CBD oil has hit the health and wellness industry by storm over the last couple of years and is touted to relieve anxiety, depression, and chronic pain while improving heart health and sleep. Sounds great, right? Before hopping on the CBD oil train, here are five things you need to know!
1. What It Is
We care about what products we use for ourselves and our families. So before starting any supplement or adding any topical product, it’s important to ask and find an answer to this question—what is it? CBD, or cannabidiol, is a phytocannabinoid that can be derived from two varieties of the cannabis sativa plant: hemp and marijuana. CBD from hemp comes from the long stalks and bark of the plant, whereas CBD from marijuana comes from the buds and flowering parts of the plant. Hemp has the greater CBD content.
2. How it works
The hemp plant produces two types of molecules, THC and CBD, each with very different reactions. THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), which is mostly found in marijuana, can attach to our endocannabinoid system receptors. When this happens, it sends a signal to the brain, which results in the psychoactive effects of "getting high." CBD, however, doesn’t attach to these receptors and instead can have an anti-inflammatory effect on our bodies (more on that next).
3. What are the possible health benefits
The research on CBD usage is plentiful and the ailments it has been associated with improving are varied. Studies have shown CBD has anti-inflammatory effects, and could help in the treatment of arthritis, chronic pain, and Type 1 diabetes. The anti-inflammatory effect could also support heart health. CBD oil has been shown to reduce anxiety and help with anxiety-induced insomnia, social anxiety disorder, and PTSD. Some studies do show anti-cancer properties in CBD oil and that it may be able to prevent the spread of cancer cells, but more research is needed. CBD oil seems to have antipsychotic and neuroprotective properties, so it may be helpful in the treatment of epilepsy, substance abuse disorders, schizophrenia, depression, sleep disorders, and Parkinson’s disease. Other studies also support the use of CBD to help people stop smoking. The FDA has actually approved the use of CBD, in the form of the drug Epidiolex, as a therapy for two rare conditions characterized by epileptic seizures, Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome. Studies also show that CBD oil may help prevent the development of social recognition deficit (the inability to recognize someone’s face) for those in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Currently, there are no studies on the long-term effects of using CBD oil, but it’s thought to be relatively safe for most people. CBD can interact with many medications. so it’s important to always discuss supplements with your doctor or licensed wellness professional if you’re on any medications.
4. Why quality matters
While CBD isn’t thought to have many negative effects, the quality of the oil you choose is VERY important. Currently, there is no FDA regulation of CBD oil, so be careful what source you choose to buy from right now. You want to look for organic, full-spectrum oil from hemp. These will contain phytonutrients, essential fatty acids, flavonoids, and antioxidants from the whole hemp plant to give you the most benefit. You also want to make sure your CBD oil is free from heavy metals and harsh chemicals.
5. Make sure it’s THC-free
5. Make sure it's THC-Free
Remember THC? It’s the psychoactive chemical that causes mind-altering effects and, unfortunately, it can sometimes sneak its way into CBD products IF a company isn’t careful with its production process. That means if you were tested for drugs, something might show up that you wouldn’t want to see. So it’s VERY important to make sure your CBD is completely THC-free. Clean CBD is the way to go for enjoying all the benefits but without worrying about any legalities!