is cbd oil used for

New to CBD Oil? Here Are 3 of the Best Ways to Use It

Considering CBD products are some of the trendiest wellness supplements on the market, it's no wonder people want to know how they can use CBD oil. CBD has popped up on restaurant menus, cocktail listings, and even at-home recipes.

With all the rage surrounding this hemp extract, it can be hard to know the best way to take it or find out how much is right for you. Here’s everything you need to know about how to use CBD oil and find high-quality products in an ever-growing market.

What exactly is CBD oil?

CBD is a cannabinoid found in cannabis, and it's most often extracted from the hemp plant, which is a sub-strain of cannabis with very low levels of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). CBD oils won't cause the same psychoactive effects as marijuana since they contain no more than 0.3% THC by law. This is a huge upside for many people who want to add a natural plant extract like hemp oil into their daily regimen without worrying about getting "high."

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How to take CBD oil

While there are plenty of CBD products like gummies, vape pens, capsules, and lotions, CBD oils are by far the most popular application style. Whether you want to ingest a tincture directly or add a few drops of oil to your next meal, CBD can be taken in a variety of ways.

1. Ingest CBD oil in food or beverages.

Putting CBD oil directly into your mouth may not be for everyone, but there’s always the option to ingest CBD with your food. You can discreetly add CBD oil to a dessert or recipe, as long as you safely keep the cooking temperature to a minimum.

CBD also pairs well with smoothies, coffee, tea, or other beverages. There are several flavored CBD oils that make them a perfect ingredient to incorporate into a variety of dishes or drinks.

If you prefer a flavored choice, FAB CBD is a solid option. The brand makes a range of flavored CBD oils—its citrus and berry flavors are great for morning smoothies and its vanilla flavor pairs well with morning coffee.

To buy: FAB CBD Oil, from $39; fabcbd.com

Another quick and easy way to utilize CBD in a dish is with a salad dressing. A natural flavored product like CBDistillery’s hemp oil is great for this purpose since the earthy, nutty hints from this CBD oil pair well with a light vinaigrette.

To buy: CBDistillery CBD Oil, from $29; cbdistillery.com

When consuming CBD oil in a food or drink, the effects of CBD may take longer to set in, but they may also last for an extended amount of time. This is due to the digestive system, which requires more time to fully break down the compound for it to be absorbed by the body.

2. Take CBD oil under the tongue.

For a more straightforward approach, you can take CBD oil sublingually, or below the tongue. This is the fastest way to see effects when using a traditional tincture.

For this method, take a dropper of CBD oil and place the liquid below your tongue. Then hold the oil in place for 30 to 90 seconds before swallowing. It’s necessary to let the CBD oil sit beneath your tongue as recommended to allow the cannabinoids to enter your bloodstream.

3. Apply a homemade CBD salve.

There's no shortage of CBD-infused creams and balms that are designed for skin application, but you can also use CBD oils to make your own homemade topicals. All that’s needed are a few simple ingredients, and you’ll have the ability to customize your CBD topical to best suit your skin and wellness preferences. To learn how to make your own CBD salve, read the recipe below, which was specially designed by Jenelle Kim, Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. As a skincare expert with many years of experience developing CBD topicals, Dr. Kim’s homemade salve recipe was created to soften your skin and soothe your aching muscles.

CBD salve recipe

  • 2 teaspoons of beeswax
  • 2 teaspoons of cocoa butter or coconut oil
  • 6 – 8 teaspoons of carrier oil (hemp seed oil, jojoba oil, and avocado oil are good options)
  • 1 milliliter of CBD oil
  • Essential oils of your choosing (optional)

Using a double boiler, add an inch or two of water into the bottom container. Heat the water over low to medium heat, and add in the beeswax and cocoa butter (or solid coconut oil) to the top of the double boiler.

Slowly melt the ingredients until the mixture is smooth, and stir frequently to prevent scorching. Once melted, add in your preferred carrier oil and a dropper full of CBD oil of your choice. Stir well.

If you’d like to add in a few drops of essential oil, be sure to remove the mixture from heat and allow it to cool slightly (but make sure it does not harden). For this recipe, I like using peppermint or eucalyptus essential oils to offer a soothing scent and cool sensation. You can also slightly increase or decrease the amount of CBD used in this recipe to suit your needs!

