You’re interested in trying CBD, this may be for a whole range of reasons, but you might be asking - are there any side effects. This is definitely the right attitude to have when trying a new product, you need to know what you are putting in your body and how exactly it will affect you. In this article we will be answering all your questions about what CBD oil is, where it comes from, how it works in your body and if there are any side effects.
What is CBD?
Let’s start from the top, tracing CBD right back to the source and what it is and where it comes from before it presents itself in the form of CBD oil. CBD (the shortened name for cannabidiol) is a naturally occurring compound found in cannabis Sativa (generally the hemp plant). CBD is one of over a hundred cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant family.
Many people have heard of cannabis but have associations of the drug form of marijuana. Consequently, there are some different associations when it comes to the effect it has on the body. While CBD oil is generally known for its therapeutic calming effects, including pain relief and reduced levels of anxiety, people tend to associate the word cannabis with the notion of getting high. These two effects may seem somewhat incongruous, and there’s a reason for that.
CBD vs THC
While CBD is the leading active compound in CBD oil, there is another compound that is strongly at play (and leading in terms of effectiveness) in the type of cannabis that is used in the drug often referred to as marijuana or weed. This cannabinoid is known as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and causes the psychoactive, mind-altering effects which are so commonly associated with marijuana and weed. Meanwhile, CBD contains no mind-altering properties and the amount of THC present in CBD oil is incredibly low.
This is, in fact, one of the legal requirements in many countries to sell CBD oil and other CBD products. In the majority of European countries, CBD products must contain less than 0.2% THC to be sold. Most products will have an almost untraceable amount of THC in them. CBD products are derived from industrial hemp strains which has very low THC levels and during the extraction process laboratory-grade tests are carried out to verify the levels of THC.
Where does it come from?
Reakiro’s premium quality CBD oil, from seed to shelf, has been dutifully researched and rigorously perfected over the past half a decade. We took years to find the very best strains of hemp to produce a premium grade extract, as well as locating the most arable fields in the European Union (and thus bound under strict EU regulation) to grow our hemp. All extraction and formulation of our CBD oil take place in-house with the latest innovative technology, overseen by leading researchers, scientists, and experts. We pride ourselves on transparency and ensure that our customers know exactly what they are taking and how it works in their bodies - which takes us to our next section.
How does it interact with the body?
Across our central nervous system (the brain and the spinal cord) as well as in our immune system there are sets of receptors that make up what is referred to as the endocannabinoid system. These receptors (CB1 and CB2 receptors) communicate and interact with cannabinoids when they enter the body, and due to the diversity of their locations, these interactions can have a profound effect on a great number of our daily physiological processes and experiences.
Did you know that the body cannot produce cannabinoids of its own accord? Yet, we all have cannabinoid receptors within us. It seems as if we were made to have these interactions with Mother Nature’s plant produce.
What are the desired effects of CBD?
CBD oil is incredibly popular as a natural alternative for pain and chronic pain relief, this is commonly attributed to CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties. A 2016 study, which was conducted using rats with arthritis showed that, up to a point, the rats had a reduced level of inflammation and pain in their affected joints.(1) CBD oil is used by people with joint pain and muscle pain, which could be the result of a chronic illness and also more day to day aches and pains.
Stress begins as a mental, emotional response in our lives, but it is also a chemical reaction that can have intense physical consequences on our bodies. Of course, in small amounts, stress is a healthy reaction - however when adrenaline stops being motivating and starts being inhibiting, people will start to look for solutions to deal with their stress. A study from 2013 showed that CBD appeared to reduce cardiovascular responses to stress.(2) Meanwhile a recent lab study from 2019 found that CBD can reduce the expression of learned emotional responses to stress such as fear.(3)
Sleep and relaxation
At certain points in our lives, whether it is in connection with getting older, or a combination of factors such as work stress and other worries, we can find it incerasingly difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Having real, restorative rest is crucial to staying healthy, both mentally and physically, and giving the best version of ourselves to the day ahead. This can be quite the challenge when you have spent endless nights tossing and turning. CBD oil works in the body to maintain a normal level of homeostasis (chemical balance) which will promote feelings of relaxation and calmness when trying to get to sleep at night. Early research has also shown that sleep duration was improved in candidates who took CBD prior to going to sleep compared to those who took a placebo.(4)
Is there an optimal CBD dosage?
In many ways, optimal CBD dosage is like your appetite. It may differ from day to day depending on your energy levels, but there will be a general baseline. Additionally, for people with different body types, sizes and metabolisms - the optimal amount of CBD oil will change. Furthermore, as is the case with food, the more you take is not necessarily greater for you, after a certain point. Tracking optimal effectiveness in your CBD dosage is like a bell curve, which will fall steadily when you pass the desired point. To find where this point lies, we would recommend starting with a small dosage (10-25mg daily) and then steadily increasing while taking note of how your body is interacting with each different amount.
What are the side effects of CBD?
When it comes to CBD oil side effects, one of the most commonly asked questions people have is whether you can take an overdose of CBD oil. The World Health Organization (WHO) has presented findings from a study in 2011 which show that CBD has “no effect on a wide range of physiological and biochemical parameters or significant effects on animal behaviour unless extremely high doses are administered.” This study classed a high dosage as 150mg in a serving which is more than six times higher than what is usually classed as a strong dosage. Studies show that generally what will happen if someone takes too much CBD oil is they will experience feelings of drowsiness and fatigue.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding it is strongly advised that you do not take or use CBD oil or any other CBD products.
Additionally, if you are currently taking any prescribed medications please speak to your doctor before taking CBD oil. It is important to understand whether the medication and CBD oil are going to interact in an adverse way before taking both simultaneously.
Evidence shows that most people generally tolerate CBD very well, so if you are presenting adverse effects please do consult with your healthcare provider.
Research, studies, and anecdotal evidence show that the prospects and potential for using CBD oil and its therapeutic benefits could improve people’s lives in so many ways, naturally. Nevertheless, there are still areas in which more evidence needs to be carried out, often using human models rather than animal models.
In terms of side effects, the risks of overdosing or overtaking CBD oil appear to be low. CBD oil users are still implored to be measured and responsible in their use of this product. And should any unusual effects develop please contact your doctor.
We hope that this article has answered your questions about the side effects of CBD oil. As research is constantly moving forward on this subject, and it is part of our mission to keep our community informed and educated about the CBD world, please keep an eye on our blog for all the latest news and CBD developments.