Cannabidiol (CBD) is a big product these days. You have likely seen it around before, as it is in many stores and pharmacies. But what even is CBD and CBD oil? And what could it be used for?
A quick definition of CBD
To fully understand what CBD and CBD oil uses there may be, you need to understand what CBD is in general. After all, to use something properly, you will need to have a good idea of what exactly it is and where it comes from.
CBD is a member of a class of chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. You can find them in cannabis plants, including marijuana and hemp. It is a very diverse group of compounds, with over 113 different ones that have been found so far. CBD is one of the more popular cannabinoids, but there is one that is arguably more famous.
The cannabinoid that you’ve likely heard of before is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It is so famous because of its psychoactive effects. That means that it creates the inebriation, more commonly referred to as a “high,” that is often associated with cannabis plants. There has been some confusion with these cannabinoids, as people assume that all cannabinoids have the same effects. However, this is a misguided line of thought. CBD, unlike THC, is not psychoactive at all. CBD doesn’t cause any sort of high.
CBD is usually extracted from hemp rather than marijuana. Much like the confusion with THC and CBD, many people assume that marijuana and hemp are different words for the same thing. However, this isn’t true. While they are both cannabis plants, hemp and marijuana are different variations of cannabis. Hemp is attractive to CBD manufacturers because it has low levels of THC and high levels of CBD. Marijuana’s cannabinoid levels are quite different. It has high levels of THC and varying levels of CBD. Most CBD product manufacturers also use hemp over marijuana because it is federally legal in the United States. In 2018, hemp was federally legalized, making it easier for states to legalize it themselves (most of which have). Marijuana, on the other hand, is still federally illegal. A handful of states have legalized the cannabis variation, some only for medicinal purposes and others for recreational uses.
What uses are there for CBD?
So far, there has been a fair amount of research that has gone into understanding what benefits CBD may have. But what exactly are these benefits, and what research backs it up? Well, let’s talk about it.
Help with anxiety
Despite CBD not being psychoactive, it is known for having one specific effect on someone’s mental state. It may be able to help its user achieve a greater sense of calm. This idea was tested by this study that had people with social anxiety try out public speaking. Some of them were give CBD and other were given a placebo. Those that were given the CBD reported feeling much more confident and comfortable when facing the nerve-wracking activity, than those who were given the placebo. This is just one study that has found similar results, suggesting that CBD may be a real comfort for people who have anxiety.
Supporting joint health
Another common area that CBD researchers are interested in, is how CBD interacts with things like inflammation, that have a negative impact on joint health. This study, as an example, wanted to test how CBD interacted with inflammation caused by oxidative stress. This form of inflammation contributes to many issues, like diabetes, Alzheimer disease, and several forms of arthritis, for example. The researchers concluded that CBD was able to greatly decrease the oxidative inflammation. This could mean that CBD could help deal with inflammation and support joint health.
There are plenty of areas concerning CBD oil for pain that need more research done. However, these two areas of study are some of the most promising. They are just a couple of examples of the many things that CBD may be able to help with. As time goes on, we are likely to learn about even more.
How to find the right amount of CBD for you
Unfortunately, you cannot know, not initially. This is because everyone has a different experience with CBD. It appears that there are few different things that could affect your experience, but there is nothing concrete yet. So, in order to know the right amount of CBD for you, you will need to experiment a little. But you need to do that carefully. But first, we need to go over what to look out for.
In general, CBD is considered safe for anyone who is over the age of 18 and is not pregnant or breastfeeding. But that does not mean that it is free of side effects. These side effects are mainly associated with taking far too much CBD. They tend to be along the lines of things like nausea, fatigue, and dizziness. While these are not normally life threatening, they are still no fun to deal with. It is best if you try to avoid them. But how do you do that?
The best way to figure out the right amount of CBD for you is by starting out low with how much you take. CBD products tend to have recommended doses listed on the label. This is usually on the lower side. You can either follow that or try to go even lower (if possible). However much you take, wait a little while after taking it to see how it feels. Remember that some products take longer than others to start working. If after a while, you do not feel any negative side effects, but still are not getting the effect you are looking for, you can try taking more CBD. This whole process can take time, so try to be as patient as possible.
It is also important that you bear in mind that CBD does not work well with all medications. That is, not all medications work right in the presence of CBD. There are certain medications that stop working entirely if taken with CBD. If you take medication and would like to start taking CBD as well, be sure to discuss it with a healthcare professional. They should know how the cannabinoid interacts with your medication.
There are a lot of incredible ways that CBD could be put to use. The main way to know how it may benefit you is to give it a try. Then you can see what everyone’s favorite cannabinoid may be able to do for you.