Before we begin, it’s important to note that we are not doctors or scientists and this guide is not a offering of health advice. However, Kelsie on The Slumber Yard team spent over 40 hours researching this topic so we feel like this guide is a very helpful starting point for you. Still, we recommend you ask your doctor before incorporating new “medicine” into your routine. While it looks very hopeful that CBD can treat a large variety of ailments with little to no side effects, studies are still in the works to prove this 100% true. You are welcome to try CBD, but be sure to do so responsibly.
Jump To Select CBD Research Topics:
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD is shorthand that stands for cannabidiol, which is a cannabinoid that is found in cannabis. It was first researched back in the 1940s, but has been used medicinally for insomnia and other sleep issues in various cultures for centuries. Cannabidiols are chemical compounds that work with our endocannabinoid system, which is the biochemical communication system in our bodies that play a role in psychological functions like sleep, mood, pain, and appetite. CBD communicates with receptors, proteins, and chemicals in the brain to help promote relaxation, pain relief, and better sleep.
CBD oil is just one of the many forms that CBD comes in. We’ll be sure to discuss the many other forms that CBD is available in, later in this post.
Is CBD Oil Legal?
While CBD and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) are both chemical compounds found in cannabis (and there are over 100, with CBD and THC being the most popular), they are very much different. THC has the capabilities to give you psychoactive effects, or get you “high” or “stoned.” CBD cannot get you “high” necessarily, but it can improve mood. It is not psychoactive like THC is, though. Also, CBD works much better when a tiny bit of THC is present, so you may commonly find CBD products that contain THC levels around .3%. This is not enough to get you high, and is classified as hemp, not marijuana.
Because CBD doesn’t have any of these effects, it is legal in all 50 states. THC is only legal in some states, and its use (medicinal or recreational) is contingent on the laws of the state. Even in states where THC is completely illegal, it is still legal to purchase and use CBD.
Is CBD Oil Safe?
A World Health Organization report issued in 2017 stated that CBD does not appear to have abuse potential or cause harm, but always proceed with caution.
Adults should have no problem using CBD. The only reason it could pose any possible danger is if an individual had an allergy to cannabis. It is also not possible to overdose on CBD. The worst possible outcome that we’ve heard of is an extended period of sleep, or feeling drowsy for awhile.
There is very limited research on using CBD while pregnant or breastfeeding. Because of this lack of information, doctors don’t recommend using CBD to new mothers.
How To Make CBD Oil?
CBD oil is most commonly and most easily harvested from hemp and cannabis, although synthetic CBD is also available on the market.
There are three different methods of extracting CBD oil.
The first is the CO2 method, which works by pushing CO2 through the plant at a high pressure and low temperature. This extracts CBD in its purest form, meaning its the safest and cleanest method of making CBD oil because it removes extra substances, like chlorophyll, and doesn’t collect any residue. CBD oil extracted in this way is described as having a “cleaner taste,” but is also usually the most expensive form of CBD oil.
The ethanol method makes CBD oil by using high-grain alcohol as a solvent for extracting. This method tends to pull more water soluble components from the plant, like chlorophyll, and can destroy some of the beneficial natural oils that occur in CBD oil.
The last way is the oil method. This extraction method uses a carrier oil, like olive oil, to safely and cleanly contain the CBD oil. This method is rising in popularity since the carrier oil can add extra benefits and is free of any unwanted residues.
You should also be aware of what your CBD is being extracted from. If your CBD is extracted from actual marijuana leaves rather than hemp, it can have a higher THC content (up to 30 percent), and can have psychoactive effects. Always make sure to check the THC level when purchasing CBD, and ask where the CBD was derived from.
How To Take CBD Oil
If you are specifically looking to use CBD oil, first make sure that you are using quality ingredients. That means no pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides used during cultivation, no harmful contaminants, and diligent testing.
