CBD Oil, legalized as a result of the 2018 Farm Bill, has been hailed by many as a helpful compound which can alleviate a variety of aches and pains, help a person deal with depression and stress, soothe irritated skin and deal with many serious illnesses. While more research is currently in progress to determine therapeutic doses and how exactly CBD works, it is clear from available research and anecdotal reports that CBD can be beneficial to many.
CBD is now commercially available, but many CBD sellers are less than reputable, particularly given the lack of consumer protections in the area. A recent study by Penn State tested 81 CBD products and found that 70% were mislabeled.
For these reasons, if you’re going to purchase CBD, make sure you do so from a reputable seller who uses a third party tester. This ensures that the product is accurately labelled.
Benefits of CBD Oil
CBD is purported to have many benefits to help deal with common aches, pains and stresses. Furthermore, though more research is needed, it does appear that CBD has the potential to help major illnesses like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
More common benefits of CBD include:
Pain relief: CBD works by tweaking the body’s Endocannabinoid System, which impacts a variety of the body’s systems, including pain. Multiple studies and individual reports indicate that CBD can reduce pain, particularly when applied as a topical to the impacted area.
Anxiety and Depression: Initial studies regarding CBD use for depression have shown promise, with some showing positive interactions between CBD and neurotransmitters which have an impact on depression symptoms. Some articles have noted that CBD can help to “calm the brain” and thus alleviate depression, anxiety and even PTSD, with another study going as far as to claim that CBD may be able to help alleviate social anxiety in ways similar to other prescription medicines. Another review found that CBD may help people deal with numerous types of anxieties, noting that there is ample evidence to suggest that it reduces anxiety in both mice and humans.
Skin care: Beauty professionals have noted that CBD use has been associated with numerous skin care benefits, including scar reduction, controlling inflammation and reducing acne. Some Doctors have even begun to give CBD-infused products to patients after surgical procedures, noting that it can help calm and soothe irritated skin.
Furthermore, CBD has shown promise in dealing with a variety of serious physical ailments. These include:
Alzheimer’s Disease: One of the core causes and symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease is brain inflammation, oxygen buildup within the brain and overall decline in brain cells and brain cell activity. CBD has been found to reduce inflammation and oxygen buildup within the brain. At the same time, other studies has shown that it has a variety of neuroprotective qualities. Another study found that CBD can hep to prevent a variety of memory deficits in Alzheimer’s in mice, while a third study found that CBD can reduce the buildup of amyloid beta, a damaging protein found in patients with Alzheimer’s.
Parkinson’s Disease: Parkinson’s Disease attacks brain cells which produce dopamine, ultimate resulting in a variety of psychical movement and cognitive issues. Some studies have found that CBD can act as an “inverse agonist,” helping to meditate the impact of Parkinson’s Disease. However, there are potential negative side effects associated with CBD and Parkinson’s Disease (see below).
Cancer: There is evidence to suggest that CBD may have the ability to help fight cancer, with one study finding that CBD was effective at fighting numerous types of cancers, including breast cancer, gliomas, leukemia/lymphoma, colon cancer and more.
Anti-psychosis benefits: Initial studies have noted that CBD may have the potential to provide anti-psychosis benefits by working to regulate areas of the brain which have an impact on these behaviors. Furthermore, CBD is often better tolerated in patients than many prescription drugs, as it has fewer and more tolerable side effects.
Addiction: A meta-analysis of 14 studies (nine with animals, five with humans) found that CBD may have “therapeutic properties” in terms of dealing with addiction to opioids, cocaine and other drugs.
Diabetes: In 2006, a study on mice involving CBD found that regular CBD consumption was associated with a significant decrease in diabetes.
While research is currently in progress for testing CBD, the United States’ Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of one CBD drug: Epidolex, which is designed to treat two severe forms of epilepsy in children (Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes).
With the exception of Epidolex, one of the greatest challenges with using CBD is that the therapeutic dosage (dosage at which CBD begins to make a positive impact) is largely unknown. This makes it challenging for a regular person to determine what dose of CBD is most effective, and in what format. As a result, many individuals are required to experiment on themselves about how much CBD is effective. This can be challenging, particularly for individuals who may experience side effects from CBD.
Side Effects of CBD Oil
Thankfully, ingesting CBD oil for most people leaves few side effects, and most of them are relatively manageable. According to a report from the World Health Organization, CBD has a very low potential for abuse. The same report also found that CBD is safe, well tolerated in humans and does not pose any public health risks.
That is not to say that there are not any negative side effects associated with CBD; there are. Common side effects include:
- Low blood pressure
- Light headedness
- Changes in appetite
There is also the possibility of more serious problems which come from CBD and drug interactions. These include:
Blood-thinning drugs: Available studies show that CBD can enhance the effects of drugs which are used for blood thinning purposes.
Sedatives: CBD works by altering the state of certain neurotransmitters, making them more receptive. This can increase the impact which sedatives have on someone. While this may not be dangerous, the long-term impacts are still unknown – as such, it’s better to play it safe and avoid using CBD in conjunction with sedatives.
Anti-seizure medication: There are studies which show that taking CBD, in conjunction with certain anti-seizure medications, can result in stronger seizures.
Chemotherapy drugs: CBD can inhibit the way that drugs are metabolized, which has the impact of altering the way that chemotherapy drugs are metabolized. This can be particularly dangerous when it comes to chemotherapy drugs, which must be metabolized at certain rates to truly be effective.
Furthermore, there is currently no information available about the effect which CBD may have on a fetus or nursing baby; as such, it is recommended by experts (including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) that women who are trying to get pregnant, are pregnant or nursing avoid ingesting CBD. Much of this recommendation is based on studies which have shown that regular marijuana use during pregnancy can damage a developing fetus – however, the recommendation still holds for CBD usage.
As a result of these interactions, if you have any of these conditions or take any of these drugs, it is highly recommended that you consult with a medical professional before consuming CBD.
Additional caution is warranted when it comes to taking Full Spectrum CBD, which is a type of CBD which contains THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana which can result in intoxication. While THC in limited amounts (less than .3%) is legal, repeated use of CBD in conjunction with marijuana may cause THC to build up in your system. As a result, a positive drug test is possible. Thus, if you work in a profession where drug tests are regular occurrences, it is safer to stick to Broad Spectrum CBD, which contains no THC.
Furthermore, again, always purchase from a reputable seller who independently evaluates their products: CBD products have been mislabeled and have included THC when they have not been labeled as containing it.
How to limit side effects of CBD Oil
Though CBD is recently commercially available, medical professionals and CBD sellers have developed a variety of ways to limit the potential negative side effects of CBD. These include:
Start slowly: Take the lowest possible dose to get started and gauge how you feel. If you find that there are no negative side effects, gradually increase the dosage until you start to feel an improvement.
Start safely: If you are just using CBD, make sure to do so in a place where you do not need to worry about driving or operating heavy machinery. Do so in a safe place where you will not be in a position to accidentally harm yourself or others.
Start with slow acting methods: Ingest the CBD in ways which take longer to actually make an impact on your body, such as edibles or topicals. This will help make sure that your body feels the impact of CBD in a slower and more balanced way.