CBD oil is being hailed as the new ‘go to’ supplement of 2018 with loyal celebrity fans. But what is it, what does it do and how can you get your hands on some? Olivia Hartland-Robbins reports
Jennifer Aniston takes CBD for pain, stress and anxiety. Olivia Wilde sloughs it onto her skin. Meanwhile Victoria’s Secret stunner Alessandra Ambrosio uses it to relax and unwind before her stomp down the runway. But what exactly is CBD oil (that’s short for Cannabidiol) – is it actually marijuana? What are the benefits? Are there any risks?
Jennifer Aniston: ‘It helps with anxiety’
‘CBD helps with pain, stress and anxiety’, Jennifer Aniston told US Weekly, ‘it has all the benefits of Marijuana without the high’.
‘If there is anything working with CBD Oil has shown me, it’s that there is always hope. Even for the hopeless.’ says Back to the Future actor Michael J. Fox, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at 29 years old.
Olivia Wilde: ‘CBD lotion helps me relax’
‘I’ve been using this body lotion that has CBD in it,’ Olivia Wilde told the New York Times. ‘Recently I did a play on Broadway for six months, and my body was wrecked – my neck was really tight. The CBD has relaxing benefits, and the idea is to avoid using too many painkillers.’
‘I feel like if you don’t want to get high, this is a product specifically just to get rid of discomfort’, said Whoopi Goldberg.
Nate Diaz (Lightweight and Welterweight UFC fighter) claims; ‘It’ll make your life a better place.’
Alessandra Ambrosio: ‘It helps me sleep when I’m anxious’
Victoria’s Secret Angel Alessandra Ambrosio revealed recently, ‘The most important thing to do (to prep for the Victoria’s Secret Show) is to sleep eight hours the night before but it’s hard because the mind gets anxious, so I try CBD oil and I think it helps.’
These A-listers are not alone.
A survey by Healthspan found that Brits have lost the knack of relaxation, with three quarters of people admitting they don’t get any down or relaxation time. Three in 100 have turned to CBD oil, to help themselves calm down. Hailed as the new ‘go-to’, CBD is claimed to help lift your mood, support feelings of well-being and relaxation along with a whole host of other benefits. So what is it?
What is CBD oil?
Cannabidiol or CBD oil – naturally sourced from hemp plants, is ‘one of the fastest growing well-being supplements in both the US and the UK’ says Dr Sarah Brewer (GP and medical director of Healthspan) ‘and is perfectly legal to take’. But despite its recent popularity in the US, CBD oil is still relatively unknown in Britain.
CBD is a naturally sourced ingredient that is set to take centre stage in 2018 as a nutritional supplement. Although they belong to the same family, CBD oil sourced from hemp plants, is very different from CBD sourced from marijuana.
CBD oil will not make you ‘high’
In growing CBD oil, hemp plants have been bred to contain only trace amounts of THC (the ingredient prevalent in the similar marijuana cannabis plant that is associated with the so called ‘high’) that will have zero impact on your psycho-active state. CBD oil will not make you ‘high’, despite connotations from the assumption that CBD oil stems from cannabis.
CBD is in the limelight after extensive scientific research in America has shown that the ingredient could be beneficial to health and wellbeing. So what do the experts say:
What can CBD oil do?
‘CBD does have beneficial psychological effects and is particularly helpful for reducing anxiety, promoting relaxation and restful sleep.’ says Dr Brewer. ‘CBD also appears to reduce the perception of pain, and many people take it to help relieve muscle aches and pains’.
CBD oil relieves anxiety and stress by having a beneficial effect on the brain. It works in a natural way by enhancing the effects of other brain chemicals such as serotonin, without stimulating the receptors that make marijuana psychoactive and addictive.
‘The effects of CBD last for around three to five hours,’ says Dr Brewer. ‘After this, the dose will have fallen below levels that produce noticeable benefits, it will take one to two days for all the CBD to disappear from the body. For optimal results, you should take CBD at regular intervals throughout the day.’
CBD Benefit #1: JOINT PAIN
The biggest motivator for taking CBD oil is for help with muscle and joint pain. If left untreated, muscle and joint ache can be detrimental to your quality of life and leave you feeling unmotivated.
Although there are plenty of remedies for joint problems, people assume they cannot continue with hobbies that benefit their mental and physical health, such as walking or running. Exercise is beneficial for maintaining joint flexibility and building muscle strength, as well as supporting the oiling and regeneration of joint cartilage.
‘CBD hemp extracts have anti-inflammatory effects on joints, that help to improve pain and stiffness’, says Dr Brewer. ‘They also have pain-relieving effects due to their interaction with certain parts of the brain. You can take CBD oil capsules in addition to other joint supplements such as glucosamine, chondroitin, turmeric or omega-3 for additional pain relief.’
