At first, I was wary. Although I live in Los Angeles, where it seems like there’s a medical marijuana depot on every corner, I’m not one for doing drugs (legal or otherwise). I mean, I don’t even take Advil when I get a headache!  But despite the fact that CBD oil is made from hemp, it doesn’t contain THC. THC is the compound responsible for the “high” that comes with ingesting marijuana. In fact, scientific reviews have proven that CBD “does not interfere with several psychomotor and psychological functions,” and is safe to ingest without any side effects. Let me repeat: YOU WILL NOT GET HIGH FROM CBD!
Over the past few years, increasing public and political pressure has supported legalization of medical marijuana. One of the main thrusts in this effort has related to the treatment of refractory epilepsy—especially in children with Dravet syndrome—using cannabidiol (CBD). Despite initiatives in numerous states to at least legalize possession of CBD oil for treating epilepsy, little published evidence is available to prove or disprove the efficacy and safety of CBD in patients with epilepsy. This review highlights some of the basic science theory behind the use of CBD, summarizes published data on clinical use of CBD for epilepsy, and highlights issues related to the use of currently available CBD products.
In fact, CBD is therapeutic in nature, and will work to manipulate bodily systems at the cellular level to return afflicted organ systems, tissue systems, and even chemical systems in the central nervous system back to a state of health and homeostasis. This is precisely why it has been capable of treating conditions such as depression and anxiety, to chronic physical ailments such as pain, inflammation, arthritis, and more.
Generally speaking, ingesting CBD oils using a dropper is typically the easiest way to stay in control of exactly how much you are taking. Plus, pure CBD oil will not contain additives that come with side effects. Remember, when you are using CBD oil or any kind of cannabis product, you must read the product label to determine the best dose for you.
And we have a long way to go before we fully understand the relationship between CBD and pain regulation. But strong anecdotal evidence, combined with multiple lab tests and even some clinical trials, have established that CBD holds a lot of promise for pain relief. Or in science-speak, CBD “represents a novel class of therapeutic agents for the treatment of chronic pain.”
The furry subjects, 277 Wistar rats, were given a dose of CBD immediately after receiving a small electric shock. The CBD-treated subjects were found to spend less time frozen in fear when reintroduced to the context of the fearful event. This means the CBD disrupted consolidation (or more simply put: memory strengthening) of their specific and long-term fear memory.
Author Gerhard Nahler found it most surprising that an entire group of authors were “tempted to over-interpret results.” However, he felt that misinterpretations are not entirely uncommon, stating “People overlook quite frequently that “in vitro” results may differ significantly from conditions “in vivo”, particularly in man. In vitro results are suggestions, not proofs for processes in real life.”
Lisa Hamilton, a jeweler and doula in Brooklyn, NY, knows about the side effects. She recently tried CBD for the shoulder pain that plagued her five years after an accident. Her doctor certified that she was in chronic pain, which under New York State law allowed her to buy from a state dispensary. One Friday, she swallowed two 10-mg capsules, the amount recommended at the dispensary, then took another two on Saturday. “By Sunday, it felt like I’d gotten hit by a truck. Every muscle and joint ached,” Hamilton says. She cut back to one pill a day the following week, but still felt hungover. She stopped after that.
A group of 15 patients who received CBD over a period ranging from one month to one year were surveyed to gather various data. The researchers sought information about the patient and the caregiver, changes observed in the seizures, neuropsychological effects, side effects and the family’s overall perception following the use of cannabidiol. This simple observational study identified some very encouraging findings:
To be clear, there is no one specific test, scan, or anything else of the sort that you can do to determine whether or not you need CBD oil for pain. Also, since cannabis is not yet recognized by the FDA, you unfortunately can’t really go to your doctor either and have them recommend it; until marijuana is FDA-approved, it cannot be prescribed by physicians.

In your internet travels, you may also come across products called “terpsolates.” The manufacturers of these products infuse CBD Isolate with terpenes (but not cannabinoids like THC). These terpenes may enhance the effectiveness of CBD — or maybe they just make it smell good. This may be a good place to point out that not all CBD products are created equal. The industry is still largely unregulated, and the quality and quantity of CBD in a given product will vary wildly. Third-party testing definitely helps to monitor companies’ claims, but it’s still up to you as the consumer to do your homework on the best CBD products.
Generally, CBD oil is made by combining an extract with a carrier fluid or oil. This question is best answered by looking at how the CBD oil was extracted. CBD oil can be extracted using CO2 systems or by using chemical solvents. Both methods produce a CBD oil byproduct that is then combined with a fluid like MCT oil, coconut oil, or olive oil so that it can be delivered to the body. Always check to make sure you know the CBD content of the products you purchase.
This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Josh Axe and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Axe nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.
CBD oil is not legal everywhere. It is banned/restricted by countries such as UAE, Dubai, and Saudi Arabia. Although CBD oil is illegal in many of the US states too, some have legalized its use for medicinal purposes. While the number would be ever-changing, as of 2016 there are 17 states in the US which have legalized the use of low THC, high CBD products for medical reasons in limited situations. These states include Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia. It is advisable to consult your local health specialist before use.
You are likely very familiar with the dangers that prescription painkillers (and other pharmaceuticals) present. In fact, it’s estimated that the majority of CBD oil users attempt to switch to the all-natural therapy for the precise reason of kicking prescription med habits, which all too often cause an overwhelming array of irritability, sleep disruption, digestive complications, and even thoughts of suicide.
