Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is a natural compound derived from the cannabis plant. The discovery of CBD was more than 80 years ago, but CBD wellness benefits are only now starting to be scientifically researched as CBD is legalized in an increasing number of areas. Keep reading to discover more about CBD, including CBD oil benefits, CBD oil side effects, and more!
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring chemical in the Cannabis sativa plant, which is more commonly known as the cannabis or hemp plant. CBD acts on the cannabinoid receptors that are present in the nerve cells in the brain, spinal cord, and parts of the gastrointestinal, reproductive, and urinary tracts.
The Difference Between CBD and THC
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD are both cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Though they both work by acting on cannabinoid receptors, they differ in structure and thus cause different effects. The hemp plant is a strain of the cannabis plant that contains very low levels of THC, while cannabis plants that contain high THC content are referred to as marijuana plants.
THC binds more easily to cannabinoid 1 (CB1) receptors in the brain, which is what produces a feeling of euphoria or high. CBD, in contrast, does not bind as well, but stimulates the receptors to produce more endocannabinoids, which helps regulate many bodily functions, including sleep, metabolism, and inflammation.
Potential Benefits of CBD
CBD and wellness have gone hand in hand for many years, with evidence of the cannabis plant being used medicinally in many ancient cultures, including in China, Greece, and Egypt, among others (Crocq, 2020). The Assyrians are thought to have used cannabis externally to treat swelling and bruises and internally for depression, arthritis, and more (Zuardi, 2006).
In Indian culture, cannabis has long been considered as a divine ingredient used by the god Shiva for spiritual purposes. Cannabis has also been used as a part of ayurvedic medicine to treat nausea, anxiety, pain, and inflammation.
In the early 20th century, cannabis use for medicinal purposes declined with the advent of aspirin and various vaccinations. However, as attention is refocused on its potential therapeutic benefits, western science labs are conducting research on the potential benefits of CBD and the increasing number of uses for it.
CBD for Pain Relief
Many people with chronic pain have discovered CBD as a safer alternative for pain management compared to opioids. As many as 64% of people who use cannabis report doing so for relief from pain (Kosiba et al., 2019).
Treatment of Seizures
A specific form of CBD has been approved by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of seizures caused by epilepsy. CBD has shown promising benefits for neurological disorders, including for treatment-resistant epilepsy (O’Connell et al., 2017).
Reducing Anxiety and Psychiatric Disorders
Many CBD users cite it aids in managing their social anxiety, insomnia, or depression (Lintzeris et al., 2018). Some studies have also shown that it may help manage schizophrenia symptoms (Sarris et al., 2020). While other case studies have shown positive results for post-traumatic stress disorder and improving sleep, however, more research is needed.
CBD and IBS
CBD may be helpful for lessening the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This gastrointestinal ailment can severely impact the quality of life and does not have any effective treatments. The gastrointestinal tract has a rich distribution of endocannabinoid receptors; thus CBD offers promising therapeutic potential (Martinez et al., 2020).
Different Forms of CBD Demystified: Oil, Tinctures, Gummies, Creams…and now, a CBD Suppository!
CBD is available in many forms, from foods like gummies and chocolate to lotions, capsules, cosmetics, and oils. When it comes to CBD for wellness, a topical preparation such as CBD oil shows promise for relieving muscle and joint pain in preclinical studies, but further clinical study is needed (Fitzcharles et al., 2020). Gummies, sprays, and tinctures are designed to either be ingested or placed under the tongue, which allows CBD to enter the bloodstream and take effect.
AIMA is excited to introduce OVY Relief, our innovative, clinically tested CBD suppository designed to provide relief for period discomfort. Discover CBD with this wonderful product that works by being inserted into the vagina to act locally on the cannabinoid receptors in the reproductive tract.
Common Concerns About CBD
Since CBD is relatively new in the world of cosmetics, food, lotions, and medicine, there are many misconceptions about CBD. Here are a few of the most common.
Does CBD Cause a High or Other Side Effects?
CBD is associated with the marijuana plant, which leads people to believe that they may experience psychoactive effects from using CBD. While CBD is present in marijuana, it does not cause a high. As discussed above, it is THC, the active ingredient in marijuana that causes psychoactive effects. Furthermore, there is no evidence that CBD products cause any sort of high.
As far as other CBD side effects, it is usually well tolerated if you use the appropriate dose. However, some users of CBD have reported dry mouth, drowsiness, reduced appetite, and diarrhea.
Isn’t CBD Illegal?
The U.S. Congress passed an act in 2018 that removed hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act, which effectively made CBD that comes from hemp plants legal. There are some states which have not yet removed hemp from their lists of controlled substances, so whether CBD is legal or not depends on which state you’re in. Marijuana-derived CBD is currently illegal only in Nebraska, Idaho, and South Dakota. In some states, CBD is legal for sanctioned medical use with a special exemption, while in other states anyone is free to purchase CBD products. Be sure to check the legal status of CBD in your local area.
Is CBD Addictive?
Since CBD does not give you a high, it is not addictive. Some studies suggest that CBD could have therapeutic benefits for addictions to opioids, cocaine, and other psychostimulants (Prud’homme et al., 2015).
Can You Use CBD Oil as Lube?
Using CBD oil as lube is not recommended unless it is a CBD product specifically meant to be used as lube. This would be marketed as a CBD lubricant.
Is All CBD Created Equal?
Since CBD has become widely legalized, there has been a huge proliferation of supply. It’s important to get CBD oil from a reputable source that has proof of third-party testing to ensure the CBD contains only a negligible amount of THC, no heavy metals, no pesticides, no mold, or other undesirable contents.
Now that you know how CBD and wellness can go hand-in-hand, you can make an informed decision about how and when to use it. Discover CBD by getting it from a reputable source, start with a small amount, and experience the benefits for yourself.
Editor: Lanna Last & Thomas Sauls
Scientifically Reviewed by: Mali Meibod