What is cbd oil? The definitive guide to cannabidiol and how to use it properly

In a time when CBD products are appearing all over Internet wellness sites, you need to know what is truth and what is merely shady advertising.

Nov 26, 2017

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 28: (EUROPE AND AUSTRALASIA OUT) Dr Andrew Katelaris, who was deregistered in 2005 after refusing to stop recommending and supplying medical cannabis to patients, shows how the cannabis oil is prepared in a secret laboratory on August 28, 2014 at a location near Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Adam Ward/Newspix/Getty Images)

If you live in a marijuana-friendly state like Washington, Oregon or Colorado—or a country like Canada or Uruguay—you can likely find CBD oils at your local dispensary. Much hype has amassed around the medication—but what exactly is it?

CBD is the common acronym for Cannabidiol, which has seen consistent growth in popularity among medical marijuana patients and practitioners. CBD is a cannabinoid, just like THC. However, unlike THC, CBD does not possess psychoactive properties. In other words, the consumption of CBD alone will not make medical marijuana patients feel “high.”

This is the main advantage of CBD from a medical perspective: children, elderly, and patients who do not benefit from or enjoy the psychoactive effects of marijuana can use CBD to reap the benefits of medical marijuana, without getting “high.”

How CBD oil is made.

CBD oil is a concentrate made from extracting CBD from the sticky trichomes or resin glands on a cannabis plant’s flower. It’s often made from hemp plants, which are a type of cannabis that is bread to contain extremely low THC contents.

It can be made by saturating the cannabis plant with solvents like butane, olive oil or grain alcohol, then allowing this solvent to completely evaporate. The remaining liquid is CBD oil.

GettyImages 454570398 The US Military is waving cannabis use and letting medical marijuana patients serve
Photo by Adam Ward/Newspix/Getty Images

What CBD Oil is used for.

The most highly researched and verified use of CBD oil is for treating certain forms of childhood epilepsy. For the most part, other medical uses are based on research performed on animals or cell cultures. But that doesn’t mean that CBD can’t treat other illnesses—it just means that little has been verified with in-depth research, mostly due to the difficulties in conducting marijuana research under federal prohibition.

Many people advocate for the use of this medication in treating everything from migraines, chronic pain, nausea, menstrual pain, CTE, PTSD and even cancer. Until medical trials confirm CBD oil’s efficacy in treating these types of illnesses, the general rule of thumb is: if it works for you, use it. That being said, if you’re facing a serious condition, just be aware that research hasn’t yet confirmed the anecdotal evidence and balance your expectations—and treatment options—accordingly.

How to use CBD oil.

GettyImages 827764786 The US Military is waving cannabis use and letting medical marijuana patients serve
Samantha Brown gives a dose of medical cannabis oil to her daughter Kaylee, 5, at their South Berwick home on Thursday, September 15, 2016. Kaylee has a severe seizure disorder and depends on a cannabis oil to control and stop seizures. (Photo by Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

This medication is typically taken orally. This medication often comes in a small bottle with a dropper, and medical marijuana patients simply fill the dropper with the desired dosage and administer the oil under the tongue so it can be absorbed quickly into the bloodstream.

However, some medical marijuana patients prefer to administer CBD oil as a suppository. These types of patients include those who are unable to swallow or need to keep an empty stomach (such as before or after a surgery). Many women also recommend using this medication as a vaginal suppository to help manage the pain and discomfort caused by menstrual cramps.

Should you use CBD oil?

As mentioned earlier, clinical trials of this medication are still in their preliminary phases. Therefore, if you’re curious about the efficacy of this medication as a treatment option, your best option is to simply try it. Since it does not carry the psychoactive effects of THC, this oil fairly safe and uneventful to try, especially when starting at low doses and working one’s way up to using higher amounts.

Nov 26, 2017