Ultimately, the primary reasons why people use CBD is because it tends to have calming, relaxing, pain-reducing effects. It has been used to alleviate joint pain and nerve pain, reduce anxiety and stress, treat insomnia, improve migraines, and address nausea.
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CBD is one of the many chemical compounds that is found in the cannabis plant—referred to as cannabis sativa. There are two primary parts of the plant that humans use. One is THC, or Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, and the other is CBD. Though they’re from the same plant, THC and CBD are quite different from each other.
Are There Any Benefits Associated With Using CBD?
“CBD is not an intoxicating substance, whereas THC is a psychoactive that can get you high,” explains Dr. Jas Matharu-Daley, a physician and consultant for a brand that specializes in CBD production.
CBD benefits include the following:
It’s important to point out that CBD is not regulated by the FDA and therefore dosages might not be accurate. It’s also difficult to know what an appropriate dose is the first time you try a new product.
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Common symptoms include:
According to a 2017 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, only 30.95% of CBD products sold online were correctly labeled. Most contained less CBD than advertised, while 21.43% had significant amounts of THC.
The tricky part is calculating the exact amount of CBD per milliliter of oil. Some tinctures have concentrations of 1,500 mg per 30 mL, while others have 3,000 mg per mL (or more).
Possible Side Effects
Here are a few tips to help you find the best CBD oil:
CBD oil can interact with certain medications, including some drugs used to treat epilepsy. CBD inhibits an enzyme called cytochrome P450 (CYP450), which metabolizes certain drugs. By interfering with CYP450, CBD may either increase the toxicity or decrease the effectiveness of these drugs.
CBD oil may also increase liver enzymes (a marker of liver inflammation). People with liver disease should use CBD oil with caution, ideally under the care of a doctor who can regularly check blood liver enzyme levels.
Instead, CBD is thought to influence other receptors, including opioid receptors that regulate pain and glycine receptors involved in the regulation of the “feel-good” hormone and neurotransmitter serotonin.
By acting on the ECS, CBD may have many different effects on the body. Examples include: balancing the body’s overall physical functions (homeostasis), reducing pain sensation, and lessening the body’s reaction to injury or infection (inflammation).
Studies are ongoing, but there is evidence that CBD may be effective in reducing anxiety, chronic (long-term) pain like back pain, and insomnia or trouble sleeping.
What Are the Medical Uses of CBD?
Observational studies and randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of the effectiveness of cannabinoids in chronic noncancer pain found a 30% reduction in pain in 1 out of 3 of those using cannabinoids. This was considered significant.
CBD may also increase the risk of side effects of certain medicines if used with them. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist before taking CBD with any other medication.
There are many other medicines that should not be taken with CBD. Doing so may increase the effects of those medicines. As an example, taking CBD with medicines that cause drowsiness may cause the person to be even more sleepy.