Hemp (cannabis sativa L) is a plant that has been used for medicinal purposes for at least 3,000 years. However, modern scientific study is only just beginning to uncover the secrets of this remarkable plant.
Scientists are still investigating mechanisms of action, effective dosage, and the best routes of administration for each medical application, whether the goal is therapeutic or preventive.
Cannabidiol or CBD is a natural compound present in hemp. It is one of 112 cannabinoids found in the hemp plant and is one of the major components along with THC. Although it has been studied for the past two decades, research has increased in recent years due to an increasing number of studies that suggest further work is warranted to discover any potential medical benefits.
CBD oil is not yet regulated when sold as a supplement, so if you decide to take some, you should consult with a doctor who can advise on dosage, monitor your progress and help you to determine on whether your condition is improving.
CBD oil is just one of the many cannabis derivatives. It is produced by extracting cannabidiol from the cannabis plant and then diluting it with a carrier such as hemp oil, coconut oil, or olive oil.
The extraction of CBD can be performed in several ways, for example, with (BHO) butane, hexane, propane and other hydrocarbons. The problem with the use of these harmful chemicals is that if the extracted CBD is not cleaned, it leaves traces of chemicals in the oil that can be harmful to the body. The cleanest extractions are carried out with ethanol, organic ethanol and CO2.
CBD is also available in other formulations:
• Diluted in water (nano formulations)
• Plant infusions
It is preferable that the dose is determined by a physician experienced with cannabidiol, but, if self-medicating, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions. The majority of experts recommend starting your day with a dose of 2.5-5 mg of CBD and gradually increasing the dosage in 5 mg steps until the desired results are obtained.
What's in your CBD product?
Those interested in using CBD oil have a significant obstacle: according to a study conducted by Dr Ryan Vandrey of Johns Hopkins University and published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 69% of 84 products analyzed sold on the internet did not contain the amount of CBD claimed, and some products did not provide any CBD.
So be sure to check that a product has its cannabidiol analysis results available to view online before making a purchasing decision.
When purchasing CBD – whether in a physical store or online – be sure to check that the product is not psychoactive. In most European countries the legal limit is 0.2% THC. In the US and other countries, the legal limits can vary. Also be sure to check the amount of CBD the product contains. The higher the percentage of CBD, the stronger the effects will be and the less you will need to consume.
Don’t be fooled by extraordinarily cheap or misleading products and keep in mind that to produce high quality, THC-free CBD oil, high-tech is required. Be warned, when purchasing CBD oil from Switzerland or the US, it has high odds of containing more than the UK legal limit for the psychoactive compound THC, which may give you a “high” feeling (and land you in hot water with the authorities). When buying CBD online, a very safe way to verify this information is to request the results of the laboratory testing certificate. If this is not available, you should probably avoid that product.
CBD Medical Research
Many cannabinoid research studies have already been completed, and there are literally hundreds of studies currently involved in looking for clinical evidence that CBD oil can be useful for treating illnesses and disease.
Can CBD oil can help with mental health issues?
Cannabidiol research into mental illness is only just beginning. In previous studies, cannabis has been observed to help many patients to decrease their anxiety and depression levels. Cannabis oil contains CBD, THC, and a multitude of other cannabinoids. CBD alone has been shown experimentally to inhibit nerve signal transmission and modulate the activity of various neurotransmitters.
If CBD oil is proven to be useful for mental illness, then it could be extremely useful for helping mentally ill patients without having to prescribe other drugs such as benzodiazepines, whose adverse effects include agitation, insomnia, headache, and reduction of libido.
A study published in 2017 by the University of São Paulo (Brazil) determined that CBD reduces anxiety in patients that feel uncomfortable or frightened in social situations, such as public speaking.
Can CBD oil help you to sleep?
In a recent study at the University of Colorado in the U.S., CBD oil was administered to children to treat insomnia and anxiety due to post-traumatic stress. If it becomes recognised as a sleep aid, CBD could potentially be used in degenerative diseases of the nervous system such as Alzheimer's, positive results could be achieved by reducing insomnia and allowing the patient to regulate their sleep cycle.
In large doses, CBD was found to cause strong sedation, which could be described as an adverse effect. To avoid strong sedation would merely require adjusting the dosage according to the size and weight of the person.
Studies have also found that CBD helps people who fail to get adequate rest. The mild sedation effect can lengthen sleep and improve its quality.
Neutralising free radicals?
Due to its high concentration of cannabinoids, especially cannabidiol, the oil extracted from the hemp plant could potentially help to neutralise the effects of free radicals and serve as a protector against neurodegenerative diseases and brain changes such as dementia, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease. More research is required in this area.
Can cannabidiol help relieve pain?
Studies have been undertaken to discover if CBD can help reduce chronic pain. It is believed that cannabidiol works by impacting the activity of the endocannabinoid receptors, therefore reducing inflammation and also by interacting with neurotransmitters.
The ECS (endocannabinoid system) is described as a system of neurotransmitters and receptors in the nervous system. ECS neurotransmitters include serotonin and anandamide.
By interacting with the ECS, CBD oil works with us as if it were a substance produced by our body. The number of people searching for information on using CBD to alleviate chronic pain in diseases such as arthrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, multiple sclerosis, or neuralgia is increasing exponentially across the globe. Pain relief is one of the most sought-after potential benefits of this natural compound.
Does CBD oil help skin?
