What is CBD Oil ? | Benefits & Risks of CBD oil
This article is about the CBD oil that has recently exploded onto the market, getting popular for multiple uses, and what confused customers. The first thought that struck my mind was – “Wait! Is marijuana legal now?”, “Not Quite!” what these companies are selling is CBD. It can be found in everything from lollipops, lattes, and even desserts. And let me tell you this, Business is booming! These products are part of what is estimated to be a rough one billion dollar industry in the United States alone. Perfectly Legal!
Part of its popularity is due to its anecdotal health benefits and its positive effects on various ailments. According to the AARP website, CBD has become a popular treatment for pain and arthritis. However, it’s still unsafe to claim that CBD is a “cure-all” for everything from cancer to arthritis.
Some initial studies have shown that CBD can help with several different medical conditions. In June 2018, FDA approved the first CBD drug, Epidiolex, which is used to treat epilepsy. So that makes us all curious to ask, what does CBD have that marijuana doesn’t?
What is CBD oil?
CBD oil is extracted from the cannabis plant, which is also known as marijuana. After extraction, there are mainly two substances in it, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or delta-9. THC is the main substance that makes you feel “high” thanks to its psychoactive properties and marijuana plants are loaded with it. CBD doesn’t cause any form of intoxication that has potential therapeutic benefits and relaxing effects: it’s legal. CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant and then it is diluted with different oils like hemp seed oil or coconut oil.
As it happens, not all cannabis plants are created equal. Let’s take 2 varieties, one is marijuana, which causes “high” and the other is hemp which doesn’t. The key difference is what’s on the inside.
How is CBD made?
So, once you have the cannabis plant, one simple way to make an extract can be done in your own kitchen by using olive oil or butter and heating the trim from the plant or a little bit of the green material from the plant. This is obviously not ideal for mass industrial production, to be cooking up something in your kitchen with butter and cannabis. The more common way involves a more specialized, complex machine called supercritical CO2 extraction. The plant is ground up to have the texture like a coffee grind which is poured into vessels of the supercritical CO2 extraction. This stays in the machine for up to 24 hours under different pressures and temperatures at different times of the extraction process. Ultimately, this gives thick, golden oil that’s very waxy in texture. We can also extract it using ethanol and hydrocarbons.
This oil is available in different products these days. It can be administered in various forms, might be ingested or applied topically. They even have CBD oil products for pets. They can also be mixed into creams or gels. It largely depends on what it’s being used for. Talk to your doctor before using CBD oil as it may have severe side effects if not taken carefully.
Is it legal?
Marijuana is legal in various countries and states like the US, Canada. Cannabis-derived CBD products are legal under some state laws. The FDA has not approved non-prescription CBD products. They may be inaccurately labeled.
The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS Act), 1985 outlaws the recreational use of cannabis. However, the Act does not apply to the leaves and seeds of the cannabis plant. Since CBD is extracted from the leaves of the cannabis plant and does not have any intoxication effect. CBD is technical, not illegal in India.
CBD oil which is manufactured under a license issued by the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 can be legally used. But the use of CBD in medicine is still not widespread in India.
Health benefits of CBD Oil
- CBD has effects on the brain, it prevents the breakdown of a chemical that provokes pain and affects mood, and mental function
- It can reduce anxiety/depression and pain. It has also proved effective for conditions like epilepsy as well as schizophrenia. These conditions are mainly associated with psychotic symptoms.
- A US-based National Cancer Institute says that CBD may help alleviate the side effects of cancer treatment. Benefits of acne management. CBD in the immune system may help reduce inflammation in the body. However more human studies are needed to evaluate the benefits of CBD on acne.
- You can’t overdose on CBD. It is lipophilic (fat-soluble) which means that it compounds in your body over time. So you can take CBD on daily basis with a doctor’s consultation, adding to potential health benefits.
What are the risks?
CBD oil doesn’t have any major risks, but these can be the potential side effects:
- Dizziness or light-headedness
- Low Blood Pressure
- Irritability or insomnia
- Dry mouth
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There is not enough evidence to know if CBD is safe or what the side effects could be when applied directly to the skin.
More human studies are required to fully understand the range of benefits and risks & side effects of CBD oil. Since cannabis is highly regulated, it limits the amount of research that can be conducted on the compound. Without proper research of whether what does exist is promising, you could be taking either too much, too little, or wasting your money altogether.
Precaution: There is not much evidence about whether the consumption of CBD is safe for pregnant or nursing women. Experts advise avoiding it.
Scientists are still trying to figure out exactly how CBD affects the body. So, there really is a scientific basis for understanding why CBD can work, but it’s still a long way from mastering the hows. Still, CBD may have more benefits than just a relaxing afternoon. So who knows, perhaps we’ll be seeing CBD in more places in the future.