Health Benefits of CBD Oil — and a Look at Side Effects
Cannabidiol oil, or CBD oil, is a popular natural remedy for many ailments derived from cannabis. The benefits of CBD oil include pain relief and relaxation without any mind-altering effects.
People make CBD oil by extracting CBD oil from the hemp plant and mixing it with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or hemp seed oil. It is one of more than 100 compounds called cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant Cannabis sativa (1).
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, which means it produces the intense feelings normally associated with cannabis. However, unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive.
CBD can be found online and in stores in a variety of products, including dietary supplements, body washes, beverages and food.
It’s making headway in the health and wellness space, with some scientific studies suggesting it can reduce symptoms of conditions like chronic pain and anxiety. But is it the right choice for you?
This article covers 6 evidence-backed health benefits of CBD, as well as potential side effects and safety concerns associated with CBD products.
Note: Is CBD Legal?
Hemp-derived CBD products (less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal federally, but remain illegal under certain state laws.
Hemp-derived CBD products are illegal at the federal level, but are legal under certain state laws.
Check the laws in your state and anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that over-the-counter CBD products are not FDA-approved from a reputable source and may be mislabeled.
1. It can relieve pain.
Cannabis has been used to treat pain since 2900 BC. (2 trusted sources)
Recently, scientists discovered that certain components of cannabis, including CBD, have pain-relieving properties.
The human body has a specialized system called the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in regulating many functions, including sleep, appetite, pain perception, and immune system response (3).
The body produces endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system.
Research shows that CBD can help reduce chronic pain by affecting endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation, and interacting with neurotransmitters (4).
CBD Pain Relief
Navigating Sciatica Flares
CBD topicals help with pain relief, especially on days when I have sciatica attacks. I use full-spectrum CBD topicals (mainly creams and ointments) on my lower back and do physical therapy like yoga, swimming, and long walks around town. I’ve noticed that the CBD doesn’t provide consistent or long-lasting relief from my pain. However, using CBD for low back pain can provide temporary pain relief. I’ve found that isolate oil (pure CBD, no THC) is the most helpful in reducing pain and overall stress levels. Full spectrum essential oils like Aspen Green are also great for arm pain!
Some research suggests that CBD alone may be effective for certain types of pain, including neuralgia and back pain. However, it seems to be more potent when combined with THC (5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).
Several human studies have found that a combination of CBD and THC is effective in treating pain associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) and arthritis.
An oral spray called Sativex (nabiximols), a 1:1 combination of THC and CBD, has been approved in several countries for the treatment of MS-related pain.
A study involving 47 people with MS examined the effects of taking Sativex for a month. Participants experienced improvements in pain, walking ability, and muscle spasms ( 7Trusted Source ).
Still, the study did not include a control group, so a placebo effect cannot be ruled out (7Trusted Source).
In a commentary, researchers note that Sativex may benefit people with MS-related neuropathic pain and chronic severe neuropathic pain. The review also found that Sativex can help relieve anxiety and stress, which are major drivers of chronic pain (8).
Additionally, some studies have shown that CBD can relieve arthritis symptoms, such as