CBD Oil Benefits
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid (chemical compound) found in the cannabis plant. While cannabis, the genus that produces both hemp and marijuana, is not new to the United States, the CBD industry is, and its followers grow in numbers everyday.
CBD’s growing popularity is due to its non-intoxicating properties and astounding health benefits. This is not to say CBD is non-psychoactive; in truth, CBD does have mind-altering effects.
So, using CBD won’t make you high in the way smoking weed might, but it most definitely has an impact on brain function, judging by its ability to reduce neurological issues like epileptic seizures, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and other conditions. If you want to learn more, check out our tutorial: What is CBD - A Beginner’s Guide to CBD.
While there has not been a ton of research concluded on the benefits of using CBD, word of mouth and individual use are the best ways we have learned about the substance’s short-term benefits.
Before getting to the general benefits of CBD oil, let’s take a look at the two main forms that CBD comes in: full spectrum and isolate.
Full Spectrum vs Isolate
On your quest to find the best CBD oil and CBD vape juice, you may come across products labeled “isolate” and “full spectrum.” There is no right or wrong choice, but it’s important to choose which type of CBD suits you based on your needs. Here is a rundown of what each option means, along with its pros and cons.
Full spectrum CBD
Full spectrum CBD oil contains various cannabinoids as well as terpenes along with the main ingredient of CBD.
Terpenes are oily compounds found throughout the plant kingdom, while other cannabinoids, such as CBG and CBN, are other compounds that come from cannabis plants. These extra ingredients come with their own set of benefits to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your CBD products.
Full spectrum CBD products maintain these terpenes and cannabinoids after processing. As a result, full spectrum will likely contain trace amounts of THC. All of these ingredients work with the CBD to make it more effective and ultimately create a phenomenon called “the entourage effect.”
The entourage effect is the mechanism by which cannabinoids and terpenes work together synergistically to complement each other’s strengths. The entourage effect helps maximize the therapeutic effects of your CBD product, giving you the most optimal experience.
The downside to full spectrum is that it may still trigger a mild high for individuals sensitive to THC, or could cause allergic reactions in very rare instances. That said, no one has ever been severely harmed as a direct result of using CBD.
CBD isolate contains 99% pure CBD with no THC or other compounds. Everything else is filtered out during production.
Unlike full spectrum, isolate contains no terpenes or cannabinoids that boost the included CBD. Isolate will still achieve the desired effects; however, you will not experience the benefits of the entourage effect due to the absence of terpenes and other cannabinoids.
Isolate is a safer option if you suffer from a health condition that affects your liver, or you take certain medications that prevent you from using full spectrum. Additionally, THC sensitive people have nothing to worry about with CBD isolate.
Ultimately, the choice between isolate and full spectrum is a question of efficacy and safety.
CBD Oil Benefits
Many users of CBD swear by it, claiming that it can treat every symptom or condition in existence. But is this totally true?
While this may be an exaggeration, there is significant evidence that CBD is helpful as a wellness supplement.
Most research is still in its early stages, while other claims of CBD’s usefulness is purely anecdotal.
Let’s explore some of the better known benefits that have been substantiated to some degree.
Of all the benefits CBD offers, seizure control is the most definitive. Following several studies on children with severe epilepsy, researchers found that CBD helped control otherwise uncontrollable seizures for children with Dravet Syndrome and Lennox Gastaut Syndrome (LGS).
These conditions are known to be debilitating, leaving children bedridden and suffering from multiple seizures per day. Conventional medications have little to no effect, nor does surgery.
CBD, however, dramatically reduced seizure frequency and, in some cases, eliminated seizures altogether. This was a life-changing experience for many children involved in the study.
The discovery eventually led to Epidiolex, the first FDA-approved drug derived from CBD isolate.
However, this doesn’t mean all types of epilepsy are fair game for CBD therapy. So far, there is no research or evidence to suggest that CBD helps control seizures in generalized or focal epilepsy conditions.
Pain control is a major reason many people use CBD and is backed by a mountain of anecdotal evidence that we simply can’t ignore.
While we don’t have any human trials on pain and CBD alone, one study found that mixing THC and CBD is effective in reducing pain. Another study found that CBD reduced the pain response in rats following an incision, while another study found it effective against nerve pain and inflammation.
CBD topical creams are gaining popularity, as they have been shown to reduce inflammation when applied directly to the affected area.
Anxiety is becoming more and more common in our fast-moving, high-stress world. Using CBD to either reduce symptoms or prevent anxiety altogether has changed the lives of people suffering from mild and severe anxiety.
Conventional treatments are often effective, but the medications and their side effects can be unpleasant. Depending on the person, side effects can be mild to nonexistent, or severe enough to negatively impact daily life.
A study conducted on patients with social anxiety found that high doses of CBD helped reduce the symptoms of their condition. Meanwhile, a study on children with PTSD found that CBD helped reduce anxiety symptoms and insomnia.
Many patients with depression vouch for CBD as an effective way to mitigate their symptoms. Similar to anxiety medications, depression medications produce side effects that can be just as harsh if not worse.
Research, although sparse, is promising. One study in mice showed antidepressant effects after researchers administered CBD. Researchers believe that these effects are the result of CBD interaction with serotonin receptors, which are responsible for key functions like mood regulation.
Everyone experiences acne to some degree, especially in adolescence. However, some individuals even in adulthood constantly deal with chronic breakouts that require intense treatment with prescription medication.
There is some evidence suggesting that CBD could be an effective alternative to prescription drugs or creams. This is due to CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties.
For example, one study found that CBD prevents the excretion of various compounds that cause acne to develop.
There are plenty of other alleged benefits to CBD, such as preventing insomnia, reducing migraines, relieving arthritis pain, alleviating nausea, and more.
CBD is such a new phenomenon that researchers have not had a chance to look into all of these conditions to make any conclusive evidence, especially the long-term effects of CBD use.
If CBD is a “cure-all” as many people claim it to be, this simple cannabinoid could be a serious help to many people seeking relief outside of traditional medicine.
What about side effects?
CBD side effects are generally mild. These can include fatigue, increased or decreased appetite, nausea, and diarrhea. However, most people find it easy to enjoy CBD without any issues.
One area of concern is if you take other medications, especially ones metabolized in the liver. CBD metabolizes in the liver, so it may not interact well with other medications or drugs, including alcohol.
It is important to talk to your doctor if you’re considering regular CBD use.
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