3 Science-Backed Benefits of CBD Oil and How to Use It Safely

  • The health benefits of CBD oil include reducing pain, treating epilepsy and possibly relieving anxiety.
  • You should not take CBD oil if you are pregnant or taking certain medicines such as antidepressants or antipsychotics.
  • Be sure to check your state’s CBD laws, as this is illegal in some states, or you may need a medical card.

CBD or cannabidiol is a type of chemical found in the same plant that produces weeds.

However, CBD is different from weeds and will not make you cry. This is because it does not contain the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, THC, which is the chemical responsible for the intoxicating sensation associated with grass consumption.

CBD has recently gained popularity in the scientific community for its ability to treat many conditions, from chronic pain to epilepsy. Here are some of the benefits of CBD oil and whether science says it can be beneficial to you.

1. CBD oil relieves pain

CBD has been widely studied as a natural, non-addictive way to manage and treat pain symptoms – especially as an alternative to opioids for patients with severe pain.

While animal studies have found that CBD is a promising treatment for neuro-based (neuropathic) pain and inflammatory pain, few studies have investigated its effects on humans.

However, researchers know that CBD has antinociceptive and antihyperalgesic effects – meaning that it can block the detection of pain by neurons and counteract pain sensitivity.

“CBD has over 65 different targets in the brain and body, working in many receptors and other areas to change the messages that cells send to each other. If the pain message is sent from one cell to another, CBD can block or reduce that message, “said Bonnie Goldstein, MD, medical director of Canna-Centers, a California-based medical practice dedicated to patients about cannabis use. for serious or chronic health conditions.

Goldstein says higher ratios of CBD to THC are often more effective in inflammatory pain such as rheumatoid arthritis, while lower ratios are more effective in nerve-based pain such as shingles.

A 2006 study found that combining THC and CBD increased the effectiveness of each cannabinoid in reducing pain and reduced the adverse effects of using THC alone.

“Studies clearly show that all types of pain respond better to products that contain both compounds, rather than each one individually,” says Goldstein.

2. CBD oil can cure epilepsy

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder in which abnormal brain activity causes seizures. Recent studies suggest that CBD may be an effective treatment for epilepsy, although scientists are unsure of the exact mechanisms, Goldstein said.

A 2017 study of patients aged two to 46 with treatment-resistant epilepsy found that 86% of patients had a reduction in seizures after consuming various formulations of artisanal CBD, which is CBD that contains small amounts of THC. 10% of participants reported no seizures.

Another small study from 2018 found that children who took a daily dose of 20 mg / kg CBD oil noticed a significant reduction in seizure frequency compared to placebo. However, the study found that the intensity of seizures increased in patients taking CBD.

3. CBD oil can reduce anxiety

Early research found that CBD can reduce the symptoms of a number of anxiety disorders, including:

A small 2011 study of patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD) found that 600 mg of CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort when patients were exposed to a stressful situation such as public speaking.

Goldstein says CBD affects the brain in many ways, including boosting the brain’s own chemicals that reduce anxiety and targeting the serotonin receptors involved in mood.

“There are preliminary studies that point to neuroinflammation as a cause of anxiety. CBD is a well-proven potent anti-inflammatory agent that can contribute to its anxiety-reducing effects,” Goldstein said.

Risks of CBD oil

However, many studies of CBD oil are still preliminary and there are various health risks that must be considered before use.

Not regulated. Unless you buy a CBD with a medical card from a state-licensed store known as a dispensary, or in a state where cannabis is legalized, you are forced to navigate an unregulated market that is potentially full of “fake” or low-quality CBD. Make sure you check your country’s laws and look for companies that participate in third-party testing before you buy a CBD, Goldstein said.

May interact with drugs. CBD is broken down in the liver, where many other drugs are metabolized. Medications that CBD may interact with include:

  • Seizure medications such as brivaracetam or carbamazepine
  • Chemotherapeutic drugs such as Everolimus
  • Muscle relaxants such as chlorzoxazone
  • Respiratory drugs such as theophylline
  • Medicines for high blood pressure such as Verapamil or Propranolol
  • Antidepressants such as amitriptyline
  • Antipsychotic drugs such as haloperidol or clozapine

“Anyone with a serious medical condition who is taking medication should avoid using CBD without medical supervision,” Goldstein said. “Patients taking certain medications, such as blood thinners or other medications for serious illnesses, should always have medical supervision.

It can be dangerous if you are pregnant. Although there are no studies examining the effects of CBD on pregnant women and their children, the FDA recommends that pregnant and lactating women avoid CBD oil.

Animal studies show that maternal or paternal exposure to CBD and THC may interfere with the proper development of the fetus, and unregulated CBD products may be contaminated with substances that may harm the fetus or breastfed infants.

There may be side effects. CBD is often well tolerated, but at higher doses side effects may occur. These side effects include:

  • diarrhea
  • Calming
  • Worsening of seizures in those with epilepsy
  • Decreased appetite

How to use CBD oil safely

In 2018, the US Congress passed a bill that regulates the production of hemp or cannabis with extremely low levels of THC, allowing it to be grown and produced in products. But not all states have adjusted their laws, so the CBD is still illegal in some states, including Idaho, Nebraska and Iowa.

In states where CBD is legal, you will need to be 18 or 21 years old to purchase it – and be sure to check local laws before traveling on government lines with it.

Although there are many ways to consume CBD, oral consumption seems to be the preferred method. This is because evaporation and smoking can cause lung damage. In addition, topical administration may be difficult to measure dose.

Popular methods of consumption include:

  • Oral consumption (oils, tinctures, pills, food)
  • Smoking or vaping
  • Topical application (creams, lotions, transdermal patches)
  • Intranasal consumption (sprays)

CBD has a very wide therapeutic range, with doses ranging from 10 mg per day to 800 mg per day. “The only way to find your dose is to start with a low dose and increase it little by little, looking for the dose that works best,” says Goldstein.

Inside information

Although more research is needed in humans, CBD appears to be a promising therapeutic agent for a number of conditions such as anxiety, epilepsy and chronic pain. If you want to try it, be sure to study the laws of your country and consult a doctor to make sure you are consuming it safely and legally.

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