CBD oil is being used by people across the country, from doctors, to professional athletes, to you next door neighbor that suffers with incredible insomnia. Those that use CBD oil swear by it, claiming that it relieves their anxiety, soothes their aches and pains, or stops their child having seizures. But what is CBD, how is it used, and how can it help me?
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a chemical that comes from the hemp plant. Hemp is a low-THC breed of the cannabis sativa plant, meaning that unlike cannabis, the majority of CBD products are entirely legal to consume. THC is the chemical that gives cannabis its psychoactive properties, and these properties are not as present in CBD. CBD has become known for its calming and relaxing properties, and one specific form of CBD has even been approved as a prescription drug for seizures in the United States. WebMD also cites CBD’s other potential uses for anxiety, pain, and conditions such as Parkinson disease and Crohn disease.
From anxiety to arthritis, CBD has been said to relieve an incredibly wide variety of health issues. Animal studies, self-reports, and human clinical trials all continue to be performed by scientists to compile evidence of how significant CBD is for treating specific ailments. However, the FDA has approved its first CBD-based medicine, Epidiolex, to treat seizures. Research has shown sufficient evidence that CBD is beneficial to sufferers of Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, which typically do not respond to anti-seizure medications. Several studies suggested CBD was not only able to reduce the number of seizures, but stop some patients suffering seizures altogether. This illustrates how powerful CBD can be, and studies continue to explore CBD oil benefits on other common ailments, such as:
Clinical trials and studies have been underway for several years exploring the effects of CBD on anxiety. This is largely due to the common report from CBD users that it has a significant impact on their anxiety levels. A 2019 study found that a 300-600mg dosage of CBD caused a notable reduction in the anxiety symptoms of 57 adult males. Oral CBD products can be used to relieve anxiety symptoms throughout the day, while some methods like inhaling CBD vape oil can be used to provide more immediate relaxation.
Studies have suggested that CBD oil’s calming properties may be helpful for a more restful sleep. This is thought to be because it has been found to calm several of the mental health disorders that cause poor sleep (such as anxiety, OCD, PTSD, and depression), it can also relieve pains that are keeping you awake, or counter the effects of caffeine or medication that keeps you awake. Not only has CBD been found to help individuals fall asleep quicker and easier, it also has helped individuals to wake up less during the night. One 2014 review also found that CBD reduces grogginess in the mornings.
Studies are currently ongoing to support the common claims from CBD users that it helps relieve pain. Many people have sought to use CBD oil for pain management, following reports that it can have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects. People with chronic back pain or conditions like arthritis could experience lower levels of pain by applying CBD oil or gels to the skin. A 2018 review of CBD studies conducted between 1975 and 2018 found that CBD oil provided effective pain management for cancer pain, neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia, without any negative side effects.
Some research has suggested that CBD may be useful for assisting the process of addiction recovery, especially for those craving tobacco, opiates and alcohol. The research is based on animal models of addiction, where CBD’s relaxing qualities were seen to reduce the anxiousness that comes with cravings.
CBD comes in a wide variety of forms, allowing you to choose the method that best suits you and your lifestyle. Common forms of CBD include:
Some methods are more effective than others depending on what it is you are looking to achieve. If you are wanting to reduce pain in your muscles and joints, you might be better off using a topical lotion, cream or oil that has been infused with CBD extract. You could also try soaking in a bath that has been made with a CBD-infused bath bomb. Whereas, if you are looking to relieve symptoms of anxiety, you may find the most effective method is a CBD tincture dropped beneath the tongue, blending a few drops of CBD oil into a smoothie, or using a spray designed to be ingested orally. All of these methods are designed for a fast absorption of CBD directly into the bloodstream. You can also find CBD in certain FDA-approved prescription drugs in the U.S., such as Sativex which is used to relieve spasms associated with cancer pain and multiple sclerosis.
When taking CBD by mouth, it is considered safe to do so in appropriate doses. Studies have shown that it is safe to ingest up to 200mg of CBD oil daily for up to 13 weeks without negative side effects. Although, clinical trials for CBD-based prescription medications have shown that it is safe to ingest much higher doses of CBD regularly for much longer lengths of time.