CBD comes in a variety of packages which can either be ingested or applied topically. While ingesting CBD can help with mood-related states, like anxiety, stress, and insomnia, topical application only interacts with the uppermost layers of your skin cells, so it never enters your bloodstream.
Topicals include CBD infused lotions, ointments, salves, balms, patches, or other bath and body care products. They are great for arthritis and injuries, but more and more skincare companies are raving about the overall moisturizing benefits they have on skin, as well.
CBD can be digested in capsule form, oil (like CBD infused olive oil) form, tincture form, edible form, or by smoking or vaping. Capsules, oil, tinctures, and smoking or vaping will have a very quick reaction time; somewhere between five to 20 minutes.
Edibles usually take longer, somewhere from 30 minutes to two hours to take effect. Edible’s effects usually last longer, though, because of the slow way the nutrients are digested and absorbed into the bloodstream. Edibles include gummies, sweets like lollipops and brownies, and drinks like teas and specialty sodas. Make sure that your edibles are clearly labeled so that they do not end up in the hands of someone who did not intentend on taking CBD.
If using CBD infused olive oil, use as a salad or veggie dressing. Heating up the oil can damage the cannabidiols.
What Is The Proper CBD Oil Dosage?
Because CBD works with our own personal endocannabinoid system, dosage can vary per person. Our recommendation is to start with a low dose and slowly add and adjust. If you’re new to cannabis, start with 5mg in your preferred method of consumption and build upon that to maintain relief. Doses can depend on the purpose, and many notice that you may need to let CBD build up in your system over time. For more serious medical conditions, such as chronic pain, epilepsy, etc., it can take anywhere from 20 days to almost four months to completely conquer your symptoms.
If you’re interested in CBD for sleep disorders, luckily it won’t take as long. You should be able to experiment and experience the benefits that day.
Research has also shown that lower doses of CBD are therapeutically more effective than higher doses (i.e. pain and anxiety relief). Higher doses tend to have more of a sedative effect. So again, start small and experiment with what is right for you.
CBD Oil Reviews
Oil 1 — CBDistillery is a Colorado based company. They have a strong belief that CBD oil should be of the highest quality, fairly priced, and hemp derived. All of their products are lab tested to ensure you’ll never feel “high” as a result of ingestion.
Our favorite oil from CBDistillery is the 1000mg 30ml Full Spectrum CBD Tincture. It’s made with coconut MCT oil so it’s easy to use and easy to digest. CBDistillery recommends mixing it in your morning smoothie or juice, or dropping it right under your tongue.
Oil 2 — NuLeaf Naturals is also a company with lots of Colorado pride. Their cannabis oils are 100% organic, and free of additives and preservatives. Every bottle of cannabis oil they provide for customers has been subjected to rigorous laboratory testing to ensure that it contains the optimal amount of CBD. They favor CO2 extraction to harvest their CBD oil.
Our favorite product is the 725mg Full Spectrum CBD Oil, High Grade Hemp Extract. They break it down for you so you know that one drop of oil is approximately 2.4mg of CBD. They also have fast delivery!
Oil 3 — Green Roads ensures that every item in their collection of CBD oils has been formulated with a licensed pharmacist of 25 plus years and then tested by independent labs to ensure that it complies with all industry standards and regulations. They have great customer support and a wide range of products that goes beyond oils.
Our favorite product of theirs is their 500mg CBD Oil. It’s made with hemp seed oil and kosher-grade vegetable glycerin, and they even provide you with the nutritional facts per milliliter.
How To Use CBD Oil
We’ve already talked about the ways you can ingest or apply CBD, but let’s articulate why you would use CBD. According to a 2018 survey by Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 62 percent of CBD users take it to treat pain, anxiety, and depression. CBD is also very effective when used to improve sleep quality or as treatment for insomnia.
Below, we will discuss more in detail per condition how CBD applies to and aids symptoms.
