CBD and Hemp Oil Explained: Everything You Need to Know About Cannabidiol

CBD and hemp oil explained for you to learn everything necessary to make informed decision about CBD and hemp oil. Can cannibidiol help you?

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CBD and Hemp oil all you need to know

CBD and hemp oil are at the heart of a growing revolution. The therapeutic benefits of CBD are at the root of an expanding marketplace of products being bought by a growing group of devoted users.

Cannabidiol may be less famous that THC — the best known chemical component in marijuana – but legions of users are raising its profile, and news stories about its benefits are changing minds about cannabis in general. CBD doesn’t get you high, but it’s still making a name for itself around the world.

If you’re just getting curious about CBD, chances are you have some questions. What is CBD oil? Is there anything else in it? How is it different from hemp oil? Is CBD e-juice worth trying? Is CBD legal? Does it have any medical benefits?

What is CBD?

cbd molecule

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the two most-common cannabinoids in the Cannabis sativa (marijuana) plant. The most common in most strains of cannabis is THC, technically known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.

THC is the most well-known cannabinoid because it’s responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana. In other words, THC is the reason you get “stoned” from smoking pot — which for many people is the only reason for using marijuana. In most strains, CBD is the second-most abundant cannabinoid. It works in conjunction with THC to create some of the plant’s effects on the body, but also offers a variety of potential medical benefits in its own right.

The amount of CBD and THC in marijuana varies according to the strain. While much of the focus till recently for growers has been on increasing the THC content of plants, some strains exist that are high in CBD too, and some growers have selectively bred strains to emphasize their high-CBD quality. Hemp plants — which are also cannabis, but have been bred for their strong leaves and stalks instead of the THC-heavy flowers — have substantial amounts of CBD with very little THC.

There are over 80 other cannabinoids in the plant, but the others haven’t gotten much attention yet, partly because they’re found in tiny concentrations compared to THC and CBD, and partly because there hasn’t been much serious research on cannabis at all. That may not change until the U.S. government reclassifies marijuana as a potentially beneficial substance for medicinal purposes, and allows federally funded research to be done on a large scale.

How does CBD work?

Cannabinoids interact with internal cannabinoid receptors in your body. That’s because they’re similar in structure to “endocannabinoids,” which are your body’s own naturally produced cannabinoids. The human body has a complex internal system of cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors that regulate many functions.

THC works directly on your cannabinoid receptors (called CB1 and CB2) to create its effects. It’s chemically similar to one of your endocannabinoids, called anandamide (the “bliss molecule”), so it can interact with the cannabinoid receptors intended for it. Think about it like a key fitting in a lock – provided certain parts match up, it can turn. This is how THC gets you high.

For CBD, it’s a little more complicated. It affects the body’s cannabinoid system indirectly. It activates other receptors (including serotonin receptors), but also reduces the action of an enzyme that works on the cannabinoid system. The result of this last effect is complex, but essentially CBD boosts some of the therapeutic effects of THC while also reducing its psychoactive effects. This means it’s a pretty useful cannabinoid for people using THC medically.

CBD also prevents the breakdown of anandamide, your body’s main natural cannabinoid.

CBD has the potential to positively affect a lot of things, from pain perception to anxiety, nausea and mood. These effects are explored in more detail in these papers from the journal Epilepsia and the British Journal of Pharmacology. And a simpler but still comprehensive explanation can be found on the Elixinol website.

CBD vs. THC: does CBD get you high?

Because CBD doesn’t interact with the CB1 receptors in the way that THC does, it doesn’t get you high. CBD oil and other forms of CBD aren’t used recreationally, but their effect on the levels of anandamide in your body means they still can help to lift your mood and promote relaxation.

This is the major difference between THC and CBD: THC is psychoactive, and CBD is not. As discussed previously, CBD does appear to alter the effect of THC (and your endocannabinoids) in various ways, likely to do with it binding to a different site on the receptors. So when combined with THC, it may reduce your high.

