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What is CBD Oil: Form Types, Benefit & Side Effect?

Dr. Saira Zulfiqar, PharmD

Written by: Dr. Saira Zulfiqar, PharmD

Updated on November 25, 2023


CBD oil, a natural wellness product that is derived from the cannabis plant, has fast become popular courtesy of the remarkable potential it has shown. Researchers from all over the world are trying to unearth the spectrum of advantages that CBD oil possesses. This brief not only highlights the most important benefits of CBD oil but also explains what is CBD oil, its different types and some of the CBD oil side effects.

CBD oil, short for Cannabidiol oil, is a natural wellness oil derived from the cannabis plant. Cannabidiol is one of the most important cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, courtesy of its many potential health benefits. The CBD oil is extracted from the flowers, leaves and stems of the hemp plant, which is a variety of the cannabis plant with a very low THC content. Solvent-based extraction or CO2 extraction method can be used to separate the CBD molecules from the rest of the plant material.

Three Distinct Types of CBD Oil

Full-spectrum CBD

Full spectrum CBD oil is a type of CBD oil containing a CBD extract with a wide range of cannabinoids. It contains not only CBD but also trace amounts of THC, the key psychoactive element found in the cannabis plant. Usually, the THC percentage is less than 0.3%.

Broad-Spectrum CBD

Broad-spectrum CBD oil is a full-spectrum CBD product with many cannabinoids and compounds found in the hemp plant, except THC. Hence, folks who want to experience the properties of CBD without experiencing any psychoactive properties of the cannabis plant can opt for the broad-spectrum CBD oils.

CBD isolate

Also dubbed as the purest form of CBD available, CBD isolates are basically devoid of any compounds or cannabinoids other than CBD. No terpenes, no flavonoids, nothing in this one! Hence, those who want to experience the potential benefits of CBD alone can opt for CBD isolate oils.

Here are some of the most popular forms in which CBD oil is consumed these days:

  • Rick Simpson Oil (RSO): RSO implies a very concentrated form of CBD oil, often with higher THC content than usual. It’s named after Rick Simpson, who made the RSO famous for its use in cancer treatment.
  • Vape Oil: Also known as CBD vape juice, vape oil is designed for vaporization using a vape pen or vaporizer device. This one is a popular option for quick relief.
  • Dabbable CBD Oil: Also known as CBD wax or shatter, Dabbable CBD oil is a highly concentrated form of CBD that can be vaporized, courtesy of a specialized dab rig. Pro-cannabis users seeking potent and immediate effects often rely on this popular form of CBD oil.
  • Edibles: CBD-infused edibles include gummies, chocolates, beverages, and other options. Edibles are a tasty and fun way to consume CBD. However, the onset of their effects can be slower than other methods like vaping.
  • CBD Sprays: CBD sprays work by delivering a fine mist of CBD oil directly into the mouth. CBD sprays offer a very easy and quick way to administer CBD.
  • CBD Patches: CBD patches are adhesive patches infused with CBD oil. They are applied to the skin and deliver a controlled release of CBD over time, providing consistent effects.
  • Tinctures: CBD tinctures work pretty much the same as CBD sprays. They are taken sublingually for fast absorption. However, one has to be very careful with CBD tincture dosing; it must be accurate. CBD tinctures require various concentrations and flavors.
  • Capsules: CBD capsules are pre-measured doses of CBD oil enclosed in either gelatin or vegetarian capsules. Another convenient and discreet way to consume CBD, these capsules are quite similar to taking other oral supplements.

10 Benefits of CBD Oil

Here are the top ten CBD oil benefits that are associated with CBD oil.

1. Pain Management

One of the most popular benefits associated with CBD oil is the natural oil’s efficacy in alleviating pain. CBD oil is extremely effective in treating and managing chronic pain. The oil achieves this effect through the interaction of Cannabidiol with the endocannabinoid system in the human body. It is pertinent to mention that our endocannabinoid system has certain receptors that can interact with Cannabidiol molecules. As a result of this interaction, pain modulation happens, thereby reducing inflammation. There are certain studies which elucidate the role of CBD in providing relief for chronic conditions. Some of these conditions include arthritis, migraines and neuropathic pain. It is interesting to note that CBD has already established itself as somewhat of a natural alternative to conventional pain medications with many side effects. Amazing efficacy and minimal side effects have made CBD a popular pain management choice.

