CBD Oil Benefits & Side Effects | South Africa

Most people nowadays will be familiar with the idea of cannabis – whether you want to chill out and have a laugh, or you need it for something a bit more serious. We are also familiar with the CBD part of cannabis being used in the medical industry, but exactly what is CBD?

There is much stigmatic controversy around using CBD for medicinal purposes, mostly due to more traditional patients being concerned that an “illegal and dangerous party drug” is now being offered to them as treatment. Many people do not have a full understanding of CBD, and the most common concern is: Is CBD oil safe?

To put your mind at ease, we have laid out the basics of CBD oil for you. From what it is exactly, to CBD benefits and CBD side effects, here is the all-you-need-to-know…

CBD Oil South Africa | What is CBD?

The cannabis plant is most commonly known for its recreational purposes, but it also has many medicinal uses as well. The plant consists of more than 100 compounds called cannabinoids, two of which are the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) compound and the cannabidiol (CBD) compound.

These two cannabinoids affect the brain differently. While THC impairs the brain and causes a “high”, CBD is considered to be non-impairing but also beneficial when it comes to health. This is why the latter has become so common in the field of medicine.

For more information on CBD, and how it is different from the high-inducing compound that is THC, have a read here.

There are many potential benefits of CBD oil, such as helping patients with psychiatric disorders, nausea and vomiting, inflammation, and even acne.  Here is a little more information on three of the most common uses of CBD treatments.

CBD Oil for Anxiety

Anxiety disorder is a common mental health issue characterized by worry, fear, and stress. There are many different types of anxiety disorder, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Fortunately, anxiety can be treated through therapy and medication.

Research has shown that the use of more traditional pharmaceutical drugs, which are only available by prescription, in the treatment of anxiety disorder can cause a number of unwanted side effects. They can even spark addiction and substance abuse.

CBD, being a non-psychoactive and non-addictive compound of the cannabis plant, has now become a rather popular treatment option for mental health disorders, including all types of anxiety disorders. Not to mention the fact that you do not have to have a prescription to get your hands on it.

The CBD cannabinoid is able to regulate moods and social behavior, by acting on the brain’s receptors for serotonin. In some studies, subjects were recorded to have lower behavioral and physiological signs (such as increased heart rate) of anxiety after being dosed with CBD.

Fun Fact: Not only has it been proven to reduce anxiety in humans, but CBD for animals can help reduce their anxiety too!

If you are fighting the fear and worry that comes with anxiety, here are some of the best CBD oils for anxiety in South Africa.

CBD Oil for Sleep

Along with being used to help patients cope with anxiety, CBD is also commonly used to address insomnia. Not only is it suggested that CBD helps with falling asleep, but also staying asleep. But how does it work?

Cortisol is a steroid hormone that, among other things, helps the body respond to stress. Having high cortisol levels makes a person very responsive, and well, awake.

Cortisol levels normally peak in the morning, helping us to be responsive throughout the day. But people with insomnia tend to experience high levels of cortisol at night, interrupting their sleep with night-time awakenings.

Research studies have shown that CBD acts as a sedative and decreases cortisol levels. While the use of CBD might help patients sleep better on a nightly basis, there is still no conclusion on its long-term benefits.

If you are desperate to ditch insomnia, here are some of the best CBD oils for sleep in South Africa.

CBD Oil for Pain

Research provided by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health suggests that the cannabidiol compound serves a benefit for chronic pain, neuropathic pain, arthritis pain, multiple sclerosis, and even the pain and discomfort that comes with cancer.

CBD interacts with your endocannabinoid system (ECS). Your ECS is a series of receptors in your brain and immune system that receive signals from stimuli and help your cells respond accordingly.

When your body receives signals of pain, your ECS, along with the optional added help of CBD, responds with anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects.

If you are struggling with soreness and pain, here are some of the best CBD oils for pain in South Africa.

Side Effects of CBD Oil

While using CBD oil medicinally has been proven to have many different health benefits, there is always a catch. Although there are not many major or significant risks, here are some CBD oil side effects to look out for:

  • Fatigue
  • Mental sedation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Changes in weight
  • Reduced appetite
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dizziness

CBD may also interact negatively with the use of certain prescription or over-the-counter drugs, as well as some dietary supplements. Look out for supplements that present a “grapefruit warning” as grapefruit disrupts important drug metabolism enzymes, similarly to CBD – so it’s not a recommended combination.

Benefits of CBD Oil

CBD can be used for many different medicinal purposes, in the form of edibles, pastes, capsules, oils, or even creams – the most common being oil. So what is CBD oil and how do you use it?

Cannabidiol is extracted from the cannabis plant and then diluted with either coconut or hemp seed oil. It is best to put the recommended dosage of drops just underneath your tongue, then wait 15-30 minutes before you start experiencing the benefits.

Whether you are wanting to use CBD for anxiety, for sleep, for pain, or for another medical reason – there are proven health benefits. No wonder the use of CBD oil is becoming more and more popular.

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