For me, it was clearly time to learn the truth about CBD oil. And since you’re here, reading this, you’re likely feeling the same way or you’re simply curious about it all.
At this point, CBD products can be found pretty much everywhere. And it seems as though new lines of CBD products are being launched as fast as we can blink. You’ll find full displays of CBD products and oils in convenience stores, liquor stores, health food stores, gas stations and now even at your local movie rental store. Due to popularity, you’ll often find these displays near entrances and check-out areas.
If this pace continues, CBD products might soon be as readily available as a gallon of milk. So how do you differentiate between them all? And the even bigger question: Do they even work?
Weeding through all of the options and information can be a bit daunting. This report was thoroughly researched and written to help you make sense of it all.
I Consider it Part of My Job to Learn the Truth About CBD Oil
As a therapist specializing in therapeutic massage and energy healing, I see a lot of patients who experience mild to severe pain. Through my practice, I do whatever I can to provide relief and on-going pain management for my patients using natural and holistic methods. So when a client approached me following a session and mentioned her success with CBD oil, several questions came to mind, but three things, in particular, stood out:
- Is massage safe for patients using CBD products?
- How could CBD oil affect the body before/during/after a massage?
- Is CBD a legitimate and safe solution for people to be using in general?
As a massage therapist, I consider it part of my job to know the answers to these questions. But those weren’t the only questions I had. So I did what I always do. I began researching and asking questions to learn the truth about CBD oil.
I Thought CBD Was Just a Legalized Drug
I’ll admit that before I did any research, my knowledge about CBD was pretty limited as were my pre-conceived beliefs.
I believed that CBD was just a drug with some potentially therapeutic benefits that had recently been legalized for public consumption. As far as I knew, hemp was just another name for marijuana. I also believed that anyone taking CBD products would feel at least a mild, or possibly severe high when taking them depending on the dosage.
There was no way of knowing where these beliefs had come from or even if any of them were legitimate. That was just the limited information I had available to me without researching anything.
I Had So Many Questions
Up until my client mentioned that she was taking CBD, I hadn’t been interested in learning more, nor was I willing to give it a try. I am extremely sensitive to anything that I ingest or absorb into my body through my skin. A little bit of anything goes a long way for me.
Just the idea of ingesting foreign substances makes me hesitate since the results aren’t always as “typical” for me as they may be for others. I can feel the slightest of changes within my body. I don’t like medications because I can feel them the moment they enter into my cells. I’ve never been drunk because just a sip of alcohol can feel uncomfortable once it hits my bloodstream.
So the idea of trying something that I believed to be a drug with psychoactive effects was a huge turn-off for me. But I also knew that just because I might not want to use it, didn’t mean that others couldn’t still benefit from it. I wanted to understand if the use of CBD products was something I should support for others. To know whether or not I could feel good about doing that, I had to learn the truth about CBD oil.
Uncovering the Truth About CBD Oil
Below is a list of all the questions to which I needed to find answers. You can click on any of them to jump to that part of the report.
- What exactly is CBD and what does it stand for?
- I’ve heard that CBD is made from hemp and marijuana. Are they the same thing?
- Can CBD make you feel loopy or high?
- Are there any side effects?
- What are the benefits of taking CBD?
- What is the “Entourage Effect?”
- How do you know if you might benefit from CBD?
- How much do you have to take?
- How soon will I notice the effects?
- With so many types out there, how do you know what CBD oil to buy?
- Is this stuff a fad or is it legit?
- If people are taking CBD is massage still safe?
What Exactly Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally-occurring component of plants within the Cannabis genus.
For years, scientists have known about the existence of cannabidiol components, also known as phytocannabinoids, found within plants. (Phyto means “plant.”) There are more than 100 active cannabinoids in cannabis including tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).
It wasn’t until the 1990s, however, when scientists discovered that the human brain also produces compounds very similar to phytocannabinoids. (1) These are referred to as endocannabinoids. (Endo means “within.”)
Both humans and several species of animals have something called an endocannabinoid system or (ECS). Like other systems within the body, the ECS helps to maintain homeostasis. In other words, ECS works to regulate your body to help keep you alive. Nearly every organ within the body contains cannabinoid receptors (in particular, receptors CB1 and CB2). These receptor sites help regulate all kinds of functions including appetite, metabolism, bone health, memory, pain sensation, inflammation, mood, immune system function, memory, stress response, fertility, skin health, sleep and wake cycle, and more.
According to additional research, both phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids attach to the same CB1 and CB2 receptors and have the ability to affect the functions of the body in very similar ways. (1)
What’s the Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana?
Both plants are part of the same plant genus (Cannabis sativa L.) and have very similar physical appearances. But there are very distinct differences in their chemical compositions. (2) Each plant is produced through selective breeding to create and maintain the differences. Marijuana is produced for medical and recreations purposes while hemp is produced for industrial purposes.