Before the salve completely cools and hardens, pour the finalized mixture into a small mason jar or sturdy container, and apply to the skin whenever necessary.

What are the health benefits of taking CBD oil?

CBD oil works through the endocannabinoid system, which is home to thousands of cannabinoid receptors throughout the human body. When you ingest CBD, it stimulates these receptors and can affect many bodily functions to promote wellness. For this reason, many people take CBD in the hopes of alleviating certain health issues. Some of the most common benefits of CBD oil that consumers report include:

Anxiety and stress reduction

Many people have started to turn to CBD oil as a way to alleviate anxiety or reduce stress levels. This is primarily due to the fact that CBD has natural calming abilities that promote relaxation without the high, and several studies support the notion that CBD has anti-anxiety effects.

Chronic pain relief

CBD is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which is why CBD oils have quickly become a popular natural remedy to aid in pain management. CBD also lacks many of the negative side effects that some over-the-counter drugs may cause, such as gastrointestinal bleeding from prolonged NSAID use. Hemp oil isn't a cure-all for your pain, but it may have some benefits to offer.

Improved sleep

Just as CBD can help you unwind and de-stress after a long day, it may also help you get a better night's sleep. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night, CBD oil may help with either issue, and you won't wake up feeling groggy in the morning like many other sleep-promoting supplements.

Are there any side effects?

It's clear that there are appealing potential benefits that draw people to CBD, but more clinical trials are necessary to fully understand the long term effects of cannabidiol. The World Health Organization generally considers CBD safe, as it has few side effects. Most of these side effects are mild and may include nausea, drowsiness, and a dry mouth.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it could be a sign that you’ve taken too much CBD oil. It’s rare for people to experience these adverse side effects, but reducing your dose could help you avoid negative reactions in the future.

How much CBD oil should you take?

You may need to go through a few stages of trial and error to find the CBD oil dosage for you. For instance, you may require a tincture with a higher CBD content if you are trying to relieve pain than if you are aiming to get a better night's sleep. The cardinal rule to remember is that you start slow and work your way up, especially if you are new to CBD oil.

What to Know Before Using CBD Oil

It’s worth mentioning that cannabis plant extracts, including CBD, have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). So when it comes to CBD extracts, it’s important to know that you’re getting a quality product. This is why third-party lab testing is essential for hemp-derived products like CBD oil, because hemp plants have a unique quality that allows them to soak up heavy metals and toxins from the soil in which they are grown. Checking these lab tests and making sure they include pesticide, heavy metal, and chemical solvent analyses, in addition to a cannabinoid profile, will help ensure the product is clean and comes from a trustworthy brand (oh, and a terpene profile analysis is also a plus).

If you currently take prescription medication for any condition, you should talk to your doctor before introducing CBD oil as a health supplement.

CBD Oil Is Everywhere, But Is It Really Safe and Healthy?

Y ou might have seen it in your neighborhood health store, your local spa or your corner coffee shop. CBD, aka cannabidiol, is getting mixed into cocktails, lotions and drinks.

But what is CBD, exactly? Does it have real health benefits? Is it even safe?

To get a better understanding of the compound, TIME spoke to two scientists on the cutting edge of CBD research: Dr. Esther Blessing, an associate professor of psychiatry at New York University, and Margaret Haney, professor of neurobiology at Columbia University Medical Center and director of the university’s Marijuana Research Laboratory.

Blessing and Haney agree that the current evidence suggests that CBD shows promise for helping to treat some illnesses. In June 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first cannabis-derived drug — Epidiolex, which contains purified CBD — to treat certain rare childhood seizure syndromes. However, much of the research on CBD is only in very early stages, and scientists still don’t know a lot about it — including whether it has negative long-term effects.

On top of that, the CBD that is available in shops and online is not regulated by the government — which means it might contain other ingredients, or not even any CBD at all, Blessing says. Haney warns that much of the CBD on the market could be “snake oil.”

Here’s what you need to know about CBD.

How is CBD different from marijuana?

The drug marijuana, which is also known as weed or pot, is the leaves and flowers of the cannabis plant.