2. Stress Relief

Pain management is not the only thing CBD oil has been found effective for. Cannabidiol and certain terpenes have shown their potential when it comes to mitigating anxiety and stress. We are living in a very fast-paced world and experience different challenges and stresses on a daily basis. SSRIs, once very effective, are now somewhat of a traditional medicine. Hence, the need for novel treatments is increasing with everyday passing. That is where CBD oil offers an advantage. The CBD found in this natural product interacts with serotonin receptors in our body. Hence, it can influence mood regulation. Symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and certain other stress and anxiety-related disorders can be effectively managed by applying CBD oil. It is also pertinent to mention that CBD oil has been considered a valuable adjunct to existing therapies and techniques for managing stress and anxiety.

3. Sleep Aid

Some of you reading these lines may be already grappling with sleep issues. Insomnia, borne out of various reasons, is a reality. Sleep hygiene is a very effective approach to countering insomnia. Certain medications have also been found to be very effective. But in many cases, these approaches fail to achieve the desired result. This is where the need for a novel treatment emerges. Well, calling it treatment at this stage might sound a little exaggerated. But, CBD oil does offer a potential solution since it can extend its effects to regulating sleep patterns. CBD oil can address anxiety and promote relaxation. Hence it can contribute massively to achieving more restful sleep. Also, because CBD can interact with receptors linked to the body’s sleep-wake cycle, CBD oil can potentially aid in managing certain sleep disorders, not just insomnia.

4. Neuroprotective Properties

There already exists enough credible evidence to suggest that CBD oil has certain neuroprotective properties. CBD oil has the ability to shield our neurons from damage; free radicals usually cause the damage. This kind of damage leads to neurodegenerative disorders, the most common of which is Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Because CBD can protect our neurons from damage and stimulate their regeneration, so it is considered a very valuable agent in treating and managing these disorders. More research is needed in this area, that is for sure.

5. Skincare Management

Our skin is exposed to irritants of all kinds. Inflammation and sebum-related issues are more common than ever. But, courtesy of CBD oils’ anti-inflammatory and sebum-regulating properties, this natural wellness product can be considered an important resource in combating skin disorders such as acne. CBD oil achieves this by modulating sebum production as well as reducing inflammation. And if sebum production can be regulated, preventing acne breakouts and promoting clearness can become quite manageable. This is the reason why we are seeing more and more products switch towards CBD infusion. They are infusing their existing product range with CBD. Hence, they try to achieve a holistic dimension to their acne-managing product range. Well, you might not need to try the whole product. CBD oil alone has shown certain potential already.

6. Good for Heart Health

CBD oil has shown that it can regulate conditions such as hypertension, which are a significant risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. High blood pressure is something that most of us are struggling and suffering from these days, courtesy of the many challenges that we have to face daily. Of course, changes in diet and taking certain medications can help with the problem. But if you are looking for a natural solution, CBD oil is the perfect natural Wellness product. CBD can influence our heart health in a very positive manner by reducing overall stress and minimizing the inflammatory processes going on in our bodies. But, it is pertinent to mention here that if you are someone who struggles with or faces a cardiac condition, seeking the approval of your healthcare professional before incorporating CBD oil into your daily regime is the wisest course of action.

We have been raving about the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD oil for some time now. In our body, chronic inflammation can be seen as an indicator of certain health issues, including autoimmune diseases. Because CBD oil has shown anti-inflammatory properties, so it assumes a very important position in inflammation management. CBD oil has Cannabidiol and certain terpenes, which can react with our immune cells. This interaction often leads to the modulation of our body’s inflammatory response. Certainly, CBD oil cannot be prescribed as a medicine at this point. But, to say that it cannot complement certain treatment regimens courtesy of its anti-inflammatory properties will not be doing justice to the product itself.

7. Substance Abuse Management

Substance abuse management is something that demands a lot of patience and trying out various approaches. CBD oil is the latest entry in this arena, which has shown that it can contribute to abuse management strategies. Because CBD can modulate our brain circuits associated with addiction, so it can reduce cravings. Furthermore, apart from reducing cravings, it can also help with withdrawal symptoms that many find very hard to counter and cope with. CBD’s supportive role in substance abuse therapy is becoming clearer, courtesy of modern-day research.

