CBD oil isn’t a wellness fad but a medicinal and medical supplement that more people than ever are choosing to take. But what exactly does CBD hemp oil do and why does it work? In this guide, we answer your biggest questions about CBD oil benefits, including why it works, how its made and why it’s different from cannabis.
What Exactly Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is the most popular way to take CBD, which is short for cannabidiol. Most people take it to promote overall wellness. In more scientific terms, cannabidiol interacts with the body’s biological systems to promote balance or homeostasis. We’ll go into the specifics of how this works later.
CBD Oil Is Derived from Hemp
Cannabidiol is a compound found in both cannabis and hemp plants. However, all legal CBD oil comes from hemp.
This is because of the way we regulate hemp and cannabis more broadly. For starters, cannabis is regulated by the Controlled Substances Act, meaning that it’s still federally illegal. Since the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp is legal in all 50 states. The law also specifies that hemp must contain a maximum of 0.3% THC.
This means that it’s impossible to feel high from cannabidiol.
CBD vs. THC
CBD and THC are the two most significant compounds found in cannabis. Though they exist side-by-side, they produce completely different effects on the human body.
Most importantly, THC, which is short for Tetrahydrocannabinol, is the compound primarily responsible for producing a high. In other words, it’s psychoactive.
Cannabidiol is exactly the opposite: it actually tampers, rather than produces, a high. For many people, this is an advantage: You take CBD hemp oil at any point without worrying about negative effects.
Five CBD Oil Benefits
CBD oil has a long list of everyday benefits and can address a number of serious conditions. Overall, most people take cannabidiol because it promotes a sense of calm and wellbeing. More specifically, though, research shows it has a number of real-life medical applications.
Provide Balance and Calm
CBD oil benefits are wide-ranging. However, most people use it for its everyday benefits. Not only does it reduce anxiety and improve your mood, but it’s a great way to get a good night’s sleep.
The sense of balance that you feel when you take CBD oil is no accident. In fact, cannabidiol can help your individual cells come into harmony with external factors. This all goes back to a major network in the human body called the endocannabinoid system.
Protect Against Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s Disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., affecting over 5 million Americans, according to government statistics. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s yet—but some experts see CBD as a potential way to slow or reverse its progress.
CBD oil’s effects aren’t limited to Alzheimer’s. People suffering from other neurodegenerative diseases like Dementia and Parkinson’s also show signs of benefitting from hemp medicine.
Ease Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression affect over 18% of Americans, according to some statistics. These include phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, general anxiety and depression, and more. Not only are these conditions widespread, but medication for them often produces negative side effects.
For that reason, some people turn to CBD oil. Not only is the endocannabinoid system connected to depression, but other research demonstrates that CBD oil benefits include producing antidepressant-like effects, without the side effects.
Boost Heart Health
CBD oil can lower blood pressure, which improves overall heart health. But beyond that, cannabidiol also shows signs of being a cardioprotectant. This means that it can promote heart health for more serious conditions like Myocarditis, as shown in a paper from 2016.
One of CBD hemp oil’s main medical applications is reducing seizures, especially in treatment-resistant epilepsy patients. In fact, the first FDA-approved cannabis medicine—Epidiolex—is a cannabidiol-based treatment for epilepsy. The FDA even approved it for pediatric cases, too.
Keep in mind that the FDA has not approved the majority of cannabidiol’s uses. This means that choosing to make hemp apart of your wellness should be an informed personal choice.
Why Hemp Medicine Works
CBD oil benefits aren’t magical. In fact, cannabidiol can have such a potent effect on the human body due to a biological system called the endocannabinoid system. Though a much more recent discovery than other major biological processes (skeletal, immune, muscular…), the endocannabinoid system is crucial in maintaining homeostasis in the human body.
In other words, this network helps individual cells regulate themselves to fit their external environments.
Understanding the Endocannabinoid System
But how exactly does CBD oil affect the human body? The endocannabinoid system is made up of endocannabinoid receptors, endocannabinoids, and enzymes that break down endocannabinoids.
Notice how endocannabinoid sounds a lot like cannabinoid? That’s because they’re related: “endo” means internal, so endocannabinoid means the cannabinoids that the human body produces itself.
In other words, everyone’s body is already designed to interact positively with cannabinoids because it already has endocannabinoid receptors. Though there is a lot we don’t understand about the endocannabinoid system yet—specifically, how do cannabinoids besides CBD and THC work within it—we do know where CBD oil benefits come from.
How to Take CBD Hemp Oil
You can take CBD hemp oil in the morning, throughout the day, or at night, depending on your preference. To take a tincture, place the droplets under your tongue. Effects are stronger if you hold it there for approximately 30 seconds, giving your body time to absorb it.
Keep in mind that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has not yet approved hemp tinctures, meaning
Choosing CBD Oil: What to Look for
Not all CBD oil products are held to the same quality standards. So when you’re shopping for CBD hemp oil, there are a few things you should look for to make sure you’re getting the best quality.
What Kind of Tincture Is It?
There is more than one way to make cannabidiol products. In fact, there are two main types: whole plant and isolate.
- Whole plant is exactly what it sounds like: This type of CBD oil is extracted from the whole plant. This means that it contains other cannabinoids like THC and CBN, as well as terpenes.
Though whole plant CBD hemp oil does contain trace amounts of THC, keep in mind that it’ll be less than 0.3% by law so you’ll never be in danger of experiencing negative effects.
- Isolate contains only cannabidiol, no other cannabinoids, terpenes, and fatty acids.
Whole plant cannabidiol is more beneficial than isolated hemp because it contains other compounds that amplify, rather than detract, from cannabidiol’s effects. The scientific term for this is this is called the Entourage Effect.
Is it Third Party Lab Tested?
Since CBD hemp oil is such a new invention, it doesn’t have universal health and safety standards like some other products. This means that making sure you’re taking a pure product means doing your own research.
Before buying, make sure that the product you’re considering is third-party lab tested. This will ensure that the product actually contains what it says on the label.
Understanding CBD Oil Benefits
People have been benefiting from hemp for thousands of years. However, only recently have we started to understand how it can help, why it works, and what sets it apart from other compounds like THC.
Unlike THC, cannabidiol will not get you high. But it can produce a long list of positive effects, ranging from promoting general wellness and balance to controlling seizures, mood disorders, and so much more.