Marijuana is bred to contain high levels of the psychoactive cannabinoid known as THC (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) for medical and recreational use. Marijuana typically contains somewhere between 15 and 40 percent THC. (3) Marijuana also contains CBD (cannabidiol).
Hemp is bred to contain high levels of the non-psychoactive CBD compound and almost non-existent levels of THC (less than 0.3 percent). Hemp is used for clothing, biofuels, paper, food, and dietary supplements. A remnant of hemp cloth According to historical records, hemp has been grown and used for 10,000 years (3)
The first American Flag was made of Hemp. Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew Hemp. Ben Franklin made Hemp paper. At one point in UK history, it was mandated that 1/4 of your crop must be Hemp or you could be fined! (3) It was a required crop of the American Colonies as well. It was heavily used for making rope and canvas for sails due to it withstanding salt water and being stronger than cotton. (3) Even the Declaration of Independence was drafted on Hemp paper. (3) Today, we Hemp is used in the process of manufacturing over 25,000 different products.
Can CBD Make You High?
Cannabidiol or CBD by itself is a non-psychoactive component of cannabis. Hemp-derived CBD products that are produced for consumer consumption do not contain sufficient concentrations of THC to cause psychoactive effects or a high. All Hemp-derived CBD products must contain less than 0.3% THC by dry weight (Federal Legal Limit). Anything beyond that is a violation of the United States Controlled Substances Act (US.CSA).
However, it is important to note that studies have shown that regular use of hemp-derived, Full-Spectrum CBD products can cause a positive result for THC during blood or urine drug screenings. Most workplace drug screens test for delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and do not detect the presence of CBD or other legal hemp-based components. Because of this, the screens do not provide any indication as to the source of the THC. Some employers have very strict policies regarding drug screening results and are not required to ask you about the results prior to termination or rejection during the hiring process.
If you are subject to any form of employment drug testing or screening, it is recommended that you DO NOT take CBD products. The US Armed Forces recommend this as well.
When in doubt, it is always best to consult with your healthcare practitioner, drug screening testing company or employer prior to using CBD products.
Are There Any Side Effects to Taking CBD Oil?
CBD is reportedly well tolerated and considered safe with typically no side effects. (4) However, with any supplement, it may cause adverse reactions in some people. Coincidentally, my husband and I have noted a mild headache after ingesting CBD oil sublingually (drops applied under the tongue). The headache tends to dissipate within 30 minutes.
- Changes in appetite/weight
CBD is also known to interact with several medications causing them to be more or less effective. Before you start using CBD oil, discuss it with your doctor to ensure your safety and avoid potentially harmful interactions.
What Are the Benefits of Taking CBD Oil?
CBD is not a substitute for medical advice, recommended treatments or prescribed medications. However, an increasing number of studies have found CBD supplementation to be beneficial for a variety of conditions (5). While additional testing is still needed to fully determine the benefits of CBD, many users of hemp-derived CBD oil have reported:
- Relief from chronic pain (5)(6)
- Anti-inflammatory support (5)
- Reduced anxiety symptoms (5)(6)
- Mood-enhancing properties to relieve depression symptoms (5)(6)
- Reduced nausea/vomiting caused by cancer-related therapies (5)(6)
- Improved digestion (6)
- Better sleep (5)(6)
- Relief from seizures (4)(6)
- Reduction in auto-immune issues (6)
- Relief from arthritis (6)
- Improved blood pressure scores (6)
- Support for the immune system (5)
- Reduced acne due to its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to reduce sebum production (5)(6)(7)
- and many more
What is the “Entourage Effect?”
I found this to be one of the most interesting facts I uncovered while learning the truth about CBD oil. There is a lot of debate about the “entourage effect” and which of the various formulations of CBD is best.
The “entourage effect” is in reference to “full-spectrum” or “broad-spectrum” CBD products.
“Full spectrum CBD is an extract that contains all compounds found naturally occurring in the plant, including terpenes, essential oils, and other cannabinoids. The full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenes, and essential oils extracted from the plant work together to magnify the therapeutic benefits of each individual cannabinoid. This is commonly referred to as the “entourage effect“.” (8)
Broad-spectrum hemp-derived CBD products are 100% THC free but still contain all of the other compounds found naturally within cannabis.
Not everyone agrees that “full-spectrum” formulations are beneficial. According to Jon Cooper, the CEO of ebbu, a leading cannabinoid research company:
“Whole-plant consumption effectively throws an unknown and unquantified combination of cannabinoids at every receptor and hopes for the best. It is the ultimate in polypharmacology.” (9)
In conclusion, he stated that neither full-spectrum nor isolated formulations are ideal. Cooper suggests that further scientific research is necessary to determine which cannabinoid combinations create a true “entourage effect” that is known, consistent and effective for consumers and patients. (9) Part of ebbu’s mission is to create precise cannabinoid formulations, essentially allowing consumers to select a specific formulation based on the desired result.
