CBD Oil Benefits, Uses, Side Effects (Plus Recommendations)

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CBD oil is gaining momentum within the health and fitness industry and we are about to dig into some evidence-based information to tell you exactly the reasons why. In this article we will cover what CBD oil is and what are its benefits as well as uses, but we will also discuss side effects and make product recommendations so you can make better choices.

What is CBD oil?

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a chemical compound found in the cannabis or marijuana plant (Cannabis Sativa). It is the second most abundant cannabinoid in cannabis, after tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that can be used medicinally to treat pain, anxiety, depression and sleep disorders. The CBD oil is actually made by extracting the cannabinoid from the marijuana plant and then it is added to either coconut oil or hemp seed oil.

CBD is mostly used medicinally unlike THC which is responsible for the psychotic effects of the Marijuana plant.

Is CBD legal?

CBD products are legal but different countries seem to have their own rules, so whether CBD products are legal or not can be classified as being a little complicated. For instance, a well-known CBD brand called Sativex produces a cannabis extract spray with 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC. This drug was approved in the UK but due to the amount of THC, it has not been approved in the US.

Let’s take a look at the history. CBD is sourced from Hemp and hemp became legal in December 2018 when the Farm act was passed. The CBD products MUST be approved by the FDA to be marketed as a supplement. However, some companies have found a wee workaround making certain non-pharmaceutical supplements available to the public by sourcing hemp that was produced in line with the Farm Act guidelines and by a licensed grower. Therefore, there may be some supplements on the market that are little less reliable than others. However, CBD that is legal should contain no more than 0.3% of THC.

Health Benefits of CBD oil

1. May help relieve and manage pain

Marijuana plant has been used to treat pain for centuries now, but it wasn’t until recent research that found CBD to also be a great pain management tool.  For instance, one study found that it can reduce chronic pain by reducing inflammation and affecting the central nervous system by interacting with receptors [1]. With this study, it’s important to note that participants also took THC with CBD, it was not isolated CBD.

However, another study which included participants with multiple sclerosis (MS), spinal cord injury and limb amputation has shown impressive effects on managing pain. The results also shown that CBD also helped reduce the symptoms of impaired bladder, muscle spasms and spasticity [2].

It’s important to note that both studies included small amounts of THC. Based on positive feedback on Amazon, it seems that the best CBD oil for pain relief and arthritis is Hemp Gold. This is 100% natural and an organic product derived from EU certified Hemp and created from vegan and gluten free ingredients. Check it out on Amazon.

2. Can improve mental health

Anxiety and depression are some of the most common mental health illnesses that have a huge impact on a person’s health and well-being. Both Anxiety and Depression are ranked to be in the top 10 of contributors to disability and mortality rates [3].

Currently, both anxiety and depression are treated with strong pharmaceutical medication but many who take it have reported drowsiness, short temper, insomnia, headaches, stomach aches and lack of sex drive. In addition to these side effects, these medications are very addictive which places a person in a vulnerable state.

Unlike these medications, CBD oil is a more natural relaxant with anxiolytic properties. For instance, there was a study done with participants being presented with a stressful situation, and it was found that CBD reduced the symptoms of anxiety and stress [4]. Also, a 2019 study has also shown CBD to exhibit anti-depressant properties [5]. Lastly, a 2016 study reported a reduction to symptoms of insomnia and anxiety in children with post-traumatic stress disorder [6].  

3. May reduce seizures

Early research shows CBD to significantly reduce seizures. For instance, a 2018 study reported a significant reduction to seizure frequency in patients who suffer from epilepsy [7]. Another study that took place in 2017 has also shown a significant reduction to seizures in children who suffer from the Dravet Syndrome. This is a childhood epilepsy disorder that causes seizures, some resistant to drugs, and contributes to high mortality rates [8].

4. Can help manage symptoms of Schizophrenia

Although CBD is not a psychotic chemical, some research suggests it may have anti-psychotic properties. A 2017 study has shown CBD to reduce symptoms of Schizophrenia [9]. In addition, a 2012 study also showed a significant reduction to schizophrenia symptoms as it enhanced brain messengers [10].

5. May reduce digestive problems

Early research suggests that CBD may be an effective product in treating digestive problems like IBS and ulcerative colitis. Digestive problems arise due to bowel inflammation or irritability causing uncomfortable symptoms. Some symptoms may include diarrhoea, cramping and constipation.

