Reading Time - 10 Minutes
According to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), CBD extracts and isolates are legally novel foods. Though this might seem like a strange choice considering the potential health benefits, it is the potential itself that prevents CBD oil from being anything more.
Unfortunately, research surrounding CBD benefits remains limited, and at times, inconclusive. It’s essential to know CBD oil's benefits and possible side effects before deciding if it’s right for you.
What Is CBD Oil, and What Is It Used For?
CBD oil is an extract of Cannabis Sativa, a variant of the cannabis plant that produces hemp. It is the short name for cannabidiol and one of the most recognised and prevalent compounds of Cannabis Sativa.
CBD oil is free of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the intoxicating component that causes users to get high. Legally, CBD must have less than 0.2% of THC before a manufacturer sells it. This low percentage ensures THC amounts will be too minuscule to impact the consumer.
CBD products come in many forms, including vaporised liquid or lotions. CBD oil itself is easy to ingest under the tongue. You can also mix it with water or baking ingredients if you want to consume it through edibles.
So what is CBD used for? After extensive research, we found that CBD indeed provides lots of benefits for:
- Pain relief
- Energy and focus
- Muscle recovery
What Are the Benefits of CBD Oil?
When CBD oil benefits potentially outweigh the side effects, it creates a highly attractive solution for anyone wanting pain relief, added focus, or help sleeping.
CBD Oil for Sleep
Research on the effects of CBD oil on sleep is still inconclusive. However, a review of the side effects of cannabinoids on sleep found that patients became drowsy after taking CBD oil. Especially when paired with other medications, CBD might increase fatigue. This can then aid in quicker rest and better sleep.
CBD oil may also help with treating sleep disorders like REM sleep behaviour disorder. The condition causes patients to talk while asleep and make aggressive movements. It is prevalent in older patients with a neurodegenerative disease like Parkison’s disease.
In a small study consisting of four patients with the disease, researchers found that CBD helped manage REM sleep behaviour disorder symptoms, reducing them to 0-1 times a week from 2-7 times a week.
Anotherstudy found that people who used CBD oil to treat chronic pain slept better. It is possible in this scenario that CBD helped lessen the severity of the pain itself, which then led to the patients’ better sleep. Either way, the CBD’s influence aided in increased relaxation and peace.
CBD Oil for Pain Relief in the UK
CBD oil is also believed to lessen pain. Researchers claim that the UK's best CBD oil for pain relief interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) to create pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects.
The ECSis the body’s cell-signalling system. It has tiny receptors which receive signals from different stimuli. These signals help the ECS determine the correct response for the affected cells.
One of these responses is pain relief. CBD oil can interact with the ECS and encourage this response hence the claim that CBD can relieve pain. Conclusive studies have found that CBD can relieve pain associated with:
- Arthritis: In a 2016 study, researchers applied a CBD topical gel on rats with arthritis. After four days, the researchers noted a reduction in pain and inflammation on the rats’ joints. While few trials have been conducted on humans, it’s believed that CBD topical gels can relieve arthritic pain
- Cancer: One of the side effects of chemotherapy is pain, and CBD oil is believed to relieve such pain. A study involving cancer patients found that they experienced great pain relief after taking THC-CBD extract instead of opioids alone
- Multiple sclerosis: This condition causes muscle spasms and constant pain. Research on the effects of CBD oil on patients with multiple sclerosis found that it reduced its symptoms, including pain
CBD Oil for Stress
Many studies point to the anti-anxiety properties of CBD oil and how it can aid in reducing stress. In a study comprising people with post-traumatic stress disorder, researchers found that the participants had fewer symptoms after receiving CBD oil and psychiatric care.
Another study was conducted in 2012 to find out if CBD reduced anxiety in people who feared public speaking. The researchers found that participants who took CBD 1.5 hours before the public speech had less anxiety and were more comfortable on stage.
A few clinical trials also prove that CBD can reduce stress levels caused by cortisol hormones. It balances out activity in the ECS, encouraging it to produce happy hormones (serotonin and dopamine) instead of cortisol.
Unlike natural stimulants, CBD helps to regulate the brain’s neurotransmitters, allowing the body to use them more effectively.
CBD Oil for Energy and Focus
Another benefit to CBD aiding in lower stress levels is an increase in energy and focus. High cortisol levels can affect one’s mental clarity, making it more difficult to focus on a problem or even feel up to tackling it.
By prompting a person’s ECS to produce the feel-good hormones (dopamine and serotonin), CBD can help improve one’s ability to focus.
A study published in the Current Neuropharmacology journal cited that CBD’s pharmacological properties make it similar to a wake-inducing substance. The researchers found that the rats were more alert after the first hour of CBD injection during the experiment.
CBD Oil for Muscle Recovery
When you experience muscle damage from exercise, you might get painful inflammation. Luckily, using CBD oil can restore muscle function and reduce pain. To achieve these outcomes, CBD oil uses steps like:
- Stimulating the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines
- Reducing cell accumulation
- Preventing the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines
As a result, CBD can aid in speedy muscle recovery. Though other anti-inflammatory agents are also effective, CBD tends to address more areas of muscle injuries.
When compared to Ibuprofen, for example, CBD does more to influence exercise-induced muscle damage, soreness, or inflammation. And CBD works to reduce these effects while still enabling one’s muscle function.