The legality of CBD in the United States

cbd legality usa

Since it isn’t the psychoactive component in marijuana, you may expect that CBD would be treated differently in the eyes of the law. But that would be too simple and too sensible for most governments, apparently. In the U.S. there is a lot of confusion about the legality of CBD, owing to differences between how marijuana and hemp are treated under the law.

This is explained in an article from High Times, but the short version is that the DEA considers all CBD products cannabis extracts, which in turn means they’re Schedule I controlled substances under federal law.

There is often confusion around the Farm Bill defining “industrial hemp” as being anything with less than 0.3% THC, but this rule was only intended to allow universities and farmers working with state agriculture departments to grow it. It unfortunately doesn’t make hemp-derived CBD oil legal in all 50 states.

However, state laws tend to treat CBD differently. Overall, only six states – South Dakota, West Virginia, Kansas, Indiana, Nebraska and Idaho – treat it like the federal government does, with essentially any component of the plant being illegal. The 28 states with medical marijuana laws allow CBD on those grounds, and 16 states have CBD-only laws, which allow people to use CBD for specific medical conditions. And of course, states which have legalized marijuana don’t restrict CBD at all.

But it’s really even more complicated than that. Even if CBD oil is considered illegal in your state, the truth is that enforcement of any rules around it has been very lax. In fact, there are hardly any instances of people being arrested for selling CBD oil, and apparently no examples of people being punished for possessing it.

Outside of the strict, codified legal world – where “marihuana” (spelled like that for unpleasant historical reasons) is pretty much anything you derive from the main parts of plant. The non-psychoactive nature of CBD makes it a low priority for law enforcement. But it still could be enforced.

In a nutshell, you’re able to get CBD oil and hemp oil in most places around the country, and while you’ll technically be breaking federal law, you’re very unlikely to be punished for it unless you’re selling CBD products. And even then it doesn’t seem to be that likely — for now anyway.

CBD laws around the world

CBD-laws-aroud-the-world

Unfortunately for CBD users, the laws around the world aren’t much simpler. In general, the issue is how much THC is present in the finished CBD product. If there’s too much, it’s treated like marijuana. As in the U.S., laws surrounding hemp are often used to claim that CBD oil with small amounts of THC (usually up to 0.2 % or 0.3 %) is legal, but this isn’t really clear in other countries either.

The U.K. is a good example of the sort of confusing legal situation CBD finds itself in. Some argue that it is allowed if it’s marketed as a food supplement and doesn’t make any medical claims. They point out that CBD isn’t covered by either the 1971 or the 2001 regulations surrounding drugs, so CBD-containing products should be legal.

But others point out that the general lack of clarity behind the laws, the continuing debate about key issues – for example, whether CBD should be considered psychoactive – and the confusing positions taken by regulators, mean that it’s difficult to offer assurances on the issue at the moment. It doesn’t seem like enforcement is a big priority, but it’s technically a possibility.

Unfortunately, laws vary around the world and the issue tends to get complicated quickly. If you’re wondering whether CBD oil is legal where you live, it’s worth looking into the rules for your country specifically. Pay special attention to any maximum allowable amount for THC and whether the laws depend on whether the oil is made from industrial hemp or ordinary marijuana plants.

Hemp oil vs. CBD oil: are they the same thing?

There is a lot of confusion about terms when it comes to hemp oil and CBD oil. They’re often treated as if they’re interchangeable, but that isn’t really the case.

Most hemp oils are made from the seeds of the plant, and it’s mainly used for cooking and for the production of things like plastics, biofuels and soaps. Hemp is technically the same plant as the marijuana most people know – they’re both types of Cannabis sativa – but it’s generally much lower in THC and higher in CBD. However, when people make hemp oil, they use seeds, and the resulting CBD content is very low. After all, they aren’t really interested in CBD, and it’s legal to use the seeds to make oil under federal law.

CBD oil is similar, but the main focus is having a high concentration of CBD in the finished mix. It can be made from flowers, leaves and stalks of the hemp plant or a high-CBD strain of a THC-containing marijuana plant.

