With all the chatter about CBD oil and the claims many make about the benefits, you may wonder what exactly this supplement is, and what it can do for you. CBD is a chemical substance found in the cannabis species of plant. When extracted it is an excellent supplement that has long been used to treat various disorders, as well as ease behavioral symptoms, pain, and inflammation.
Curious to know how this oil might benefit you? Below we’ve explained a little bit about where CBD comes from, how it is used, and what benefits are available for you to take advantage of.
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What is CBD Oil?
CBD stands for cannabinoid, an active chemical compound found in cannabis plants. This is a non-psychoactive ingredient that can be derived directly from both marijuana and hemp plants, and thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill act, is entirely legal in all 50 states (although it is subject to specific state law in how, or if, it can be sold).
Not to be confused with rich hemp oil, which is derived from the seeds of hemp, CBD may occasionally have trace amounts of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol- the chemical responsible for a psychoactive high. Due to the fact that it is not regulated by the FDA, since it sold as a supplement, you should always check where your CBD originates from, and if the label matches the claims. This can be done with companies that provide third party testing for purity percentages, as well as trace amounts of THC.
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How Safe is CBD Oil?
Although trace amounts of THC may be present even in quality oils, the amount is generally less than 0.3% and the effects of the drug are not noticeable. However, drug tests do not distinguish between THC amounts and it is possible to have a positive reading due to its use. As mentioned, third party testing can provide a more detailed chemical breakdown of the oil strengths if this is a concern of yours.
As for overall safety, it is considered a safe chemical for topical, inhalation, and ingestive uses. Very rarely are side effects a problem, with the worst being nausea, fatigue, or over alertness. People who are already sensitive to over the counter painkillers may notice these effects as they work in a similar manner upon the central nervous system.
Those taking medications, especially blood thinners, should avoid CBD use unless directed by a doctor. But a good rule of thumb is to always check with your healthcare practitioner if you take a regular prescription and want to add a supplement to a daily routine.
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How is CBD Oil Used?
The oil can be used topically in lotions, salves, bath salts, or any of your favorite skin applications. It also can be smoked in a vape, or as the hemp plant leaf like you would a cigarette. Many people prefer to ingest it for more immediate results however, with oil tinctures being used that combine a carrier, such as fractionated coconut oil, with concentrated CBD oil to be placed under the tongue and swallowed. It also can be used in recipes in some of your favorite, low heat dishes.
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CBD Oil Benefits
Our bodies actually produce cannabinoids naturally. These react with receptors in our body found throughout almost our entire system. These are called endocannabinoids and help with regulating function as well as help deal with stressors. CBD oil is a phytocannabinoid, meaning it is derived from a plant, and when introduced to the body’s blood stream works with existing cannabinoids to provide a boost of support.
Eases Withdrawal Symptoms
The oil has been found to have therapeutic effects on people struggling with opioid, cocaine, and post stimulant addictions. Withdrawal symptoms are said to be supported and regular use can help ease them off the drug themselves.
Treats Seizure Disorders
Drugs made with purified forms of CBD were approved in 2018 along with the Farm Bill legalizing hemp. These are specific for the treatment of epilepsy, specifically Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two rare and severe forms. This is especially important for kids as these are approved for children 2 years and older.
Helps Treat General Anxiety and Anxiety Related Disorders
The interaction of CBD with receptors in the brain and body along the central nervous system is believed to help calm and alter stress inducing signals. Studies have shown that social anxiety disorders, stress disorders, and depression react well to CBD treatment in most patients.
Supports Heart Health
Although you should never use CBD when on doctor prescribed medication since they may block their effectiveness, case studies show a reduction in blood pressure in those struggling with hypertension when CBD is regularly used. This is promising for future stress-related cardiovascular studies.
Supports Skin Health and Acne
CBD supports the natural moisture barrier your skin has, improves healing time, and reduces inflammation. It has been a favorable treatment for mild acne, and helps plump and moisturize. Because it is soothing, it is also a good choice for sensitive skin types.
Reduce Pain and Inflammation
Targeting inflammation with the use of CBD has long been studied with very positive results in patients suffering from a wide variety of ailments. Everything from injury to chronic pain inflammation caused by arthritis can be treated with CBD to help reduce inflammation to counter effect pain. It also has strong antioxidant properties, making is an ideal choice for long term treatment.
May Improve Focus and Concentration
Dopamine is the naturally occurring chemical neurotransmitter in our bodies associated with memory. Decreased attention and focus are associated with decreased dopamine levels, especially for those struggling with attention disorders, such as ADHD. CBD helps keep irregular drops in dopamine from occurring, thus supporting better concentration and focus.
CBD Studies and Cancer
Cannabinoids work on the pharmacologic effects in the body, particularly in the central nervous system and the immune system, and have long been used as an approved treatment for cancer related side effects of cancer treatments and pain management.
Diabetes Studies Using CBD
Diabetics face an array of complications from the disease, and the anti inflammatory compounds found in CBD have been favorable in initial studies to help ease symptoms and reduce stressors caused by them. In particular, retinal cell death may be prevented with CBD use, opening doors for further supportive studies.
Supports Asthmatic Airways
Promising studies on asthmatic responses have been shown to help decrease hyperresponsiveness in airways and also an increase lung function with CBD treatment. Although more studies need to be done, the anti inflammatory properties of the oil are a good choice to ease mild symptoms.
People who suffer from insomnia, whether it be an occasional occurrence or more chronic in nature, often also have underlying issues that cause them to struggle with sleep. Pain, inflammation, anxiety, stress, and disease are all factors commonly seen in insomnia patients. Those who use CBD prior to bed often experience a decrease in their symptoms in that they are better able to fall asleep, or do not wake through the night.
CBD for Pets?
The use of CBD oils it not just for humans. It also is a popular treatment for all animals, specifically dogs and cats. Whereas it is not particularly safe to allow your pets to ever ingest the cannabis plant species, specifically marijuana, oils are safe to use with veterinary assistance (please check for proper dosage amounts). Just like with humans, it works as an aid for seizure disorder, pain control, and inflammation. It also can produce a calming effect for those who suffer from anxiety.
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Although this article only serves as a quick snapshot of the benefits people have experienced, and those being currently studied, concerning the use of CBD – it does provide a good overview to begin a discussion about personal use. You don’t have to be suffering from a condition either to reap its benefits, and can easily incorporate it into your daily regimen for antioxidant and anti inflammatory support. Also, always be sure to check with your healthcare practitioner if you are in doubt about its use.