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Benefits of cbd oil for pain insomnia anxiety

Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of many cannabinoid compounds found in cannabis. It does not appear to alter consciousness or trigger a “high.” A recent surge in scientific publications has found preclinical and clinical evidence documenting value for CBD in some neuropsychiatric disorders, including epilepsy, anxiety, and schizophrenia. Evidence points toward a calming effect for CBD in the central nervous system. Interest in CBD as a treatment of a wide range of disorders has exploded, yet few clinical studies of CBD exist in the psychiatric literature.


To determine whether CBD helps improve sleep and/or anxiety in a clinical population.


A large retrospective case series at a psychiatric clinic involving clinical application of CBD for anxiety and sleep complaints as an adjunct to usual treatment. The retrospective chart review included monthly documentation of anxiety and sleep quality in 103 adult patients.

Main Outcome Measures

Sleep and anxiety scores, using validated instruments, at baseline and after CBD treatment.


The final sample consisted of 72 adults presenting with primary concerns of anxiety (n = 47) or poor sleep (n = 25). Anxiety scores decreased within the first month in 57 patients (79.2%) and remained decreased during the study duration. Sleep scores improved within the first month in 48 patients (66.7%) but fluctuated over time. In this chart review, CBD was well tolerated in all but 3 patients.


Cannabidiol may hold benefit for anxiety-related disorders. Controlled clinical studies are needed.


The Cannabis plant has been cultivated and used for its medicinal and industrial benefits dating back to ancient times. Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica are the 2 main species.1 The Cannabis plant contains more than 80 different chemicals known as cannabinoids. The most abundant cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is well known for its psychoactive properties, whereas cannabidiol (CBD) is the second-most abundant and is nonpsychoactive. Different strains of the plant are grown containing varying amounts of THC and CBD. Hemp plants are grown for their fibers and high levels of CBD that can be extracted to make oil, but marijuana plants grown for recreational use have higher concentrations of THC compared with CBD.2 Industrial hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC to be considered legal, and it is from this plant that CBD oil is extracted.3

Many different cultures have used the Cannabis plant to treat a plethora of ailments. Practitioners in ancient China targeted malaria, menstrual symptoms, gout, and constipation. During medieval times, cannabis was used for pain, epilepsy, nausea, and vomiting, and in Western medicine it was commonly used as an analgesic.4,5 In the US, physicians prescribed Cannabis sativa for a multitude of illnesses until restrictions were put in place in the 1930s and then finally stopped using it in 1970 when the federal government listed marijuana as a Schedule I substance, claiming it an illegal substance with no medical value. California was the first state to go against the federal ban and legalize medical marijuana in 1996.6 As of June 2018, 9 states and Washington, DC, have legalized recreational marijuana, and 30 states and Washington, DC, allow for use of medical marijuana.7 The purpose of the present study is to describe the effects of CBD on anxiety and sleep among patients in a clinic presenting with anxiety or sleep as a primary concern.

CBD has demonstrated preliminary efficacy for a range of physical and mental health care problems. In the decade before 2012, there were only 9 published studies on the use of cannabinoids for medicinal treatment of pain; since then, 30 articles have been published on this topic, according to a PubMed search conducted in December 2017. Most notable was a study conducted at the University of California, San Diego’s Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research that showed cannabis cigarettes reduced pain by 34% to 40% compared with placebo (17% to 20% decrease in pain).8 In particular, CBD appears to hold benefits for a wide range of neurologic disorders, including decreasing major seizures. A recent large, well-controlled study of pediatric epilepsy documented a beneficial effect of CBD in reducing seizure frequency by more than 50%.9 In addition to endorphin release, the “runner’s high” experience after exercise has been shown to be induced in part by anandamide acting on CB1 receptors, eliciting anxiolytic effects on the body.10 The activity of CBD at 5-HT1A receptors may drive its neuroprotective, antidepressive, and anxiolytic benefits, although the mechanism of action by which CBD decreases anxiety is still unclear.11 CBD was shown to be helpful for decreasing anxiety through a simulated public speaking test at doses of 300 mg to 600 mg in single-dose studies.12–14 Other studies suggest lower doses of 10 mg/kg having a more anxiolytic effect than higher doses of 100 mg/kg in rats.15 A crossover study comparing CBD with nitrazepam found that high-dose CBD at 160 mg increased the duration of sleep.16 Another crossover study showed that plasma cortisol levels decreased more significantly when given oral CBD, 300 to 600 mg, but these patients experienced a sedative effect.17 The higher doses of CBD that studies suggest are therapeutic for anxiety, insomnia, and epilepsy may also increase mental sedation.16 Administration of CBD via different routes and long-term use of 10 mg/d to 400 mg/d did not create a toxic effect on patients. Doses up to 1500 mg/d have been well tolerated in the literature.18 Most of the research done has been in animal models and has shown potential benefit, but clinical data from randomized controlled experiments remain limited.

Finally, the most notable benefit of cannabis as a form of treatment is safety. There have been no reports of lethal overdose with either of the cannabinoids and, outside of concerns over abuse, major complications are very limited.19 Current research indicates that cannabis has a low overall risk with short-term use, but more research is needed to clarify possible long-term risks and harms.