Hemp CBD oil vs. marijuana CBD oil

The choice between hemp-derived CBD oil and marijuana-derived CBD oil is a source of some debate, but the main thing to realize is that marijuana CBD oil will contain more THC and is less likely to fall on the right side of the law. THC and CBD seem to complement each other’s effects, and many favor a “whole plant” approach to using CBD. There is also more CBD in high-CBD strains of marijuana than there is in hemp used for CBD.

However, since hemp is grown on large farms, used industrially, and is legal in most countries, hemp CBD oil is more common and usually cheaper. Critics point out that the lower levels of CBD in hemp mean that more plant matter has to be processed to make it. Since the plant “bio-accumulates” chemicals from the soil, this could (theoretically, at least) affect the safety profile of the oil.

Overall, while there are reasons to choose marijuana-derived CBD oil over hemp-derived CBD oil, there are practical issues that make hemp an easier choice and the downsides can be minimized by responsible companies.

It’s important to understand that if you take 25 mg of CBD, it doesn’t matter whether the CBD comes from a hemp plant or an ordinary marijuana plant: they’re exactly the same chemically and will do exactly the same things. If you can legally get oils with more THC, you might want to do that, but if you’re interested in CBD specifically, the source makes little difference.

What to watch out for when buying CBD hemp oil

What do look out for when buying cbd

Most CBD oil consumers will be buying products made with hemp-derived CBD. There are a lot of companies offering it, and the quality control unfortunately isn’t always the best. The main challenge in buying CBD hemp oil is finding a reliable company that makes pure, high-quality products.

When it comes to quality, producers can avoid the potential issues with hemp-derived CBD through good farming practices and careful extraction techniques. Reputable companies often lab-test their products for things like pesticides and heavy metals to ensure nothing unwanted has made its way into the oil. This also means you’ll know exactly how much CBD is in the bottle and what the concentrations of other cannabinoids are too.

The CBD subreddit has a list of reliable, lab-tested companies on its sidebar, as well as some companies to avoid. Many of the better companies use a CO2-based extraction method to get the CBD without having to add any potentially risky chemicals in the process.

What’s the right CBD dosage for your needs?

right cbd dosage

Before you buy CBD, you should think about how much of it you’re likely to use. There are no hard and fast rules here; it really comes down to what’s right for you personally. This is made worse by the fact that companies aren’t legally allowed to even suggest a dosage to customers.

Yet again, this leaves anybody wanting to use cannabidiol in a difficult position, but luckily there have been attempts to come up with a general guide.

The best idea is to start low and work your way up to find the most effective dose for you, with bigger people taking bigger doses. Generally, people using CBD for medical purposes often need larger doses too. When you settle on a starting dose, try it out and see how you feel over the next few days, then increase the dose as needed until you’re satisfied.

However, you should consult with your doctor if you’re using CBD for its potential medical benefits. He or she may be able to recommend a dosage, and should know anyway in case could interact or otherwise interfere with other medications you’re taking.

Getting your CBD: different ways to take cannabidiol

Now you know how much CBD to take, the next question is: how do you take it? What are the different forms of CBD you can buy?

There are a lot of different options, but here is a brief run-down of the most common ones:

CBD oil tinctures

What are CBD oil tinctures?

CBD_tincture

This is usually a high-CBD oil derived from hemp, with only very small amounts of THC. “Full-spectrum” or “broad spectrum” extractions contain other cannabinoids in small quantities too. Some CBD oil is purified and doesn’t include other cannabinoids; it may be just pure CBD mixed with hemp seed oil or other types of oil.

How to use CBD oil tinctures

To use CBD oil tinctures you put a pipette filled with oil under your tongue and leave it there for a minute or so before swallowing. The CBD in the oil (or at least a good part of it) is absorbed by the soft tissue under the tongue. The balance is swallowed, digested, and processed through the liver, which takes much longer (up to a couple hours).

If you’re looking for a CBD oil vape juice, this isn’t it – vaping oils is potentially dangerous so you’ll need to find (or make) CBD e-juice if you want to vape it.

