One of the most politically and morally charged topics in the health industry today is the use of medical marijuana. For centuries, cannabis has been cultivated and used for physical, mental, and emotional health as well as for spiritual enlightenment. It was only in the 1930s when the medical use of marijuana was banned due to the rising fears of abuse despite the known benefits of Cannabidiol.
In recent years, cannabis and its derivatives are once again taking the spotlight leading many states in the US to legalize its medicinal and recreational use and cultivation for its therapeutic benefits.
Today, we are going to be dispelling some of the myths and controversy surrounding the use of CBD oil and dive deeper into the many CBD oil benefits – it’s not what you think!
CBD Oil Benefits – What You Need to Know!
Despite what you may believe in regards to CBD, you can’t ignore the overwhelming evidence of its therapeutic benefits, the fact that it’s completely natural, and its versatility as an effective remedy for almost every ailment imaginable.
So, before you click away, I encourage you to read on and learn why cannabis, and more specifically CBD oil, isn’t the evil drug you think it is.
First things first…
What is Cannabis?
Cannabis is an herb (Cannabis Sativa) that has been used for thousands of years spiritually and for mental and physical health. Originally cultivated in Central Asia, this medicinal plant has been bred for its incredibly potent and sticky glands that are full of crystalline trichomes. It is these trichomes that contain high amounts of THC, which is the psychoactive compound cannabis is most known for.
However, the entire plant contains many other compounds that are not psychoactive, one of which is cannabidiol, or CBD.
Until quite recently, THC was the main constituent of cannabis that was believed to offer health benefits, but CBD is also present throughout the plant in very high concentrations with a medicinal benefit list that continues to expand by the day.
What is CBD Oil and Where Does CBD Oil Come From?
When you think of cannabis, most people think of its well-known psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol, aka THC. Other biologically active compounds include cannabinol, cannabichromene, cannabigerol, delta – 8 – THC, and tetrahydrocannabivarin.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is another powerful therapeutic compound (one of 104 known thus far) that has proven pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory activity – without the psychoactive effects!
That’s right, CBD oil doesn’t make you “high” despite what many believe.
Why is this?
The short answer is – it’s all about the breeding.
THC-rich cannabis, CBD oil, and the regular hemp seed oil and hemp seeds you can buy at the store ALL come from the same plant.
Cannabis Sativa, aka hemp!
CBD oil comes from the leaves, stalks, and flowers while THC comes from resin-rich buds – both from female plants. Hemp oil and hemp seeds come from primarily male plants.
CBD is the second most abundant compound found in hemp, often representing up to 40% of its extracts.
You may now be wondering if the hemp oil you see at the store is the same as CBD oil. It isn’t.
There are two main types of Cannabis Sativa plant – the ones that produce “drug-like” effects that contain high amounts of resin and the plants that are used to produce hemp oil, hemp seeds, and fiber which contain low amounts of resin.
Among the “drug-like” plants, producers breed one type that produces High levels of THC and another that produces High-CBD/Low THC.
That’s how you get non-psychoactive CBD oil - it’s all about the breeding
Both “drug-like” and “non-drug-like” plants are Cannabis Sativa. The difference is how the plants are bred to produce the desired end product.
So, in short, CBD oil comes from the same plant that produces the psychoactive compounds found in “weed” just from a plant that is bred to have very low (trace-amounts) THC levels.
Another important thing to remember is that CBD oil differs from recreational marijuana because it is extracted from different parts of the plant and therefore does not contain more than 0.3% per dry unit of the compound THC.
These trace amounts are strictly regulated and do not cause a “high” and are considered legal to buy and use by the general public.
Having said that, there ARE CBD oils that DO contain higher amounts of THC. These are available only by certified medical facilities and cannot be purchased without a physician’s consent.
In this article, we are talking about the CBD oil that contains 0 - 0.3% THC that does not cause psychoactive effects.
CBD Oil Benefits and Why You Should Use It for Health and Well-Being
Now that you understand how CBD oil is different than the image you’ve had in your head of marijuana your whole life let’s get into the really amazing benefits that CBD oil has to offer!
CBD Oil Benefits List:
- Alleviates multiple sclerosis
- Alleviates symptoms of eczema and psoriasis
- Alleviates symptoms of epilepsy
- Can calm childhood epilepsy
- Can treat anorexia
- CBD acts as ligands by docking onto the binding sites of proteins and modulating a receptor’s behavior
- Combats stress
- Decreases incidence of diabetes
- Encourages restful sleep
- Fights cancer
- Fights multi-drug resistant bacteria
- Helps regulate sebum production
- Helps treat seizures and neurological disorders
- Increases appetite
- Is effective for treating panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder
- Possesses anti-tumor properties
- Produces antipsychotic effects
- Promotes cardiovascular health
- Promotes healthy weight
- Reduces acne
- Reduces anxiety
- Reduces instances of obesity
- Reduces oxidative stress – this is good for fighting free radicals
- Reduces symptoms of depression
- Reduces symptoms of glaucoma (this appears to be only THC CBD oil)
- Relieves nausea
- Relieves pain and inflammation – including chronic and neuralgic pain
And that's not all!
