CBD Oil: 12 Benefits + Effects and Side Effects

CBD Oil has a wide variety of potential benefits for human health. While CBD achieves these beneficial effects through interaction with the endocannabinoid system, there are quite a few other ways CBD and other cannabinoids influence the mind and body.

For starters, here are some potential health benefits of CBD:

Public Speaking

In one study, 57 men took either a placebo or CBD Oil 90 minutes before a simulated public speaking test. The researchers concluded that the CBD effectively reduced fear of public speaking, likely by balancing nervous system activity. 

Chemotherapy Side Effects

CBD may reduce chemotherapy-induced stomach upset and vomiting, which rank among the most common chemotherapy-related side effects. Cannabinoids may also be synergistic with opioids for the relief of physical discomfort - and a study we funded showed that the majority of patients who used CBD were able to lower their prescription medication usage.

It is interesting to note that a WebMD survey of 1566 physicians in the U.S. found that 82% of oncologists and hematologists support patients having access to medical cannabis - the most robust approval rating among all medical subspecialties.

Skin Problems

CBD Oil may have many benefits for skin health, not least of which is reducing/balancing sebum (oil) production. Overproduction of sebum is the root cause of many persistent skin disorders. 

Potent Antioxidant

In clinical studies, CBD has demonstrated antioxidant activity more potent than either Vitamin C or Vitamin E.

CBD as an antioxidant

Additionally, CBD has demonstrated the following pharmacological effects in clinical research:

Adenosine Enhancement:  By inhibiting ENT1, CBD inhibits adenosine reuptake. Extracellular adenosine offers general cellular protection in the body by increasing oxygen supply, promoting new blood vessel growth, and triggering other beneficial physiological processes.

PPAR-gamma Activation:  Located in each cell’s nuclei, PPAR-gamma receptors moderate insulin sensitivity, dopamine release, fat uptake, and also degrade beta-amyloid plaque. Activation of PPAR-gamma receptors by CBD could be why many people may experience benefits with weight and blood sugar management, as well as various memory-related neurological issues. 

FAAH Inhibition:  Fatty acid amide hydrolase is the enzyme responsible for breaking down anandamide (‘the bliss molecule’), a primary endocannabinoid in the body. CBD inhibits FAAH, allowing for increased anandamide levels - offering myriad benefits thanks to anandamide’s activity at CB1/CB2 receptors. 

GPR55 Antagonism:  Ubiquitous in the brain, GPR55 receptors (believed by some experts to be the third type of cannabinoid receptor) influence bone density and blood pressure (among other things). CBD likely influences blood pressure via this receptor (be careful, very high doses of CBD can lower blood pressure too much, causing lightheadedness). 

Activation of GPR55 can contribute to high blood pressure, excessive production of mutant cells, and brittle bones - which is why ‘antagonism’ (reduced activity) of this receptor by CBD is a good thing.

D2 Dopamine Binding:  This receptor is often the target of psychiatric medications and may explain why some people taking CBD may experience relief from mood disorders and related health problems.

CBD effects on dopamine receptors

TRPV1 Activation:  Famous for being the target of capsaicin (the active, spicy compound in cayenne peppers), TRPV1 helps regulate body temperature, perception of physical discomfort, and inflammatory processes. Cannabinoids bind to this receptor, potentially explaining the antihyperalgesic benefits some may experience when using CBD Oil.

5-HT1A Activation:  High doses of CBD have been shown to activate the 5-HT1A receptors, a crucial neuron that regulates everything from addiction and appetite to nausea and vomiting. Cannabinoid activity at this receptor could cause all the anecdotal reports of reduced symptoms of behavioral and cardiovascular conditions while taking CBD Oil.

Glycine Potentiation:  Like GABA, glycine receptors have inhibitory actions, meaning that they help calm everything down. Not only do glycine receptors help calm the nervous system, but they are also central in assisting the body to detect painful stimuli. By potentiating these receptors, CBD could offer many benefits to stress levels, as well as ongoing physical discomfort. 

CBD has also demonstrated activity at the mu and delta opioid, GABA-A, 5-HT3A, A7-ACHR, and of course, CB1/CB2 receptors. 

CBD benefits and effects

What’s clear is that cannabinoids like CBD perform a dizzying array of functions in our bodies, and science is likely only beginning to scratch the surface on revealing these actions. 

Is it safe to use CBD Oil everyday?

Yes, CBD Oil is safe to take regularly for most people. The risk of addiction to CBD is virtually non-existent.

Addictive substances and activities increase dopamine release in the brain’s pleasure center, often resulting in the user becoming dependent on the substance/activity. The sharp drop in dopamine levels (and other neurotransmitters) causes withdrawal symptoms whenever you stop doing the substance/activity.

CBD doesn’t fit the classic scientific definition of a drug since it doesn’t attach to a specific receptor (or set of receptors) in the brain to induce dopamine release.

Conversely, CBD may help curb addictive behaviors by balancing the levels of neurotransmitters like dopamine and glutamate. In rats, CBD has been shown to reduce morphine dependence and heroin-seeking behavior.

How long does CBD Oil stay in the system?

The amount of time CBD stays in the body will vary wildly from person to person, much like THC. Cannabinoids are fat-soluble compounds, meaning that many factors contribute to how long they will be in your body, such as: 

  • Body fat percentage 
  • Level of physical activity 
  • How long you’ve been taking CBD 
  • How much CBD you’ve been taking 
  • Diet and hydration 

An example of how long you might expect CBD to be in your system is three to seven days for single usage, two months or more with extended, frequent use. 

How long does CBD stay in your system?

CBD Oil Side Effects

Though CBD is generally well tolerated and considered safe, it can cause adverse reactions in a small group of people.

Side effects noted in studies include:

  • Changes in mood, appetite, and weight
  • Tiredness
  • Nervousness
  • Loose stools
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Stomach upset
  • Vomiting

Please note that side effects from CBD are infrequent and are generally easy to avoid by using a reasonable dose and being aware of any contraindications. Possible contraindications for taking CBD include those who are:

  • Trying to conceive
  • Pregnant/breastfeeding
  • Immunocompromised
  • Experiencing liver problems
  • Taking prescription drugs
  • Have low blood pressure

These situations do not automatically disqualify someone from taking CBD. Everybody is different, and it’s important to use CBD Oil consciously. 

Please do not substitute any current medications or prescriptions with CBD unless it is with a medical professional's approval. 

What drugs should not be taken with CBD?

CBD and liver enzymes. What drugs not to take with CBD

CBD inhibits a group of essential liver enzymes known as CYP450 (similar to grapefruit juice). Before you start taking CBD oil, consider discussing it with your doctor to avoid potentially harmful interactions.

Taking CBD while on a drug that relies on the CYP450 pathway could increase/decrease blood concentrations of said drug, extended/reduced durations of effects, and other interactions. 

A vast percentage of prescription drugs - and even caffeine, and sometimes alcohol - depend on these enzymes. As always, do your research and exercise caution if you are currently taking prescriptions and plan on starting a CBD regimen.

To your health and happiness, always!

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