11 Benefits of CBD Oil
Research shows that CBD products are actually helpful at
reducing many ailments. Such diverse ailments that they
seem to be unrelated, in fact... but they are not. Emerging
research shows that each of these ailments may be
related to dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system,
or ECS for short.
Haven’t heard of it? You’re not alone! It’s not as familiar to
us as the cardiovascular or immune system, but is a
critical component of the human body.
Understanding the Endocannabinoid
The endocannabinoid system is possibly one of the most
fascinating systems in the body. It was discovered
through researching the effects of cannabis on the body.
In fact, this amazing system that regulates the body’s
internal balance got its name from the cannabis plant that
made its discovery possible.
The endocannabinoid system is made up of
endocannabinoids and their receptors. These are found
everywhere in the body from the brain and other organs to
glands and immune cells. The endocannabinoid system
works differently in different parts of the body but the end
goal is homeostasis (internal balance).
Ever heard of a “runner’s high”? Research reported in
the Scientific American found endocannabinoids are
largely responsible for this natural “hit” of euphoria that
increases feelings of well-being and decreases the
perception of pain.
Cannabidiol (CBD oil) is another way to affect this
powerful body system ... but am I really saying “getting
high” is a good thing?
It turns out there’s a very important distinction still to be
Does CBD Oil Create a High?
The short answer is: No. (Though oils with THC can also
There are two different types of CBD oil products —
hemp-based CBD oil (the one I’m talking about in this
article) and marijuana-based CBD (which is what
someone would buy at the dispensary). Both contain
CBD, and they’re both derived from the cannabis plant,
but hemp and medical marijuana are are different varieties
of the plant.
Marijuana-based CBD is generally going to have more
THC and other cannabinoids. CBD oil does not contain
THC (the compound that causes a “high” feeling). This is
an important distinction that many people don’t
The variety that is typically (and legally) used to make
CBD oil is hemp. How is hemp oil different? A plant can
only be legally considered hemp if it contains .3% per dry
unit (or less) of the compound THC.
In a nutshell, CBD oil or hemp oil contains the benefits of
the cannabis plant without the potential drawbacks of
psychoactive compounds typically found from inhalation
or other methods of consumption.
Cannabidiol (CBD) Benefits &
Uses for Pain, Inflammation,
Epilepsy & More
CBD oil is a great remedy for a lot of different ailments.
Here are some of the amazing uses people (and medical
research) report for CBD oil:
1. Relief for Chronic Pain
Those suffering from chronic pain from diseases like
fibromyalgia are finding relief with CBD. Topical and
internal forms of CBD offer similar benefits.Taking CBD
can offer pain relief and can even prevent nervous system
degeneration. In fact, it has been approved in Canada for
multiple sclerosis and cancer pain.
What’s really amazing is that CBD doesn’t cause
dependence or tolerance, so it’s a great choice for those
trying to stay away from opioids.
Other Remedies to Consider: Not into CBD? Research
also shows that turmeric consumption and heat
therapy (like sauna use) may be helpful as well. A low
inflammation diet also seems to be helpful for some
2. Calms Childhood Epilepsy
CBD has anti-seizure properties that have been shown to
successfully treat drug-resistant children who have
neurological disorders like epilepsy (with no side effects!).
In one study published in the New England Journal of
Medicine, CBD decreased frequency of seizures by 23
percentage points more than those taking a placebo.
While I much prefer a natural remedy as a first course of
action, but even the Food and Drug Administration seems
to agree that cannabis-derived drugs may have
something to offer. In April 2018 FDA advisers cleared the
very first cannabis-derived drug for approval, one that
promises to help control seizures.
Other Remedies to Consider: Childhood epilepsy is a
serious condition and it is important to work with a
qualified practitioner with a specialty in this area.
Emerging research also shows that a ketogenic diet can
be very helpful for drug resistant epilepsy, especially in
3. Reduces Anxiety and Depression
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of
America, depression affects 6% and anxiety affects 18%
of the U.S. population each year. Research shows that
CBD oil can help with both.
CBD has been shown to reduce levels of stress and
anxiety in those suffering from conditions such as PTSD,
social anxiety disorder, and obsessive compulsive
disorder. CBD even reduced the stress and discomfort
surrounding public speaking.
Though a B12 deficiency may also be to blame, CBD has
been shown to reduce depression by enhancing both
serotonergic and glutamate cortical signaling (both are
lacking in those with depression).
4. Fights Multi-Drug Resistant Bacteria
Researchers discovered that cannabinoids (including
CBD) have an unusual ability to destroy bacteria
(especially drug-resistant strains). More research is
needed to find out how and why it works.
A 2011 study found that CBD can also slow the
progression of tuberculosis in rats. Researchers
concluded that CBD likely does this by inhibiting T-cell
proliferation, rather than possessing antibacterial
Whatever the mechanism is for destroying bacteria, CBD
seems to be a potent weapon against the antibiotic
resistant “superbugs” that are becoming more and more
of a problem today.
Other Remedies to Consider: Don’t want to try
cannabidiol? There is also research on using garlic, honey
and oregano oil for drug resistant strains, but work with a
practitioner experienced in infectious disease.
5. Reduces Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is a huge problem in our society
that contributes to many non-infectious diseases
including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, autoimmune
disease, and more, according to the National Center for
Diet and lifestyle play a huge part in chronic inflammation
but when folks are already eating a healthy, nutrient-
dense diet and optimizing their lifestyle (getting enough
sleep and exercise for example), CBD oil can help.
Research also shows that CBD oil can reduce chronic
inflammation that leads to disease.
