by Toni Twitty, M.Ac., Ph.D.c
Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Expert
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is a product that’s derived from marijuana plants1. Even though CBD is derived from cannabis plants, it contains none of the ingredients that create the typical “high” effect that marijuana is known for which is caused by THC. There is some controversy around CBD oil because of the recreational use marijuana and marijuana’s status as an illegal drug. Fortunately, the health benefits of CBD oil have begun to out-weigh the taboo that is marijuana. It is now legal in all 50 states for medical use, but is it a modern day snake oil or is it the future of medicine?
The Body’s Endocannabinoid System
How exactly does CBD oil work? It seems like a long over-looked, yet magical cure-all. As it turns out, the newly found benefits of cannabis oil are proving to be real and effective. The human body actually has cannabinoid receptors that help control several regular bodily functions1. In short, CBD works by activating receptors in the body, which lead to a decrease in inflammation, pain perception, anxiety, blood pressure, and more1,7! All these great benefits, but can it help you?
How Can CBD Oil Help Me?
What seems to have put CBD oil in the spotlight is it’s anti-seizure effects for epilepsy2. This is especially important for those whom regular medications do not help. Broad spectrum CBD is best for epilepsy, with certain strands of marijuana being especially helpful. Some have found that CBD makes seizures worse, while others have found that adding a little THC to the regiment can really help put a stop to seizures altogether10.
CBD affects receptors in the body that associate with serotonin, the brain chemical related to depression and anxiety2. Giving the brain a natural boost in those receptors seems to be helpful in reducing unwanted symptoms of anxiety. Research shows that rather high doses of CBD are needed to decrease anxiety, reduce stress, and improve insomnia. If you are suffering with anxiety and want a natural solution, CBD may be worth a try.
While some may believe that acne is not a real health issue, anyone who has suffered from it can tell you how awful it can really be. Acne can leave scars and dark spots, reduce your self-esteem, and can even be quite painful. Good news! A recent study found that CBD prevented over-activity in the sebaceous glands, which resulted in a reduction of acne6. The regulation of oil production along with the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD, make it a wonderful natural alternative to many other means of reducing acne which can have some not so fun side effects5.
Pain relief is a hot topic these days with the our current Opioid Epidemic here in America. Researchers believe that the way CBD oil effects the brain leads to a reduction in pain. Opioid pain medications are on their way out due to their addictive nature and unpleasant side-effects. CBD oil is an anti-nausea and inhibits cancer cell angiogenesis, which is just an added bonus to the pain relieving benefits of CBD. When compared to opioid pain relievers or even potentially toxic over-the-counter pain relievers, CBD offers consumers a promising alternative for non-addictive yet effect pain relief.
How Much Should I Take?
There is not tried and true amount and more isn’t always better. In fact, “less is more” is a great motto for CBD oil dosing. Its best to start with a decently low dose and stick with it for several days to a few weeks before making many changes to the dose. In general, experts recommend that you start at 2.5-20 mg by mouth once daily to treat chronic pain, but call for a dose of 40-160 mg for anxiety and sleep issues.10 CBD Oil Review has a handy reference on dosing here.9
Will It Make Me High? Is CBD Addictive?
No and no! CBD oil should contain less than 0.2% THC1. Counter intuitively, CBD works in the body in such a way that it actually prevents THC from affecting the brain to give a high feeling, so there is no advantage to taking CBD and THC together other than relief of symptoms such as seizures. It is also not addictive.1
Where Can I Buy It?
Head on over to Be Well Acupuncture! We have an array of high quality CBD oil products that contain no THC and that are produced in the finest facilities in the US. While you’re there, ask our Acupuncture expert, Dr. Toni Twitty, about how Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine can help you with your pain, insomnia, anxiety, fertility, and more!
Dr. Toni Twitty, owner of Be Well Acupuncture Edmond, OK is an highly respected expert Acupuncturist. She specializes in resolving pain, treating chronic conditions, and fertility. Learn more about Toni and get started on your road to better health at: www.bewellokc.com
- Pertwee RG., Pharmacology of cannabinoid receptor ligands, Current medical chemistry, 1999, 6(8):635-64; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10469884
- Ashton JC, Wright JL, McPartland JM, Tyndall JD, Cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptor ligand specificity and the development of CB-2 selective antagonists, Current medical chemistry, 2008, 15(14):1428-43; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18537620
- Racz I, Nadal X, Alferink J et al., Crucial role of CB2 cannabinoid receptor in the regulation of central immune responses during neuropathic pain, The Journal of Neuroscience, 2008, 28(46):12125-35; http://www.jneurosci.org/content/28/46/12125.long
- Costa B., Giagnoni G. et al., Vanilloid TRPV1 receptor mediates the antihyperalgesic effect of the nonpsychoactive cannabinoid, cannabidiol, in a rat model of acute inflammation, British Journal of Pharmacology, 2004, 143(2):247-50; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1575333/
- Calvo, Amberley. How Does Cannabidiol Work? www.exlixinol.com
- Russo, Ethan, Cannabinoids int he management of difficult to treat pain. There Clin Risk Manag. 2008 Feb; 4(1): 245-259; www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2503660