC.
- Full Spectrum CBD
Full spectrum CBD, on the other hand, are CBD extracts that contain different types of compounds found in the particular plant as well, again such as terpenes, other essential oils and other kinds of cannabinoids.
Some prefer the full spectrum because all the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other essential oils extracted from the plant can all work hand-in-hand, and as such, enhance massively the therapeutic benefits associated with the individual cannabinoid.
Different studies have produced different findings as to whether the full spectrum CBD works better than CBD isolate or vice versa. At the end of the day, dosages and specific usage matter. One has to determine what they need first.
- Broad Spectrum CBD
Some are recommended to buy broad spectrum CBD instead. This is in the middle of full spectrum CBD and CBD isolate.
Broad spectrum CBD is similar to full spectrum CBD in that the other compounds found within the plants are not removed after extraction. On the other hand, broad spectrum CBD is similar to CBD isolate in that there is no THC at all as it is completely removed.
Choosing Between Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum, and CBD Isolate
According to experts, none of these three is the best. One is not better than another. It all boils down to what the person needs and what unique conditions he or she is facing.
At the very least, choose CBD isolate if:
- You are recommended to ingest very high dosages of CBD for their ailments
- You are particularly sensitive to THC as well as other cannabinoids
- You need to frequently take drug screening tests for employment or career purposes
- You live in the countries or states that have strict THC laws will.
In contrast, you should take full spectrum CBD if:
- You are recommended with a certain THC to CBD ratio.
- You have conditions and pains so severe that CBD isolates or broad-spectrum CBD cannot address because of the non-existence of THC.
- You live in states, where cannabis is legal
Lastly, take broad spectrum CBD if:
- You have conditions that cannot be alleviated with CBD isolate,
- You are sensitive to THC
- You live in states with anti-THC laws
- You are personally worried about THC effects
Note that for certain individuals, they would rather have broad spectrum CBD if it meant they can experience the full benefits of the cannabis plant without worrying about the psychoactive effects of THC.
Correct Dosage for CBD
For both children and adults, the recommended dosage usually low at the onset and increased as weeks go by. According to Web MD, below are the recommended dosages for CBD.
- At the onset, take only 2.5 mg/kg twice daily (5 mg/kg/day).
- As weeks progress, the dosage can be increased 5 mg/kg twice daily (10 mg/kg/day).
- If the dosage seems not to be working, it can only be increased up to 10 mg/kg twice daily (20 mg/kg/day).
Even though there had been cases when 50 mg/kg daily have been among children or adults without reported side effects, this should not be considered a norm still unless more research is conducted. This is especially true for children, who have naturally weaker and more delicate bodies!
Side Effects of CBD
Even though there are assertions that CBD is safe and not addictive, some studies have found that intake of CBD can lead to certain side effects. They are not many, but still worth knowing.
Some reported side effects of CBD oil, as reported by Web MD, particularly when orally taken are:
- having dry mouth,
- low blood pressure,
- mild headaches, and
Even though these reports are not that common, one study found that liver injury is another side effect of taking CBD oil. The researchers cautioned that while people may be using CBD as a safer option to the more popular and mainstream pain relievers, like acetaminophen, the compound could just be as dangerous to their livers.
There is now some studies suggesting too that high dosages of CBD oil can aggravate the tremors and spasms suffered by people with Parkinson’s disease. Pregnant women should err on the side of caution when deciding whether or not to take CBD oil.
Parents who want to give their children CBD gummies or candies must also do so with caution. While there are no reported side effects found only among children, parents must take care not to allow their children take these gummies as if they are regular candies.
A 2017 study published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Reserach also reported the usual side effects associated with taking vitamins and medications, such as
- appetite changes
- and fatigue
While normal, by no means should these just be tolerated, especially if they have become too severe or cumbersome.
Certain side effects have been found to be the consequence of the interaction between CBD oil and other medications. “So, let’s say you’re on a medication like warfarin or Coumadin, a really common medication we give to a lot of patients to thin their blood,” Michelle Henry, a board-certified dermatologist and Harvard-trained Mohs surgeon, said. “If [CBD] is blocking the metabolism of warfarin, that warfarin is now higher and more active and can either become toxic or cause other problems,” she explained.
Therefore, before taking CBD oil alongside other medications, this should first be approved by or discussed with a physician.
Conclusion – The Bottom Line!
No matter how controversial the use of CBD oil is, it remains a medical fact that it can offer a range of benefits and has a lot of uses. Naturally, there are also some risks associated with its use, which is why its use is still debated and regulated.
On the one hand, CBD oil can address crippling issues such as anxiety, depression, acne breakouts, and heart disease. CBD oil can alleviate cancer-related pains in a natural way. Nothing is more priceless than the relief from the constant pain, vomiting, and nausea.
On the other hand, even though experts have assured of CBD oil safety and non-addictive qualities, side effects can still be experienced by certain individuals. Caution is therefore still recommended.
Moreover, most of the studies that have been conducted on the health benefits of CBD oil as well as risks are done on animals. Research on human subjects is still ongoing so either new therapeutic benefits or clinical risks can uncovered down the line.
At the present, CBD oil and CBD products can serve as safe, powerful natural treatment for many health issues, but they should not be taken for granted or without appropriate care.
The assumption also is that if one is taking CBD, this must be legal in the country or state that he or she is residing in. The legality of CBD is still not across the board so individual discretion is still recommended to avoid issues. To know more about CBD oil, what it can do, what It cannot do, and how it works, check out the FAQ section here.