What You Need to Know About CBD Oil

Learn about CBD oil and how it may be beneficial for you.

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A Closer Look at CBD Oil in Products (3:25)

Many people think of the negative effects when they hear the word “marijuana”. However, marijuana is made up of two main components, CBD and THC. Unlike THC, research has shown that CBD has many beneficial effects when dealing with seizures, anxiety, and more. Here are the ways in which CBD can be useful when treating various medical issues.

What is CBD oil?

CBD is one of many compounds, known as cannabinoids, in the cannabis plant. CBD oils are oils that contain concentrations of CBD. Most people associate CBD with marijuana. Marijuana contains both THC and CBD, but these compounds have different effects. THC creates the “high” when people smoke it or use it in cooking. CBD does not produce these psychoactive effects. CBD may also be extracted from large quantities of hemp.

How does CBD work?

CBD produces many effects through multiple molecular pathways. Scientific literature has identified more than 65 molecular targets of CBD.

What do you use CBD oil for?

**Note** The effects described below are primarily based on daily doses of hundreds of milligrams of CBD. Many CBD products on the market contain much lower amounts (providing tens of milligrams or less per day). It is not known if these lower doses are as effective as higher doses. 

  • Epilepsy: Recently the FDA approved Epidiolex CBD oral solution for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome in patients two years of age and older. This is the first FDA-approved drug that contains a purified drug substance derived from marijuana.   
  • Pain relief: Studies in rodents have shown that CBD can significantly reduce chronic inflammation and pain, without noticeable tolerance.  CBD also binds ion channels known to mediate pain perception, inflammation, and body temperature. Capsaicin activates these same receptors. 
  • Withdrawal: In rodent studies, CBD has been shown to reduce drug-seeking behavior and self-administration.     CBD also reduces morphine withdrawal symptoms (e.g., wet shakes, diarrhea, abnormal posture, ptosis, chewing, or teeth chattering). Of note, human studies regarding CBD’s potential impact on the abuse of other drugs are very limited. 
  • Anxiety: Current evidence indicates CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders. CBD interacts with several receptors in the brain known to regulate fear and anxiety-related behaviors. 

Potential Drug Interactions

CBD is broken down by a receptor that breaks down many different types of therapeutic medications. Therefore, CBD may increase the blood concentration of certain medications such as macrolides, calcium channel blockers, benzodiazepines, cyclosporine, sildenafil, antihistamines, haloperidol, antiretrovirals, and some statins.  It is imperative you consult with your doctor before trying any CBD products. 

Things to Keep in Mind

While some states have legalized CBD, it is still illegal at the Federal level unless a product becomes approved by the FDA. In addition, because there is little oversight, many products on the market contain varying concentrations of CBD, and it might not be what is advertised on the packaging. 

Related:

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