The use of marijuana and related products has been a hotly-debated topic for quite some time now, but it is finally making some serious leaps forward in the way of legalization for medicinal use. For example, according to current data in Governing magazine, marijuana has been legalized in 33 states and the District of Columbia in the United States.
However, every state legalizes marijuana under its own circumstances, and some laws and conditions are broader than others. Some states and countries only allow for oils and topical applications, which has given rise to a new trend: CBD oil or hemp oil.
While it is true that cannabidiol is an active ingredient in cannabis that has been shown to treat multiple medical conditions without the psychoactive effects of THC, we should not look over the fact that many claims about CBD oil are not entirely proven.
In this article, we will clear up some myths about CBD oil, tell you what it CAN do to help you, and explain some of the best methods to incorporate CBD into your health regimen.
What CBD CAN Do
- CBD has been approved by the FDA to treat certain forms of childhood epilepsy. There’s strong scientific evidence supporting its use on other types of treatment-resistant and refractory epilepsy, as well.
- There are enough human studies to say that CBD medicines have an anxiolytic role, and it may be effective in the treatment of anxiety disorders, especially social anxiety.
- CBD is a potential therapy for other psychiatric disorders linked to anxiety, such as obsessive-compulsive behavior and post-traumatic stress. In these instances, there have been cases where CBD helps reduce the symptoms of sleeping difficulties, as well.
- There are sufficient in vitro studies, animal trials, and some human trials on CBD to mark it as an effective therapy to control inflammation.
- CBD stands as a potential treatment of joint pain as a part of rheumatic diseases and sports-related injuries. There are not sufficient human trials, but anecdotal, pre-clinical, and in vitro studies all point to positive results in this area.
What CBD CANNOT Do
- CBD oil is not proven as an antipsychotic drug. It reduces anxiety and may improve paranoia symptoms, but it is not a treatment for schizophrenia or similar psychiatric disorders.
- CBD is not an antidepressant, and all of the scientific data about CBD and depression is based on animal models, not humans.
- CBD can be used in some instances to relieve anxiety and improve sleep, but it does not have a sedative effect, and it is not recommended as a sleep aid for insomnia patients.
Different Ways to Take CBD
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid, which is an active substance found in marijuana with no psychoactive effects. This means it offers health benefits without getting the person using it ‘high’.
CBD can be taken in multiple ways depending on the effects the person using it is going for.
When taken orally, CBD has a slower-acting, but more lasting effect, which may be ideal for those struggling with chronic pain. CBD can be taken orally in capsules, beverages, and other edible products such as candies, chocolate, and cake pops.
When taking CBD in sublingual (under-the-tongue) form, the effects work much faster, making this method ideal with heightened anxiety or sleep difficulties due to anxiety. Most CBD concentrates and tinctures are designed for sublingual use.
Inhaling CBD through a vaporizer also has a quick effect and may be ideal for those who are not interested in using edibles or sublingual products. In order to take CBD through inhalation, you need the whole plant, not just the oil. Meaning that unlike CBD isolate, the whole plant contains cannabinoids found in the hemp plant (including trace amounts of THC).
For those experiencing chronic muscle and joint pain, there are CBD gels, creams, and lotions that can reduce these symptoms. This CBD delivery method provides targeted relief while bypassing the oral route entirely.
The safety of CBD oil requires more clinical data in order to be fully understood. As mentioned above, it has been regarded as safe for epilepsy patients, but it might interfere with some anti-epileptic drugs and has been found to raise liver enzymes in some patients and cause alterations to the hormonal profile in others.
Thus, it is important to ask your doctor if you are currently taking prescription medication and/or if you suffer from liver problems and metabolic disturbances.
Cannabidiol is an interesting and effective way to get the “good stuff” out of marijuana without the side effects. However, it is not the miracle cure some advertisers claim it to be.
All clinical data should be taken into consideration before CBD companies list its benefits on their products, and more research will be needed to assess the full range of side effects in patients with chronic diseases.