In general, the majority of people end up using higher-strength products for pain than they would for things like anxiety, stress, or depression. The majority of today’s best CBD oil manufacturers offer tinctures in three different “potencies,” usually in 100, 300, or 600 mg options. Many people start on a middle ground with a 300 mg option, and work your way up from there, but it is extremely important to consult with the brand you are purchasing from before consumption.

Deciding to use CBD oil as a natural therapy is one thing – figuring out which brand to use, what strength/concentration to use, and how much CBD to actually take is another thing altogether. Plus, with all of the products out there to choose from and their confusing mL/mg labels, it can be a nightmare trying to determine which one is best for you, or which one you should be taking for your specific condition.
This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Josh Axe and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Axe nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.
However, like we just mentioned CBD oil for pain management that has been sourced from industrial hemp grown under the farm bill is in fact legal to buy and sell. The best CBD oil brands that we cover here on this site, claim to extract their concentrates from U.S.-based industrial hemp supplies, which if true, are 100% legal since they contain negligible amounts of THC.
If you live in a state where CBD is legal for your condition, it’s best to buy it from a state-regulated dispensary. But even there, oversight is uneven. “I feel safe being a cannabis consumer in Colorado, since the state tracks everything from seed to sale, but I didn’t the first few years after cannabis became legal,” when the rules were still taking shape, says Robyn Griggs Lawrence, the Boulder author of The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook, which features recipes for cannabis edibles.
In fact, not only will CBD not make you high, it has been proven to counteract the psychoactivity of THC. This property makes CBD highly useful as a medical treatment for a wide range of conditions. In terms of the CBD products you can buy, the amount of THC present varies from none at all in a pure CBD Isolate to a minimal amount (less than 0.3%) in a Full-Spectrum CBD product.
CBD hemp oil has a number of uses and comes in many forms including capsules, tinctures, sublingual supplements, liquid oil, oil as a paste, sprays, salves, creams and in edible forms, such as candies or sweets. You can also inhale CBD oil from vapor-releasing pens, similar to the technology for e-cigarettes. This variety also provides a lot of controlled flexibility in terms of concentration, making CBD hemp oil useful and desirable for people of all ages, economic means, and personal needs.
In one survey, parents of children who suffer from treatment-resistant epilepsy and use CBD were asked about the benefits. 19 parents were included, 84% of which said that CBD reduced the frequency of seizures. Two parents said that CBD completely resolved seizures. Parents also reported improved alertness, sleep, and mood. Some side effects were drowsiness and fatigue [54].
Cannabidiol is the major nonpsychoactive component of Cannabis sativa. Over the centuries, a number of medicinal preparations derived from C. sativa have been employed for a variety of disorders, including gout, rheumatism, malaria, pain, and fever. These preparations were widely employed as analgesics by Western medical practitioners in the 19th century (1). More recently, there is clinical evidence suggesting efficacy in HIV-associated neuropathic pain, as well as spasms associated with multiple sclerosis (1).
Hemp oil does have a number of uses and is often marketed as a cooking oil or a product that is good for moisturizing the skin. It is also used in the production of certain soaps, shampoos, and foods. It is also a basic ingredient for bio-fuel and even a more sustainable form of plastic. Hemp has been cultivated and used for roughly 10,000 years, and it definitely has useful purposes. However, a lack of cannabinoids, namely CBD, means that it has little therapeutic value.
People who experience psychosis may produce too much or even too little cannabinoids (from overactive dopamine receptors). CBD is milder than our internal cannabinoids and helps to re-establish a balance of cannabinoids in the brain. CBD also helps lower inflammation, which is often increased in schizophrenia. THC, on the other hand, is stronger than our internal cannabinoids (anandamide and 2-AG), this way potentially triggering psychosis [46, 48].
In your internet travels, you may also come across products called “terpsolates.” The manufacturers of these products infuse CBD Isolate with terpenes (but not cannabinoids like THC). These terpenes may enhance the effectiveness of CBD — or maybe they just make it smell good. This may be a good place to point out that not all CBD products are created equal. The industry is still largely unregulated, and the quality and quantity of CBD in a given product will vary wildly. Third-party testing definitely helps to monitor companies’ claims, but it’s still up to you as the consumer to do your homework on the best CBD products.
Here’s the thing, though—CBD oil isn’t just helpful for people with epilepsy. Turns out the oil is highly anti-inflammatory, and according to a 2013 review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology it’s also beneficial for treating anxiety, depression, neurodegenerative disorders like dementia, and even has anti-tumoral properties. Sounds like the ultimate superfood, right? I decided to give this magic oil a whirl and see if I noticed a difference in my mood, anxiety, and stress levels.
There are likely very complex relationships also occurring between various Cannabinoids in Cannabis that may lead to certain medical efficacy. That is important to remember when considering the consumption of products that contain Cannabinoids. There is an attractiveness to isolating a specific chemical, researching it, patenting synthetic derivatives, and marketing specific drugs. That said, the relationships are complex, will likely take years to understand, and many patients I’ve met appear to find the most medical benefit from a diverse group of Cannabinoids whose interactions are not particularly well understand, but the results are hard to argue with.
Using rigorous review methodology, Gloss and Vickery conclude that based on the low quality of the reports available, there is insufficient data available to draw any conclusions regarding the efficacy and or long-term safety of CBD in treating epilepsy (11). From the data available, it does appear that daily doses of 200 to 300 mg were safe in this small group of patients for a short period of time (14).
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