Given the promising biochemical, physiologic, and preclinical data on CBD, a remarkable lack of randomized clinical trials and other formal clinical studies exist in the psychiatric arena. The present study describes a series of patients using CBD for treatment of anxiety or sleep disturbances in a clinical practice setting. Given the paucity of data in this area, clinical observations can be quite useful to advance the knowledge base and to offer questions for further investigation. This study aimed to determine whether CBD is helpful for improving sleep and/or anxiety in a clinical population. Given the novel nature of this treatment, our study also focused on tolerability and safety concerns. As a part of the evolving legal status of cannabis, our investigation also looked at patient acceptance.


Design and Procedures

A retrospective chart review was conducted of adult psychiatric patients treated with CBD for anxiety or sleep as an adjunct to treatment as usual at a large psychiatric outpatient clinic. Any current psychiatric patient with a diagnosis by a mental health professional (psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, or physician assistant) of a sleep or anxiety disorder was considered. Diagnosis was made by clinical evaluation followed by baseline psychologic measures. These measures were repeated monthly. Comorbid psychiatric illnesses were not a basis for exclusion. Accordingly, other psychiatric medications were administered as per routine patient care. Selection for the case series was contingent on informed consent to be treated with CBD for 1 of these 2 disorders and at least 1 month of active treatment with CBD. Patients treated with CBD were provided with psychiatric care and medications as usual. Most patients continued to receive their psychiatric medications. The patient population mirrored the clinic population at large with the exception that it was younger.

Nearly all patients were given CBD 25 mg/d in capsule form. If anxiety complaints predominated, the dosing was every morning, after breakfast. If sleep complaints predominated, the dosing was every evening, after dinner. A handful of patients were given CBD 50 mg/d or 75 mg/d. One patient with a trauma history and schizoaffective disorder received a CBD dosage that was gradually increased to 175 mg/d.

Often CBD was employed as a method to avoid or to reduce psychiatric medications. The CBD selection and dosing reflected the individual practitioner’s clinical preference. Informed consent was obtained for each patient who was treated and considered for this study. Monthly visits included clinical evaluation and documentation of patients’ anxiety and sleep status using validated measures. CBD was added to care, dropped from care, or refused as per individual patient and practitioner preference. The Western Institutional Review Board, Puyallup, WA, approved this retrospective chart review.

Setting and Sample

Wholeness Center is a large mental health clinic in Fort Collins, CO, that focuses on integrative medicine and psychiatry. Practitioners from a range of disciplines (psychiatry, naturopathy, acupuncture, neurofeedback, yoga, etc) work together in a collaborative and cross-disciplinary environment. CBD had been widely incorporated into clinical care at Wholeness Center a few years before this study, on the basis of existing research and patient experience.

The sampling frame consisted of 103 adult patients who were consecutively treated with CBD at our psychiatric outpatient clinic. Eighty-two (79.6%) of the 103 adult patients had a documented anxiety or sleep disorder diagnosis. Patients with sole or primary diagnoses of schizophrenia, posttraumatic stress disorder, and agitated depression were excluded. Ten patients were further excluded because they had only 1 documented visit, with no follow-up assessment. The final sample consisted of 72 adult patients presenting with primary concerns of anxiety (65.3%; n = 47) or poor sleep (34.7%; n = 25) and who had at least 1 follow-up visit after CBD was prescribed.

Main Outcome Measures

Sleep and anxiety were the targets of this descriptive report. Sleep concerns were tracked at monthly visits using the Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index. Anxiety levels were monitored at monthly visits using the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale. Both scales are nonproprietary. The Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale is a widely used and validated anxiety measure with 14 individual questions. It was first used in 1959 and covers a wide range of anxiety-related concerns. The score ranges from 0 to 56. A score under 17 indicates mild anxiety, and a score above 25 indicates severe anxiety. The Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index is a self-report measure that assesses the quality of sleep during a 1-month period. It consists of 19 items that have been found to be reliable and valid in the assessment of a range of sleep-related problems. Each item is rated 0 to 3 and yields a total score from 0 to 21. A higher number indicates more sleep-related concerns. A score of 5 or greater indicates a “poor sleeper.”

Side effects and tolerability of CBD treatment were assessed through spontaneous patient self-reports and were documented in case records. Any other spontaneous comments or complaints of patients were also documented in case records and included in this analysis.

Data Analysis

Deidentified patient data were evaluated using descriptive statistics and plotted graphically for visual analysis and interpretation of trends.


The average age for patients with anxiety was 34 years (range = 18–70 years) and age 36.5 years for patients with sleep disorders (range = 18–72 years). Most patients with an anxiety diagnosis were men (59.6%, 28/47), whereas more sleep-disordered patients were women (64.0%, 16/25). All 72 patients completed sleep and anxiety assessments at the onset of CBD treatment and at the first monthly follow-up. By the second monthly follow-up, 41 patients (56.9%) remained on CBD treatment and completed assessments; 27 patients (37.5%) remained on CBD treatment at the third monthly assessment.

Table 1 provides means and standard deviations for sleep and anxiety scores at baseline and during the follow-up period for adults taking CBD. Figure 1 graphically displays the trend in anxiety and sleep scores over the study period. On average, anxiety and sleep improved for most patients, and these improvements were sustained over time. At the first monthly assessment after the start of CBD treatment, 79.2% (57/72) and 66.7% (48/72) of all patients experienced an improvement in anxiety and sleep, respectively; 15.3% (11/72) and 25.0% (18/72) experienced worsening symptoms in anxiety and sleep, respectively. Two months after the start of CBD treatment, 78.1% (32/41) and 56.1% (23/41) of patients reported improvement in anxiety and sleep, respectively, compared with the prior monthly visit; again, 19.5% (8/41) and 26.8% (11/41), respectively, reported worsening problems as compared with the prior month.

