What does CBD oil do

CBD oil: is the over-the-counter oil intoxicating?

CBD oil is controversial - with some products the quality of the ingredients is not guaranteed.
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In addition to the use of cannabis as a drug, active ingredients from the hemp plant are also used in medicines and food supplements, including CBD oil. But the use and quality of the products are controversial. What is the truth about the hyped oils with the active ingredient cannabidiol, can they have an intoxicating effect and what are the differences to medical CBD oil, which is only available on prescription?

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Medical cannabis: uses

What is CBD Oil?

CBD stands for cannabidiol, a phytocannabinoid from the female hemp plant cannabis (Cannabis Sativa L), which is mainly present in the plant as an acid. Hemp plants consist of over 100 different phytocannabinoids, the best known are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD.

THC is a psychoactive, intoxicating ingredient. CBD, on the other hand, has no high-inducing effect. But cannabidiol also crosses the blood-brain barrier, docks to the same receptors as THC and can influence perception and behavior.

Cannabidiol-containing oil is obtained from the flowers and leaves of low-THC and high-CBD hemp plants. The basis for food supplements with CBD is usually an edible oil (for example sesame oil or oil from hemp seeds - which, by the way, does not contain cannabidiol). Products with CBD oil, for example, have a cannabidiol concentration of 2.5 percent, 5 percent, 10 percent or 20 percent. Incidentally, every CBD oil also contains a certain amount of THC, but this must not exceed a limit of 0.2 percent.

Is CBD Oil Legal?

The legal situation for over-the-counter products with CBD oil is unclear in Germany. Cannabinoids were added to the EU's novel food catalog in 2019. The catalog lists foods that were not used for human consumption in any significant accident in the EU before May 15, 1997. Products with cannabidiol are officially considered to be novel foods, the consumption of which must first be assessed in terms of health consequences in order to be marketable.

In the case of cannabinoids, the entry was provided with the addition that products with the active ingredient CBD always count as novel foods when cannabinoids have been specially fortified or their concentration in the product has been reduced, i.e. when isolated extracts are used.

As a result of the declaration as a novel food, CBD products disappeared from the shelves of drugstores and the police confiscated numerous products in stationary outlets such as hemp shops. The ban on the sale of dietary supplements with CBD was also pronounced in two urgent proceedings in an administrative court in 2019.

According to the provisions of the Novel Food Regulation, the sale of cannabis extracts with cannabinoids is a criminal offense. Manufacturers of CBD products must theoretically have their safety for human consumption tested. Due to the immense costs of such a procedure and the legal gray area, CBD oils are mainly traded on the Internet - sometimes without precise information about the product.

CBD oil as a drug and dietary supplement

Not all CBD oil is created equal. An important distinction is to be made between CBD oil as a drug that is only available on prescription and over-the-counter CBD oil as a dietary supplement.

CBD oil as a drug

The differences start with the manufacturing process. The original plant is the same in both cases, but its cultivation for CBD oil as a medicine is subject to strictly controlled conditions. These guarantee control over the quality and concentrations of the ingredients. The daily doses of medicinal CBD oil also differ up to 100 times that of an over-the-counter CBD oil.

Read the most important information about the medical use of cannabis in this article.

Buy over-the-counter CBD oil

CBD oil as a dietary supplement is available from numerous manufacturers online (for example from Traumtropfen), in organic and hemp shops and in pharmacies for people aged 18 and over. With over-the-counter CBD oils, the quality of the products, the ingredients and their concentrations fluctuate because the products as dietary supplements are not as strictly controlled as drugs. Often there is a lack of information on the exact composition of the cannabinoid profile and consumption recommendations. If the ingredients and their concentrations are specified, they often do not match those in the product.

Also, without monitoring, it cannot definitely be ruled out that undesirable substances such as pesticides are in them. There are independent seals of approval that guarantee the quality of an oil. However, manufacturers are not obliged to have such a quality control carried out and bear the high costs themselves.

Areas of application of CBD oil

Studies give the first indications that cannabidiol, especially in the case of high-dose medical CBD oil, can have a positive influence on numerous ailments that can occur due to various diseases, including:

Effects of CBD oil

Overall, the effects of cannabidiol and its long-term health effects have not yet been well researched. The basis for the effect of cannabidiol in the human body lies in the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is responsible for the normal functioning of many body functions and regulates the effect of the body's own messenger substances. It produces endocannabinoids itself in almost all body tissues, which dock onto various cannabinoid receptors and regulate important metabolic processes.

When endocannabinoids activate cannabinoid-1 receptors, for example, signal transmissions in the brain are brought into balance. Among other things, it protects against overexcitation conditions in the central nervous system.

And cannabinoid-2 receptors primarily have important functions for the immune system.

Due to the similar structures, cannabinoids from the hemp plant can also bind to these receptors and have a suppressive or activating effect on signal transmission. Initial study results indicate that cannabidiol

  • relaxing,
  • anti-inflammatory and
  • has a pain relieving effect.

Various studies also examined the influence of cannabidiol when taking THC at the same time. The results show that cannabidiol can suppress the intoxicating effects of THC in low doses, while it can increase it in very high doses.

How fast and how long does CBD oil work?

When taken orally, the onset of action can be expected after about twenty minutes to two hours. Body weight and the food that is consumed at the same time also play a role. It can take up to five days for CBD to be completely broken down by the body.

Side effects of CBD oil

As a rule, both CBD oil in the form of a dietary supplement and CBD oil as a drug are well tolerated.

The U.S. American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned earlier this year that cannabidiol has the potential to cause harm - even before users notice it themselves. The subject of the investigations was the drug Epidiolex, which is also approved in Europe and is used in severe, therapy-resistant forms of epilepsy. The authority warns of the following risks at high doses:

  • Liver damage

  • increased risk of sedation with simultaneous use of alcohol and other drugs that affect the central nervous system

  • Affecting the metabolism of other drugs with serious side effects

  • diarrhea

  • Decrease in appetite

  • Restlessness and irritability

  • sleepiness

Ingesting CBD oil: use and dosage

CBD oil should always be taken according to the dosage instructions, which vary depending on the product. The active ingredient is best absorbed through the oral mucosa. The drops can be placed directly under the tongue and should be held there for a minute or two before swallowing again.

In addition to CBD oil in the form of drops, there are also CBD capsules that can be swallowed. For many users, the advantage of CBD capsules lies in the dosage form. One disadvantage, however, is that cannabidiol can be absorbed better and faster by the oral mucosa than by the stomach. A full stomach also delays absorption.

Daily doses stated on CBD oils and other hemp products with cannabidiol should never be exceeded without medical clarification, as interactions with other substances are possible and everyone reacts differently to the active substances THC and cannabidiol.

Experts advise only buying CBD oils that have been certified. Even if they are usually more expensive. Consumers should definitely refrain from using CBD oils that do not contain any ingredients or dosage recommendations.

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