CBD’s exact mechanism of action is unclear. Unlike THC, CBD has a relatively low affinity for cannabinoid receptors in the brain. These are the molecules to which THC binds to elicit its psychoactive effects.
Outside of these two disorders, CBD’s effectiveness in treating seizures is uncertain. Even with Epidiolex, it is uncertain whether the anti-seizure effects can be attributed to CBD or some other factor.
Part of this response could be explained by the way that CBD acts in the brain. In low doses, CBD may act as an agonist to several receptor sites, meaning it acts similarly to surrounding molecules that normally bind to the receptor, enhancing the signalling of those receptor sites. At higher doses, however, too much activity at the receptor site can lead to an opposite effect, negating the beneficial effects of CBD.
Remember, because CBD oils are largely unregulated, there is no guarantee that a product is either safe or effective.
In an analysis of 14 published studies (nine involving animals and five involving humans), scientists with the University of Montreal concluded that CBD showed promise in treating people with opioid, cocaine, or psychostimulant addiction.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “State Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Programs Address High Blood Cholesterol.”
Journal of Nutraceuticals, Functional and Medical Foods: “The Composition of Hemp Seed Oil and Its Potential as an Important Source of Nutrition.”
While the cannabis plant has high THC levels (up to 28%), the hemp plant’s THC concentration does not exceed 0.3%. Thus, products derived from the hemp plant are unlikely to create a “high” and are mainly used for medicinal purposes.
Amounts and Dosage
Hemp seed oil’s ability to lower blood pressure may cause issues for people who have chronically low blood pressure. Low blood pressure (hypotension) can occur for a variety of reasons, including:
Hemp seed oil provides the following health benefits:
Science News: “Before an operation, low blood pressure rather than high is a risk factor for death.”
Nutrition and Metabolism: “The cardiac and haemostatic effects of dietary hempseed.”
Yes, and no. Hemp itself is an A+plus source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. In fact, it has the 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 that research shows is optimal for health. One of those omega-6s is GLA, or gamma linolenic acid, an anti-inflammatory. That’s why hemp-based food products, like hemp hearts and hemp milk, are gaining reps as legit superfoods.
CBD is a compound called a cannabinoid, says Jordan Tishler, MD, a Harvard-trained doc who is an expert on using cannabis as medical treatment. It can be extracted from hemp or marijuana, two different plants from the Cannabis sativa L. (“cannabis”) species. The big difference between the two: Marijuana contains higher levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”), the compound responsible for the psychoactive properties of pot (a.k.a., the stuff that makes you high). Hemp, on the other hand, is naturally very low in THC (0.3 percent), says Tishler.
What is hemp oil—and is it different from CBD oil?
“It probably should be called snake oil,” says Tishler. (So. save your cash.) Not only does hemp oil not have any real health benefits, but it may contain stuff that’s actually bad for you. “At the moment what you can buy is less regulated than the potato at the supermarket,” says Tishler. When hemp oil is extracted, there’s a risk that pesticides, plastics, and heavy metals could make their way in, says Tishler.
It seems like everyone and her sister (and grandma, and aunt and second cousin twice-removed, and . you get it) is sprinkling CBD oil in her smoothies because of claims it can help with everything from pain to anxiety. But what about CBD’s sister: hemp oil? Are hemp oil benefits legit? Proponents say it can help with sleep and anxiety, balance your hormones, make your skin glow, and protect your ticker. But here’s what you should know before you start drizzling it on top of your food or slathering it on your skin.
Oh, and that ideal ratio of omegas? Researchers in Spain say that composition makes hemp oil high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). A high ratio of PUFAs to saturated fats has been linked to reductions in cholesterol levels and atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries). That suggests hemp oil may have the potential to help prevent heart disease, according to the study authors. But again, none of this has been tested in people.