Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve likely heard about the many CBD Oil benefits relating to pain, weight loss and anxiety. I’ve had first-hand experience with pain reduction from using CBD Oil, so I want to spread the word to as many people as possible.
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this blog post, and if you click through and decide to purchase, I will receive compensation from the company you purchased from at no extra cost to you. Furthermore, I only recommend products I feel are going to enhance your health and life.
My CBD Oil Experience
For years I’ve been suffering from joint and deep muscle pain. Recently, my knee became quite arthritic (stiffness mainly) and was making life much more difficult to enjoy (hello, I live on a second floor condo with stairs!!).
When you suffer from pain, it can be quite debilitating and discouraging. I’m only 43 years old and life shouldn’t be this difficult, right? (BTW, I’m a young looking 43 year old LOL).
I decided it was time to take CBD oil a bit more seriously than I had in the past as I know how effective CBD oil benefits can be to your health.
After trying many other remedies (glucosamine, magnesium, Vitamin D3, etc) and seeing some improvement, I knew there was something better that would have a greater impact.
I’ll share my experience sprinkled in this post and I elaborate more over at my full CBD Oil Review.
I really want to get the word out about CBD Oil and how it’s literally changed my life. But first, I think it’s really important to understand how CBD works within the body.
So any misconceptions you might have about CBD Oil, please set them aside and really soak in what I’m about to share.
CBD Science (the easy way!)
I’m not generally a big “science” girl, but the science behind the Cannabis and Hemp plants is truly fascinating.
The last few years I’ve been immersed in learning about CBD – my partner started a company called K9 Medibles specializing in CBD oil for dogs and he’s currently finalizing his own formula for our canine friends.
Together we have plenty of educational discussions and daily deep-dives into the science behind CBD and THC and I’ve learned a ton about the benefits of CBD for things such as pain, sleep and weight loss.
When you fully understand how CBD works in the human body, and have an opportunity to try CBD and feel its effects, I promise you’ll sit up and pay attention to this ever-growing natural wonder.
Nature truly is amazing!
Before we dive into the CBD oil benefits, I want to give you a quick overview of CBD in an easy-to-understand format without getting too deep into the science (OK, it might get a little deep in a few places, but stick with me!).
What does CBD Stand For?
CBD stands for Cannabidiol.
What is CBD?
Cannabis (marijuana) and Hemp both come from the plant Cannabis Sativa (though marijuana also comes from another member of the Cannabis family, Cannabis Indica).
The cannabis plant has over 80 chemicals called cannabinoids – the two main types of cannabinoids are Cannabidiol (CBD) & Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
CBD is a natural compound that is produced by the cannabis or hemp plant.
Even though hemp and marijuana plants are both the same Cannabis Sativa species, they have distinct phytochemical compositions.
Hemp is low in THC and high in CBD whereas Cannabis strains are grown to be high in THC and low in CBD.
CBD is a therapeutic cannabinoid, while THC is the cannabinoid that makes you “high”.
It’s important to point out that CBD is both non-psychoactive and non-addicting.
Is CBD Legal?
The cultivation of industrial hemp became legal due to President Obama signing the The Agricultural Act of 2014, where the federal government lifted any restrictions on the cultivation of industrial hemp, including allowing colleges and state agencies to grow and conduct research on hemp in states where it is legal.
By the end of 2017, at least 34 U.S. states had industrial hemp programs.
The THC content in marijuana is usually between 10 and 15 percent; but hemp must have a THC content of 0.3 percent or less to be legal in the United States according to the bill passed in 2014.
However, CBD oil with more than 0.3 percent of THC dry weight is only protected in states within the United States that have legalized medical marijuana.
How the 2018 Farm Bill Has Changed the Legalization of Hemp
In December 2018, the 2018 Farm Bill was passed and changed hemp from being classified as a controlled substance to an agricultural commodity.
The Department of Agriculture will oversee the hemp growing process in the United States rather than the Department of Justice.
With this new law passing, farmers who have hemp that tests over 0.3% in THC will no longer worry about being charged with a federal crime – they’ll simply have to lower the THC to an amount under the legal limit of 0.3% in dry weight.
