Over the last year, there has been a considerable rise in the use of CBD oil. You can walk into a shop and grab a CBD shot in your morning coffee, your beautician may be offering you any number of CBD treatments, you can even get it for your pets!
But, what is CBD oil, and how can we use it in our daily lives? Are there really any long term benefits, or is it just another fad?
What is CBD oil?
When people first hear about CBD, they often look pretty shocked. For years the use of marijuana has been illegal in most countries, so how can it now be so easily accessible?
While Cannabidiol (CBD) may derive from the Cannabid Sativa plant (AKA Marijuana), it is quite different from the cannabis we are used to hearing about. Marijuana is made up of two components, CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
It is the THC element which gives people the ‘high’ sensation. While both compounds have psychoactive effects, CBD is known as a nonpsychoactive component. Basically, it doesn’t bind so well with the CB1 receptors in your brain. Hemp plants tend to have a higher CBD and lower THC count.
Won’t I get arrested if I have CBD?
If you have bought your CBD from a reputable source, then in many countries it is legal to use, depending on the dose. Laws surrounding cannabis change a lot. In America, you can buy medical marijuana with high THC levels, however only if prescribed to you by a licensed physician. There are lots of countries that allow CBD with low levels, to be sold from shops and over-the-counter. The best rule of thumb is to check the laws on CBD in your area before heading out to purchase your own.
Even in countries where it is legal, you may still find there are issues with the use of CBD. If you are drug tested at work or entering into a professional sports event, CBD found in your blood could be a breach of the rules.
What can I use it for?:
CBD has several benefits. Because it doesn’t give us the ‘high’ of THC, it can be used to treat many medical conditions without affecting the user during their day to day life. It also has far fewer side effects than THC.
It has had a positive effect on many conditions, including:
It has also been used to help deal with acne. Research believes this is due to the anti-inflammatory properties. There are also some studies looking into the treatment of Alzheimer’s – the hope is CBD could slow the decline in patients.
Is CBD oil just for humans?
One of the biggest industries to jump on the use of CBD oil is the pet industry. In fact, over 10% of all CBD sales are for our beloved furry friends. The industry is still learning a lot about the benefits of CBD, but, there are now a growing number of vets who will give you advice on using the oil.
CBD can be used to control anxiety issues in cats. It can help relax your cat in times of stress, reducing scent marking in the home and other related problems.
There have been some fantastic stories from dog owners too. Joint pain and arthritis can be common, particularly in larger dogs. The use of CBD has helped reduce pain and give dogs a longer and happier life.
There have been some interesting studies on how CBD interacts with your horse. Those that have tried it in the equine world say there are a large number of benefits including, more focus during schooling, easier to load and calmer behaviour in the yard.
So the use of CBD isn’t exclusively for us humans, there are lots of benefits across many different species. It is essential to speak to an expert about dosage, though, discuss with your doctor or your vet and do lots of research.
Ok, I have some CBD oil, what do I do with it?
There are many different ways you can use CBD oil, a lot will depend on what type you have bought and the strength. Also on what you want to gain from it.
If you want to take CBD daily to add to a healthy lifestyle, you can use the oil in cooking. You could throw it into a smoothie, use it as part of your salad dressing or even drizzle it on your toast before grilling it. There are some things to be wary of, though. It is better not to use CBD over direct heat, such as using it to fry your bacon in the morning, it can reduce the effect of the oil, and you won’t reap the benefits.
There is some buzz around the benefits of using CBD topically. Rubbed onto painful joints, such as the knee or shoulders, it works by reacting with the receptors in your skin. This can offer some light relief in a similar way to deep heat. The advice is, while there are few side effects from CBD oil, it does cause some side effects if mixed with other medications. So do your research and ask a professional for advice if you are using another form of pain medication.
CBD can also be used in your beauty regime as a face mask. Some of the benefits include counteracting the causes of ageing due to its antioxidant properties. It can help reduce rosacea of the skin. CBD is also hydrating, so it will help illuminate your face and relieve dry skin.
There are lots of ways CBD oil can be used in your home, but it is essential to remember there is still a lot of research into the health benefits and the long term effects of using it. So always talk to a medical professional and make sure you do plenty of research before purchasing your supply! You should also make sure you only buy from reputable companies.
I’ve used a few products over the last year and I am definitely a believer!