CBD dosage for oils

You usually have a choice between different strengths when you buy CBD oil. For full-spectrum CBD hemp oil, it generally tells you the total cannabinoid content in the whole bottle (not per mL), but the vast majority of this is CBD. To find the amount of cannabinoids per mL, just divide the number of mg listed on the bottle label by the number of mL in the bottle.

Lab results focusing on potency give you the precise amounts of each cannabinoid, but 10 to 20 mg of CBD per mL is typical.

CBD pills or capsules

What are CBD pills or capsules?

CBD capsules and pills

CBD “pills” are really capsules containing a specific amount of CBD, usually extracted from hemp. Again, most CBD capsules are made from broad-spectrum or full-spectrum extractions, so contain smaller amounts of other cannabinoids in addition to CBD.

How to use CBD capsules

Swallow them like you would any other capsule. Simple.

CBD dosage for capsules

The dose per capsule will be indicated on the bottle and/or the website or store you purchased from. As with oils, the total cannabinoid content will probably be listed for broad-spectrum extracts, but you can find exactly how much CBD it includes using lab test results. Generally there will be 15 to 25 mg of CBD per capsule, and you take one or two per dose.

CBD e-juice

What is CBD e-juice?

CBD e-liquid vape juice

CBD e-juice is just what it sounds like: e-liquid that contains CBD. This is often made with pure CBD – so there are no other cannabinoids in the mix – but can also be made with a full-spectrum extract. The big difference between CBD e-juice and CBD oil is that the e-juice has to be made with PG and VG, instead of real oil.

You can also get a disposable CBD vape pen if you don’t have a vaping device already, but CBD e-liquid is more versatile.

How to use CBD e-juice

Using CBD vape juice is easy: just fill up your usual tank or atomizer with the e-liquid and vape as usual. However, you can also use CBD e-juice as a tincture too, just like you’d use CBD oil.

CBD dosage for e-juice

The dosage of CBD in the e-juice works just like in oils and tinctures: you choose from a range of strengths (listed for the whole bottle), in the same way you’d choose nicotine strength for an ordinary e-juice. There are quite a wide range of strengths, from 20 or 30 mg per 10 mL up to 500 mg per 10 mL, or even higher. As usual, start on a lower dose and work your way up if you aren’t sure.

CBD isolate

What is CBD isolate?

CBD isolate crystal powder

CBD isolate is basically pure CBD, extracted from hemp. You buy it as a crystalline powder, or sometimes as a solid, glass-like chunk, and it’s generally 99 % pure. You can also get “terpsolate” – which is a mixture of CBD with terpenes (also from the hemp) to add flavor.

How to use CBD isolate

CBD isolate can be used in many different ways, making it a good choice if you might want to use your CBD in different ways.

  1. Firstly, you can mix it with oils to make your own tinctures.
  2. You can also use it to make CBD e-liquid, by heating a mixture of PG and VG (pure PG first or a PG/VG ratio of 70/30 is recommended) and then dissolving the crystals into it.
  3. You can make edibles by melting some isolate in butter and using in a recipe as usual.
  4. Finally, you can use CBD crystals for CBD dabs with the help of a dab rig. Heat the CBD using the nail on your dab rig and inhale the vaporized CBD.

CBD dosage for isolate

Getting the dosage right with isolate is simple in theory but can be difficult in practice because measuring out such a small amount is a delicate process.

For CBD e-liquid, edibles or oil, ideally you’d need a scale that measures down to the mg (0.001 g), but if you can get one that measures to the nearest 10 mg (0.01 g) this will be suitable for most purposes. You can control the amount of CBD in your final mix, but most have somewhere between 200 and 500 mg per 15 ml of e-juice. However, this can vary quite widely.

For dabbing, most people don’t carefully measure out a 10 or 20 mg dose on a scale. You can just start with a very small amount and see what the effects are. You should aim for the size of a match-head at first, but precision isn’t necessary.

If you prefer, you could measure some out to get a visual feel for how much to use. However, it isn’t too important because CBD is generally safe even in much larger amounts than this.