I believe they may be thinking in terms very similar to what the homeopathy industry has provided through the various remedy formulations. It will be interesting to follow ebbu and see what they come up with through their research.
How Do You Know if You Might Benefit from CBD Oil?
When the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is imbalanced, it affects the body in many ways. In particular, you may notice increased feelings of sadness, depression, or anxiety. You may also have trouble sleeping, or experience occasional pain. Some people also will notice that their immune system seems compromised and that they are getting sick more frequently. (6)
While all of the above symptoms could be indicative of other reasons as well, taking a daily supplement of hemp-based phytocannabinoids may alleviate symptoms and help your body to regain balance and optimum performance.
How Long Does CBD Take to Work?
This may seem like a simple question, but it comes with a fairly vague response. The answer is, it’s different for everyone.
For CBD to begin taking effect, our bodies must first absorb and metabolize it. Everyone’s body metabolizes at a different rate. The truth about CBD oil is that some people may feel the effects of CBD within moments. Others may feel improvements in mood, discomfort, or anxiety within 15 to 30 minutes. Others may need to use CBD for a few days before benefits are noticed.
If used as a daily supplement, CBD will continue to accumulate within the body which may provide additional or increased benefits. Generally speaking, you should be able to determine if CBD oil is helpful for you or not when consumed for at least a 2-week period of time.
Be sure to consult with your medical physician prior to starting any new supplement regime to avoid any conflicts with existing medications.
How Much CBD Do You Have to Take?
Read the product label for dosage and then start with 1/4 or 1/2 of that. The suggested amount per dose tends to be between 20 to 40 drops or the equivalent of 1 full dropper. The dropper sizes vary. The labels will also tell you how much CBD you get per dropper or dose. Some will recommend once per day while others will suggest twice a day.
Personally, I find the suggested dosages to be much higher than what is needed. It’s hard to know what was considered or used as a guideline when creating the dosage. Either way, I know several people that only use 4-5 drops under the tongue twice a day and find it to be plenty.
Keep in mind that CBD oil supplements (as with any supplement) are not regulated by the FDA, nor is the suggested dosage regulated. Every body is different. We all come in varying shapes, sizes and ages. Plus we metabolize things at different rates. What works for one person may not work for another.
My advice would be to start small and gradually increase (or decrease) the dose each day until you find the amount that works for you.
Watch for signs of diarrhea, nausea, headache, or fatigue. These could be indicators that your dosage is too high.
What Should You Look for When Buying CBD
Not all CBD oils are created equal! It’s important to know what to look for when buying CBD. I found a list of the “Top 5 Ways to Identify High-Quality CBD Oil” that was very thorough. I have summarized it below. There is a link to the full article at the end of this report if you would like to read it for more detail. (10)
Know how it’s made –
Before you purchase your CBD oil, research the company to learn how they extract the oil. If the price is low, the quality of the CBD oil is likely lacking and may contain harmful solvents and chemicals used during cheap extraction methods. Find a brand that uses either organic, pharmaceutical-grade ethanol to extract CBD or a process called “supercritical CO2 extraction.” Supercritical CO2 extraction is an expensive extraction process that requires a lot of expensive equipment and expertise, but it ensures that the purity of the CBD oil is maintained throughout the process. If you can’t the extraction process from their website, call the company’s customer support line.
Understand where the hemp is sourced/grown –
Hemp is a plant that is known as a “hyperaccumulator.” This means that hemp absorbs a lot from its environment and in particular from the soil in which it grows. If soil is not well maintained, it can be rich in metals such as mercury or lead or other toxic chemicals. The truth about CBD oil is that some manufacturers will opt for the cheaper sources of hemp without regard to the health implications this may have for consumers. When possible, find a brand that sources its hemp from US farms. US farmers are required to get certified by state departments of agriculture. (11)
Verify the level of THC –
Processing CBD oil from hemp is expensive. It’s a fact that manufacturers are often looking for ways to save money, so they may opt for less expensive methods of extraction. This can result in higher concentration levels of THC. All legal forms of hemp-derived CBD products must contain less than 0.3% THC by dry weight (Federal Legal Limit). Anything beyond that is a violation of the United States Controlled Substances Act (US.CSA) and is illegal for consumption. Whenever possible, look for a brand that uses a third-party testing agency to ensure quality. Documentation should be readily available through the manufacturer’s website or by calling their customer support line.
