By medical nutritionist Dr Sarah Brewer, an expert in food, herbs and supplements
CBD oil, or cannabidiol oil, is an increasingly popular supplement that is extracted from industrial hemp plants. CBD is used to promote relaxation, sleep and feelings of general wellbeing. It also has beneficial effects against pain.
How does CBD work?
Cannabidiol oil interacts with your own endocannabinoid system, whose pathways are involved in regulating mood, appetite and sleep as well as reducing pain perception. CBD is also a powerful antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory effects.
CBD for pain
Cannabidiol oil can reduce pain in two main ways: by decreasing inflammation and stiffness, and through effects on the brain so that pain perception is reduced. CBD has also been found to be helpful for common types of pain such as arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome. It may also help with neuropathic pain which is triggered by faulty nerve transmission. If you have a medical condition however, it is important to check with your doctor before taking any supplement. This is especially important if you are taking any prescribed medication, as interactions can occur.
CBD for stress
Cannabidiol can have a relaxing effect that reduces muscle tension and helps overcome restlessness and fatigue. It’s great as a general supplement to take before a speaking engagement, for example, and can also reduce the anxious whirl of thoughts that interfere with sleep. CBD oil may help to lift mood and promotes general feelings of wellbeing.
CBD for sleep
As well as helping to break the stress-anxiety- insomnia cycle, CBD can improve sleep quality, helping to restore the refreshing REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep in which you dream, so you wake feeling more refreshed.
CBD is available in several different formats, including capsules, drops, oral sprays and gummies. If you dislike the strong, earthy taste then capsules are the best option. Start with a low dose and slowly increase to find which dose works best for you. A typical dose is 5mg to 10mg taken one to three times daily.
Do not use CBD during pregnancy or breastfeeding. If you take part in competitive sport, check whether or not CBD is permitted in your activity.
For more information, read my Quick Supplements Guide to CBD Oil from Amazon Kindle (£1).
About Dr Sarah Brewer
Dr Sarah Brewer is a medical nutritionist and an expert in food, herbs and supplements. She qualified from Cambridge University with degrees in natural sciences, medicine and surgery. After working in general practice, she gained a master’s degree in nutritional medicine. Sarah is a licensed medical doctor, a registered nutritionist and a registered nutritional therapist.
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