Note that if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should consult your healthcare provider before using CBD products. Not only is this due to the CBD content, but also because of the other ingredients that may be included in the product.
If you are looking to ingest CBD orally, you should carefully consider your dosage before beginning to use oils, capsules, or tinctures. The right dose for you will typically depend on your height and how much you weight, as well as how strong the oil is that you are planning on using. The most common dosage for CBD is 20-40mg, but people take much less or much more too. Although it is advised that you calculate your base dosage using your weight, it is also important to know that two different individuals with the same weight could experience entirely different effects from the same dosage. It’s all about finding your ideal dose.
When calculating your dose, you will want to consider:
For a lower strength dose, it is recommended that you take 1mg of CBD per 10 pounds of your weight. So if you weight 140 pounds, a low dose would be around 14mg. A moderate dose is calculated by taking 3mg of CBD for every 10 pounds of your weight. So a person weighing 140 pounds would take around 42mg. Lastly, a high strength dose is calculated as 6mg of CBD per 10 pounds. So, an 140 pound person would take a dose of 84mg. The milligrams referenced in these dosages refers to the pure CBD, rather than the CBD oil. The packaging of your chosen form of CBD should state the CBD strength in milligrams, use this to work out how much to take to achieve your recommended dose.
If you are interested in trying CBD to promote your general health and wellbeing or to treat feelings of nausea, you may want to go for a more mild dosage for your size. Whereas, if you are hoping that a dose of CBD will help you to treat inflammation, mild insomnia, pain, nausea, mild anxiety, or headaches, it is preferable to opt for a more moderate dose. And if you are a sufferer of chronic pain, arthritis, insomnia, anxiety, epilepsy, or migraines, you will likely require a higher dose to treat your symptoms.
It is highly recommended that anyone using CBD for the first time begins with a lower dose, and gradually builds up to their recommended dose over an extended period of time.
CBD products are popping up all over the market, ranging from the more cosmetic (like bath bombs), to the more medicinal (like oils and tinctures). CBD as a stand alone chemical supplement is widely regarded by food and drug safety institutions to be safe for both short term and long term ingestion and topical use. However, there are a few side effects to be aware of. It is also vital that individuals consider the fact that every CBD product will contain different ingredients, so consumers should seek out the highest quality CBD for sale.
Some side effects of CBD can be nauseousness, irritability, and fatigue. There is also a possibility that an individual taking high doses of CBD may show abnormalities in liver related blood tests. If you are on medication, it is important that you consult a doctor before ingesting high doses.
Buying CBD products is legal in the United States, and you can find them everywhere from capsules in pharmacy chain stores, to infused drinks in gas stations. You can even find CBD in the per store, available as gummies and chews that will soothe our furry friends. The legality of CBD may be confusing due to its association with cannabis, which is still illegal to buy and sell in many states and countries outside of the U.S. Despite hemp and marijuana both originating from the same cannabis sativa genus of plant, the plants are treated very differently by U.S. law.
Industrial hemp is legal to grow in the United States, and the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the production and sale of hemp, hemp extracts, and hemp products – like CBD hemp oil. CBD can also be found and extracted from a marijuana plant, but if your CBD comes from a marijuana plant that makes it illegal. Furthermore, if your CBD is found to contain over 0.3% THC, that makes it illegal too. However, as long as your CBD originates from a hemp plant and contains less than 0.3% THC it is entirely legal! Just ensure that you are buying your CBD products from a trusted seller.
There are similarities and differences between CBD and THC, with the most important difference being the psychoactive qualities that make THC a drug (unlike CBD). However, taking a deeper dive into the differences between the two chemicals can help us better understand CBD and its benefits.
At their very core chemical structures, THC and CBD share almost the exact same molecular structure. They both are structures with 21 carbon atoms, 30 hydrogen atoms, and 2 oxygen atoms. However, these atoms are arranged slightly different in THC and CBD, which changes the effect they have on the body. Your body naturally contains endocannabinoids, which are made up of almost the exact same chemicals as THC and CBD. This is what enables these chemicals to interact with your body’s cannabinoid receptors and have an effect.