8. Antioxidant Properties

Our doctors often advise us to eat antioxidant-containing fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants are important because they can combat oxidative stress in our bodies. Oxidative stress is responsible for various diseases as well as the aging process. So, suppose we incorporate a product enriched with antioxidants at the beginning of our daily regime. In that case, chances are quite high that we can still neutralize the harmful free radicals which can otherwise contribute to accelerated aging and various diseases. CBD oil has these abilities, which makes it a product with multifaceted advantages.

9. Relief from Chemotherapy Symptoms

Research on the oncological front is going on. There are different research groups around the world which are trying to find a solution in natural substances for this monstrous disease. Certainly, the need for finding novel treatments is increasing with everyday passing. CBD oil has shown that it can offer, at the very least, relief, from specific symptoms associated with chemotherapy. Chemotherapy often induces nausea and vomiting and leads to significant pain in patients undergoing the process.

10. Appetize Booster

Furthermore, patients undergoing chemotherapy also suffer from appetite loss. CBD oil has shown that it can enhance cancer patients’ overall quality of life by reducing the intensity of these side effects. Hence, this natural oil’s value in potentially relieving cancer-related symptoms becomes quite high

CBD oil is generally considered to be safe for most people. However, it is considered safe only when appropriate doses are taken. As with many other supplements and substances, one often feels tempted to take more than the recommended dose. Hence, an overdose can often result in potential side effects. It’s pertinent to mention here that most of the time, the intensity of these side effects is quite mild. But, individual responses to CBD oil consumption can vary. These include:

  1. Dry mouth: One common side effect of CBD oil consumption is dryness in the mouth. This happens because CBD can decrease saliva production, leading to a dry mouth sensation.
    How to counter this? Staying hydrated all the time can help counter this discomfort. Then, some individuals also experience dizziness, particularly when higher doses of CBD are taken. However, this effect is usually temporary.
  2. Dizziness: The dizziness side effect will diminish as your body adjusts to the increased dose.
  3. Appetite Disturbance: CBD can also influence appetite. It can either increase the appetite or decrease the appetite. But, again, this kind of side effect is quite mild and can vary from person to another.
  4. Fatigue: CBD has a very calming profile, generally speaking. It can induce feelings of relaxation and drowsiness. This is something that most of us want, right? But if you’re taking CBD in excessively great amounts, you are likely to experience fatigue and a decreased level of alertness. Hence, if you’re planning to take CBD, or consume products such as CBD oil in relatively larger amounts, then it is best to avoid activities that require a full level of alertness.
  5. Gut Issues: Also, in certain cases, CBD oil has been shown to cause digestive issues, for example, diarrhea. If you’re experiencing persistent digestive discomfort, the wisest course of action is to consider a readjustment in your dose. If conditions like diarrhea persist, then discontinuing CBD oil consumption for oil is highly recommended.
  6. Drug Interactions: Lastly, CBD can interact with certain medications, especially those which are metabolized by over liver cytochrome P450 enzyme system. Consulting your doctor in advance about possible drug interactions is highly recommended.
  7. Mood Changes: CBD oil is one of those natural wellness products that can alleviate anxiety and stress. However, in some cases, the effect is quite opposite. It can lead to changes in the mood. Certain instances have shown that CBD oil consumption can lead to heightened anxiety or changes in mood. This happens when an individual is particularly sensitive to the effects of CBD in general. If you use CBD products over a long period, your body tends to develop a tolerance to CBD. This means that higher doses are required to achieve the effect usually achieved with a benign dosage in the beginning. Hence, countering this challenge becomes quite difficult. Also, when you try to withdraw from such products, the withdrawal symptoms can be very hard to cope with.
  8. Pregnancy & Breastfeeding: Lastly, research on the safety of using CBD oil during pregnancy is quite limited. The same goes for breastfeeding. So, because of the potential risks and uncertainties, it is generally recommended not to use CBD oil during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Frequent Ask Questions

Dr. Saira Zulfiqar, PharmD
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