Benefits of CBD Oil - and a Look at Side Effects

Benefits of CBD Oil - and a Look at Side Effects

Derived from the cannabis plant, CBD oil is a favoured natural solution for various health concerns. Among its advantages are alleviating pain and promoting relaxation, all without inducing cognitive changes.

In today's world, where natural and holistic remedies are increasingly sought after, Cannabidiol (CBD) stands out as a noteworthy ingredient. Extracted from the cannabis plant, CBD oil has garnered significant attention for its potential therapeutic benefits. This article delves into the myriad of advantages attributed to CBD oil, ensuring that readers gain a profound understanding of its scope.

Understanding CBD: What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is one of over 100 compounds called cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is responsible for the 'high' associated with marijuana, CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it doesn't induce any such effect.

Hemp grown for CBD oil typically contains high CBD levels and minimal THC. This trace amount of THC ensures that users can benefit from CBD without the mind-altering effects linked to THC.

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What is CBD used for?

CBD is used for various potential health benefits. People commonly utilise it to help alleviate chronic pain, reduce anxiety and depression, improve sleep, and address inflammatory conditions. Additionally, some evidence suggests its potential in epilepsy management. 

Top Benefits and Uses of CBD Oil

1. Pain Relief

CBD interacts with the body's endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system plays a role in several functions, including pain sensation. By influencing this system, CBD might modulate pain signals, offering relief to sufferers.

Research on CBD and Pain

Numerous studies have looked into CBD's efficacy. Some findings suggest CBD might be beneficial for chronic pain, arthritis, and even migraines. 

Scientists have explored the ability of CBD to alleviate pain. In a minor 2020 study, which was a controlled trial, they examined the application of CBD oil on individuals with peripheral neuropathy affecting their legs.

During this brief research, participants experiencing non-cancer-related neuropathic discomfort were either given 250 milligrams (mg) of CBD (mixed in 3 oz of oil) or a placebo.

After a month, those administering CBD oil exhibited a notable decrease in severe pain, acute pain, sensations of cold, and itchiness. No adverse reactions were reported by the participants.

2. Alleviation of Anxiety and Depression

Mental health disorders, including anxiety and depression, can profoundly affect individuals, often leading to a significant decrease in quality of life, hampering daily functions, and sometimes even resulting in social isolation. The toll of these conditions is not just on the individual but also on their families, communities, and the healthcare system.

In the quest to find effective treatments, CBD oil has emerged as a potential contender. Numerous users and some preliminary studies have highlighted its potential therapeutic effects in managing symptoms of anxiety and depression. One of the mechanisms by which CBD may exert its beneficial effects is its potential influence on serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin, often termed the 'feel-good' neurotransmitter, plays a pivotal role in mood regulation, social interactions, and overall well-being.

When serotonin levels are imbalanced, it can lead to a myriad of mental health issues, with depression and anxiety being the most common. CBD oil's potential ability to modulate these levels offers hope for those seeking alternatives or adjuncts to traditional pharmaceutical treatments. However, while the early indications are promising, it's essential to approach with caution. Continuous research is necessary to fully understand the long-term effects and the optimal dosing of CBD for mental health conditions. As always, individuals considering CBD oil as a treatment should consult with a healthcare professional to ensure it's appropriate and safe for their specific circumstances.

3. Symptom Reduction in Cancer Patients

CBD might help reduce symptoms related to cancer and side effects of its treatment, such as nausea and pain. Some studies even hint at CBD's potential anti-cancer properties, although further research is needed.

4. Inflammatory Skin Conditions like Acne

Acne, driven by multiple factors, including genetics, bacteria, and inflammation, might be addressed by CBD oil. Its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to reduce sebum production make it a promising solution.

Over recent years, it has garnered significant attention for its potential therapeutic benefits, especially concerning skin conditions like acne and inflammation. In the UK and elsewhere, there's an increasing interest in incorporating CBD into skincare products, driven by a combination of anecdotal evidence and preliminary scientific research.

