As more and more states legalize the use of marijuana, a product known as CBD oil has increased in popularity. A chemical compound found in the cannabis plant, CBD or cannabidiol, is not intoxicating and does not cause the remarkable euphoric effects associated with tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC, another marijuana compound). Products marketed as CBD oil may contain THC.
It is thought that CBD could affect your health by binding to receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system, a complex biological system involved in maintaining certain aspects of your health. Emerging research shows that endocannabinoids can play a role in the regulation of functions such as memory, sleep and mood, as well as metabolic processes such as energy balance.
CBD oil contains CBD (and, often, other active compounds) in a carrier oil. There are a number of forms of CBD oil, which include soft gelatin capsules, tinctures and aerosols under the tongue. Some forms of CBD oil can also be applied directly to the skin, in the form of products such as creams and ointments. The concentration of CBD varies from one product to another.
Advocates of CBD oil claim that it can treat a wide variety of health problems, ranging from everyday diseases to chronic medical conditions. These topics include:
- Chronic pain
- Loss of appetite and body weight.
- Muscle spasms
- Parkinson’s disease
It is also said that CBD oil can promote deeper sleep, reduce inflammation and pain, combat oxidative stress, improve heart health, support weight loss and protect against some forms of cancer.
Although CBD oil is used for many different health-related purposes, there is not much research on the potential health benefits of oil. However, there is significant support for the effectiveness of CBD oil in the treatment of some forms of epilepsy.
In fact, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex (a drug made with a purified form of CBD oil) in June 2018 for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy in patients 2 years of age and older. These two forms of epilepsy are known as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Epidiolex is the first drug approved by the FDA to contain a purified substance derived from marijuana.
Below are the results of recent studies on several other possible benefits of CBD oil:
CBD shows promise in the treatment of anxiety disorders, according to a report published in the journal Neurotherapeutics in 2015. When analyzing the results of experimental investigations, clinical trials and epidemiological studies, the authors of the report found evidence that CBD can Help treat generalized anxiety disorder. panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. However, the authors caution that human-based research on CBD and anxiety is quite limited at this time.
Can marijuana really reduce anxiety symptoms?
CBD oil may be of some benefit to those with addiction, suggests a review published in the journal Substance Abuse in 2015. In their analysis of 14 previously published studies, scientists determined that CBD may have therapeutic effects in people with opioids , cocaine and / or psychostimulant addiction. They also found that CBD can be beneficial in the treatment of cannabis and tobacco addiction. There is some evidence that CBD can block or reduce the effects of THC in the mind.
In a small study published in JCI Insight in 2017, the researchers observed that CBD can help prevent changes related to stress in blood pressure. For the study, nine healthy male volunteers took a single dose of CBD or placebo. Compared to those who received the placebo, those treated with CBD had a lower blood pressure before and after experiencing a stressful event.
Some research indicates that the use of CBD oil can trigger a series of side effects, including:
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in mood
- Dry mouth
- Threw up
There is also some concern that the use of CBD oil can lead to an increase in liver enzyme levels (a marker of liver damage or inflammation.
CBD oil can interact with several medications, including some types of antiepileptic drugs.
A report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published in the journal Pediatrics warns pregnant women and nursing mothers to avoid marijuana use because of possible adverse effects to the development of their baby. In a revised study for the report, it was discovered that short-term exposure to CBD increases the permeability of the placental barrier, potentially putting the fetus at risk for certain substances.
If you are considering trying CBD oil, it is important to discuss possible side effects and adverse reactions with your doctor. In one study, for example, children with refractory epilepsy treated with CBD experienced worsening of seizures, drowsiness, digestive disorders and irritability.
CBD oils may contain some THC. Cannabis can affect your ability to drive safely or operate equipment and can have short and long-term effects on your memory, attention, mood, heart rate and mental health. It is also easy to consume excess CBD oil, so it is important to start with a low dose, as it may take several hours or more to begin to feel the effects after consumption.