CBD concentrates: Dabs, waxes and shatter

What are CBD concentrates?

CBD dab

Similar to isolate, CBD concentrates are a broad group containing hemp-extracted CBD in forms such as waxes and shatter, which are generally used for CBD dabs.

CBD shatter is essentially isolate with terpenes (which give marijuana its characteristic odor), usually without other cannabinoids, but with full-spectrum extracts sometimes being used.

CBD wax is an extract with a waxy texture, usually full-spectrum and with terpenes included. This is sometimes referred to as CBD dabs, but shatter, isolate, wax and other forms of concentrate (such as “crumble”) can all be used for dabbing.

How to use CBD concentrates

You can use CBD concentrates for dabs, or it can be vaped using a vape pen or portable vaporizer with a concentrate atomizer.

CBD concentrate dosage

Like isolate, CBD concentrates like CBD shatter or crumble are very high in CBD. They are generally a little less pure than isolate (70% to 95% pure CBD is typical), but you should treat them essentially the same when it comes to finding a dosage – start with a match-head sized amount and increase as needed. Waxes are less pure, at around 30% to 50% CBD, so you should use about twice as much for these concentrates.

CBD water

What is CBD water?

CBD water

As you may expect, CBD water is water with CBD in it. The CBD usually comes from hemp-derived CBD isolate, but some use full-spectrum extractions too.

However, CBD water companies often make dubious claims about what their product can do, such as saying that some never-explained nanotechnology makes you extra-hydrated or helps nutrients in the water pass into your cells. Some make their water alkaline and claim it can do things like “neutralize acidity” in your body. We could go on, but suffice it to say all of this is nonsense.

CBD water dosage

CBD water can have varying amounts of CBD in it, and unfortunately the amount isn’t always made clear. However, one example with lab tests available only has 2.5 mg of CBD per bottle, which really isn’t enough to make it worth .

CBD edibles

What are CBD edibles?

CBD Edibles gummies tictures

CBD edibles are things you can eat with CBD in them. These are ordinarily candy-like treats such as gummy bears, and are usually made with full-spectrum CBD oil.

CBD edibles dosage

The amount of CBD in edibles varies by product, but generally one to two gummies is enough for a dose. They can contain anything from 10 mg to 50 mg of CBD per edible.

CBD lotions, balms and salves

What are CBD lotions, balms and salves?

CBD balms lotions salves

These are topically-applied forms of CBD that basically work like any other lotion, balm or salve: you apply it directly to your skin. They’re often used for muscle pains or localized inflammation.

CBD dosage for balms, lotions and salves

Dosage isn’t really a concern for CBD topicals; just use as much as you would with any other lotion or balm. The container or website you purchase from may tell you how much CBD is in the whole container, which gives you a basis for how much you’re using, but as always, it’s best to start with a little and then increase it until you feel satisfied.

The CBD market

Although it’s been used for a while, CBD oil has been surging in popularity recently. A big part of this probably comes down to the story of Charlotte Figi, who suffers from a rare form of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome.

After suffering seizures for years as a little girl – up to 300 per week – and trying absolutely everything doctors could offer, her family decided to try CBD. The results were astounding, reducing the girl’s seizures to just once a day – a huge, life-changing improvement.

CNN first covered this story in 2013, and it was featured in CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s recent documentary on medical marijuana and hemp CBD oil. This has sparked a lot of interest in cannabidiol.

The CBD market has been skyrocketing. Hemp-derived CBD went from $90 million in sales in 2015 to $130 million in 2016, and is projected to reach $450 million by 2020. On top of this, there are sales of marijuana-derived CBD oil, which was $112 million in 2015 and is expected to reach a huge $1.6 billion alone by 2020.

Stories like Charlotte Figi’s have really brought CBD into the spotlight, and the CBD market is seeing the benefit of all the positive attention. CBD has also gotten much cheaper to buy over recent years, as consumer interest has increased and more companies have started selling it. The price per mg declined from $1.25 in early 2013 to around 2.5 to 4 cents in late 2016 – up to 50 times less expensive! Throw in the connection with the rise of vaping and the increasingly liberal attitude to marijuana in many states and the booming market makes sense.

