Cannabidiol (CBD) is the oil extracted from cannabis. This alone may raise some eyebrows, get some giggles or attract a scornful look. These reactions, however, are totally unjustified and are a result of a lack of information. CBD oil has both potent health benefits and no psychological side (or main) effects. Here are the details:
What Is CBD?
The cannabis plant contains many chemical compounds which have various effects on the human organism. Some of them are useful as treatments and medication and hence these are gradually becoming legal across the globe. CBD oil in Australia is also legal in certain doses.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD are but two of the many different compounds within the cannabis plant. These have very different effects on the human body.
THC, until recently was the only compound of interest in the plan. When heated (smoked or used in cooking) THC breaks down. The effect of this is a mind-altering (the so-called “high”) effect. The “giggles” and the “sneers” as mentioned above should relate to THC.
CBD, on the other hand, is not psychoactive in the least. It does not cause alterations in a person’s state of mind. Having said that, we must add that CBD causes significant changes in the body leading to considerable medical benefits. Respectively it is more often than not that hemp and CBD respectively are legal in countries around the world.
In Australia CBD has been legal since 2016 initially with a doctor’s prescription. From 2020 the substance was down scheduled to Schedule 3. This means that CBD should be already available as an over-the-counter drug in Australia.
There are a few requirements, though. The CBD must:
- not contain higher than 1% THC;
- be 98% pure CBD (which curbs other cannabinoid content);
- have a maximum dose of 150 Mg per day;
- have a listing on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods(ARTG).
So technically the over-the-counter Schedule 3 drug should readily be available across Australia. However, there is still currently no drug licensed by ARTG. The issue is that the process of clinical trials is both costly and lengthy. Hence as of now, no producer has volunteered to even start the process.
So while over-the-counter CBD sales may be a couple of years away, the older – 2016 “doctor prescription regime”, still works. And if the medical condition requires it, access may be possible.
The cannabis plant has two varieties. One is called marijuana and the other is called hemp. The difference between the two is the level of THC which they carry. Marijuana producers selectively bred their plants exactly with the aim of boosting THC. Hemp producers, on the other side, never bothered to alter their plants, satisfied with their composition as is.
CBD oil is produced exactly from the latter hemp variety of the cannabis plant, which has insignificant traces of THC.
If there is such a fuss with legalization, prescription and comment, obviously CBD must provide some sort of considerable benefit. Sadly, it is only recently that serious research is being done in the field of benefits from CBD oil.
Research from 2016 lists the reasons for taking CBD:
Fighting Depression, Anxiety And Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Doctors will advise against the use of THC, which may cause strong anxiety. However CBD works in exactly the opposite way – reducing anxiety, easing depression and even helping recovery for PTSD patients.
Natural Relief For Chronic And Acute Pain
There are many pain relief drugs available. However, CBD oil for pain relief is considered by many as a more “natural” pain killer.
Fight Headache And Migraine
CBD is a strong irritation killer, by preventing the release of inflammatory compounds in the body. This makes it effective in fighting and preventing chronic headaches and migraine. This anti-inflammatory benefit of CBD is so strong that it may also work as an ointment on external wounds.
Help With Epilepsy And Seizure Disorders
Epidiolex, a purified form of CBD, has been proven to help treat epilepsy successfully. Epilepsy and other kinds of seizure disorders are hard to control with other drugs. That is why CBD is regarded with such hope.
Fighting Cancer And Its Effects
A 2012 study concluded that CBD helps to prevent the spread of certain types of cancer. Research that is currently underway includes support of the immune system following chemotherapy, prevention of growth of cancer cells, reducing the effects of chemo.
- helping with arthritis pain or pain in joints
- getting rid of nausea
- cure of allergies and lung illnesses
- fixing sleep disorder
- aid for multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease
Although ailment to the above is blamed on CBD, academic studies in the field are still scarce. Further research in its dosage for various conditions will also be necessary.
Risks And Side Effects
Like any medicine, besides the beneficial effects, CBD also carries some risks and negative side effects.
As with the benefits so with the risk, the novelty of the product means that the research and information about it are scarce. This leads to uncertainty about how will CBD interact with other medicines, supplements and alcohol. Hence the risks of unwanted interaction are high.
The negative effects of using CBD oil may include:
- liver harm
- changes in awareness and alertness, which can make driving dangerous
- gastrointestinal issues and loss of appetite
- mood swings, irritability and frustration
- reduction of male fertility
Future research is expected to clarify the adverse or side effects that CBD may have. As these are not yet clearly defined and proven, doctors suggest that overdependence on CBD should be avoided.
Pregnancy And Infancy
Experts are more or less unanimous that the use of cannabis products during pregnancy and breastfeeding may have an effect on the neural development of the fetus/child. The same applies to its use and negative effects in children and infants, where it may influence memory, behaviour and even intelligence development.
There are many pros and cons of CBD oil for pain relief and other ailments. CBD, its benefits and negative side effects are largely under-researched. This means that in the coming years we will witness much research in this field. This clarification will be also accompanied by more easy access to CBD in Australia and across the globe.