CBD Information & Reviews

The What, When and How of CBD Oil

What Is CBD Oil?

CBD or cannabidiol is a natural remedy for pain, anxiety and several other ailments that is fast becoming popular. CBD is one of the 104 cannabinoids or chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant genus. One of the other main cannabinoids found in cannabis plants is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the primary psychoactive found in marijuana plants. THC is the compound that causes the feeling of being ‘high’. It is found in higher content in cannabis sativa plants.

 

Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. It is found in higher amounts in Cannabis indica plants. As is apparent from the name, CBD oil is the oil extracted from the CBD compounds in the cannabis plants. The extracts are then mixed with a carrier oil – typically hemp seed oil or coconut oil – to create CBD oil. Since it is not psychoactive but has several useful properties that THC also offers (like pain relief), CBD oil is safe to use by most adults. In fact, in some cases, CBD oil has also been administered to children and pets.

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What Is It Used For?

CBD oil is used for a variety of its health benefits. It not only has extraordinary pain relief benefits, but it also helps to alleviate nausea in patients undergoing chemotherapy, reduces anxiety and stress and has even shown the potential to combat cancer.

 

CBD oil is also great for the skin and can reduce acne and other skin irritations manifold. People have also been known to use CBD oil even in cooking, though heating it too much may cause undesired chemical reactions. It’s best to use CBD oil as a salad dressing or in smoothies.

 

How Did It Come into Use?

While CBD oil is being accepted widely now and is being used more and more by people, it is by no means a new product. CBD oil has been around since the 1940s when a Harvard scientist managed to extract the compound from cannabis. But at the time, not much was known about the compound. For a long time, it was regarded with suspicion because of its association with THC, the most active cannabinoid in marijuana. It was only after 1946, when a scientist named Walter S Leowe conducted CBD tests on lab animals, that CBD’s non-psychoactive properties were discovered.

 

It would take another two decades for CBD oil to be extracted and used for medicinal purposes. Today, the stigma around CBD is slowly being uplifted. People are realizing that the oil can provide all kinds of benefits without altering a person’s state of mind. But research in the field of CBD and medicine is still slow to get funded and approved.

 

How Does It Work?

The human body has a natural endocannabinoid system which produces its own cannabinoids. All phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids found in plants) attach themselves to receptors in the body. CBD is no different. There are two main cannabinoid receptors in the body, CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors.

 

These receptors are in various parts of the body. Depending on which receptors the cannabinoid attaches itself to, the effects of the oil are seen there. The efforts of medical marijuana have therefore been focused on controlling which parts of the body are affected by these products and supplements. CB1 receptors are strewn all over the body but are mainly in the brain. The receptors in the brain regulate motor control, pain, mood and emotions, among other things. But there is a slight difference in how CBD works on the body as compared to other cannabinoids.

 

While THC primarily attaches itself to the CB1 receptors in the brain, CBD does not attach itself to these receptors directly. It works through the endocannabinoid system and encourages the body to produce and use more of its own cannabinoids.

 

What Are Field Areas You Can Use It In?

CBD oil is good for use in a variety of fields. Several athletes have been swearing by CBD oil, which has proved to be especially helpful during physiotherapy. CBD oil is also helpful for chronic pain in those suffering from fibromyalgia, arthritis, scoliosis, etc.

 

Whether you are stressed about work or would like to improve concentration and focus for work, CBD oil is good for both. It can take the edge off and at the same time, sharpen your senses and make you more focused at work. CBD oil is something you can use on an everyday basis, provided you are using the right kind of dosage and are administering it in a suitable way. So whether you are a construction worker or a retired nurse, CBD oil is safe to use by everyone.

 

How Long Does It Take to Work?

CBD oil can kick into effect in different ways, depending on how it was administered and how much you consume. The quickest way to make CBD oil work is to vape it or ingest it sublingually. The effects can be seen in a few minutes. When you consume an edible, it could take a few hours to show its effect, depending on when your last meal was and how much food is already in your system. It could take anywhere between 20 minutes to an hour for the oil to show its effects. It’s best to take CBD oil on an empty stomach to see faster effects.

 

When you ingest CBD oil sublingually, meaning through the tissues underneath your tongue, the effects are much quicker. CBD oil sprays are quite popular to take in this method. There are also topicals, which are slower but the effects last for a relatively longer period.

 

How long it takes to kick in depends on the potency of the oil and how much you took. But it may work differently on every individual body. So while the effect may last for long for a friend, it may not be as long for you. It is best not to compare results as each body processes it differently. Typically, the effects of CBD oil, depending on how it was administered can last anywhere between two to six hours.

