What is cannabidiol? Know the benefits, uses and side effects of CBD oil  |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
- Several studies have shown that cannabidiol can be helpful in treating an array of ailments, including cancer and neurological disorders
- Many people use cannabidiol as a natural remedy for relieving pain, however, more research is required to be sure it is safe
- This article looks at what cannabidiol is, how it might help improve a person’s health and whether it has any possible risks
New Delhi: So, the word ‘cannabidiol’ or ‘CBD’ has been doing the rounds on the Internet for quite some time now, perhaps, for different reasons. On Tuesday, Sutapa Sikdar, the wife of late actor Irrfan Khan appealed for legalisation of CBD oil in India as she shared a photograph of a London hospital where her husband underwent cancer treatment on her unverified Instagram account. Research has shown that CBD oil can offer some health benefits, including easing symptoms of chronic pain and anxiety.
Irrfan Khan passed away on April 20, 2020, after battling cancer for about two years. In March 2018, he was diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumor, a rare type of that arises from cells throughout the diffuse endocrine system of the human body. The Angrezi Medium actor died in a Mumbai hospital where he received treatment for colon infection.
“London revisit looking at his hospital room from outside like everytime I did while he was there #walkingalone #wishyouwerethere #cancerpain #LegalizeCBDoilinindia,” Sutapa captioned while sharing the photo of the London hospital she visited. Meanwhile, actress Rhea Chakraborty, who is is currently in Byculla jail after being arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), had been accused of administering CBD oil to late boyfriend Sushant Singh Rajput.
But, what exactly is CBD oil?
Cannabidiol is now a popular natural remedy used for many common health problems. It is one of more than 100 chemical compounds called cannabinoids found in the cannabis or marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa. Basically, CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant and then diluting it with a carrier oil such as hemp seed oil or coconut oil.
It is important to understand that CBD is an entirely different compound from etrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most active constituent cannabinoid found in cannabis. THC has a psychological effect as it creates the sensation of getting ‘high’, however, CBD is not psychoactive.
What are the benefits and uses of CBD oil?
CBD oil has been used for thousands of years as a natural treatment for different types of pain, and numerous studies have shown that the compound can help treat a variety of ailments. Here are some health benefits of CBD oil backed by science:
Cancer: CBD can help alleviate symptoms related to cancer and side effects of chemotherapy – such as pain, nausea, vomiting, etc. Research also suggests that CBD may contain cancer-fighting properties. However, more work is needed to assess the safety and efficacy of CBD oil in cancer treatment.
Neurological disorders: One of the most studied uses for CBD is in treating and managing neurological disorders like epilepsy and multiple sclerosis, with several studies indicating encouraging results. For instance, Sativex, an oral spray consisting of CBD and THC, has shown to be effective in reducing muscle spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis. Another study reported that CBD oil reduced seizures in people with epilepsy. It may be noted that the FDA had approved a purified form of CBD with the brand name Epidiolex for treating some types of epilepsy. CBD is also being studied for its potential effectiveness in treating several other neurological conditions.
Heart health: Studies suggest that CBD may promote heart health in many ways – such as by lowering blood pressure and preventing damage to the heart. Several studies done in animals also indicated that the powerful antioxidant and stress-reducing properties of CBD may reduce inflammation and cell damage linked with heart disease.
Anxiety and depression: CBD oil has shown promising results in reducing anxiety and depression in both human and animal studies. CBD has also been used to treat insomnia and anxiety in children with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Diabetes: Researchers found evidence that CBD may protect against or delay the onset of type 1 diabetes, a condition that occurs when the immune system attacks cells in the pancreas resulting in inflammation. Research also suggests that CBD may have neuroprotective effects on rats with diabetes.
Other uses and promising possibilities of CBD oil include – smoking cessation and drug withdrawal, antipsychotic effects on people with schizophrenia, applications in reducing acne, etc.
Are there any side effects of CBD oil?
CBD is generally well-tolerated in most cases, however, it can cause adverse reactions in some people. Side effects observed in studies are:
- Changes in appetite
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Irritability and irritation
CBD can also interfere with certain supplements or medications, especially those that warn against consuming grapefruit. Both CBD and grapefruit interfere with a group of enzymes, called cytochromes P450 (CYPs), and this disruption can affect the ability of the liver to break down toxins leading to liver damage.
The bottom line is, more research is required to determine the safety and efficacy of CBD oil in humans although several studies suggest that it can be helpful for managing a range of conditions. Anyone who is considering using CBD oil should first speak to their doctor.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a professional healthcare provider if you have any specific questions about any medical matter.