Understanding CBD Oils
CBD oils are cannabis oils with high concentrations of Cannabidiol. Cannabidiol (CBD) is the second highest occurring cannabinoid present in the cannabis plant.
CBD oils are created by extracting oils from strains of cannabis high in CBD. They can also be formulated by processing extracted oils with the purpose of separating CBD from other cannabinoids – predominantly THC.
How Do CBD Oils Work
CBD oils work by interacting with an innate neuro-transmitting system called the Endocannabinoid System – or ECS – which works to regulate bodily functions such as:
The ECS is made up of two receptors, namely the Cannabis Receptor 1 (CB1) and Cannabis Receptor 2 (CB2). These receptors interact with cannabinoids – in this case, CBD – to influence bodily functions.
CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system. Source
Do CBD oils have side effects?
CBD oils are beneficial to treating a wide array of ailments including mental health disorders and cancer. A survey conducted by Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research indicated that 62 percent of Cannabidiol users reported that they used the chemical compound to treat medical conditions including anxiety, depression, and chronic pain.
A study published online in 2015 shows that Cannabidiol can significantly reduce inflammation and pain in diseases such as sclerosis, arthritis, and Chronic Joint Pain.
Despite the numerous benefits of CBD oils, several concerns have been raised concerning its side effects. These concerns range anywhere from substance dependency to potential health risks associated with continual use.
A report by the World Health Organization (WHO) states that CBD “exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.” According to this report, "To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD." In there are side effects, researchers do not fully understand their entire scope.
Although CBD oils are generally harmless, there are some serious risks associated with their use.
In an article published on the Harvard Health blog, CBD oils were stated to interact with medications in “the exact same mechanism that grapefruit juice does.” CBD oils can potentially do this by increasing the levels of Coumadin – a blood thinner – in the blood. While this is hardly a concern, with certain medications, this interaction can prove harmful – and even deadly.
A collection of CBD oils. Source
Given to this fact, individuals who suffer from high blood pressure are advised to consult their physicians before using CBD oil. Individuals on prescription medications should do same. Scenarios such as this can be avoided with ease if CBD oils are marketed as medication rather than supplements.
Some studies – though ongoing – have stated that CBD oils exacerbate the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Until concluded, it is advisable that patients avoid CBD oils altogether.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.” The side effects of CBD oils are generally benign. Some of these effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Changes in mood
- Changes in appetite
These side effects are quite common with other oils and/or supplements.
Final words: The real risk of CBD oils
Research has proven CBD oils beneficial to the treatment of many ailments including chronic pain and mental health disorders. Despite the rising concerns associated with the substance, CBD oils have been proven generally safe for consumption. However, the real risk associated with CBD oils are their purity.
A research letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) analysed 84 CBD products sold by 31 different online companies. It was recorded that one in five contained components such as THC, which could lead to intoxication – especially in children.
Should the government create a system which regulates the production process of the substance, these inconveniences could be easily avoided. As of today, the THC content in CBD oils are regulated, if allowed at all. But some studies show that the medicinal benefits of cannabis are more evident where both CBD and THC are combined. This, perhaps, presents a dilemma if THC is to be blamed for any CBD oil side effects, because for a better treatment, a CBD oil product containing THC would be the better option.
Regardless of any potential benefits and side effects, it’s best to speak to your physician before beginning a cannabis treatment, and maintain a dosage that works best for you or that is prescribed for you.