Cannabidiol oil, more commonly known as CBD oil has become sensationalized in the past couple of years, with people claiming it helps with everything from migraines to anxiety and more.
Maybe you have heard the claims, but are wondering:
We constructed this mega guide to help you understand everything you need to know about the benefits of CBD oil, as well as it’s uses, effects, health concerns and much more.
What is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol oil or CBD oil, is made from hemp or cannabis plants and derived into highly concentrated oils, tinctures, vape liquids, and other CBD products. The main active component in these oils is CBD, which is a cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp plants.
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that interact with cannabinoid receptors in your brain, which monitor your bodies internal production and regulation of your endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in:
- Pain sensation
CBD oil is used by many medical patients, as well as for other people on a recreational basis in order to treat with pain, mood regulation, inflammation, migraines, and for the treatment of symptoms associated with Schizophrenia, Epilepsy, and Parkinson’s.
We are still in the early stages of research and development on CBD products, so it is hard to know the true health effects of CBD yet, but scientists have made numerous groundbreaking discoveries so far, and people have found a wide variety of applications for it. This is something we will touch on later in this guide.
10 Benefits of CBD Oil
You’ve heard all the hype, but what are the real benefits of CBD oil? Let’s take a deep dive into some of the reasons people use CBD, how it helps them, and what the research has to say so far.
1. Can Be Used to Relieve Pain
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) has a major function in pain sensation and the way we deal with pain. A few major studies have shown that CBD may help to reduce chronic pain.
The way it works is by impacting the activity of your endocannabinoid receptors, which helps to reduce inflammation as well as interact with neurotransmitters in your brain, which can also help to treat pain.
One major breakthrough in the cannabis community was the release and approval by the FDA of Sativex, a drug that contains a mixture of CBD and THC which is used to help treat pain in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). A few studies have been done on this, but nothing conclusive has been found yet. Patients in the studies reported less pain, muscle spasms, and less inflammation.
Lastly, people with arthritis have also started using CBD oil for pain relief after a similar study showed positive results for pain treatment in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
It’s important to note that it is largely believed in the cannabis community that THC is an important ingredient in CBD oils that are used to treat pain – as the entourage effect is believed to produce more pronounced effects when cannabinoids work together.
2. Shows Promise in Reducing Anxiety & Depression
Millions of people around the world suffer with anxiety and depression. It comes in many forms, and can be hard to put a finger on.
Whatsmore, some of the existing medications for anxiety and depression have some harsh effects on users, can be hard to regulate and dose properly, and usually tend to make users feel pretty terrible, on top of other major health concerns with ingredients and side effects.
CBD oil may be a solution to some of these more extreme drugs that are being used to treat anxiety and depression. While research is still being done to find out CBD’s true ability to reduce anxiety and depression, a few preliminary studies have shown promise, notably:
- Treatment of anxiety for men
- Treatment of anxiety and insomnia for children with PTSD
- Treatment of depression in animals
As of right now, there are not more than a handful of studies that document the benefits of CBD oil for treating anxiety and depression. But, things are taking a step in the right direction, and more research is being conducted.
It is noteworthy that many people who use CBD for anxiety and depression report that it is very helpful and effective, with relatively few side effects.
3. May Also Help to Fight Acne
Acne is never fun to have, and just about all of us have gone through a stage in our lives where acne plagued us and haunted us in school photos.
For some people, acne is more severe than just popping a few zits in the bathroom before going to your next class. For people with chronic or severe acne, finding treatment can be difficult, expensive, painful, and potentially dangerous to your skin and health long term.
A few preliminary studies have shown a lot of promise for using CBD oil to fight acne, with major findings that include:
While these studies have only been conducted in labs so far on isolated specimens, and need human results to prove their efficacy, CBD oils have shown a lot of potential for both preventing and treating acne.
The reason they have shown positive effects is by limiting the overproduction of sebum, providing anti-inflammatory effects, and preventing cytokines from activating, which are an important part of acne production.
4. Can Be Used to Treat Cancer Related Symptoms
For anyone who has gone through cancer treatment or who is currently dealing with it, one of the most difficult parts is dealing with the symptoms of cancer treatment like chemo.
Cancer patients in recovery often experience terrible side effects including:
- Chronic Pain
- Appetite Loss
There are many other symptoms, but these are some of the more difficult to deal with that CBD oil may be able to help with according to new studies.
In a recent study, doctors took 177 patients who did not experience positive results from other pain treatment options, and gave them daily doses of CBD oil.
5. May Benefit Heart Health
For people with high blood pressure, CBD has shown some good results for being able to lower resting heart rate, as well as heart rate during strenuous activities.
