These days, it seems everyone is talking about CBD oil. Whether it’s for pain relief, insomnia, seizures, anxiety or one of the many other conditions it’s purported to help, this natural remedy is taking the world by storm. Yet, with so much buzz there are still a lot of questions, too. Fortunately, we’ve got answers–about what CBD oil is, how it’s used and how it may benefit you.
But, before we get too far into the details, let’s start with the basics.
CBD Oil: What It Is and What It Isn’t
CBD oil is a compound extracted from the cannabis plant. Used as a natural way to support endocannabinoid system health for thousands of years, it’s now gaining widespread attention from researchers, doctors, and consumers. Yet, even as its use and its accolades grow, CBD oil sometimes still gets a bad rap because of its association with marijuana. However, it’s important to know that CBD does not get you high.
When it comes to CBD oil’s ability to promote health without the high, it’s all about the plant’s gender. Yes, that’s right, cannabis plants can be either male or female. And only the female (marijuana) version of the plant contains enough THC, the psychotropic compound responsible for getting people high, to actually cause this effect. CBD oil, on the other hand, comes from the male–or hemp version–of the cannabis plant which contains only trace amounts (less than 0.3%) THC, not enough to cause the famous “high.”
There are three main types of CBD oil you’ll find on the market: full-spectrum CBD, isolated CBD, and broad-spectrum CBD. Full-spectrum CBD contains less than .3% of THC. This amount of THC is not enough to cause any psychoactive effects but some people find it to be enough to help with more severe issues. Isolated CBD is the most common form of the oil. CBD isolate is created when all other compounds are removed, leaving behind only Cannabidiol (or CBD). The third type is formed when those trace amounts of THC are removed from the full-spectrum variety, it becomes broad-spectrum. Broad-spectrum CBD offers all benefits that the plant has to offer also known as “the entourage effect.”
There are several ways to use CBD oil, including straight, in capsules, pills, CBD tinctures, creams, foods, etc. Because there are so many options, it’s a good idea to consider the advantages of each, and what your goals are when choosing a CBD oil product.
Put It Under Your Tongue
For those looking for the most effective route, the best way to use CBD oil is sublingually (under the tongue). This can be done with a few drops of pure CBD oil, CBD oil with carrier oil or tincture. Simply hold the drops under your tongue for a minute or two. This allows it to be absorbed by the mucous membranes in the mouth and bypass the digestive tract and liver. As a result, it enters the bloodstream more quickly to begin working in as little as 15 minutes.
If you’re new to CBD oil, ingesting it orally using a capsule or pill is an easy way to start. Taking it this way not only allows you to avoid the slightly earthy taste, but it’s also a good way to monitor your dosage until you know how it will affect you. For those who are more comfortable using straight CBD oil, it can be ingested undiluted, mixed with an edible carrier oil or even added to foods like butter, baked goods or beverages. One thing to note is that because this method of use requires the oil to travel through the digestive tract, it can take up to two hours for the effects to be felt. However, once they do kick in, they last for several hours.
As mentioned above, CBD oil comes from the male cannabis plant, also known as hemp. The government classifies hemp as any plant of the cannabis family that contains less than 0.3 percent THC. Hemp-derived CBD oil does not produce a high and is legal in all 50 states as of the signing of the 2019 Farm Bill.
CBD Oil vs. Hemp Seed Oil: What’s the Difference?
As CBD oil’s reputation as a natural remedy has grown, so too have the number of CBD oil products for sale. Do a quick search online and you’ll get hundreds of results for products with a variety of names, including CBD oil and hemp seed oil. With so many options to choose from, understanding the difference between CBD oil and hemp seed oil is critical.
CBD oil and hemp oil both come from the male (hemp) cannabis plant and this helps to explain why sometimes the terms “CBD oil” and “hemp oil” are used interchangeably. However, CBD oil and hemp seed oil are not the same things. They are two very different compounds, from different parts of the hemp plant. CBD oil is extracted from the leaves and stalks. Hemp seed oil is cold-pressed from the seeds of the hemp plant. Their location on the plant gives them very different properties.
CBD oil is the compound known for having the analgesic, anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties everyone’s talking about. Hemp seed oil does not have these properties. However, it is packed full of nutrients and healthy fatty acids that give it its own impressive list of uses and benefits.
