An incredible plant exists in nature which produces over 80 chemicals known for their medicinal purposes. From pain management to antipsychotic remedies, these chemicals have been used for a vast range of conditions. The properties of this plant hold many advantages over more traditional pharmaceutical drugs when it comes to adverse side effects and it has been a lifesaver for countless people.
This plant is quickly emerging as one of the top alternative treatments in the medical industry. Unfortunately, there is still much debate over its effectiveness and in some US states, its use is still illegal. The reason – this special plant is the cannabis sativa plant – otherwise known as marijuana.
Does CBD Oil Make You “High”?
Most people are aware of marijuana and its drug properties. What many people don’t know is that the ingredient in marijuana which gives you that “high” is called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. When special oils are produced from the plant, they do not contain THC, yet they do have analgesic benefits which help in managing pain and inflammation without making you high. These oils are called cannabidiol, or CBD oils. CBD is present in about 40% of cannabis extracts and has been the subject of many studies over the years for relief of physical, mental and psychological symptoms.
When you consume CBD oil, the compounds in the oil interact with 2 receptors in your body called CB1 and CB2. Each receptor affects different parts of your body. CB1 can be found in the brain and it is directly related to epilepsy while CB2 is prevalent in your immune system and is involved with pain and inflammation. As these receptors are activated, your body responds by using more of its naturally-produced cannabinoids which are already present in your system. It does not access any of the ingredients in the oil itself. This increase in levels of natural cannabinoids is reported to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and hyperactivity.
At this time, CBD oil is still classified as a new drug and, as such, has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a dietary supplement. Despite this, products with CBD oil are being sold on the market as dietary supplements although the amounts of CBD are not always accurately labeled on their packaging. These products are ingested using different methods depending on which works best for each person.
CBD Dosage for Different Ailments
Research data is still insufficient as to whether taking CBD oil capsules shows any marked symptom improvements for a number of diseases it has been used for. However, many people do take CBD oil by mouth and have reported symptom relief for everything from anxiety to different types of cancers. The most recent scientific data generated with CBD oil for the following illnesses is listed on WebMD:
Experimental research and clinical trials have shown that CBD could benefit people suffering from generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For those with a social anxiety disorder, certain dosages can possibly alleviate symptoms. As of this time, taking 300mg of CBD per day has not shown improvement in anxiety symptoms. Nevertheless, other data suggests that higher dosages may improve anxiety associated with public speaking. However, scientists caution that at this point in time, not enough human-based research has been conducted regarding CBD and anxiety. As a result, data is currently limited.
2. Dystonia (muscle disorder)
While more research is needed to confirm, it currently appears that taking CBD daily for 6 weeks could improve dystonia symptoms by 20% to 50%.
While much data has been inconclusive so far for other conditions, one specific prescription grade of CBD oil has been shown to decrease the frequencies of seizures related to epilepsy and other disorders in both adults and children. Doctors have also prescribed this CBD-based drug for other seizure-related illnesses such as Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.
4. Parkinson’s disease
For people who have Parkinson’s disease along with psychosis, early research indicates that taking CBD daily for 4 weeks can improve psychotic symptoms.
5. Chemotherapy side effects
CBD has been shown to relieve side effects of chemotherapy such as nausea and vomiting.
The research regarding the treatment of psychotic symptoms in schizophrenia has shown conflicting results, likely due to research conducted with different doses and durations. While some research reveals that taking CBD for 14 days has no effect, other early data concludes that taking CBD 4 times daily for 4 weeks could be as effective in relieving psychotic symptoms as traditional antipsychotic medications.
7. Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Pain, urination frequency, and muscle tightness associated with MS have been shown to respond to a prescription product in the form of a nasal spray. This prescription contains both CBD as well as THC since a combination of both ingredients seems to be the most effective. At this point in time, it is not confirmed whether MS
8. Graft-versus-Host Disease (GVHD)
This complication can occur after a bone marrow transplant when cells in the donor marrow attack the recipient’s own cells. According to early research, taking CBD oil daily starting 7 days before the transplant and continuing until 30 days after the transplant can extend the time it takes for the person to develop this complication.
9. Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)Healthline.com
According to Healthline.com, data is still unclear, and more research is needed since existing research information is based on using cannabis use as a whole, not just CBD oil, for this condition. It is interesting to note that cannabis and ADHD are independently linked to worsened concentration and focus so it has been theorized that CBD would exacerbate symptoms. Nonetheless, data has not yet supported or contradicted this theory.
10. Smoking Cessation
When CBD is inhaled via vaping or an inhaler for 1 week, early studies have shown that it may reduce the number of cigarettes smoked by about 40%.
