Cannabidiol or CBD is the second most popular ingredient derived from marijuana.
Because CBD does not produce high often associated with cannabis, in 2015, the federal government allowed scientists to study the benefits.
Since then, every state has passed laws legalizing the sale of CBD to varying extents.
However, while rarely enforced, the sale of CBD remains illegal at the national level.
Scientific evidence shows that CBD can be used to help with several health issues, as well as promote overall well being.
One of the most prevalent ways to reap the benefits of this plant is through the use of CBD essential oil.
Benefits of CBD oil
Manufacturers have added CBD to many products from after-workout smoothies to tampons and makeup, purporting a variety of health claims.
While a few drops won’t hurt you, and many of the applications seem promising, not all claims are scientifically based.
Here is what science knows about the benefits of CBD:
The only CBD medication approved by the FDA is Epidolex.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the use of this oil for two kinds of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), after numerous studies showed CBD able to reduce or even completely stop epileptic seizures.
Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) typically don’t respond to antiseizure medications.
Throughout history, marijuana has been used to alleviate discomfort.
CBD enables you to do so without the psychotropic effects. Your body naturally produces neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids that bind to the cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system.
CBD reduces inflammation by interacting with neurotransmitters and impacting your endocannabinoid receptor activity.
Anxiety and depression
CBD also affects your brain’s serotonin receptors. Because serotonin regulates mood and social behavior, CBD oil offers patients a natural alternative to treat anxiety and depression.
Additionally, CBD oil also safely helps to treat:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Schizophrenia and other mental disorders with psychotic symptoms
Similar to how it works on the serotonin, using CBD oil modifies the brain circuitry related to drug addiction. Incorporating CBD oil into your diet reduces both morphine dependence and heroin-seeking behavior.
Using CBD oil reduces nausea, vomiting, and pain associated with both cancer and the chemotherapy used to treat it.
Additionally, test-tube and animal studies show promising results in using CBD to prevent the spread of many common cancers, including breast, prostate, brain, colon, and lung.
To help combat acne, some cosmetic companies add CBD oil to their products.
The anti-inflammatory properties associated with CBD reduces sebum production. Genetics and underlying irritation, often leading to the skin over secreting oil out of the sebaceous glands causing pimples and zits.
High blood pressure is known to increase your risk of:
- Heart attack
- Metabolic syndrome
Studies show that the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD help lower high blood pressure and keep it lower in high-stress situations.
Additionally, the antioxidant and stress-reducing properties associated with CBD limit cell death and damage due to heart disease.
The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD reduced both inflammation and incidence of diabetes in diabetic mice treated with the oil.
Risks of CBD oil
Using CBD oil is considered safe, and most tolerate it well. However, like any drug, adverse reactions can occur.
Studies found the most common side effects to be:
- Changes in weight and appetite
It’s also important to note that CBD interferes with certain medications in the same manner as grapefruit.
Therefore, if your prescriptions come with a “grapefruit warning,” CBD will affect the way your body metabolizes the drug.
In a study done on mice, scientists found that taking high doses of CBD-rich cannabis extracts can lead to liver toxicity.
Since CBD is sold as a supplement and not a medication, the FDA doesn’t oversee the safety and purity of the products sold. Therefore, the dose on the label may not be the amount you ingest, and there’s no way of knowing what is added to the oil.
Since science is relatively new, studies have yet to determine the proper dosage for any particular medical condition. It is also still not known if there is a safe dosage to take during pregnancy.
The amount of THC in the oil isn’t always accurately labeled. Therefore, you run the risk of failing a drug test if the amount is higher than 3%.
As with any medication, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider before beginning or changing your regimen.