CBD Oil: What You Need to Know

Published May 17th, 2022 by Chris Riley
Fact Checked by
Erik Rivera

CBD oil is a popular natural remedy used for many common ailments.

CBD is short for cannabidiol and it is one of over 100 chemical compounds found in cannabis plants.

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about CBD oil.

We'll answer all of your questions, including what CBD oil is, how it works, how to use it, and the many health benefits it offers for some health conditions. We'll also talk about the potential side effects of using CBD oil and whether or not it's legal.

What is CBD oil?

CBD oil is a natural oil derived from the hemp plant.

As noted above, CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of over 100 cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. 

Unlike its cousin THC, also called delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, CBD does not produce a psychoactive effect.

THC is responsible for the "high" associated with marijuana use while CBD oil is non-psychoactive, and does not produce a high.

CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the hemp plant and then diluting it with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or olive oil.

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How does CBD oil work?

CBD oil is gaining popularity as an alternative to traditional medical treatments, and you may be curious about how it works.

CBD and CBD oil have been shown to provide relief for a variety of ailments including anxiety, chronic pain, inflammation, and more.

CBD oil works by interacting with your body's endocannabinoid system, which is a system that helps regulate your mood, appetite, and pain.

There are two endocannabinoid receptors in your body, CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors, and when CBD oil binds to a cannabinoid receptor, it can help to produce the benefits we will detail below.

CB1 receptors are found in your brain, and they are responsible for a number of different functions such as mood, memory, pain, and appetite among several others.

CB2 receptors are found throughout your body, particularly in your immune system, and they are responsible for inflammation and pain.

How do you use CBD oil?

CBD and CBD oil can be used in a variety of ways. The most popular methods to take CBD include:

  • Sublingual drops (held under your tongue for 90 seconds before swallowing)
  • Vaporizing or smoking
  • Capsules
  • Edibles, such as gummies
  • Topical application, such as creams, lotions, or salves
  • Inhalers
  • Suppositories

It is also important to note that the quality of CBD oil can vary greatly from one brand to another.

Make sure you do your research and only buy from reputable brands.

Although it isn't an oil, you can also smoke the dried plant matter of the hemp plant, which is called hemp flower, for CBD effects in the same way you would smoke marijuana.

What are the health benefits of CBD oil?

CBD oil has been shown to provide a wide range of health benefits, and more research is being done every day to uncover even more.

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Some of the most well-known and well-documented health benefits of CBD oil include:

Reducing anxiety

It is thought that CBD can help reduce anxiety by interacting with your body's endocannabinoid system.

In a 2015 review, the participants who took the CBD had significantly less social anxiety at lower doses and the higher doses did not help with the effect.

Animal studies have also produced similar results too. Clinical trials and more research need to be conducted on humans although the findings look promising.

Anti-inflammatory properties

Several studies have shown CBD oil's anti-inflammatory properties and ability to help with pain relief.

CBD oil can help to reduce inflammation by interacting with the CB2 receptors in your body's endocannabinoid system.

Studies were conducted both using the oil topically or ingesting it and found it helps when administered both ways.

Treating epilepsy

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a drug in 2018 that contains CBD oil for the treatment of two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome, and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

The drug is called Epidiolex and is the first FDA-approved drug that contains CBD oil.

It has been shown to decrease the number of seizures and it is thought to help with all seizures, not just the seizures caused by epilepsy.

Fighting addiction

CBD oil has also been shown to help people with substance use disorders.

There have been studies for both smokers and for those trying to quit opioids and other drugs.

CBD oil can help to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Treating neurological disorders

CBD oil has also been shown to help with a number of neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, and multiple sclerosis.

More research is necessary to understand how exactly CBD oil helps with these disorders, but it is thought to be due to the interaction between CBD and your body's endocannabinoid system.

Fighting and treating cancer

CBD oil has also been shown to help with fighting cancer and treating the symptoms of cancer.

CBD oil can help to reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, as well as neuropathic pain.

Other research has also shown its ability to help prevent the spread of certain forms of cancer cells too although research is still ongoing.

Lowers blood pressure

CBD oil can also help to lower your blood pressure.

In a 2017 study, it was found that taking CBD oil helped to reduce resting systolic blood pressure and stroke volume in people who had been diagnosed with hypertension, also called high blood pressure.

Although it helped lower their blood pressure, more research is needed beyond this one study.

These are not the only potential benefits though, others include:

  • Lung conditions, including asthma
  • Depression
  • Sleep disorders such as insomnia
  • Migraines and headaches, including cluster headaches
  • Allergies
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Acne
  • Glaucoma
  • Muscle spasms
  • Diabetes

Besides the approval of the drug for epilepsy, CBD's ability to treat these medical problems is mostly anecdotal at this stage with more research being done to understand how and why it works.

Are there any side effects or adverse effects to using CBD?

CBD oil is generally considered safe, but there are some potential side effects to be aware of too. These can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Drowsiness or fatigue
  • Mood changes
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Liver damage
  • Fertility issues in men

CBD can also interact with other medications and exacerbate certain medical conditions causing adverse events so it is important you consult with your doctor or health care provider before using CBD oil as a treatment.

If you are pregnant, do not use CBD as both the FDA and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advise against its use while pregnant due to the potential of harming fetal development.

How do I dose my CBD oil?

There is no one answer to this as it depends on your weight, the condition you are treating, cannabinoid content, and other factors.

A good rule of thumb is to start with a small dose and increase it gradually until you find the desired effect. It is also important not to exceed the recommended dosage on the product label.

From around the web: CBD Oil

Reddit - CBD Oil Reviews

Reddit - What's been your experience with CBD Oil

Pinterest - CBD Oil

Is CBD oil legal?

The legal status of CBD oil is complicated as it is not currently regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States.

Due to this, safety concerns have arisen about the quality of product.

However, the use of Epidiolex, the FDA-approved drug that contains CBD oil, has been legal since 2018. Despite the lack of regulation, CBD is legal at the federal level in all 50 states; however, the regulations may vary from state to state.

So while the legal status of CBD oil is still somewhat complicated, it is possible to obtain and use it in the United States.

CBD oil is also legal in many other countries around the world, including Canada, the UK, and for medical use in Australia.


CBD oil is a substance that is derived from the cannabis plant and has been shown to have a variety of potential health benefits, including reducing anxiety, relieving pain, and lowering blood pressure to name a few.

There are numerous different methods of taking CBD oil and how much you take is dependent on many factors such as weight and what you are treating.

It is generally considered safe, but there are some potential side effects to be aware of that are listed above.

It is also important to consult with your doctor or health care provider before using CBD oil as a treatment. CBD oil is legal in many countries around the world, including the United States, although restrictions vary from state to state. Its use is likely to become more widespread as more research is done on its potential health benefits.

If you have any questions regarding CBD or CBD oil, please talk to your doctor or health care provider to see if it is the right treatment for you.

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