It’s likely that you’ve heard of or read about Cannabidiol (CBD) recently. In the past few years, CBD has hit the mainstream, and now it seems like you may find it almost anywhere. There are many potential health benefits of using CBD, but we’ve found that most people seem to have more questions than answers. The most common inquiries we get include, what is CBD? What are the effects? How much should I take? How do I know if CBD is safe for me? If you have found yourself asking these same questions, then this article is for you. Here we will explain exactly what CBD is, the dosage, side effects, and safety concerns. Keep reading on to learn more.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for Cannabidiol, which is a naturally occurring compound that is derived from the Cannabis Sativa L. plant. This plant and its uses have a very long and rich history that spans thousands of years. Even though the Cannabis Sativa L. plant (otherwise known as Hemp or Marijuana) had been used for its many healing properties and as material for clothing, housing, and more, it was swiftly banned in the early 1900s. Many myths and public disinformation were widespread, and by the 1930s, it was made federally illegal.
CBD-rich strains of Marijuana had been used medicinally for many years. However, it wasn’t until 1998 that Geoffrey Guy, MD, co-founder of GW Pharmaceuticals, started pioneering the use of CBD. Guy was sure that he could grow CBD-rich plants and create an extract with little or no psychoactive effects. He was successful, and eventually, other medical Marijuana labs picked up on this trend and started developing CBD-rich strains. This would eventually lead to the production of CBD compound on its own with little or no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which creates the psychoactive effects in Marijuana. Rest assured that CBD still offers many positive benefits just without the altered or “high” effect.
What are the Effects of CBD?
CBD may provide a relaxing, stress-reducing, and anxiety-reducing effect. It may help to clear your mind, help you feel more at ease, and possibly reduce chronic pain symptoms. There has also been promising research that CBD may help with depression. When users take CBD, they usually report improved mental well being, feeling happier, more social, and calmer. Since there is no THC in CBD oil extract, you may enjoy these benefits without any mind-altering effects. Also, if you’re concerned about work, drug tests only look for THC when it comes to the Cannabis sativa plant.
What are the Health Benefits of CBD?
CBD has been and is currently being extensively studied for its many health benefits. Here is just a sample of some of the incredible things CBD may be able to help with:
- Reduce Acne
CBD reduces inflammation and oil production on the face (The Journal of Clinical Investigations, 2014).
- Improve Heart Health
CBD has been shown promising results to reduce blood pressure in humans (JCI Insight, 2017). While in the study of diabetic rats with heart disease, CBD was able to help prevent heart damage and reduce oxidative stress (Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2010).
- Reduce Anxiety and Depression
Children with post-traumatic stress disorder that experienced symptoms of anxiety and insomnia were studied by researchers. They found that the use of CBD resulted in a maintained decrease in anxiety and a steady improvement in the quality and quantity of the patient’s sleep (The Permanente Journal, 2016). Medical trials completed on mice have shown that CBD is able to act on the brain’s receptors for serotonin (a neurotransmitter that helps regulate our mood). Therefore, it has been shown to have an anti-depressant effect (British Journal of Pharmacology, 2010).
- Relieves Pain
One of the most highly studied aspects of CBD is its ability to help relieve pain. This has led to discovering that CBD works to alleviate chronic pain by influencing the body’s natural endocannabinoid receptor activity and reducing inflammation during the process. In a recent controlled study, participants reported significant analgesic effects when using cannabinoids as compared to a placebo (Journal of Pain Research, 2018). Other studies have shown that CBD helps to reduce chronic pain and inflammation in rats (European Journal of Pharmacology, 2007).
How Do I Know if CBD is Safe for Me?
With all of the incredible benefits, CBD offers, you may be wondering how do I know if CBD is safe for me? Well, the answers are found within the many studies listed above. CBD oil extract is completely natural and has been shown to be well tolerated and safe in a number of research studies. The only reported side effects of CBD oil extract have been drowsiness, changes in appetite, diarrhea, and dry mouth at very high doses in a small number of users. The likelihood of side effects is less than if you were to take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
It should be noted that CBD may interact with some medications such as blood pressure medications. If your medication has a warning on it about not ingesting grapefruit or alcohol with it, then you should exercise caution in taking CBD supplements. Talk to your doctor or a healthcare professional first.
CBD is Safe for You to Use & Offers Many Benefits
CBD has been used in one form or another for thousands of years. Due to a ban on the plant that made it possible (Cannabis Sativa L.), it was kept from the public for a long time. Thankfully, the bans are now being lifted, and CBD is being studied frequently and is now available for mass consumption. The benefits of CBD include promoting mental well being, better mood, reduced stress, and feeling calmer. It has even been shown to reduce acne and may improve your overall heart health!
One of the best things about CBD is that it is all-natural and has been shown to be safe to use. Very minimal side effects have been reported, and some of this may be due to taking too much. It is suggested that you start with the recommended dosage on whatever CBD product you buy. You may always increase or decrease the dose as needed. Find what makes you feel most comfortable and relaxed. If you’re on any medications that may interact with grapefruit such as blood thinners, make sure to talk to your doctor before starting any new supplements like CBD.