CBD or cannabidiol oil is obtained by extracting a chemical compound called cannabidiol from the stem, leaves, and flowers of hemp plant. CBD is one of 80 cannabidiols in hemp plant along with THC, cannabigerol and cannabinol. 

The oil is prepared by various methods ranging from infusion and distillation to extraction in liquid solvents. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), CBD products should be obtained from the hemp plant and should not contain more than 0.3% THC to be legal. India currently follows the same guidelines as the US. 

CBD is often confused with THC and marijuana. However, unlike THC, CBD does not produce a "high" and CBD is obtained from the hemp plant which is a close relative of the marijuana plant. In fact, CBD has several pharmacological properties including a reduction in pain and inflammation. The FDA has approved the use of a purified form of CBD oil for the treatment of epilepsy.

However, since not much is known about the oil or CBD, it is best to use it only under the guidance of an experienced medical practitioner. 

  1. Health benefits of CBD oil
  2. How to use CBD oil
  3. Side effects of CBD oil
Doctors for CBD oil

CBD is mainly used for the treatment of seizure disorders in children, including for Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome (a type of epilepsy) that can not be treated through other methods. The exact mode of action of the compound is not known but it is indicated that CBD interacts with cannabinoid receptors present in the central and peripheral nervous system. 

Here are some other health benefits of CBD oil.

CBD helps relieve pain and inflammation

CBD is widely used as an analgesic for relieving various kinds of pain ranging from arthritis to neuropathic pain and pain caused due to multiple sclerosis. Experts suggest that this increased use is in part due to the side effects of other pain-relieving drugs namely opioids and NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Several studies indicate the benefits of CBD in relieving both acute and chronic pain. 

A study published in the European Journal of Pain indicated that topical application of CBD oil can reduce both pain and inflammation caused due to arthritis. Another study done in the USA suggested that intradermal injections of CBD oil can provide relief from neuropathic pain caused due to peripheral neuropathy, a condition in which your peripheral nerves become damaged and start to malfunction. The oil was found to be well-tolerated and indicated to be an effective therapy for peripheral neuropathy as compared to the current therapies.

Read more: Home remedies for body pain

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CBD oil helps reduce anxiety

Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health disorders that affect millions of people throughout the globe. Current treatments for anxiety disorder do not have high efficacy and are often associated with side effects. However, experts suggest that CBD may be effective in managing anxiety.

Both animal and human studies show the potent anxiolytic effects of CBD. According to a study published in the journal Psychopharmacology, cannabidiol imparts an anti-panic effect by acting on serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin is a hormone associated with happiness, mood stability and a general feeling of well being. 

 A case study done at the University of Colorado School of medicine found that CBD oil helped reduce anxiety and sleep issues associated with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) in a 10-year-old girl. 

A phase three clinical trial is currently underway to test the anxiolytic effects of 200 mg and 800 mg of CBD oil capsules for the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, panic disorder and seasonal affective disorder.

CBD oil is used to treat epilepsy

The FDA approved pure CBD oil in 2018 for the treatment of Dravet syndrome (DS) and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), two types of epilepsy in children. The oil is available with the brand name Epidiolex. Several studies indicate the effectiveness of CBD oil in the treatment of epilepsy seizures

A study done on about 214 children with severe childhood-onset drug-resistant epilepsy found over 36% median reduction in monthly seizures with regular use of Epidiolex as an add on treatment. 

A double-blind placebo-controlled trial involving 120 children and teens with treatment-resistant Dravet syndrome found about 43% reduction in convulsive seizures in CBD group as compared to 27% in the placebo group. About 5% in the CBD group became seizure-free. 

CBD oil for skin problems

The anti-inflammatory effects of CBD oil are suggested to aid in relieving the pain and inflammation associated with acne. According to a study done in 2014, CBD oil helps reduce sebum production. Sebum is a waxy substance produced by the sebaceous glands in the body. It hydrates and protects the skin.

Other small studies suggest that CBD can be used for the management of various skin conditions including psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.

However, due to the absence of confirmatory evidence, it is best to consult your dermatologist before using CBD oil for any skin problem.

CBD oil may help prevent and treat type 1 diabetes

An experimental study done in Canada found that CBD can reduce pancreatic inflammation and help in the management of type 1 diabetes. According to a study done on mice, CBD administration helps preserve memory and prevent neuroinflammation associated with diabetes

However, no study has been done on the effect of CBD oil on diabetes or its associated complications so far.

Other possible benefits of CBD oil

The following are some of the benefits of CBD that are often associated with CBD oil: 

  • Research studies show that cannabidiol can help reduce dependence on opiate and heroin.
  • CBD has been suggested to be neuroprotective in action. Studies show that it can aid in the management of Parkinson’s and schizophrenia.
  • CBD inhalation is indicated to help in quitting smoking. Read more: How to quit smoking 
  • Early evidence shows that CBD may help reduce muscle contractions by about 50% in some people.
  • Several studies have shown that CBD can not only suppress cancer growth but also improve the immune response against cancer and aid in chemotherapy. 

CBD oil can be used in various ways including capsules, topical application including creams, sprays, salves and pastes. You can choose any of these forms depending on what you are using the oil for and what is your intended result. 

The dosage and frequency of administration would also vary depending on the concentration of CBD in the product. 

Consult your dermatologists to know which CBD oil product would be best for you.

According to the FDA, the limited availability of data on CBD makes it potentially unsafe for use. For instance, the long term effects of CBD intake are not known yet, How much of CBD is unsafe when taken in a single dose, if it is safe for breastfeeding women or during pregnancy. 

Additionally, CBD is indicated to have some of the following side effects:

  • CBD can interact with other medicines and may affect their activity. 
  • It can cause liver injury.
  • CBD can lead to gastrointestinal issues such as loss of appetite and diarrhoea.
  • It can cause mood changes, agitation and irritability
  • Animal studies indicate that CBD can affect male fertility.
  • When taken with alcohol, CBD may cause slow brain activity. 
  • Some people are allergic to cannabidiol. CBD allergy may lead to skin rashes, irritation or anaphylaxis. Also, CBD is contraindicated in those allergic to sesame oil.
  • CBD use can increase suicidal thoughts in those with depression, mood disorders, and suicidal behaviour. If you have any of these conditions, it is best to talk to a doctor before using CBD oil. Read more: Suicidal tendencies symptoms
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