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CBD Oil – Health Benefits, Side Effects, Risks and More

What Is CBD Oil?

There is plenty of excitement about CBD oil. Is it a passing trend or something you can count on? Many users will tell you they have been able to improve their overall quality of life by using it. They use products to help them feel better physically and mentally. Others will tell you they didn’t notice a difference or they had some adverse reactions.

The variations in opinions have to do with several factors, including what you use, how you use it, and the quality of the product you buy. As you read through the information here, you will gain a better understanding of CBD oil and what it can do to help you promote a better overall quality of life.

The scientific name for CBD is Cannabidiol. It is extracted from the flowers and the buds of either hemp or marijuana plants which are both the same species. However, it doesn’t contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis that brings about the high sensation. Yet it can offer many benefits for pain and mental well-being without the high or buzzed feeling. There aren’t any psychoactive compounds in CBD.

The primary difference between hemp and marijuana plants is the amount of CBD and THC they contain. Cannabis plant contains more THC but less CBD, while hemp plant contains more CBD but less THC. However, the benefits of CBD oil do not change whether it is derived from cannabis plant or hemp plant.

CBD oil is made by extracting cannabidiol from the cannabis plant, then diluting it with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, avocado oil or hemp seed oil. CBD oil is rapidly gaining popularity in the health and wellness industry, with some scientific studies confirming some of its promising physical and mental health benefits.

The body produces some cannabidiol on its own naturally. Increasing the level of them can help a person to feel better both physically and mentally. They work by attaching to various receptors. They are known as CB1 and CB2 receptors. The CB1 are primarily located in the brain. They help with improving:

  • Appetite
  • Coordination
  • Emotions
  • Memory
  • Mood
  • Pain
  • Thought processing

The CB2 receptors are found throughout the body, mainly in the immune system and central nervous system. They help with improving:

  • Inflammation
  • Pain

As a result, someone taking CBD to help them with something such as their mood or their pain can also benefit from other benefits too. It is believed to be a natural to reduce pain and inflammation. These are two of the core elements of many different types of health concerns. A great deal of studies regarding this have been conducted in a lab setting on mice with great results.

It is going to take time to find the product that works best for your needs. It is also going to take time to determine the dose of it to use and how frequently to use it. Such variables will differ from one person to the next. It is a good idea to start out slowly and to document how you feel. Then you can increase the dose or the frequency if you need to.

Taking the time to find a top quality product is key to using CBD oil. There are many companies out there providing it, but the methods they use to extract the oil and to create their products influences what you receive. There are some amazing providers out there, investing time and money in research. They have a sincere desire to help others.

However, there are also companies out there looking to make a large sum of money quickly. They realize the use of CBD oil is gaining in popularity and there is a demand for it. They also know due to the controversy surrounding it, most people aren’t asking too many questions. They keep it secret they are buying and using the product. Those items can be expensive and they can do more harm than good.

You may be curious about CBD oil, but also wary due to the conflicting information out there surrounding it. Such a product isn’t cannabis and it isn’t going to cause you to have a positive drug test at work or through your various athletic testing. While cannabis contains CBD, when it is extracted it doesn’t contain THC. It is the THC in cannabis that offers the buzz or the high. As a result, using CBD isn’t going to change your state of mind like cannabis does.

It isn’t addictive and there are many forms of it to consider. Most products are topical creams, oils, or even edibles. You can select the type of product you enjoy using the most. Most of the products are derived from hemp plants.

As you learn about CBD oil, you can make up your own mind about what to buy and what to try. This can be what you need to break free from pain and from mental health concerns affecting your quality of life. This may be a way for you to feel your best without expensive prescription medications or the harsh side effects that often come with them.

Is CBD Oil Safe and Does It Work?

There is no one size fits all answer when it comes to CBD oil. This is why responsible consumers have to do their research and have accurate information to work from. You can’t rush out there and buy just any product and expect it to work for you. When it is used correctly, it is safe. Such oils can be very potent so you only need a small amount to get results.

