CBD oil: miracle cure or simple marketing ploy?

By Hervé , on June 24, 2021 , updated on September 14, 2023 - 11 minutes to read

Recently, there has been more and more talk about CBD oil, or cannabis oil by another name. Opinions on its existence may be divided, but the effects of cannabidiol oil have been surprising to say the least, from a positive standpoint. To find out what CBD oil is, we have written this article that explains in detail what this mythical commodity is and what it can accomplish.

Key facts about what CBD oil is
The hemp plant in its wild state
Plant hemp in the wild.

Hemp oil is extracted from the seeds of the Cannabis Sativa plant (also known as hemp). It contains about 100 substances called cannabinoids. The letters CBD stand for cannabidiol and is one of these many substances. CBD oil should not be confused with cannabis classified as a drug with THC, which is mainly used for pleasure. However, this is precisely why the oil has become a controversial product, as people mistakenly associate it with THC, which is the intoxicating substance in cannabis. However, a pure pressed CBD oil is free of this substance, so it is neither illegal nor classified as a drug. The oils sold in European health food stores are extracted from EU-approved industrial hemp, which means you can safely consume them without experiencing any psychoactive effects.


The history and origins of cannabidiol oil

Long before CBD oil was commercially available, the hemp plant played a central role in many countries. In Asia, it was known for its healing and pain-relieving properties and was widely used by medical men during surgery and during times of convulsions - or by people who were forced to endure severe pain for one reason or another. Cannabis also became an important aid to the Vikings, who collected plants as they set out to discover the world. Many archaeologists and historians agree that the cannabis plant first appeared in Mongolia and Siberia about 12,000 years ago, but that it quickly spread to neighbouring countries as travelling peoples learned about the plant's properties.

In addition to its healing properties, hemp oil was used for spiritual purposes - to achieve greater awareness and understanding in difficult times of life. In other words, the oil was considered a remedy for the body and soul.


The first extractions of the oil

As for the knowledge of extracting the oil from the seeds, it is quite likely that the Chinese and Mongols were the first to do so, as a large number of tombs containing oil and burnt seeds have been found with the dead - both Asian nobles and simple peasants. The original method of extracting the oil was alcohol extraction, and this is still the preferred process of many manufacturers as it is considered the simplest. However, this method has one drawback: it does not always allow for control of the purity of the oil. Instead, many manufacturers have turned to the more advanced CO2 extraction, which is safer but requires heavier and more complicated equipment. In this case, the good stuff is much easier to preserve.

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CBD is not a drug

Cannabidiol is a plant substance extracted from the hemp plant (Cannabis sativa), which is becoming increasingly popular as a preventive medicine.

Why might one suspect that CBD is something prohibited and illegal? Because CBD is one of the active ingredients in cannabis (cannabis is a psychotropic preparation obtained by drying the aerial parts of cannabis, mainly the flowers). In total, marijuana contains about 70 different substances - known or not yet fully understood - but the two most potent are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

THC is a psychoactive substance that excites the nervous system and produces a euphoric effect.

CBD has a calming effect on the nervous system, affecting bodily functions such as appetite, pain sensation, mood and sleep, but does not alter consciousness.

In America, the CBD boom began in 2008, when the US Congress passed legislation to legalize CBD in all 50 states and remove it from the list of controlled substances.

Today, manufacturers offer a variety of ways to ingest cannabidiol. The oil can be taken both externally, by absorption through the skin (in the form of patches, soaps, bath bombs or creams), and orally. There are also CBD tablets and gel-vitamins, which can be inhaled with CBD liquid for electronic cigarettes.

According to a report by the World Health Organization, CBD consumption is not addictive and theoretically has no ill effects on the human body.


An alternative to drugs?

CBD has been studied for many health problems, but so far the strongest scientific evidence for its effectiveness has been in the treatment of some of the forms of epilepsy. Studies show that in many cases, CBD has been able to reduce or even stop epileptic seizures.

In 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first cannabis-derived medicine containing CBD for certain types of epilepsy in children.