This new law also makes it easier for farmers to get loans to grow hemp and allows them to purchase crop insurance.
The particular CBD Oil I use contains no THC and is legal in all 50 states.
Hemp Seed Oil vs. CBD Oil
When choosing a CBD oil product, it’s important to first understand the difference between hemp seed oil and CBD oil as you’ll see these two quite a bit in the market place.
As it turns out, the two are quite different!
First, hemp seed oil is made by squeezing only the seeds from hemp. Hemp seeds have little or no CBD or THC in them.
However, hemp seed oil contains a 3:1 ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids, and because this matches the exact balance required by the human body, it makes hemp seed oil a very nutritious oil for consumption.
Hemp seed oil is mainly used for cooking and skin care, but can be used for wood varnish, among other things. You’ll also see hemp seed oil as a carrier oil in CBD products (more on that a bit later).
CBD oil, on the other hand, is produced by the stalks and flowers of either the cannabis or hemp plants and contains certain levels of CBD and/or THC depending on which plant (Cannabis vs. Hemp) the CBD is derived from.
While Hemp Seed Oil is mainly used for nutritional purposes, CBD oil is used for therapeutic purposes. I’ll expand more on that in just a moment.
How Does CBD Oil Work?
CBD interacts with a neurotransmitter system inside our bodies known as the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This system has very important functions to maintain homeostasis.
The editor’s note from this CBD publication explains the ECS best (even better than I could):
The endogenous cannabinoid system—named for the plant that led to its discovery—is one of the most important physiologic systems involved in establishing and maintaining human health. Endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body: in the brain, organs, connective tissues, glands, and immune cells. With its complex actions in our immune system, nervous system, and virtually all of the body’s organs, the endocannabinoids are literally a bridge between body and mind. By understanding this system, we begin to see a mechanism that could connect brain activity and states of physical health and disease.
CBD interacts with two main receptors inside the Endocannabinoid System – CB-1 and CB-2.
CB-1 receptors are mostly found in the central nervous system, while CB-2 receptors are mainly found in peripheral organs, bones, liver, skin, and immune cells.
Generally speaking, phytocannabinoids like CBD can help to restore a more balanced “tone” within the ECS.
How CBD Works in the Endocannabinoid System
In a more broad sense, CBD may positively affect various processes that control brain signaling, via neurotransmitter function, ion channel and membrane dynamics, and inflammatory responses.
The ECS has vast influence over areas of the brain involved in sensations such as pain perception, movement, immune support, mood/emotion, memory/cognition, digestion, and sleep. This is likely the reason the ECS influences the brain’s health conditions.
Evidence suggests that the active compound found in CBD (cannabidiol), boosts the circulation of natural molecules that trigger the activation of the ECS, producing therapeutic effects.
The triggered molecules are called endocannabinoids, and they are the human equivalent version of the chemicals found in the cannabis plant.
Sounds like the cannabis plant was made for the human body, right?
In addition, research also indicates that the molecules also interact with other receptors, such as the serotonin system (antidepressant drugs target this system) and the capsaicin receptors which play an important role in the body’s inflammatory response.
As you can see, CBD engages the Endocannabinoid System in various ways and offers many health benefits.
CBD Oil Health Benefits
Now that we have a basic understanding of what CBD oil is and how it interacts with the human body, here are five ways to use CBD oil to help improve your life with CBD’s health and medical benefits.
1. CBD Weight Loss
There’s been research in the last few years that indicate CBD helps with weight loss. I know… YIPPEE!
You’ve probably heard that THC can increase one’s appetite (otherwise known as the “munchies”). Well, CBD has the opposite effect (according to this study on rats).
In another study on humans in the scientific journal, Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, researchers now know the role CBD plays in weight loss.
According to their research, CBD helps increase brown fat cells by converting white fat cells (cells that store energy) to brown fat cells (cells that burn energy).
Overall, this study concluded that CBD does the following:
- Stimulates genes and proteins that enhance the breakdown and oxidation of fat
- Increases the number and activity of mitochondria (which increases the body’s ability to burn calories)
- Decreases the expression of proteins involved in lipogenesis (fat cell generation)
As you can see, research indicates that CBD helps with weight loss – this is a great discovery and one of the many CBD Oil benefits for optimal health!
