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What Is CBD? Facts You need to Know about Medical Cannabis Oil

Listen to What Is CBD? Facts You need to Know about Medical Cannabis Oil

The popularity of medical marijuana is soaring and, among the numerous products consumers are seeking, are cannabis oils — the most popular of which is CBD. But what exactly is CBD and why is it suddenly so popular?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of 113 cannabinoids unique to the hemp plant. CBD is produced by the leaves and flowers of female hemp plants. Hemp is defined as any cannabis plants which has less than 0.3% THC by weight. Because hemp has such low THC levels, it is defined as non-psychoactive.

CBD is not psychoactive, meaning that it won’t make you ‘high’, the sensation most commonly associated with cannabis. It is, however, reported to offer a range of health and medicinal benefits, which are the main reasons behind its growing acclaim.

Cannabinoid therapy is connected to the part of the biological matrix where body and brain meet. Since CBD (cannabidiol) and other compounds in cannabis are so similar to the chemicals created by our bodies, they integrate better than many synthetic drugs.

According to Bradley E. Alger, a leading scientist in the study of endocannabinoids with a PhD in experimental psychology from Harvard, “With complex actions in our immune system, nervous system, and virtually all of the body’s organs, the endocannabinoids are literally a bridge between body and mind. By understanding this system, we begin to see a mechanism that could connect brain activity and states of physical health and disease.”

Previously viewed as an option only for the seriously ill, CBD oil is gaining traction among wellness fans, with its promise of being able to provide relief from everything from pain to depression and anxiety. But what exactly are the benefits of CBD oil and are there any associated risks?

Pain Relief

Opioid pain medications, e.g. morphine, codeine and oxycontin are highly effective for pain management, but carry a significant risk of addiction and death by overdose. Cannabinoids are not as effective as opioids for relieving acute, high-intensity pain, but may be effective for long-term pain management – either alone or in conjunction with other medications – with far less risk of dependence or accidental death.

Improve Sleep Quality

Cannabis and sleep have a complex relationship that is only now beginning to be understood by scientists. CBD tends to work well for insomnia, providing the relaxation and calm necessary for the mind and body.  

CBD, when taken at nighttime as part of a bedtime regime, produces a peaceful sleep, enabling you to switch off from the day’s restlessness.

Oral consumption is recommended as it usually lasts the whole night. Always start with a microdose to test sensitivity and increase the dosage as needed, following the recommended range, until your symptoms subside. The micro to standard dose is usually recommended to treat insomnia and sleep apnea.

Reduce Anxiety and Depression

According to a 2015 report published in the Neurotherapeutics journal, CBD oil has shown promising results as a natural treatment for both depression and anxiety, generating interest among sufferers. Looking at the results from experimental research, clinical trials, and epidemiological studies, the report’s authors found evidence that CBD may help treat generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. However, the authors caution that human-based research on CBD and anxiety is still fairly limited at this point.

If you’re considering trying CBD oil, it’s important to discuss potential side effects and adverse reactions with your physician. Because CBD oil products are mostly unregulated, there’s no guarantee that any given product contains safe or effective levels of CBD.

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