CBD Oil Benefits (and Side Effects)

CBD oil is growing in popularity and for a good reason. CBD, or cannabinoid, oil offers users a range of benefits, from relaxation to relieving pain and inflammation. The popularity of cbd oil isn’t restricted to just human use. Now there are a range of cbd oils for dogs as well.

If you are still unsure about whether CBD oil is safe for yourself or your pet, learn about some of its most popular side effects .

The Difference Between CBD and THC

 Before getting into the CBD oil benefits, you should understand what cannabidiol oil is. There are multiple cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant (which also has THC), including CBD or cannabidiol. CBD does not have psychoactive properties, but it does interact with your endocannabinoid system. Those interactions let it provide a range of benefits for those who take the oil.

THC Is Psychoactive

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the cannabinoid in cannabis that is responsible for the plant’s psychoactive properties. This is the plant’s main psychoactive component. So if you consume THC, you will likely experience the “high” linked to marijuana. In contrast, taking CBD oil will not give you that high or any psychoactive effects.

CBD Oil Can Contain THC

The caveat here is that some CBD oils will contain small quantities of THC. This is intentional from a medical standpoint due to something called the entourage effect. The entourage effect is that CBD is more effective when taken in combination with THC.

For those who do not want to have any psychoactive effects from CBD oil, there are numerous options available without any THC at all. Those are a good choice if you have concerns about drug tests or operate heavy machinery.

If you do not have those types of restrictions in your life and want the best possible effects, then you may want to consider choosing a CBD oil that has small quantities of THC. Hemp oils, for example, always have 0.3 percent of THC or less. This is not normally enough to produce psychoactive effects, although it may show up on a drug test.

You can also try starting with a CBD oil that does not contain THC and then switch to one with this second cannabinoid if you do not notice strong enough results.

With a clearer idea of what cannabinoid oil is and why it is unlikely to produce psychoactive effects, it is time to look at some of the most notable benefits of taking CBD oil.

Pain Relief

One of the most popular uses for cannabidiol oil is pain relief. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence of those with chronic pain finally experiencing relief thanks to CBD oil.

Scientists believe that CBD’s ability to relieve pain comes from its interactions with the endocannabinoid system. This system is involved in regulating the immune system, pain, appetite, and sleep. Research indicates that CBD can affect the activity of the endocannabinoid receptors and that, in turn, interacts with neurotransmitters while reducing inflammation.

Other research indicates that CBD may reduce pain by affecting the body’s a3 glycine receptors in the brain and spinal cord. These receptors control our reactions to pain, so this interaction lets CBD oil reduce the pain sensation but without side effects.

Studies in rats have shown that CBD injections can reduce pain from surgical incisions as well as pain in the sciatic nerve. Human studies have found combinations of CBD with THC can help treat pain from arthritis and multiple sclerosis. In fact, several countries have approved the use of Sativex, an oral spray that combines CBD and THC, for treating multiple sclerosis pain.

Anti-inflammatory

The ability of CBD to reduce pain is closely linked to its anti-inflammatory properties. Those properties are due to its interactions with the endocannabinoid system. In many cases, pain comes from inflammation, so the reduction in pain from CBD oil is directly due to inflammation decreasing.

Reduces Anxiety and Depression

Numerous experts have also looked into CBD oil’s benefits on those who suffer from anxiety and depression. These are both common disorders affecting a person’s mental health with the ability to severely impact the overall well-being of those affected. The ability of CBD oil to reduce depression and anxiety is crucial as the World Health Organization reports that depression is the biggest factor contributing to disability in the world. Anxiety is also high on that list, ranking sixth.

Traditional treatments for anxiety and depression include pharmaceutical drugs, but those tend to come with side effects. Depending on the drug in question, side effects may include headaches, drowsiness, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, and agitation. Even worse, certain pharmaceutical drugs traditionally used to treat depression and anxiety can become addictive, potentially leading to substance abuse.

In contrast, CBD oil for anxiety and depression does not carry a risk of becoming addictive, nor does it potentially lead to substance abuse. It also tends to come with minimal side effects.