Benefits And Effects Of Using CBD Oil
Some negative side effects associated with CBD include fatigue, diarrhea, or changes in appetite and weight. Others include dry mouth, lightheadedness, or low blood pressure. Some people have reported that using CBD oil has given them increased anxiety, but that may be linked to the experience of trying something new and not knowing what the outcome may be.
Because there is a huge lack of research regarding CBD’s effect on embryos and children, it is not recommended that women who are pregnant or nursing use CBD. Side effects are completely unknown in this category.
It is also recommended that anyone with a serious mental or health disorder, such as schizophrenia or extreme depression, talk to their doctor or health professional before using CBD, and do not discontinue any medications in hopes of replacing them with CBD use.
Does CBD Oil Improve Sleep?
CBD has the power to provide more restful sleep, as well as make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. While this ties back to CBD relieving pain and stress, it can also help to regulate sleep patterns, which is important when aiming to achieve more Rapid Eye Movement, or REM sleep (source 1).
Note that small doses of CBD have the ability to make you feel more alert, so you may need to take a little bit more if this is an issue for you.
Can CBD Give Me Pain Relief?
CBD oil has had grave successes for pain management. This is partly because CBD helps to decrease inflammation in the body, which researchers are finding more and more has to do with pain, especially including arthritis, undiagnosed and diagnosed back pain, and multiple sclerosis. CBD also helps the mind to relax, which researchers think attributes to helping the body to relax, which can also cut down on pain caused by tension.
RELATED: Best Mattresses For Back Pain
Can CBD Oil Help With Anxiety?
Anxiety can range from the occasional worrying to severe and debilitating disorders. But according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety affects more than 18 percent of the population annually.
Like many of the other ailments listed here, there is a lack of large scale research about CBD and anxiety, but there was a report published in Neuropsychopharmacology in 2011 that positively determined that CBD has the capabilities of alleviating social anxiety (source 2).
So far, most studies have shown that CBD either helps with anxiety or has no adverse effect whatsoever. More large scale testing is needed to make any major claims, but CBD probably won’t make it worse, unless you experience anxiety from trying new things.
CBD Oil For Migraines
Migraines are an evolved form of a headache, but in the worst way. Migraines don’t stay centered in the head, but can spread to the neck, eyes, and sinuses. And they often get worse with light, noise, movement, or strong smells.
Research on CBD and migraines is limited, but there was a study conducted by the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research that found that people who treated their migraines with a cannabis-nabilone formula (read: not pure CBD oil but some CBD) reported improvements with their migraines and a better quality of life overall.
Additional research is needed to really know the effects of pure CBD on migraines, but since CBD has been proven so effective at reducing inflammation, signs point to helpful.
Can CBD Help Treat Depression?
According to the Depression Alliance, CBD oil is gaining massive popularity as a natural treatment for depression, as it has been found effective as a treatment for depression for many people (source 3). Note that CBD cannot cure depression, but it can possibly improve symptoms.
This needs to be observed on a case by case basis because each individual’s endocannabinoid system is complex and unique, so relief will vary. But, CBD has been shown to help release serotonin in the brain, which is a chemical that acts as a mood booster and can reduce stress levels.
CBD Oil For Arthritis
CBD for Arthritis has some of the most conclusive research, and is where we’ve gathered the most information on CBD’s anti-inflammatory abilities. CBD oil has been proven safe and effective for the treatment of arthritis, but doctors still seem more prone to prescribe other medications that they have been using for years.
Although this 2016 study was tested with rats, professionals have seen that the benefits transfer over to humans (source 4).
Another study in 2017 also confirmed that CBD is a useful treatment specifically for Osteoarthritis joint pain, and can actually prevent pain and nerve damage from even beginning.
RELATED: Best Mattresses For Arthritis
Can CBD Oil Cure Cancer?
While marijuana has been recommended for awhile now to help combat the nausea that tends to be a side effect of chemotherapy, more and more research is coming out about how CBD can decrease the spread of cancer and even possibly induce the death of active cancer cells (source 5).
