What Is CBD Oil? – CBD Oil Side Effects

You can sprinkle a few drops in a smoothie, put it under your tongue, or even vape it. We’re talking about CBD oil. It’s from a cannabis plant, but you can tell your mom not to worry: It won’t get you high.

To say there is hype surrounding CBD right now is no exaggeration: “CBD is showing promise as a pain reliever, epilepsy treatment, and for wasting disease associated with cancer,” says Taz Bhatia, M.D., an integrative health expert. “It’s being promised to cure everything from anxiety to acne.”

But does the stuff really work?

What Is CBD?

“Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 80 phytocannabinoids, or chemical compounds, produced by the cannabis plant,” says Sarah Cohen, secretary, R.N., of the American Cannabis Nurses Association.

CBD oil is what you get when you take cannabinoids from cannabis and mix them with a carrier oil, like MCT (a form of coconut oil), explains Devin O’Dea, the chief marketing officer at MINERAL Health. Until recently, THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol), the compound in cannabis that gets you high, was the most well-known element of the plant—but now CBD is giving THC a run for its money.

CBD is legal in all the states where medical marijuana is legal (30 states plus the District of Columbia have laws allowing it to some extent, mostly for medicinal purposes), as well as an additional 16 states.

Why Do People Use CBD Oil?

What don’t they use it for? People say CBD help reduce pain, anxiety, depression and stress, improve the immune system, reduce inflammation, and more.

Forty-two percent of CBD users said they stopped using traditional medications like Tylenol or prescription drugs like Vicodin in favor of CBD, in a survey conducted by Brightfield Group and HelloMD, an online community bringing doctors and cannabis patients together. Eighty percent of those people said they found the products to be “very or extremely effective.”

The Benefits of CBD Oil

There’s pretty legit science to back up some of the claims about CBD oil. “Several studies show that CBD reduces chronic pain with muscle spasms, arthritis, and nerve pain,” says Bhatia. “A study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine found that CBD use led to reduced levels of chronic pain and that patients didn’t develop the dangerous tolerance noted with opiate medications. Another study that looked at using a topical CBD oil found reduced arthritis pain.”

Additional studies also show that CBD reduces many different types of inflammation, which can be caused by physical or emotional trauma, diet, food intolerances, diseases, and viral and bacterial infections, says Bhatia.

And since autoimmune diseases are almost always linked to inflammation, it makes sense that research shows CBD can help with disorders like multiple sclerosis, Hashimoto’s disease, asthma, lupus, celiac disease and more.

Researchers have also found that giving CBD to schizophrenic patients reduced psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations and disordered thinking.

“That’s the curious thing about CBD: It can treat nearly everything,” says O’Dea. “Not in a miracle cure, ‘it’s gone!’ kind of way, but in a calibration type of way, slowly tilting you back to center.”

The Side Effects and Downsides of CBD Oil

The simple answer here is that we don’t know if there are side effects or downsides to CBD oil. “We haven’t seen a lot of negatives with CBD oil,” says Bhatia. “But we don’t know the long-term effects yet of using this yet.”

All medications have side effects, Cohen adds—it’s whether they’re measurable or dangerous that’s the question. The World Health Organization, though, has said that “CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential,” and that “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.”

One thing to be aware of: “There’s currently no industry standard for calculating the percentage of CBD in an oil, so it can be difficult to determine what you’ll get in a given product,” says Bhatia.

One recent study of 84 CBD products sold by 31 different online companies found that only a third contained within 10 percent of the amount of CBD actually listed on the label, while others contained marijuana components that were not listed on the label, including THC.

As with any medication, “if you are considering trying CBD oil, do your research and discuss it with your doctor before making a decision,” says Bhatia.

Does CBD Oil Make You High?

Let’s be very clear: “CBD oil will not get your high,” says Bhatia. “The compound in marijuana that causes characteristic psychoactive ‘high’ is found in THC, not CBD.” That doesn’t mean it’s not psychoactive, though, says Cohen, as it can be helpful in reducing anxiety and depression in many individuals.

FYI: It is possible for extracted CBD oil to have trace amounts of THC, since both compounds are present in the plant. So if your workplace has a zero tolerance policy, you might want to steer clear.

On – 03 Apr, 2018 By Ashley Mateo

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