Learn About CBD Oil

I started CBD travels because of my personal experience with the oils. It’s amazing that it’s been around for thousands of years, but only now is it becoming mainstream. And I wonder if we had been more aware of it before now, that people could have used it successfully for so many of their health concerns. 

Personally, I’ve used it to help my daughter with her ADHD. As a parent, you’ll try whatever you can to help your kids be successful in life. We saw how much she was struggling to focus and we’ve been able to use the oils to help her. This is why I’ve become so passionate about learning more about the health benefits of the oils and how it can help others. 

Here’s what you need to know about CBD oils:

What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol oil, or CBD oil, is an extract of the Cannabis Sativa plant. It is used in several therapeutic processes and is gaining in popularity. Not to be confused with THC, CBD has no psychoactive effects.

One of the reasons CBD or Cannabidiol is so popular right now is because of its relationship to THC, the psychoactive component of marijuana. While they are both derived from the same type of plant, Cannabis Sativa, they are quite different. In fact there are several strains of Cannabis Sativa, one being marijuana and the other being hemp.

The hemp strain is the primary source of CBD, as it contains a great concentration of Cannabidiol and a low percentage of THC, typically lower than 0.3%. Unlike it’s cousin THC, CBD has no psychoactive effects and therefore can be used to treat health conditions and ailments without the feelings of euphoria or mind-alteration. Additionally, it does not have the same addictive properties as THC, allowing for use without risk of dependency.

Extraction

To get CBD from the Cannabis Sativa plant, some form of extraction must take place. Some choose to use the whole plant for oil production, while others choose to isolate just the CBD. In either case, a solvent is used, with ethanol and CO2 being two of the most common.

Using ethanol as a solvent requires less power, and is typically more inexpensive, but CO2 is the purest way to extract CBD. Once the CBD is extracted, it is typically combined with a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed oil. Tinctures, another commonly consumed form of CBD, will contain items like vinegar, ethanol, artificial flavoring, or vegetable glycerin alcohol.

Is CBD Legal?

Thanks to the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, selling hemp or hemp products is now legal as long as they contain less than 0.3% of THC; however, not all hemp-derived products are legal. Technically, CBD cannot be sold in foods or dietary supplements. It also can’t be sold with the claim of treating medical conditions and/or ailments, leaving it primarily marketed as a “cosmetic” product.

Additionally, because the hemp and marijuana plants are so closely related, if the CBD oil is not tested carefully, there is a chance it could contain more than 0.3% of THC. This is more common when whole-plant extractions are performed. In most states, buying CBD that contains more than the allotted amount of THC, even if the consumer is unaware, is illegal.

The History of CBD

While CBD, or Cannabidiol, is a new name for many of us, it has actually been around for thousands of years. In fact, one of the first recorded uses of CBD took place around 2727 BC by the Emperor Sheng Neng of China. He used a cannabis-based tea to aid in gout, malaria, and even poor memory.

However, apart from Emperor Neng’s use of cannabis, it’s believed that cannabis was used medically as early as 2900 BC. There is also evidence that hemp was being cultivated in Taiwan more than 12,000 years ago. Like CBD, marijuana, too, was used for medicinal purposes and many believed it served recreational purposes as well.  

The Spread of CBD

Apart from the Emperor Neng’s documentation, use of CBD was poorly recorded, even though there is evidence of its spread through Asia and Europe. Once the Romans made their way into China, they were able to obtain more than 60 acres of hemp and brought the plant back on their return to Italy. One Greek Physician, Pedacius Dioscorides was able to study the plant and found that there were more than 600 strands of cannabis. He also documented the many uses of the plant in his book Materia Medica.

From the ancient Romans, fast forward to the 1800s where Queen Victoria was known to use cannabis to alleviate the pain of monthly menstrual cramps. Around the same time, William B. O’Shaughnessy, an Irish Physician, published a medical paper that recorded the “modern” uses of cannabis. From this point, things grew quiet again, apart from several states in America banning the sale of hemp and marijuana in the early 1900s.

The Rise of CBD

After several years of silence regarding CBD, in 1940 a group from Illinois University was able to isolate Cannabidiol. Isolating CBD allowed this group to find that there are active compounds in the Cannabis Sativa plant that are not actually psychoactive. However, the excitement was short lived as the 1970’s ushered in the War on Drugs, making hemp and marijuana difficult to obtain for further research by scientists and doctors.

Despite this, some states, like Oregon, pushed back. In 1973, Oregon, followed by other individual states, began to decriminalize the use of cannabis. From here, CBD started to gain some popularity as a pain-reliever without the psychoactive effects of THC.

Experimentation

By 1998, a British Pharmaceutical group named GW Pharmaceuticals began medical trials in order to understand the abilities of CBD. At the same time, Raphael Mechoulam, an Israeli researcher not only learned the chemistry behind CBD, but how to isolate it and THC from the entire plant, paving the way for more research.

From GW Pharmaceuticals and Mechoulam, the benefits of CBD began to be exposed, including its positive effect on treating anxiety, pain, and seizures. This information began to spread and cultivation of plants and products that contained a high concentration of CBD and low concentration of THC increased.

