Is CBD Oil Healthy and Safe to Use to Treat Illnesses?
CBD oil is hot. Really hot. Jennifer Anniston uses it. Whoopi Goldberg founded a medical marijuana company and advocates for CBD. Kim Kardashian wanted a CBD-themed baby shower.
And even if you’re not a celebrity, you’ve probably heard about the wonders of this product.
CBD oil is supposed to relieve pain and anxiety. It takes your stress away and can even help to prevent acne. But you might find yourself feeling skeptical. Is CBD oil legit, or is it just a fad? Can it actually be used to treat illnesses?
Well, it’s not going to cure cancer. But CBD oil can help patients reduce the symptoms of cancer treatments like chemotherapy. People with joint pain, inflammation, and other conditions can all safely use CBD to manage the symptoms of their conditions.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is extracted cannabidiol (CBD.) Cannabidiol is one of the many active ingredients in the cannabis plant. Both hemp and marijuana contain CBD, but hemp tends to contain CBD in higher concentrations than most strains of marijuana.
CBD vs. THC
When many people hear “cannabis,” they back away. Cannabis and marijuana have been damned for decades due to the War on Drugs. Marijuana has been painted as a dangerous drug that can melt your brain.
It’s not correct to say the same about CBD and CBD oil. CBD won’t get you high - that’s what THC does.
THC is another active ingredient in marijuana. CBD, on the other hand, offers a lot of health benefits that have celebrities, moms, and health and wellness experts raving.
Not All CBD Oil Products Are the Same
CBD oil isn’t pure CBD. It is typically blended with an oil (coconut oil or MCT oil are two common choices.) Manufacturers may also add terpenes, essential oils, amino acids, or other additives to enhance the effects of their product.
Check all of the ingredients on the back of a CBD oil bottle before you buy.
How Does CBD Oil Work?
As scientists were looking at the effects that cannabis has on the body, they discovered an entire system running through the nervous system and other parts of the body. It’s called the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system helps the body maintain homeostasis, or balance. It plays a role in inflammation, pain relief, stress relief, appetite, and many other functions in the body.
Our body produces its own cannabinoids, which bind to receptors within the endocannabinoid system. Once that bond is made, neurotransmitters are sent to different areas of the body with messages that it is time to complete certain functions.
Photocannabinoids, like CBD, also encourage the release of neurotransmitters throughout the body. CBD can play a role in a variety of functions that take place in the nervous system, joints, and digestive system.
What Can CBD Oil Treat?
CBD oil has been able to help many people manage a list of mental and physical conditions, including:
Anxiety, depression, and PTSD
Chronic pain from fibromyalgia, arthritis, or MS
Pain from menstrual cramps
CBD oil can also help to treat nausea and act as an appetite stimulant.
What Are the Side Effects of CBD Oil?
There are no serious side effects of CBD oil. Studies have shown that patients can take up to 100mg CBD a day safely. However, mild side effects may occur. These side effects include:
Nausea or dizziness
Anxiety or irritability
For some, lowering the dose of CBD oil could be the solution to side effects. Do not start off taking 100mg CBD in one day unless recommended by a doctor. Many patients can manage or treat their symptoms with just 20mg a day (the equivalent to one dropper of CBD oil.)
CBD and Dependency
There is no evidence that CBD can be physically addictive. In fact, studies show that CBD can help to treat addiction to cigarettes and other substances.
CBD and Pregnancy
Moms are hopping on the CBD train in droves - and so are moms-to-be. CBD has become a hot alternative to antidepressants and other medications that may cause side effects to the baby. Meanwhile, CBD can address a number of symptoms of pregnancy, including hormone-induced acne and high stress.
But should it be on the list of things that women should avoid while pregnant?
We’re not sure yet. There just isn’t enough research on CBD and pregnancy to give a definitive answer. It’s not not safe.
There is research on smoking marijuana during pregnancy, and the results aren’t good. Smoking weed while pregnant can lead to delays in brain development and low birth weight. The THC can make its way right into the placenta. The CDC says just don’t do it.
CBD and Other Medications
Have you ever heard that you shouldn’t eat grapefruit while on certain medications? Some studies suggest that CBD could have similar effects to grapefruits. CBD blocks a set of liver enzymes that grapefruits inhibit. This means that if you are on medication, you could find yourself with more of that medication running throughout your bloodstream.
Does this mean you should stay away from CBD altogether? Not necessarily. CBD oil taken under the tongue does increase your risk of CBD interacting with your medication - more CBD reaches the bloodstream. However, CBD edibles or topical products may be completely safe while taking medication.
Talk to a medical professional about whether or not you should take CBD oil while on certain medications.
There Is Still Research to Be Done on CBD Oil
Unfortunately, there are a lot of unanswered questions about CBD oil. Researchers have a lot of work to do and consumers may feel left in the dark for many years. But for now, CBD oil is a safe and healthy way to manage your symptoms and feel generally more calm.
Continue to conduct research on CBD oil and use with caution. Start with small doses and work your way up if needed. Remember to read reviews of CBD oil products and buy from trusted retailers in order to guarantee that you are getting a pure, organic product without THC.