More & more people are discovering & experiencing the benefits of CBD oil every day. Discover why it’s so good for anxiety, for kids, for general health & healing and so much more. The facts, the benefits and how to discern the best products.
Unfortunately, there’s still an enormous amount of stigma attached to this incredible plant and it is so often misunderstood.
The biggest misconception people have is that those using CBD oil or medical marijuana to treat chronic diseases are just getting stoned. This is simply not true! And it’s unfortunate because it means that so many who need it will miss out on the benefits.
But thankfully this is changing!
Both the anecdotal evidence and the more formal clinical trials are now pouring in.
As part of researching for this article, I’ve been monitoring a couple of testimonials pages, and have been astounded at the number of truly extraordinary testimonials that pour in every day. Life-changing stuff!
So what is CBD?
CBD is short for Cannabidiol which is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant and has the broadest therapeutic potential of any other component in the plant.
CBD is widely known for its vast array of medicinal uses, the studies are simply pouring in confirming it’s huge range of benefits.
Here’s a list of health issues CBD has been shown to be helpful for:
- Anxiety & Depression
- Psychosis, schizophrenia & other mental health disorders
- Inflammation & pain
- Drug addiction
- Migraines & headaches
- ADD, ADHD & Dyslexia
- High blood pressure
… and the list goes on
It’s not what you may think
But its not what many people think, for 2 reasons:
- It’s different from medical cannabis and does not give you a psychoactive high that is often associated with the cannabis plant.
Medical cannabis oil contains higher levels of THC. This is the psychoactive compound that creates the ‘high’.
Hemp plants are male cannabis plants, while THC is primarily found in the female plants. They are different varieties of the same plant species. Males are prized for the high CBD content and the ability to provide lots of seeds, while the females are coveted for their THC-rich flower buds.
Taking a CBD rich whole hemp plant oil is COMPLETELY different to smoking the THC rich cannabis, and one should not really be associated with the other.
Different intentions, different effects.
But they have been associated and this is one of the reasons why CBD oil is not yet legal to purchase here in Australia without a subscription from a doctor who has a special license to do so (and there are very few of these).
- Some may have heard that CBD oil will heal everything, and it has become known somewhat as an ‘all-heal’.
While it certainly has been shown to help with just about every chronic illness under the sun, it doesn’t quite work the way most people assume.
So how does it work & why is it so effective for so many things?
The cannabis plant is the closest thing to a panacea in all the plant kingdom.
This is because so many chronic ailments are actually due to a disregulation of the endocannabinoid system.
This is a truly fascinating system and was actually discovered whilst researching the effects of cannabis on the body, hence the name. It is simply made up of endocannabinoids & their receptors, which are found on every type of cell in the body.
All mammals have an endocannabinoid system, so CBD oil can be extremely effective for our canine family members too.
Basically, this systems job is to work towards and preserve homeostasis & balance. It’s a regulator of all body systems.
So the phytocannabinoids in CBD oil will bind to these receptors and tell them to do their balancing work.
So simple & so perfect!
CBD kind of interfaces with your body, which is pretty amazing. It’s plant intelligence at its finest!
It increases resiliance to a broad spectrum of harmful factors (stressors) whether physical, chemical, biological or emotional in nature.
However, the science and our understanding of this fascinating system is actually in its early infancy.
Plants & True Healing
So what is true healing, really?
True healing has to begin internally!
It often starts with a shift in how we relate to ourselves – a willingness to see where our issues are stemming from and to address them at their source.
Healing is often about discovering what’s holding us back in the first place. We all get in our own way at times; whether it’s constantly staying tied to work or sacrificing sleep in favor of getting more done, it’s easy to be resistant and persistent in patterns that aren’t serving us.
True healing involves an allowing, a relaxing internally, and a willingness to see things differently.
The external component of healing can entail many things, one of which is plant medicine. This is one of the purposes of the plant kingdom – it has been designed to provide support for our physical & energetic bodies.
True healing is individual for everyone. When I first started taking CBD oil, my body began to unwind which I experienced as tiredness. But this is exactly what my body needed to do to begin a true healing process, after a couple of years of pushing myself and not stopping & resting enough!
Others will experience a significant lift in energy.
Since CBD works with the body’s innate healing & balancing system, it is self-adjusting. This is how cannabis sativa is different to other types of plant medicine which generally have more specific effects.