 

Benefits

CBD oil has several health benefits. It is being prescribed not only by doctors and at hospitals, but is becoming a daily lifestyle addition in the average household. CBD oil extracted from industrial hemp is legal to use in all 50 states, but there can often be some complications. It is best to take a doctor into confidence for a prescription and appropriate dosage. The following are some of the common benefits of CBD oil:

 

Pain Relief

CBD oil is most widely prescribed and used for its pain relieving properties. As explained above, it works with the endocannabinoid system to release and use more neurotransmitters. The cannabinoids 0r neurotransmitters produced by the body help regulate a number of bodily systems, including moods, emotions and most importantly, pain. CBD impacts the receptor activity in the cannabinoid system and helps reduce pain.

 

CBD oil has provided relief to those suffering from fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, arthritis and several other conditions that trigger chronic pain. Especially when combined with THC, CBD oil is extremely helpful in reducing pain. But if you do not want to experience the psychoactive effects of THC, pure CBD oil is just as effective.

 

Alleviate Anxiety and Depression

Several human and animal studies have shown CBD oil effects on those suffering from anxiety and even symptoms of depression. While in most other cases, these mental health conditions are treated (and often mistreated) with pharmaceuticals, which cause drowsiness, fluctuations in mood and can often be addictive.

 

CBD oil is a natural and therapeutic way to treat symptoms of anxiety and depression. Its effectiveness with alleviating anxiety is linked to its ability to impact the brain’s serotonin receptors. Serotonin is the brain hormone or neurotransmitter which regulated moods.

 

Alleviate Symptoms of Cancer

CBD oil has been known to alleviate not only side effects from cancer therapy and radiation but also symptoms of cancer itself. While this is still at the testing stage, several studies have shown that CBD has been able to inhibit cancer cell growth in mice. In test-tube studies, concentrated CBD has shown its effects on cancer cells by inducing cell deaths in human cancer cells.

 

While studies are still being conducted to develop CBD as a potential anti-cancer treatment, CBD oil has shown great promise in alleviating symptoms of nausea and vomiting, the most common side effects of chemotherapy. The oil also helps to alleviate cancer-related pain. What is best is that CBD oil is not an addictive opiate.

 

Skincare

CBD oil has anti-inflammatory properties which can help reduce skin irritation and inflammation that causes acne. CBD oil can also arrest the overproduction of sebum, which creates an oily layer on the skin. Tests conducted with CBD have shown that the cannabinoid can regulate the working of the sebaceous gland cells and prevent it from secreting excessive sebum.

 

CBD oil topicals may have a good impact on stubborn acne that refuses to go from other treatments. The cannabinoid tends to boost the skin’s natural healing process along with interacting with the CB2 receptors in the skin. It has natural moisturizing tendencies, which prevents dryness and irritation in the skin.

Treat Epilepsy

One of the biggest breakthrough studies on CBD oil has been in the treatment of epilepsy. Several clinical trials have shown CBD’s effectiveness in treating two rare forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Low doses of CBD oil have also been administered to children above the age of two.

 

While the research on this is still in the nascent stages, there seems to be a lot of promise in this field. Since marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug, the research on medicinal marijuana, including those on CBD, has been slow.

 

Type 2 Diabetes

CBD oil has also been known to prevent certain kinds of diabetes. It helps to treat insulin resistance and prevents sugar build up in the body. Studies have shown that those prone to type 2 diabetes have been able to suppress the symptoms by using CBD oil. It is still not clear how CBD oil treats insulin resistance, but scientists believe it is probably because of CBD’s incredible anti-inflammatory properties. There is evidence that chronic inflammation and insulin resistance may have a connection. CBD oil seems to operate on this relationship.

 

CBD oil can also help prevent obesity, which is a known risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Among other things, it also acts as an appetite suppressor. So if you are prone to overeating and putting on weight, CBD oil offers several benefits.

 

Risks and Interactions

CBD can have several possible interactions with other drugs, so you should consult a doctor if you are already on some kind of medication and want to start taking CBD too. Several blogs that follow user experiences of CBD and its benefits have suggested trying the grapefruit test to see how CBD interacts with other medications. You may have often heard that you should not take grapefruit with certain kinds of medications. According to anecdotal evidence, CBD interacts with other drugs in the same way a grapefruit does. Only the reaction may be much stronger in the case of CBD. So any medication you would not take a grapefruit along with, you should avoid taking CBD with it too.

 

Scientifically speaking, CBD inhibits the Cytochrome P-450 system, which is responsible for metabolizing most drugs. When there is CBD in the body, the CYP450 is not able to metabolize the drug at which it usually does. This results in the drug staying in the body, unbroken and in high concentrations, for a long period of time. This could result in some unfavorable side effects. Grapefruit acts on the CYP450 system in the same way.