The benefits also vary based on gender because how CBD affects men and women is different. Women, for example, report a higher libido while men often use CBD oil to regulate blood pressure.
Is CBD Safe?
Even with so many benefits associated with CBD use, critics still wonder: is CBD oil safe? The truth is that no serious safety concerns have been associated with CBD oil. However, it’s best to consult a doctor before choosing CBD to help manage any symptoms of health conditions.
If you’re already taking certain medications like blood thinners, it’s especially important to speak to a professional. Blood thinners, calcium channel thinners, and statins might cause adverse effects when paired with another drug.
What Are the Side Effects of CBD Oil?
One possible side effect is increased liver enzymes, especially in people using CBD oil to manage cancer-related symptoms. This could potentially lead to restored liver function or liver damage, though neither outcome is 100 per cent conclusive.
CBD Oil Drug Interactions
CBD can sometimes slow the liver’s ability to break down certain drugs. This is because CBD competes for enzymes with other medications. The result of such competition is either too much or too little drugs being released into the body. When this happens, it can disrupt some medications’ abilities.
This is why it’s vital for you to speak to your GP before taking any CBD oil product if you’re on regular medication.
What to Look For When Buying CBD Oil in the UK
We’ve already highlighted some points on what to look for in CBD, but for this section, we explain how to buy CBD oil. Generally, the CBD oil products you purchase is a matter of personal preference.
Does it help the effects of your health condition, fit your lifestyle, and your expectations? Here are some handy tips to help you when buying Amphora CBD oil in the UK.
Type of CBD Oil
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the vast range of CBD oil options available in the market. You may wonder whether to buy full or broad-spectrum CBD oil products or isolates. Understanding their differences will help you decide which is best for you.
Full-spectrum oils contain various compounds in the cannabis plant. These compounds include terpenes, proteins, traces of THC, and chlorophyll, and other cannabinoids. Because of the multiple components in the oils, you might find full-spectrum products to have more pronounced effects.
Broad-spectrum CBD is very similar to full-spectrum CBD oils, except it’s missing the THC component. With the removal of THC, broad-spectrum CBD becomes pure CBD oil.
The last type of CBD oil is the isolate. A CBD isolate contains 99% pure CBD oil as the main component is singled out over all the other active compounds (terpenes and cannabinoids).
CBD isolates tend to be especially helpful for anyone with a sleep disorder, making it the best CBD oil for sleep UK. For instance, an isolate can aid with insomnia to help a person sleep straight through the night.
CBD oil potency depends on the product and the type of CBD oil. Once you know the form of CBD you need, it’s essential to consider the potency, especially if following a prescription.
You can consume CBD oil as a liquid, capsule, topical cream, or vaporising liquid. Vapes are more effective and have a high bioavailability, meaning you’ll feel the effects quicker. Then again, creams are the best for managing aches. As for capsules, they’re more familiar to most people and far more discreet.
You also may want to consider a form of CBD that targets and enhances a specific mood or state of mind.
Is the Product Labeled?: How to Read the Label
With the CBD market still unregulated, scrupulous vendors could take advantage of the situation and supply mislabeled products. It’s essential to check the ingredients on the product label to ensure it doesn’t contain flavourings, preservatives, or thinning agents.
Third-Party Lab Testing
Most brands test all their products in third-party labs to verify their purity and potency. The CBD industry remains independent from these labs to make sure the results are credible. By maintaining a distance, CBD manufacturers prove their products hold up under scrutiny.
The lab isolates and tests each compound and assigns a quantifiable number on CBD, THC, and other ingredients. These numbers make CBD dosages tangible for customers who are keen on their product ingredient’s list.
A certificate of analysis provided proves the quality of the product. Certificates and lab reports are available on CBD companies’ websites, so you don’t have to search for credibility.
CBD Oil How Much to Take
The dosage varies depending on the use. Are you taking CBD oil to treat a specific health condition or for recreational purposes? Are you taking other medications? Finding the suitable CBD dosage for you hinges on factors such as:
- Potency of the product
- Bioavailability of the product
- Severity of the condition
- Other medications
It's best to start "low and slow" with a lower dosage and increase it slowly every week until you reach the desired amount. Infused Amphora recommends journaling to reach your optimum personal dose.
According to the World Health Organization CBD, doses administered during clinical research studies are 100-800 mg per day.
You may wonder if there’s a maximum amount of CBD one can take. The truth is doses of up to 1500 mg have been taken and were still safe and well-tolerated. However, there have still been few studies and as a precaution, Food Standards Agency has advised healthy adults to not take more than 70mg/day unless under the guidance of your doctor.
Do Your Research
The growing interest in CBD oil benefits as a therapeutic drug for various health concerns makes it easy for some companies to take advantage of uninformed customers. However, this detailed guide helps you understand the potential benefits of CBD and its side effects.
Information about CBD products can be confusing, hence the need for a reliable resource to help you navigate these murky waters. Remember to consult your doctor if you feel CBD oil could benefit you. Professionals can help you decide if choosing CBD is right for you and your lifestyle.
Written by | Infused Amphora Team
The Infused Amphora Team is dedicated to creating resources to educate and engage consumers on the growing evidence of CBD benefits and the extensive health and wellness properties of CBD Oil.
Contributor | Angus Taylor CEO
Infused Amphora “Learn” is intended for informational purposes only and is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.