Having said that, there are some common benefits to expect and effects to look out for …
So here are the 10 Benefits:
1. Stronger immunity and better resilience
The ability to bounce back with better recovery after illness, allergies, toxin exposures, injuries, or chronic conditions. Supports healthy cellular production & mitochondria & cell-to-cell communication. This is the communication system that our cells use to maintain balance. CBD has been shown to be extremely helpful in chronic fatigue issues, and mitochondrial disease. There’s evidence that suggests that the endocannabinoid system plays a role in regulating mitochondrial activity.
2. Mood Elevation
A greater sense of happiness and well-being, greater mental clarity, focus, and a sense of awareness. For me, I feel much more at peace, like everything is okay.
CBD has been shown to reduce levels of stress and anxiety in those suffering from conditions such as PTSD, social anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
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3. Anti-microbial Activity
CBD has been shown to be effective in destroying infectious organisms. This can create a die-off effect temporarily but is worth slowly & gently moving through this. Researchers discovered that cannabinoids (including CBD) have an unusual ability to destroy bacteria (especially drug-resistant strains).
4. Help with chronic pain & inflammation
People with conditions like fibromyalgia and various inflammatory issues, are finding relief with CBD. Taking CBD can help to reduce chronic pain and has been associated with the prevention of nervous system degeneration. It has actually been approved in Canada for multiple sclerosis and cancer pain.
Another advantage is that CBD doesn’t cause dependence or tolerance over time, so many have been able to detox from harmful & addictive medications far more easily. Research also shows that CBD oil can reduce chronic inflammation that leads to disease.
A 2010 study shows that CBD oil acts as an antioxidant and another study found CBD has neuroprotective qualities. As mentioned earlier, CBD oil is helpful in preventing oxidative stress and inflammation. Both of these are often precursors to heart disease.
5. Rebalancing of body weight
This will often show up as weight loss, if weight gain due to metabolism or hormone imbalance has been an issue. CBD has been shown to stimulate the genes and proteins that help break down fat.
6. Healthier & more radiant looking skin
CBD oil can also be used topically to treat skin conditions and counter the effects of ageing.
7. Line of Cure
As mentioned above CBD will tell the endocannabinoid system to reset & rebalance. This essentially puts the body into what is referred to in homoeopathy as ‘Line of Cure’. What this means is that the body has begun to heal itself. And since no 2 people are the same this will be different for everyone.
8. Support for Cancer patients
CBD oil’s role in cancer treatment still needs more research, but what’s available is looking very promising. According to the American Cancer Society, CBD oil can slow the growth and spread of some kinds of cancer (in animals).
9. Spiritual support
Now, this a hard one to prove and to demonstrate but I’m convinced that CBD oil has powerful spiritual properties due to its effect vibrationally on our energy system (meridians & chakras). For those familiar with vibrational healing, CBD oil has an incredibly high frequency.
Many have reported heightened awareness, intuition and greater clarity and a sense of peace and mindfulness.
10. Safe support for our children
CBD has been shown to be effective for children for a wide range of issues from ADHD & behavioural issues to autism & epilepsy. It is most certainly worth a try before you turn to medication
Important note: Though CBD oil on its own is very safe, it may interact with medications, particularly opioids. Speak with your health practitioner if you’re concerned about interactions or are unsure about using it for your condition/s.
The ‘Healing Crisis’
Most people will experience positive effects almost immediately, however, there are some who may need to go through a temporary detox period &/or a bit of a ‘healing crisis’, initially.
When the Endocannabinoid system is deficient or out of whack (as it will be with most, if not all, chronic disease), then it’s normal to feel some disturbances while things balance out until you reach homeostasis.
As an effective wide-spectrum anti-microbial, CBD oil will begin to kill these micro-organisms which can create die-off symptoms. Some may have a die-off response that is presumed to be making the person worse, not understanding what’s actually happening. So a treatment that is so desperately needed might be abandoned.
This is why education is SO important!
If you think this could potentially be an issue for you, then ideally look at optimizing your detox pathways at least a week before commencing CBD, such as Epsom salt baths, dematiaceous earth, charcoal etc. Go here for some extra guidance.
When choosing the right brand, consider these things:
It’s super important to know how to pick the right CBD oil! One that is pure & will give you the best results possible without creating legal issues.
- Look at purity, making sure there are no chemicals or fillers. Check to make sure it’s organic & GM free, and that the company has their testing & purity analysis certificates available.
- Should be lab tested for consistency and verified as being free of mould, bacteria, pesticides, solvent residues, and other contaminants. this data should be available on their certificate of analysis.
- What’s the base oil? As long as the base oil is a quality organic plant oil, this is okay, but a hemp oil base is best since this makes it a whole plant medicine, which I believe will be more effective.