There is also research on the subject of CBD oil benefits for anxiety and depression in addition to anecdotal evidence. One study showed that CBD helps reduce anxiety before public speaking. It has also been used to safely treat anxiety and insomnia in kids suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

As with the other benefits of cannabidiol oil, its ability to reduce anxiety and depression comes from its interactions with the endocannabinoid system. In this case, CBD specifically interacts with serotonin receptors in the brain. Since this is the neurotransmitter that regulates social behavior and mood, that ability of CBD helps it relieve symptoms of those conditions.

Helps With Sleep

Many people have found that CBD oil can help them get a good night’s rest. Some research shows that the endocannabinoid system is likely connected to regulating sleep, so CBD’s interaction with that system helps with insomnia and other sleep disorders.

Reduces Cancer-related Symptoms

There has also been research and anecdotal evidence indicating the CBD oil can help relieve symptoms related to cancer. In particular, studies found it can help relieve symptoms like nausea, pain, and vomiting. One study found that CBD in addition to THC was able to relieve pain even among patients who did not get relief from traditional pain medications.

CBD oil can also help those undergoing cancer treatments overcome certain side effects of chemotherapy, specifically vomiting and nausea. Those are two of the most common side effects related to chemotherapy to treat cancer. CBD can also help patients increase their appetite, overcoming the common challenge of loss of appetite associated with cancer treatment. You can find traditional drugs for addressing those issues, but they are not always effective. On the other hand, a study found that a combination of CBD and THC got better results than the standard medical treatment.

The Potential to Reduce or Prevent Cancer

Although this is still in the very early stages, there is some evidence that CBD oil may have some anti-cancer properties. One study found that concentrated CBD caused human breast cancer cells to experience cell death. Another study in mice with aggressive breast cancer cells showed CBD prevented the spread of cancer.

Keep in mind, however, that more research on CBD and cancer is needed before being able to make any assumptions about cannabidiol’s ability to treat or prevent the spread of the disease. In the meantime, it does a great job at relieving other symptoms of cancer.

Overall, some studies show early indications that CBD might help deter cancer cell growth, weaken the cancer cells’ ability to attach onto structures, prevent migration of cancer cells, and shrink tumors.

Manages Appetite and Nausea

The cancer-related symptoms mentioned above, including loss of appetite and nausea, can also occur without cancer. Regardless of the cause, CBD oil can help treat those problems. Scientists have known that CBD has anti-emetic (anti-vomiting) properties for years, but other treatments arrived and took center stage. More recently, scientists have started looking at CBD for nausea once again. One study found that CBD and other cannabinoids may be better at treating appetite issues and vomiting that are hard to control compared to standard anti-emetics.

Prevents Infection

The CBD oil benefits also include its antibacterial properties. CBD and other specific cannabinoids have antiseptic properties. They show promise in countering drug-resistant bacteria when used topically or internally. In some cases, CBD seems to be more effective.

Reduces Acne

There is also some evidence that taking CBD oil can help patients reduce their acne. Acne is common, affecting over 9 percent of the population. The ability of CBD oil to treat acne stems from its anti-inflammatory properties. This is just one of several factors affecting the development of acne, with others, including sebum overproduction, bacteria, and genetics.

Scientific studies have shown that CBD not only has an anti-inflammatory effect, but it can also help reduce the production of sebum. One study found that with CBD oil present, sebaceous gland cells do not produce excessive sebum. That same study also indicated that the CBD oil was anti-inflammatory and stopped pro-acne agents such as cytokines (which are inflammatory) from activating.

This is one area where more research is necessary, but there seems to be great promise that CBD oil’s benefits extend to treating acne.

Heart Health Properties

 Some research indicates that cannabidiol oil can also have a positive impact on your heart’s health as well as that of your circulatory system. These include its ability to potentially lower blood pressure. That is crucial since high blood pressure is connected to an increased risk of metabolic syndrome, heart attack, and stroke. Some studies have already shown that CBD may be able to control high blood pressure. This is likely due to the oil’s ability to reduce anxiety and stress.

Other studies have linked the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD to a reduction in cell death and inflammation from heart disease. This effect is also due to its ability to reduce stress and its antioxidant properties.

