What We Know About CBD Oil

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CBD oil has risen in popularity over recent years as more research is released. Patients and providers are both interested in learning more about its uses, side effects, and benefits, and so far, controlled studies and anecdotal evidence have given us plenty to get excited about. 

Still, when a product becomes so popular so quickly, curiosity and caution are both appropriate. Before deciding whether you’d like to try it yourself, find out what we know (and don’t know) about CBD oil.

CBD Oil vs Marijuana

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Image via Flickr by elsaolofsson

CBD comes from the same type of plant as marijuana. CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol, a compound that can be extracted from the leaves or flowers of cannabis plants and combined with a carrier oil to create CBD oil. Marijuana, on the other hand, is created by drying the flowers of the cannabis plant. 

The key difference between marijuana and CBD oil is the presence of the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Although some CBD products do contain THC, the concentration of THC must be less than 0.3%, which is not enough to induce a high. As a result, according to the World Health Organization, CBD does not carry the same risk of abuse or dependency that we associate with marijuana.

Benefits and Uses of CBD Oil

The uses and effectiveness of CBD are still being studied, but the product may have therapeutic benefits for those suffering from the following:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Anxiety
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Depression
  • Diabetic complications
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Hypoxia-ischemia injury
  • Infection
  • Inflammatory bowel and Crohn’s diseases
  • Inflammatory diseases
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Psychosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

The FDA has approved one CBD product, Epidiolex, for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox Gastaut syndrome (LGS), Dravet syndrome (DS), and tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). Although LGS and DS do not typically respond to traditional anti-seizure medications, CBD has often been effective at reducing or eliminating seizures in children suffering from these forms of epilepsy.

Side Effects of CBD Oil

Like grapefruit juice, CBD oil can increase the levels of certain medications in your blood. Because of this, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor before you start using CBD oil to make sure that it won’t interact with any of the medications or supplements you’re already taking. Beyond this risk, the most common side effects of CBD include nausea, diarrhea, decreased appetite, irritability, agitation, fatigue, drowsiness, and dry mouth.

How to Get CBD Oil

Those wondering how to get CBD oil should have no problem finding it online. You may also find CBD products locally in brick-and-mortar stores. Availability may depend on your state’s laws regarding CBD. You do not need a prescription to purchase CBD oil.

Despite all of the research that has been conducted, some questions remain unanswered. Still, what we do know about CBD oil suggests that it could be a safe and effective way to treat a variety of symptoms and conditions. If you’re not sure whether CBD is a good fit for you, try talking to your doctor for their recommendations.

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