People who took 25 mg of CBD each day for a month reported reduced anxiety and restlessness, significantly improved sleep quality, and this effect persisted for several months afterwards. CBD oil may also have potential in the fight against smoking and other serious addictions.

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But CBD oil is most often recommended on websites specifically for women, as it can reduce depression, PMS symptoms (such as bloating and menstrual cramps), menopausal symptoms (such as hot flashes), mood swings, and even significantly improve skin health and appearance.

At present, we still lack quality studies that confirm beyond any doubt that all these claims are true.

Also, like all drugs, CBD can have negative effects. Side effects of regular CBD use can include nausea, fatigue and drowsiness, irritability, diarrhea, dry mouth and decreased appetite. CBD may also interact adversely with various medications.


Miracle cure or marketing ploy?

Could CBD really be a miracle cure for various ailments or is it just a successful marketing ploy? Dr. Jordan Tischler, a Harvard Medical School physician who specializes in cannabis research, warns that although CBD is widely used in a variety of ways, its effectiveness has yet to be confirmed by science. Laboratory studies on the health benefits of CBD are inconclusive, so its rapid popularity on social media is so far more the result of aggressive marketing.

It is advisable to be very careful when buying CBD online, as different manufacturers offer different concentrations of the oil, and we have no way of knowing how good the oil is or if it contains other active substances that could cause toxic damage to the body. Regardless, one thing is absolutely clear at this time: the health effects of CBD oil have not yet been fully tested, and by using it, you are taking responsibility for any risks. It should absolutely not be used by people who are taking medication at the same time.


A saviour for painful conditions and cancer

In recent times, CBD oil has been used as an emergency measure for cancer patients and ahead of their radiation treatments. Suffering from cancer is not only synonymous with anxiety and fear of death, but also pain, vomiting and loss of appetite. The oil has proven to be a savior in these difficult cases, reducing vomiting after chemotherapy or other treatments, increasing appetite which, for many, can seem non-existent, and reducing the pain that afflicts patients. As this oil is also an excellent magic fairy when it comes to relieving anxiety, more and more people suffering from cancer and other illnesses are turning to it.

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However, the oil is equally effective for migraine sufferers who are hampered in their daily lives by extremely severe headaches. It can therefore be taken by anyone who needs an alternative to conventional painkillers, regardless of the cause of the pain.


Its anti-anxiety properties make it an alternative antidepressant

It is well known that we are becoming increasingly depressed and experiencing anxiety-provoking situations that can have long and painful psychological effects. The number of antidepressant pills prescribed has skyrocketed, leading to side effects. If you want to turn to alternative medicine and try another route to get rid of the dark thoughts, CBD oil is an option.


Use of CBD oil in daily life

Today, many are choosing to use CBD oil as a dietary supplement throughout the day, mainly because of its positive effects such as anxiety and depression relief. Taking CBD oil on a regular basis can help those suffering from anxiety and depression to cope and manage their day better and can even lead to overcoming these symptoms and not experiencing them anymore, slowly but surely.

The way CBD oil works is that the individual feels calmer and more focused, allowing them to navigate and think more clearly throughout the day. CBD oil has also shown positive effects when it comes to insomnia, making it a popular option for people who are unable to sleep for various reasons. If you feel like any of these symptoms are commanding you, CBD oil can certainly be a supplement to consider.


How to ingest CBD oil

There are several ways to ingest the oil to benefit from its properties. The most common is to pour a few drops under the tongue directly from the pipette of the bottle and let it merge with the saliva. For some, however, this method can leave a bitter aftertaste that is not always appreciated. For those who find the bitter taste a little too strong, it is entirely possible to swallow capsules instead. This has the same effect but removes most of the taste sensation. Other methods have emerged as the oil has become more popular.


CBD oil is known for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, making it a potential treatment for chronic pain such as that associated with fibromyalgia, arthritis or cancer. CBD acts by inhibiting the transmission of pain signals in the central nervous system, thereby reducing the sensation of pain. CBD has also been shown to have beneficial effects on patients with epilepsy resistant to traditional treatments. However, it is important to note that while promising, more studies are needed to fully assess CBD's efficacy in these specific areas.
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