In fact, a recent study showed that a 600mg dose of CBD oil helped to lower resting blood pressure in healthy men.
This study also revealed that during a stress test, the single dose of CBD oil also helped these men to experience a smaller blood pressure increase than normal.
There have also been strides made to show the benefits of CBD oil for people with heart disease, particularly because of its anti-inflammatory properties, and its ability to reduce cell death and stress levels through the antioxidants it contains.
A preliminary animal study has been done in order to learn more about the potential benefits of CBD oil for people with heart disease, studying mice that had diabetes and heart disease. Giving them CBD oil was shown to prevent heart damage and reduce stress levels over time.
Overall, more research needs to be done on humans, but CBD has shown a lot of promise for helping people with heart disease, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular problems because of its ability to reduce stress, cell death, inflammation, and blood pressure.
6. Has Shown Neuroprotective Properties
One of the most common uses for CBD oil as medicine is the treatment of neurological disorders like Multiple Sclerosis and Epilepsy.
In fact, it has shown so much promise that two FDA approved drugs containing CBD now exist for the treatment of neurological disorders:
- Sativex – This THC and CBD mixture is an oral spray that has been shown in studies to help reduce muscle spasms and chronic pain in people with Multiple Sclerosis. It has shown particularly strong results with patients who did not experience alleviation of these symptoms from other medications.
- Epidiolex – This oral CBD oil was recently approved by the FDA after clinical studies which showed that when taken daily, it helped people with epilepsy and other seizure disorders to reduce the frequency of their seizures by an average of 36.5%.
These medicines, as well as CBD oil, have also been shown in other studies to reduce seizures and muscle spasms for people with a number of other conditions, including Dravet syndrome in children.
This medicine is not entirely perfect yet, but is working towards a solution that can help people with these neurological disorders deal with their symptoms regularly, with less harm to their body than traditional medicine. Some side effects of these treatments included nausea, fever, and fatigue.
Even more impressive is the fact that CBD has also shown promise in clinical studies for the treatment of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s:
- Parkinson’s – A few studies have shown that CBD oil treatment of patients helped to improve their sleep quality and overall quality of life while administering 75mg of CBD daily in the form of capsules.
- Alzheimer’s – Animal studies of mice with Alzheimer’s disease has shown that CBD showed evidence of preventing further cognitive decline. One study also showed that CBD helped to reduce inflammation and neurological degeneration that is associated with the disease.
Overall, research is still in the early stages of discovery for CBD as a treatment for neurological disorders. But, it has shown promise for people with some severe conditions, and is beginning to become a supplement people are considering as a method of prevention for cognitive decline in their senior years. More data is needed, but it seems we are moving in the right direction towards more holistic medicine with the introduction of CBD.
7. Shows Anti-Tumor Effects
On top of being a great medication for people suffering from cancer symptoms and the harsh conditions of cancer treatment, CBD oil has also shown a lot of promise when it comes to treating and reducing tumor growth.
These studies have only been done in test tubes and on animals so far, but what scientists have found will undoubtedly spur research in human subjects over time.
In these studies, CBD was shown to inhibit the progression (slow the further growth) of a few types of highly deadly cancers including:
This is quite the breakthrough, and the medical community is certainly waking up to the healing properties of CBD through clinical research and application.
8. Potentially Useful for Substance Abuse Treatment
For millions in America suffering with substance abuse, there are not many affordable and practical methods of seeking help that allow you to maintain your normal schedule.
CBD may one day become an alternative to many substance abuse programs, medications, and treatments.
Initial studies have shown that CBD may have therapeutic properties on the following types of substance abuse:
As of right now, 14 studies have been done in this respect, 5 on humans, and 9 on animals. Of these studies, there have been a few that have shown promise on using CBD in daily doses to reduce the want and interest in using these substances in users.
For now, the studies are still inconclusive and need more evidence to prove CBD as a treatment for substance abuse, but initial research and online reviews of satisfied users show promise.
9. Has Shown Promise for Treating Schizophrenia
For people with Schizophrenia and other psychological disorders, it can be tough to find a medication that actually works without extreme side effects that prevent you from living your normal life.
Researchers have been studying the abilities of CBD to help with schizophrenia, and the results they have found are quite impressive.
Studies show that CBD counteracts psychotic symptoms and cognitive impairment associated with the use of THC, which has been known to cause minor psychosis.
This same study concluded that CBD treatment is a safe, effective antipsychotic compound that shows promise in the treatment of psychosis, schizophrenia, and similar conditions.
More research needs to be done in order to draw more conclusions, but there has certainly been a lot of evidence in these studies to suggest CBD may be a great solution for people suffering from these conditions.
