Cannabidiol (known as CBD) is growing in popularity. The stigma around it is dissolving as it makes its way into mainstream pharmacies. But, what is this oil and in what ways can it make your life better?
Read our ultimate guide to CBD oil to get informed and start enjoying the many advantages yourself.
What Is CBD Oil?
Cannabinoids are compounds found in the human body, as well as many plants. CBD is one of the 120 compounds under the umbrella term. People most often link cannabinoids to cannabis.
However, unlike its sibling compounds, primarily THC, CBD produces no psychoactive effects or ‘highs.’ The reason for this is that it affects different receptors in the body.
Your body has an endocannabinoid system, which impacts many bodily functions – including pain, sleep regulation, and the immune system. When CBD enters your body, it boosts the use of the already existing endocannabinoids.
Itself, it does little to the system, but it regulates how it works. Mainly, it inhibits or facilitates the absorption of certain chemicals, which is the reason behind its advantages.
Hemp Oil vs. CBD Oil
Although this distinction is of no crucial importance, many people mix up hemp oil with CBD. To get you fully informed, we found it appropriate to clarify.
First of all, both oils come from the Cannabis Sativa plant, which comes with its dose of THC. Hemp oil comes from the leaves, seeds, and petals of the hemp plant. What’s the difference between Cannabis and Hemp, you ask?
The answer lies in the THC content. Everything below 0.3% is hemp, and above, we have marijuana. Thus, neither CBD nor hemp oil will cause a ‘high’ connected to THC. Instead, they will influence your endocannabinoid system.
In essence, the only difference lies in the extraction of the two substances. Hemp oil comes only from the hemp plant, while CBD oil may originate from a variety of plants.
Types of CBD Oil
As we mentioned earlier, you can get CBD oil from several plants. Besides, the processes of extraction and filtration have several levels, with different products as end goals. As a result, there are several terms under the ‘CBD oil’ umbrella. Let’s take a look.
CBD From Marijuana
Besides the cannabis plant, we can also get CBD oil from marijuana. In that case, the final product is referred to as cannabis oil. However, it contains THC, causing a psychological effect.
Raw vs. Concentrate
The result of the first stage of extraction from the hemp plant is the raw hemp extract. It’s then put through a series of processes, removing wax and chlorophyll. As a result, we get a varying range of CBD oil purity, known as concentrates.
Cannabis contains another compound – called terpenes – which gives the color and distinct scent to the oil. Raw oil comes with terpenes as well as other compounds. So, raw oil is also named full-spectrum oil.
This category is similar to the previous one. The difference lies in the fact that in broad-spectrum CBD, all trace amounts of THC had been extracted.
When a broad-spectrum oil goes through some filtration, it loses a certain number of its compounds. It retains a high concentration of CBD, though, giving it the name Rich.
The next stage of filtration leads to CBD isolates. In this case, you get a product without color and scent, which is then used as an additive of other products.
Finally, products infused with isolates or any other type of concentrates are called CBD-infused products. Watch the labels to see if you’re getting pure CBD or full-spectrum oil.
Benefits of CBD Oil
The next thing you ought to know is what CBD oil can do for you. Here are six areas where this oil helps according to current research.
Pain and Inflammation
People have been using marijuana to treat pain for many years. Scientists have recently discovered that CBD is the component responsible for this effect.
CBD impacts the activity of endocannabinoid receptors. Specifically, it reduces inflammation by interacting with neurotransmitters. It’s most often used to treat pain related to arthritis and multiple sclerosis, but it can help your joint aches and injuries, too.
Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health illnesses today. Many take medication, which comes with a plethora of side-effects and may even cause addiction.
Studies showed that CBD could help handle anxiety, PTSD, and insomnia. These effects occur due to the ability of the oil to influence the receptors for serotonin.
CBD helps reduce symptoms related to cancer, as well as side-effects of cancer treatment, such as nausea, vomiting, and headaches.
Moreover, some test-tube experiments showed that CBD might help fight cancer cells. More research is necessary before we can make cancer-curing claims, though.
Another common condition, acne is the bane of many people’s self-esteem. CBD oil may help reduce acne thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Besides, some studies suggest that it may reduce sebum production. Sebum is closely linked to breakouts.
One of the most prominent possible CBD uses lies in treating neurological disorders – including epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. It seems promising due to the fact the oil can act on the endocannabinoid system.
Researchers are yet to prove the effectiveness of CBD in treating this type of issues. Still, current evidence suggests that it reduces not only the symptoms but also the progression of some neurological disorders.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure may lead to stroke, metabolic syndrome, and heart attack. The assumption is that CBD lowers blood pressure thanks to its anxiety-reducing properties.
Are There Side-effects?
Unfortunately, every coin comes with a flip side. Even something as natural as CBD oil may lead to adverse reactions in some people. Luckily, though, these are, in most cases, marginal. Studies marked the following:
- Fatigue and drowsiness
- Weight fluctuations
- Changes in appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Mood changes
- Dry mouth
Not only are these not severe, but they are rare as well. However, CBD may also interact with other medication. So, if you take regular medication, you should consult your doctor first.