The Push for CBD

With news of CBD’s many benefits spreading, desperate families began to push for the ability to use it. One family, the Hyde’s, had a son with an inoperable brain tumor. With the use of marijuana, they were able to shrink their son’s tumor, though he died two years after his initial treatment.

The Figi family also fought to use CBD for their daughter Charlotte. Charlotte was experiencing more than 300 seizures weekly, without relief from traditional medications. With the use of CBD, her seizures decreased by 99%. Her story was broadcast across America bringing a new vigor for CBD testing and use.

CBD Today

Though the history of CBD has spanned many years, with little movement at times, it has finally seemed to gain some traction. As previously stated, with the Farm Bill of 2018, the government made the production and selling of CBD from industrial hemp legal, which is a big step from the War on Drugs in the 70’s.

While the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, is still debating their stance regarding CBD and the regulation of it, things look promising. With greater access to CBD, mores studies can be performed, and potential uses can be discovered. Furthermore, CBD is just one cannabinoid of over 100 in the Cannabis Sativa plant. With more research, scientists may discover even greater benefits from these compounds.

CBD Oil Side Effects

As with any product, there are side effects to be aware of, and, though a naturally derived substance, CBD is no different. Below we will dive into the potential benefits and potential negatives of consuming or using CBD oil.

Benefits

CBD has become extremely popular for many reasons, with the most popular being its ability to treat a variety of ailments and medical conditions. It’s important to remember that while many of the benefits are commonly shared among users, testing is often limited. The following are just a few of the benefits users experience while taking CBD:

Pain Reduction

One of the most common, and most readily touted benefit of CBD is its ability to reduce pain. The human body has an endocannabinoid system which helps to regulate appetite, pain, sleep, and the response of the immune system. The body produces endocannabinoids that are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system.

It is believed that CBD impacts the endocannabinoid receptor activity and is able to reduce inflammation and interact with neurotransmitters. Human studies have been performed on patients with multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. These showed that CBD, especially when used in combination with THC, was effective in reducing pain.

Reduction of Anxiety

In addition to reducing pain, CBD has also been linked to reducing anxiety and depression. It is believed that CBD affects the brain’s receptors for serotonin which helps to regulate social behavior and mood. Studies have found that humans and animals alike respond with less anxiety when put in stressful situations, after taking a dose of CBD.

Additionally, unlike other anxiety and depression medications, CBD is a natural product. Not only are many of the side-effects not present like those brought on by pharmaceutical drugs, but CBD doesn’t have addictive properties. Because of these reasons, many are starting to turn to CBD to treat their anxiety and depression.

Fewer Seizures

Another popular side effect of CBD is its ability to reduce the number of seizures one has. In fact, it is so effective in this, that the FDA approved one form of CBD, naming it Epidiolex, for those experiencing rare forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Epidiolex must be prescribed and is not recommended for children under two years.

Other Benefits

Other benefits that have been associated with the use of CBD include:

  • Alleviates cancer-related symptoms
  • Aids in symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s
  • Reduces acne
  • Prevents diabetes
  • Prevents the spread of cancer
  • Helps with treatment for substance abuse
  • Helps with schizophrenia and other mental disorders
  • Aids in reducing blood pressure

While many of these claims have been made by scientific studies and current users, further research is still needed. Always seek out medical opinions and treatments first before consuming a CBD product.

Potential Negatives

With so many benefits of using CBD, it’s easy to overlook the negatives. However, there is always a possibility that your body will react adversely to the product. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of the signs to look out for.

Potential side effects of using CBD include:

  • Anxiety
  • Changes in appetite and mood
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Liver damage or inflammation

Additionally, CBD may affect the usefulness of medication that you are currently taking. Pregnant and nursing women could also impact the development of their baby if they partake in CBD products. These side effects, again, solidify the importance of having a conversation with your doctor before jumping onto the CBD bandwagon.

Looking Ahead

With CBD growing in popularity so quickly, it’s hard to say what the future of this compound will look like. Some predict that it is just a fad and will die out eventually, while others think it is set to be a $20 billion industry by 2024. Looking at the average consumer of CBD may give some indication of how this will pan out.

Studies say that the average consumer:

  • Is a median age of 40
  • Is college-educated
  • Holds down a full-time job
  • And the majority believe in full federal legalization of cannabis and believe in the medical benefits of marijuana

With such a sustainable consumer base, CBD may not be making an exit any time soon.

What About the FDA?

Another factor that could affect the future of CBD is the Federal Drug Administration. If this body determines a way to regulate CBD, this could limit the accessibility of the product, or may make it more accessible in the form of health products and supplements. Additionally, the backing of the FDA could provide further ability for research and studies, leading to a greater knowledge and understanding of how CBD truly affects the body.

Use Caution

Regardless of how the CBD craze pans out, it’s important to know that a lot of the available research is new. Though CBD has been around for thousands of years, no one has studied the long-term effects that this compound may have. Therefore, always make sure to speak with a medical professional, do your research, ask questions, and choose a supplier that does his or her due diligence to provide a top-notch, quality product.

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