Cannabidiol is a naturally occurring compound that is found in cannabis plants. CBD can be extracted from the same plant as marijuana, or from hemp — another cannabis plant that is now legal in the United States.

Hemp has very low levels of another cannabis compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the main psychoactive compound in marijuana. Evidence suggests that THC — not CBD — causes the symptoms people associate with getting high on marijuana, Blessing says. Unlike marijuana, which the CDC argues is addictive, CBD also doesn’t seem to be, according to the World Health Organization.

What is CBD oil?

In theory, CBD oil should consist of two main ingredients: the compound cannabidiol dissolved in an oil made from hemp seeds or coconut.

However, all CBD products on the market (besides Epidiolex) are almost completely unregulated. Products might not contain the amount of CBD that is advertised, and might even contain undesirable ingredients, such as THC, Haney says.

Patients who take CBD without knowing what they are getting are “just throwing their money away,” Haney says.

“It’s unfortunate that there aren’t many options for consumers to ensure that CBD they buy is safe – or even has any CBD in it,” Blessing says.

Does CBD oil have health benefits?

Companies that market CBD oil make a wide variety of claims about it. However, scientists and doctors emphasize that the research on CBD is limited, and has been slowed in the United States by federal restrictions.

Scientists say that there’s a growing body of evidence that CBD can treat other illnesses besides seizure syndromes, but they emphasize that scientific research is in its very early stages.

CBD is in early clinical trials for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and schizophrenia, says Blessing, who is currently studying whether CBD could be used to treat PTSD in people with alcohol use disorder.

Blessing says that CBD shows a lot of promise, and that she is frustrated that the federal government makes it so difficult for scientists to obtain different strains of CBD. “It’s my opinion that the government should step up, so we can do clinical trials and get this out to people,” Blessing says.

Blessing says that she first became interested in CBD because she saw it being used in early trials to treat people with psychosis. She explains that unlike FDA-approved antipsychotic medications, which can cause weight gain and other side effects, CBD doesn’t seem to have any major side effects.

Other evidence suggests that CBD could also be used to treat anxiety, but it has been tested only in animals and in very early clinical trials on humans.

Haney says she believes that CBD shows promise to help treat the cognitive symptoms associated with HIV and Alzheimer’s, and to treat neuropathic pain (pain from damage to the nervous system, which can be caused by diabetes, chemotherapy or HIV). Research is ongoing in all of these areas.

However, Haney emphasizes that a lot still isn’t known about CBD — including the effects of long-term use, how it acts on the brain or its impact on brain development.

Why do people use CBD products?

Scientists are looking into a wide range of uses for CBD. However, Haney and Blessing say that except for the medicine Epidiolex, there’s only been a limited amount of research to suggest that CBD can be used to treat other illnesses.

Although most scientists agree that a lot more research is needed before CBD can be prescribed to patients, for some people who are selling CBD, personal experience and word of mouth is enough to convince them that it is effective.

Lisa Richards of Denver, Colorado is a longtime yoga teacher and the co-founder of L’eela CBD Body Care, which sells CBD capsules and serums. Richards says that her own experience with CBD has convinced her that it is effective.

“I’m a believer, obviously. I can say, absolutely, for myself this works,” Richards says. “I have arthritis in my knee. If I don’t take CBD, I’m going to feel it come back in a day or two.”

Richards says that she prefers to use products in which she can actually identify the ingredients.

“In my mind, simpler is better. If I can’t pronounce it, if I can’t tell what it is, I stay away from it,” Richards says.

Haney, however, warns that consumers should be careful about the personal testimonies and anecdotes companies offer. “It’s important to be aware of the enormous placebo effect,” says Haney. The claims marketers make are “not based on science.”

Is CBD legal?

CBD is in a legal grey area. CBD that is extracted from hemp (which must have an extremely low level of THC) has only been legal nationwide since the Agriculture Improvement Act — better known as the Farm Act — was passed in December 2018.

CBD that is extracted from other cannabis plants is still illegal on the federal level, but may be legal under state law.

However, businesses can run into trouble when they make false claims about the health benefits of CBD, or when they add CBD to food.