Hemp Seed Oil Uses and Benefits
Skincare: Used as a standalone oil and as an ingredient in many skincare products, hemp seed oil is a popular choice for several reasons. First, it’s non-comedogenic, meaning it will not clog pores, so it could potentially help with acne. Second, applying straight hemp seed oil to the face is a great natural alternative to conventional, chemical-laden moisturizers and creams.
The skincare nutrients in hemp seed oil are notable as well. High concentrations of healthy omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids may be useful in keeping skin hydrated and healthy. It also contains linoleic acid, a compound known for helping with acne by reducing sebum production. And the reasons to use hemp seed oil don’t stop there. Research suggests the benefits may go beyond topical use. According to a Journal of Dermatological Treatment study, taking hemp seed oil internally may help improve atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema.
Hair Care: Some of the same nutrients that make hemp seed oil such a great skincare product also makes it a great hair treatment. The healthy fats not only keep hair hydrated and protected, but many believe they also penetrate the scalp to help promote thicker, shinier hair.
Carrier Oil: Hemp seed carrier oil is a popular option for essential oil users. Its high concentration of healthy fats easily penetrates the skin, making it an especially good choice for diluting essential oils. In addition, its slightly nutty aroma blends nicely with a variety of essential oil scents.
CBD Oil Uses and Benefits
As the popularity of CBD oil as a natural way to support health continues to grow, so too does the research on the therapeutic effects and benefits of CBD. Most of these studies focus on how CBD oil interacts with the endocannabinoid system, a vast network of cannabinoid receptors that cover numerous areas of the body including the brain, organs, connective tissue, glands, and immune cells. According to a 2013 study, the endocannabinoid system is key to human health. The sheer extensiveness of the endocannabinoid system may help explain why ongoing research into CBD oil covers such an incredibly wide range of conditions.
Here are just a few of the areas where CBD oil is showing promise:
CBD has been used for thousands of years as a home remedy for pain. And, although more research is needed, animal studies may support its usefulness in helping to reduce the perception of pain.
Because CBD may calm the nerves and help promote relaxation through supporting your eCS, CBD oil has long been a popular home remedy for anxiousness or nervousness. According to a 2015 analysis of previous studies, the evidence shows CBD oil may be effective for symptoms related to anxiety. The paper emphasizes the need for, and value of, further study of CBD oil in the treatment of anxiety disorders.
While current research is in its infancy and limited to animal models, it appears that CBD oil is showing promise in treating depression as well. In a 2010 study using mice, CBD was shown to produce results in helping reduce the symptoms of chronic sadness.
The same calming effects that appear to help support mental health also appear to help with issues sleeping, according to a 2019 study. The retrospective study of patients at a psychiatric clinic using CBD for anxiety and sleep complaints showed sleep improvements in 66.7 percent of the cases studied.
CBD oil’s potential effect on the endocannabinoid system includes the sebaceous gland, which is responsible for producing excess sebum (fat) that can contribute to acne. So, it makes sense that CBD oil may have the potential to help with skin issues. And, it’s showing great promise in this area. Not only do countless consumers swear by it, but the research is also beginning to support its effectiveness as well. In a 2014 study, CBD oil was shown to inhibit sebum production and reduce the inflammation associated with skin problems.
CBD Oil and Essential Oils
Although they’re both oils, CBD oil and essential oils are far from the same thing. They have different methods of extraction and different properties and are often used differently.
Because essential oils are effective when diffused, some people assume this is also the case for CBD oil. The truth is that CBD does not have the aromatherapy benefits essential oils do. So, if you’re looking for therapeutic effects, essential oils can be diffused or applied topically. But when it comes to CBD oil, it’s best to stick to topical or sublingual use for the most benefit.
CBD Oil for Pets
And at Plant Therapy, our CBD is formulated specifically for use with adult humans. That means right now we do not suggest using our CBD on animals. With so much hype surrounding CBD oil, it’s not surprising that CBD oil products for pets are becoming increasingly popular. Just be sure to do your research. Although many people swear by CBD oil to help calm nervous cats and dogs, studies on the use of CBD oil to treat pets are even scarcer than the studies on humans. There is also a risk that CBD oil could interact with other pet medications, so Plant Therapy’s stance is always to talk to your veterinarian first before giving it to a pet.
CBD Oil and the Future
When it comes to the future of CBD oil, one thing is certain: It’s sure to continue creating a buzz as more and more human research on this amazing natural remedy emerges.