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What is CBD Oil and What Does It Do?

What is CBD Oil and What Does It Do?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is an oil extracted from cannabis — specifically hemp, as opposed to marijuana — that contains only miniscule amounts (or none) of the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Due to its very low percentage of THC, CBD oil does not have psychoactive properties and does not appear to be addictive, according to World Health Organization research.

Due to this, CBD is generally considered to be a legal product throughout the US. Legalization officially occurred at the federal level in 2018 with the passage of the Farm Bill, but states are still empowered make their own decisions about CBD oil and its legality. The FDA is currently getting involved in regulating the sale of CBD oil and other CBD-based products.

How is CBD Oil Made?

CBD oil can be extracted from either hemp or marijuana. Generally, if it’s extracted from marijuana there is a greater risk of the oil containing trace amounts of THC, so the legal status of CBD oil derived from marijuana is much more complex. Extracting CBD oil from hemp seeds produces the least amount of THC — as such, most legally available oil is extracted from the seeds of hemp plants.

CBD Oil Benefits and Effects

There is plenty of research being undertaken concerning the effects and potential benefits of a wide range of cannabis products for people suffering from physical and mental illnesses. CBD oil is unique in its potential to provide health benefits without the psychoactive properties of THC. This avoids many of the controversial effects associated with marijuana use, while allowing people to benefit from the positive effects of CBD.

Research about CBD and its effects is still ongoing, and much of it remains inconclusive. However, there are studies which have suggested its positive potential for assisting in the treatment of several conditions.


The very first instance of the FDA approving a drug derived from cannabis for medical use resulted in the creation of Epidoliex, a CBD-based oil treatment for certain forms of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Epidolex was also the first FDA drug approved for treating Dravet syndrome. From an FDA press release:

“Epidiolex’s effectiveness was studied in three randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials involving 516 patients with either Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome. Epidiolex, taken along with other medications, was shown to be effective in reducing the frequency of seizures when compared with placebo.”

This is a controlled drug made from CBD oil extract, and is not an over the counter CBD oil product. People with severe medical conditions should consult their doctor before self-medicating with any over the counter products.

Pain Relief

Studies of rats and also of patients with chronic pain illnesses have shown, in some cases, that CBD oil may have anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. For people who live with chronic pain such as arthritis and chronic neuropathic pain, CBD oil could have positive effects on quality of life by helping with pain management. There’s no evidence that it cures or treats conditions causing or underlying chronic pain of any kind, only that it can relieve some symptoms and potentially make patient’s lives easier.

People may use medical marijuana for pain relief and to control a wide range of negative symptoms associated with multiple illnesses, and it appears that similar effects can be achieved without the psychoactive properties of THC. CBD oil is popular for use in topical pain relief products, intended to treat minor aches and pains.

Blood Pressure

Pre-clinical trials and studies have shown that CBD oil may have blood pressure management benefits. The results show that CBD oil reduced both the resting blood pressure in volunteers, as well as their blood pressure in response to stress. The research has not yet shown whether CBD oil is an effective treatment for cardiovascular disorders, however, it may be valuable to people who are worried about their blood pressure.

CBD oil may not be a cure for heart disease, but it may aid in stress relief. CBD oil has also been used to assist with relaxation and sleep as well.

Social Anxiety

In preliminary studies focusing on social anxiety, CBD oil has been shown to have a positive effect on people who suffer from certain forms of anxiety and have difficulty functioning in social situations. The study purports that CBD oil worked to reduce symptoms related to physical anxiety, such as cognitive impairment and speech performance.

As such, many people use CBD oil for daily mental health maintenance. While these anecdotal cases, in conjunction with the above studies, make a strong case for the benefits of CBD oil, there is more study required to determine all of the positive and negative effects of the drug, and still no definitive evidence that CBD oil cures illnesses. It does, however, seem to effectively relieve some symptoms and subjectively improve the quality of life of many people who suffer from issues such as anxiety, and other mental health concerns.


As noted above, CBD oil has been shown to produce anti-inflammatory effects. This is why it’s useful in some cases for pain relief. According to some very preliminary research, the anti-inflammatory benefits also extend to the relief of acne symptoms. Its positive effects seem to work inside and outside the body.

Does CBD Oil Get You High?

In short, CBD oil does not intoxicate users. The only completely, federally legal form of CBD oil is extracted from hemp, not marijuana. When extracted from hemp, CBD oil has such small amounts of THC that it has no psychoactive effects — it can’t get you “high” in the same way that marijuana does. This means that consumers can enjoy the benefits of CBD oil without the worry that they will be inebriated or under the influence of a scheduled substance. It’s also the reason that this type of CBD oil is legal in various states throughout the US.

Where to Buy CBD Oil

CBD oil extracted from hemp is completely legal at the federal level, however, this doesn’t mean that it is necessarily legal in every state. While you can order CBD oil online, or get it over the counter in health shops of all kinds, you will want to check the specific regulations concerning CBD oil in your state first. There are still more studies that need to be completed before the medical attributes and risks associated with CBD oil can be accurately defined. Nevertheless, the substance is showing a lot of promise, and it’s only a matter of time before the facts are brought to light.

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