Treats Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is the type of diabetes that patients cannot control and is not based on lifestyle factors. This is an autoimmune system disorder, allowing CBD oil to help. That is because CBD oil can regulate body systems and promote balance. More research still needs to be done on the ability of CBD to treat type 1 diabetes, but some early research is optimistic.

It is important to note that this early research does not indicate that CBD would be able to cure or prevent type 1 diabetes. Instead, it would help treat it, reducing patients’ reliance on insulin to control their blood sugar levels.

Neuroprotective Properties

Going back to the interactions of cannabidiol with the endocannabinoid system, researchers mull that this could help treat certain neurologic disorders. There is particular promise in using CBD oil to treat multiple sclerosis and epilepsy, with promising results in multiple studies.

The Sativex oral spray, which contains THC and CBD, reduced muscle spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis. In fact, in muscle spasticity, which resisted medications, one study found a reduction in spasms of 75 percent. Other studies have found reductions of seizures by an average of 36.5 percent with a certain dosage of CBD oil and a significant reduction of seizures in kids with Dravet syndrome.

However, scientists caution that some people involved in the studies were more sensitive to the rare side effects of CBD. Because of the existence of adverse reactions in these groups, those who want to use CBD oil for its neuroprotective properties should first consult with their doctor and keep a close eye on their condition.

Epilepsy and multiple sclerosis are not the only neurological disorders that CBD oil shows promise in treating. Other studies showed it could reduce inflammation while preventing the neurodegeneration linked to Alzheimer’s and can improve the sleep and quality of life of people with Parkinson’s.

May Treat Addiction

There is also some early research indicating that CBD oil shows promise in the treatment of addiction. Specifically, it may be therapeutic when overcoming addiction to psychostimulants, opioids, or cocaine. It can also help with treating tobacco addiction. Some evidence even indicates CBD might reduce the impact THC has on your mind. 

Can Help Quit Smoking 

One of the specific CBD oil benefits related to addiction is its ability to help smokers overcome their addiction. This is particularly helpful given how hard it is to get over an addiction to smoking cigarettes.

One study found that those who wanted to stop smoking and took CBD had a 40 percent higher success rate in their first week. Even with a low dosage of CBD, those struggling to quit saw a reduction in intrusive thoughts, which made it easier to quit.

Experts are not sure why CBD oil can help people quit smoking, but think it is because of the interaction between nicotine and the endocannabinoid system. Scientists feel that addiction cues may reduce when the endocannabinoid system is in balance, which it is with CBD.

Side Effects

Although there is a long list of CBD oil benefits, there are also some potential side effects to be aware of. The good news is that side effects tend to be very rare when taking CBD, especially if you take the proper dose. Even so, you should be aware of potential effects like:

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Mood changes
  • Appetite changes
  • Anxiety

You should also consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking CBD oil if you are on any medications or over-the-counter supplements since these may cause interactions. This also applies if you are planning to use other forms of CBD such as gummies or capsules.

This is especially true if you plan to consume your cbd oil via vaping. Even if you have done all of your research and purchased the best cbd vape oil on the market, its prudent to check what impact it will have with your existing medication.

While CBD can supplement many other treatments, you need to ensure it will not make your pharmaceutical treatment less effective.

Finding Safe Products

It is also important to keep in mind that CBD oils are not regulated for the most part. This means that consumers must complete their own research to confirm that they choose a safe product. This is whether you are looking to find the best cbd oil for your personal use, or even if you are looking for the best cbd pet treats for your pet.

Do this by looking for products with third-party lab results available and strong reviews. This will help ensure that your CBD oil is as advertised does not contain any harmful ingredients.

Conclusion

There are a plethora of CBD oil benefits to help patients with everything –from pain relief and insomnia to seizures. We still need to conduct more research on CBD, but between early research and anecdotes, it is a very strong choice for those with certain conditions. This is especially true given its minimal side effects, particularly in comparison to pharmaceutical drugs.

Clarence Swader

Clarence is a medical marijuana patient, writer, and hiking enthusiast who spends most of his time outdoors. He loves nature and is continuously trying to discover and write about its benefits for general health.
Clarence Swader

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