Many patients have reported that CBD oil seems to have antipsychotic properties and it may even counteract the psychoactive effect of THC which is found in marijuana but not present in CBD. No one clearly knows what exactly produces these effects, but researchers suspect that CDB oil blocks the breakdown of a brain chemical that affects mood, pain and mental function. As a result, your blood has higher levels of this chemical which in turn appears to reduce psychotic symptoms as seen in schizophrenia.
CBD Oil Capsules, Sprays and Vaping Fluids
Depending on how you choose to take CBD oil, it can take from 20 minutes to 2 hours before you feel the effects. Ingesting CBD in capsule form generally takes longer to absorb into your bloodstream, while vaping or inhaling CBD will have a much quicker effect since it directly enters your bloodstream. If you are seeking immediate symptom relief, vaping can help speed up the effects. However, inhaling or vaping is not recommended if you have asthma or any lung conditions.
Furthermore, CBD oil can be ingested in other ways. You can add it to water or smoothies. In some places, CBD is also available as a topical cream.
You can access two different available strains of CBD oil depending on what works best for you:
- CBD-dominant – This product contains little to no THC.
- CBD-rich – This product is a combination of both CBD and THC in equal amounts.
If you select a combination product with both CBD and THC, the CBD will offset any effects produced by the THC. While each individual is affected differently, there typically shouldn’t be any psychoactive side effects with CBD-rich strains. In fact, CBD can actually help treat people who are addicted to cannabis because it reduces these effects. This is also true for those addicted to opioids, cocaine, and/or psychostimulants. Research concerning CBD’s benefits for substance addiction has also been reviewed by scientists and published in the journal Substance Abuse in 2015.
In the past, a social stigma surrounding marijuana-sourced substances initially slowed down most of the research involving CBD products; however, there has been a gradual change in perception over the years. Ethical debates still remain over the safety of such research. While such concerns are valid and great caution is vital, it is important to note that CBD oil currently does not seem to cause any unfavorable side effects in adults or children, no more so than with traditional pharmaceutical treatments.
Recommended CBD Oil Dosage
There is no one universal CBD oil dosage that will work best for everyone. Each person will react differently to different types and doses. Consequently, the FDA does not currently have a Recommended Daily Intake, or RDI, for this product. For conditions such as epilepsy, research with recommended dosages is still ongoing.
Most dosage recommendations are estimated by body weight. For the prescription form of CBD in adults with epilepsy, researchers advise to start with the smallest dosage – typically 2.5 mg per kg of body weight twice daily. This can then be increased to 5 mg per kg of body weight after one week. If there is no symptom improvement, the maximum recommended dosage is 10 mg per kg body weight twice daily.
For children with epilepsy, the dosage is the same as for adults. Since children have smaller bodies, the dosage of CBD in relation to body weight be lesser. For American measurements, a good rule of thumb is generally to administer 1 to 6 mg for every 10 lbs.
Side Effects of Wrong CBD Dosage
The side effects reported when using CBD oil appear to be minimal and do not seem to be any greater threat than those of conventional treatments, especially when compared to medications for ADHD. In general, side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Low blood pressure
Additionally, there have been some reports of liver injury; however, this is rare.
Keep in mind that while research is sparse, it is always best to remain on the safe side with CBD oil. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, avoid usage of CBD since information is presently inconclusive for mothers-to-be and unborn babies. In children, it is possibly safe when CBD is taken by mouth daily up to 10mg per kg body weight per day. While the dosage can be increased to 15-20 mg per kg body weight per day, side effects are more likely to occur. Prescription CBD is approved for use in certain children 2 years of age and older.
While there is little information available regarding the interactions of CBD with other drugs at this time, it is always important to remain cautious. Consult with your doctor about any possible interactions CBD oil may have with current medications you are taking.
Will CBD Oil Work For Me?
Marijuana, cannabis, and CBD oil use are quickly becoming more prevalent in the U.S. and Canada, which seems to suggest that it works for many people. To find out if it will work for you, your first step is to check your state and local laws to see which types of marijuana forms are legal for use. Next, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of CBD oil use for your situation. If needed, he or she can write a prescription for CBD oil.
The outlook regarding the use of CBD oils is an optimistic one since research shows promising results for numerous illnesses and symptoms. As more and more people look to organic alternative treatments, more research on the healing benefits of CBD oil will likely take place. With the progression of modern medicine, CBD oil could very well be one of the most revolutionary drugs on the market today. If you find that CBD oil benefits you and any symptoms you are suffering from, continue to talk with your doctor about the latest research involving CBD oil and other cannabis-based products. Times are now changing and it’s been a long time coming.