10. Reducing Inflammation
One of the most notable benefits of CBD oil to date is its ability to reduce inflammation in many parts of the body.
These anti-inflammatory effects have shown up in studies of arthritis, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer symptoms, and more.
Overall, there is a lot of scientific evidence to suggest that CBD is an effective way to reduce inflammation, which can help with pain management, symptoms of inflammatory diseases, and overall mood in patients.
While more studies are still being done to uncover the true healing properties of CBD, there is definitely enough evidence to get behind it as an anti-inflammatory agent.
What Are the Side Effects of CBD Oil?
There are a few notable side effects of CBD oil, such as:
- Slight Anxiety
Most people do not report these side effects at lower doses. As of right now, most of these side effects are known to be slightly mild in most users.
How Does CBD Make You Feel?
Despite what many people think, CBD is not psychoactive like THC is. What this means is that there are no real effects on your ability to perceive the world around you as you normally would. In other words, you don’t get that “high” feeling from it.
There are some types of CBD that contain THC – called full spectrum CBD, that do give this high effect. However, companies are required by law to label their batches with accurate information about dosing, so you should always be able to easily tell what you are buying.
Overall, CBD has very mild effects, and in small doses, most people hardly notice any difference in how they with the exception of minor fatigue, and the positive benefits it brings.
Is CBD Oil Legal?
Yes. As long as it is derived from a hemp plant with less than 0.3% THC, CBD oil is legal federally in all 50 United States, however, each state has its own legislation regarding CBD, which can make for some confusing grey areas in the law. Essentially, as long as you are purchasing CBD oil from a reliable, trusted source that is registered federally to produce and sell CBD oil from hemp plants, you have nothing to worry about.
To learn more about CBD Laws in the United States, check out this comprehensive guide. It breaks down CBD oil laws for each state in an easy to understand way, and answers tons of other questions.
Is CBD Oil Safe?
So far, there is not enough evidence to give a true answer to this question. What we can say for sure is that there has been a lot of progress made in CBD research that has shown some particularly impressive results for its medical uses. Some studies that particularly stand out are:
It is also important to note that the FDA does not yet regulate or approve CBD products as supplements, or edibles. This means that it is difficult to tell whether they are labeled properly, and also hard to tell if there are not other harmful chemicals in them. However, most trusted CBD brands on the market uphold high standards of accuracy with their labeling, and with their product safety and quality.
Ultimately, there is not enough data yet to really say whether CBD is safe or not. We do know that it can be dangerous and should be avoided by mothers who are pregnant or nursing and people who are on blood thinners or other medications that are affected by citrus. For these reasons, we always recommend speaking with your doctor first before getting started using CBD oil.
Does CBD Oil Work?
It all depends. Everyone has different body chemistry, needs, ailments, tolerances, symptoms, and thousands of other factors that make us unique. At the end of the day, CBD might work for someone better than someone else. Some people may feel stronger side effects than others. Overall though, whether CBD works for you or not is ultimately determined by a few main factors:
- Your Body
Let’s take a look at each of these factors more in-depth to see how CBD oil works, and if it will work for you.
Believe it or not, taking CBD is not similar to many other daily medications or supplements. The way most of these products work is you take them once per day, where they release, are absorbed into your body, give off their effects, and are then filtered out of your body.
CBD oil, on the other hand, helps to slowly build up levels of the cannabinoid in your body, through your endocannabinoid system. This means that it can take weeks, or even months of steady daily use before you can build up the levels your body needs to help treat your symptoms.
Another important factor to note is the dosage you take. Much like medications, this is affected by your metabolism, height, weight, age, etc… The thing about CBD oil that can make it hard to dose properly is that there is not yet an approved or recommended daily dosage of CBD that is regularly accepted by doctors yet.
The recommended range based on data from studies show that 20-50mg of CBD per day displays good results, but more research is still being done. Depending on your symptoms too, you may need more CBD to get the results you are looking for.
Again, because of factors like this, we strongly suggest you speak to your doctor before trying CBD. If they give you a recommendation and say you are good to start using it, we then recommend micro-dosing and writing down your results until you are able to dial into your ideal dosage.
To learn more about how much CBD to take, check out this Ultimate Guide to Dosing CBD.
Depending on the symptoms you are experiencing, a higher dosage of CBD oil may be necessary in order to get the effects you are looking for. For instance, someone who is suffering from epilepsy or epileptic seizures may need a much stronger dose of CBD oil than someone who is simply looking to get rid of minor back pain.
Certain methods of taking CBD may be more effective for certain people than others. For instance, there are many ways to use CBD, such as:
- Vape Oils
Each one takes a different amount of time to be absorbed by the body, and is absorbed in different ways. On top of that, some have longer-lasting effects, while others wear off more quickly.
