CBD Oil: What You Need to Know

Medically reviewed by Alan Carter, PharmD
Written by Marc Lewis

CBD oil is a popular natural remedy that people take for a variety of reasons. But there is a lot of uncertainty when it comes to CBD products since they are widely unregulated. CBD has also been touted to have a wide range of benefits, which leaves many consumers wondering if CBD really works, and where they can find the best CBD oil.

What is CBD Oil?

Formally known as cannabidiol, CBD is a cannabinoid that is extracted from hemp plants (a substrain of cannabis sativa). Hemp-derived CBD oil has many potential therapeutic benefits, which has made CBD products extremely popular. CBD oil may help with various symptoms and ailments, but without the intoxicating effects of medicinal marijuana.

CBD Oil Effects—The Good and the Bad

Scientific studies and personal accounts from many people who use CBD products consistently have highlighted various CBD oil benefits, including:

Other potential wellness advantages exist beyond this limited list, these are simply the most common and well-documented examples of the health effects of CBD. The benefits of CBD oil seem to be wide-reaching, although more clinical research is needed to know more about its long term effects.

Side Effects of CBD Oil

There are few CBD oil side effects that users report, although experts do note that some can arise from its use. Here are a few potential side effects that you should always be on the lookout for if you’re using CBD:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness/Fatigue
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in weight
  • Dry mouth
  • Low blood pressure

Negative CBD side effects tend to be rare, and CBD doesn’t seem to have side effects of serious magnitude. Most of these adverse effects can be avoided by administering the right CBD oil dosage.

Additionally, you should take into account any prescription medications that you are currently taking. Seek medical advice from your doctor if you are unsure about how CBD oil may interact with a particular drug.

It’s also important to note that the Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated CBD oil for the treatment of any medical condition. There is only one FDA-approved CBD drug, Epidiolex, which is prescribed for the treatment of dravet syndrome (a rare form of pediatric epilepsy).

How to Use CBD Oil

When you take CBD oil, it’s best to place a few drops below your tongue and hold them in place for 30 to 90 seconds. This is known as sublingual application, and it’s the fastest way to see the effects when using a traditional CBD tincture. During this process, it’s necessary to let the CBD oil sit beneath your tongue as recommended and swallow the remaining CBD oil. This allows CBD to enter your bloodstream more quickly.

You also have the option to take CBD via other dietary supplements like CBD gummies, capsules, and topical CBD creams that provide targeted relief to trouble areas.

How Does CBD Oil Work?

The human body is equipped with an endocannabinoid system that helps maintain homeostasis by providing support for many bodily functions such as mood, pain sensation, stress, appetite, and sleep.

Phytocannabinoids from plants (like CBD from hemp) interact with receptors in our endocannabinoid system, which can positively impact your health.

The benefit of introducing CBD oil into your body is that it can help your body better regulate itself—or achieve more balance. These benefits are indirect, meaning the health advantages are not a result of the cannabinoid but rather what your body is empowered to do when its regulatory system is fully activated.

In addition to the CBD, hemp oil extracts may also contain terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids like CBG or CBN. All of these additional cannabis plant compounds work together to enhance the effects of CBD, which is known as the entourage effect. However, not all CBD products are made from whole plant extracts. To reap the most wellness advantages, most people find that full-spectrum CBD oils are the most effective since they contain a wide range of beneficial plant parts.

Frequently Asked Questions About CBD Oil

Does CBD get you high?

The short answer is no—CBD oil will not get you high since it is derived from industrial hemp plants rather than marijuana plants. Intoxication is associated with another cannabis compound, THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that causes mind-altering effects.

CBD and THC are different cannabinoids that elicit different effects. CBD is more widely known for its health benefits rather than any intoxicating effects. CBD-infused products that come from hemp may contain up to 0.3% THC, but this amount of THC is negligible and will not cause you to feel high.

Will CBD affect a drug test?

In nearly all situations, CBD oil won’t affect a drug test due to the low levels of THC in these products. With that being said, this is not a fool-proof assessment. Some tests may be more advanced than others, and may pick up on the trace levels of THC from a full-spectrum CBD oil. Even some employers are warning their employees not to take CBD to avoid a false negative on a drug test.

This is where broad spectrum CBD oil and CBD isolate come in handy. Both of these products are THC-free, and since THC is the compound that drug screenings are looking for, these kinds of hemp-derived products should not affect a drug test.

Related reading: Does CBD show up on a drug test

Why is CBD so expensive?

There are a lot of factors that go into the cost of a CBD oil. Starting from the ground up, the cost of cultivating healthy hemp crops plays a large roll in the price of CBD oil. Hemp is a unique plant that flourishes in specific agricultural conditions, and it must be farmed carefully since hemp soaks up everything that’s in the soil.

Next up is the CBD extraction process. This can be a taxing operation, and can increase in cost depending on what level of distillation and purification the CBD oil undergoes. Additionally, the  lab testing necessary to ensure high quality products is expensive. This testing checks the purity, concentration, and cannabinoid composition of a CBD product.

More recently, CBD oil prices have become increasingly competitive as companies try to differentiate themselves in an oversaturated market. While everyone wants a good deal, it’s important to avoid cheaply made CBD products. Always look for up-to-date third party lab test results before you buy a CBD oil so you know exactly what you are getting.

Related reading: Best value CBD oils

How does CBD oil make you feel?

If you have ever felt euphoric or high after a good exercise, this is your endocannabinoid system rewarding your body. Taking products that contain CBD has a similarly positive effect on your body.

You may feel a sense of lightness or relief. Some people have compared the feeling of a steady intake of CBD oil with the feeling they get from yoga or meditation—like a clarity.

Where to Buy CBD Oil

CBD oil may not be right for everyone, but if you’re interested in finding the best high quality CBD oils, we’ve done the research for you. The CBD industry can be a confusing space, and it’s hard to know which brands to trust—that’s why we created Remedy Review. We wanted to help consumers navigate the CBD market and find a natural remedy that really works for them.

To do that, we have personally tried, tested, and reviewed hundreds of CBD oils, and these top three brands have really made an impression on us:

To learn more about CBD and which products to purchase, you can check out our many resources on the topic.

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