Look for “Full-Spectrum,” “Broad-Spectrum” or “Whole-Plant” CBD –
This helps to ensure that you’re getting not just CBD, but also all of the secondary components of the hemp plant including other cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes. It is believed that the secondary constituents work synergistically with CBD to provide a more effective result with increased benefits. For comparison sake, “Broad-Spectrum” CBD oil means that the THC has been removed completely. The “Isolate” form of CBD oil means that you are getting just CBD or cannabidiol in the oil and all other constituents have been extracted.
Look for third-party testing –
High-quality manufacturers will always incorporate third-party labs to provide testing and results. These third-party labs ensure that the CBD oil produced maintains a quality standard with high levels of CBD, low levels of THC that do not exceed the federal limit, and free from toxins or chemicals that would be harmful to consumers. Think of third-party testing like an added layer of protection for you as the consumer. It’s nice to know that there is a “big brother” looking out for you somewhere. If you can’t find this information on their website or if test results aren’t readily available, be sure to ask them for them before you buy. If they say they can’t provide them, look for a different brand.
Does CBD Actually Work?
When researching the truth about CBD oil there is one question that can be found everywhere. And that is, “Does it work?”
The answer is not that simple, but the general consensus is that yes, CBD oil DOES work if you do the following:
- Use it daily for at least 2 weeks
- Find a quality brand that uses high-quality extraction processes and that sources their hemp locally in the US.
To what extent hemp-derived CBD oil will work for you is really something that only you can answer after giving it a try. If you find that you aren’t experiencing the results you were hoping for, try a different brand or try increasing your dose.
CBD oil should never be used in place of prescription medications. Always seek medical advice when looking to change treatments or medications that have been prescribed to you.
Is Massage Safe for Those Who Use CBD Products?
Hemp-derived CBD does not produce psychoactive effects, nor does it block pain receptors. (11) Both of these things, if present, would contraindicate massage for patients that regularly used CBD.
When CBD reacts with the body’s cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) they signal the body to perform anti-inflammatory functions that reduce pain. (11) The body is not hindered from feeling pain. Instead, the conditions within the body that are currently causing the effect of pain are addressed more efficiently.
The Truth About CBD Oil – In Summary
If you’re looking to try CBD oil, make sure you keep the 5 things in mind when purchasing CBD products. Know how it’s made, where the hemp is sourced, and the level of THC. Look for CBD oil that states “full-spectrum” or talks about using the “whole plant.” And finally, look for a brand that uses 3rd party testing. This just helps to ensure the quality and safety of the product for consumption.
When trying CBD for the first time, start with a smaller dose than what is recommended and gradually increase the dosage to where you feel you are able to notice the benefits.
I hope this article, which actually turned into more of a report on the truth about CBD Oil, was helpful to you and that it provided some information that you hadn’t had before.
The CBD oil industry is still in the baby stages when it comes to general consumer use, so it will be interesting to see where things trend as time goes on. If you have any comments, additional resources, or even personal experiences that you feel would support those looking for the truth about CBD oil, please include them in the comments area below.
References & Further Reading
If you’re interested to learn more on the truth about CBD oil, feel free to check out the references listed below. I read several articles and checked several sites for information before settling on the following articles as references for this report.
- Overview of the Cannabinoid Receptors – https://cbdoilreview.org/cbd-cannabidiol/cannabinoid-receptors/
- Hemp vs. Marijuana – The Difference Explained – https://medium.com/cbd-origin/hemp-vs-marijuana-the-difference-explained-a837c51aa8f7
- The People’s History – https://www.mit.edu/~thistle/v13/2/history.html
- An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569602/
- 7 Benefits and Uses of CBD Oil (Plus Side Effects) – https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cbd-oil-benefits
- Answers to Common Questions About CBD – https://naturespathways.com/northeast-wisconsin-edition/answers-to-common-questions-about-cbd/
- Cannabidiol Exerts Sebostatic and Anti-Inflammatory Effects on Human Sebocytes – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25061872
- Full Spectrum vs Broad Spectrum vs CBD Isolate: The Difference Explained – https://medium.com/cbd-origin/full-spectrum-vs-broad-spectrum-vs-cbd-isolate-the-difference-explained-a09e415bf235
- Entourage Effect 2.0: The Entourage Effect is Real, But Full-Spectrum Cannabis is Not the Answer – https://www.cannabisbusinesstimes.com/article/ebbu-entourage-effect-cannabis-guest-op-ed/
- Top 5 Ways to Identify High-Quality CBD Oil – https://ministryofhemp.com/blog/identify-high-quality-cbd/
- CBD Pain Relief – How CBD Works to Manage Chronic Pain – https://floydsofleadville.com/cbd-pain-relief-how-cbd-works-to-manage-chronic-pain/
Please note: Statements in this report or those listed on CBD products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.