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Cannabidiol (CBD) – Health Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects

CBD Products

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a component that is extracted from the cannabis plant. Even though it is used for several medicinal properties, they are not legal in many states in the USA. While other forms of cannabis are legally allowed in some states, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has approved the usage of Epidolex, which is the purified form of CBD oil.

Table of Contents

  • Cannabidiol – Overview
  • Where does CBD come from?
  • How does CBD oil work?
  • Legal presence
  • Benefits of CBD oil
  • Risks and Side Effects of using CBD oil
  • Special Precautions and Warnings
  • How to use CBD?

Cannabidiol – Overview

CBD or Cannabidiol is a primary constituent of the Cannabis plant. There are two primary compounds present in the Cannabis plant – THC and CBD. THC is highly psychoactive and has the probability of making you high. 

CBD is not a psychoactive substance, and hence it does not make you high when you smoke or use it in any form. CBD is extracted from the Cannabis Sativa species. CBD oil has medicinal properties as it shows some significant benefits.

Prescribed CBD is used to treat epilepsy, anxiety, pain, muscle disorders, Parkinson’s disease, Crohn’s Disease, and many other conditions. But there is no presence of scientific evidence that CBD can cure them. 

The U.S. Government passed a law in 2018 to make it legal to put hemp and hemp products to sale in the U.S. markets. But, it does not mean that all hemp products are legal. CBD can only be used as a cosmetic product and for prescribed medical treatment but not as a dietary supplement. But some states have allowed the usage of hemp products, thereby labeling them as a dietary supplement. 

Where does CBD come from?

CBD comes from a notable plant species of Cannabis known as Hemp (Cannabis Sativa). Hemp is a well-known regenerative plant in the entire world. They can grow widely without the need for water or fertilizer. They are naturally resistant to pests, and hence they do not need any pesticides or insecticides for assistance. They are used for making commercial and industrial products like clothes, food, bioplastics, biofuel, etc.

CBD oil has a high protein source to provide you all the essential amino acids for your diet. Biologically, our body should obtain critical amino acids from the diet, and taking CBD oil would be the best source. 

The FDA noted that the hemp plants are legal as per the Farm Bill, as they contain less than 0.3% of THC. Hemp farmers do not modify the plant, while some of the marijuana farmers modify the hemp plants with marijuana to suit their interests making legalization more complex.

CBD oil is extracted only from pure hemp plants and not from the bred plants. Now, let us know about the working of CBD.

How does CBD oil work?

CBS contains cannabinoids that can interact with the cannabinoid receptors in your body that form the endocannabinoid system.

There are two types of cannabinoid receptors – CB1 receptors present throughout the body, particularly in the brain, and CB2 receptors present in the immune system that affect pain and inflammation.

CBD will stimulate the CB1 receptors inducing the body to produce its endocannabinoids. According to some trusted sources, CBD also influences the non-cannabinoid receptor, especially the 5th serotonin receptor that can help treat psychotic disorders and other mental disorders and pain.

Legal Presence

The legal status of CBD and other cannabinoid products is still complex. The THC compound found in marijuana was considered illegal to consume, but in 2016, medical marijuana law allowed prescription-based usage. This impacted the law for CBD, in which the law in 2018 allowed the usage of CBD as a cosmetic product than a dietary supplement. 

It should be remembered that the FDA had not yet approved non-prescription CBD products. So people can use CBD oil only by prescription medication. You need to check the CBD law in your state before taking CBD.

Benefits of taking CBD oil

CBD may be beneficial to your health in various ways. Some of them are discussed below.

  1. Reduces inflammation – According to a 2018 study, it is found that CBD has properties that reduce inflammation by stopping the release of compounds that creates inflammation. 
  2. Drug Withdrawal – Cannabinoid gives the relaxing effect that helps you to reduce craving during the drug withdrawal. CBD also assists in opioid disorders.
  3. Epilepsy – After years of research and successful outcome, the FDA approved the use of Epidiolex in 2018. They are approved for disorders like Dravet syndrome, Lennox-Gestout syndrome, Parkinson’s disease, etc.
  4. Alzheimer’s disease – According to some studies, researchers says that CBD oil helps people to retain their memory and recognize familiar faces. Some researchers find that combined usage of THC and CBD would be the best bet for Alzheimer’s disease.
  5. Fights cancer– As CBD has the property to suppress the compounds that are responsible for inflammation, research and studies found that they can prevent the spread of some kinds of cancer.
  6. Anxiety disorders – While THC compound can elevate anxiety, CBD reduces anxiety and depression by providing the individual a relaxing and calming feel. 
  7. Type-1 diabetes – Type-1 diabetes is caused when the immune system attacks the pancreas and creates inflammation. CBD helps to reduce inflammation, thereby controlling and managing the immune system.

These are the prime areas where CBD benefits to improve the health of the individual. Other medical benefits include 

  • Arthritis or joint pain.
  • Anxiety and depression.
  • Sleep disorder.
  • Migraine.
  • Cluster and other headaches.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder. (PTSD)
  • Nausea.
  • Multiple sclerosis. (M.S.)
  • Lung conditions.

Risks and Side Effects of using CBD oil

  • Damage to the liver.
  • Interacting other drugs and alcohol.
  • Lack of attentiveness and alertness can make routine tasks dangerous.
  • Lack of appetite and gastrointestinal problems.
  • Mood swings and irritation, and irritability. 
  • Impotence and lack of sexual drive in males.

Special Precautions and Warnings

You should keep yourself away from your CBD medications if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. CBD products might be contaminated, and taking them might affect your fetus or infant.

People who have liver diseases might be careful before taking CBD. You should get your doctor’s recommendation or suggestion before taking CBD.

Even though CBD medication is safe for children above the age of 1 year, it is to be taken with utmost care because it is not proven good for children. As a matter of precaution, you can use home based drug test kits to track the levels of CBD in your body while taking CBD medications.

How to use CBD?

You cannot smoke Cannabis sativa even if you are medically prescribed. There are specific ways to use CBD. Some of the known methods are

  1. Taking them along with food and drink
  2. Using a pipette or a dropper.
  3. Massage the paste to the skin.
  4. Taking in as capsules or tablets.
  5. Spray it under the tongue.

The dosage may vary as per the body weight, the concentration of the product, and the reason behind taking the product.

Final words

Cannabidiol might have enormous benefits and positive effects, but if abused, it also can make the person addictive creating severe side effects. As per the laws in the United States, you should take CBD as per prescription and promote a peaceful society.


More on this topic:

The Reasons Why CBD Has Gotten So Popular

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