Can CBD Oil Help With ADHD?
According to professionals, there is no standing research about the possible good or bad treatment of ADHD with CBD, but that doesn’t mean that individuals have not ventured to try it on their own. So while CBD has been proven to help people to relax or feel less “manic,” scientists cannot claim that CBD is an anecdote to ADHD.
Using CBD Oil For Seizures
In June of 2018, the FDA approved a drug called Epidiolex, which is an oral form of CBD (source 6). It is used to treat two rare forms of epilepsy in children, and is found to be very effective in reducing the frequency of epileptic seizures.
CBD Oil And Autism
American studies are lacking in this category, but studies in Israel have been much more conclusive in finding the benefits of using CBD for autism. The study found that after prescribing autistic children with CBD oil, 80% of parents noticed a decrease in problematic behaviors, 62% of parents reported significant improvements with their children overall, and 40% reported their children had significant decreases in anxiety (source 7).
CBD Oil For Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that has symptoms of widespread muscle and/or skeletal pain, and trouble sleeping. CBD has proven effective to treat the symptoms of fibromyalgia relating to pain and sleep issues, but there is very limited research on what fibromyalgia is or what causes it, so it’s difficult to test to see if CBD can directly help with it.
CBD And Weight Loss
There is research that CBD can alter individuals appetite, which can affect weight loss. This is another case-by-case basis, though, and majorly depends on the person. But, CBD has proven effective for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to lower the weight on the scale, but not necessarily burn fat cells.
THC is the cannabinoid that is more responsible for appetite increase, or “the munchies,” and so it can possibly lead to weight gain because of overeating.
Can CBD Oil Help With Joint And Knee Pain?
CBD is anti-inflammatory, which has positive effects on joint pain and knee pain. CB2 receptors are found in crazy high levels in the joint tissue of those with knee and joint pain. CBD has been scientifically shown to activate the pathways of CB2 receptors, therefore cutting down on inflammation (source 8). And we’ve already discussed how CBD can help with overall pain (especially joint pain), as well.
Can CBD Oil Help With Insomnia?
Insomnia is the medical term used to describe chronic troubles with sleeping. It is typically a condition caused by anxiety, pain, and stress, which we’ve already discussed in relation to CBD, which has a positive effect and can be used for treatment. Besides that, CBD has also been proven to improve complex sleep-related behaviors associated with rapid eye movement, or REM sleep, which creates deeper sleep, as insomniacs often have a hard time staying asleep since they don’t achieve REM. This can also help reduce excessive daytime sleepiness (source 9).
How About CBD Oil For Diabetes?
Unfortunately, there is a large lack of research in regard to using CBD oil to help treat diabetes. We’ve conducted hours and hours of research, and no reputable sources are making claims either for or against the use of cbd for diabetes symptoms or treatment.
Does CBD Oil Lower Blood Pressure?
There have been significant studies that show that CBD oil can lower blood pressure. In this study, volunteers were given 600 mg of CBD and others were given a placebo. The results concluded that small doses of CBD can reduce resting blood pressure rates, and decrease stroke rates. The study does state that further research is required to establish whether CBD has a role in the treatment of cardiovascular disorders, though (source 10).
Can CBD Oil Help Treat Bipolar Disorder?
Bipolar disorder can be characterized as extreme and intense emotional states, ranging from manic to depressive. There are very few studies on the use of CBD for bipolar disorder, and it is hard to test for because bipolar disorder has a wide range of symptoms from acute to extreme. CBD does appear to generate the same types of responses in the body as many of the current medications used to treat the condition. And because CBD has neuroprotective and antioxidant benefits, it may also help to increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels (source 11).
CBD For Gut Health
Gut health is becoming more and more popular on the health scene, as many health professionals are calling our gut “the second brain,” as research is coming out that our gut and its microbiome are important in relation to our immune systems, vitamin absorption, and even mind health.
