CBD oil has become one of the hottest health supplements over the past few years. CBD is short for cannabidiol, and it is a cannabinoid, one of the many active compounds found in cannabis plants, including hemp. However, unlike its infamous cousin, THC, CBD does not cause an intoxicating high. Instead, it has a wealth of potential benefits, meaning that CBD oil is flying off the shelves. But is it really as safe and healthy as manufacturers claim? Let’s take a look.
How Does CBD Oil Work?
Before diving into how CBD works, we should clarify that high-CBD hemp oil differs from the hemp seed oil you find in many grocery stores. Hemp seeds do not contain CBD, although they are healthy and nutritious in other ways. CBD oil is made from the leaves and flowers of the plant, which are rich in cannabinoids and other active compounds like aromatic terpenes and flavonoids.
These chemicals have a range of benefits, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Many believe they work in synergy, producing far greater benefits than the sum of their parts.
CBD itself works by influencing a biological system known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). It exists throughout the human body and comprises a collection of highly specialised cell receptors and signalling chemicals called endocannabinoids.
When endocannabinoids bind with receptors in the ECS, they send messages to various other cells, helping to regulate essential functions like mood, appetite, and pain perception. CBD enhances activity in this system, ensuring it functions optimally.
CBD also affects other vital systems, such as the serotonin system, which helps to regulate mood, digestion, libido, and more.
CBD Oil Benefits
As we mentioned, CBD oil has anti-inflammatory effects. This makes it a popular choice for those with issues like joint and muscle pain. Many other common conditions have an inflammatory component, and CBD could help to manage these too.
CBD oils’ antioxidant properties mean that it is also a good option for improving overall well-being. Antioxidants are compounds that help to reduce the harmful effects of oxidative stress, a phenomenon where the body produces too many molecules known as free radicals.
When the body produces excessive free radicals, they can cause cell changes, leading to lasting damage. But antioxidants can stop them in their tracks and prevent this damage from occurring.
CBD also appears to have a powerful impact on mood, and many people use it to manage conditions like anxiety and depression. Improving sleep is another widespread use of CBD oil, although some people also say it can boost energy levels when taken during the day.
CBD Oil Side Effects
CBD hemp oil is generally considered safe, and most people can take it without serious side effects. However, some people experience minor issues, such as dry mouth, drowsiness, and digestive problems. For this reason, it is always best to start with a minimal amount and gradually increase it until you find an effective dose that does not cause an adverse reaction.
Another potential risk is that CBD can interact with numerous other substances. Therefore, anyone taking prescribed or over-the-counter medicine, or other supplements, should consult a physician before using CBD oil.
Is CBD Oil Really Safe and Healthy?
Aside from the issues described above, there is one more major safety concern regarding CBD oils.
Unfortunately, except for a prescription medicine called Epidiolex, CBD is not FDA-approved. Therefore, the industry is not regulated, and manufacturers are solely responsible for the quality of their hemp oil.
There are many brands out there hoping to cash in on the CBD trend but putting little effort into producing their hemp oil. Many contain more or less CBD than they should, while others could be laced with harmful contaminants from the extraction process.
That said, there are many reputable brands out there. Look for well-established companies that use high-quality hemp in their products and minimal other ingredients. They should be transparent about how they create their CBD oils and provide third-party lab reports to prove they are potent and pure.
It is best to buy CBD oil online so that you can research a brand thoroughly before purchasing. You will also likely find a more extensive selection and far better prices than in physical stores.
However, remember that you get what you pay for with hemp oil, so resist the temptation to go with the cheapest option. It is well worth spending a little more to get a product that is both healthy and safe.