Cannabidiol oil, most commonly referred to as CBD oil, is the non-intoxicating hemp or marijuana component that is touted by many as helping address a variety of medical conditions — everything from inflammation to epileptic seizures to depression to sleeplessness.
CBD is just one of over 100 cannabinoid compounds within cannabis. CBD, just like the more well-known cannabinoid Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), provides many health and wellness benefits. CBD doesn’t, however, cause a person to get “high.” Because of this, many people are looking at CBD products to relieve or lessen symptoms from mental conditions like depression and anxiety and as well as physical ailments like inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis pain.
CBD Oil: What It Is
CBD, short for Cannabidiol, is a component of the cannabis plant. CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that many people believe is useful in several areas of health and healing. The benefits of CBD come from its interactions with the human body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The human body manufactures endocannabinoids naturally. In essence, the body produces compounds much like the ones found in the cannabis plant. Different endocannabinoids bond with specific receptors as needed by the body. When no longer needed the bonds are broken down by enzymes. The purpose of the endocannabinoid system is to be in constant action to keep many of a person’s inner workings in balance — to create homeostasis in the body. The actions of the ECS has an effect on everything from sleep patterns to inflammation to pain regulation.
Any time something in the body falls out of balance the ECS makes specific, very small changes in an effort to reestablish equilibrium to the body. The human body isn’t perfect, though, and if a person’s endocannabinoid system isn’t performing correctly all manner of physical or mental issues can come about. When a body has a poorly functioning ECS, supplementing it with CBD oil can often be extremely effective in reestablishing and then sustaining balance. For CBD to work properly the body must first absorb it. Ingesting, taking sublingually, or applying topically all work to absorb CBD oil.
In short, CBD oil is a chemical compound from the cannabis plant that, unlike the THC cannabis compound, doesn’t get a person high. A rapidly growing number of people are discovering that it can be quite beneficial as a supplement.
The Difference Between Full Spectrum CBD Oil and Isolate
If you’ve just started reading up on CBD, or visited online stores selling CBD, you’ve probably come across the phrases full-spectrum and isolate. These two designations indicate the kind of cannabinoid content you should count on being in a product.
Full spectrum pertains to a product that consists of a substantial level of CBD, but additionally includes other beneficial cannabinoids such as CBC, CBN, and CBG, which each possess their own particular health benefits.
An isolate, on the other hand, is precisely what it sounds like. A CBD isolate has extracted, or isolated, the CBD component from the hemp, such that the product does not include any amount of any of the other various cannabinoids.
In discussions of full spectrum CBD oil you’ll encounter the phrase entourage effect. The entourage effect is the term for how the diverse compounds of the cannabis plant collectively provide significant healing effects. This synergistic action is similar to the operation of the human endocannabinoid system itself. With full spectrum CBD oil a person experiences the advantages of this notable entourage effect, with an organic extract abundant in cannabinoids, terpenes (aromatic oils), and other helpful oils.
Determining a Proper CBD Oil Dosage
A person takes a dosage of CBD oil by ingesting it, placing it under the tongue, or rubbing it into the skin to apply it topically. There are no strict guidelines on the amount of CBD oil that’s considered one dose. The reason that there is no standards regarding CBD amounts is that while CBD oil was legalized federally in late 2018, the FDA to date has not released dosing guidelines.
Unlike pharmaceuticals which have strict dosage guidelines that should always be followed, CBD is considered safe to use even in high doses (and additionally has been determined to not be habit-forming). While there are no dosage standards, you’ll still want to determine, at least roughly, what quantity you should consider one dose appropriate for you. Do that by taking the following factors into consideration.
- The purpose for taking CBD
- Your size and weight
- The amount of CBD contained in the particular product you’ve purchased
- How you typically tolerate certain supplements based on your own body chemistry
With the above points in mind, most people find the following general guidelines helpful and adequate.
- If your body weight is 130 lbs or less start with an initial dose of 12 to 16 mg per day and adjust upward from there
- If your body weight is between 130 lbs and 230 lbs start with an initial dose of 18 to 22 mg per day and adjust upward from there
- If your body weight is more than 230 lbs start with an initial dose of 24 to 30 mg per day and adjust upward from there
In general people tolerate CBD quite nicely, with very few people experiencing any negative side effects. Any side effects are normally quite mild, and the solution is to simply scale down the CBD dosage, or even take a one day break for using CBD. Every individual is different, so a little trail-and-error may be in order to determine the dosage that’s optimal for you.
Health and Wellness Uses of CBD Oil
The human body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates many of the body’s other systems. The ECS facilitates the good function of inflammation, pain and pleasure responses, fertility, immune function, sleep, appetite, digestion, temperature, the reproductive system, memory, mood and more. CBD oil is helpful to the body’s ECS, so it makes sense that people have discovered a number of health and healing benefits from taking CBD oil. In fact, many people have found that CBD oil plays a role in minimizing issues with all of the just-mentioned body functions.
