CBD oil: We explore the facts

Filled with beneficial antioxidants and the ability to treat migraines and stress - we look into the facts and benefits of CBD oil.

03 July 2019
By Keri Harvey

Hemp, Marijuana and Cannabis are not the same thing by different names. So what exactly are they?

Can CBD oil make you high?

Cannabis is the family of plants to which hemp and marijuana belong. Cannabis contains compounds called Cannabinoids and two of the dominant ones are Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD). Both have benefits for the body, but while THC is able to induce a high, CBD does not. Marijuana has both compounds, whereas hemp has just CBD.

So what exactly is CBD oil? 

It’s the oil extracted from hemp plants that are specifically grown to have a high level of CBD, so it could be called CBD oil or CBD hemp oil. Because there is no THC in the hemp oil, you will not experience the high of marijuana but only the innate health benefits of the oil, which has significant levels of healthy omegas. 

How does CBD oil work?

The human body actually has its own endocannabinoid system (ECS) that produces natural cannaboinoids to regulate sleep, mood, appetite, pain, hormones and the immune response. The job of the body’s ECS is to keep it in balance. So CBD helps by stimulating the body’s own production of cannabinoids, which also regulate aspects of behaviour and cognition and even deal with anxiety. 

What is CBD used for?

CBD oil’s long list of purported health benefits includes treating migraines and stress, lack of appetite and libido. It is said to improve heart conditions, and reduce the risk of certain cancers too. Recent research indicates that CBD oil helps to relieve the symptoms of chemotherapy, such as nausea, vomiting and anxiety.

The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD oil are believed to relieve acne and to positively affect those with epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s are also treated with CBD oil. It is also claimed the oil lowers high blood pressure, and so reduces the risk of stroke, heart attack and metabolic syndrome. 

“My clients use CBD oil for pain relief, insomnia, joint pain, epilepsy and seizures, and even to calm hyperactive children,” says Cape Town health shop owner, Cindy van der Merwe. 

Are there any negative side effects to CBD oil?

While CBD is considered safe to use, Van der Merwe advises consulting your doctor if you are on prescription medication. “In my experience, there is no risk for the elderly and kids from age two use CBD oil too. However, do check with your doctor if you are using blood thinning medication such as Warfarin,” she says. It’s thought that CBD oil may also interact with certain epilepsy medication and may inhibit the metabolism of certain drugs. It may also lead to increased levels of liver enzymes, which is a marker for liver inflammation. 

CBD oil reportedly has few side effects, the worst being dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting and dry mouth. 

As with any medicine, do read the label and dosage before commencing treatment.  

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