Everyone seems to want to know about CBD oil at the moment. The cannabis-derived supplement is being constantly touted in the press for its miraculous healing abilities. Some are even saying it can cure cancer.
These claims may seem outlandish but it’s not just the press and anecdotal reports that are talking up the power of CBD oil. Researchers, scientists and doctors are also getting excited by the healing potential of CBD. Amongst all the furore, however, there is much confusion. Not least regarding the effects of CBD oil on the body.
So, in order to help you get your head around the confusion, this article will break down just what CBD oil is and how it affects your mind and body to promote good health.
The lowdown on CBD oil
So you’ve heard all about CBD oil and how it’s taking the wellness world by storm. But what is CBD oil exactly?
Well, to start with, CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a chemical compound that comes from the cannabis plant. A number of scientific studies have found it to have potent anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, and neuroprotection (brain-protecting) qualities, along with many other positive health effects.
Unlike the most famous cannabis compound, THC, CBD does not intoxicate or alter your perception in any way. Even at very high doses. This makes CBD extremely appealing substance to those suffering from a wide range of medical complaints. These include things like epilepsy, depression, sleep disorders, chronic pain, and many more.
CBD oil simply consists of a carrier oil - such as coconut oil or olive oil - and CBD extracted from a cannabis plant (usually hemp, which is just cannabis with very low levels of THC). The carrier oil in CBD oil helps with the absorption of the CBD into your blood. CBD oils are, therefore, an effective and reliable means of taking CBD.
The difference between CBD oil and medical cannabis
When people hear that CBD oil is from the cannabis plant, they may assume it’s the same thing as medical cannabis. But there are some distinctions. Let’s go over them.
You see, medical cannabis is an umbrella term for a number of different forms of cannabis which are used to treat specific medical conditions. Forms of medical cannabis can include flowers (or buds), extractions, oils, and other preparations. These medical cannabis products contain different levels of cannabinoids, primarily THC but also CBD.
As medical cannabis preparations contain THC, the compound that gets you ‘high’, it is still illegal in many places where cannabis has not been legalized for medicinal use. CBD oil, on the other hand, has very little CBD (less than 0.3%) and is 100% legal throughout the world.
This is because the CBD in CBD oil has been extracted from hemp, which is simply cannabis with low levels of THC. Hemp is completely legal to grow in most countries, including the U.S. thanks to the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015.
What are the effects of CBD on the body
Scientists have been studying CBD for more than two decades. And while we have learnt much about how it works, we are still honing in on the exact pathways that CBD acts upon. What we do know, however, is that CBD is what’s known as a pleiotropic drug. This means that it produces many effects through multiple molecular pathways.
THC is known to bind to the two cannabinoid receptors in the body (CB1 and CB2). CBD, on the other hand, activates several non-cannabinoid receptors and ion channels. These include the adenosine receptor, which can help promote bone and heart health; serotonin receptors, which play a part in regulating mood; and the TrpV1 receptor, also known as the capsaicin receptor as it is also stimulated by spicy foods. This receptor helps regulate body temperature, inflammation, and pain management.
By acting through these pathways, among many others, CBD affects your body in a variety of ways. Let’s take a look at these effects.
- Reduces anxiety
Probably the most common reason for people using CBD is to reduce anxiety. By activating serotonin receptors in your body, CBD can reduce stress and help you feel happier.
- Lowers inflammation
CBD works by promoting homeostasis in your body. This means it brings your body into balance. Therefore, if you have chronic inflammation, CBD will reduce it more effectively than many well-known anti-inflammatories.
- Improves bone health
Recent research has revealed that CBD helps broken bones repair quicker. Not only that, the healed bones of people treated with CBD were also 35% - 50% stronger than bones that healed naturally.
- Protects the brain
A number of studies have found CBD to be neuroprotective. This means it can help protect your brain from neurodegenerative disease and injury. It may also reduce negative effects after head injuries.
- Lowers blood pressure
It has been found that just a single dose of CBD reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a study from 2017. This suggests CBD may be a viable option for improving cardiovascular health.
- Reduces pain
CBD has been found by a number of studies to provide relief from pain. It seems to be especially effective at reducing chronic neuropathic pain.
- Promotes brain cell growth
Remarkable, not only does CBD protect the brain from injury and damage, it also promotes the growth of new brain cells. This was shown in a 2013 study that found CBD lowered anxiety and induced neurogenesis (brain cell growth) in mice.
