In recent years, there has been looming excitement and uncertainty about the efficacy of CBD products. Even though avid CBD users have fully embraced it into their routines, some people are quite skeptical about its safety. Herein; we shall discuss CBD, how safe it is, what to consider while purchasing CBD oil, its benefits, and possible side effects.
CBD has various therapeutic benefits. It is an organic compound and is safer compared to inorganic supplements. For example, CBD reduces high stress and anxiety levels, improves mood, and reduces muscle pains and inflammation. Furthermore, CBD is used to manage drug withdrawals and improve skin health.
CBD is processed in various forms, such as tinctures, vapes, gummies, and capsules. However, there is speculation about its safety, especially because it is closely associated with marijuana. This article will explain more about CBD, how it works in the body, its safety, and its therapeutic benefits.
Understanding CBD: Is the Excitement/Worry Justified?
CBD is a cannabinoid extracted from the hemp plant. Besides hemp, marijuana is a plant strain of the cannabis plant. Both plants contain varying levels of CBD and THC. While hemp is abundant in CBD, marijuana has higher THC levels. CBD is non-psychoactive and thus does not cause intoxicating or euphoric effects. However, THC is psychoactive and causes a "high" sensation after using cannabis. Even though CBD has traces of THC, the THC elements in CBD are low (below 0.3%).
CBD contains various chemical compounds, such as terpenes and flavonoids. Furthermore, it contains various cannabinoids, such as cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabichromene (CBC).
How Safe is CBD Oil?
There are three key factors to consider while investigating the safety of CBD oil:
The effects of CBD
The risks of using CBD
The CBD formulations.
Forms of CBD
As mentioned, CBD oil can be processed into gummies, capsules, tinctures, vapes, and topical products
CBD tinctures are CBD oils with an alcohol base. They are infused with flavors and sweeteners to disguise hemp's earthy, natural taste. Furthermore, they are administered sublingually and quickly take effect because they don't have to be gut-processed. CBD tinctures are easy to dose and can be infused in various beverages such as coffee and tea. However, they aren't widely available and cannot be used topically.
CBD vapes are inhaled into the lungs via the mouth. Vape pens contain an e-liquid, such as CBD vape oil which is heated and vaporized. It is worth noting that CBD vape oil is not the same as CBD oil because it contains vegetable glycerin and propyl glycol. These chemical ingredients ensure that the e-liquid is efficiently heated, vaporized, and safely inhaled into the lungs. CBD vapes take effect within 5-10 minutes because they don't have to be processed by the digestive system.
CBD gummies are chewy, delicious edibles infused with a precise amount of CBD oil. They disguise the earthy flavor of CBD oil and are popular because they are widely available, easily customizable, and can be prepared locally. Additionally, CBD gummies take effect within 30 – 45 minutes because they must be gut processed.
CBD capsules are pill-like substances infused with a specific amount of CBD oil. They are flavorless, although they also disguise CBD oil's natural flavor. They have a gelatin outer casing and dispense their therapeutic effects after 40minutes because they must be gut processed.
Possible Risks of Using CBD
CBD does not interact harmoniously with certain medications. For example, heart rhythm medications, prostate medications, blood thinners, anti-histamines, immunosuppressants, and anti-cancer medications should not be used simultaneously with CBD; it may lead to the inefficacy of the medication or an increased risk of harmful effects to the body.
Low-quality CBD products have various side effects, such as migraines, nausea, vomiting, rashes, agitation, and drowsiness. Additionally, CBD products are highly unregulated by the FDA, which has only approved Epidiolex, a drug used to treat rare forms of epilepsy. Therefore, the product quality is left at the hands of the manufacturer.
In addition, some CBD products have elevated THC levels. To prevent any psychoactive effects, federally legalized CBD products should only contain a maximum of 0.3% THC. THC increases anxiety and blood circulation, which may cause eye redness. Furthermore, expectant mothers should not consume THC since it may affect the cognitive ability of the unborn child.
Benefits of Using CBD
According to Dawidowicz et al. (2018), CBD has antioxidant properties that reduce the effects of free radicals, which cause oxidative stress on the skin. Furthermore, they reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the skin.