When someone is having issues with their gut, it is referred to as “leaky gut.” Leaky gut can be responsible for a plethora of autoimmune conditions and other chronic health conditions, like chronic fatigue, because the gut is too weak to prevent harmful substances like bacteria and pathogens from entering.
A study conducted by Advanced Research in Gastroenterology & Hepatology states that CBD has been shown to restore strength to the walls of the gut, and cut down on the inflammation that comes along with leaky gut (source 12).
CBD For Digestion
Research investigating CBD and treating digestive problems is still not entirely conclusive, but there is a lot of evidence that CBD can be very helpful in this area. Here’s the science behind it: CBD works with our cannabinoid receptors that live in the intestines, stomach, and brain, which includes serotonin receptors (happy chemical), and CB-1 and CB-2 receptors, as well. CB1 has been shown to aid in regulating stomach acids, protecting the stomach, and easing nausea and vomiting, meaning CBD can help to calm this (source 13).
This is great news for those who suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases, like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
What Is Pure CBD Oil?
Pure CBD oil is created when hemp oil is extracted from marijuana plants, and producers then isolate the CBD compound from the extracted hemp oil. The result is what we could call pure CBD oil. Pure CBD oil has a THC concentration of .3% or less. From there, pure CBD oils vary by concentration of CBD, and that will control their price. The higher the CBD content, the more expensive.
What Is Full Spectrum CBD Oil?
Full spectrum CBD oil is a CBD concoction that contains all the other cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant. This includes CBN (Cannabinol), CBG (Cannabigerol), and THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin), and more. And yes, this means it also contains THC. But if the concentration is very low (around .3%), either no or very minimal psychoactive stimulation will occur.
You can compare full spectrum CBD oil to CBD isolate, which is purified CBD.
While CBD itself does offer a large range of benefits, these other cannabinoids individually supplement each benefit. According to a 2015 study conducted in Jerusalem, full spectrum CBD provides higher levels of benefits and relief. But this does not mean that CBD isolate does not work well on its own.
Are There Organic CBD Oils?
Yes, there are organic CBD oils. Whether it is organic has to do with the sourcing of the CBD. Organic CBD is derived from organic hemp that can be traced back to a US grown source. Organic is preferred, as it will be free from pesticides, herbicides, and heavy metals.
High Quality CBD Oil
High quality CBD oil will be extracted and made in a clean process, will be organic, come from a trustworthy source, and will also probably be expensive. But just like you invest in high quality produce or meat, you’ll be investing in high quality CBD that you know is great for your body.
What Is The Difference Between Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil?
While hemp oil and CBD oil are made from the same plant, they are very much different. Hemp oil is extracted from the seeds of a hemp plant, while CBD can be made from the whole entire cannabis plant, so hemp oil does not contain the same cannabinoids found in CBD oil. Hemp oil typically does not contain CBD or THC. It is very nutrient dense though, and contains high amounts of antioxidants, omega 3, omega 6, and other fatty acids.
Is There CBD Oil With THC?
There is! CBD actually needs a tiny bit of THC to activate and work (about .3%), but it typically isn’t enough to get you “high.” Keep in mind that if higher levels of THC are present, you might experience the psychoactive effects, or in layman’s terms, get stoned. This is especially true if the amount of THC outweighs the amount of CBD in the product. But many speculate that CBD and THC work better together to fight inflammation and pain, as they are complementary cannabidiols.
CBD Massage Oil
Yes, there is such a thing as CBD massage oil! Like we stated earlier, CBD skin products sink into the upper layers of your skin cells, which helps to moisturize, soothe sore or tender muscles, and reduce inflammation and pain. The massage technique and the CBD oil should complement each other to give you double the benefits and relief.