After I’ve taken CBD oil over the last month or so, I noticed I looked thinner (even when I didn’t change my diet). I go into more depth in my CBD Oil review about what changes I noticed and how I’m feeling now.
2. CBD for Pain
CBD oil has demonstrated its effectiveness in pain management. Whether it’s chronic back pain, joint pain or arthritis, CBD is used by many to help alleviate all types of pain.
CBD works by activating receptors in the brain and nervous system that suppress pro-inflammatory prostaglandins in the COX-2 metabolic pathway, thereby producing a potent anti-inflammatory effect.
My experience with taking CBD Oil for pain has been life-changing. When taken sublingual, I noticed a difference in my joint pain in a matter of days. Really, it was that fast!
3. CBD for Anxiety
Serotonin is a chemical found in the human body and plays a role in mental health. Low serotonin levels are common in depression, and not having enough serotonin can cause anxiety.
CBD interacts with the CB-1 receptor inside the body’s Endocannabinoid System, and through this interaction, CBD alters serotonin signals.
In a 2011 study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, human participants with social anxiety disorder (SAD) were either given an oral dose of 400 milligrams of CBD or a placebo. The study results showed that those who took the CBD dose experienced overall reduced anxiety levels.
4. CBD for Inflammation
Cannabidiol (CBD) has been found to target and reduce oxidative stress on organs and offers promise as an anti-inflammatory agent.
A portion of this manuscript explains it well:
Cannabinoids are potent anti-inflammatory agents and they exert their effects through induction of apoptosis, inhibition of cell proliferation, suppression of cytokine production and induction of T-regulatory cells (Tregs).
I noticed a huge difference in my body after taking CBD Oil. I don’t think I really understood how inflammed my body was until I noticed the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD Oil (goodbye, cankles!).
5. CBD for Arthritis
Arthritis is the cause of pain for many people. The two main types of Arthritis is Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Osteoarthritis (OA).
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks a person’s joints causing inflammation. Common signs of RA includes painful, swollen, and stiff joints in the hands, legs and feet.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that affects joint cartilage and bones, causing pain and stiffness. OA often affects the hip, knee, and thumb joints due to “wear and tear”.
As I mentioned earlier, CBD is known to reduce inflammation and pain so CBD is a viable option to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis.
For me, when taking CBD Oil for arthritis (mainly in my knee), I noticed a considerable decrease in pain and stiffness.
Main Types of CBD Oil
Now that we understand how CBD interacts with the human body and the many health benefits it provides, including pain management, weight loss and more, let’s talk about the two main types of CBD Oil so you know the difference.
Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil
Broad-spectrum CBD Oil, or sometimes referred to as full spectrum, is when the CBD Oil is in its closest form to the original plant, meaning it contains all or most of the phytochemicals and terpenes from the plant.
Terpenes are the essential oils of plants and flowers that give them their aroma and flavor.
Research shows that having terpenes present in CBD Oil produce an “entourage effect”, meaning that when both terpenes and CBD are working together in tandem, they have a greater effect.
We can take this “entourage effect” one step further. When THC is present and working together with CBD and terpenes and other phytochemicals, it provides an even greater benefit for different ailments, including cancer.
The second type is CBD isolate. CBD isolate is when the cannabinoid is extracted from the hemp or cannabis plant and is separated from all the other nutrients and phytochemicals that are naturally found in the plant.
Many CBD isolates are infused in a carrier such as hempseed oil, MCT oil, coconut oil, or olive oil, just to name a few.
While a CBD isolate is extremely effective, many can miss out on the extra benefits of terpenes and other phytochemicals found in a broad or full-spectrum CBD Oil.
How to Use CBD Oil
There are many ways to use CBD oil and each have their own unique benefit and effectiveness. Here are a few of the main ways to use CBD Oil:
- Inhaling (i.e. vaping)
- Sublingual (under the tongue)
- Oral (edibles, capsules, etc)
- Topical (i.e. creams)
I personally administer my CBD oil tincture sublingual (under the tongue).
How Much CBD Oil Should I Take?
