Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is creating a buzz recently for being the next big solution for a variety of health concerns. It is thought to treat anxiety, depression, and chronic pain.
However, its use remains controversial. While some studies show that it can benefit your health, it is also believed to pose health risks.
So, what’s the real score about CBD oil, and how exactly can it affect the human body? If you’re curious to know whether you should use CBD oil in treating some of your health issues, stick around.
Learn about the potential health benefits and risks of CBD oil, its uses, and pointers you need to consider before using this widely favored product.
What is CBD Oil?
There are two kinds of the cannabis sativa plant that produce chemical compounds known as cannabinoids: marijuana and hemp.
Cannabinoids are classified into several types and one of the most common is cannabidiol, which has been found to exhibit medical potential.
Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), marijuana’s most abundant cannabinoid, CBD doesn’t make you high. So, how exactly does CBD work?
Here’s the thing: All cannabinoids attach to certain receptors in the body, and produce different effects.
Interestingly, our bodies also make its own cannabinoids and have cannabinoid receptors as well. These receptors are called CB1 and CB2.
CB1 receptors are more common in the brain, and THC (the psychoactive agent in marijuana) attaches to these receptors.
CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are mainly expressed in the immune system and are known to affect pain and inflammation.
Researchers earlier believed that CBD attaches to CB2 receptors but later suspect that CBD only improves the body’s ability to use its own cannabinoids called endocannabinoids.
Most CBD products are derived from hemp, which contains only small amounts of THC. Among these products include CBD oil.
It is essential to note, though, that hemp oil is different from CBD oil. While both of them are made from the same plant, hemp oil does not contain the same amounts of cannabinoids in CBD oil.
Hemp oil is made by pressing the seeds of the hemp plant. CBD oil, on the other hand, is extracted from the whole hemp plant.
What are the Health Benefits of CBD Oil?
Several studies found evidence that CBD can be beneficial for a person’s health. Take a look at this list of CBD oil benefits:
It reduces inflammation and relieves pain
Over-the-counter drugs are a convenient option for pain relief. Some people, however, opt to use CBD oil as a natural alternative.
In one study, it was revealed that CBD significantly suppressed pain and chronic inflammation in animal subjects. Researchers collectively agree that CBD can be used as a treatment for chronic pain.
It reduces anxiety and depression
Anxiety and depression are two of the most common health problems that can adversely affect the health and well-being of an individual.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are over 300 million people suffering from depression worldwide, while 260 million others are living with anxiety disorders. Sadly, it could get worse.
Some studies show that anti-depressants, which are used to treat these common mental health problems, have been linked to adverse side effects such as sexual problems, weight gain, emotional numbness, and even substance abuse.
Luckily, CBD oil has exhibited potential in treating both anxiety and depression, offering a natural alternative for those living with these mental conditions.
One study found that those with a social anxiety disorder who received 600 mg of CBD experienced reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort during their public speaking test.
A separate study conducted on a five-year-old girl with post-traumatic stress disorder concluded that CBD oil safely treats insomnia and anxiety in children with such a condition.
It helps to treat epilepsy
In June 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of CBD (Epidiolex) in treating two rare and severe forms of epilepsy.
In America, doctors are allowed to prescribe Epidiolex to patients suffering from Dravet syndrome, and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
Dravet syndrome is a rare genetic condition that manifests during the first year of life and is often triggered by fever or hot temperatures.
Children affected with Dravet syndrome (DS) commonly suffer motor and cognitive impairment, behavioral problems, frail bones, and heart rhythm irregularities.
Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), otherwise known as childhood epileptic encephalopathy, is a condition that typically occurs between the ages three and five years. It is characterized by multiple and concurrent types of seizure.
The FDA, however, emphasized that doctors can only prescribe Epidiolex to patients aged two years and older. Also, the proper dosage must be determined based on body weight by a physician or pharmacist.
This FDA approval comes after scientific studies showed that cannabidiol possesses anti-seizure properties with minimal risk of side effects in epileptic patients.
It may reduce cancer-related symptoms
Research also showed that CBD helps to reduce cancer-related symptoms and cancer treatment side effects such as pain, nausea, and vomiting.
One study found that patients treated with THC:CBD extract experienced significant pain relief. Another research discovered that a cannabis-based medicine combined with standard treatment reduced chemo-induced nausea and vomiting.
It may reduce diabetes inflammation
Inflammation is a contributing factor for diabetes. One study found that CBD can reduce the incidence of diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice by reducing the plasma levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Another research also showed that CBD reduced pancreatic inflammation in type 1 diabetes.
It may help people with neurological disorders
CBD was also found to exhibit neuroprotective properties. One study concluded that a cannabinoid-based oral spray called Sativex is a safe and effective treatment for multiple sclerosis.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord, which includes symptoms like limb numbness and weakness, electric-shock sensations, and partial or complete vision loss.
Several studies also looked into the potential of CBD in treating other neurological diseases. For instance, some studies found that CBD has the potential to improve the quality of life of Parkinson’s disease patients.
Additionally, animal studies found that CBD may reduce inflammation and social recognition problems linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
It treats acne
CBD is also prized for its ability to treat acne, which is an inflammatory skin condition that commonly occurs during adolescence.
Some of the common factors that trigger acne include excess oil production and hormonal activity, bacteria, and hair follicles clogged by dead skin cells and oil.
One study concluded that CBD can be used as an effective treatment for acne due to its combined lipostatic, antiproliferative, and anti-inflammatory properties.
How to Use CBD Oil?
You can use CBD oil in improving various health symptoms. Some people use it as a natural alternative for treating health issues such as:
- Chronic pain
- Parkinson’s disease
- Sleep disorders
But since CBD products are not regulated by the FDA, it is best to see your doctor first before using CBD oil. It is important to know the right dosage of CBD oil in treating your health condition.
It also helps to ask your doctor about potential side effects and risks and read up on laws and regulations within your territory regarding CBD. Then, move forward by comparing various CBD oil brands.
You can also use other CBD products that come in various forms such as capsules, sprays, and thick pastes.
What are the Potential Risks of CBD Oil?
Although CBD is considered generally safe, some people may experience adverse reactions after using it. Some possible side effects include diarrhea, fatigue, and appetite changes.
It is important to see your doctor first before using CBD oil, especially if you are taking certain medications.
CBD may interact with enzymes involved in metabolizing certain drugs, which may trigger adverse side effects. Professional advice is crucial before using CBD oil to guarantee your safety and prevent any health threat.
Also, while several studies show promising results, there is still a scarcity of evidence regarding the safety of alternative treatments.
Whether you’re under certain medications or not, it’s best to visit a qualified practitioner so you can be properly assessed and guided about CBD use.
The FDA approved its use for treating only two rare and severe forms of epilepsy. The agency, however, does not regulate the safety and efficacy of such products and other dietary supplements.
Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are, meantime, advised to refrain from using CBD oil.
Several studies found evidence that CBD may be useful in treating various health issues including anxiety, depression, diabetes, and epilepsy.
But while earlier findings show promising results, more studies are needed to be conducted to prove its effectiveness in managing these conditions.
Because there is a lack of evidence in human studies, it is difficult to pinpoint the effective doses of CBD in treating certain health issues.
It is also difficult to identify what exactly you are getting since CBD products are mostly unregulated.
Put simply, it is best to seek sound professional advice before using CBD products like CBD oil. This is especially important if you have a certain health condition or are taking certain prescription drugs.