What Are the Benefits of CBD?

More than 60 percent of CBD users were taking it for anxiety, according to a survey of 5,000 people. Does it help?

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By Dawn MacKeen

The CBD industry is flourishing, conservatively projected to hit $16 billion in the United States by 2025. Already, the plant extract is being added to cheeseburgers, toothpicks and breath sprays. More than 60 percent of CBD users have taken it for anxiety, according to a survey of 5,000 people, conducted by the Brightfield Group, a cannabis market research firm. Chronic pain, insomnia and depression follow behind. Kim Kardashian West, for example, turned to the product when “freaking out” over the birth of her fourth baby. The professional golfer Bubba Watson drifts off to sleep with it. And Martha Stewart’s French bulldog partakes, too.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the lesser-known child of the cannabis sativa plant; its more famous sibling, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the active ingredient in pot that catapults users’ “high.” With roots in Central Asia, the plant is believed to have been first used medicinally — or for rituals — around 750 B.C., though there are other estimates too.

Cannabidiol and THC are just two of the plant’s more than 100 cannabinoids. THC is psychoactive, and CBD may or may not be, which is a matter of debate. THC can increase anxiety; it is not clear what effect CBD is having, if any, in reducing it. THC can lead to addiction and cravings; CBD is being studied to help those in recovery.

Cannabis containing 0.3 percent or less of THC is hemp. Although last year’s Farm Bill legalized hemp under federal law, it also preserved the Food and Drug Administration’s oversight of products derived from cannabis.

What are the claims?

CBD is advertised as providing relief for anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. It is also marketed to promote sleep. Part of CBD’s popularity is that it purports to be “nonpsychoactive,” and that consumers can reap health benefits from the plant without the high (or the midnight pizza munchies).

Just as hemp seedlings are sprouting up across the United States, so is the marketing. From oils and nasal sprays to lollipops and suppositories, it seems no place is too sacred for CBD. “It’s the monster that has taken over the room,” Dr. Brad Ingram, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, said about all the wild uses for CBD now. He is leading a clinical trial into administering CBD to children and teenagers with drug-resistant epilepsy.

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Understand Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The invasive symptoms of PTSD can affect combat veterans and civilians alike. Early intervention is critical for managing the condition.

  • Removing the Stigma: Misconceptions about how PTSD develops and its symptoms, can prevent people from seeking treatment.
  • Psychedelic Drugs: As studies continue to point to the therapeutic value of substances like MDMA, veterans are becoming unlikely advocates for their decriminalization.
  • SeekingPeace: Mission Within is a Mexican retreat that uses hallucinogens to treat PTSD. Some female U.S. veterans and veteran spouses have turned to it to heal from trauma.
  • Virtual Reality: A treatment using new technology to immerse patients in a simulation of a memory could helpthemovercome trauma.

Does CBD work?

“It’s promising in a lot of different therapeutic avenues because it’s relatively safe,” said James MacKillop, co-director of McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research in Hamilton, Ontario.

Last year, the F.D.A. approved Epidiolex, a purified CBD extract, to treat rare seizure disorders in patients 2 years or older after three randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled clinical trials with 516 patients that showed the drug, taken along with other medications, helped to reduce seizures. These types of studies are the gold standard in medicine, in which participants are divided by chance, and neither the subject nor the investigator knows which group is taking the placebo or the medication.

While there is hope for treating other conditions with the plant extract, Epidiolex remains the only CBD-derived drug approved by the F.D.A. Most of the research on cannabidiol has been in animals, and its current popularity has outpaced science. “We don’t have the 101 course on CBD quite figured out yet,” said Ryan Vandrey, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Does CBD help anxiety and PTSD?

For students with generalized social anxiety, a four-minute talk, with minimal time to prepare, can be debilitating. Yet a small experiment in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology found that CBD seemed to reduce nervousness and cognitive impairment in patients with social anxiety in a simulated public speaking task.

However, a double-blind study found healthy volunteers administered CBD had little to no change in their emotional reaction to unpleasant images or words, compared to the placebo group. “If it’s a calming drug, it should change their responses to the stimuli,” said Harriet de Wit, co-author of the study and a professor in the University of Chicago’s department of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience. “But it didn’t.”

Many soldiers return home haunted by war and PTSD and often avoid certain activities, places or people associated with their traumatic events. The Department of Veterans Affairs is funding its first study on CBD, pairing it with psychotherapy.

“Our top therapies attempt to break the association between reminders of the trauma and the fear response,” said Mallory Loflin, an assistant adjunct professor at the University of California, San Diego and the study’s principal investigator. “We think that CBD, at least in animal models, can help that process happen a lot faster.” While large clinical trials are underway, psychologists say there isn’t compelling evidence yet as to whether this is a viable treatment.

Does CBD help sleep and depression?

Up in the wee hours of the night, stuck watching videos of puppies? CBD may be promising as a sleep aid; one of the side effects of the Epidiolex trials for epilepsy was drowsiness, according to Mr. MacKillop, a co-author of a review on cannabinoids and sleep. “If you are looking for new treatments for sleep, that may be a clue,” he said.

