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Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is a product that’s derived from cannabis. It’s a type of cannabinoid, chemicals that are naturally found in marijuana plants. Although it comes from marijuana plants, CBD doesn’t create a “high” effect or any form of intoxication — this is caused by THC.
There’s controversy around cannabis products like CBD oil because of recreational marijuana use. There is growing awareness about the possible health benefits of CBD oil.
Here are examples of uses with CBD oil and CBD derived products. (source: https://www.healthline.com/health/cbd-oil-benefits#is-it-legal)
CBD may help manage anxiety. Researchers believe it changes the way your brain’s receptors respond to serotonin, a chemical linked to mental health. Receptors are tiny proteins attached to your cells that receive chemical messages and help your cells respond to different stimuli.
One study found that a 600mg dose of CBD helped people with social anxiety give a speech.
Other early studies done with animals have shown that CBD may help relieve anxiety by:
- reducing stress
- decreasing physiological effects of anxiety, such as an increased heart rate
- improving symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- inducing sleep in cases of insomnia
CBD has been in the news as a possible treatment for epilepsy. Research is in its early days. Researchers are testing how CBD might reduce the number of seizures in people with epilepsy, as well as how safe it is. Research is currently being conducted to better understand safe use.
A study from 2016 worked with 214 people with epilepsy. The study participants added oral doses of 2 to 5mg of CBD per day to their existing anti-epilepsy medications. The study’s researchers monitored the participants for 12 weeks, recording any negative side effects and checking on the frequency of their seizures. Overall, participants had 36.5 percent fewer seizures per month. However, severe adverse effects were recorded in 12 percent of the participants.
Researchers are looking at a receptor located in the brain to learn about the ways that CBD can help with neuro-degenerative disorders; diseases that cause the brain and nerves to deteriorate over time. This receptor is known as CB1.
CBD oil may also reduce the inflammation that can make neurodegenerative symptoms worse. More research is needed to fully understand the effects of CBD oil for neurodegenerative diseases.
The effects of CBD oil on your brain’s receptors may also help you manage pain. Studies show that cannabis can offer benefits when taken after chemotherapy. Other pre-clinical studies are looking at the role of cannabis in relieving symptoms caused by arthritis, chronic pain, MS pain, muscle pain and spinal cord injuries
Nabiximols (Sativex), a multiple sclerosis drug made from a combination of TCH and CBD, is approved in the United Kingdom and Canada to treat MS pain. Researchers believe the CBD in the drug may be contributing more with its anti-inflammatory properties than by acting against the pain.
The effects of CBD on receptors in the immune system may help reduce inflammation in the body. CBD oil may benefit acne management. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that the oil prevented activity in sebaceous glands. These glands are responsible for producing sebum, a natural oily substance that hydrates the skin. Too much sebum can lead to acne.
Before you consider CBD oil for acne treatment, it’s worth discussing with your dermatologist. More human studies are needed to evaluate the potential benefits of CBD for acne.
Some studies have investigated the role of CBD in preventing cancer cell growth, but research is still in its early stages. CBD may help alleviate cancer symptoms and cancer treatment side effects although cannabis is not endorsed as a cancer treatment. The action of CBD that’s promising for cancer treatment is its ability to moderate inflammation and change how cell reproduce. CBD has shown effects of reducing the ability of some types of tumour cells to reproduce.
How to use CBD oil
CBD is extracted from marijuana plants as either an oil or powder. These can be mixed into creams or gels. They can be put into capsules and taken orally, or rubbed on your skin. The multiple sclerosis drug nabiximols is sprayed as a liquid into your mouth. How CBD should be used depends largely on what it’s being used for. Talk to your doctor before using CBD oil. It hasn’t been approved for any medical uses, and may have side effects.
CBD oil side effects
CBD oil doesn’t pose major risks however there are potential side effects though which may include:
- low blood pressure
- withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability and insomnia
More human studies are needed to fully understand the range of risks and side effects that CBD oil may cause. Studies of CBD oil aren’t common. This is partially because Schedule 1 substances like cannabis are highly regulated, causing some obstacles for researchers. With the legalisation of marijuana products, more research and more answers will come.
Is CBD oil legal?
Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal, but are still illegal in some countries or states elsewhere. Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal in many countries. Check your country’s laws and those of anywhere you travel.
DISCLAIMER: This information is not to replace any medical support or advice that you may be given by your doctor. Please check with your medical professional if you have any concerns.