For the majority of people who have used CBD oil, it does work. Keep in mind; the type of product they use and the quality of it does influence the outcome. There are tons of reviews all over the internet from people who use such products. They talk about how they feel less pain and how they have less anxiety or depression symptoms. They share how they are able to enjoy life again and even work.

There are parents out there giving CBD oil to children with serious health issues such as seizures. While this continues to be controversial, the stories from these parents are amazing! It is heartbreaking to read about how their child suffered from multiple seizures daily and had no quality of life. The introduction of the CBD oil though often reduces the number of seizures and the severity. In some instances, they have completely stopped!

As a parent, you have the right and the obligation to do all you can to give you child the best life possible. If this is what it will take to ensure they can function and they can be happy, why not do it? That is exactly what many of them have selected to do. Under the veil of anonymity, they often share such details of their lives and the decision they made to give it to a child.

There have been some carefully controlled human trials with CBD, and the results are promising. However, many experts agree there are simply too many variables to determine what is helping the overall issues for those taking it. Still, the fact that people are seeing positive results, both in those trials and on their own, is encouraging. It is also why so many people are willing to give it a try themselves.

If you decide to try CBD oil, do so cautiously. This isn’t an alternative to talking to your doctor. It isn’t an alternative to annual checkups or getting requested testing done. However, you shouldn’t hide it from your doctor that you are using it or you would like to try it. You have the right to choose the form of treatment you would like. If you opt to go this route and to stop taking your medications, your doctor needs to be informed of that decision and to respect it.

Interactions with Medications

Some of the questions asked about CBD oil have been raised about interactions with various medications. Some of them are believed to result in higher blood levels. This would mean the dose of medication would need to be adjusted if used with the CBD oil. Most consumers though are saying goodbye to their medications and using the alternative rather than both.

This is a personal decision, and one you should also discuss with your health care provider. Keep in mind, with many medications there can be side effects if you stop taking them suddenly. You need to taper off of them over time, lowering the dose as the days go by. This should also be approved and monitored by your doctor.

Risk of Liver Damage

There is some speculation using CBD oil for a long period of time or in high doses could harm the liver. There are some users who have had blood work conducted showing elevated enzymes in the liver. However, it is very hard to pinpoint if that is due to the CBD oil or other variables. This is especially true of those consumers also taking some type of prescription medication at the same time.

It is believed only about 3% of users will need to seriously consider not taking CBD oil products due to high levels of enzymes in their liver. Most people won’t have such a side effect to worry about. However, it can be a good idea to have your blood work done every six months just to confirm there isn’t anything out of the ordinary.

Is It Legal To Possess CBD Oil?

There is conflicting information about the legality of CBD oil. This is not the same as marijuana and the laws pertaining to it are different. Some consumers think the laws apply to both products the same, and that isn’t true. The laws continue to be updated regarding CBD oil and cannabis so make sure you do your part to stay informed and to know how it will affect you.

Will you be in trouble if you are found in possession of it? CBD is legal federally but still illegal under some state laws. By law, CBD derived from hemp contains no more than 0.3% THC to be called hemp. Otherwise, growers will be at risk of prosecution under federal law. So it is important to find out what the laws are where you reside. You also need to know about them anywhere you may travel to and take the product along with you. 

In the states where it isn’t legal yet, that doesn’t necessarily mean you will get into a great deal of trouble with it. Most of them don’t have laws for it or against it. Due to the demand for it, don’t be surprised if more states do pass laws to make it legal in the next couple of years. In those locations where it is legal, you must be 21 or older to possess it.

If you need additional help clarifying details where you reside, talk to your local representatives. The terms for the Federal and state laws can be confusing due to the way in which they are written. Your local officials and even an attorney in your area can help you if you need assistance.

