Before its medicinal properties were established, marijuana was more popularly known for its recreational use and the “high” feeling or intoxication it creates. The world is still coming to terms with the cannabis plant as having great medicinal value. In Australia, for example, medical marijuana only became legal in 2016.
Still, the buzz around cannabis-based products like CBD oil is at an all-time high as legislation to legalise marijuana for medical use has been approved here and elsewhere. These products are purported to cure all sorts of health conditions, including chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia, and more. So, should people use cannabis oil?
What Is Cannabis Oil (Cannabidiol CBD)?
Cannabidiol is an oil derived from the cannabis sativa plant. It is among the cannabinoids or compounds in the cannabis plant, the other one being the delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. As CBD and THC are different compounds, they have different effects.
THC is responsible for the mind-altering “high” when a person smokes marijuana or uses it in cooking. It breaks down when a person applies heat and introduces it into their system, making it psychoactive. CBD, on the other hand, does not produce significant changes in the body.
Cannabidiol CBD has shown some significant medical benefits and has been approved to treat certain conditions.
Based on studies, CBD offers individuals several potential benefits.
1. Cannabis Oil for Abdominal Pain
People turn to CBD for natural pain relief. So, what’s the science behind cannabis oil for pain? Research conducted on CBD shows that this non-psychoactive compound reduces inflammation.
It is found to prevent the release of compounds that trigger inflammation in the body. When applied to the skin, it significantly reduces inflammation. As it is extracted from the sativa plant, it is a much more natural alternative to over-the-counter drugs.
2. Cannabis Oil for Arthritis
Because of its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, CBD may also be an effective treatment for arthritis. A study in the European Journal of Pain showed a drop in inflammation among rats with arthritis. However, more studies on humans need to be done to officially make CBD a treatment for arthritis.
3. Cannabis Oil for Back Pain
While some people use CBD for abdominal pain, others use cannabis oil for back pain. The human body produces endocannabinoids, which are compounds similar to cannabinoids in the Cannabis sativa plant. The endocannabinoids in our brains and immune systems receive chemical signals from different stimuli.
They help the cells respond, producing anti-inflammatory effects.
4. Cannabis Oil for Anxiety
CBD may also help reduce anxiety. A study conducted in 2019 showed that cannabis oil significantly reduced symptoms in mice with anxiety. Another study suggested that CBD might help reduce anxiety-related behaviours in people with general anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and PTSD.
Unlike THC, its psychoactive counterpart, CBD does not trigger or amplify feelings of anxiousness and paranoia. It has an opposite effect on people with chronic anxiety. This explains why there is a demand for cannabis-based products like oil and ointment among people with anxiety disorder.
5. Cannabis Oil for Cancer
A 2012 study found that the CBD compound in cannabis plants may help prevent the spread of some types of cancer. CBD appears to suppress the growth of cancer cells and promote their destruction. Cannabidiol also has low levels of toxicity.
Other studies have looked into CBD as a support for standard cancer treatments. Adding CBD to chemotherapy drugs may improve the immune system’s response to cancer treatment. Apart from improving the action of chemotherapy, CBD may also lessen the side effects of conventional chemotherapy.
6. Cannabis Oil for Seizures and Autism
The safety and effectiveness of cannabidiol for treating epilepsy have been established after years of research. In the US, the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of a purified form of CBD called Epidiolex. It is used to treat certain conditions in people aged 3 years and over.
These conditions include Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Some forms of epilepsy involve seizures that are too difficult to control with certain types of medication. This is why scientists are looking to understand how CBD oil prevents seizures without the sedating effects of other medications.
Another study showed that CBD-enriched treatment in patients with autism spectrum disorder seems to be promising. CBD may help manage behavioural problems associated with autism. It may also be effective in managing the core symptoms and cognitive functions.
Is Cannabidiol Safe?
While CBD has been deemed safe to use, there seem to be a few potential risks when using this extract. Whether it is used as an oral spray or a topical gel, it is said to bring side effects like fatigue and diarrhea. It may also cause changes in weight and appetite.
The Bottom Line
Cannabis-based products show some promise in helping treat the symptoms of certain conditions. However, a person should use caution when using CBD. It is advisable to speak with a doctor or healthcare provider before using cannabis oil.