If you have been keeping up with the latest trends in health and wellness, you probably have heard a lot of buzz around CBD oil. An array of CBD-rich products have hit the market, including dog treats, gummies and lotions. CBD oil has been linked to relieving anxiety, pain relief and inflammation, but does it live up to the hype surrounding it?

What is CBD?

CBD—also known as cannabidiol—is a compound naturally found in the stalks and leaves of the Cannabis sativa plant.[1] The Cannabis sativa plant is native to central Asia[6], but is currently being cultivated in parts of the U.S. Unlike its psychoactive counterpart (THC), CBD contains no mind-altering effects. The human body has an endocannabinoid system that receives signals from cannabinoids. While the human body produces cannabinoids of its own, CBD oil increases the concentration of cannabinoids throughout the body. These cannabinoids help regulate human functions like immune-system responses, sleep and pain.[2]

According to WebMD, people take CBD orally for “anxiety, bipolar disorder, a muscle disorder called dystonia, seizures, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and schizophrenia.”[3]

Is CBD Oil Safe?

Due to the high-risk nature of the industry, much of CBD oil is produced without any regulation. According to University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine professor Marcel Bonn-Miller, any person wanting to start up a CBD company can say whatever they want on the label and sell it to people.[4]

Clinical trials are still being evaluated when it comes to the safety of CBD products; however, recent evidence suggests promising results in favor of CBD being safe.[5]

What are Side Effects of CBD?

CBD is “well tolerated and considered safe,” but there is evidence suggesting adverse effects in users including anxiety and depression, psychosis, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dry mouth, dizziness, diarrhea and changes in appetite.[5]Since CBD oil can interact with other medications, it’s important to speak with your doctor to see if it would be a good supplement for your regimen.

Should I Consider CBD?

While there are a wide array of benefits being studied, anxiety mitigation is one of the main reasons people are turning to CBD as an alternative treatment. One user claimed that CBD oil was like “Mother Nature’s liquid Xanax”[8]If anxiety is a concern for you, CBD oil may be a great option for relieving anxious thoughts. CBD-rich products may also help if you suffer from mild or chronic pain and inflammation. A few clinical trials have suggested that CBD oil can help treat arthritic pain.[9]Other users have claimed that it helped pain related to menstrual cramps.[10]

According to Healthline,[5]  one of the most studied uses for CBD is how it relates to neurological disorders such as epilepsy or Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Studies have shown that using CBD has shown to be effective at reducing muscle spasticity in patients. Its anti-seizure properties may be a good for those who suffer with neurological conditions.

What Type of CBD Product is Right for Me?

As a beginner, finding the right form of CBD oil may take some time, as there are a lot of different forms of products to navigate through. CBD-infused products are usually either topically or orally administered. Here are a few of the common ones:

  • Topicals or Salves. Those who struggle with inflammation of the skin, eczema, psoriasis, bacterial infections, or acne usually opt for using a lotion, topical or salve on the affected area. A topical is infused with CBD oil is absorbed through the skin. Although it’s not absorbed in the bloodstream, the active compounds are still able to react with cannabinoid receptors.
  • CBD Tincture.On the other hand, one of the most common types of oral CBD oil is a tincture. A tincture is usually administered sublingually (under the tongue) with a dropper and it typically takes about 30 minutes to feel the effects. By ingesting it this way, it will help your body absorb a higher amount of CBD oil into the bloodstream through capillaries under the tongue.
  • Isolates or Capsules.If you are looking for convenience, capsules or isolates might be for you. Capsules are also a popular option that have a pre-measured dosage of CBD oil and are taken much like any other dietary supplement. Isolates (a crystalized CBD-infused powder) are a great choice if you prefer mixing CBD with your favorite beverage or dish.

Is CBD Oil Legal?

Legalities surrounding the buying and selling of CBD-infused products has been sticky this past year. Technically, hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 states. Since CBD from hemp is not tied to psychoactive effects, it is legal for purchase, possession and sales. However, since hemp can be confused with the marijuana plant, the industry is still considered a high risk one.[7]

What to Know Before Purchasing

If you are considering going out and buying CBD oil for yourself to experience its therapeutic effects, it’s vital to do your research beforehand. Since CBD oil is not yet FDA approved, there have been cases with deceptions in labeling and packaging. You want to know exactly what you are getting in your product, so make sure to purchase from a reputable vendor that is willing to provide a lab analysis of their product.

References:

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/27/style/cbd-benefits.html
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319475.php
  3. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1439/cannabidiol
  4. https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/news/20180507/cbd-oil-all-the-rage-but-is-it-safe-effective#1
  5. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cbd-oil-benefits
  6. https://www.britannica.com/plant/hemp
  7. https://medium.com/cbd-origin/is-cbd-legal-legal-status-of-cbd-2018-d1b4a0ed42df
  8. https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/What-CBD-Oil-Like-43723756
  9. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319796.php
  10. https://www.buzzfeed.com/beccan9/cbd-oil-for-period-cramps?utm_term=.cyYRKg7Z6#.pb5xYV3vL
Hannah

Hannah is a content creator for Kono Naturals. She is a lover of animals, health and wellness, and sustainability.