CBD Oil: A Hot Topic. But Why Is it Used, and Is it Safe?
May 31, 2019
CBD oil is the common name given to cannabidiol, a cannabinoid found in cannabis plants, including marijuana and hemp. Cannabis has been used medicinally around the world for centuries — as early as 2900 BC. Today, CBD is extracted from cannabis plants and added to oils, mixed into body creams and cosmetics, and incorporated into candies.
CBD is different from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the main active component in marijuana. While THC is known to have psychoactive effects that make people feel high, like increased heart rate and slower reaction time, CBD does not cause a high or have any of these psychoactive effects. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Drug Enforcement Agency tell us that marijuana is addictive. But according to the World Health Organization, CBD does not elicit effects that indicate abuse or dependence, meaning that it does not show signs of being an addictive substance.
Scientists are conducting numerous research trials to explore and confirm the therapeutic effects of CBD. Currently, many individuals use CBD to treat a number of conditions, some of which are discussed below.
In 2018, the FDA approved a purified CBD oral solution for the treatment of two rare pediatric (childhood) seizure syndromes: Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. In recent studies, CBD oil has shown to decrease the frequency of convulsive (previously called ‘grand-mal’) seizures in individuals diagnosed with Dravet syndrome and decrease the frequency of atonic (or drop) seizures in individuals diagnosed with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, compared to placebo treatment.
Moreover, scientists have discovered how CBD helps relieve pain. The body contains an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that has cannabinoid receptors that interact with CBD. The ECS is involved in regulating hormones in numerous systems of the body, including:
CBD interacts with the ECS to relieve symptoms associated with numerous conditions, including epilepsy, anxiety, and chronic inflammation.
Anxiety is a worldwide mental health issue — it’s the sixth largest contributor to global disability according to the World Health Organization. Anxiety is typically treated with prescription medications, but these oftentimes come with unwanted side effects, like nausea, weight gain, and reduced sexual desire. Moreover, some medications used to treat anxiety, like benzodiazepines, can be addictive. Multiple studies are showing that CBD reduces anxiety. A recent study published in 2019 in The Permanente Journal showed that CBD reduced anxiety and helped improve sleep in adults while being well tolerated.
Are There Any Side Effects Associated With CBD?
CBD is generally well-tolerated, but some people have experienced some side effects. So far, documented side effects associated with CBD include:
-Drowsiness and/or fatigue
CBD can also Interact with certain medications, including blood thinners. Before taking CBD, it’s important to consult with your doctor about the safety of CBD and to avoid any unwanted interactions with your current medications.