Pros and Cons of CBD oil

by Apoorva Shivankar, M.D

Nora CBD oil

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the latest health trend that everybody is talking about. Recently hit the store shelves after the farm bill was passed in 2018, this natural herb is taking the health world by storm.

Products with CBD are popping up everywhere and helping a seemingly endless list of conditions from anxiety to chronic pain to acne. In today’s hush-hush world pressed with competition and stress, almost everyone is looking for something that can really help them feel better, sleep better and live better with minimal side-effects.

So, here comes a one-stop solution- Cannabidiol

Amongst all, CBD oils are the most popular form and have paved their way from medicines to right into the food items, shampoos, balms, diffusers and even tampons. All this in just 2 years. Superfast isn’t it? Now can you imagine the popularity, effectivity, credibility, and consumer satisfying quotient this wonder drug has?

Let’s shed some light on CBD oil identity

Yes, CBD oil is a cannabis product but no, it doesn’t get you high. It is specifically extracted from the hemp variety of cannabis wherein the concentration of psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is restricted to <0.3 %, not enough to alter your mind.

So, be happy, you will not get any sort of euphoria or intoxication unlike the cannabidiol of marijuana origin (cannabis with >0.3% THC). Also, be assured you will enjoy all the beneficial effects of the cannabis plant with this oil. Apart from CBD and THC, the cannabis plant is also blessed with over 100 wonderful cannabinoids, numerous terpenes, and flavonoids, each of which add value to its usefulness.

Do you know how this new darling of medical science works? Here’s in brief:

  • The soul of cannabidiol effects rest in the widespread endocannabinoid system (ECS)- the homeostatic regulator of the human body-which makes sure that your body works optimally by keeping a check on mood, cognition, sleep, pain, immunity, and many others.

    Though the exact mechanism is still unclear, it is said that in situations of imbalance for example anxiety or inflammation CBD increases the levels of a physiological endocannabinoid called anandamide by inhibiting its reuptake and degradation. As a result, more anandamide is available to activate ECS and return to normalcy.

  • CBD is known to facilitate 5HT1A receptor-mediated serotonin signals to calm-down the brains.

  • It also activates and desensitizes neuronal ion channels TRPV1 involved in sensory transmissions such as pain.

  • CBD inhibits adenosine reuptake promoting relief from stress and anxiety.

Intense, isn’t it?

Is CBD oil really good for you? Check its Pros:

  • All Natural: safe with no major side-effects:

Being a plant driven health product, this herb is blessed with the safety of nature. Extra care is taken right from the level of hemp plant cultivation to make it free from chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals, or foreign particles.

  • User-friendly approach:

Drink it or take it sublingually, add it in your diet or cookies, or just massage it over the affected area, choose whichever way you want, it will do the good to you.

With no strict regime to follow, CBD oil can be used as and when needed.

  • OTC drug:

It’s better to start under doctor supervision until you settle on a particular dose but no need of a doctor visit or prescription every time later.

  • Relatively fast results:

Yes, in comparison to other oral medications, CBD oil is quicker but then, sublingual or topical route is much faster.

Shortly after taking CBD, cannabinoids flood your system and act as natural neurotransmitters to stop pain, dissolve anxiety, ensure sound sleep and promote a nice body balance.

  • You won’t get a HIGH or addiction:

Being hemp-derived, this CBD oil is devoid of any psychoactivity or intoxicating property. So, no risk of euphoria or disorientation in contrast to the marijuana-derived CBD products.

  • It’s legal:

Under the farm-bill 2018, cultivation of hemp plants is legalized in most parts of the US. No more illegal play around.

Primary strengths of CBD oil

  • Strong anti-inflammatory action:

By virtue of its ECS modulating activity, CBD oil has shown tremendous potential to tame inflammation which is the major contributory factor (in causation or manifestation) of almost 50% of illnesses including arthritis, vasculitis, allergies, acne, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and many more.

  • Anti-oxidant Properties:

ECS also imparts cannabidiols the strength to fight against free radical induced oxidative stress. This oxidative stress is otherwise responsible for accelerated aging, and wear and tear of the body.

Digging deeper into the health benefits of CBD oils

  • Anti-anxiety and anti-depressant:

Serotonin is a major neurotransmitter controlling mood and emotions. Any dip in serotonin levels can lead to anxiety and depression, the most common and potentially debilitating disorders encountered today. At least 1 individual in every modern household experiences them a minimum once in the life-time. The current treatment with SSRIs host a number of side-effects and addiction risk.

CBD jumps in as a strong alternative by increasing serotonin levels with its action on serotonin receptors and also by enhancing brain sensitivity to serotonin. It has successfully benefitted different types of anxiety disorders [generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, PTSD], depression, and bipolar disorders as well, with almost nil side-effects or addictions.

  • Stress-buster:

If you are feeling stressed out after a super busy day, CBD oil is for you.

Few drops in your bath-tub or juice can relax your mind and soothe your body making you stress-free.

  • De-addiction therapy:

Using CBD oil can mitigate compulsive desire to take drugs or alcohol in addicts. Research suggests that CBD products can modulate certain substance abuse-related circuits in the brain reducing the cravings and seeking behaviour.