To learn more about the many different types of CBD products, check out this Beginner’s Guide to CBD Products.
As mentioned earlier, CBD oils are still not yet regulated by the FDA, which means there is a lot of room for some less than reputable brands to cut their products with additives that may be harmful to you, and may also make your CBD oil less effective.
The best way to avoid these common problems is to strictly purchase from trusted CBD brands. Our mission is to help provide you with the best CBD products that are safe, quality, and reliable. That’s why our online CBD shop only features trusted brands that have been advocating for CBD since day one, and who have stood the test of time in this industry, while others have come and go.
6. Your Body
Each one of us is a bit different when it really comes down to how our bodies work. Some of us are taller, faster, stronger, smaller, slower, etc… The body is a complex place full of trillions of cells, neurons, and reactions all working together every second to keep us alive.
So, it’s no wonder that your body chemistry is one of the biggest factors in whether CBD works for you or not. Usually, it’s not so much that CBD doesn’t work for someone, just that they might not be taking enough of it, or the right concentration of it for a long enough period of time to get the results they are looking for.
Again, this is where the importance of first talking to a doctor comes in. Then, when you combine that with personal experimentation (without being extreme), you can really find what works best for you.
Finally, just like any other substance, your body can in fact build up a tolerance to CBD. So, as time goes on, if you have been taking it for a long time, but you are no longer getting the same results, you may need to up your dosage in order to adjust for your body’s increased tolerance.
Alternatively, exercising and eating healthy helps to push out excess toxins and substances from your body through sweat and digestion. Perhaps adjusting your diet and exercise regiment could also help to affect your tolerance in a positive way.
How Can I Find the Best CBD Oil for My Needs?
Not sure which CBD product is best for you and your health condition? We know that natural and affordable relief with less side effects is important to you. Get started by browsing our CBD products here.
How Can I Take CBD?
There are quite a few ways to take CBD, with the most common including:
Each method has its own pros and cons, and certain people may prefer one over the others. In order to learn more about the many different ways to take CBD and the pros and cons to each way, check out this complete guide:
How is CBD Oil Different from Marijuana?
The main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana or cannabis is THC. CBD like THC is a cannabinoid, which is simply a chemical compound that affects your endocannabinoid system in your body – a system which regulates fertility, mood, pain, appetite, memory, and pregnancy.
Basically, the main difference is that most CBD oils and products do not contain THC, and if they do, it is in very trace amounts which barely allow for you to notice the psychoactive effects of the THC – that “high” feeling.
Most CBD is also derived from hemp plants, not cannabis (marijuana). Hemp plants rarely have more than about 0.5% THC content, whereas most marijuana plants these days have upwards of 20% THC content. Furthermore, by law, most CBD oil is only legal if it comes from a hemp plant that has less than 0.3% THC.
In other words, the only real similarity between CBD and marijuana is that it can come from the marijuana plant, and it works with 112 other known cannabinoids in order to interact with your ECS to help regulate certain body functions.
Should I Speak to My Doctor Before Using CBD Oil?
Yes. Even though CBD does not require a doctor’s note or prescription to purchase, we always recommend speaking to a doctor about using CBD first. There are a few common blood thinners that interact negatively with CBD oil, which can be dangerous. Also, women who are nursing and pregnant should avoid using CBD, as it can negatively impact your baby’s growth and development.
Note: We always recommend speaking with your doctor before using CBD. While the chances are you’re totally fine to use it, it never hurts to get feedback and approval from a professional before putting something new into your body.
What’s Next for CBD Oil?
The research and results for CBD oil are just getting started. Every day, new products are being produced, new standards, and new legislation is being worked on in order to react properly to the influx of CBD products on the market.
Overall, the sentiment seems positive – with lawmakers working to regulate the industry to keep consumers safe, and showing no sign of going back on their decision to make hemp and hemp oil products legal in the United States.
Clinical trials of CBD continue to show promise in pain management, cognitive enhancement, reducing inflammation, and impacting cancer patients. It is only a matter of time before we collectively get to the bottom of CBD to unlock its full healing potential.
New to CBD? Get Started Here!
So, you’re up to date on all the benefits of CBD and are eager to learn more, but aren’t quite sure where to get started. Don’t worry, these things can be a bit overwhelming. We are here to guide you through the process.
At HelpingPot, we are strong advocates of transparent and trustworthy information for all CBD users, and that is why we work hard to continually be a leader in the CBD and cannabis world, delivering in-depth content that is designed to be unbiased and fact driven.
We have created these resources to help you gets started finding the answers to your CBD questions, and finding the right CBD products for your needs: