The benefits of CBD oil analysed – and simply explained

CBD oil has made its way into various headlines as of late, as it has increasingly been credited with helping to alleviate an array of adverse health conditions. In light of all of this, it’s tempting to brand this substance a “wonder drug” – but what actually is it, and do reports of its benefits hold water?

CBD oil in a nutshell

For many people curious about CBD oil, it doesn’t help that discussion of it can often be shrouded in off-putting jargon. However, CBD oil can be succinctly described as cannabidiol extracted from a cannabis plant and blended with a carrier oil, like coconut oil.

Yes, you read that “cannabis” part correctly. Don’t be alarmed, though; cannabidiol is just one of the hundred-plus cannabinoids – that’s the technical name for the chemical compounds – in the plant, and is not to be confused with THC, the compound that makes cannabis users high.

Whereas THC – or tetrahydrocannabinol – is psychoactive, CBD  isn’t. Hence, it is – at least judging from research so far – a largely risk-free treatment. In this article, we will answer the inevitable question: “Treatment for what?” Here’s what several studies have suggested…

Relief from anxiety and depression

In a study cited by Healthline, 57 men preparing for a simulated public speaking test took either oral CBD or a placebo beforehand. CBD significantly reduced anxiety during the test, provided the CBD dosage was 300mg – the placebo and CBD doses of 150mg and 600mg were much less effective.

Meanwhile, several animal studies attest that CBD can bring antidepressant-like effects.

Fighting cancer

Medical News Daily highlights a review posted in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and indicating that CBD can significantly help to impede cancer’s growth. Researchers reported that CBD could not only prevent cancer cells from growing but also promote their destruction.

Treating type 1 diabetes

This condition is caused by inflammation that arises in the pancreas as a result of the immune system attacking cells. However, CBD could help to ease this inflammation, research published by Clinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation in 2016 hints.

Slowing down the development of Alzheimer’s disease

Other research, this time posted in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, revealed CBD’s ability to prevent the study participants’ social recognition deficit from developing. Hence, by taking CBD, people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s could recognise their loved ones’ faces for longer.

What is the legality of CBD?

You have to be careful which CBD you source, as not all types might be legal in your particular jurisdiction. In the UK, the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 outlaws most cannabinoids but leaves CBD oil untouched as long as it is extracted from EU-approved industrial hemp, is used for a medical purpose and has less than 0.2% THC, says GQ. The UK-based VSAVI sells CBD vape kits, for example.

Meanwhile, in the US, hemp and hemp-derived CBD products are legal due to the Farm Bill, but the THC content of these products must be less than 0.3%.

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