What is CBD Oil?
The alternative drug market is experiencing a major revolution thanks, in part, to the newest ‘wonder drug’, cannabidiol (CBD). This compound has become one of the most controversial drugs in decades, despite the fact that it does not cause the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana.
CBD oil mainly comes from hemp or from cannabis sativa, one of several cannabis plants that contain both tetrahydrocannabinoid (THC) and CBD. Commercial hemp is farmed for the cannabidiol compound and for its wide-ranging therapeutic effects, but unlike marijuana, it cannot get consumers high.
Hemp plants are processed and then extracted to form an oil base that is finally packaged as CBD oil. The oil is used mainly as a topical treatment for ailments such as pain and skin irritation, but it can also be used for a variety of other conditions. While CBD is commonly sold as oil, it can also be infused into foods and drinks, or made into a vaporizer or suppository. A number of companies are doing this already.
Below we explore some of the reasons people are currently taking CBD oil.
What is CBD Oil Used For?
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
A lot has been written about CBD and its effect on the endocannabinoid system, but research is still ongoing to find out just how much this simple compound affects the body. At the moment, studies show that CBD causes therapeutic effects, but this may have more to do with the fact that it treats pain, anxiety, and neurological functions among other things, and therefore helps to calm the patient. This unlocking of the endocannabinoid system may help to explainwhy many users find it to be such a calming and therapeutic drug: the endocannabinoid system is responsible for all sorts of essential processes, some of which are vital to the biochemistry of the body as a whole. So while other medicines are designed to focus on one area of treatment, CBD, by acting on a larger biological process, is able to treat a variety of ailments.
Here are links to some research on this topic:
- CBD and the Endocannabiniod system
- CBD, a report from Harvard Health
- More research on CBD and ECS
CBD Oil and Anxiety
While most people do not think of stress and anxiety as good behaviors, but they are important adaptive responses that can help avoid trouble and deal with threats safely. This type of natural adaptive mechanism is meant to help with survival and can be essential in our day-to-day interactions. However, if not handled properly, anxiety and the emotions it triggers can be destructive. Most of us have experienced anxiety at some point, but it rarely becomes an issue unless it starts repeating itself. CBD reduces the effects of common anxiety-related conditions such as:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Social anxiety
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Panic disorders
- Moderate depression
CBD is believed to treat anxiety through an indirect interaction with the endocannabinoid system and also through its effect on serotonin receptors. The hippocampus area of the brain is also targeted when CBD is ingested, and since this part of the brain is involved with anxiety and cognitive function, any process that leads to neurogenesis could have a positive impact.
CBD and Epilepsy
Hemp products have been used to treat neurological diseases for a long time now, but it is only recently that researchers have started looking into it as a genuine treatment, with certain studies becoming instrumental in pushing the use of CBD. The FDA has already approved one CBD-based drug to treat one form of epilepsy, but as research is ongoing, a full endorsement from the wider medical establishment is still far away.
Many epilepsy patients who use CBD continuously experience a significant reduction in seizure activity, and when combined with other forms of treatment, CBD is found to be far more effective at treating certain forms of epilepsy.
Effective in Reducing Pain
Pain reduction is one of the main reasons people use CBD. In particular, the sporting industry has become a major market for CBD oil and other products used topically to address localized pain. CBD reduces pain and inflammation and speeds up healing when muscles and joints have been exhausted from intense exercise, but it also reduces chronic pain and can be used to treat conditions like arthritis.
Topical products like oils and trademarked ointments can be used to treat pain, but tinctures are also used effectively. Depending on the type of pain being treated, some patients may prefer to use vaping devices to get the CBD into the bloodstream quicker, however, applying the oil on the skin also reduces pain.
Risks & Side Effects
According to the World Health Organization, no public health issues have been associated with using CBD, and there is no evidence to suggest that regular use can lead to addiction. There have been cases of nausea, indigestion, and bloating, but these symptoms are mild and easy to manage. In case of more serious symptoms, users should stop using CBD immediately and speak to their doctor. This detailed report gives a review on the possible side effects associated with CBD.