Acne is a prevalent skin condition that occurs when hair follicles become clogged with oil and dead skin cells. This can lead to the formation of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. While several factors contribute to acne, including genetics, diet, and hormonal imbalances, inflammation plays a critical role in its exacerbation. Some research suggests that CBD may possess anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the inflammatory response in acne-prone skin. By potentially targeting the root cause – inflammation – CBD may aid in reducing the severity and appearance of acne.

Furthermore, sebum overproduction is another contributing factor to acne development. A study conducted in 2014 found that CBD could regulate the production of sebum from sebaceous glands, indicating its potential in preventing the onset of acne.

Apart from acne, skin inflammation can manifest in various other conditions such as eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis. Preliminary studies and anecdotal reports suggest that CBD may offer relief for these conditions due to its potential anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties. For instance, people with eczema often experience dry, itchy, and inflamed patches of skin. CBD-infused creams and ointments might help soothe these symptoms by hydrating the skin and reducing inflammation.

5. Neuroprotective Properties

Research is in its nascent stages, but CBD's ability to act on the endocannabinoid system and other brain signalling systems could benefit those with neurological disorders.

A piece in Molecules highlights that experiments on animals have demonstrated the potential of CBD to provide protective effects on the nervous system in various neurodegenerative conditions, such as:

  • ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)
  • Parkinson's ailment
  • Huntington's disorder
  • Alzheimer's affliction
  • MS (multiple sclerosis)

Experts believe that these protective attributes arise due to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant characteristics of CBD.

6. Managing Addiction

A research piece in the American Journal of Psychiatry delved into the impact of CBD on trigger-related cravings and stress among individuals with heroin addiction. The findings revealed that, in contrast to the placebo group, participants administered with CBD experienced reduced urges and anxiety levels. Such outcomes are encouraging and warrant additional study.

 

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Potential Side Effects of CBD Oil

While CBD is generally well-tolerated and considered safe, it might cause some side effects, such as:

Diarrhea

Some users have reported diarrhea after using CBD oil. While the exact cause of this side effect isn't entirely clear, it could be attributed to factors such as dosage, the method of consumption, or an individual's sensitivity to CBD. It is also possible that other ingredients in CBD products might contribute to gastrointestinal distress.

Fatigue

Another potential side effect of CBD oil is fatigue or drowsiness. This is particularly significant for those who are using CBD for the first time or have increased their dosage. While many people use CBD for its calming effects, it's essential to be cautious, especially if planning to operate heavy machinery or drive.

Changes in Appetite

CBD oil may also lead to changes in appetite. Some people experience an increased appetite, while others may find their hunger reduced. This effect might vary depending on individual physiology and the dose of CBD consumed.

Drug Interactions

CBD oil may interact with certain medications. If you're taking prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications, it's wise to consult with a healthcare professional before starting CBD.

Dosage

As with many substances, the dosage plays a crucial role in the appearance and intensity of side effects. Starting with a low dose and gradually increasing it while monitoring any reactions can be a prudent approach.

Individual Variation

Everyone's body is unique. Consequently, how one person reacts to CBD oil might differ from another. Factors such as metabolism, weight, and overall health can influence how CBD affects an individual.

Quality of Product

Not all CBD products are created equal. The purity and quality of CBD oil can vary between brands and batches. It's essential to purchase from reputable sources to ensure the product's safety and efficacy.

What are some of the best ways to take CBD?

CBD is available in diverse forms, catering to different preferences. Whether you're drawn to pure CBD oil, topical balms, capsules, or skincare items, discover more about their functionalities below.

CBD Oil

Perhaps the most classic form, CBD oil is readily available and straightforward in its application. Depending on the brand and specific product, the recommended dosage can vary, such as a few drops or a specific measurement like 2 ml daily.

Typically administered under the tongue to aid absorption, this method might pose a challenge for those with a delicate palate. If you're one of them, you might want to explore other consumption methods.

