CBD is everywhere! Even before cannabis became legal throughout Canada, it was making headlines as the next fad and the next big investment.
The cannabinoid has primarily been making the rounds in the worlds of health and wellness. But does it actually work to treat chronic conditions? Are there adverse side effects? And is it even safe to use in the first place?
Don’t worry. We’ve got all the answers and basic information that you need to make a decision for yourself about CBD.
The Short Answer on CBD
CBD can be a great supplemental ingredient for reducing chronic pain or anxiety, but use caution. Unless specifically prescribed by a doctor, you should not swap out CBD oil for your medication; it cannot cure serious illnesses like cancer or Alzheimer’s. CBD may pose some risks if you are on certain medications.
But let’s dive deeper into the risks and benefits of using CBD oil.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is a concentrated version of Cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid that can be found in the cannabis plant. It binds to receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system, which helps to regulate bodily functions and maintain homeostasis.
Unlike THC, CBD is not intoxicating. You can ingest a dose of CBD oil before you drive and not have to worry about running off the road. Lawmakers and employers won’t be able to detect CBD in a drug test.
CBD and CBD oil have become the hottest ingredients in the wellness industry. But like any hot new trend, CBD has some critics and skeptics. Due to its tricky legal status, there is also still some progress to be made when it comes to the study of CBD. Even without a lot of research on the cannabinoid, a growing movement of people has begun to swear by CBD’s effectiveness in treating a variety of ailments and symptoms.
Who Uses CBD Oil?
Anyone can use CBD to relax or reduce pain and inflammation throughout the body. You do not need to have a serious medical condition to access CBD oil or reap the benefits of the cannabinoid. Remember, it binds naturally to receptors that exists throughout the entire body.
CBD products, including CBD oil and CBD-only marijuana flowers, claim to do any of the following:
- Reduce anxiety and stress
- Treats symptoms of depression and PTSD
- Reduce acne and chronic inflammation
- Increase the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s
- Encourage sleep for people with insomnia
- Regulate blood pressure
- Prevent diabetes
One of the most common uses of CBD is treating chronic pain. Patients with any of the following conditions may turn to CBD for pain relief:
- Multiple sclerosis
But Does It Actually Work?
The most effective CBD product is a drug called Epidiolex, which is derived from cannabis. Epidolex treats two specific forms of epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. This drug has been approved by the Federal Drug Administration in the United States to treat these conditions.
Smaller studies have supported claims that CBD can reduce anxiety and alleviate symptoms of chronic pain. But a lot of these studies are small, and a lot of research still has to be done on the long-term effects of CBD and how it works within the endocannabinoid system. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the results of these studies.
Will CBD work for your symptoms? Everyone experiences chronic pain and mental conditions in a different way. While many users claim to receive positive benefits from CBD, it is not recommended to use it to replace current medications without consulting a doctor.
Are There Negative Side Effects of Using CBD?
The following side effects may occur when you consume CBD oil or CBD products:
- Nausea, vomiting, and changes in appetite
- Dizziness or drowsiness
- Dry mouth
Adding a drop to CBD oil to your coffee or your smoothie in the morning? Don’t expect any of these side effects to pop up. If they do pop up, you might have just taken a higher dose than your body wants to handle. The best way to avoid negative side effects is to experiment with smaller doses first, and then work your way up to more CBD each day.
CBD topicals are also a great way to get into CBD products. They expose your skin to CBD without ingestion. If you are new to CBD, we recommend trying a CBD balm or bath bomb to get you started on your journey toward a pain-free or calmer life.
Is CBD Safe to Consume?
CBD is not intoxicating. It’s also not addictive, and you cannot “overdose” on CBD. There have been no cases of a person becoming dependent on CBD – some studies even suggest that CBD can help to ease the anxiety or stress that many addicts face as they enter recovery.
Talk to Your Doctor Before Medicating With CBD
There is some evidence to suggest that CBD works with your blood in a similar manner to grapefruit juice. Patients on certain medications (Lipitor, Zoloft, Viagra, etc.) know how dangerous grapefruit juice can be to mix with medications. If you are on a drug that doesn’t mix well with grapefruit juice, it is especially important to talk to your doctor before trying CBD oil.
Purchase CBD Oil From Licensed and Trusted Retailers
Not all CBD oil is purely CBD. Manufacturers hopping on the CBD trend may skirt regulations or lie about the contents of their products. If you want to start experimenting with CBD oil or CBD products, buy from a licensed dispensary. You do not want to start taking CBD oil only to get high (or fail a drug test) because manufacturers failed to mention high levels of THC in their products.
Practice Caution, Stay Calm, and Enjoy Using CBD!
Not all CBD products are the same. But CBD itself is a safe and healthy ingredient that can be used to alleviate pain and make life a little easier. Experiment, talk to a budtender, and enjoy using CBD!