What Is Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil?
Cannabidiol which is most commonly known as CBD oil is a popular and widely used natural remedy for a host of ailments. CBD oil is derived as a concentrated liquid extract from Cannabis Sativa, the marijuana plant. It is one of the 104 cannabinoids found in the plant and has been proven to offer a multitude of benefits to users.
While smoking marijuana gets you high, it is natural to wonder if CBD oil – a derivate of the same plant – will cause you a similar sensation of feeling high.
However, the high that you experience on smoking marijuana comes from the cannabinoid THC, and unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. This makes CBD oil the appropriate choice for anybody looking for health and medicinal benefits of cannabis, without the high.
Is CBD Oil Legal?
CBD oil and similar products are free from THC and hence, are outside the scope of the DEA’s Controlled Substances Act. CBD products are legal for sale and consumption.
According to Forbes, CBD products as an industry could be worth $2.2 billion by 2020. The growing popularity of these products, coupled with greater social acceptance is making CBD oil a viable option for many.
Is CBD Oil the Same as Hemp Oil?
This is a widespread misconception.
Hemp oil is extracted from hemp seeds and can be procured from all the variants in the Cannabis genus. However, the most common plant used to derive this oil is industrial hemp. On the other hand, CBD oil is made from the flowers, leaves and even stalks of hemp, not just from its seeds.
The crucial difference between the two is that while they are derived from the same plant, the strains vary. CBD is harvested from plants with almost negligible THC levels to ensure that no psychoactive components remain.
Now that CBD is legal, many products are accurately labeled as so. However, for a considerable amount of time, manufacturers used the term ‘hemp oil’ interchangeably with ‘CBD Oil’ in their marketing. The two are not the same, and this must be kept in mind while purchasing the right kind of CBD oil for your needs.
How CBD Works In Your Body
The endocannabinoid system is the biological system responsible for the physical and psychological effects of cannabis on the human body. Endo stands for endogenous (originating inside the body), and Cannabinoid refers to the group of compounds that activate this system in our bodies.
The endocannabinoid system is responsible for the regulation of bodily functions including appetite, mood, metabolism, sleep, immune function, temperature, digestion, cardiovascular function, neural development, memory, and learning, as well as reproduction. Besides these, the system is also responsive to combating illness in the body.
In fact, some scientists believe that the critical function of this system is to regulate homeostasis. Homeostasis refers to the biological ability to maintain favorable, stable internal conditions that are integral to survival.
Psychoactive THC mimics the body’s endocannabinoid profile, while CBD increases the availability of endocannabinoids in your system. Synthetic cannabinoids can also be designed to target specific sections of the endocannabinoid system.
This ability to help to regulate the endocannabinoid system makes CBD useful as a remedy for a plethora of health issues. With more scientific studies confirming the healing effects of CBD oil, the scope of this marijuana derivate as a healing alternative are growing.
Let’s look at some benefits of CBD oil.
The Health Benefits of CBD Oil
1. Manage and Alleviate Chronic Pain
Researchers explain that CBD interacts with receptors in the brain and immune system to create anti-inflammatory and painkilling effects. In short, CBD oil may bring a host of benefits to people with chronic pain.
People who have been battling chronic pain caused by diseases like fibromyalgia are increasingly finding relief with CBD. Through regular use of CBD, any inflammation present gets reduced, and in turn, the pain decreases.
Moreover, continuous consumption of CBD oil does not lead to building tolerance. This means that CBD oil is a viable long-term option for any long-term problems related to pain you may experience. Right from back pain and even arthritis, CBD oil can help you manage chronic pain and bring relief. This useful treatment option extends to conditions like arthritis, chronic back pain and also the management of pain caused by cancer treatments.
2. Reduce Anxiety and Depression
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, depression affects 6%, and anxiety affects 18% of the adult U.S. population. While pharma brands have developed numerous drugs to treat anxiety-related disorders from SSRIs to tranquilizers which are useful, some patients are looking for alternatives.
Research shows that CBD oil can help with combating and managing depression and anxiety. Accumulated evidence from numerous studies suggests that CBD has powerful anti-anxiety properties.
It could be beneficial to the treatment of anxiety-related disorders including PTSD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder and mild to moderate depression. CBD oil has also been known to reduce stress and discomfort related to public speaking or social interaction anxiety.
CBD has been shown to reduce levels of depression. This occurs due to enhancing both, serotonergic and glutamate cortical signaling in the body.
3. Fights Cancer
Cannabidiol has been a widely known anti-cancer agent for the longest time. The principal reason for this is that CBD oil has been found to disrupt cellular communication in tumors that halt their growth as well as its ability to set off programmed cancer cell death.
Although scientists have not yet fully understood CBD oil’s effects on cancerous cells, they have noticed a pattern of CBD oil in limiting the spread and migration of cancer cells in the body.
Another benefit of CBD oil is that it works as a natural pain management agent for the pain that inadvertently accompanies cancer treatments. It has also known to help in stimulating appetite and helps by suppressing nausea caused by chemotherapy and other cancer treatments.