A 2018 study has reported CBD to have helped reduce inflammation and uncomfortable symptoms of ulcerative colitis [11]. In regards to problems like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), several studies show a significant reduction to bowel irritation, inflammation, cramping, diarrhoea and constipation [12] [13] [14] with the use of CBD.

6. May protect the heart and reduce high blood pressure

Some studies have now linked CBD products to better heart health and circulatory system as well as lowered blood pressure.

High blood pressure and bad circulation are some of the main causes of coronary heart disease like heart attacks and strokes.

A 2017 study has reported a significant reduction to blood pressure in 9 healthy male volunteers [15]. Another study shows cardioprotective properties of CBD oil as it regulated irregular heartbeat [16]. However, there was a study conducted in 2020 that looked at CBD effects on high blood pressure and it reported that CBD actually failed to reduce high blood pressure so it seems that more research is required to conclude whether or not CBD is effective at reducing blood pressure [17].

7. May reduce acne

Acne is just one of those annoying skin conditions that creates red pimples, and if it’s not treated properly it can lead to scarring.

There are variety of causes behind acne such as genetics, harmful bacteria, skin inflammation, temperature changes, unhealthy food and overproduction of sebum.

Early studies show that CBD oil may be an effective acne treatment as it reduces inflammation and regulates the production of sebum [18] [19] [20].

8. May reduce the symptoms of an addiction

Addiction is a difficult brain disorder that causes a person to act compulsive with a substance or a habit to obtain short-term reward despite common adverse consequences. Some of the most common addictions include smoking, alcohol and drug abuse.

A 2013 study has shown CBD to reduce anxiety, loss of appetite and irritability in a person suffering from cannabis withdrawal [21]. Another study conducted in 2013 reported a reduction to cigarette consumption and reduced the pleasant feeling of smoking cigarettes which reduced symptoms of Nicotine withdrawal [22].

The best rated CBD products

Prime Hemp seed oil Drops

The highest rated CBD oil drops on Amazon.com. This is a natural cold pressed hemp seed oil that has also been manufactured in line with regulations. Some reviewers have stated a great improvement to symptoms of arthritis, anxiety and sleep with this product.

Nature’s Aid CBD Oil Spray

This is a natural peppermint flavoured spray that is made in the UK and suitable for Vegans. This is a THC FREE spray manufactured to pharmaceutical standards.

Cannabi 100% Pure Hemp Extract

This is a natural and authentic oil manufactured in the Netherlands. This product is vegan, gluten-free, GMO-free and soy-free. This product has also been manufactured following the EU regulations and standards.

Side effects and dangers of Cannabidiol

CBD oil is safe but some side effects observed in studies include:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Tiredness
  • Lack of appetite

Moreover, CBD can interact with certain medications including:

  • Antiepileptic medications like clobazam, rufinamide, topiramate, zonisamide, and eslicarbazepine [23].
  • May also affect the body’s ability to absorb medication used for mental health like omeprazole and risperidone.

Most commonly asked questions

Will CBD make me sleepy?

No, CBD is not a psychotic drug but it can cause sleepiness when taken with alcohol.

Will CBD oil help with sciatica?

It may help reduce back pain by reducing inflammation.

Will CBD remove skin tags?

Skin tags are harmless skin growths that may look undesirable to many people. As mentioned in previous studies, CBD may be an effective skin care treatment.

Will CBD oil make me gain weight?

CBD can cause appetite changes and although most studies have shown a reduction to appetite, some studies show an increase. Therefore, it is person dependant. However, if you experience an increase to appetite then make sure to watch your consumption and you’ll be safe from weight gain. Check out our post on calculating calorie deficit so you can ensure you remain within the daily calorie allowance.

Will CBD oil hurt your liver?

CBD is not a chemical to cause liver damage unless it is taken in excessive amounts. However, research on this is in the early stages.

Will CBD increase blood pressure?

No, studies have mostly shown a reduction to blood pressure or no significant change.

Can you drink alcohol whilst taking CBD oil?

You should take caution or better avoid alcohol when taking CBD oil as taken together has shown to cause sleepiness and sedation.


In summary, CBD oil is a compound found in Marijuana plant that has a number of health benefits including cardio-protective properties, anti-anxiety and depression, reducing seizures and many more. There is still an ongoing debate whether CBD products should be legal or not, but our recommendation is to purchase products that are FDA approved to ensure high quality and safety.

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