 

Any drug that is metabolized by the CYP45o system can interact with CBD. These include, but are not limited to:

 

  • Blood thinners
  • Anesthetics
  • Antibiotics
  • Steroids
  • Antihistamines
  • Prokinetics
  • Antipsychotics
  • Antidepressants
  • Beta-blockers
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Immune modulators

 

The interactions do not always have to be bad. In fact, CBD oil can even increase the effectiveness of some drugs, resulting in their required dosage being reduced. But it is of the utmost importance to consult a doctor before starting with your dosage of CBD, to determine the right dosage.

 

Side Effects

There’s no fixed dosage for CBD oil. Depending on what purpose you are using it for and what is the relief you hope to get from it, your doctor may prescribe a dosage. The dosage may differ based on your age, dietary constraints and other lifestyle choices too. But no matter what the dosage of CBD oil and how you take it, there are some common side effects that have been reported, which may or may not occur. These side effects include:

 

  • Dry mouth
  • Low blood pressure
  • Drowsiness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Diarrhea

 

It is mostly safe when taken by the mouth and through topicals, but the dosage for each may differ.

 

Special Warnings

If you are pregnant or nursing, you may want to avoid using CBD oil as there is not enough evidence to suggest how it may react with your body. It is best to be safe than sorry.

 

Some preliminary research has also shown that CBD in high doses may make symptoms of Parkinson’s disease worse and increase the frequency of tremors.

 

User Experiences

If you go through internet forums and platforms, there are enough and more users describing their experience of using CBD oil. There are several blogs that have documented how using CBD oil has changed people’s lifestyles.

 

This blogger cooked with CBD oil for a week and noticed a change. The blogger has also made note of things that did not work for them. For example, they found that cooking on high heat with the oil resulted in a foul odor that made anything unappetizing.

 

Comments on platforms like the Epilepsy Foundation has users describing their experience with CBD oil. A user reported that taking the oil has reduced the frequency of their seizures, so much so that they did not have an epileptic fit for four weeks after starting the treatment. There have also been news reports of CBD oil stopping seizures in children with rare forms of epilepsy.

 

Another blogger reported a noticeable change in her levels of anxiety after taking CBD oil sublingually. She noticed that her anxiety had reduced and she could also focus on work better and had lesser trouble going off to sleep. According to her description, there was no watershed moment where she could tell the oil had kicked in. It is a more subtle and gradual shift which you will not even realize.

 

While there is still a lot of suspicion surrounding CBD oil due to its association with marijuana and THC, there is much the oil has to offer, which you can explore with consultation with your doctor.

 

How Should You Take CBD Oil?

There are several different methods of administering CBD oil. The potency with each method of administration changes as does the time in which it may start showing its effects. The following are the different methods of taking CBD oil:

 

Vape

When you vape or inhale CBD vape oil (using a vaporizer), it shows its effects much sooner as it interacts with lungs immediately and can enter your bloodstream directly. You do not need to wait for your digestive system to break it down. You will start to feel the effects of the CBD oil within a few minutes from vaping. Typically, you can vape the whole day, as long as your dosage for the day does not exceed what’s been prescribed to you. If you are just starting out with CBD oil, perhaps you should keep your daily dosage to 10 milligrams.

 

Sublingual Ingestion

Sublingual ingestion is the second fastest way to take CBD oil. Sublingual means when your body absorbs something through tissues under your tongue. You will need to use a CBD oil tincture to take it sublingually. You can opt for either a spray or a dropper to consume the tincture. With this method, you may start experiencing the effects of the CBD oil within 30 to 90 minutes. The effects of the oil may last between 4-6 hours.

 

Sublingual ingestion also works fast because the oil is introduced into your bloodstream directly. It bypasses the digestive system.

 

Topicals

There are also topicals like creams and ointments available for CBD. Its anti-inflammatory properties help take care of not only irritated skin but also joint pains and soreness. The oil also has anti-oxidants which can help reduce the effect of free radicals on your skin, delaying aging, pigmentation and wrinkles in the skin. If you are experiencing problems with acne and dryness, topicals are a good option to introduce into your skincare routine too.

 

These topicals work by binding with CB2 receptors near the skin. Since they do not actually get soaked into the bloodstream, CBD topicals take longer to show their effects. These cannabinoids are also absorbed at a much slower rate by the skin so you may have to apply a lot more of the topical to feel its effect. Topicals include creams, balms, oils and salves.

 

Edibles

Edibles take the maximum time to show their impact. Depending on how much you have consumed and how much food is already in your system, the edible may take a few hours to show its effect. The body needs to absorb, break down and digest the edible for it to show its effects. How long it takes to show its effects also depends on individual rates of metabolism.

 

If you want to see quicker effects of the edible, it may help if you take it on an empty stomach. If you take it immediately after a large meal, the edible will take much longer to show its effects. But you may also experience some nausea and dizziness if you take CBD edibles on an empty stomach.

CBD edibles include the traditional capsules and tablets. Alternately, you can try gummy bears, brownies and CBD chocolates too.