But he cautions that the side effects could have been because of an interaction with other medications the children were taking to control the seizures. So far, there hasn’t been a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial (the gold standard) on sleep disorders and CBD.

A recent chart review of 72 psychiatric patients treated with CBD found that anxiety improved, but not sleep. “Over all, we did not find that it panned out as a useful treatment for sleep,” said Dr. Scott Shannon, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado, Denver and the lead author of the review in The Permanente Journal.

Sleep can be disrupted for many reasons, including depression. Rodents seemed to adapt better to stressful conditions and exhibited less depressive-like behavior after taking CBD, according to a review in Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy. “Surprisingly, CBD seems to act faster than conventional antidepressants,” wrote one of the authors of a new review, Sâmia Joca, a fellow at the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies in Denmark and an associate professor at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, in an email interview. Of course, it’s difficult to detect depression in animals, but the studies that Ms. Joca and her colleagues reviewed suggested that in models of chronic stress exposure, the mice and rats treated with CBD were more resilient.

But without clinical trials in humans, psychologists say CBD’s effect on depression is still a hypothesis, and not an evidence-based treatment.

Is CBD harmful?

“If you take pure CBD, it’s pretty safe,” said Marcel Bonn-Miller, an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. Side effects in the Epidiolex trial included diarrhea, sleepiness, fatigue, weakness, rash, decreased appetite and elevated liver enzymes. Also, the safe amount to consume in a day, or at all during pregnancy, is still not known.

Recently, the F.D.A. sent a warning letter to Curaleaf Inc. about its “unsubstantiated claims” that the plant extract treats a variety of conditions from pet anxiety and depression to cancer and opioid withdrawal. (In a statement, the company said that some of the products in question had been discontinued and that it was working with the F.D.A.)

Dr. Smita Das, chair of the American Psychiatric Association’s Council on Addiction Psychiatry’s cannabis work group, does not recommend CBD for anxiety, PTSD, sleep or depression. With patients turning to these to unproven products, she is worried that they may delay seeking appropriate mental health care: “I’m dually concerned with how exposure to CBD products can lead somebody into continuing to cannabis products.”

Some CBD products may contain unwanted surprises. Forensic toxicologists at Virginia Commonwealth University examined nine e-liquids advertised as being 100 percent natural CBD extracts. They found one with dextromethorphan, or DXM, used in over-the counter cough medications and considered addictive when abused; and four with a synthetic cannabinoid, sometimes called Spice, that can cause anxiety, psychosis, tachycardia and death, according to a study last year in Forensic Science International.

Earlier research found fewer than a third of 84 products studied contained the amount of CBD on their labels. Some users of CBD have also failed drug tests when the product contained more THC than indicated.

This year, 1,090 people have contacted poison control centers about CBD, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. Over a third are estimated to have received medical attention, and 46 were admitted into a critical care unit, possibly because of exposure to other products, or drug interactions. In addition, concern over 318 animals poured into the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Animal Poison Control Center.

Is CBD a scam or not?

A few drops of CBD oil in a mocha or smoothie are not likely to do anything, researchers contend. Doctors say another force may also be at play in people feeling good: the placebo effect. That’s when someone believes a drug is working and symptoms seem to improve.

“CBD is not a scam,” said Yasmin Hurd, director of the Addiction Institute of Mount Sinai in New York City who led a double-blind study of 42 recovering heroin addicts and found that CBD reduced both cravings and cue-based anxiety, both of which can cycle people back into using. “It has a potential medicinal value, but when we are putting it into mascara and putting it into tampons, for God’s sake, to me, that’s a scam.”

Best CBD Oil Buying Guide | Benefits For Sleep, Pain, Anxiety & Migraines

We strive to help you make smarter purchasing decisions. While we adhere to strict editorial integrity, this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here’s an explanation for how we make money.

Before we begin, it’s important to note that we are not doctors or scientists and this guide is not a offering of health advice. However, Kelsie on The Slumber Yard team spent over 40 hours researching this topic so we feel like this guide is a very helpful starting point for you. Still, we recommend you ask your doctor before incorporating new “medicine” into your routine. While it looks very hopeful that CBD can treat a large variety of ailments with little to no side effects, studies are still in the works to prove this 100% true. You are welcome to try CBD, but be sure to do so responsibly.

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What Is CBD Oil?

CBD is shorthand that stands for cannabidiol, which is a cannabinoid that is found in cannabis. It was first researched back in the 1940s, but has been used medicinally for insomnia and other sleep issues in various cultures for centuries. Cannabidiols are chemical compounds that work with our endocannabinoid system, which is the biochemical communication system in our bodies that play a role in psychological functions like sleep, mood, pain, and appetite. CBD communicates with receptors, proteins, and chemicals in the brain to help promote relaxation, pain relief, and better sleep.

CBD oil is just one of the many forms that CBD comes in. We’ll be sure to discuss the many other forms that CBD is available in, later in this post.

Is CBD Oil Legal?

While CBD and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) are both chemical compounds found in cannabis (and there are over 100, with CBD and THC being the most popular), they are very much different. THC has the capabilities to give you psychoactive effects, or get you “high” or “stoned.” CBD cannot get you “high” necessarily, but it can improve mood. It is not psychoactive like THC is, though. Also, CBD works much better when a tiny bit of THC is present, so you may commonly find CBD products that contain THC levels around .3%. This is not enough to get you high, and is classified as hemp, not marijuana.