McFadden et al. (2021) suggested that CBD has anti-anxiety properties that reduce high stress and anxiety levels, improve mood and reduce depression.
According to Atalay et al. (2020), CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce skin and muscle inflammation.
Moltke et al. (2021) suggested that CBD improves sleep quality by triggering the production of higher melatonin levels. Melatonin hormone alerts the brain to fall asleep at night. Therefore, higher melatonin levels induce the brain to fall into a deep sleep, which helps in removing toxins from the body, improving cardiovascular health, and increasing energy levels.
According to Hegazy et al. (2019), CBD has analgesic properties that alleviate muscle and joint pains.
What To Consider When Purchasing CBD Oil
Read the product label, and ensure that you aren't allergic to any ingredients used in processing CBD
Read the customer reviews
Confirm the extraction method. CO2 extraction is better because it produces higher quality CBD oil, free from impurities.
Confirm whether the product has undergone intensive independent third-party testing.
Confirm the hemp source.
How Does CBD Work in The Body?
CBD binds with endocannabinoid receptors, which are part of a larger endocannabinoid system in the brain. The endocannabinoid receptors are located in various body parts, such as the spine, brain, skin, spleen, and white blood cells. Furthermore, the endocannabinoid system is key in emotional response and pain control. Therefore, CBD indirectly binds with CB2 receptors, leading to the transmission of impulses that reduce muscle and skin inflammation.
CBD Formulations: Is Full Spectrum CBD Safe To Use?
There are three major CBD formulations:
Full spectrum CBD contains all cannabinoids and chemical compounds in hemp, such as terpenes, flavonoids, CBD, THC, and CBG. However, the THC levels are relatively low to prevent any intoxicating effects.
Broad spectrum CBD is similar to full spectrum CBD. However, it lacks THC because it is completely extracted from it.
CBD isolate is pure CBD because all other cannabinoids and chemical compounds are absent from it.
Therefore, the full spectrum is safe to use, despite the traces of THC. While purchasing CBD oil, consult your doctor about the right dosage, and ensure you purchase your product from a reputable brand.
CBD has various therapeutic benefits. It is an organic compound and is safer compared to inorganic supplements. However, CBD does not interact harmoniously with certain medications. For example, heart rhythm medications, prostate medications, and blood thinners medications should not be used simultaneously with CBD because it may cause negative side effects. Low-quality CBD products have various side effects, such as migraines, nausea, and vomiting. Fortunately, CBD has anti-anxiety properties that improve mood and reduce high-stress levels. Furthermore, it has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce muscle and skin inflammation. While purchasing CBD, ensure you confirm the hemp source, the extraction method, and whether you are allergic to the ingredients used in manufacturing CBD.
McFadden, B. R., & Malone, T. (2021). Homegrown perceptions about the medical use and potential abuse of CBD and THC. Addictive behaviors, 115, 106799.
Moltke, J., & Hindocha, C. (2021). Reasons for cannabidiol use: a cross-sectional study of CBD users, focusing on self-perceived stress, anxiety, and sleep problems. Journal of cannabis research, 3(1), 1-12.
Dawidowicz, A. L., Olszowy-Tomczyk, M., & Typek, R. (2021). CBG, CBD, Δ9-THC, CBN, CBGA, CBDA and Δ9-THCA as antioxidant agents and their intervention abilities in antioxidant action. Fitoterapia, 152, 104915.
Le Bozec, A., Guédon, M., Brugel, M., Laurent, M., Carlier, C., Hettler, D., ... & Bouché, O. (2022). Prevalence of Cannabidiol (CBD) consumption and cancer patients' expectations in one Oncology Day-Hospital: A cross-sectional study and questionnaire validation.
Atalay, S., Jarocka-Karpowicz, I., & Skrzydlewska, E. (2020). Antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties of cannabidiol. Antioxidants, 9(1), 21.
Hegazy, O., & Platnick, H. (2019). Cannabidiol (CBD) for treatment of neurofibromatosis-related pain and concomitant mood disorder: A case report. Cureus, 11(12).