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Now that Canada has become the first major economy to legalize marijuana, there are (honestly too many) jokes flying around the United States right now about munchies and giggling and 420 and Phish. Pot just has a reputation for being a silly, unserious, mind-altering drug–and for good reason. Most of the pot we talk about smoking is the THC kind.
THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, is the principal psychoactive component in marijuana that causes you to go all glassy-eyed and giggly. It’s the thing that makes you paranoid–afraid the cops are gonna catch you or, worse, everyone in the room is gonna laugh at you. It’s also what accounts for some growing amount of marijuana abuse by people hooked on those psychoactive effects, which have traditionally been romanticized and diminished as unserious in the face of more violent and deadly incidents triggered by alcohol use. Still, though, THC junkies exist and it’s a PROBLEM.
But there are some other elements of cannabis that have been found to offer effective treatment for common conditions, as well as other health benefits. Not familiar with cannabidiol (or CBD)? Here’s a quick FAQ to answer some of your most pressing questions.
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WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS AND SIDE EFFECTS OF CBD OIL?
First: What is CBD oil? Cannabidiol has all kinds of healing effects on the human body. Just this year, the Food and Drug Administration approved CBD oil as treatment for some forms of epilepsy. It’s also got anti-inflammatory properties and it’s been used to help reduce anxiety. So, yeah. It’s a thing.
As for CBD oil side effects, the nice thing is that you can get it completely stripped of THC so you don’t end up totally stoned and throwing down on Bugles. But that doesn’t mean that CBD can’t sometimes have some side effects–and it does interact with other medications, so check with your doctor or pharmacist before you determine your CBD oil dosage.
Some side effects can be dry mouth, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, and drowsiness.
HOW IS CBD HEMP OIL HELPFUL IN DAILY LIFE?
So you probably already know that hemp is derived from the cannabis plant. But only the very low-THC ones. Specifically, a cannabis plant must be made up of less than 0.3 percent THC to be considered hemp. And from there, you can even make your own CBD oil.
You can actually eat or cook with hemp seed oil, which is absent of both THC and CBD. Or, depending on the dosage or your preference, you can ingest or vape CBD oil every day to keep anxiety and stress at bay.
DOES CBD OIL WORK?
Good question. Sometimes a CBD oil benefits list can read as such a catch-all that it’s hard to take it seriously. So here’s what the science says:
Studies have found that it really does help with epilepsy and seizure-reduction. There have also been studies around CBD oil as a potential treatment for schizophrenia (with promising results).
However, there are fewer and less-conclusive clinical trials about CBD oil benefits for anxiety and stress reduction. That doesn’t mean there’s no science behind it! Just less.
WHAT DOES CBD OIL DO FOR PARKINSON’S DISEASE?
Whether CBD oil can be used to treat pain and discomfort for patients with Parkinson’s is something else still under scientific exploration. But it looks promising. CBD has some neuroprotectant properties, and can also have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, all of which can be beneficial for managing Parkinson’s.
DOES CBD OIL WORK FOR PAIN?
Yes! Or, at least, it can. Regular old Maryjane, with that THC stoned-ness, has also been found to be beneficial for people in pain (and particularly chronic pain). But it turns out if you strip out the THC and just leave the CBD intact, patients suffering from constant pain have found relief. But it seems evidence is, right now, mostly anecdotal.
WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CBD AND THC?
CBD and THC are just the two most prominent naturally occurring components of marijuana. You can take one out or the other, but the two operate together, too. These days, most marijuana dispensaries (where such establishments are legal) sell strains with combinations of the two, too, so you can customize your experience. If you enjoy how music sounds when you’re a teeny bit high, but mostly are showing up for pain relief from your weed intake, then picking up a strain that’s, say, 10 percent THC and 90 percent CBD might be your thing. So does CBD oil get you high? Sure, if there’s THC in it.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CBD CRYSTALS?
That’s right! CBD even comes in crystal form–in other words, this is CBD in its purest form. Because of that, it’s easy to control your dosage of CBD by measuring what you take from the crystal. That, plus all of the other advantages of CBD.
CAN YOU SMOKE CANNABIS AND TAKE CBD OIL?
It turns out that if you’ve smoked too much THC weed and you’re feeling anxious, supplementing with some CBD oil can mellow out the harsher effects of the psychoactive element of your pot. So, yes, you can smoke and take them both–but if you’re trying to get high in a more goofy way, you might not want to.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CBD CAPSULES AND CBD OIL?
You can easily purchase CBD capsules in pre-portioned capsules, which will be perfect for anyone extra sensitive to their dosage. You know exactly what you’re getting every time you take it. Using your own oil may require a little more exactitude and attention to make sure you’re not under- or overdoing it. But it might be more convenient for you to be able to add or subtract the amount you take day by day. It all depends on your lifestyle, your body, and your preferences.
IS IT SAFE TO TAKE CBD OIL DURING CHEMOTHERAPY?
CBD can be anxiety- and nausea-relieving for people undergoing the intense and uncomfortable experience of chemotherapy. As of right now, the federal government still considers marijuana a Schedule I controlled substance, so in most cases you can’t or won’t be prescribed pot to calm the side effects of your treatment. However, CBD oil is legal in many states, and so can be acquired instead of ol’ THC-laden pot.