CBD Benefits and Risks
What is CBD oil?
CBD is one of many compounds, known as cannabinoids, in the cannabis plant. Researchers have been looking at the possible therapeutic uses of CBD. CBD oils are oils that contain concentrations of CBD. The concentrations and the uses of these oils vary.
Is CBD marijuana?
Marijuana contains both THC and CBD, and these compounds have different effects. Until recently, the best-known compound in cannabis was delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), but now we have found ways to extract CBD without the THC content. Some CBD products still have traces of THC (below 0.3%), and others are completely THC-free.
THC creates a mind-altering "high" when a person smokes it or uses it in cooking. This is because THC breaks down when we apply heat and introduce it into the body.
CBD is different. Unlike THC, it is not psychoactive. This means that CBD does not change a person's state of mind when they use it. However, CBD does appear to produce significant changes in the body, and some research suggests that it has medical benefits.
How CBD works
The human body produces certain cannabinoids on its own. It also has two receptors for cannabinoids, called the CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors. THC connects to CB1 receptors, and originally it was thought that CBD connects to CB2 receptors, however, it appears that instead of connecting directly, it encourages the body to use more of its own cannabinoids. CB2 receptors are more common in the immune system and affect inflammation and pain.
So most people that swear by CBD, will use it for pain relief, as an anti-inflammatory and as a natural alternative for opioids. Of course the science on this is still new, and therefore is bombarded with controversy, theories and false statements.
Personally, I can say that I have seen a dog's tumor disappear, with use of drherb-al.com pet rescue oil tincture and that was enough for me. Since then, I have given multiple friend's pets the tinctures to help with pain and inflammation. They all told me they saw their pets doing better. While it's not proven what CBD can do, the testimonials are piling up.
CBD may benefit a person's health in a variety of ways.
Natural pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties
Some people believe that CBD offers a natural alternative to opioids or over the counter drugs. Authors of a study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine found that CBD significantly reduced chronic inflammation and pain in some mice and rats. The researchers suggested that the non-psychoactive compounds in marijuana, such as CBD, could provide a new treatment for chronic pain
Some researchers have found that CBD may even prove to combat cancer. The researchers also noted that the compound tends to suppress the growth of cancer cells and promote their destruction. Authors of a review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found evidence that CBD significantly helped to prevent the spread of cancer. They pointed out that CBD has low levels of toxicity. They called for further research into its potential as an accompaniment to standard cancer treatments.
Quitting smoking and drug withdrawals
Some promising evidence says that CBD use may help people to quit smoking. A pilot study published in Addictive Behaviors found that smokers who used inhalers containing CBD smoked fewer cigarettes than usual and had no further cravings for nicotine. The researchers noted that CBD reduced some symptoms associated with substance use disorders. These included anxiety, mood-related symptoms, pain, and insomnia. More research is definitely necessary, but these findings suggest that CBD may help to prevent or reduce withdrawal symptoms.
After researching the safety and effectiveness of CBD oil for treating epilepsy, the FDA approved the use of CBD (Epidiolex) as a therapy for two rare conditions characterized by epileptic seizures in 2018.
In the U.S., a doctor can prescribe Epidiolex to treat:
- Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), a condition that appears between the ages of 3 and 5 years and involves different kinds of seizures
- Dravet syndrome (DS), a rare genetic condition that appears in the first year of life and involves frequent, fever-related seizures
Update: "Today, the FDA approved a purified form of the drug cannabidiol (CBD). This is one of more than 80 active chemicals in marijuana. The new product was approved to treat seizures associated with two rare, severe forms of epilepsy in patients two years of age and older."
Dr. Scott Gottlieb
Dr. Gottlieb is careful to point out that:
- The FDA have not approved the use of marijuana or all of its components.
- The association has only approved a purified version of one CBD medication, for a precise therapeutic purpose.
- The decision to approve the product was based on the results of sound clinical trials.
- Patients will receive the medication in a reliable dosage.
Doctors often advise people with chronic anxiety to avoid cannabis, as THC can trigger or amplify feelings of anxiousness and paranoia. Authors of a review from Neurotherapeutics however, found that CBD may help to reduce anxiety in people with certain related disorders.
According to the review, CBD may reduce anxiety-related behaviors in people with conditions such as:
The authors noted that current treatments for these disorders can lead to additional symptoms and side effects, which can cause some people to stop taking them.
Initial research published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease found that CBD was able to prevent the development of social recognition deficit in participants.This means that CBD could help people in the early stages of Alzheimer's to keep the ability to recognize the faces of people that they know.
Many small-scale studies have looked into the safety of CBD in adults. They concluded that adults tend to tolerate a wide range of doses well.Researchers have found no significant side effects on the central nervous system, the vital signs, or mood, even among people who used high dosages.
There is still a lack of available long-term safety data.
Also, to date, researchers have not performed studies involving children.
Side effects of Epidiolex
- liver problems
- symptoms related to the central nervous system, such as irritability and lethargy
- reduced appetite
- gastrointestinal problems
- rashes and other sensitivity reactions
- reduced urination
- breathing problems
Side effects of other uses of CBD
There is often a lack of evidence regarding the safety of new or alternative treatment options. Usually, researchers have not performed the full array of tests.
Anyone who is considering using CBD should talk to a qualified healthcare practitioner beforehand.
The FDA have only approved CBD for the treatment of two rare and severe forms of epilepsy.
When drugs do not have FDA approval, it can be difficult to know whether a product contains a safe or effective level of CBD. Unapproved products may not have the properties or contents stated on the packaging.
It is important to note that researchers have linked marijuana use during pregnancy to impairmentsin the fetal development of neurons. Regular use among teens is associated with issues concerning memory, behavior, and intelligence.
How to use
CBD is just one of may compounds in marijuana, and it is not psychoactive. Smoking cannabis is not the same as using CBD oil.
Using CBD oil is not the same as using or smoking whole cannabis.
A person can use CBD oil in different ways to relieve various symptoms.
If a doctor prescribes it to treat LGS or DS, it is important to follow their instructions.
CBD-based products come in many forms. Some can be mixed into different foods or drinks or taken with a pipette or dropper. Others are available in capsules or as a thick paste to be massaged into the skin. Some products are available as sprays to be administered under the tongue.
Recommended dosages vary between individuals, and depend on factors such as body weight, the concentration of the product, and the health issue.
Some people consider taking CBD oil to help treat:
Due to the lack of FDA regulation for most CBD products, seek advice from a medical professional before determining the best dosage.
As regulation in the U.S. increases, more specific dosages and prescriptions will start to emerge.
After discussing dosages and risks with a doctor, and researching regional local laws, it is important to compare different brands of CBD oil.