Can You Get the Wellness Benefits of Cannabis Without Getting High?
There is a long, ongoing debate about whether or not marijuana should be legal, both for medicinal and recreational use. It has been legal in many states for those with certain medical conditions for some time now, and in the past few years some states such a Colorado and Washington have also made recreational use legal.
Wherever you stand on the legality of recreational cannabis use, there is no denying that compounds found in cannabis plants have a number of health benefits. Marijuana use has been linked to pain management, help with stress and anxiety, and a wide range of other health applications.
Why Many People Want the Benefits Without the High
Of course, even if you are in favor of the law allowing people to use marijuana recreationally, and it being generally available to adults, there are certainly times when you don’t want the high that comes with using the drug. It can play havoc with your productivity, and while it can be enjoyable in some situations, it isn’t good all the time – and you certainly aren’t able to drive or operate machinery. There are also the other side effects which can include hunger (the famous ‘munchies’), paranoia, glassy eyes, and a dry mouth. If you have found marijuana to be helpful with a health condition, you may want the benefits every day without feeling constantly high. You also may be concerned about failing drug tests at work or for sport.
It is clear then, that whether you enjoy recreational cannabis use or not, there are good reasons to want to take advantage of the drug while eliminating the high sometimes.
The Growing Popularity of CBD Oil
This is where a new trend for using what is called CBD oil comes in. CBD oil, cannabis oil or hemp oil, comes from the hemp plant, which is of course where the marijuana people use recreational comes from. However, CBD oil makes it possible to get some of the health benefits attributed to the plant without taking in enough of the compound that causes the high to get its effects.
What Are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are the compounds found in cannabis, and these have effects on the body. It is taking in these cannabinoids that gives marijuana its health benefits, and also what makes you high. However, there are many of these compounds (at least 60), and only one of them – THC (which stands for Tetrahydrocannabinol if you are a fan of long chemical names!) – has the psychotropic effects cannabis is used for recreational.
Effectively, this means that if a product made from natural hemp contains the full spectrum of cannabinoids but minimal amounts of THC, it can be used without the high. It is also THC that causes the munchies, side effects of paranoia, and that general ‘stoned’ look that you might want to avoid. Equally, THC is what tests used to identify drug use look for.
CBD Oils And THC
CBD hemp oil does contain trace amounts of THC. This is not enough to have an effect on the person using it, so people can’t get high from using CBD oil as a health supplement. However, these trace amounts can be enough to show a positive result in a drugs test if someone is a regular hemp oil user. Bear in mind that this works in the same way as it being possible to test positive for opiates if you eat a lot of poppy seed bagels, however – the presence of the compound in your system does not mean you will have experienced any high. It does of course mean that you may need to be careful about your consumption if you decide to try CBD oil for health and drug tests are a concern for you.
Are CBD Oils Legal?
There is some discussion about whether hemp oils and CBD oils actually count as marijuana where the federal law is concerned. This is mainly because the laws on the matter date back to the 1930s, when such products weren’t available. In theory, all but a few parts of the plant are illegal, and so are all of the products derived from the remaining parts, however in practice the law is far more concerned with whether or not a product has psychotropic effects.
You may see CBD oil advertised as being legal in all 50 states, and it is widely available to buy online without a prescription. While there may be some who analyze the marijuana laws in different ways and would say that CBD oils are not legal where cannabis is not legal, it seems that the reality is that these products, like hemp seeds and flour derived from them that is sold as a gluten free food, don’t really pose any legal problems because they don’t have the psychoactive THC component in significant quantities.
How Do People Use CBD Oils?
There are a number of ways people use the CBD oils available to buy to get the good effects of cannabinoids without the high and other potential drawbacks that make using marijuana problematic for long term health issues. The most obvious is simply to take the oil orally, by adding a drop to water or simply dabbing it onto your tongue. The oil has a unique earthy taste that some people enjoy, but others dislike, however even if you don’t like it, it is no big deal to consume the odd drop each day.
Interestingly, though, another way people have begun to use CBD oils recently is using them in the liquids used for ‘vaping’. Vaping is when you use an electronic cigarette to vaporize a fluid and inhale the vapor. While it is most commonly used as a way to take in nicotine as a means to help wean people off of the drug, vaping can also be a very convenient way for people to use their CBD oils. When vaping CBD oils, taste is still a factor, but some people even make their own vaping blends that can include flavored components that make the hemp oil taste more enjoyable if they are not keen on it in its natural form.
What Benefits Can Using CBD Oils Offer?
There are still lots of ongoing trials into the effects of cannabis derived compounds for a huge range of health conditions, and cannabis is already prescribed in states where it is legal for a lot of health problems. There are benefits reported for CBD in treating things that include the following:
- Sleep Disorders and insomnia
- Skin Conditions including eczema and psoriasis
- Sick Cell Anemia
- Rheumatism and other joint pain
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Osteoporosis and other bone problems
- Neuropathic Pain
- Nausea (including nausea as a result of therapies like chemotherapy for cancer)
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Motion Sickness
- Mood Disorders
- Migraines and Headaches
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Liver Disease
- Kidney Disease
- Huntingdon’s Disease
- Heart Disease
- Fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions
- Endocrine Disorders
- Diabetes (type 1 and type 2)
- Digestive Problems
- Cancer (there is a lot of research going on in this area)
- Bipolar Disorder
- Autism and Asperger’s
- Anxiety Disorders
- Antibiotic Reistance
- Anorexia and other eating disorders
- Alzheimer’s Disease
As you can see, that is quite a huge list, and the effects of cannabinoids are still being tested for many of these. Of course, marijuana and by extension CBD oil isn’t a magic bullet that will cure all of these conditions, however it can have positive effects for people with all of these conditions, from reducing inflammation and pain to improving mood, reducing stress, and aiding sleep.
However, while there are all of these potential benefits, if you have a condition that is serious, then it is better to treat it under medical supervision with prescription medicinal marijuana products than by self-dosing CBD oil. CBD oil is mainly used by people who are healthy or who have only minor health issues it can assist with, as a preventative measure or simply as a supplement to encourage greater wellbeing. It could well be worth trying it to help with skin problems, stress, insomnia, headaches and muscle pain, among other common complaints, however it is never a good idea to try and diagnose and treat more serious health issues yourself.
Is It a Health Fad, Or Not?
CBD oils have been described by some as something of a fad, possibly because they are now often linked with vaping, which has something of a trendy image. However, a lot of people are experiencing real benefits from using these oils, and so there could be more to them than just a product that is gaining more attention as a trend of late.
It will be interesting to see as research continues just what the potential of non THC cannabis products can be for health and wellbeing.