You’ve heard about the positive effects and health benefits of CBD oil. You know people who’ve tried it, and you may even have already tried it yourself.
You’re confident that the claims are true, and it really is as effective as people say, but do you know exactly how CBD oil works?
The cannabis plant contains over 100 different compounds – known as cannabinoids – of which CBD (aka cannabidiol and not to be confused with hemp oil) is one of them.
Unlike the euphoric ‘high’ that’s associated with smoking cannabis, CBD does not produce this reaction and will not impair your ability to function.
That’s because the high associated with cannabis comes from a different compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which affects other receptors in your body.
Good quality CBD products will only ever contain trace amounts of THC and so will not get you high.
CBD oil encourages your body to use its own endocannabinoids more effectively (with very few potential side effects).
Our bodies already have their own endocannabinoid system (ECS) that receives and interprets signals from cannabinoids and produces some cannabinoids of our own (endocannabinoids) quite naturally.
This system helps us regulate functions in the body such as deep sleep, immune system responses, and pain and may also limit inflammation in the brain and nervous system.
Note – hemp-derived CBD oil should not be confused with medical cannabis which is related but not the same and may contain higher levels of THC.
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What Are the Potential Benefits of CBD
Further, medically reviewed evidence is needed to fully quantify the effects of CBD oil and how it interacts with the endocannabinoid system.
Still, the National Centres for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) has shown some evidence that CBD could have modest benefits for chronic pain, and current research has shown several other potential benefits:
A review conducted in 2017 demonstrated that CBD helped with neuropathic pain in the body, caused by diseases such as multiple sclerosis and injuries affecting the central nervous system, like a herniated disc.
In 2016 a study on rats by the European Journal of Pain saw a significant drop in inflammation and arthritic-related pain when applying a topical CBD gel.
A medically reviewed study by the Journal of Experimental Medicine suggested that chronic pain and inflammation could be reduced with the help of CBD.
Also, people have reported success when using CBD to treat anxiety and drug withdrawal, help quit smoking reduce some of the effects of Alzheimer’s, and potentially even help with type 1 diabetes.
While further conclusive evidence is needed, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has clearly seen the potential for CBD to benefit numerous conditions, afflictions, and illnesses and have already been approved.
One form of CBD, known as Epidiolex, is a treatment for two rare forms of epilepsy and to treat seizures caused by another rare condition known as tuberous sclerosis complex.
How Long Does CBD Oil Take to Work
How long CBD takes to work depends partly on the way you consume it and at which strength.
Taking it under the tongue will quickly release it into your bloodstream, and results can usually be felt anywhere from 5-60 minutes. Inhalation also typically causes quick relief.
Likewise, topical applications can prove highly effective and are incredibly fast-acting – when you consider that your skin is actually the largest organ in your body, this makes sense.
Consuming CBD products orally as a capsule, edible or drink though, generally means it takes longer to reach your body’s receptors, so timescales for oral consumption tend to range between 15 minutes to an hour and a half.
Note – If you like this post, you might also like this one looking at hemp oil vs CBD oil.
How Should You Take CBD Products and for How Long?
CBD may also be used in different ways. Perhaps the best-known way is to take a few drops of CBD oil under your tongue.
For most conditions, CBD oil is not regulated by the FDA, and so there are no clear guidelines around dosages.
CBD oil comes in different strengths, and everybody seems to react to it in a different way.
Some people experience instant relief, while others may need to trial their dosage for a while to figure out what works best for them.
Our advice would always be to start with a low dose and see how it works for you and your body, making sure no unwanted side effects appear.
It may be that a low dose is all you need, but if you don’t feel the benefit, you can then look to try a higher strength.