There is a difference between marijuana based CBD and hemp based CBD. If it is completely from hemp, it is legal in all 50 states to use and to possess. However, you never want to assume that is where it comes from. That won’t be a valid defense if you are found to be in possession of marijuana based CBD illegally.

In some locations, you will need a doctor’s note to have CBD oil in your possession. It typically has to state other forms of treatment didn’t offer you the level of relief needed for a good quality of life. Your health care provider can assist you with such a note if you fall under those guidelines. The note may need to be reauthorized annually to remain active.

Some locations have limits about the amount of CBD oil you can buy at one time or the amount of it you can have in your possession at a time. They don’t press any legal aspects with you as long as you remain in compliance. It is only when they find someone purchasing or in possession of substantial amounts that they will look into it further. They have to find an amount that is well beyond what someone would reasonably have for personal use.

As a user, it is important to stay on top of the changes to regulations too. As new information emerges about CBD oil, there will continue to be changes. Hopefully, the new laws will make it easier to use it anywhere and also hold those making such products accountable.

Types of CBD Products

There are several different types of products that fall under the umbrella of CBD. Understanding your options is important. It make take time for you to discover the product that works best for your particular needs.

Indigestible Products

  • Liquid drops
  • Thick paste
  • Capsules
  • Sprays
  • Water containing CBD
  • Chewing gum
  • Powders
  • Cooking oils

Topical Products

  • Patches
  • Lotions
  • Soaps
  • Salves
  • Bath bombs

Quality Of CBD Products

Never cut corners when it comes to the quality of CBD oil. If you aren’t going to use a well-made product, you are better off not using it at all. A good product is going to cost more, but it will be worth it. The price is higher due to the research the company has taken part in, ongoing research to make improvements, and the methods they use to create the products they offer.

Never buy CBD oil based on price alone. A common misconception with some consumers is the more you pay for it, the better it has to be. Find out what the average price is for a well-made product so you can stay within that median range. A high priced product may be no better than one which is moderately priced.

Currently, there is very little regulation out there in regard to CBD oil and how it is processed. This means the process is from one extreme to the other. While companies do have to be accurate with what they put on the labels of such products, they can often word it in ways that are legal but not ethical.

The problem with that though is there isn’t enough regulation to verify what is on those labels. Many states are struggling to put it in place successfully for both cannabis and CBD oil. They simply don’t have the resources or the funding for it though. There is also the issue of state regulations trying to mesh with what is being attempted at the Federal level.

A few studies conducted in recent years opened up the eyes of consumers to such details. It further sent a powerful message that you much look at these products and verify the information very carefully before you use them. One study verified 7 out of 10 products tested didn’t have the amount of CBD extract as the labels said they did.

Several of them had less than the labels indicated and a few of them had more! This can make it very challenging for someone to use a given dose of it successfully. A person needs to know for sure what the amount is they are using, and if the labels don’t provide those details, it isn’t helping the consumer.

It is believed a few of them also have THC in them, even in trace amounts. This can be a dangerous risk to take if you may be asked to complete a drug test for your athletics or your employer. CBD oil should never have any THC in it, so it would be a huge surprise to you if such test did come back positive.

Best Practices For Using CBD Oil

In order to ensure you have every opportunity to be successful, make sure you follow the best practices when you use CBD oil. Follow the information with the product for how to use it. Learn about common mistakes so you don’t make them. Finding the right dose and the right intervals for using it will take time.

To help you discover the right options, you need to start out with the lowest dose and the longest duration. If you tolerate the product well, you can increase the amount of it and decrease the intervals for the duration. Continue this process until you find the best dose and intervals for you to obtain optimum benefits.

Never exceed the dose recommendations or the number of times per day you use a given product. That can cause side effects to occur rather than offering you benefits. It is important to gather information, to document when you use it and how much, and to be patient. It is going to take some time to find the right dose and intervals, but it will be worth it in the end!