- Improves sleep
Many people suffer from bad sleep. This can be an underlying factor in all manner of medical problems. CBD seems to offer a novel and effective way of facilitating a good night’s sleep. It is thought that CBD does this by lowering anxiety. You can read more about how CBD can help you sleep in this extensive article.
Other benefits of CBD
As well as all the effects mentioned above, the full potential of CBD is nowhere near being realized. Most of the research done of CBD so far has been conducted on mice or rat subjects. This means there is still plenty to learn about this fascinating molecule.
Here are some other benefits of CBD that will no doubt be researched more in the future.
- CBD can help treat addiction
While cannabis has long been branded by many as a dangerous and addictive drug, it may be surprising to some that CBD is actually helping people with addictions. Studies have found CBD to reduce cigarette consumption in smokers, to help with withdrawal symptoms, and even reduce craving for opioids such as heroin and morphine.
- CBD reduces seizures in those with epilepsy
It is now well-documented that CBD can help reduce the number of seizures in those suffering from epileptic conditions such as Dravet’s Syndrome. This has even seen CBD-based medications being used in the UK, where medical cannabis is still illegal.
- CBD can help with arthritis
A number of people use CBD to help ease the symptoms of arthritis with great results. And there is science to back up the fact that CBD has potent anti-arthritic properties.
- CBD for PTSD
CBD is also proving to be a novel treatment for those suffering from PTSD.
- CBD for cancer
While the research is all done in labs rather than on human subjects, there is some evidence that suggests CBD may be effective at fighting - or at least slowing down - certain types of cancer.
Are there any side-effects of CBD
Put simply, no. While it’s important to consider the side effects of any supplement to your daily diet, CBD is remarkably safe. Chronic use and high doses have been repeatedly shown to be well tolerated by humans and rats alike.
Some people do report feelings of tiredness at high doses. Although this is not common, there is some research that suggests a small dose of CBD can be energizing while a larger dose can be sedating.
How much CBD should you take?
When first deciding to try CBD or CBD oil you may be wondering how much you should take. Well, it depends. It depends on your reasons for taking CBD (to treat a condition, lower anxiety, etc.), your height and weight, or simply how you feel.
This is because CBD can affect everyone differently. No two people are the same, after all. Therefore, how much CBD they should take for whatever reason will vary.
Having said that, it is advisable to start slow. Take a small amount to start with (perhaps 3-5mg) and notice how it makes you feel. You may well feel not much at all and decide to increase your dose. Work this way until you notice the effects you desire. Time and patience are your friends when determining the most effective dose for you.
Some of you may be more sensitive to CBD and therefore need lower doses. While some may not feel anything after a particularly high dose. That’s just the way it is. As always when incorporating something new into your wellness routine, consult a doctor or medical professional first.
How long do the effects take?
CBD is quite fast-acting and usually takes only a few minutes to a couple of hours to get to work. This does depend on the method of application, the dose, and numerous other factors, however.
One of the quickest ways to administer CBD is via inhalation. This is usually courtesy of a vaporizer. There are many available on the market for this specific purpose. Taking your CBD sublingually is the second fastest method of absorption, granting you relief within minutes. Topicals such as balms and salves are one of the slowest ways to get CBD into your bloodstream, although these methods do allow for a continuous absorption over time, meaning the effects of CBD can be drawn out over a longer period of time.
Eating CBD can also result in a delayed effect - anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on how much you ate before and how long ago your last meal was - as the body needs to digest the food before the CBD can be released and absorbed into the blood. If you plan on eating CBD, it is often advised to do so on an empty stomach for faster effect.
Again, varying your dosage and method of consumption is the best way to find what works best for you. After all, everyone’s body is unique, so make sure you listen to yours!
CBD is a unique compound. It comes from the cannabis plant yet has no intoxicating effects. It does, however, offer great therapeutic value. It works via a number of pathways to bring the body back into balance. This makes it beneficial for a huge range of medical conditions.
While we know a lot about how CBD works, there is still much we don’t know. If anything, the studies that have been conducted have only opened up new questions. We know about the main pathways and receptors that CBD acts upon, but the details and nuances of its effects are still being worked out by scientists.
The future of CBD, therefore, looks exciting. In the meantime, it is well worth experimenting with CBD to find out if it can help you. If you feel CBD may be right for you, try our Good Vibes 250mg+ full-spectrum CBD oil for a reliable and high-quality CBD product.