Because CBD doesn’t have any of these effects, it is legal in all 50 states. THC is only legal in some states, and its use (medicinal or recreational) is contingent on the laws of the state. Even in states where THC is completely illegal, it is still legal to purchase and use CBD.

Is CBD Oil Safe?

A World Health Organization report issued in 2017 stated that CBD does not appear to have abuse potential or cause harm, but always proceed with caution.

Adults should have no problem using CBD. The only reason it could pose any possible danger is if an individual had an allergy to cannabis. It is also not possible to overdose on CBD. The worst possible outcome that we’ve heard of is an extended period of sleep, or feeling drowsy for awhile.

There is very limited research on using CBD while pregnant or breastfeeding. Because of this lack of information, doctors don’t recommend using CBD to new mothers.

How To Make CBD Oil?

CBD oil is most commonly and most easily harvested from hemp and cannabis, although synthetic CBD is also available on the market.

There are three different methods of extracting CBD oil.

The first is the CO2 method, which works by pushing CO2 through the plant at a high pressure and low temperature. This extracts CBD in its purest form, meaning its the safest and cleanest method of making CBD oil because it removes extra substances, like chlorophyll, and doesn’t collect any residue. CBD oil extracted in this way is described as having a “cleaner taste,” but is also usually the most expensive form of CBD oil.

The ethanol method makes CBD oil by using high-grain alcohol as a solvent for extracting. This method tends to pull more water soluble components from the plant, like chlorophyll, and can destroy some of the beneficial natural oils that occur in CBD oil.

The last way is the oil method. This extraction method uses a carrier oil, like olive oil, to safely and cleanly contain the CBD oil. This method is rising in popularity since the carrier oil can add extra benefits and is free of any unwanted residues.

You should also be aware of what your CBD is being extracted from. If your CBD is extracted from actual marijuana leaves rather than hemp, it can have a higher THC content (up to 30 percent), and can have psychoactive effects. Always make sure to check the THC level when purchasing CBD, and ask where the CBD was derived from.

How To Take CBD Oil

If you are specifically looking to use CBD oil, first make sure that you are using quality ingredients. That means no pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides used during cultivation, no harmful contaminants, and diligent testing.

CBD comes in a variety of packages which can either be ingested or applied topically. While ingesting CBD can help with mood-related states, like anxiety, stress, and insomnia, topical application only interacts with the uppermost layers of your skin cells, so it never enters your bloodstream.

Topicals include CBD infused lotions, ointments, salves, balms, patches, or other bath and body care products. They are great for arthritis and injuries, but more and more skincare companies are raving about the overall moisturizing benefits they have on skin, as well.

CBD can be digested in capsule form, oil (like CBD infused olive oil) form, tincture form, edible form, or by smoking or vaping. Capsules, oil, tinctures, and smoking or vaping will have a very quick reaction time; somewhere between five to 20 minutes.

Edibles usually take longer, somewhere from 30 minutes to two hours to take effect. Edible’s effects usually last longer, though, because of the slow way the nutrients are digested and absorbed into the bloodstream. Edibles include gummies, sweets like lollipops and brownies, and drinks like teas and specialty sodas. Make sure that your edibles are clearly labeled so that they do not end up in the hands of someone who did not intentend on taking CBD.

If using CBD infused olive oil, use as a salad or veggie dressing. Heating up the oil can damage the cannabidiols.

What Is The Proper CBD Oil Dosage?

Because CBD works with our own personal endocannabinoid system, dosage can vary per person. Our recommendation is to start with a low dose and slowly add and adjust. If you’re new to cannabis, start with 5mg in your preferred method of consumption and build upon that to maintain relief. Doses can depend on the purpose, and many notice that you may need to let CBD build up in your system over time. For more serious medical conditions, such as chronic pain, epilepsy, etc., it can take anywhere from 20 days to almost four months to completely conquer your symptoms.

If you’re interested in CBD for sleep disorders, luckily it won’t take as long. You should be able to experiment and experience the benefits that day.

Research has also shown that lower doses of CBD are therapeutically more effective than higher doses (i.e. pain and anxiety relief). Higher doses tend to have more of a sedative effect. So again, start small and experiment with what is right for you.

CBD Oil Reviews

Oil 1 — CBDistillery is a Colorado based company. They have a strong belief that CBD oil should be of the highest quality, fairly priced, and hemp derived. All of their products are lab tested to ensure you’ll never feel “high” as a result of ingestion.

Our favorite oil from CBDistillery is the 1000mg 30ml Full Spectrum CBD Tincture. It’s made with coconut MCT oil so it’s easy to use and easy to digest. CBDistillery recommends mixing it in your morning smoothie or juice, or dropping it right under your tongue.

Oil 2 — NuLeaf Naturals is also a company with lots of Colorado pride. Their cannabis oils are 100% organic, and free of additives and preservatives. Every bottle of cannabis oil they provide for customers has been subjected to rigorous laboratory testing to ensure that it contains the optimal amount of CBD. They favor CO2 extraction to harvest their CBD oil.

Our favorite product is the 725mg Full Spectrum CBD Oil, High Grade Hemp Extract. They break it down for you so you know that one drop of oil is approximately 2.4mg of CBD. They also have fast delivery!

Oil 3 — Green Roads ensures that every item in their collection of CBD oils has been formulated with a licensed pharmacist of 25 plus years and then tested by independent labs to ensure that it complies with all industry standards and regulations. They have great customer support and a wide range of products that goes beyond oils.

