Following the legalization of cannabis with the Farm Bill, more products have been appearing that contain cannabis and claiming to have therapeutic benefits for a range of conditions. While research into the effects of CBD have currently shown that cannabis oil for pain could have pharmaceutical potential, many people still want to know if cannabis oil is safe and effective and what their options are for using it, such as edibles, inhalation, topicals, and tinctures.
What is Cannabis Oil?
Cannabis oil, also known as CBD oil, contains cannabidiol (CBD) and trace amounts of other cannabinoids called terpenes, known to work synergistically with CBD to affect the body. Cannabis oil does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana and is still illegal. This means that CBD oil will not get you “high.”
The active ingredients are usually mixed with a carrier oil such as almond or coconut oil to make it easier to use and improve the bioavailability of the CBD.
What is Cannabis Oil Used to Treat?
Currently, the FDA has only approved one drug containing CBD, which is used to treat severe epilepsy. However, there is a growing body of research which suggests that CBD oil could be used to treat a huge range of conditions.
Chronic pain is notoriously difficult to treat; however, studies on the effects of CBD on chronic pain indicated that CBD offers a moderately effective treatment for chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis.
Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease have a variety of symptoms ranging from tremors to psychosis. Studies on the effectiveness of CBD and neurological diseases suggest that CBD could help to alleviate neurological symptoms and provide some level of neuroprotectivity by encouraging the growth of new neurons.
Anxiety and depression affect millions of people worldwide and largest cause of disability according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Unfortunately, many medications used to treat these conditions have serious side effects.
Studies on the effect of CBD on mental health have shown promising results for the use of CBD for reducing the symptoms of depression and anxiety due to the impact that CBD has on neurotransmitters like serotonin.
- Gastrointestinal Disorders
For people suffering from gastrointestinal diseases such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or irritable bowel syndrome, their digestive system functions abnormally and can cause a host of painful and inflammatory symptoms.
CBD has been shown to reduce the severity of cramps, nausea, and pain in people with GI disease.
Are There Any Side Effects?
One of the benefits of using CBD oil is the low instance of side effects when compared with other drugs. Some of the side effects that were observed in clinical studies on CBD oil included diarrhea, fatigue, and changes in appetite and weight.
However, when weighed against the potential benefits of CBD oil, many members of the scientific community believe that CBD oil could be a preferable treatment for several physical and cognitive disorders.
The FDA, though approving the use of CBD for treating childhood epilepsy, are still yet to approve CBD oil as completely safe as research has not yet determined the long-term or cumulative effects of CBD use.
Although the scientific community is still undecided about the long-term effectiveness and safety of cannabis oil for pain and other conditions, interest, and research into CBD continue to grow. If you are interested in using CBD oil for pain relief, the safest way to do so is under the supervision of a healthcare professional.
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