Why Does CBD Oil Work So Well for So Many Ailments?
This may sound crazy, but did you know that the human body actually contains within it an Endocannabinoid System?
This amazing system has the ability to regulate the body’s internal balance and was discovered through the use of the cannabis plant where it was observed that THC works through true receptors in the brain. In the 1990s these cannabinoid receptors were cloned – CB1 which is found in the central nervous system and CB2 which is associated with the immune system.
Both receptor subtypes are 7-transmembrane domain macromolecules of the “G-protein coupled class.”
CB1 was found to be the most abundant G-protein coupled receptor in the brain and is densely located in the neocortex, hippocampus, basal ganglia, amygdala, striatum, cerebellum, and hypothalamus.
How insane is that!?
These brain regions are known for their mediation of high-order behavioral functions which include memory, learning, executive function, decision making, sensory and motor responsiveness, emotional reactions, and feeding and other homeostatic processes.
CB2 receptors within the body are known for their ability to reduce pain including acute pain, chronic inflammatory pain, and neuropathic pain.
This is why CBD oil is so effective for treating an astounding number of ailments. The receptor sites are all over within the brain and throughout the body.
The Difference Between CBD Oil and Hemp Oil
It can be a little confusing when you see CBD oil labeled as hemp oil. This is most likely because manufacturers of CBD oil don’t want to use the controversial terminology associated with CBD even though CBD oil is completely legal and not considered a drug like marijuana.
This is a shame since CBD oil is so beneficial for physical, mental, and emotional healing!
The hemp oil you buy at the grocery store isn’t going to be CBD oil especially since CBD oil is sold in relatively small dropper bottles ranging from 1-2 oz and is more expensive than the regular hemp oil you would use for skincare which normally comes in 8-16 oz bottles and must be kept refrigerated.
Some examples of the regular hemp seed oil you would find at the grocery store that are NOT CBD oils include:
How to Use CBD Oil and Are There CBD Oil Side Effects?
Once you have located a reputable source for CBD oil, it’s time to start using it!
Most often, it is taken orally either under the tongue or consumed straight, in capsules, or in various food and drink items.
The good news is, there does not seem to be any adverse side effects of taking CBD oil, and as of right now, there are no established “overdose” levels.
It is incredibly safe to take though it is still a good idea to check with a doctor first before starting any new supplements as it may interact with medications.
CBD oil can also be applied topically in salves, balms, ointments, and body oil to absorb its benefits transdermally.
This is especially effective for treating sore muscles, achy joints, and injuries caused by overexertion.
I recently had a terrible kink in my neck caused by stress and was able to greatly reduce the discomfort by applying a cooling balm infused with CBD oil. I was able to turn my head again the next morning!
Additionally, CBD can also be inhaled via vape pens, but I have never tried this method.
Depending on your needs, you can take CBD oil up to 3x daily or as needed for anxiety support and chronic pain management.
How Long Does It Take for CBD Oil to Work?
Everyone is different.
For some, CBD oil works almost immediately. For others, it can take several weeks to feel improvement.
I personally find that CBD oil taken sublingually works within minutes for feelings of anxiety and nervousness while using it topically can take a few hours before I really feel a difference. It just depends on the person and how the CBD oil is being used.
Overall, CBD oil has really helped with my anxiety and has helped me get restful sleep when my brain refuses to shut off (I guess buying a new house will do that to you!).
So far, I have enjoyed using CBD oil for anxiety, nervous tension, and general aches and pains with great results.
It’s one of the most effective remedies I have tried, so I hope you give CBD oil a chance before judging it too harshly, it really isn’t what you think!
Have you ever used CBD oil before? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!
You may also enjoy reading:
Clinicians' Guide to Cannabidiol and Hemp Oils.
Pharmacological and Therapeutic Properties of Cannabidiol for Epilepsy.
The Endocannabinoid System and Plant-Derived Cannabinoids in Diabetes and Diabetic Complications
Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders
Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series
Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain
Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol: a chemical compound of Cannabis sativa.
Cannabinoids in cancer treatment: Therapeutic potential and legislation
Shannon, Scott, and Janet Opila-Lehman. "Effectiveness of cannabidiol oil for pediatric anxiety and insomnia as part of posttraumatic stress disorder: a case report." The Permanente Journal 20.4 (2016): 108.
Burstein, Sumner. "Cannabidiol (CBD) and its analogs: a review of their effects on inflammation." Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry 23.7 (2015): 1377-1385.