In recent months, both cities and states have moved to control how CBD is sold. Maine and New York City have moved to crack down on edible products containing CBD. New York’s health department confirmed to the New York Times that it has started ordering restaurants to stop selling CBD-laced food because it has not been “deemed safe as a food additive.”

Companies also can’t legally make unproven health claims about CBD.

Blessing says she’s concerned that some people buying unregulated CBD have a “real medical need” and won’t seek proven methods of treatment.

“They might be taken for a ride by people who are marketing unregulated forms of CBD and not get the treatment they need,” Blessing said.

What are the risks of using CBD oil?

The current evidence suggests that the active ingredient in CBD oil is safe, says Blessing, although it could have serious interactions if it is taken with other medications.

Haney says that more research is needed to determine whether there are long-term effects, or if it affects brain development.

“There’s nothing damning; we really just don’t know,” Haney says.

However, Blessing and Haney emphasize that products that are being sold as CBD are almost completely unregulated. Some products might even contain THC, which can interfere with medications and cause unwitting users to get high.

Should you try CBD?

While Blessing and Haney both say that CBD shows a lot of promise, they agree that the CBD products on the market (excluding the seizure drug Epidiolex) are suspect.

Blessing says that anyone considering trying unregulated CBD should definitely talk it over with a doctor, and be as well informed about it as possible.

“Take the time to get the best information you can. It’s a complex subject. The details really matter,” said Blessing.

Blessing emphasizes that there are many factors that can impact CBD’s effects. Too little CBD may have no effect at all. Additionally, the way it’s administered — as a cream, oil, pill or tab under the tongue — could weaken its effects.

Available CBD products meant to be taken orally (besides Epidiolex) generally have poor “bioavailability,” says Blessing, “so only a small fraction of CBD you swallow makes it into your bloodstream.”

Haney warns that people should approach companies that sell CBD with skepticism.

“Because it’s not regulated, nobody is really checking what it contains,” Haney says. “There is no source of CBD I can recommend.”

Explained: What is CBD oil? What are the legalities of its use in India?

CBD oil is an extract from the cannabis plant. The two main active substances in it are cannabidiol or CBD and delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.

Earlier this week, late actor Irrfan Khan’s wife Sutapa Sikdar made an appeal to legalise CBD oil in India. Her appeal followed the criticism of actor Rhea Chakrabaorty after it was reported that she had administered CBD oil, used as a pain reliever for some, to Sushant Singh Rajput when he was alive. What is CBD oil? What are its effects? Is its use and consumption legal in India?

What is CBD oil?

CBD oil is an extract from the cannabis plant. The two main active substances in it are cannabidiol or CBD and delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. The high that is caused by the consumption of cannabis is due to THC. CBD, however, does not cause a “high” or any form of intoxication. CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant, then diluting it with a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed oil.

What are the effects of Cannabidiol?

Cannabidiol has effects on the brain, preventing the breakdown of a chemical that aggravates pain and affects mood, and mental function. It can reduce pain and anxiety. It also reduces psychotic symptoms associated with conditions such as schizophrenia as well as epilepsy.

How is CBD oil used?

CBD is extracted from marijuana plants as either an oil or powder. These can be mixed into creams or gels. They can be put into capsules and taken orally, or rubbed on your skin. All topicals (cannabis-infused products) should be applied directly to the site of inflammation or pain to work in a specific area.

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Is CBD oil helpful in the treatment of cancer?

There is not enough robust scientific evidence to prove that CBD oil can safely and effectively treat cancer. A study from the European Journal of Pain showed that CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain associated with cancer. Studies have long shown that people who took marijuana extracts in clinical trials tended to need less pain medicine. The US-based National Cancer Institute says that CBD may help alleviate side-effects of cancer treatment.

Is CBD oil legal in India?

The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act) outlaws the recreational use of cannabis. The NDPS Act, however, does not apply to the leaves and seeds of cannabis plants. In case the CBD is extracted from the leaves of the cannabis, then technically it is not illegal. CBD oil manufactured under a licence issued by the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 can be legally used. However, the use of cannabis as a medicine is not much prevalent in India. The recent controversy about the use of drugs in Bollywood has further stigmatised the usage of CBD.

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