Although, CBD and THC have so many similarities, their effect on the body is very different. Both CBD and THC have psychoactive effects. However, CBD’s effects are limited to seizures, anxiety, and depression, compared to the ‘high’ associated with THC. THC’s high is due to the fact that THC chemicals bind to the brain’s CB1 receptors. While CBD fails to bind to CB1 receptors without the presence of THC, which leads to no unwanted psychoactive effects.
CBD and THC both have been known to be used for medical benefit. Some of the benefits offered by CBD and THC are the same, which is useful to know if you are seeking some of the medicinal benefits of THC without the “high”.
CBD’s medical benefits include preventing and lessening seizures, lowering inflammation, pain, mental disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, nauseousness, migraines, depression, and anxiety.
Whereas, THC’s medical benefits include pain relief, relieving muscle spasms, glaucoma, insomnia, low appetite, nausea, and anxiety.
Studies have found that CBD offers a relatively low amount of side effects, with many medical professionals suggesting that any side effects that occur with CBD use are likely to be the result of interaction with other medications. However, CBD’s side effects can include fatigue, weight loss, changes in appetite, dizziness, and diarrhea. THC on the other hand, causes temporary side effects such as red eyes, dry mouth, slow reaction times, anxiety, memory loss, problems with coordination, and increased heart rate.
Neither of these chemicals offer fatal side effects. However, it should be ntoed that THC has been connected to a long-term negative impact on psychiatric health.
Cannabis extract has been used to relieve pain for thousands of years, and in recent times more and more scientists are finding evidence of its effects. The body’s endocannabinoid system is responsible for the sensation of pain (in addition to sleep, anxiety, and more). When CBD enters the body, it interacts with this endocannabinoid system, ultimately relieving the nerve pain you feel in your body.
Mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression can impact our daily wellbeing, and although these disorders are typically treated with pharmaceuticals, many people prefer to seek a treatment without as many side effects. A great number of studies have found significant improvement in the mental health of CBD users. It has been shown to reduce the symptoms of depression, allowing individuals to have more productive and manageable days. It has also been shown, and widely reported by CBD users, that CBD oil significantly soothes the symptoms of anxiety.
Because CBD interacts with the brain’s natural endocannabinoid system, many scientists believe that this could allude to potential neuroprotective properties. Although conclusive studies are still lacking on the benefits of long-term CBD use on protecting the brain from degenerative disorders, the use of CBD oil in Parkinson’s patients found that their sleep quality and quality of life was significantly improved.
Certain research papers have found that CBD oil may be useful for lowering high blood pressure, which can have an array of benefits on heart health and circulation. High blood pressure can cause strokes, heart attacks, and metabolic syndrome, and the medications used to lower blood pressure can have some undesirable side effects. Therefore, for those looking to improve their heart health before they require medical attention, CBD oil may be helpful to keep blood pressure low and healthy.
If you are looking to use CBD oil to alleviate anxiety, you may be wondering what is the best CBD oil to use. First of all, it is vital that you choose a high quality CBD product that is not contaminated with other chemicals, as this will reduce the risk of side effects. The forms of CBD that are best for treating anxiety include:
If you are considering using CBD oil to help you sleep, you’ll be glad to know that many studies have found that the chemical helps the user fall asleep easier, wake up less during the night, and wake up feeling more rested. Using CBD oil for better sleep typically requires a higher dose, and users should be aware that many CBD products targeting sleep aid often combine CBD oil with additional known sleep supplements such as melatonin. The best forms of CBD for a better night’s sleep include:
Those using CBD products as a sleep aid should aim to use a stronger dosage than they do for general wellness or anxiety.
Whether you are looking to use CBD oil for general pain relief, chronic pain, joint pain, or neuropathic pain, there are a number of forms of CBD that can be used to help relieve your symptoms. If the pain you are experiencing is in your joints, back, muscles, or somewhere else targeted, you may find you have the best results using a topical cream or gel. These creams often have a certain percentage of pure CBD oil in the formulation, which will then permeate the skin to interact with the body’s pain sensors, However, some of these topical creams and gels can be formulated with numbing agents and a lower dosage of CBD. You can also use softgels, capsules, oils, tinctures, and flower to provide pain relief, which may be best suited to those suffering from neuropathic pain and chronic pain.