- What’s the extraction process? CO2 extraction tends to give the purest & cleanest product, however, it is one of the more expensive processes which is why many companies don’t use it. Best to avoid products extracted with toxic solvents like BHO, propane, hexane or other hydrocarbons
- Look out for synthetics – Most companies I’ve researched have isolated &/or synthetic components in their CBD. There are more than 70 different cannabinoids that have been identified so far and over 500 constituents of cannabis including various terpenoids and flavonoids. The US government already holds multiple patents on various cannabinoids. This is simply no longer plant medicine but pharmaceutical medicine. A synthetic attempt at a cheaper copy. They can’t patent nature but they can patent these synthetic copies. It’s all about making money.
- Some CBD oils advertise up to 3000mg potency. It’s important to understand that when a product claims a potency that high, that this is a sure indication that it’s an isolate product and not full spectrum or a whole plant product. Isolate products require more to be effective. 3000mg of a full spectrum product would definitely not be THC compliant (& would have to be mega expensive!). The benefits of being a full spectrum CBD oil are in the testimonials, the results of whole plant medicine speak for themselves!
- We are going to see many more isolates come on the market, plus synthetics too. Pharmaceutical companies are wanting to cash in!!
Here’s what we use
As a naturopath, I’ve been aware of the potent benefits of CBD oil for many years but had not even tried it personally, until recently as I hadn’t found one I was happy with.
Last year I wrote an article on the phytocannabinoids in Copaiba oil, believing at the time that it was a good enough substitute since it contains around 40-60% cannabinoids (compared to up to 80% in some CBD oils).
I had researched and found that every CBD oil on the market either had high THC and therefore was psychoactive and had legal issues, contained synthetics or isolates, was inconsistent in it’s potency, was way too expensive or all of the above.
Finally, just this year I came across this one!
- Hemp Herbals CBD oil has their Certificate of Analysis transparent on their site proving there are no chemicals or fillers and that it is 100% pure, organic, GM-free, with 3rd party testing done on all batches before they reach consumers.
- Their farms are all FDA approved. Not many companies can say these things. Many outsource their farms to other countries so you have no clue of their growth regulations.
- Hemp Herbals CBD oil is in a hemp seed carrier oil base (I haven’t seen another company using hemp oil). This makes it a whole plant product and makes the product more effective due to whole plant synergy.
- They use CO2 extraction which is a safer and more reliable method for obtaining the pure hemp oil without leaving a solvent residue.
- And another big plus – it’s affordable. The company is based in the USA where CBD with 0.3% or less THC is completely legal. It is currently legal within all US states.
You can GO HERE to open a free account.
- There is one other CBD oil brand worth knowing about – Charlottes Web – particularly for seizures & epilepsy disorders in children. This CBD oil is has become perhaps the worlds most trusted for children.
You can purchase it here
For us Aussies, I’m recommending 2 sources for really great quality CBD oil. See here for details.
Revised Edit, 8th June: Note that I have recently changed the company I am recommending for worldwide available CBD oil. This is because Hempworx have recently shut down their international shipping, which lead me to find Hemp Herbals, which I am actually even happier with 🙂
Dive in Deeper
If you’d like to know more about the incredible healing properties of the Cannabis sativa plant, I highly recommend this documentary – The Sacred Plant It’s the best and most informative source of information I’ve come across about cannabis.
ProjectCBD is an excellent resource for those wanting further research.
Plus here is just a sampling of the enormous numbers of studies coming out, for those who want some further reading:
- CBD & Autism https://www.dailymarijuanaobserver.com/single-post/2018/01/19/New-Research-Into-the-Effectiveness-of-Cannabis-for-Autism
- Reported Health Benefits of CBD. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from https://www.honeycolony.com/article/benefits-of-cbd/
- Can CBD oil help anxiety? What you need to know. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319622.php
- Cannabidiol induces rapid-acting antidepressant-like effects and enhances cortical 5-HT/glutamate neurotransmission: role of 5-HT1A receptors. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26711860
- Antibacterial cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: a structure-activity study. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18681481
- Tetrahydrocannabinol are neuroprotective antioxidants. Retrieved from http://www.pnas.org/content/95/14/8268.full
- Bone mineral density http://ushealthmagz.com/2018/04/25/scientist-reveal-what-cannabis-does-to-your-bones/
- This page has an extensive list of studies demonstrating CBD’s affect on cancer http://www.higherperspectives.com/there-are-now-100-scientific-studies-that-prove-cannabis-cures-cancer-1429984852.html