Reducing Anxiety and Depression
Depression and anxiety are prevalent mental health ailments that can have very harmful impacts on both health and well-being. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the greatest contributor to disability worldwide, while anxiety conditions ranks sixth.
Depression and anxiety are commonly treated with pharmaceutical drugs. It’s well-known that such medications can produce a whole host of side effects, including headaches, skin rashes, insomnia, dizziness, sexual dysfunction, constipation, and drowsiness. Additionally, some prescription medications can be addictive and may result in substance abuse.
CBD oil has demonstrated great promise as a remedy for both anxiety and depression, causing many people who endure these disorders to become enthusiastic about this natural approach.
Pain Management: Relieving Aches and Pains
Many people with persistent and chronic pain use topical CBD oil to deal with their symptoms. For some, CBD oil has reduced pain, inflammation, and overall discomfort related to a number of health conditions.
The research on CBD products and pain management has been promising — a 2017 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) determined that there was “conclusive or substantial evidence” that CBD is effective in the treatment of chronic pain.
For people who have chronic pain and rely on medications such as opioids, CBD offers an alternative — an alternative that is not habit-forming and has few, if any, side effects.
Alleviating Cancer-related Symptoms
For some, CBD has helped decrease both symptoms associated with cancer and the side effects that often accompany cancer treatment, including pain, vomiting and nausea.
One recent study investigated the effects of CBD in 175 people experiencing cancer-related pain who did not gain relief from traditional pain medications. On average, participants treated with CBD noted a considerable reduction in pain.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), CBD may also be of benefit in reducing the most common chemotherapy-related side effects: nausea and vomiting.
Acne is a very common skin condition affecting over 10% of the population. It is thought to be caused by a number of factors, including underlying inflammation, bacteria, genetics, and an overproduction of sebum (an oily secretion produced by the skin’s sebaceous glands).
According to a number of recent scientific studies, CBD oil’s anti-inflammatory qualities and capability to lessen sebum production may be of help in the treatment of acne. One recent study determined that CBD oil stopped sebaceous glands from secreting abnormal amounts of sebum, enhanced anti-inflammatory actions, and stopped the activation of inflammatory cytokines (a pro-acne agent).
Treating Neurological Disorders
The ability of CBD to assist the endocannabinoid system, as well as support other brain signaling systems, has led some researchers to believe that CBD provides benefits for many people with neurological disorders. CBD treatment of neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis and epilepsy is one of the most studied areas of the use of CBD for human health.
The 2018 National Center for Biotechnology Information report Review of the Neurological Benefits of Phytocannabinoids makes many compelling statements regarding the potential positive effects of CBD and neurological disorders, including the following quote:
Sativex, an oral spray that includes CBD among its ingredients, has been demonstrated to be an effective as well as safe means to decrease muscle spasticity in people suffering with multiple sclerosis. One NCBI report determined that Sativex lessened spasms in 74% of 284 multiple sclerosis patients who had been enduring muscle spasticity resistant to traditional pharmaceutical medications.
Contributing to a Healthy Heart
High blood pressure is linked to higher risks of a number of health conditions, including metabolic syndrome, heart attack and stroke. Studies have associated CBD with multiple benefits for the circulatory system and heart, including the capability of lowering high blood pressure. One recent study based on treating a dozen men in good health with a single 500 mg dose of CBD oil determined this action decreased resting blood pressure. Additionally, this NCBI research gave these same men stress tests that usually result in an increase in blood pressure. The single dose of CBD resulted in the participants experiencing a smaller increase in blood pressure than is typical for this type of test.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms
CBD oil affects brain activity, primarily by interacting with two receptors — the CB1 and CB2 receptors — to reduce inflammation and pain. This is important when it comes to dealing with rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis, in part, consists of the immune system targeting joint tissue. The CB2 receptor performs a role in the immune system. This relationship of the CB2 receptor to the immune system may be the reason CBD oil helps alleviate rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
CBD Oil Summary
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is the non-intoxicating component of marijuana that has recently become popular in addressing a wide variety of illnesses and symptoms of illnesses. Anecdotal and research evidence has shown that CBD may be a help in reducing anxiety and depression, pain management, alleviating cancer-related symptoms, reducing acne, treating neurological disorders including multiple sclerosis and epilepsy, heart health, and several other medical issues.
The body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) exists to keep many of a person’s inner workings in balance. When something in the body becomes out of balance the ECS makes minor adjustments in an attempt to reestablish equilibrium. The body manufactures endocannabinoids naturally. Taking cannabidiol (CBD) oil supplements the body’s natural endocannabinoids, possibly assisting the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in carrying out its many tasks.
Full spectrum CBD oil consists mainly of CBD, but also contains other cannabinoids as well. This diverse combination of compounds creates the entourage effect — collectively the synergy of these cannabis plant compounds provide considerable healing benefits.