Other Methods of Taking CBD

There are multiple other methods to consume CBD, depending on personal preference and the intended use. Some of the best ways include:

  • Tinctures: Applied under the tongue using a dropper for quick absorption.
  • Capsules: Convenient for dosing and used mainly for seizure disorders and digestive issues.
  • Topicals: Creams and balms applied directly to the skin, often chosen for localised pain relief.
  • Edibles: Available as gummies, chocolates, and baked goods offering a tasty and discreet way to consume CBD.
  • Vaping: Inhaling vaporised CBD oil, providing rapid effects but with concerns about potential lung damage.
  • Patches: Transdermal patches that release CBD gradually.
  • Sprays: Sprayed directly into the mouth.

It's important to consider dosage, bioavailability, and individual needs when choosing a method. 

How to Select Quality CBD Oil?

With the market flooded with numerous CBD oil products, it's crucial to select a high-quality product. Here are some steps to ensure the same:

  • Source of the CBD: Opt for products sourced from organically grown hemp.
  • Extraction Method: CO2 extraction is considered the cleanest, ensuring a high-quality extract.
  • Third-party Testing: Ensure the product has been tested for safety and efficacy by a third-party laboratory.

FAQs (Quick Answers)

What does CBD do?

There's reasonable proof that CBD aids in addressing sleep issues, discomfort from fibromyalgia, muscle rigidity linked to multiple sclerosis, and stress. Individuals state that taking CBD orally diminishes pain and anxiety, subsequently enhancing sleep.

What is CBD used for?

CBD is promoted as a remedy for anxiety, melancholy, and post-traumatic stress ailments. It's also championed as a sleep enhancer. A significant aspect of CBD's allure is its claim to be "non-intoxicating", allowing users to gain the plant's health advantages without the euphoria (or the late-night craving for pizza).

How long does CBD stay in your system?

CBD typically remains in your system for 2 to 5 days, but this can vary based on several factors, including dosage, metabolism, and frequency of use.

How long does CBD take to work?

The onset time for CBD effects depends on the method of consumption. Sublingual drops may work within 15-45 minutes, vaping can be almost immediate, edibles can take 1-2 hours, and topicals might require 20-40 minutes. Individual metabolism and dosage also influence the time taken.

Where can I buy CBD oil?

In the UK, you can purchase CBD oil at health shops, selected pharmacies, and online retailers. Ensure you choose a reputable supplier such as Cannabotech.

What is the main benefit of CBD oil?

CBD oil is believed to offer multiple health benefits, including the potential to alleviate chronic pain, reduce anxiety and depression, and improve sleep. It's also explored for its anti-inflammatory properties. However, comprehensive research is ongoing to substantiate these claims.

CBD oil provides pain alleviation and a calming sensation without altering one's mental state. It's derived from the cannabis plant and then mixed with oils such as coconut or hemp seed for dilution.

What drugs/medicines should not be taken with CBD?

In the UK, as elsewhere, CBD has the potential to interact with various medications. It's crucial to consult a healthcare professional before mixing CBD with other drugs. Some drugs that may interact with CBD include:

  • Blood thinners, e.g., Warfarin.
  • Anti-seizure medications.
  • Chemotherapy drugs.
  • Drugs that affect liver enzymes CYP450, such as certain antibiotics and antifungals.
  • Certain antidepressants.
  • Beta-blockers.
  • Benzodiazepines.

This list is not exhaustive, so always seek advice from a pharmacist or doctor when considering CBD alongside other medications.

Is CBD good for joint pain?

CBD is suggested to aid joint discomfort, but comprehensive research is ongoing. There's evidence pointing to its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving benefits. Prior to using CBD for health concerns, one should consult a medical professional.

What is the downside of CBD oil?

Potential downsides of CBD oil include possible side effects like dizziness, dry mouth, changes in appetite, and potential drug interactions. It's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before use.

Is CBD oil Everyday good for you?

Research indicates that regular use of CBD oil offers lasting health advantages, chiefly in warding off chronic ailments. Historically, CBD oil has served as a pain alleviator. It's recognised as a more secure alternative to opioids.

Bea Lyus

Bea Lyus is an experienced Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist. She is a member of the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy (BANT), the regulatory body for Nutritional Therapists and is registered by the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC).