Benefits of CBD Oil and Do the Medicinal Properties of Marijuana Make You High?

CBD oil is becoming popular for treating everything from anxiety to multiple sclerosis. Marijuana (technically a slang term for the cannabis plant) has a long history in America, dating back to King James’ decree to colonists to grow the hemp plant, one of George Washington’s main crops. It has been transformed through early pharmaceutical use, abused as a recreational psychedelic drug, and today is it’s finally back in vogue as a medical option with a variety of uses.

CBD oil is readily available online AND through medical dispensaries. But it also leaves us with a lot of questions. Is it legal? Will you get high if you use it? What should you look for? It’s way confusing. With this in mind, we’re here to shed some light and send you in the right direction.

 

What is CBD Anyway?

CBD is an acronym for Cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid, which is one of the chemical compounds extracted from the cannabis plant’s flowers.  Cannabinoids act similarly to opiates, binding to neurotransmitters in our brain, depending on the amounts present and the desired result. Some cannabinoids have been synthesized and are prescribed for nausea relief from chemotherapy as well as other ailments.

Cannabidiol is non-habit-forming and is mainly found in sativa strains of the cannabis plant. It can make up almost 40 percent of the oil extracted from the hemp plant. In addition, its low psychoactivity and strong therapeutic and medical benefits can be used to help with many ailments and conditions.

Most people are familiar with THC, found in higher amounts in recreational marijuana products. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a psychoactive cannabinoid component of cannabis (also known as marijuana, mary jane, pot, weed… you get the point). A higher THC level is desired in recreational marijuana consumption, as well as in conjunction with treating certain disorders. The indica strain of cannabis is more popular for recreational use.

 

What Conditions Benefit from CBD?

Thorough research on the use of cannabidiol and other cannabinoids is hindered due to cannabis still being labeled as a Schedule 1 drug federally, the list of ways cannabinoids can improve different ailments is growing exponentially. Cannabidiol can alleviate pain from multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic pain conditions while reducing inflammation. CBD’s use in reducing inflammation can also reduce the risk of diabetes by reducing inflammation of the pancreas, increasing insulin production and regulating the immune system.

There is good news for smokers. Those suffering from a nicotine addiction can benefit from CBD as well. In a 2016 study, those using CBD in an inhaler smoked 40% less cigarettes. Cannabidiol can also be used to treat cancer and alleviate side effects from cancer treatment. It is showing to inhibits the growth of systemic malignant tumors,  breast cancer, lung cancer and more.  It also alleviates pain from cancer drugs like paclitaxel. And if you have trouble sleeping there is good news there as well. CBD may alleviate sleep disorders by increasing the release of dopamine, used to regulate the circadian rhythm in humans.

Those suffering from epilepsy and reoccurring seizures  are starting to look to CBD as a treatment. A 2015 study showed that patients who had been dealing with treatment-resisted epilepsy showed improvement with CBD oil, including two percent who went seizure free. The use of CBD oil for epilepsy was popularized after it was reported medical marijuana completely stopped a child’s grand mal seizures.

Cannabidiol acts like an anti-anxiety agent and also has antidepressant qualities beneficial in treating depression, anxiety and stress disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder.  Many states who have legalized medical marijuana allow for use with PTSD. It also has shown to work as an antipysychotic in patients with schizophrenia (unlike THC which can actually increase risk of psychotic disorders in those who have a risk of developing them). Some of these conditions may be best treated with a mix of CBD and THC, including treatment of cancer.  The best treatment options  may only be available in a state that has legalized medical marijuana.

 

So Wait, Is CBD Oil Legal?

Hemp cultivation is legal in all of the US states due to the Agricultural Act of 2014. This act allows for industrial hemp cultivation if there is research on it being provided by the state or university programs.  Some states are using hemp production to help struggling farmers. For instance, Kentucky created a program to help with struggling tobacco farmers. As Americans quits smoking due to health concerns, hemp can become an viable option. Hemp stalks can be used to produce CBD oil, though it takes a lot of plant matter to do so. CBD oil can be made from medical marijuana crops using the flower or from industrial hemp crops, but the amount of CBD oil and how it is made varies greatly from state to state, depending on medical marijuana regulation and industrialized hemp production.

However, CBD oil with more than .3 THC dry weight is only protected in states that have legalized medical marijuana. 16 states have laws on CBD oil alone, and 28 states have legalized medical marijuana.  So it does get a bit complicated when you start looking into it. But CBD oil is available as a dietary supplement and is regulated as such in states that have not legalized medical marijuana.

And of course, it remains political. An amendment allowing veterans to use cannabidoil for treating PTSD passed the Congress and Senate before being removed from the final spending budget.

Hemp Seed Oil Is Not CBD Oil

Hemp oil used for treatment is not the same as hemp seed oil, which is made by pressing hemp seeds only. The seeds have little or no CBD or THC content. CBD oil and other products use the flowers or stalks of the plant. Hemp seed oil has a nutty flavor and contains all of the essential amino acids, as well as healthy omega fatty acids. Many people use it for cooking and skin care. But it is sometimes used in making CBD oil.

Choose With Care

Pesticides are a concern even for medical marijuana, with 93 percent of samples in a study containing pesticides or chemicals.  Using large quantities of plant matter to make a concentrate in the way that whole plant CBD oil is made also brings in a concern of accumulation of contaminants from soil and pesticides. Extraction methods are also affecting the end product. Cannabinoids are extracted through several methods. Oil extraction is similar to making a flavored oil whereas the plant is soaked in a carrier oil such as hemp or olive oil before extraction. Marijuana can also be distilled (similar to making essential oils) or be extracted through a pressurization process.

But watch out for more dangerous chemicals in the process. Solvents such as butane or alcohol can also be used for extraction. If you are vaping or heating up the product, be sure to avoid propylene glycol, which can convert into carcinogens like formaldehyde. Airborne propylene glycol can also irritate lung tissue and induce or affect asthma and allergic reactions.  Vape pens that use 3.3 volts or less were found not to produce formaldehyde.

 

Image via Flickr

 

How To Pick a Good CBD Oil

Using CBD oil to treat a condition can require sticking to a certain ratio of THC to CBD in your product. Finding the best ratio may take some trial and error, but you should definitely involve professionals in this process. In states that have legalized medical marijuana, CBD oil made from the flowers of the cannabis plant can be found in medical marijuana dispensaries. Those options have higher amounts of the cannabinoid THC, which can work in conjunction with other cannabinoids to alleviate certain conditions. One way to find a source is searching at projectcbd.org.

CBD oil made from the entire hemp plant is readily available online and is legal in all 50 states, as long as the THC level is less than .3 THC on a dry weight basis, thanks to the Agricultural Act of 2014, AKA the “Farm Bill”.

How to Buy CBD Oil

The market for hemp oil and CBD hemp oil is complicated. First off, there are a variety of CBD oils available. They differ depending on the strains used and processing methods employed. Secondly, because there is no federal regulation on these nutraceuticals, claims can be varied as to their health benefits. (FYI, a nutraceutical is a pharmaceutical grade, standardized nutrient that is regulated as a dietary supplement.)

The FDA does, however, work to ensure that companies are not making medical claims that are not currently allowed, since the FDA has not approved these products for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease.  The FDA also cracked down on several companies in 2015 and 2016 for promoting CBD oil that had a low amount or no cannabidiol present in their product.

However, any hemp oil or DBD oil with .3 THC dry weight is legal in all 50 states. This includes options found online. Organizations like Realm of Caring have their own stamp of approval for products, which can help when choosing a CBD oil. We investigated a few “over the counter” brands to find some products we could stand behind. The list below contains vape oil that is propylene glycol-free and contains no artificial fragrance or flavors. Remember, the amount of CBD in your dose depends on what you want it for, so we did not include CBD amounts as part of this investigation.

CBD Plus

Herbal Renewals

Charlotte’s Web

Bio CBD Plus

Elixinol

Endoca

CBD Pure

Have you ever tried CBD oil before? Are you willing to try it one day? Tell us your experience and let us know about anything else you would like us to look into!

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Megan McClain

Megan McClain

Megan is a former journalist that is now freelances while raising her two sons and a sun-worshipping chihuahua in Southern California. Her personal blog, Sunshine Wonderland, chronicles her life and shares ideas on doing One Small Thing to change the world and your health.
2017-05-14T22:27:52-04:00 May 14th, 2017|Health|8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. MickeyMy September 29, 2017 at 12:51 pm - Reply

    It’s really a shame that in the U.S. hemp got grouped together with marijuana decades ago when the big crack down on marijuana came about. Fortunately things have been slowly turning around and hemp, and the CBD that derives from it, have been legalized in many (but not all) states. Hemp has almost no THC, so it isn’t something people even used to get high from anyway. See http://greenuva.com for more details.

  2. Merry Davis August 19, 2017 at 10:32 am - Reply

    I’m in the CBD business but not affiliated with a MLM. The company I work for is strictly just distributors…not a MLM business.

    I work for Natures Best CBD. This brand has 100mg of CBD in just 3 drops of oil, making a bottle last far longer than most of the others on the market. We also sell pain creams and lotions, capsules, powder, pet spray and more!!

    I was amazed at what CBD did for me!! I was selling it for 3 months before I even tried the oil. I was sold on the cream. But once I started using the oil regularly (3 drops 3 times a day) AMAZING things started happening and I didn’t need the cream anymore!!

    I used to use Dulera, a maintenance inhaler for asthma every single day. Without it I could not breathe! I fell asleep one night without taking it and next morning I noticed I didn’t need it so I quit using it for a while and I was right!! After 3 days using CBD I stopped using my inhaler. It went from 4 days and I’d take a small dose…then 5 days…and now I haven’t used my inhaler for a WEEK!!! And I still don’t need it.

    Also my allergies..I used to be up all night blowing my nose. I was always stuffed up. Since CBD that’s gone.

    I sleep much better…always had trouble sleeping but now I sleep all night.

    I used to have headaches every night and I’ve had ONE very mild headache since I started taking this (it’s been a month).

    I just feel all around better…and the longer I take it the better I feel.

    Friends take it for anxiety, back and leg pains and more! It is truly an amazing product.

    Check out my oil at https://naturesbestcbd.com My discount code is MERRY20 for 20% off your total order!! Be sure to use it! 🙂

  3. Stefanie June 22, 2017 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    Based on the comment above with the given information, I believe we are affiliates for the same MLM company, which is awesome because it truly is the most amazing oil! 💚🌿

    Check us out at http://www.stefanie.primemybody.com

  4. Kathleen June 14, 2017 at 8:40 am - Reply

    My name is Kathleen, I’m 66 years old, and I would like to share my amazing story with you how Dr. Christopher help me on how to go about with cannabis oil. On January 18, 2000, after a severe headache prompted a CAT scan, a 3cm tumor was discovered in the left frontal lobe of my brain. I was 38 years old. My two daughters were ages 15 and 12. Immediate brain surgery was recommended by my surgeon. However, after further discussion, due to slow growth and no adjacent edema, he felt it would not be negligent to postpone surgery and monitor the tumor every 3 months with an MRI. The tumor remained stable for a little over three years then suddenly grew 25%.

    On September 4, 2003, on my husband’s birthday, I had surgery at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles. I spent the next day, our 19th wedding anniversary in ICU. The pathology report came back an Oligodendroglioma grade 2. The surgery was an apparent success and neither radiation nor chemotherapy were recommended. However, since it’s unlikely every cancer cell can be detected and removed, and the nature of gliomas are to grow back over time, it was necessary to continue MRI monitoring every 3 months. Living from MRI to MRI had become our “normal”.

    All MRI reports remained stable until November 2013 when my quarterly MRI came back showing regrowth of the tumor. My brain surgeon in Los Angeles recommended 4-6 months of chemotherapy, and if that didn’t work, another brain surgery to go in and clean up the regrowth would be considered. He also gave me anti-seizure medication for auras that had started to manifest as strong unexplainable odors. My doctor described this experience as an olfactory seizure. While researching Christopher’s Web cannabis oil as an alternative to the prescribed seizure medicine I also found out that cannabis oil was also showing promise as a cancer treatment and could be an alternative to chemotherapy.

    When Jillian came home for Christmas she and my husband, decided it was time for me to make a decision to do something. I wasn’t ready to decide anything just yet. I wanted to have Christmas with my family. The day after Christmas I made up my mind to drive out to California to investigate cannabis oil as a treatment. We read articles about successful brain tumor results in Spain and Amsterdam and gathered information wherever we could. We decided to give the cannabis oil a try, especially after we read a paper on a study about the chemotherapy my doctor had recommended. That study suggested patients with tumors like mine appeared to get better at first with the chemo but then the left over tumor cells would mutate and turn aggressive over time.

    After many conversations with my husband we decided to contact Dr. Christopher and we order 90-day cannabis treatment and the card was for cancer treatment amazingly, the cannabis oil has helped me with my fibromyalgia pain, joint pain, and chronic headaches. I had this pain for many years and it was getting worse. I literally have no pain now. My blood pressure had been creeping up over the years and was consistently pre-hypertensive, now it’s consistently on the low side of normal. I have not taken any other medication except the cannabis oil, supplements, and good clean healthy food over the years.

    In August, eight months after beginning the cannabis treatment, my MRI was reviewed by a leading Radiologist, my Neuro Oncologist, and my world renowned Brain Surgeon, and it was concluded that all that was remaining of the tumor regrowth was scar tissue. I will have another MRI in December. Because these tumors are chronic and tend to growback, I will always be living MRI to MRI, but the key word here is that I am living …and in great health with a great immune system.

    By eating healthy food and walking every day we both lost a needed 35 lbs. I never experienced the dreaded “munchies” that some get on this medicine.Smoking marijuana is reported to have an appetite stimulating effect. When I built up a tolerance to the THC, even though I was ingesting large amounts, I did not get an intense “high” like whatwould happen if a person were smoking it. For me, it produced a deep sense of well being.

    Since concentrated cannabis oil with a high THC content is necessary to kill tumor cells it concerns me that the main talk in several states is to legalize CBD oil only. That is great news for seizures patients but denies treatment options for cancer patients, plus THC has so many other health benefits that shouldn’t be ignored.

    The evidence is rapidly stacking up on the healing properties of the Marijuana plant. I’m excited for the future of Medical Marijuana and I feel a strong responsibility to spread this information. I hear so many misconceptions about this amazing medicinal plant that I feel i need to tell my story to anyone who is interested and my prayer is that it will be received with an open mind and a compassionate heart.

    Contact Dr. Christopher on email for help on how to use the cannabis oil on [email protected] for more information

    Many Blessings to All
    Kathleen Bizzell

  5. Xenia May 31, 2017 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    Aloha ~ great article, thank you for posting such a thorough run down. To respond to Naomi’s question and your reply, I did find a network marketing company selling Hemp CBD oil that really is the best on the market. We sent the oil away to a 3rd party testing lab and it came back free and clear of heavy metals and pesticides. This oil to which I am speaking has the highest level of bio availability of any product on the market at 97 – 100% bio available. After looking into all of the major CBD oil brands I am confident in claiming the Prime My Body brand as the best in the world not only because of it’s purity, but because:
    a.) the ethics of the company are stellar
    b.) the process used to create the oil (CO2 extracted and nano-enhanced) are not able to be duplicated in a home set up
    c.) the hemp used in the oil has been grown on farms in Europe that have been Organic for at LEAST 50 years
    d.) the ingredients used in the oil are of the purest, highest quality available
    I don’t want to spam your article with a link, but if anyone is interested in learning more about this oil or the business opportunity around it, please feel free to contact me. This market is literally about to explode and is the first billion dollar industry dominated by women :))

    • Leah Segedie June 6, 2017 at 3:01 pm - Reply

      Can you share the name of the company and link them up so we can follow up please?

  6. Naomi May 19, 2017 at 2:06 am - Reply

    Thank you for the info. Have you heard anything about the mlm companies that are selling CbD oils. I’m interested and was wondering what if anything you have heard.
    Thank you

    • Leah Segedie May 25, 2017 at 5:13 pm - Reply

      Not yet. I’ve had a ton of companies contacting me because of this post but no one yet affiliated with an MLM. I’m sure that’s coming. Sounds like something that would be lucrative in certain states.

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