You’ve seen it on the shelves of stores and even heard your friends rave about it.
CBD oil is one of the fastest-growing alternative therapies that people have been reaching for to help them cope with a variety of symptoms ranging from anxiety to pain. But just because you’ve heard it works for some, doesn’t mean that you aren’t concerned about how CBD may affect you.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is the non-psychoactive component found in both hemp and marijuana. This unique cannabinoid is part of over 100 other cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant, which is referred to as hemp or marijuana depending on the amount of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, present. Hemp contains under 0.3% THC, while marijuana can contain upwards of 30% THC.
CBD extracted from hemp legally must contain under 0.3% THC federally, although there are states with stricter laws. CBD extracted from marijuana may have higher amounts of THC present and is only sold in states where marijuana is recreationally and medically legal.
Generally speaking, the most common form of CBD oil on the market is the type that is legally extracted from hemp with little to no THC—it will not make you feel high. Instead, CBD oil can provide you with relief from a number of symptoms that can impede you from enjoying your day-to-day life. To get a better understanding of how CBD can improve your life, let’s take a look at how it directly interacts with your body.
What Does CBD Do?
CBD was first isolated in 1940, but researchers had really no idea how CBD interacted with the body until the discovery of the human endocannabinoid system (ECS) in 1992. The ECS, consisting of CB1 and CB2 receptors, has been identified to be a modulator and regulator of a number of systems in your body responsible for mood, sleep, pain, and appetite.
Since CBD binds most strongly, yet indirectly, to CB2 receptors located primarily on immune cells, it’s been identified as a potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective agent. Recently researchers have also found that CBD has the capability to bind to serotonergic receptor 5-HT1A and reduce anxiety and depression.
CBD Oil and Relief from Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression are rampant in Western culture. Both conditions can also be extremely debilitating and have a major negative effect on your life, preventing you from experiencing joy, satisfaction, and ease. While prescription drugs, like serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are available, oftentimes those seeking relief aren’t too excited about the possible side effects that can come with them.
CBD, on the other hand, has been found to be non-toxic and nonaddictive by the World Health Organization. Studies also show that CBD oil works to improve the symptoms of anxiety and depression by acting on both the serotonin receptor as well as the CB2 receptor. This powerful combo does wonders for both the physical and psychological symptoms of anxiety and depression by helping to reduce physical pain and helping improve mood.
CBD Oil and Relief from Insomnia
CBD oil is also commonly marketed to help people enjoy better sleep. CBD’s relaxing and anti-inflammatory properties can help those who have difficulty falling and staying asleep. Preliminary studies have shown promise in CBD’s ability to help relax the mind and induce a sleepy state without necessarily having any intoxicating effects.
This can be a bit confusing if you’re new to CBD, since moderate doses can be taken during the day to energize you and also at night to help you sleep. How is this possible?
Well, researchers studying the effects of CBD found that it tends to have a more energizing effect in lower doses and a deeper relaxation effect at larger doses. If you are considering taking CBD oil to help you sleep, consider choosing a product that is more concentrated and formulated to induce a deeper state of relaxation and sleepiness.
CBD Oil and Relief from Pain and Nausea
If you haven’t noticed a pattern in how CBD may help your body achieve balance in so many different ways, the answer is in the regulation of the immune system. Our immune system gets triggered whenever we go into fight-or-flight mode by activating the sympathetic nervous system. Essentially, this system creates a domino effect that causes the immune cells to release proteins that trigger the inflammatory response in the body. And inflammation equals pain.
CBD has been found in many studies to be a great natural alternative for chronic and acute pain relief. CBD has provided relief for clinical conditions including neuropathic pain, cancer pain, and rheumatoid arthritis. In addition to pain, CBD has also shown promise in relieving nausea associated with chemotherapy.
Anecdotally, CBD oil users have also claimed that it works well for nausea related to pregnancy and pain associated with athletic injuries. As always, it’s important to consider all your options, especially when there are different kinds of CBD oil available as well.
What’s in CBD Oil?
CBD oil won’t affect everyone the same way because we all are so different. Food intake, your unique ECS makeup, and weight are some important factors that will affect the effectiveness of the CBD oil you take. Furthermore, CBD oils can be sold as three different spectrum formulations:
- Full spectrum: CBD, terpenes, other cannabinoids, essential oils, and trace amounts of THC
- Broad spectrum: CBD, terpenes, and other cannabinoids—except NO THC
- CBD isolate: 99% CBD only
Depending on which type of spectrum formulation you buy, you may or may not experience the relief you are looking for. Both full-spectrum and broad-spectrum formulations of CBD oil offer users an added entourage effect. This effect was named to describe the synergistic qualities of the various cannabinoids and terpenes when taken together.
If you’ve found that you’re not feeling any effect from the CBD oil you purchased, consider trying a full-spectrum or broad-spectrum oil to maximize the therapeutic benefits you feel. Ultimately, CBD oil is created by mixing the CBD extract with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, olive oil, or other essential oils for flavor. If you have a known allergy to certain oils, definitely check out the ingredients list before purchasing.
CBD bioavailability is also quite low when ingesting, so for a more rapid absorption, consider CBD oil tinctures. Tinctures are formulated to be held underneath the tongue in a high-capillary area where you have great absorption due to more direct access to your bloodstream.
CBD is a great alternative option if you’re looking for relief from certain symptoms. Since CBD is a non-toxic, non-psychoactive cannabinoid, there won’t really be a “new feeling” that sets in. Instead, it’s more of a reduction in unwanted feelings or sensations. In this way, CBD oil can help you live your life with more ease by providing relief from pain, nausea, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
No, CBD will not magically cure you of all your symptoms. But it may just make them more manageable. And this can be huge in helping you get a handle on your life. Consider checking out our list of reputable CBD oil brands to find a remedy for you.