I’ll preface this by saying a few things –
1. Always consult with your health care professional; and
2. Each person’s experience with CBD will be different.
Your CBD Oil Dosage Sweet Spot
The best way to find your “sweet spot” is to start low and dose slow. Your starting dose will likely depend on various factors – the manufacturer’s strength of the CBD Oil, your weight, etc., so read the manufacturer’s label first.
The good news about CBD oil is that it’s non-psychoactive and non-addicting, so you don’t have to be concerned about these things when trying to figure out your dosage sweet spot.
For me, I started with a total of 5mg of CBD Oil my first day. By day 2, I was feeling pretty good and decided to up my dosage to 10mg a day.
I’ve experimented a few times with other brands of CBD Oil and didn’t feel the strong effect then like I do with this latest CBD Oil, so on my second day I changed it to 10mg and felt pretty confident about my decision.
My current dosage is 10 mg a day – one dose of 5 mg sublingual before breakfast and 5 mg in the evening before dinner.
If you’re not seeing much difference in how you’re feeling by day five to seven, you may want to consider adding in an extra dose during your day or evening as CBD stays in your body for four to five hours.
Wait another five to seven days and really pay attention to how you’re feeling and increase your dose, as necessary, until you find your sweet spot.
The CBD oil I’m currently using has a nifty dropper with measurements, so it’s very easy to measure the exact dose and squeeze the dropper of oil under my tongue without making a mess.
Biphasic Effect and CBD
A biphasic effect is when low or high doses can produce the opposite effect.
For instance, alcohol produces a biphasic effect. When a person has one beer, they might feel pretty happy and flirty. After that same person drinks a six pack of beer, he/she might be passed out in the back room.
CBD is a compound that also produces a biphasic effect. A lower dose might help relieve pain, increase energy and brain function in a person, while a higher dose might make that same person lethargic.
So finding your CBD oil dosage sweet spot is important so you feel the effects you’re meant to feel at the optimal dose.
CBD Oil Dosage Diary
When you’re first starting out, it’s a good idea to keep a daily dosage diary of dates, times, and dose, along with any and all differences you notice (reduction in pain, better sleep, less anxiety, etc). Keeping complete and accurate records will provide historical data so you know how CBD is working or not working for you.
Make sure you record ALL THE FEELS – seeing subtle changes over time add up! Pay close attention to ALL the changes you’re seeing, even if they seem insignificant, so you get a very clear picture of CBD’s affect on you.
My sweet spot ended up being 10mg a day, but I’ll continue to monitor its effectiveness and increase my dosage or add in an extra dose during my day, if necessary. Remember, start low and go slow to find your optimal CBD Oil dose.
CBD Oil Side Effects
Although CBD is generally safe and many don’t experience side effects, there have been cases in CBD studies where participants reported tiredness, diarrhea, and changes of appetite/weight as more of the common side effects.
CBD is also known to interact with different medications, so always make sure you consult with your health care professional prior to taking CBD.
My CBD Oil Recommendation
If you’re starting out for the first time and you’re not sure what to get here are a few options:
1. The 300 mg bottle of CBD Oil from Essential CBD is a great starter. It’s relatively inexpensive and will be a great way to get started.
2. The full spectrum CBD Oil tincture from Joy Organics is a great option and they have two different strengths (250mg or 500 mg bottle).
If you’re a seasoned CBD oil user and looking for a different product, then this 900 mg bottle of CBD Oil from Essential CBD is a great way to get more bang for your buck, especially if you’re dosage is on the higher end.
If you prefer a full spectrum, this CBD Oil from Joy Organics will be a great option.
CBD Oil Review
As I mentioned earlier, I am taking CBD Oil and using it mainly for pain management (arthritis, joint and muscle pain). I’ve been using a certain brand consistently for the last month or so, and the results have been amazing.
I’ve just finished my full CBD Oil review if you’d like to check it out.
I share my dosing diary, all the changes I’ve been noticing and more!
You can either check out my CBD Oil review or you may check out the brand of CBD Oil I’m using (it’s truly been a game changer for me). I really feel like I’ve been given my life back (I know it sounds dramatic, but it’s really been the case for me!).