What is CBD oil and what does it actually do?

The popularity of CBD oil has grown tremendously in recent times. But what kind of oil is it and – more importantly – what do you use it for?

CBD, in full cannabidiol, is an active substance that is extracted from leaves and flower tops of industrial hemp (fibre hemp), a hemp variety that is legally grown. It is sold as a dietary supplement, in the form of oil and capsules, and as a component of other products, for example care products for skin problems.

Massive media attention

The oil received massive attention in 2013 when CNN aired a now-legendary documentary about a three-year-old American girl with epilepsy. Charlotte Figi suffered from severe attacks (up to 200 per week) from the first months of life and largely got rid of them with CBD oil. Since then, parents from home and abroad have been looking en masse for good CBD oil.

What does CBD oil do?

Epilepsy patients are not the only ones claiming benefits from the oil. According to users, the oil offers support for many physical and mental complaints. Think of stress-related complaints, problems falling or staying asleep, mood swings during and after the menopause, depression and various pain complaints. People with ADHD, Parkinson's disease, migraine and rheumatic complaints also report more positive experiences with CBD oil. There is no scientific evidence yet that the oil cures ailments. However, it can help to reduce symptoms as a result of certain medications. In any case, many doctors are enthusiastic about its therapeutic effect.

Anxiety and Stress
One of the most well-known uses of CBD oil is to relieve stress and anxiety. In 2011, scientists published an article in the Journal of Psychopharmacology following a study on the relationship between CBD and social anxiety disorders. It suggests that CBD may provide relief for people with anxiety disorders. Another study from the same year found that preventive administration of CBD to public speakers significantly reduced their anxiety, stress and discomfort.

Pain relief
CBD oil is regularly used by people with pain complaints, such as people with rheumatism (especially fibromyalgia) and osteoarthritis. An animal study (2012) has shown that CBD can suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain. Tests on mice in 2005 showed that CBD can have a positive effect on osteoarthritis. Not much human research has been done yet, but it seems likely that CBD acts on the cannabinoid receptors, causing the nervous system to ignore pain. The University of Nottingham conducted research and found that cannabis oil not only acts on the central nervous system and thus reduces pain, but also reduces inflammation in joints. The relaxing effect of CBD oil is also said to help relieve stress and pain.

Sleeping problems
CBD is used by many people with sleeping problems. It helps muscles relax, allowing you to sleep more deeply and wake up more rested. Although there are many positive sounds to be heard, not everything is scientifically substantiated yet. At the moment a lot of research is being done into the exact operation, including by SEIN; the expertise center for epilepsy and sleep medicine.

Several studies have been done that looked at the effect of CBD in diabetes. These indicate that CBD can help stabilize blood sugar levels and possibly alleviate the symptoms of diabetes. Research on humans is not (yet) available. an article was published in 2006 about a study with diabetic mice. The mice were given cannabidiol (CBD), this study showed that CBD may slow down or even prevent destructive insulitis (harmful inflammation of the islets of Langerhans (the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin). Scientific research in mice discovers that the anti-inflammatory properties that CBD possesses could potentially be used in a variety of diseases, including type 2 diabetes.

Parkinson's disease
Many people with Parkinson's also use cannabis oil against spasms and muscle tension. In Parkinson's disease, both CBD oil and THC oil are usually used. There is little scientific research into CBD/THC and its effect in Parkinson's. The studies that have been done are slightly positive or neutral. An example is a study by the University of São Paulo. The researchers found that there is evidence of a positive effect on quality of life when using CBD in patients with Parkinson's disease. However, they think more research is needed to come to definitive conclusions.

What is the difference between cannabis oil and CBD oil?

Weed plants and hemp plants are not the same plants, but they do come from the same (cannabis) family and can therefore be called both (medicinal) cannabis plants. When you read somewhere about cannabis, it can therefore be about both hemp oil and cannabis oil (marijuana). The biggest and most important difference between hemp plants and cannabis plants is the fact that hemp plants contain little or no THC and a lot of CBD. Cannabis plants contain a lot of THC and little CBD. Oil with THC (marijuana oil) is not legally for sale and in certain situations only available with a prescription. CBD oil is completely legal for sale in the Netherlands and most other European countries. However, both ingredients are said to have great medicinal benefits. Because of this, both types of oil are also called medicinal cannabis oil.

Does it get you high?

In any case, you will not get high from CBD oil. Cannabidiol does come from the hemp plant, but is not addictive, does not have a mind-altering effect and does not cause hallucinations. Rust dust THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive substance that provides a 'high' feeling and is contained in cannabis oil.

How do you use CBD oil?

CBD oil is taken orally. You hold the drops under the tongue for a while and then swallow them. The oral mucosa quickly absorbs the active substance. It can also be taken with a piece of bread, or – if you have trouble with the taste or ingestion of the oil – in capsule form.

What is a correct dose of CBD oil?

The dosage of CBD oil strongly depends on the complaints for which you use the oil. Plus, everyone reacts differently to it. So it is mainly a matter of trying it out. Start with a low dose (for example, 1-2 drops a day) and build up slowly until you find an effective dose for you. It can take a while for CBD oil to take effect, so give it a few weeks to decide if it's for you. CBD oil is available in various concentrations, from 2.5 percent to even 10 percent, with 5-6 percent being the most commonly used. A lower concentration of CBD is often only used preventively, or used for minor or starting complaints.
Swiss plant-based neuro-skincare brand I.D. SWISS BOTANICALS provides you an easy dosage calculator based on your weight to start with.