Our favorite product of theirs is their 500mg CBD Oil. It’s made with hemp seed oil and kosher-grade vegetable glycerin, and they even provide you with the nutritional facts per milliliter.

How To Use CBD Oil

We’ve already talked about the ways you can ingest or apply CBD, but let’s articulate why you would use CBD. According to a 2018 survey by Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 62 percent of CBD users take it to treat pain, anxiety, and depression. CBD is also very effective when used to improve sleep quality or as treatment for insomnia.

Below, we will discuss more in detail per condition how CBD applies to and aids symptoms.

Benefits And Effects Of Using CBD Oil

Some negative side effects associated with CBD include fatigue, diarrhea, or changes in appetite and weight. Others include dry mouth, lightheadedness, or low blood pressure. Some people have reported that using CBD oil has given them increased anxiety, but that may be linked to the experience of trying something new and not knowing what the outcome may be.

Because there is a huge lack of research regarding CBD’s effect on embryos and children, it is not recommended that women who are pregnant or nursing use CBD. Side effects are completely unknown in this category.

It is also recommended that anyone with a serious mental or health disorder, such as schizophrenia or extreme depression, talk to their doctor or health professional before using CBD, and do not discontinue any medications in hopes of replacing them with CBD use.

Does CBD Oil Improve Sleep?

CBD has the power to provide more restful sleep, as well as make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. While this ties back to CBD relieving pain and stress, it can also help to regulate sleep patterns, which is important when aiming to achieve more Rapid Eye Movement, or REM sleep (source 1).

CBD oil can help regulate sleep patterns

Note that small doses of CBD have the ability to make you feel more alert, so you may need to take a little bit more if this is an issue for you.

Can CBD Give Me Pain Relief?

CBD oil has had grave successes for pain management. This is partly because CBD helps to decrease inflammation in the body, which researchers are finding more and more has to do with pain, especially including arthritis, undiagnosed and diagnosed back pain, and multiple sclerosis. CBD also helps the mind to relax, which researchers think attributes to helping the body to relax, which can also cut down on pain caused by tension.

Can CBD Oil Help With Anxiety?

Anxiety can range from the occasional worrying to severe and debilitating disorders. But according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety affects more than 18 percent of the population annually.

Like many of the other ailments listed here, there is a lack of large scale research about CBD and anxiety, but there was a report published in Neuropsychopharmacology in 2011 that positively determined that CBD has the capabilities of alleviating social anxiety (source 2).

So far, most studies have shown that CBD either helps with anxiety or has no adverse effect whatsoever. More large scale testing is needed to make any major claims, but CBD probably won’t make it worse, unless you experience anxiety from trying new things.

CBD Oil For Migraines

Migraines are an evolved form of a headache, but in the worst way. Migraines don’t stay centered in the head, but can spread to the neck, eyes, and sinuses. And they often get worse with light, noise, movement, or strong smells.

Research on CBD and migraines is limited, but there was a study conducted by the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research that found that people who treated their migraines with a cannabis-nabilone formula (read: not pure CBD oil but some CBD) reported improvements with their migraines and a better quality of life overall.

Additional research is needed to really know the effects of pure CBD on migraines, but since CBD has been proven so effective at reducing inflammation, signs point to helpful.

Can CBD Help Treat Depression?

According to the Depression Alliance, CBD oil is gaining massive popularity as a natural treatment for depression, as it has been found effective as a treatment for depression for many people (source 3). Note that CBD cannot cure depression, but it can possibly improve symptoms.

This needs to be observed on a case by case basis because each individual’s endocannabinoid system is complex and unique, so relief will vary. But, CBD has been shown to help release serotonin in the brain, which is a chemical that acts as a mood booster and can reduce stress levels.

CBD Oil For Arthritis

CBD for Arthritis has some of the most conclusive research, and is where we’ve gathered the most information on CBD’s anti-inflammatory abilities. CBD oil has been proven safe and effective for the treatment of arthritis, but doctors still seem more prone to prescribe other medications that they have been using for years.

Although this 2016 study was tested with rats, professionals have seen that the benefits transfer over to humans (source 4).

Another study in 2017 also confirmed that CBD is a useful treatment specifically for Osteoarthritis joint pain, and can actually prevent pain and nerve damage from even beginning.

Can CBD Oil Cure Cancer?

While marijuana has been recommended for awhile now to help combat the nausea that tends to be a side effect of chemotherapy, more and more research is coming out about how CBD can decrease the spread of cancer and even possibly induce the death of active cancer cells (source 5).

Can CBD Oil Help With ADHD?

According to professionals, there is no standing research about the possible good or bad treatment of ADHD with CBD, but that doesn’t mean that individuals have not ventured to try it on their own. So while CBD has been proven to help people to relax or feel less “manic,” scientists cannot claim that CBD is an anecdote to ADHD.

Using CBD Oil For Seizures

In June of 2018, the FDA approved a drug called Epidiolex, which is an oral form of CBD (source 6). It is used to treat two rare forms of epilepsy in children, and is found to be very effective in reducing the frequency of epileptic seizures.

CBD Oil And Autism

American studies are lacking in this category, but studies in Israel have been much more conclusive in finding the benefits of using CBD for autism. The study found that after prescribing autistic children with CBD oil, 80% of parents noticed a decrease in problematic behaviors, 62% of parents reported significant improvements with their children overall, and 40% reported their children had significant decreases in anxiety (source 7).

