CBD Oil Benefits
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Cannabis, which is a genus containing both hemp (cannabis sativa L.) and marijuana (cannabis sativa) isn't exactly new to the U.S., but the CBD industry certainly is. CBD became particularly popular because of its non-intoxicating properties and CBD oil benefits. A lot of places might advertise it as "non-psychoactive," but this isn't quite true. "Psychoactive" means that the substance affects the brain in some way. While CBD won't make you high, it most definitely has an impact on brain function, judging by its ability to help with neurological issues like epilepsy. Want to learn more, check out our tutorial What is CBD - A Beginner's Guide to CBD.
In reality, there hasn't been a ton of research done into CBD's benefits, aside from severe childhood epilepsy. Everything else is either anecdotal or in early stages of research.
Full-Spectrum vs. Isolate
In your travels to find the latest and greatest CBD oil Earth has ever known, you might come across products labeled "isolate" or "full-spectrum". There's no right or wrong choice, but if you have certain needs, then it's important to choose the type of CBD that fits you. Here's a quick rundown of what each option means, along with its advantages and disadvantages.
Full-spectrum CBD oil has gone through the extraction process without removing other key compounds. These substances, called "terpenes" are common throughout the plant kingdom. Some terpenes have their own unique benefits, while others might overlap. Nonetheless, they play a huge role in the CBD product's medical benefits. Furthermore, full-spectrum will likely contain tiny traces of THC, along with other cannabinoids. This is a good thing due to the "entourage effect". The entourage effect is a relationship between cannabinoids and terpenes. When working together, they complement each other, enhancing the overall effects of the CBD.
The only downside to full-spectrum is that it may still trigger a mild high in THC-sensitive individuals, or could cause allergic reactions in very rare instances. That being said, nobody has been severely harmed as a direct result of taking CBD.
Isolate is the polar opposite of full-spectrum. In this case, all of the terpenes and other cannabinoids are gone, leaving behind over 99% pure CBD. Despite being purer, the lack of other compounds means that there is no entourage effect. Consequently, you'll find your CBD experience limited to the universal effects of CBD alone.
This can be good or bad, depending on what you want. CBD alone isn't as all-encompassing. It's the terpenes and cannabinoids mixed in a full-spectrum product that make CBD offer such a huge range of benefits. Nonetheless, THC-sensitive people have nothing to worry about, nor is there any concern for allergic reactions.
CBD Oil Benefits
People will swear up and down that CBD treats virtually every symptom or condition in existence. But is this true? In some cases, we do have rock-solid evidence that CBD is helpful. Other claims are still in early stages of research, but show promise. But others are purely anecdotal and some experts even concluded that the placebo effect could have a part to play in some instances.
That being said, we'll go through some of the better-known benefits that were actually 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 kids with Dravet Syndrome and Lennox Gastaut Syndrome (LGS).
These conditions are known to be debilitating, leaving children basically bedridden, suffering multiple seizures per day. Conventional medications have little to no effect, nor does surgery.
CBD, however, either dramatically reduced seizure frequency and – in some cases – eliminated them altogether. This was a life-changing experience for many of the children involved.
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. So far, there's 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 arguably 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, a study was done that found a mix of THC and CBD to be effective. Regarding CBD alone, animal studies seem promising. One 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 pretty popular, as they've been shown to reduce inflammation when applied directly to the affected area.
Anxiety seems to be more and more common these days. Whether it has to do with our high-stress world or better, more frequent diagnosis is debatable. But one thing that seems fairly solid is CBD's effect on patients with this condition.
Conventional treatments are often effective, but the medications can be unpleasant. Depending on the person, side effects can be mild to non-existent 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.
A lot of patients with depression vouch for CBD as an effective way to mitigate their symptoms. Research is a bit sparse, but promising.
One study in mice showed anti-depressant effects after researchers administered CBD. Researchers believe that these effects are the result of CBD's 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 constantly deal with chronic outbreaks that require intense treatment with prescription medication.
Now, there is some evidence suggesting that CBD could offer 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, but again, researchers haven't had a chance to look into them all.
If CBD is as much of a "cure-all" as people say, 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/decreased appetite, nausea, and diarrhea. However, most people tolerate CBD without any issues. One area of concern is if you take other medications, especially ones metabolized in the liver. CBD is known to increase the blood levels of certain medicines, so it's vital to talk to your doctor if you start on CBD.