Introduction to CBD Oil
By now you have probably heard some talk of CBD – the non-intoxicating component of the cannabis plant, or Cannabis sativa, which is being used as a supplement by an increasing number of people as the word spreads of its health and well-being supportive benefits. In this article we’ll discuss several of the many benefits and popular uses of CBD oil today, as well as methods of ingestion, and places to obtain this very valuable supplement. And you’ll see that all the hype about this wonderful plant compound is backed up by legitimate research.
What exactly is CBD?
CBD, is short for cannabidiol, and it’s one of many phytocannabinoids (phyto means plants in Greek) found in cannabis. For the purposes of this article we will be referring to hemp – a variety of cannabis which has under .3 % THC by weight, and thus retains none of the mind-altering effects or potential side effects of THC, cannabis’s well known psychoactive cousin molecule.
Phytocannabinoids such as CBD bind to what is known as the endocannabinoid system within our nervous and immune systems, all throughout our bodies. The endocannabinoid system is an innate system in the body which essentially regulates homeostasis – that is, balance within the body regarding inflammation levels, body temperature, immune system functioning and levels of oxidative stress, among other things.
What is CBD Oil Good For?
One of the most exciting parts of the emerging CBD craze is the sheer number of potential uses that it has for a myriad of health complaints, mood related issues and ailments. The potentials for the future are simply astounding. And furthermore, there is a plethora of scientific research from around the world to back up its common usages.
So what is CBD good for? Well it’s a very impressive list. Let’s explore some of the more common issues and ailments…
- Mood Support
- Stress and Anxiety
- Pain and Inflammation
- Antioxidant Support/Neuroprotection
CBD Oil for Mood Support
One of the major common uses of CBD as a supplement is for healthy mood support. Anecdotally, CBD oil ingestion seems often to calm, and allow one to find their center. And according to researchers, CBD can even have antidepressant-like properties.
This could, at least in part, be because CBD has shown to activate multiple serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin is of course well known as a neurotransmitter that is associated with feelings of happiness and well-being. Thus, it would make sense to try CBD oil if you’re in need of mood support.
Stress and Anxiety
It’s no secret that stress is a major contributor to chronic disease, as well as to mental and emotional disturbances. Now more than ever people are turning to health supportive supplements to help in regulating their own immediate stress response, and to alleviate some of the burdens that stress creates on the physical body. CBD oil is one of the more heavily researched and widely utilized supplements to support these facets.
Anxiety is an ever-present reality for so many in this day in age. CBD oil can support natural anxiety relief by way of the previously mentioned effects on serotonin, as well as through the endocannabinoid system itself.
In one human study of 10 volunteers, CBD notably reduced anxiety after a stressful public speaking performance.
So how does CBD oil work for anxiety? Studies in mice have shown that activation of endocannabinoid receptors within the brain lowers blood pressure and heart rate responses to stressors, and reduces anxious behavior. This would be an indicator that hemp-derived CBD oil consumption can potentially regulate the “fight or flight” response to physical and mental stress, which when over-activated can of course lead to chronic stress and subsequent health issues. So, indeed, CBD has significant potential benefits for alleviating both stress and anxiety.
CBD Oil for Pain and Inflammation
Chronic pain is all too common today, and unfortunately there is not many conventional treatments that are both effective and without harmful or undesired side effects — or otherwise a risk of addiction and dependency.
This is indeed a major issue facing humanity today. Luckily, many folks are coming to realize the powerful potential that CBD oil holds for pain relief and healthy inflammation support – two things which often go hand-in-hand.
CBD based extract has shown analgesic (pain-relieving) activity in laboratory testing. In fact CBD is being considered the most effective of all the individual phytocannabinoids tested. Furthermore, in a systematic review of the published literature, a group of researchers also concluded that cannabinoids should be pursued as a reasonable option for the treatment of various types of chronic pain, including most notably neuropathic pain – a notoriously treatment-resistant condition which does not respond well to traditional pharmaceutical therapies.
One noteworthy mechanism is that CBD acts on the endocannabinoid receptors (CB2) responsible for regulating inflammation, and thus can gently support a healthy inflammatory response. Notably, CBD — unlike traditional opioids most often prescribed for pain — does not appear to cause tolerance buildup long-term, which is very important if one is using CBD oil for chronic pain or inflammation related issues.
CBD Oil for Antioxidant Support and Neuroprotection
A little known fact is the tremendous antioxidant capacity and neuroprotective benefits that CBD holds. In one research study, it was found that CBD itself is a more potent antioxidant than both Vitamin C and Vitamin E. As well, it has been shown to protect brain cells, and to balance inflammation in the brain. For many, these potential brain health supporting aspects would be a very positive ‘side’ benefit of using CBD oil for pain, mood benefits, or stress support.
How Do You Take CBD?
There are lots of ways to ingest CBD these days, and several delivery methods will have somewhat different effects because of differing absorption rates and bodily pathways. You can take capsules for quick ease of use; and inhalable vaporizer pens are also becoming a hot commodity.
But one very effective and convenient method is consuming CBD oil from a glass tincture bottle – using a ‘dropper’ to carefully measure dosages for optimal individual purposes. This means all you do is squeeze the top of the dropper to fill the tube, and then either place the liquid under your tongue for quick sublingual absorption, or just swallow it directly. Otherwise, you can get creative and add it to coffee, tea, herbal elixirs, smoothies, or anything else you feel inspired to experiment with.
How Does CBD Make You Feel?
So how does one feel when they take CBD? This is, of course, going to be largely subjective. Though, one thing that is a common experience is that CBD makes you feel relaxed and uplifted rather than intoxicated or disoriented. Constant mental chatter tones down and anxieties dissipate. Sometimes, people even report that they feel enhanced mental clarity and/or creativity as well.
Does CBD Make You Sleepy?
This is a common question, because anyone familiar with the sedative effects of using marijuana, or THC, might assume that CBD has the same effects. However, most people find CBD ingestion does not make them sedated or lethargic, but rather eases their nerves and leaves them feeling entirely functional even when taken in the morning or afternoon.
However, in particular with larger doses taken in the evening, CBD oil can assist in allowing one to get to sleep more easily and to wake up feeling more refreshed – without necessarily mechanistically putting them to sleep like common insomnia medications do.
Basically, it is most likely to simply support a relaxed state of being which can of course better facilitate a good night’s rest.
How Can I Purchase CBD Oil?
Although the day may very well come where CBD oil can be purchased at many stores locally all around the world, at this time it is most often obtained online. However, it is important to purchase it from a reputable vendor that laboratory tests their products for purity and potency — so you know exactly what you’re putting into your body, and so you can be precise in finding a dosage that works for you personally. A potent and pure product like this 1000mg CBD oil is a good example.