Vaping CBD Oil
CBD vape oil (can also be called CBD e-liquid), is made for vaping pens. Regular CBD oil is meant to be used orally, and is not intended to be vaporized or inhaled. Some science shows that vaping CBD oil creates more bioavailability by absorbing into the bloodstream faster, and it’s much easier on the lungs than smoking the herb.
CBD Oil For Dogs
There are a variety of CBD products for dogs that can help with anxiety, pain management, seizures, and tumors. It can also help to relax your dog when it comes to loud noises, such as fireworks. CBD for dogs is available in dog treats, or tinctures which you can drop directly into their mouths or on top of their food. Start your dog off with a small dose, and build up slowly depending on how your dog reacts. Just make sure that you accurately research the product to make sure it’s of high quality and does not contain levels of THC over .3 percent, because that can make your dog sick.
CBD Oil For Cats
CBD oil for cats is very similar to CBD oil for dogs, which is very similar for CBD oil for humans. It helps with all the same aliments, being anxiety, pain, and disease. CBD is especially useful for cats who hate traveling (as many cats do). Interestingly enough, cats have cannabis receptors on the surface of their skin, so CBD oil is effective for treating and preventing skin conditions if applied topically. Just like with dogs or any other animal, start with a low dose and see how your pet reacts, and then increase if necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Below is a list of common questions pertaining to CBD oils. We hope our answers are helpful in your quest for more information and data.
Where Can I Buy CBD Oil?
Since CBD is legal, you can absolutely buy it online. Check back to the top of this article for some reviews of popular products, where we have the brands linked. You can also probably get some CBD from a local dispensary—if that’s allowed in your state/town. Attendants there will better be able to help you make a purchase based on your needs and lifestyle (sleep, pain, method of consumption, taste, etc.).
Make sure that where you’re purchasing from is a reputable source and that you do your own research about the product before you purchase. We do not recommend you purchase CBD products from a gas station or liquor store.
How Long Does It Take For CBD Oil To Work?
Depends on how you take it. If you use a tincture or oil, it will absorb through the think membranes in your mouth and work within 5-20 minutes. If you take an edible, it has to absorb through your stomach so it can take half an hour to 2 hours to kick in.
If you are looking to use CBD for your chronic pain, you may need to take it over the course of weeks for it to build up in your system, much like you would any pain reliever pill.
Does CBD Oil Get You High?
Not if you don’t want it to. Look for pure CBD with a THC content of less than .5 percent. CBD itself does not have any psychoactive effects, or get you “high.”
How Long Does CBD Oil Stay In Your System?
We found a study that states the half-life of CBD is two to five days. In this study, patients were given 700 mg of CBD everyday for six days, and then they stopped taking it for a week. When they were tested, the CBD had almost completely cleared out of their system. But this will also depend on how much CBD you’ve been taking, and your personal body composition (source 14).
Will CBD Oil Show Up On A Drug Test?
It’s very unlikely. Drug tests usually test for THC or THC metabolites, not CBD. There are also a lot of dependent variables, like what type of drug test it is, how often you use CBD products, and your body composition.
As long as you make sure you’re using a trusted product that has a THC level of .5% or less, you’ll most likely be in the clear. If you use a CBD product that has significant levels of THC, as well, that could show up on a drug test.
Can You Smoke CBD Oil?
Yeah, you can. Many people like to smoke their CBD because it doesn’t disrupt their sensitive stomachs and it is one of the quickest methods for absorption in the body. You can smoke CBD oil specifically out of an oil rig, which is similar to a water pipe. Basically, the oil is heated to a really high temperature, and then the smoke is filtered through water and then inhaled through your mouth.
You can also smoke cbd oil through a method called dabbing, which vaporizes the CBD oil in a similar way, but it is very potent and is a method that should probably be reserved for the more experienced.
Keep in mind that you can also vaporize CBD with a vape pen, which is less harsh on the throat and the lungs.
This post was researched and written by Kelsie Longerbeam, a content editor at The Slumber Yard.