CBD oil is a controversial oil that is gaining traction in both the alternative and mainstream health industries. CBD oil is Cannabidiol oil and has some individuals unsure about the potential health benefits or effects on the body and mind. Now although there are some potential health benefits of Cannabidiol oil there is also some potential causes for concern. In every state you will encounter different regulations and laws surrounding CBD oil, whether used for health benefits or not.
What Exactly is CBD Oil?
CBD is a cannabinoid that is in the cannabis plant. There are thousands of cannabinoids within the plant however the two main focuses are CBD and THC. Studies have been focused on the CBD compound. THC is the compound responsible for the ‘high’ that some experience from ingesting cannabis while CBD is the compound that offers the therapeutic and health potentials. CBD does not have any known psychoactive effects. You will find many oils that contain a concentration of CBD, these are the oils we know as CBD oils. There are many different oils that will have varying amounts of CBD and will have used different extraction methods as well as different carrier oils.
What is the Difference between CBD and Marijuana?
THC used to be the most commonly known compound from the cannabis plant. That was until the potential health benefits started to become popular and the medical marijuana industry started gaining exposure. THC is delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol and is the active compound in marijuana that causes the ‘high’ experience.
Both compounds, THC and CBD, are found in the cannabis plant. However these compounds have distinctively different characteristics and effects. Unlike THC, CBD does not have any psychoactive properties. But what does this mean? It means that CBD does not alter the mind. The effects of CBD are linked to the physiological instead of the psychological. While the studies have been limited so far, there have been some clinical trials that suggest positive results. CBD oils usually derive their CBD from the hemp plant, a plant variety of the cannabis plant that has minuscule amounts of THC but is high in CBD. Both hemp and marijuana come from the cannabis sativa plant however this does not mean that they are the same plant. In contrast, they are strikingly different.
Agriculturists and farmers who grow marijuana to sell for the psychoactive properties, the ‘high’, have cloned and bred their plant to have very high levels of THC. Hemp agriculturists have done the very opposite. Hemp plants needed little to none modification due to their naturally high content in CBD. These are the most effective plants to be used for the extraction of CBD for CBD oil.
How Does the CBD Compound React in the Body?
Every cannabinoid works by becoming attached to receptors within the body. They are then able to produce their effects. Few people realise that we actually produce cannabinoids as well, without the assistance of cannabis. Within the human body there are two receptors for cannabinoids called CB1 and CB2.
The CB1 receptors are dispersed throughout the body although the majority of them are in the brain. The role of the CB1 receptors is associated with emotions, thoughts, appetite, memories, coordination and general mood, among many other functions. The compound THC becomes attached to these CB1 receptors. What follows is a triggering of a psychoactive effect, the ‘high’ that is experienced. CBD is suspected to be linked to the CB2 receptors. These CB2 receptors are more commonly found within the immune system with connections to pain and inflammation. Initially this was the common idea however more recent studies suggest that the CBD cannabinoid does not actually directly attach to either of the receptors. What it does is far more healthy for the body; the CBD cannabinoid stimulates the body to activate and use its own cannabinoids. This means that CBD, in terms of the potential health benefits, does not actually act as a ‘healer’. The effect is much more grandiose, CBD acts by stimulating the body to produce its own healing.
The Reported Benefits of CBD Oil
CBD oil has not officially been recognised as a healing agent. This is mainly due to the lack of human clinical trials. The evidence for CBD oil is purely substantial and based on reports and experiences from users. There have been animal trials which did prove that CBD has health benefits however until these trials are done on humans no official statements will be made.
The main reported benefits are as follows:
– Anti-inflammatory Properties
– Assist in Drug Withdrawal (including smoking as well as hard drugs)
– Anti-seizure properties
– Anti-depression properties
– Treatment for (other) Neurological disorders
– Helps to fight Cancer cells
– Reduces Anxiety related disorders including but not limited to PTSD, general anxiety disorder, panic attacks, social anxiety, OCD.
– Anti-inflammatory effects assist those with type 1 diabetes
– Anti-inflammatory properties can also assist in reduces acne caused by inflamed sebaceous glands.
– CBD can prevent those with early stage Alzheimer from losing their ability to recognise faces.
These are just a few of the reported benefits that studies have found associated with CBD oil.
The Legality of CBD
This is a complex subject, especially with the new regulations and laws. However the complex subject is a step forward from the taboo. Some states in the US have legalised the recreational use of Marijuana (within certain restrictions) and some states have only legalised the medicinal use of marijuana. And still more states are specific in their regulations stipulating that CBD oil is legal as long as it is derived from hemp.
The federal law still states that marijuana is an illegal substance however the federal law does give each state the freedom to decide and vote on their legalities. The laws have seen some changes in the past few months and it is expected that changes will continue to take place in the foreseeable future.
Potential Risks and Side Effects
There are no known significant side effects of CBD oil on the central nervous system. There have been a variety of studies that have shown CBD oil to be a safe alternative medicine. There has, however, been reports that CBD oil causes some tiredness but this is due to the tranquillising nature of the CBD compound.
In terms of risk there has been no adequate published study that gives the right to make a statement about the risks or the lack thereof associated with CBD oil. At the moment the greatest risk is the quality of oil that you are purchasing. Find a reputable company and research what goes into their extraction process. You want to find and use an oil that is as pure as possible. The CBD oil industry is set to light the economic world on fire so naturally there will be many opportunist around, people or businesses that are not in the CBD oil business to supply quality oil but to take shortcuts and make the most profit they can. You can avoid these types of oils by researching the purity of the oils and the company that creates it. Where was the cannabis plant grown? What is the carrier oil used and what method was used to extract the CBD oil?
There are many things to know about CBD oil, certainly more than can fit into one article. Do research, stay informed and value quality over quantity always.