For most consumers, the effects from CBD oil will take affect anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour after taking it. The benefits from it can last from 6 to 8 hours. You will need to pay attention to how your own body responds. For those with chronic pain, being able to schedule the next dose before the benefits have worn off from the previous one is very important.

Is CBD Oil Smokable?

Due to the confusion with CBD oil and cannabis, some users think they should smoke it. You should never do so, it isn’t good for you and it won’t offer you the benefits it was intended to offer.

Topical Applications

Many forms of CBD oil can be applied directly to the skin. Make sure you pay attention to the site and confirm you don’t have a sensitivity reaction to it. If the area gets hot, red, or inflamed, don’t continue to use the product topically. Many users apply the oil directly to the affected areas such as for joint pain.

However, applying it to your hands or another location on the body can allow it to be absorbed and help both your mind and body all over. Not all CBD oils are designed to be used topically though. It is important to read the label and use it correctly.

Using as Cooking Oil

Since CBD oil is edible, you can use it to cook with. You can use it in place of your normal cooking oils. You can also add some of it to your food and it isn’t going to alter the taste. That can be harder though if everyone in your household is eating the same food or you don’t always finish your meal.

You can also use it orally by taking just a few drops on your tongue at a time. This is the common way that people use CBD oil. You can decide on the method that works best for you, but make sure you buy a product that is designed to be used in such a fashion.

Strength and Concentration of CBD Products

As you shop for CBD oil products, it is important to pay attention to the strength and the concentration as there may be incorrect information on the labeling on such products. This means as a diligent consumer, you need to look beyond those labels to gather your information.

Conduct your own independent research on that brand and that company. If there are identified problems with their labeling, you want to steer clear of them. Stick with a product from a business dedicated to making sure consumers are properly informed and they are fully disclosing the strength and concentration on their labels.

You have to be careful when it comes to the concentration of CBD oil. It is upsetting to learn many such products are watered down! You may get a decent amount of it in your purchase, but when most of it is water, and then it isn’t going to deliver the value you thought it would. It is a waste of your money and they are taking advantage of their customers!

To determine the concentration level take the total CBD mgs and divide it by the number of ounces in the container. You will discover some of the products out there only offer about 65% concentration, and the rest is water. Don’t buy any product that is less than 90% concentration.

Growing Process

Before you use any CBD oil, learn about the background of the product. The best companies don’t mind fully disclosing that information because they have put a great deal of care into it. Find out where the hemp was grown and what could be in it. Hemp is going to absorb the elements around it, including the air, water, and the soil. This means where it is grown and how it is grown in going to influence the value of what the product offers to you.

Ideally, stick with CBD oil extracted from organically grown hemp. You should be able to track it back to the source of origin. If you aren’t able to do so, it is best to bypass that product for one you can. Unfortunately, some hemp out there is grown in areas where herbicides, pesticides, and even heavy metals have been found in it. Such chemicals can cause more health problems for a user, and it is wise to avoid them.

The laws for being certified as an organic grower are regulated in the United States. The same isn’t true for other countries. This is why you should only by CBD oil that is from hemp grown in the USA.

Extraction Process

Find out how the CBD oil is extracted from the hemp. It can be a complex process to do it correctly. There are companies out there cutting corners in order to save money and increase their profits. Avoid any company relying on solvents to help with the extraction process. This allows harsh chemicals and residue from them to be in the CBD oil you use.

Look for a product where the extraction process involves the CO2 removal. This involves a high pressure system at low temperatures. It allows the highest amount of oils to be removed from the hemp, but it is also a slow process. There won’t be any types of contaminates found in that CBD oil.

