Cannabidiol (CBD) has recently become a very popular product. It is thought to be able to treat/ease a variety of problems. However, its use is being constantly debated. There seems to be a lot of uncertainty about what it actually is and what it does to our bodies. CBD oil may possess certain benefits that positively affect our health, but there is a possibility that it also has risks that we should be aware of. This article will discuss what CBD really is and the pros and cons of adding it to our everyday diet.
What is CBD oil?
CBD is a cannabinoid which originates from the cannabis plant. These compounds are extracted from the flowers and buds as an oil. For medical use, the hemp plant is the form of cannabis plant that CBD is extracted from. This is due to it being the least processed type. How concentrated the CBD oils are as well as what they are best used for varies. Before more research was carried out on cannabis, the primary compound found was delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (also known as THC). THC is the psychoactive element found in marijuana that causes the mind altering high associated with the drug. CBD is not psychoactive, so does not change the user’s state of mind when taken. It does produce other changes within the body, however, some research implies that these changes are medically beneficial.
How to use it
CBD can be taken in many forms. The most effective way is by using the oil via a pipette to place a few drops underneath the tongue. This seems to enter the bloodstream fairly quickly and positive effects (such as relief from a seizure) can be noticed within minutes of its application. It also comes in the form of a cream that can be applied to the skin and spray versions for the mouth. Another way to take CBD is to ingest it. This can be done by putting a few drops of the oil into a meal or drink and consuming it, or it can be swallowed in capsule form. Noticing the effects of CBD takes a lot longer when digesting it as it takes more time to enter the bloodstream. It is also less efficient than putting drops under the tongue as some of the CBD gets broken down in the stomach. Finally, CBD can be inhaled through a vaporizing device. However, this method isn’t recommended as there is a lot of evidence to suggest that ‘vaping’ increases the risk of lung infections and can affect their function.
CBD is thought to possess a wide range of benefits. Although some alternative medications exist, CBD is thought to be a more natural option. Benefits include its ability to act as a natural pain relief as it is thought to contain anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, it is great for joint and muscle pain, as well as acne (skin inflammation) and Type 1 diabetes (inflammation of the pancreas). There’s evidence suggesting that CBD can help people quit smoking and may also be able to treat people who are addicted to opioids. CBD’s effectiveness in treating epilepsy is one of the most supported benefits of this drug as it has FDA approval. Other symptoms of neurological disorders (due to CBD’s anti-seizure properties) are thought to be helped when CBD is used. CBD’s ability to help fight cancer and Alzheimer’s is also being researched. Please note that more exploration is needed to help support some of these theories.
Due to being fairly new, data that can support some of the long-term effects is unavailable. Clinical trials of the epilepsy treatment ‘Epidiolex’ showed side effects such as liver and gastrointestinal problems, reduced appetite and urination, rashes, lethargy, and irritability. It has also been reported to cause negative effects on some people’s mental health. The lack of regulation on CBD production due to the legal factors of CBD means the percentage labeled on your product may not be accurate, and in some batches, traces of THC have been found which can worsen certain things that CBD is meant to help e.g. anxiety.
Adding CBD to your everyday diet may benefit you in a brilliant way as many of the issues it has been said to help with could change lives. But as it is still early days, it would probably be best to limit your consumption until more research on this potential ‘miracle’ drug has been undertaken.