As Canada has now legalized marijuana, a product known as CBD oil has surged in popularity. A chemical compound found in the cannabis plant, CBD, or cannabidiol, is non-intoxicating and does not cause the noticeable euphoric effects associated with tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC, another marijuana compound). Products marketed as CBD oil may contain THC.
Researchers have been looking at the possible therapeutic uses of CBD. CBD oils are oils that contain concentrations of CBD. The concentrations and the uses of these oils vary.
It’s thought that CBD might affect your health by attaching to receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system—a complex biological system involved in maintaining certain aspects of your health. Emerging research shows that endocannabinoids may play a role in regulating such functions as memory, sleep, and mood, as well as metabolic processes like energy balance.
CBD oil contains CBD (and often other active compounds) in a carrier oil. There are a number of forms of CBD oil, including softgel capsules, tinctures, and under-the-tongue sprays. Some forms of CBD oil can also be applied directly to the skin, in the form of products like creams and salves. The concentration of CBD varies from product to product.
The human body produces certain cannabinoids on its own. It also has two receptors for cannabinoids, called the CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors. The CB1 receptors in the brain deal with coordination and movement, pain, emotions, and mood, thinking, appetite, and memories, and other functions. THC attaches to these receptors. Researchers once believed that CBD attached to these CB2 receptors, but it now appears that CBD does not attach directly to either receptor. All cannabinoids, including CBD, produce effects in the body by attaching to certain receptors
Proponents of CBD oil claim that it can treat a wide variety of health issues, ranging from everyday ailments to chronic medical conditions. These issues include:
It’s also said that CBD oil can promote sounder sleep, reduce inflammation and pain, fight oxidative stress, improve heart health, support weight loss, and protect against some forms of cancer.
Although CBD oil is used for many different health-related purposes, there isn’t a great deal of research on the oil’s potential health benefits. However, there’s significant support for the effectiveness of CBD oil in the treatment of some forms of epilepsy.
In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex (a drug made with a purified form of CBD oil) in June 2018 for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy in patients 2 years of age and older. These two epilepsy forms are known as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Epidiolex is the first FDA-approved drug that contains a purified drug substance derived from marijuana.
Natural pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties
People tend to use prescription or over-the-counter drugs to relieve stiffness and pain, including chronic pain. Some people believe that CBD offers a more natural alternative.Authors of a study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine found that CBD significantly reduced chronic inflammation and pain in some mice and rats.The researchers suggested that the non-psychoactive compounds in marijuana, such as CBD, could provide a new treatment for chronic pain.
CBD shows promise in the treatment of anxiety disorders, according to a report published in the journal Neurotherapeutics in 2015. Looking at results from experimental research, clinical trials, and epidemiological studies, the report’s authors found evidence that CBD may help treat generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. However, the authors caution that human-based research on CBD and anxiety is fairly limited at this point.
CBD oil may be of some benefit to those with addiction, suggests a review published in the journal Substance Abuse in 2015. In their analysis of 14 previously published studies, scientists determined that CBD may have therapeutic effects in people with opioid, cocaine, and/or psychostimulant addiction. They also found that CBD may be beneficial in the treatment of cannabis and tobacco addiction. There is some evidence that CBD may block or reduce the effects of THC on the mind.
In a small study published in the journal JCI Insight in 2017, researchers observed that CBD may help prevent stress-related changes in blood pressure. For the study, nine healthy male volunteers took a single dose of either CBD or a placebo. Compared to those given the placebo, those treated with CBD had lower blood pressure both before and after experiencing a stressful event.
It is to be noted that scientifically CBD effects individuals differently and it is always best to talk to your family physician before taking any type of cannabis products.