CBD Oil For Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that has symptoms of widespread muscle and/or skeletal pain, and trouble sleeping. CBD has proven effective to treat the symptoms of fibromyalgia relating to pain and sleep issues, but there is very limited research on what fibromyalgia is or what causes it, so it’s difficult to test to see if CBD can directly help with it.

CBD And Weight Loss

There is research that CBD can alter individuals appetite, which can affect weight loss. This is another case-by-case basis, though, and majorly depends on the person. But, CBD has proven effective for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to lower the weight on the scale, but not necessarily burn fat cells.

THC is the cannabinoid that is more responsible for appetite increase, or “the munchies,” and so it can possibly lead to weight gain because of overeating.

Can CBD Oil Help With Joint And Knee Pain?

CBD is anti-inflammatory, which has positive effects on joint pain and knee pain. CB2 receptors are found in crazy high levels in the joint tissue of those with knee and joint pain. CBD has been scientifically shown to activate the pathways of CB2 receptors, therefore cutting down on inflammation (source 8). And we’ve already discussed how CBD can help with overall pain (especially joint pain), as well.

Can CBD Oil Help With Insomnia?

Insomnia is the medical term used to describe chronic troubles with sleeping. It is typically a condition caused by anxiety, pain, and stress, which we’ve already discussed in relation to CBD, which has a positive effect and can be used for treatment. Besides that, CBD has also been proven to improve complex sleep-related behaviors associated with rapid eye movement, or REM sleep, which creates deeper sleep, as insomniacs often have a hard time staying asleep since they don’t achieve REM. This can also help reduce excessive daytime sleepiness (source 9).

How About CBD Oil For Diabetes?

Unfortunately, there is a large lack of research in regard to using CBD oil to help treat diabetes. We’ve conducted hours and hours of research, and no reputable sources are making claims either for or against the use of cbd for diabetes symptoms or treatment.

Does CBD Oil Lower Blood Pressure?

There have been significant studies that show that CBD oil can lower blood pressure. In this study, volunteers were given 600 mg of CBD and others were given a placebo. The results concluded that small doses of CBD can reduce resting blood pressure rates, and decrease stroke rates. The study does state that further research is required to establish whether CBD has a role in the treatment of cardiovascular disorders, though (source 10).

Can CBD Oil Help Treat Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar disorder can be characterized as extreme and intense emotional states, ranging from manic to depressive. There are very few studies on the use of CBD for bipolar disorder, and it is hard to test for because bipolar disorder has a wide range of symptoms from acute to extreme. CBD does appear to generate the same types of responses in the body as many of the current medications used to treat the condition. And because CBD has neuroprotective and antioxidant benefits, it may also help to increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels (source 11).

CBD For Gut Health

Gut health is becoming more and more popular on the health scene, as many health professionals are calling our gut “the second brain,” as research is coming out that our gut and its microbiome are important in relation to our immune systems, vitamin absorption, and even mind health.

When someone is having issues with their gut, it is referred to as “leaky gut.” Leaky gut can be responsible for a plethora of autoimmune conditions and other chronic health conditions, like chronic fatigue, because the gut is too weak to prevent harmful substances like bacteria and pathogens from entering.

A study conducted by Advanced Research in Gastroenterology & Hepatology states that CBD has been shown to restore strength to the walls of the gut, and cut down on the inflammation that comes along with leaky gut (source 12).

CBD For Digestion

Research investigating CBD and treating digestive problems is still not entirely conclusive, but there is a lot of evidence that CBD can be very helpful in this area. Here’s the science behind it: CBD works with our cannabinoid receptors that live in the intestines, stomach, and brain, which includes serotonin receptors (happy chemical), and CB-1 and CB-2 receptors, as well. CB1 has been shown to aid in regulating stomach acids, protecting the stomach, and easing nausea and vomiting, meaning CBD can help to calm this (source 13).

This is great news for those who suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases, like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

What Is Pure CBD Oil?

Pure CBD oil is created when hemp oil is extracted from marijuana plants, and producers then isolate the CBD compound from the extracted hemp oil. The result is what we could call pure CBD oil. Pure CBD oil has a THC concentration of .3% or less. From there, pure CBD oils vary by concentration of CBD, and that will control their price. The higher the CBD content, the more expensive.

What Is Full Spectrum CBD Oil?

Full spectrum CBD oil is a CBD concoction that contains all the other cannabinoids found in the marijuana plant. This includes CBN (Cannabinol), CBG (Cannabigerol), and THCV (Tetrahydrocannabivarin), and more. And yes, this means it also contains THC. But if the concentration is very low (around .3%), either no or very minimal psychoactive stimulation will occur.

An example of full spectrum CBD

You can compare full spectrum CBD oil to CBD isolate, which is purified CBD.

While CBD itself does offer a large range of benefits, these other cannabinoids individually supplement each benefit. According to a 2015 study conducted in Jerusalem, full spectrum CBD provides higher levels of benefits and relief. But this does not mean that CBD isolate does not work well on its own.

Are There Organic CBD Oils?

Yes, there are organic CBD oils. Whether it is organic has to do with the sourcing of the CBD. Organic CBD is derived from organic hemp that can be traced back to a US grown source. Organic is preferred, as it will be free from pesticides, herbicides, and heavy metals.

