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A Beginner’s Guide to CBD Oil

Key Takeaways

  • Managing pain and anxiety and improving sleep quality are some of the common reasons to start using CBD oil.
  • It is a Novel Food in the UK, thus safe and approved for regular or daily use for a long time.
  • Choose between CBD isolate, broad-spectrum, and full-spectrum. Among them, full-spectrum has legally permitted amounts of THC, making it the most potent choice.
  • CBD oil has other ingredients, like terpenes, that contribute to its health benefits.
  • Begin using CBD responsibly, not exceeding the recommended daily dosage.

As CBD becomes more popular worldwide, more and more people would like to start using CBD for health benefits. However, when getting started, people have too many questions and worries. This is because CBD is derived from hemp, a kind of cannabis plant. Moreover, marijuana use is still illegal, and medical use of cannabis is still highly regulated.

As a doctor, I will tell you everything people need to know before starting CBD. I have written this beginner’s guide to provide reliable information to people about this Novel Food.

People want to understand what makes CBD so safe and effective. What are the reasons for the popularity of CBD, and should they be considering CBD for health benefits or not?

What is CBD, and What is it Not?

To begin with, one needs to understand what makes CBD safe and why it is not wise to associate it with marijuana or weed. Of course, CBD is also extracted from the cannabis plant. However, CBD is extracted from legally grown hemp plants. Such plants are naturally low in THC, a substance that causes euphoria or high.

The cannabis plant has many cannabinoids. But, the two major cannabinoids are CBD (Cannabidiol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). Additionally, the plant has tens of other minor cannabinoids. Though all cannabinoids are more or less chemically related, they have different actions and sometimes even opposing actions. Thus, CBD and THC are very different. CBD is a potent antioxidant that helps relax but does not cause high. However, THC causes a high or confusion or disorientation at higher dosages.

This means that all legally sold CBD oils in the US are THC-free, or they contain only small amounts of THC. This makes CBD products very safe, and one can even operate machinery or drive when using CBD.

Some Health Benefits of CBD

One of the most widely recognised benefits of CBD is its ability to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and stress. Research indicates that CBD may influence the brain’s receptors for serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in regulating mood and anxiety. By modulating serotonin levels, CBD may help reduce feelings of anxiety and promote a sense of calmness and relaxation.(1)

Another mood disorder in which CBD may be good is depression. However, one should use CBD along with other measures, as it is just a supportive tool.(2)

In addition to its anxiolytic properties, CBD has shown promise as a natural remedy for pain relief. Studies suggest that CBD may interact with the body’s endocannabinoid receptors to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.(3) This makes CBD particularly appealing for individuals suffering from chronic pain conditions such as arthritis, neuropathy, or multiple sclerosis. Furthermore, CBD’s analgesic effects may offer a safer alternative to traditional pain medications, which can be associated with side effects and the risk of dependency.

CBD is also good for overcoming fatigue and generalised body aches like those in fibromyalgia.

Another area where CBD shows potential is in the management of sleep disorders. Many individuals struggle with insomnia or disrupted sleep patterns, often due to factors such as stress, anxiety, or chronic pain. CBD’s ability to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety may help improve sleep quality and duration. Additionally, CBD may interact with the body’s sleep-wake cycle, facilitating the onset of sleep and supporting a more restful night’s rest.

Beyond its effects on mental health and sleep, CBD has also been studied for its potential neuroprotective properties. Research suggests that CBD may help protect neurons from damage and oxidative stress, which could have implications for neurodegenerative diseases. CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects may contribute to its neuroprotective effects, reducing inflammation in the brain and supporting overall cognitive function.

In addition to these benefits, CBD has also shown promise in treating various skin conditions. Topical CBD products, such as creams and lotions, are believed to exert anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects on the skin, making them potentially beneficial for conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis. CBD’s ability to regulate sebum production and reduce inflammation may help alleviate symptoms and improve the overall health and appearance of the skin.

While the research on CBD is still evolving, these preliminary findings suggest that CBD may offer a range of potential health benefits.

Different Types of CBD

So, what is CBD oil? CBD oil generally contains CBD extract added to carrier oils like hemp oil, olive oil, or MCT oil. Manufacturers may also add terpenes, some essential oils, for greater health benefits and enhanced flavour.

The benefits of CBD oil depend on the type of CBD oil. There is CBD isolate, CBD broad spectrum, and full spectrum CBD oil. As the names suggest, CBD isolate contains mainly CBD, but it is free of minor cannabinoids, making it the safest option. However, the broad spectrum is more potent as it contains other minor cannabinoids, resulting in “the entourage effect.” 

Full-spectrum CBD oil is almost the same as broad spectrum, but it also contains legally permitted amounts of THC, which is less than 0.2% and less than 1 mg per pack. This kind of CBD oil is the most potent. It is a good option for experienced users.

Getting Started With CBD

So, once a person has decided to get started, the question comes, “CBD oil how to get started?” or CBD oil how to take UK.

It is always good to start slowly. One might better start with CBD isolate oil. Generally, it is good to take a few drops of CBD a day. One may slowly increase its dose for optimal effect. However, it is better not to exceed the dosage of 10 mg per day without consulting a doctor.(4)

Although CBD oil is the best way to get started, some may also explore CBD vape pens. However, CBD vape pens are only for those who smoke or vape. We do not encourage people to get started with vaping if they do not smoke or vape.

The Bottom Line

CBD oil is becoming increasingly popular. It is vital to understand that CBD is quite safe for prolonged use. CBD, although extracted from cannabis plants or hemp, does not share any traits with marijuana. CBD products are either THC-free or only contain it in minute amounts. FSA, UK, has approved CBD for regular use in small dosages on a daily basis.

As a doctor, I will always follow FDA & NICE guidelines that confirm CBD safety when it is used responsibly. As a Novel Food, CBD oil is approved for regular and prolonged use.

References

  1. Wright M, Di Ciano P, Brands B. Use of Cannabidiol for the Treatment of Anxiety: A Short Synthesis of Pre-Clinical and Clinical Evidence. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2020 Sep 2;5(3):191–6.
  2. de Mello Schier AR, de Oliveira Ribeiro NP, Coutinho DS, Machado S, Arias-Carrión O, Crippa JA, et al. Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol: a chemical compound of Cannabis sativa. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2014;13(6):953–60.
  3. Atalay S, Jarocka-Karpowicz I, Skrzydlewska E. Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol. Antioxidants (Basel). 2019 Dec 25;9(1):21.
  4. Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland update consumer advice for CBD | Food Standards Agency [Internet]. [cited 2024 Mar 25]. Available from: https://www.food.gov.uk/news-alerts/news/food-standards-agency-and-food-standards-scotland-update-consumer-advice-for-cbd
Dr Preet Pal Singh Bhinder

This article was authored by: Dr. Preet Pal Singh Bhinder.

This article was peer-reviewed by Dr M Mansoor Siddique (PhD). Dr Siddique has over eight years of experience working with CBD and CBD products.

Disclaimer: All of our products are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. It is recommended to check with doctor before starting a new dietary supplement program. All CBD products sold have less than 0.2% THC content and abide by both EU an UK law.

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