4. Reduces Inflammation
Sadly for many, living with chronic inflammation is an everyday reality. According to the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, inflammation contributes to numerous non-infectious diseases including Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disease and many more.
Diet and lifestyle play a huge role in fighting chronic inflammation. However, for those who are already living a healthy, active lifestyle with nutrient-dense diets, regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and optimized lifestyles, CBD oil can help take their healing journey to a new level.
By affecting the tiny proteins (called receptors) present in your brain and immune system, CBD oil works on the body’s endocannabinoid system and reduces inflammation, and it has also been known to reduce chronic inflammation that leads to disease.
5. Improves Skin Conditions
When it comes to skin conditions, CBD oil is effective in managing and treating a variety of skin conditions by increasing the activity of your endocannabinoids. Thanks to its well-elaborated anti-inflammatory properties, it also helps in acne related localized inflammation. Moreover, it regulates the skin’s natural oil production system, reducing acne with regular use.
CBD oil can also be used topically to treat skin conditions. Studies show that it is useful in treatment for conditions like eczema as it encourages abnormal cell death. CBD oil also contains many essential nutrients for healthy skin such as vitamin E that protect the skin and provide nourishment.
Psoriasis is caused by the rapid multiplication and growth of keratinocytes. With the ability to stop the proliferation of these keratinocytes, CBD oil is also a very effective treatment for psoriasis.
Thanks to its potent antioxidant properties as well as its ability to fight cancer, CBD oil can be used in the treatment of skin cancer.
6. Improves Heart Health
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S, and the problem continues to grow every year.
Research shows that CBD oil is an effectual therapeutic agent for a myriad of cardiovascular diseases, with studies showing that the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidation properties are the key to these therapeutic effects.
After comprehensive research, it has been established that cannabidiol reduces artery blockage, as well as can, reduces stress-induced cardiovascular response. In turn, this helps in reduction of blood pressure and possibly even cholesterol. By widening blood vessels that allow for more blood flow, CBD oil can also reduce the damage to arterial walls as a side effect of high blood pressure.
A 2016 paper concluded that CBD has tremendous potential in the therapy of myocarditis where inflammation of the heart can cause cells in your heart to get damaged or even die.
7. CBD for Epilepsy & Seizures
Unfortunately, epilepsy is not a disease that can be cured. However, what treatments aim to do is minimize, as much as possible, the duration, intensity, and duration of the seizures and improve the overall quality of life.
Early evidence gathered from clinical studies, laboratory studies and anecdotal reports suggest that CBD oil could potentially help in controlling seizures. For over 30% of people with epilepsy, conventional treatment does not control seizures effectively. This is where CBD oil and the anticonvulsant properties of medical cannabis can help.
Over the years, many high-profile instances have raised awareness for CBD’s anti-seizure properties. However, a trial published in The New England Journal of Medicine that explored the effect of CBD medication on young adults with the Dravet syndrome (a rare type of epilepsy with seizures) concluded that participants who received CBD experienced their seizure frequency drop by a median of 38.9%.
While CBD oil should be considered as a part of a holistic approach to seizures, ensure you first go through a thorough evaluation at a specialized epilepsy center to evaluate all possible treatment options to find a balance that works best for your condition.
8. Neurodegenerative Disorders
Neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s are all caused by progressive neuron loss in the brain. There is no cure for these neurodegenerative disorders, but CBD oil has been shown to alleviate and ameliorate the effects of these diseases.
In the case of Alzheimer’s, CBD oil can be used to reduce and relive instances of agitation and aggression caused by the disease. Coupled with the anti-inflammatory and antioxidants present in it, CBD also offers neurological protection that can slow down the process of degeneration.
Parkinson’s patients suffering from sleep behavior disorder that causes nightmares and disrupted sleep can use CBD oil to promote regular sleep patterns and maintain a quality of life that often rapidly declines in the case of neurodegenerative disorders. It can also be used by people who have insomnia as CBD oil is known to promote a healthy sleep pattern among users.
Other Benefits of CBD Oil:
Multiple Sclerosis: CBD oil’s anti-inflammatory, antiemetic, antipsychotic, and neuroprotective properties have been proven to relieve symptoms in multiple sclerosis patients. Cannabidiol is effective in managing and treating muscle tightness, pain, loss of bladder control and loss of appetite in patients.
Oxidative Stress: Owing to the fact that our environment’s toxicity is higher than ever, free radical production in the body has increased, leading to oxidative stress which can cause many ailments. CBD oil’s antioxidant properties have been found to act as a neutralizing agent and help in the reduction of oxidative stress. Moreover, neurological damage as a result of free radicals can also be combatted through CBD oil usage.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: Due to its anti-inflammatory effect, cannabinoids are very helpful in providing relief from joint pain and swelling among those who have rheumatoid arthritis. CBD oil usage can also decrease the rate of joint destruction and progression of the disease.
Weight Loss and Management: Cannabidiol is useful in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, stimulating proteins that break down fat molecules and increasing mitochondria that helps in burning calories and regulating metabolism. CBD also encourages the conversion of ‘white fat’ into the more beneficial ‘brown fat’ that improves the body’s overall health.