There has been a great amount of curiosity and excitement around CBD products lately, and their ability to provide a natural alternative to numerous common health issues. CBD oil can provide many health benefits and potentially address several chronic health ailments. Misconceptions about the product however, continue to cause confusion and diminish its ability to help many people in need.

CBD products have surged in popularity and accessibility after legal restrictions were removed via the 2018 Farm Bill in the United States. Hemp and its extracts are currently legalized for sale in the U.S., and its products are available in most states. Producers of hemp must be a licensed grower however, and follow strict guidelines laid out within the Farm Bill. This helps to ensure the regulation and safety of this relatively new and growing hemp industry.

While exploring the benefits of using CBD oil, it’s essential to understand a few things; how it’s different from marijuana, the potential health benefits, and a few other important considerations to keep in mind while taking.

CBD vs. Marijuana

First, let’s understand the difference between CBD and marijuana. CBD is short for cannabidiol, and like marijuana it comes from the cannabis plant. Unlike marijuana though, you do not feel a “high” with CBD products.

CBD oil is not legally allowed to contain more than 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical found in cannabis that actually gives you that “high” feeling. Whereas with marijuana, the THC content can be found all the way up to 40 percent. The composition of these two are both biologically and chemically different.

Marijuana is known to potentially impact one’s perceptions and emotions, sometimes causing paranoia or hallucinations. CBD does not have any of these cognitive effects and many CBD oils contain no THC at all, which allows for the full benefits of the hemp plant without any potential THC side effects. You can specifically look for broad-spectrum oils when purchasing that do not contain any THC.

People who take CBD products usually describe a feeling of relaxation and calm. It can also have a subtle, relaxing effect on the body and the mind.

The impact can be so subtle that some people don’t feel much of an effect. For example, people usually “feel relaxed but not intoxicated, like they’ve just gotten a massage,” according to Dr. Alex Capano, Ph.D., chief science officer of Ananda Hemp.

CBD Benefits for Sleep and Anxiety

Some studies have been able demonstrate a link between CBD usage and a decrease in anxiety. One study found that CBD can provide treatment for “generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder when administered acutely.”

While THC can sometimes cause anxiety or encourage physiological symptoms associated with anxiety, evidence shows that CBD has the opposite effect in reducing these symptoms. This is one of the major and key differences between marijuana and CBD oil.

Another study showed that CBD oil can help people who struggle with the anxiety associated with public speaking. By reducing stress and lessening physiological symptoms of anxiety, CBD oil can help to manage some of the obstacles that anxiety creates for many people.

CBD can also help with sleeplessness and insomnia by helping people fall asleep and stay asleep. By relieving tension in your body, it may encourage sleepiness, calm a pounding heartbeat, and even help to let go of the thoughts grappling a racing mind.

Many individuals have provided anecdotal evidence showing the link between CBD and reducing chronic pain or physical discomfort. More studies will be needed to completely demonstrate and prove out this relationship.

The general benefits of CBD will usually depend on the dosage and method of consumption. CBD can be extracted from a marijuana plant in the form of an oil or powder, which can then be transformed into creams, capsules, or tinctures. CBD can also be ingested or applied topically. Make sure to follow the directions of the product from the CBD supplier to make the most of its potential.

There is the potential for adverse side effects if combined with certain medications so it’s best to check with your doctor or healthcare provider to see if CBD products are compatible with prescription medications or certain health conditions.

While studies have been limited but continue to explore the health benefits of CBD, the anecdotal evidence of its health benefits indicate that this is a field well worth continuing to explore and invest in.

It’s truly is an exciting time to research the health benefits of this natural product that may help manage such a wide variety of health concerns.

Considerations with CBD Oil

It should be noted that CBD consumption is considered to be generally safe. Potential and rare side effects can include irritability, dizziness, and low blood pressure. It can also cause fatigue and nausea.

According to the World Health Organization, there are currently “no public health problems” or issues with addiction associated with CBD use. This is another area of distinction between CBD and marijuana, as helps to make the case for a need in increased access if it provides these health benefits without the inherent concern of addiction.

The impact of CBD use will depend on a variety of factors such as weight, other health conditions, diet, dosage and dosage frequency.

It is best to avoid CBD oil if you are taking a medication that strongly discourages consuming grapefruit, as it can cause negative interactions in the body and prevent the medication from being properly absorbed. You should specifically check for medications that contain the cytochrome P450 enzyme. Again, before making any changes to your prescription medication plan so that you can try CBD oil, make sure to meet with your doctor or healthcare provider to discuss your options.

With minimal and rare side effects, CBD oil is an option well worth exploring especially given the growing evidence of its potential health benefits. By helping those who struggle with various health issues such as anxiety and chronic pain, CBD provides an alternative option to the current medications on the market with much less risk of significant side effects. Researchers are eager to explore other health benefits and deepen our knowledge on this product.

With continued research and accessibility of CBD oil, there will be an increase in common knowledge and understanding of its usage and benefits. Hopefully one day, most of us can enjoy that relaxed feeling as if you’ve “just gotten a massage” in the comfort and ease of your own home.

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