Popular with celebs, ‘Skin lotions, balms and salves that contain CBD are popular for easing muscle aches and joint pains. They can be used in addition to taking CBD orally to aid relaxation, reduce discomfort and fatigue, as well as promoting general feelings of wellbeing,’ says Dr Brewer.
CBD Benefit #2: ANXIETY REDUCTION
Anxiety is an increasing problem in modern life with a staggering 8.2 million cases in Britain alone, most of them women. Whether it’s associated with an addiction to social media, encouraging young people to compare themselves to others on a daily basis, or down to the pressures of modern life such as finding the perfect work/life balance.
‘Cannabidiol helps to reduce muscle tension, restlessness and fatigue. In a study involving people with social anxiety, taking CBD supplements before a public speaking engagement reduced anxiety, anticipatory anxiety, social discomfort and clarified muddled thoughts significantly more than placebo. CBD may also help with the anxiety that can occur when stopping smoking,’ says Dr Brewer.
CBD Benefit #3: PANIC ATTACK AND OCD TREATMENT
‘Higher doses of cannabidiol are being investigated as a promising treatment for panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but should not be used except under medical supervision,’ adds Dr Brewer. PTSD is a result of a stressful event that is outside the realms of normal human experience.
CBD Benefit #4: AIDS SLEEP
‘CBD is a popular treatment for insomnia,’ Dr Brewer says. ‘It promotes refreshing REM sleep to reduce excessive daytime sleepiness.’ REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement, a term for deep sleep. When you dream you experience REM sleep and this is the kind of sleep we hope to get every night. Recently it has become clear that our circadian rhythms (internal body clocks that control the times of day you feel sleepy or wakeful) have a huge impact on the entirety of our health.
‘CBD is particularly helpful for sleep disorders in people with neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease‘, says Dr Sarah Brewer. ‘But this should only be used under medical supervision, especially if you are taking any prescribed medicines.’
CBD Benefit #5: MOOD BOOSTER
12 million adults in the UK see their GP with mental health problems each year, research from the The Mental Health Foundation has found. Most of these suffer from anxiety and depression and much of this is stress-related. A shocking 13.3 million working days are lost per year due to stress alone.
CBD is believed to enhance the effects of your natural brain chemicals and receptors within the body’s own endocannabinoid system (a collection of cell receptors related to mood).
‘CBD oil helps to lift mood and promotes general feelings of well-being,’ claims Dr Brewer. ‘While CBD oil is by no means a cure for any form of stress, anxiety or depression, it can assist with symptoms and provide support to improve mood and wellbeing.’
CBD Benefit #6: ENDOMETRIOSIS RELIEF
‘CBD oil is a supplement that helps you relax, lifts mood and promotes general feelings of wellbeing,’ says Dr Brewer. ‘Manufacturers are not allowed to make any claims relating to CBD oil, but anecdotal evidence suggests it can help to relieve discomfort in some long-term pain conditions. Some research suggests that the body’s own endocannabinoid system is involved in endometriosis pain, and cannabinoid receptors have been found in nerve fibres within endometriosis lesions. The only way to know if it will help your particular condition is to try it’.
So, what are the risks and side effects?
When hearing about CBD it’s assumed that it comes from cannabis and therefore might not be entirely trustworthy. The connotations of CBD tend to be the same as the connotations of marijuana. But CBD is not addictive and does not cause a high. Still, it’s important to purchase a product made to pharmaceutical (GMP) standards to obtain a consistent dose and guaranteed purity.
CBD is not addictive and does not cause a high
Multiple small studies suggest that cannabidiol (CBD) is effective and well tolerated with no significant side effects at usual doses. A recent World Health Organisation report on cannabidiol confirms that controlled human studies have not found any potential for physical dependence, withdrawal or tolerance, and that it is not associated with abuse potential.
CBD oil is safe to use, but anyone who has a medical condition or who is taking prescribed medicines should check with their doctor before taking any supplement, including CBD. High doses of cannabidiol may affect the way certain drugs are metabolised in the liver.
How to take it?
Start low and slow. Start with the lowest dose option, and slowly build to the higher dose option. Find the right dosage suitable to your needs. A typical dose for a high strength CBD oil is 6.4mg per capsule, taken one to three times daily and a typical dose for a Super Strength CBD oil is 15mg per capsule, taken once or twice daily and only suitable for those over 18 years. Start with the high strength, moving on to super strength if you feel you need to. But don’t exceed the recommended dose.
Healthspan has just launched its new range of CBD supplements made from 100 per cent natural, EU whole, organic hemp plants, grown legally under license and cultivated without the use of harmful chemicals, pesticides or herbicides. The oil has top levels of CBD and no impurities or THC (tetrahydrocannabinol the psychoactive element) and certified free of psychoactive ingredients.
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