High Quality CBD Oil

High quality CBD oil will be extracted and made in a clean process, will be organic, come from a trustworthy source, and will also probably be expensive. But just like you invest in high quality produce or meat, you’ll be investing in high quality CBD that you know is great for your body.

What Is The Difference Between Hemp Oil vs CBD Oil?

While hemp oil and CBD oil are made from the same plant, they are very much different. Hemp oil is extracted from the seeds of a hemp plant, while CBD can be made from the whole entire cannabis plant, so hemp oil does not contain the same cannabinoids found in CBD oil. Hemp oil typically does not contain CBD or THC. It is very nutrient dense though, and contains high amounts of antioxidants, omega 3, omega 6, and other fatty acids.

Is There CBD Oil With THC?

There is! CBD actually needs a tiny bit of THC to activate and work (about .3%), but it typically isn’t enough to get you “high.” Keep in mind that if higher levels of THC are present, you might experience the psychoactive effects, or in layman’s terms, get stoned. This is especially true if the amount of THC outweighs the amount of CBD in the product. But many speculate that CBD and THC work better together to fight inflammation and pain, as they are complementary cannabidiols.

CBD Massage Oil

Yes, there is such a thing as CBD massage oil! Like we stated earlier, CBD skin products sink into the upper layers of your skin cells, which helps to moisturize, soothe sore or tender muscles, and reduce inflammation and pain. The massage technique and the CBD oil should complement each other to give you double the benefits and relief.

Vaping CBD Oil

CBD vape oil (can also be called CBD e-liquid), is made for vaping pens. Regular CBD oil is meant to be used orally, and is not intended to be vaporized or inhaled. Some science shows that vaping CBD oil creates more bioavailability by absorbing into the bloodstream faster, and it’s much easier on the lungs than smoking the herb.

CBD Oil For Dogs

There are a variety of CBD products for dogs that can help with anxiety, pain management, seizures, and tumors. It can also help to relax your dog when it comes to loud noises, such as fireworks. CBD for dogs is available in dog treats, or tinctures which you can drop directly into their mouths or on top of their food. Start your dog off with a small dose, and build up slowly depending on how your dog reacts. Just make sure that you accurately research the product to make sure it’s of high quality and does not contain levels of THC over .3 percent, because that can make your dog sick.

CBD Oil For Cats

CBD oil for cats is very similar to CBD oil for dogs, which is very similar for CBD oil for humans. It helps with all the same aliments, being anxiety, pain, and disease. CBD is especially useful for cats who hate traveling (as many cats do). Interestingly enough, cats have cannabis receptors on the surface of their skin, so CBD oil is effective for treating and preventing skin conditions if applied topically. Just like with dogs or any other animal, start with a low dose and see how your pet reacts, and then increase if necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Below is a list of common questions pertaining to CBD oils. We hope our answers are helpful in your quest for more information and data.

Where Can I Buy CBD Oil?

Since CBD is legal, you can absolutely buy it online. Check back to the top of this article for some reviews of popular products, where we have the brands linked. You can also probably get some CBD from a local dispensary—if that’s allowed in your state/town. Attendants there will better be able to help you make a purchase based on your needs and lifestyle (sleep, pain, method of consumption, taste, etc.).

Make sure that where you’re purchasing from is a reputable source and that you do your own research about the product before you purchase. We do not recommend you purchase CBD products from a gas station or liquor store.

Three online retailers that we like are CBDistillery, NuLeaf Naturals and Green Roads.

How Long Does It Take For CBD Oil To Work?

Depends on how you take it. If you use a tincture or oil, it will absorb through the think membranes in your mouth and work within 5-20 minutes. If you take an edible, it has to absorb through your stomach so it can take half an hour to 2 hours to kick in.

If you are looking to use CBD for your chronic pain, you may need to take it over the course of weeks for it to build up in your system, much like you would any pain reliever pill.

Does CBD Oil Get You High?

Not if you don’t want it to. Look for pure CBD with a THC content of less than .5 percent. CBD itself does not have any psychoactive effects, or get you “high.”

How Long Does CBD Oil Stay In Your System?

We found a study that states the half-life of CBD is two to five days. In this study, patients were given 700 mg of CBD everyday for six days, and then they stopped taking it for a week. When they were tested, the CBD had almost completely cleared out of their system. But this will also depend on how much CBD you’ve been taking, and your personal body composition (source 14).

Will CBD Oil Show Up On A Drug Test?

It’s very unlikely. Drug tests usually test for THC or THC metabolites, not CBD. There are also a lot of dependent variables, like what type of drug test it is, how often you use CBD products, and your body composition.

As long as you make sure you’re using a trusted product that has a THC level of .5% or less, you’ll most likely be in the clear. If you use a CBD product that has significant levels of THC, as well, that could show up on a drug test.

Can You Smoke CBD Oil?

Yeah, you can. Many people like to smoke their CBD because it doesn’t disrupt their sensitive stomachs and it is one of the quickest methods for absorption in the body. You can smoke CBD oil specifically out of an oil rig, which is similar to a water pipe. Basically, the oil is heated to a really high temperature, and then the smoke is filtered through water and then inhaled through your mouth.

You can also smoke cbd oil through a method called dabbing, which vaporizes the CBD oil in a similar way, but it is very potent and is a method that should probably be reserved for the more experienced.

Keep in mind that you can also vaporize CBD with a vape pen, which is less harsh on the throat and the lungs.



This post was researched and written by Kelsie Longerbeam, a content editor at The Slumber Yard.