Logically thinking CBD oil with its ability to relieve stress, depression, and anxiety can automatically ward-off withdrawal symptoms and help reduce morphine and alcohol dependence. Human studies in this direction are needed to ascertain this effect of CBD.

  • Antipsychotic effects:

Patients with schizophrenia suffer with hallucinations, delusions, disorganized speech, and emotional apathy. Research supports the positive influence of CBD on hallucinations and delusions and also confirms its utility in drug-induced psychotic symptoms and cognitive impairment.

  • Anti-seizure activity:

The most accepted PRO of CBD oil is it’s anti-seizure activity. Epidiolex, the only FDA approved CBD drug is an anti-epileptic used to treat rare types of childhood epilepsy that are resistant to other treatments, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. CBD is supposed to reduce neuronal excitability through functional antagonism of GPR55 receptors, desensitization of TRPV1 receptors and inhibition of adenosine transport.

  • Neuroprotection:

As a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, CBD oil offers sturdy protection to neural tissues preventing neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

  • Analgesic:

It’s really fascinating to know that much before the discovery of aspirin, cannabis was the drug of choice for pain relief amongst the western people. Yes, that’s true.

With its ECS action, primary strengths, and neuronal channel desensitization action, CBD soothes almost every pain including migraine headaches, cluster headaches, chronic arthritic pains, muscular pains, and even neuropathic pains with an effectiveness at par with opioids or NSAIDS without any side-effects.

  • Heart-friendly:

Here CBD oil work by relaxing the blood vessels and thus lowering blood pressure, a known cause of heart attack and stroke. It also lessens the cardiac cell inflammation, fights oxidative stress and tension, reducing the risk of cell death and heart attack.

  • Alleviates Chemotherapy-related symptoms:

including nausea, vomiting, and pain by modulating ECS.

  • Alternative sleeping pill:

CBD oil by releasing stress, depression, and anxiety induces a serene calmness in your brains making you fall asleep. By increasing melatonin synthesis, it reinforces the natural sleep-wake cycle and enhances your sleep experience after a long tiring day. Thus, it outstandingly manages sleep disorders such as insomnia, sleep apnoea, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome, etc.

  • Loves your skin:

The multitalented triad of the CBD-‘antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and hydration’- helps to confront skin problems such as acne, aging, dryness, pigmentation to a great extent. These effects are further accentuated by the rejuvenating and skin tightening effects of increased collagen synthesis boosted by CBD.

Scaling up the pros of CBD:

  • CBD improves bone-health.
  • Treats autoimmune disorders including rheumatoid arthritis, IBS, lupus, psoriasis, etc.
  • Muscle-relaxant actions.
  • Provides antimicrobial protection.

One plant-multiple effects, isn’t it amazing? But wait every good thing has a flip-side too, so does CBD oil. And here we are,

Unveiling the CONS of CBD oils

  • No THC:

Yes, it can be categorized into the ‘CONS’ too as certain medicinal benefits that are exclusive of THC go missing. For eg.: appetite stimulating effect of THC.

  • You have to keep taking it:

As Cannabidiol products mostly address the symptoms and not the root cause, you should use them continuously to nurture the effects.

  • Drowsiness:

If the dose of CBD oil exceeds the requirement, drowsiness may set in. So, always start with a low dose and then slowly work your way up to make sure you get your perfect dose.

  • Not FDA approved:

Though legal in the US and Europe, CBD products (except Epidiolex) are not approved by FDA raising a question on their safety.

  • Malpractices:

As CBD products are not subjected to FDA regulations and federal testing standards, there is no way to standardize and verify the production or label claims (especially regarding the amounts of THC and CBD present) creating a space for spurious products or fake claims. Be extra cautious.

  • Varying results:

Every individual is unique and so is their response to CBD oil. The effects and doses vary as per an individual’s characteristics (weight, biochemistry, sensitivity, severity of illness, etc.). If something works for your friend may not work for you. Thus, you cannot follow blindly; you have to figure out the best for you with your doctor.

  • Tedious dose calculations:

The effects vary person to person as well as condition to condition in a single individual making dose adjustments a must each time. And this every time adjustment considering weight, CBD type and concentration, bioavailability, disease severity can land you up in some dreary and cumbersome mathematical calculations. To add to this, the lack of clarity in label-claims make the situation worse.

  • Drug interactions:

As cannabidiol is metabolized by cytochrome p450 enzymes, it competitively inhibits the metabolism of other drugs (benzodiazepines, antipsychotics, opioids, antibiotics, heart medications) if taken simultaneously, thereby causing them to accumulate unmetabolized leading to toxicity and reduced effects.

  • Other Disadvantages (only if used in excessive quantities)

Dizziness, fatigue, dry mouth, gastrointestinal discomfort, potential liver damage, rarely hypersensitivity reactions.

No doubt, primafacy the prolific health benefits of cannabidiol oil surpass the pitfalls making it the wonder oil of your dream, we should never forget that they are still in infancy demanding an intense research to validate their safety and effectiveness in long run.

FAQs

Q. Are there pricing regulations for CBD oil?

Only for the FDA approved product.

Q. Will CBD oil clear airport security?

It depends on the respective country’s law. If cannabidiol is legal there, then its ok otherwise fine or even jail.