This holds especially if your medication comes with a ‘grapefruit warning.’ Similarly to the fruit, CBD may interfere with your liver enzymes, leading to inflammation and damage of the organ.
How to Take CBD Oil?
As you saw earlier, CBD oil comes in many forms. There are also various products on the market infused with this substance. Let’s take a look at the most common ones.
Edibles are an excellent way for beginners to try CBD oil. There are many kinds available – gummies, truffles, mints; you name it. If you’re going for a broad- or full-spectrum oil, these will help mask the taste.
When it comes to consumption, CBD will be partially broken down by your liver and digestive tract. It takes up to two hours for the oil to take effect, and you will end up absorbing only up to 30 percent of the substance.
As the name suggests, you put a sublingual under your tongue to absorb it. If you’re looking to avoid sugar and other additives, this type is a great alternative. They come in the form of sprays, oils, and drops.
This type of ingestion preserves more of the substance and leads to faster results.
Topicals are applied directly to your skin through lotions, creams, balms, and patches. You’ll benefit most from this method if you’re using the oil for treating localized pain and skin conditions.
Topicals provide concentrated relief. However, due to many skin membranes, go for those with high amounts of the substance and be generous when you apply it.
As with marijuana, there are cannabis flowers high in CBD that you can smoke in a joint. Alternatively, you can add CBD oil in a vaporizer and smoke it that way.
The benefits of this method lie in the fact that CBD goes straight in your bloodstream. You will absorb more substance than with other methods, and feel the effects in a matter of minutes.
Keep in mind that both smoking and vaping cause damage to your health, which may be counterproductive.
If you decided to give this substance a shot, there are several things you should keep in mind – primarily, the serving size. The ideal size differs for everyone. It depends on the type of product you choose, your genetics, sex, weight, and more.
Some products come with suggested serving sizes, but those are general and may end up being too low or too high for you. Also, the dosage differs depending on your reasons for taking it.
Also, some products contain much more significant amounts of CBD than others. Besides, if you go for broad- or full-spectrum, you will feel the effects sooner.
CBD is non-toxic, which means you technically can’t take too much of it. Yet, going over the top with your dose may relax you too much to tackle your everyday tasks.
Below, we’ll outline some general guidelines for you to follow for a more pleasant experience.
It’s a good idea that your first few serving sizes are lower than your ideal serving size. That way, you will be able to gauge how your body reacts to the oil. A useful rule of thumb is to start with 1mg per 20 pounds.
Increase the Serving Size Gradually
If the low dose goes well, but lacks the effects you were going for, double it. Then wait a few days before increasing it again if the results aren’t there yet. On the other hand, if you start feeling the side-effects as you increase your dosage, start lowering it.
Start at Night
Your first few tries might be best before your bedtime. Remember, CBD may make you drowsy. So, if you experience that side-effect, you won’t have to suffer through it during the day – you will fall asleep more quickly.
If you find out that it doesn’t cause sleepiness, continue taking it according to your needs. However, if your eyelids feel heavy each time you ingest it, keep using it before bedtime.
Don’t Change Products
Consider different types of products, choose one, and then stick to it for a while. That way, it will be easier to determine the effects that CBD has on your body. Also, determining your serving size of a single product is much easier if you don’t switch back and forth.
Choosing the Right Product
At this point, you may be wondering how you should know which product to pick. There are four questions for you to answer before you decide on the product or more products that are right for you.
If you’re looking to boost your general wellness, go for one of the methods that get CBD into your system. You won’t be consuming as much, but it will affect your overall system.
For those using it to treat specific conditions, you need to select products carefully. Conditions such as, eczema, acne, and joint pain pair best with topicals. If you’re tackling issues with sleeping, buy a product enhanced with melatonin.
Depending on your lifestyle, you will find some products much more convenient than others. Besides, some are better for traveling, and some more discreet. Your reasons may even boil down to personal preference.
If you travel a lot, go for capsules. If you are a smoker or a vaper, this method will feel most natural. Edibles are great if you need to be stealthy when it comes to taking the substance.
This consideration ties back to your reasons for taking CBD. Again, if you’re going for overall health, you won’t mind that edibles take two hours to become active in your system. Treating specific pains, handling anxiety, or falling asleep ask for quicker impact.
Bioavailability refers to the percentage of CBD in the product that makes its way into your bloodstream. It depends both on the product and the method you’re using.
As the oil isn’t very cheap, go for value. Get products with higher concentration, which ensure that you get enough substance.
The Bottom Line
CBD oil can be fantastic for treating a wide range of health problems. Even though it’s completely natural, it would be best that you consult a specialist before you start taking it. The main reason behind this is that the products still aren’t entirely regulated.
Talking to a doctor will ensure you avoid the rabbit hole of poorly advertised, ineffective products. CBD oil can make a lot of difference to your overall quality of life – as long as you’re smart about it.
After reading our ultimate guide to CBD oil, we’re sure you’re on the right track. However, if you have more questions, visit Cherry’s FAQ page. Answers are a click away!
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