CBD Oil: Is It Safe, Effective and Legal?

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CBD is short for cannabidiol, one of the 113 identified cannabinoids of the Cannabis sativa plant. CBD is the primary ingredient in CBD Oil, which has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties without causing behavioral alterations, hallucinations, and other psychoactive effects of its cousin Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

In this article, I will answer the question if CBD oil is safe and legal, we will explore its medical applications and the differences between the various cannabinoids of the Hemp plant. We will also look at why CBD Oil is becoming so popular, and I will explain the potential side effects of this non-intoxicating, new drug. Moreover, I’ll make recommendations of CBD oils that I have tested.

Benefits of CBD Oil and Medical Applications

Before starting the research for this article, I knew little about CBD oil. The first time I heard about it was a few weeks ago when the owner of my CrossFit box asked me about it. He wanted to know if CBD oil could aid the recovery process after intense workouts and improve sleep. Coincidentally, only a few weeks later the owner of CannaBliss, a family-owned business out of South Carolina contacted me on Instagram and asked if I wanted to review their CBD oil.

That triggered me to do some more research and to learn what the scientific community had to say about CBD.

Cannabis sativa plant
Cannabis sativa plant

Marijuana and medical cannabis have always been a controversial topic. Recently, we have seen a new trend to use cannabis in creams, ointments and similar products, and it is becoming a practical way to treat severe pain associated with arthritis and musculoskeletal diseases.

Below is a list of some of the benefits and medical applications commonly associated with CBD.

Treats Childhood Epilepsy

In April of 2018, the FDA approved CBD medication to treat two rare forms of childhood epilepsy based on firm scientific evidence and the results of clinical trials.

Reduces Anxiety and Depression Symptoms

CBD Oil can reduce anxiety and symptoms of depression. It can also help to treat physical and emotional stress because it works both in the hippocampus and the amygdala, two different structures in the brain that receive sensory data and cause emotional responses (8). CBD Oil also helps to prevent insomnia, especially in the event of post-traumatic stress. A recent case report showed that CBD oil not only reduced anxiety but also improved the quality of life in a 7-year-old girl with a history of sexual abuse. (9).

Anxiety and Stress
Anxiety and Stress

Relieves Pain

One of the most widespread applications of cannabis is the reduction of pain, especially when it comes to chronic pain and health conditions that would be difficult to treat with conventional drugs, such as fibromyalgia and others (3, 6, 7). There is also sufficient preclinical data about the use of medical cannabis for joint pain and many other types of chronic pain (9).

Improves Certain Skin Conditions

CBD oil has a potential application in certain inflammatory skin conditions. For example, cannabidiol can modulate the immune reaction in skin tissue, the underlying cause of diseases like eczema, contact dermatitis, and inflammatory rash. Also, CBD has recently shown positive results in an experimental model to treat allergic contact dermatitis (10).

Improves Cancer Beyond Controlling Pain

In some cases, the application of cannabidiol worked not only to control pain but also to reduce the proliferation of cancer cells and the formation of new blood vessels in tumors. Thus, doctors sometimes use this CBD in acute cases of lymphoblastic leukemia, especially when there’s a positive Philadelphia mutation (11).

In a nutshell, CBD oil is an effective treatment for certain types of epilepsy, and there is some evidence for numerous other benefits. However, we need more research and clinical trials to understand better if and how CBD can help with anxiety, sleep disorder, pain management, etc.

Types of CBD Oil

Manufacturers have flooded the market with various kinds of CBD oil and marketing terms. That makes it difficult to compare quality and prices, and the lack of regulation makes the current situation akin to the Wild West.