Comparing CBD Products

While you should compare prices for CBD oil, make sure you are doing a fair comparison. With so many variables, it can be tough to do so. Once you have verified the hemp is organically grown, the extraction process, and the concentration, you have the ability to compare those top products against each other. You should only buy products that offer all of the following:

  • CO2 extraction method used
  • Grown in the USA
  • High concentration
  • Organically grown
  • Laws are being followed
  • Tested by 3rd party labs

Marijuana CBD and Hemp CBD

It is important to understand the CBD oil from hemp is going to be your best option. Unfortunately, many consumers don’t realize this is different than what they get from marijuana products. There are some key differences to take note of:

Hemp CBD

  • Contains a higher level of CBD
  • Legal in all 50 states

Marijuana CBD

  • Higher risk of THC in the CBB oil
  • Laws vary from state to state

Possible Risks Of CBD Products

Using CBD oil responsibly is very important. It should never be left where children or pets can get into it. If you aren’t a well-informed consumer, the possible risks with it greatly increase.

It is worth mentioning a second time that the use of CBD oil shouldn’t be in place of talking with your doctor or a mental health professional. While you can use it as a form of treatment, you shouldn’t self-diagnose. Never use it with any medications until you talk to your doctor as it may not interact well with it.

It is important to pay attention to the dose instructions and how often you use it. Quality CBD oil products are potent, so you don’t need much of it to gain benefits. It you take too much of it, you may experience the following:

  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Nausea

There isn’t enough information about the risk of CBD for a fetus or an infant. With this in mind, women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant shouldn’t use it. Those who are nursing a baby shouldn’t use it either as it can be passed to the baby though the milk in large amounts.

The good news is people of various ages, backgrounds, genders, weights, and health seem to tolerate CBD well. However, it is a personal experience and you have to pay attention to how your own mind and body react to it. There is no risk to the central nervous system.

For some individuals, elevated liver enzymes have been associated with the use of CBD oil. However, it can be hard to pinpoint that as the underlying issue as there can be other health concerns which can be contributing factors. Still, it is wise to keep a good eye on your liver enzymes if you choose to use CBD oil for the long term.

Since there is very little regulation with CDB oil products, the consumer has to be very careful. You can’t rely on the FDA to help you with this as they don’t monitor the labels on such products. They do state such products can’t state they will help with health issues or mental health. They can state they may or they might, but not that they will.

Benefits vs. Risks

For well-informed users of CBD oil, they know the possible risks involved. They also find the benefits it can bring to their lives far outweigh any risks. They are willing to take the chance in order to feel better physically and mentally. They want to get back to enjoying their life now!

For those using CBD oil as a resource for prevention, they love their quality of life. They don’t want it to be taken away due to an array of possible health issues. They find using it gives them peace of mind and they aren’t going to worry about any possible side effects.

Addiction to CBD

A common question people have about CBD oil relates to addiction. It isn’t possible for you to get addicted to it. However, if you use it to help with physical or mental ailments, the issues will return when you stop taking it. The use of such products isn’t going to cure your health needs but it can help to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of them.

On the other hand, there is research in place that shares the use of CBD can actually help with others types of addictions. This can include reducing or eliminate the use of:

  • Alcohol
  • Illicit drugs
  • Nicotine
  • Pain killers and other drugs

Concerns With Drug Testing

A common fear of those planning to use CBD oil is failing a drug test. They certainly don’t want to lose their job or be on corrective action. They don’t want to get kicked off their athletic team due to a positive drug test. Many professions and athletics include random drug testing, and they don’t want to take a risk.

If you use poor quality CBD oil, you may end up with a positive drug test! You must verify the product doesn’t contain any THC in it. Look for products that are certified to contain less than .03% THC in them too as that will ensure nothing is going to show up on a drug test. Such products are in compliance with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

As long as you follow such guidelines, you won’t have any trouble with a positive drug test. Should one come up, you need to be open and honest with the testing commission about what you used and why. If the use of CBD oil is legal in your area and you are over 21, they may not initiate any sanctions against you.

If you are still nervous about it, consider buying your own drug testing kits you can get over the counter or online. They will allow you to test yourself and see if the CBD is going to show up on a test. While the tests they give you may be more sophisticated, these basic tests will be enough to share that outcome with you.

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