The health effects and benefits of CBD oil

health-benefits-of-CBD

Charlotte’s story puts the spotlight on arguably the most important questions around CBD oil: what are the health effects, what are the benefits, and can it really help with medical conditions? In short, does CBD oil work?

While Charlotte’s family used a high-CBD, low-THC strain of marijuana as a source, hemp is a perfectly viable alternative, and many people attribute similar health effects to hemp-based CBD oils. The wide range of interactions CBD has in your body gives it a lot of potential for medical usage, but there are some conditions it’s regularly used for.

In general, the evidence for CBD having medical benefits is positive, but limited in terms of the number of studies and their quality. For some conditions, CBD seems to have positive effects in animals or cell models, but these effects might not necessarily translate to humans. Because federal law treats CBD as a Schedule I substance — which classifies cannabis as having no medical benefits — it isn’t easy to get funding for research, and this has hindered progress more than any lack of promising results.

CBD oil for seizures

Using CBD for seizures attracts a lot of interest because of stories like Charlotte’s. There is some evidence from animal testing that suggests it works, and anecdotes and case reports in people support it too. But there haven’t been many clinical trials, and a 2014 review of the evidence couldn’t draw a firm conclusion because there was so little clinical evidence.

However, more research has been conducted since then. One study looked at CBD in treatment-resistant epilepsy, and found that cannabidiol could reduce the frequency of seizures in children and young adults. A study from Israel looked at CBD oil for children whose epilepsy was resistant to seven or more anti-epileptic drugs. The patients weren’t compared with a control group, but almost 90% reported a reduction in seizures.

On top of this, GW Pharmaceuticals has created a drug called Epidiolex using pure CBD extract, and is conducting extensive testing prior to attempting to bring it to market. The FDA has allowed some epilepsy centers to have “compassionate use” of the drug. The FDA says compassionate use may be allowed if “FDA determines that there is sufficient evidence of the safety and effectiveness of the investigational product to support its use in the particular circumstance.”

The short answer is the CBD oil for seizures hasn’t been studied enough to fully recommend yet, but all signs are very positive.

CBD oil for pain

CBD against pain

Pain management is another widely-discussed potential medical use of CBD oil. Overall, there is promising evidence for combinations of THC and CBD for treating pain, but it seems that THC has more of a role to play in this than CBD. There are some studies suggesting that CBD alone can help – such as a 2007 meta-analysis from Canada, and a rare NIH-funded CBD study. Those studies looked at neuropathic or multiple sclerosis related pain, but the improvement you may experience when using CBD for pain seems to be a result of its anti-inflammatory effects.

When it comes to pain management, CBD oil is worth trying out, but the best option if you live in a state with medical marijuana is probably to get a product with both THC and CBD.

CBD oil and cancer

CBD is also generating some interest as a potential cancer treatment. THC-based medicines have been investigated as potentially useful when it comes to reducing nausea, pain issues and improving appetite in cancer patients undergoing harsh radiation and chemotherapy treatments, but CBD has also shown direct anti-tumor effects.

The research on CBD oil and cancer to date is limited to animal models and cell cultures, but the results from these suggest that CBD increases cancer cell death, reduces the viability of cancer cells, reduces tumor growth and prevents tumors from spreading. There are clinical trials in progress to see how this works in human patients, but at present it’s hard to make a clear recommendation on CBD oil and cancer.

CBD oil and anxiety

Using CBD oil for anxiety is one of the most common reasons people both take the oils as a tincture and vape CBD e-juice. There is quite a bit of evidence to suggest CBD oil helps with anxiety, ranging from basic findings in animal models and cell studies to some tests in humans. Specific tests have shown that CBD reduces anxiety in people with social anxiety disorder who were tasked with public speaking, and other have even suggested benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder. The explanation for these results is complicated, but it appears to be related to CBD’s interaction with serotonin receptors.

