More and more people are beginning to recognize the health benefits of hemp oil, also known for its key ingredient, cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is a primary compound found in cannabis plants, and is known to increase functionality in the nervous system, immune system, and in the brain. It does this by reacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which works throughout the body’s major organs and systems.
Among its many health benefits, research has found that CBD helps reduce pain and inflammation. Because of this, its popularity as a supplement is growing amongst health professionals. Since CBD oil can be applied topically through creams, lotions, and oils, chiropractors are taking a closer look at how CBD can help their patients.
How can CBD oil help relieve pain?
When CBD oil is absorbed into the body, it interacts with cannabinoid receptors as part of the endocannabinoid system. After the cannabinoid receptors located in the central and peripheral nervous system are stimulated, neurotransmission signals essentially block the sensory receptors that respond to pain. These sensory receptors are called nociceptors. Once the nociceptors are blocked, feelings of pain are reduced, and the nervous system can continue to function regularly.
Among its anti-inflammatory capabilities, CBD has been observed by users to reduce muscle soreness, pain from arthritis, back pain and other pain associated with demanding physical activities. This includes activities from athletics and labor workers who might experience strains in various muscles. It is important to note that this guide is not making any medical claims about the benefits of CBD, but instead is accounting for research and observation associated with the use of CBD hemp oil.
Is CBD oil legal to use?
Yes, CBD hemp oil products are legal to use. However, because the FDA has not recognized medical benefits to CBD hemp oil, it can only be marketed as a dietary supplement. Furthermore, CBD products can only be manufactured through imported hemp oil because growing hemp plants is illegal in the U.S. Essentially, as long as the hemp oil is imported from a country where growing hemp plants is legal, then manufacturing a product from that oil is permissible in the U.S.
The legality behind hemp plants is tricky because hemp plants are a type of cannabis plant and therefore contain trace amounts of THC. Although hemp plants contain no more than .03% of THC, other types of cannabis plants, like marijuana, have much higher concentrations of THC, which cause a psychoactive effect. The few exceptions for growing hemp plants on U.S. soil were the result of the U.S. Farm Bill of 2014, which allows the harvest of hemp for research purposes. However, a growing push for legalized hemp agriculture is gaining traction with the vote of U.S. Farm Bill of 2018. Stay tuned!
Should I be worried about side effects?
The side effects of CBD oil are minimal; therefore, it is considered safe to use by patients of all ages, in varying amounts. Typical side effects include drowsiness and dry mouth. CBD does not produce a "high" effect, so if this is a concern for your patients, inform them of the THC content provided above.
What kind of CBD products can chiropractors use?
CBD oil is sold in various of forms. Primarily, you can use creams and oils for your patients. However, CBD products are also sold in tinctures, which is hemp oil diluted with other solvents to maintain a liquid consistency. Deciding which is best for you and your patients ultimately depends on your practice and your patients' needs.