CBD is short for cannabidiol. It is derived from both the marijuana (cannabis) plant and its cousin, the hemp plant. CBD taken from either plant does not make you “high.” Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive substance in marijuana that does induce a high, CBD does not lend itself to dependence or abuse. And thus far, no permanent harmful effects of CBD have been found.
CBD Oil and Cannabinoids Effectiveness: Scientific Evidence
According to a recently updated article at Harvard Health Blog, there is evidence for cannabidiol health benefits and effectiveness.
CBD has been touted for a wide variety of health issues, but the strongest scientific evidence is for its effectiveness in treating some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which typically don’t respond to antiseizure medications.
In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and in some cases, it was able to stop them altogether. Videos of the effects of CBD on these children and their seizures are readily available on the Internet for viewing, and they are quite striking. Recently the FDA approved the first-ever cannabis-derived medicine for these conditions, Epidiolex, which contains CBD. [Source]
CBD is commonly used to address anxiety, and for patients who suffer through the misery of insomnia, studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep.
CBD may offer an option for treating different types of chronic pain. A study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using an animal model, CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study demonstrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat. More study in humans is needed in this area to substantiate the claims of CBD proponents about pain control.
Is Cannabidiol Safe?
Side effects of CBD include nausea, fatigue and irritability. CBD can increase the level in your blood of the blood thinner coumadin, and it can raise levels of certain other medications in your blood by the exact same mechanism that grapefruit juice does. A significant safety concern with CBD is that it is primarily marketed and sold as a supplement, not a medication.
Currently, the FDA does not regulate the safety and purity of dietary supplements. So you cannot know for sure that the product you buy has active ingredients at the dose listed on the label. In addition, the product may contain other (unknown) elements. We also don’t know the most effective therapeutic dose of CBD for any particular medical condition.
The bottom line on cannabidiol
We need more research but CBD may be prove to be an option for managing anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. Without sufficient high-quality evidence in human studies we can’t pinpoint effective doses, and because CBD is currently is mostly available as an unregulated supplement, it’s difficult to know exactly what you are getting. If you decide to try CBD, talk with your doctor — if for no other reason than to make sure it won’t affect other medications you are taking.
Hemp-derived cannabidiol was legalized in all 50 states with the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. If the CBD comes from hemp and not marijuana it is considered a hemp-derived product but not if the CBD is extracted from marijuana. This is because, depending on the extraction process, higher residual amount of THC from marijuana may still be present in the CBD. Here is another in-depth guide on what is CBD oil used for.
Many people espouse the miraculous healing powers of CBD. Research does support its effectiveness in treating childhood epilepsy, including Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS). These two afflictions usually do not respond to traditional anti-seizure medications. Studies have shown that CBD decreases the frequency of seizures, sometimes eliminating them completely. The first cannabis-derived medication containing CBD, called Epidiolex, has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of these ailments.
In addition to its ability to mitigate symptoms of those suffering from Epilepsy, CBD has been found in some people to reduce their anxiety and insomnia. CBD has also been helpful to some people with both falling and staying asleep. CBD has also shown promise in treating several types of chronic pain.
Topical CBD can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. One study found that CBD can ameliorate pain from inflammation and neuropathy, two hard-to-treat forms of chronic pain. It is now being studied as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.
Although CBD is extremely promising in the fight against epilepsy, pain, insomnia, and anxiety, beware of claims that cannabidiol is a cure for everything.
To make CBD accessible and safe for those who need it, many more human studies are being conducted. Also, due to its variance in potency and dosing, it is best to speak with your doctor before you try CBD. If your doctor is hesitant to green-light CBD use, consider waiting for further research proving its effectiveness and safety.
Despite its potential for healing, in limited instances, CBD has been linked to some mild side effects: nausea, fatigue, diarrhea, reduced appetite, and irritability. It can also interfere with blood-thinning medications and increase levels of other medications in your body. As of yet, the FDA does not regulate the purity, effectiveness, or safety of CBD (except in Epidiolex), as it is considered a supplement instead of a medication.
CBD Hemp Oil: What It Is, How It's Made, and What It's Good For
CBD oil is gaining popularity and mainstream acceptance, as study after study shows its efficacy in providing relief to those suffering from pain and anxiety to providing benefit in addressing symptoms of long-term disabilities like Parkinson’s Disease. It’s being seen more and more like the beneficial compound that it is, but many people still don’t know much about it.
The question a lot of people have on their minds first and foremost is: does it make you feel high? There’s a short answer: no.
CBD, or cannabidiol (pronounced like “canna buh dial”) oil is made from the seeds of various strains of cannabis, and is an extract of just one of the over four hundred different chemical compounds found in cannabis.
When a product is labeled as CBD Hemp Oil, it’s made from a variety of Cannabis Sativa that contains very low amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC less than 0.3%, the psychoactive component that other strains of the plant have in abundance.
No matter the source, the extraction process renders CBD oil psychoactively inert. So, no – CBD oil, whether it is made from the hemp plant or from another variety of C. Sativa, does not have the capacity to make you feel dizzy, giddy, or “stoned,” and as such can be appropriate for use as a medicinal compound.
How CBD Oil Is Made
There are chief methods used to separate cannabidiol oil from the raw plant. Alcohol extraction involves soaking the C. Sativa plant in an alcohol solvent such as ethanol. After a period of time to allow the alcohol to release the CBD and other cannabinoids from the plant material, the alcohol is drawn off and allowed to evaporate. As the alcohol evaporates, it leaves behind pure CBD hemp oil. This CBD hemp oil can be used as-is and put into medicinal solutions or added to edible products to allow for the delivery of the beneficial cannabidiol to the patient’s system through ingestion.
Another method of CBD extraction relies on a more complex and time-consuming system called CO2 extraction. Carbon dioxide is introduced into sealed chambers along with various hemp or cannabis plant materials, heated, and put under pressure in a process similar to how consumer pressure cookers are used. As the CO2 reacts with the plant matter, it is drawn off into separate chambers and separated into isolates–which are “pure” versions of either cannabidiol or other cannabinoid compounds that can be used separately or combined together.
Once extracted in these ways, the CBD oil is ready for use, but is quite strong and usually unpalatable, so it is mixed with flavorings or carrier oils to alter its naturally strong taste and to dilute it into various strengths or concentrations of CBD oil.
What Is it Good For?
CBD oil has been shown to provide benefits to those suffering from many different ailments. It has been shown to aid in the treatment of stress, anxiety, depression, pain, inflammation, and has even shown to be of benefit in the treatment of disorders like epilepsy or Tourette’s Syndrome. It has been shown to have a positive impact on those undergoing the treatment of schizophrenia and certain types of pains, and there are many more suspected benefits that are currently being studied. It is a natural source of essential fatty acids, Omega 3 oils, and certain vitamins that are critical for proper cell function, and can be used as a topical oil to promote good skin health by reducing acne and the bacteria that causes acne, and by restoring the skin’s natural elasticity.