As with the studies on CBD oil and seizures, the evidence on CBD oil and anxiety is strongly suggestive of a benefit, and it’s definitely worth trying for anybody struggling to manage their anxiety.

CBD oil’s other medical benefits

CBD oil appears to have a wide range of medical benefits, and although there isn’t always much evidence to base recommendations on, the conditions covered in this post just scratch the surface. There are many other conditions CBD oil could help with, including diabetes, acne, fibromyalgia, schizophrenia, insomnia and Crohn’s disease. For multiple sclerosis (MS), there is a drug called Sativex – which has equal amounts of CBD and THC – that is approved for use across Europe, but there is also potential for cannabidiol to have a benefit on its own too.

Recent studies on CBD and CBD oil

recent CBD studies

The medical benefits of CBD oil is an ongoing area of research, and recent studies on CBD and CBD oil continue to show potential benefits to the treatment.

A study published in June conducted on rats found that the cannabinoid improves working memory in animals affected by a schizophrenia-like condition. It also appeared to improve other symptoms associated with schizophrenia, like social withdrawal and a lack of enthusiasm.

A small study on human volunteers recently found that a 600 mg dose of CBD reduces resting blood pressure and lessens the increase in blood pressure associated with stress.

Another recent study that was presented at a conference looked at the effect of a mix of CBD and THC on migraine headaches. The researchers found that migraine pain reduced by 55% when people were treated with over 200 mg of a CBD-THC combination.

Other studies are ongoing. One particularly noteworthy example is a study looking at CBD and brain tumors in children, using a cell model.

CBD and hemp oil side effects

If you’re considering trying cannabidiol, it’s worth learning about the most common CBD and hemp oil side effects you might experience. Generally, both CBD and hemp oil are safe to use, and most studies find no cause for concern even at high dosages. There are some side effects, but most of these are minor.

The most common known side effects of CBD and hemp oil include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Low blood pressure
  • Lightheadedness (this effect is linked to low blood pressure)
  • Drowsiness (at high doses)
  • Increased Parkinson’s tremors (at high doses)
  • Inhibiting the liver’s ability to metabolize drugs

Most of these are minor, and even the impact on your liver – which sounds serious – is really similar to what happens after you eat a portion of grapefruit. Overall, while you may experience minor symptoms such as drowsiness or dry mouth, you’re unlikely to have any serious reactions to taking CBD, especially if you don’t take large doses.

CBD and pets: Should you give your dog or cat CBD?

cbd for pets

The idea of “giving your pets pot” gets some traction in the media, but with CBD, no one’s talking about getting their dog high. But like humans, all other mammals have endocannabinoid systems, and so there is the potential that CBD could have some medical benefits for pets.

There are many types of CBD products for pets, ranging from oils to capsules and even pet biscuits. Typically, you either feed your pets directly or mix the contents of a capsule into their food. Many people report positive effects, and it’s not likely to do any harm in the suggested small doses.

However, it’s important to note that there isn’t much evidence about CBD and pets. However, for conditions like seizures, where there is some good evidence in humans and approved medical treatments can have serious side effects, it’s something to consider. You should consult with your veterinarian about the option, and never take your pets off their other medications unless your vet agrees.

CBD oil: What does the future hold?

The CBD oil revolution shows no signs of letting up. With several promising avenues for medical benefits, a thriving community of consumers using it to manage anxiety and other conditions, a good safety profile, and more products available than ever before, the only thing holding it back is the confusing and counterproductive legal system. But as CBD continues to rise in popularity, countries around the world will have a decision to face: do we treat a potentially-valuable medical intervention and a generally benign, non-psychoactive substance as if it’s a dangerous recreational drug, or do we lower barriers to research, conduct more studies and embrace its likely benefits?

There is only one sensible answer.

Lee Johnson
Lee is a writer and vaper from the UK. He quit smoking (without intending to) in 2012, and now spends his time writing about the conflict between science and ideology in the vaping debate. He's a firm believer that smokers deserve the facts on tobacco harm reduction without the fearmongering. He probably drinks too much tea.