Other Remedies to Consider: Research agrees that it is
important to address gut health to manage
inflammation. Removing refined sugar from the diet has
also been shown to reduce inflammation in as little as a
6. Reduces Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress is responsible for many ailments today.
Oxidative stress is when the body has too many free
radicals and can’t keep up with neutralizing them (with
antioxidants). This is more of a problem now than in the
past because our environment is so much more toxic than
it once was. A 2010 study shows that CBD oil acts as an
antioxidant and another study found CBD has
neuroprotective qualities. So CBD can reduce
neurological damage caused by free radicals.
7. Help for Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a complicated and serious disease that
is typically managed through therapy and pharmaceutical
drugs (that carry hefty side effects). Anecdotally, many
folks have found that CBD oil has helped reduce
hallucinations. Research is beginning to catch up too. A
March 2015 review of available research found that CBD
was a safe, effective, and well tolerated treatment for
psychosis. But more research is needed to bring CBD into
It should be mentioned that THC, the psychoactive
compound in marijuana, may actually increase psychosis
for those at risk. CBD oil, on the other hand, only helps
reduce psychosis and may even counteract psychosis
brought on by marijuana use.
8. Promotes Healthy Weight
Cannabidiol can help maintain healthy blood sugar,
stimulates genes and proteins that helps break down fat,
and increase mitochondria that helps burn calories.
CBD also encourages the body to convert white fat to
brown fat. White fat is the kind of fat we typically think of
when we think about body fat. Brown fat is fat that is in
small deposits that behaves differently than white fat.
Brown fat is said to improve health by enhancing the
bodies ability to burn white fat, create heat, and even
regulate blood sugar.
9. Improves Heart Health
Heart disease is a growing problem today. In fact, it’s the
leading cause of death in the U.S. A healthy diet and
lifestyle is a top priority for heart health, but CBD oil can
also help. According to research cannabidiol reduces
artery blockage, reduces stress induced cardiovascular
response, and can reduce blood pressure. It may also
As mentioned earlier, CBD oil is helpful in preventing
oxidative stress and inflammation. Both of these are often
precursors to heart disease.
10. Improves Skin Conditions
CBD oil can be used topically to treat skin conditions.
Studies show CBD oil has a high potential for treating skin
conditions like eczema by encouraging abnormal cell
death. It can also help regulate the skin’s oil production,
reducing acne. CBD also contains many nutrients like
vitamin E that help improve and protect the skin.
Other Remedies to Consider: Diet is vitally important for
skin health. Many people find that removing foods like
sugar, dairy or grains (if sensitive) improves skin. I also
personally use a skin probiotic spray that has made a
huge difference for my acne prone skin.
11. Fights Cancer
CBD oil’s role in cancer treatment still needs more
research, but what is available is looking promising.
According to the American Cancer Society, CBD oil can
slow growth and spread of some kinds of cancer (in
animals). Because it fights oxidative stress and
inflammation (and both are linked to cancer) it makes
sense that CBD oil could help fight cancer cells.
CBD vs. Hemp Oil
This is a common question and misconception. As
mentioned above, while they come from the same plant,
they are different strains and CBD is harvested from the
plants that contain no THC (or negligible levels). CBD is
completely legal and is not considered a drug. Because of
the often confused history of these plants, many
manufacturers use “hemp oil” instead of the more
controversial “CBD oil” in their marketing. CBD levels can
vary drastically based on manufacturing, so it is important
to find a high quality manufacturer with verified levels.
From a sustainability standpoint, it is a shame that hemp
has gotten so much negative press because it comes
from a similar strain of plant. Aside from the CBD benefits,
hemp is one of the strongest, longest, and most durable
natural fibers and it can be grown without any type of
pesticides or herbicides! It also:
• makes up to four times as much fiber per acre as
• can be recycled many more times than pine-based
• is easy to grow without chemicals and is actually
good for the soil
• produces a seed and seed oil rich in protein,
essential fatty acids and amino acids
How to Use CBD Oil
CBD oil is most often used internally (through ingestion).
Because CBD oil is a relatively new supplement, exact
dosing isn’t well established. While more long-term
studies are needed, there is no established CBD
“overdose” and there are very few if any side effects at
When trying to find the right dosage, consider these
• Start by purchasing a high quality oil from a reputable
company. A higher quality oil will be more
bioavailable, so a lower dose can be enough.
• Begin with the recommended dosage on the bottle
(especially if using preventatively).
• Some notice a change immediately, while others
don’t notice any improvement for several weeks. If
after several weeks there is still no change, increase
• As with most herbal supplements, a small dosage 3-4
times a day is usually more therapeutic than one
Important note: Though CBD oil on its own is very safe, it
may interact with medications, particularly opioids. Speak
with your doctor if you’re concerned about interactions or
are unsure about using hemp oil for your conditions. I
know it’s tough to find a primary care doctor who
understands alternative practices, but there are options
that pair you with a doctor who fits your lifestyle.
CBD Oil for Pets
Sidenote for our furrier friends: All mammals have an
endocannabinoid system, CBD oil can have some of the
same benefits for pets as it does for humans.
For cats and dogs in particular, CBD oil may help with:
• excessive barking or crying
• pets getting along with other pets
• relaxing pets before a trip to the vet
• lack of appetite
• separation anxiety
How to Use CBD Oil for Pets
There may be some trial and error in finding the right
dosage for pets. Start with a low dose of 1 milligrams per
10 pounds of body weight and go up to 5 milligrams per
10 pounds of body weight if needed. A higher dose may
be necessary for some ailments. A low dose 3-4 times a
This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Scott Soerries,
MD, Family Physician and Medical Director of SteadyMD.
As always, this is not personal medical advice and we
recommend that you talk with your doctor.
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