CBD oil has the benefit of being absorbed almost immediately through the skin, which means that compared to oral CBD products it has a much faster effect. Unfortunately, it is difficult for cannabidiol to penetrate through the deeper skin layers, so transdermal application is only suitable for localised effects.
In a laboratory setting, CBD has been shown to possess antioxidative properties. If supported by real-world human trials, CBD could be a beneficial skincare ingredient, and applying the oil directly on the skin could have a regenerative effect on the cells, thereby delaying the oxidation process that produces wrinkles and stains.
Could CBD be an alternative to anti-inflammatory medication?
Many athletes are interested in CBD as they are searching for a practical alternative to pharmaceutical medications. Cannabidiol is natural and less toxic than analgesic drugs such as ibuprofen. In addition to being natural, CBD decreases the chances of altering the liver function as commonly happens with anti-inflammatory medication. Liver damage symptoms include jaundice, abdominal pain and hepatomegaly (the increase of liver size) so if proven effective, the use of CBD oil could help prevent liver damage in patients needing high and constant doses of hepatotoxic medication.
In addition to studying hemp CBD oil for analgesic properties, CBD is also being researched to determine if it has anti-inflammatory effects that could potentially be beneficial for a wide range of diseases. Inflammation is a factor in many conditions including acne, renal fibrosis, obesity, and diabetes. In laboratory research, diabetic mice treated with CBD reduced their incidence of diabetes by 56% and significantly reduced inflammation damage to vital organs.
Could CBD be useful for complementary anticancer therapy?
Some specialised laboratory studies with animals have indicated that CBD has a direct anti-carcinogenic action: it has been found to destroy cancer cells in vitro and in one study, prevented the expression of specific genes that allow the growth of aggressive types of thoracic cancer.
However, human studies are needed to ensure that these effects are also applicable to humans. Researchers have also discovered that cannabis can help reduce the discomforts of chemotherapy which include nausea, vomiting, and pain. The side effects of chemo are often so severe that patients may decide to cease treatment. If CBD oil was found to be effective, it would be incredibly useful for cancer patients and could be responsible for removing a lot of unwanted complications.
Researchers studying patients undergoing chemotherapy found that a balanced combination of CBD and THC (cannabis oil) administered orally by spray reduced chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting significantly more than standard treatment alone.
Can CBD help prevent cardiovascular disease?
CBD has the potential to be used to prevent degenerative cardiovascular diseases because it has been found to relax blood vessels. Relaxed blood vessels mean a less restricted blood supply which could help reduce blood pressure and improve circulation. Increased blood circulation may be able to help prevent cardiac and cerebral infarctions.
Research shows that a combination of soothing, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects serves to protect the heart.
Hypertension or HTA is the main risk factor for cerebrovascular disease and one of the main elements of coronary artery disease in the elderly. The peculiarity of HTA in the elderly cannot be explained only by the high incidence and prevalence of this disease in the most advanced ages, but also by the clinical complexity related to the presence of varying degrees of comorbidity and disability. Polypharmacy (the use of multiple medications) is also correlated with a higher risk of adverse effects (inversely), as is social status and the fragility characteristics in this population.
One recent study discovered that CBD had the effect of reducing blood pressure. A follow-up survey found that blood pressure remained lower during and after the tests.
Celebrities who enjoy the effects of CBD
Among the secrets of Hollywood, it's interesting to know that many stars have voiced their opinion on CBD oil and many have even admitted that they use this cannabinoid.
Among these celebs are known figures in the world of show business including Jennifer Aniston, Olivia Wilde and Alessandra Ambrosio.
"The CBD helps with pain, stress and anxiety", said Jennifer Aniston to US Weekly, "It has all the benefits of marijuana without the high levels of THC".
"If there is something that works and this the CBD oil has taught me, there is always hope. Even for the hopeless” said Back to the Future actor Michael J. Fox, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease at age 29.
Olivia Wilde: "CBD lotion helps me relax" "I've been using this body lotion with CBD," said Olivia Wilde to the New York Times. "I recently did a play on Broadway for six months, and my body was shattered, my neck was too tight-tense. The CBD has relaxing benefits, and the idea is to avoid the use of many painkillers. "
"It helps me sleep when I'm anxious." Victoria's Secret Angel, Alessandra Ambrosio, recently revealed: "The most important thing (preparing for the Victoria's Secret Show) is to make sure you sleep eight hours the night before, but it is difficult because my mind gets anxious, so I try the CBD oil, and I think it helps”.
Will other medication affect CBD effects?
We have briefly mentioned some of the effects of CBD oil, yet it is important to note that when interacting with other drugs, its impact may increase, causing adverse effects such as sedation, nausea, diarrhoea, dry mouth, drowsiness and changes in appetite.
The side effects were noted during extensive testing in both animals and humans, with dosage and timing under medical control. So, before consuming CBD oil, you should always consult with your physician to ensure your safety and avoid potentially harmful drug interactions.
Research into the possible health benefits of CBD oil is well underway, so new therapeutic applications will inevitably be discovered for this natural remedy. While there is still plenty to learn about the effectiveness and safety of CBD, the results of recent studies suggest that it may potentially offer a safe natural alternative treatment for a wide range of health problems. CBD oil may potentially alter the course of modern medicine, and it is estimated that its use will increase over time as legalisation in the U.S. and Europe is already achieved.