By now you’ve probably heard that cannabis has some very real health benefits, and perhaps you’ve been considering trying it for yourself, but something is stopping you. Maybe you can’t get past the stigma associated with cannabis or or you’re afraid it will leave you feeling loopy and tired.
We get it. Cannabis is still controversial and there are a lot of misconceptions swirling around about what it can and can’t do, and how it does and doesn’t make you feel. We have great confidence in cannabis’ role in healing, staying healthy, and easing pain, otherwise we wouldn’t be here.
Maybe we can help clear things up a bit for you.
Will CBD Oil Get Me “High”?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of dozens of cannabinoids found in cannabis, specifically hemp. The plant that people grind up and smoke out of a pipe, joint, bong, etc., is marijuana. While hemp and marijuana are both part of the cannabis family, they are two distinctly different substances.
Some strains of marijuana can contain as much as 30% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound that gets you high, but CBD hemp oil contains only traces of the substance – not nearly enough to alter your personality or offer any sensation other than perhaps a calm, relaxed feeling. You can use CBD oil and drive a car, do your job, or do anything, really. It won’t affect your daily activities a bit.
If you’ve been avoiding trying CBD oil for fear of how it would affect you, you can rest easy knowing you can put a few drops under your tongue and not have to worry about feeling or looking stoned.
How Does CBD Oil Work?
When you look at the relationship between cannabis and the human body, it seems undeniable that the two were made for each other, literally.
All cannabinoids, including CBD, attach themselves to receptors in the body, known as CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are found primarily in the brain and deal with coordination and movement, pain, emotions, mood, thinking, appetite, memory, and other functions. THC attaches itself to CB1 receptors, which is why using marijuana can make you uncoordinated, affect your short-term memory and give you “the munchies.” 
CB2 receptors are found most often in the immune system. They have an affect on inflammation and pain.
Scientists previously believed that CBD acted on CB2 receptors, but they now know that CBD does not act on either receptor directly. Believe it or not, the human body produces certain cannabinoids on its own. Scientists now think CBD influences the body to use more of those cannabinoids by freeing the receptors and blocking the enzyme FAAH, allowing the body to ‘self-repair’ in a sense.
5 Health Benefits of CBD Oil
One of the most well-known benefits of CBD oil is its ability to stop seizures. It has even been known to save lives.
The Epilepsy Foundation says that CBD “has shown some positive effects on certain body systems and may potentially affect seizures.” The group fully supports CBD and medical cannabis, and backs “lifting federal barriers to research on cannabis and CBD.”
The foundation states on its website that “some people living with uncontrolled seizures have reported beneficial effects and reduced seizure activity when using medical cannabis, especially strains rich in CBD, or CBD.”
Learn more about CBD studies and read anecdotal evidence here.
Depression and Anxiety Relief
Many people who use CBD oil find that it’s an effective treatment for anxiety. Scientists believe this is because CBD changes the way the brain’s receptors respond to serotonin, a chemical linked to mental health. 
Many of the pharmaceuticals used to treat depression and anxiety are part of a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which work by increasing the amount of serotonin in the brain. The results of a survey published in the summer of 2017 show that CBD has allowed many people to quit using pharmaceutical drugs, including SSRI antidepressants.
In fact, the survey found that two of the conditions respondents said they most commonly used CBD oil to treat were depression and anxiety.
A study published in 2010 found that CBD could reduce the symptoms of social anxiety in people suffering with social anxiety disorder (SAD). Brain scans of the participants revealed changes in blood flow to the areas of the brain associated with feelings of anxiety. 
The results of a 2015 meta-analysis suggests that CBD oil is a promising treatment for:
- panic disorder (PD),
- obessive-compulsive disorder (OCD),
- generalized anxiety disorder (GAD),
- and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Researchers are studying the CB1 receptors in the brain to learn about the ways in which CBD could help people with neurodenerative disorders, which are diseases that cause deterioration of the brain and nerves over time.
Scientists believe CBD might be useful in treating Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, and stroke. CBD may reduce the inflammation that can make the symptoms of these conditions worse, but more research is needed.
Chronic Pain Management
You probably already figured out by now that CBD’s anti-inflammatory powers also make it a potent painkiller.
In a 2015 study published in the European Jounal of Pain, researchers applied a topical gel containing CBD to rats with arthritis for 4 days. At the end of the experiment, the team saw a marked decrease in inflammation and signs of pain in the rodents.
Another study found that CBD use may reduce inflammation and chronic pain in adults. Unlike opioids, which have killed thousands of people and ravaged families across the U.S., the CBD was found to be non-habit forming. This meant participants didn’t have to continually increase their dose to get the same effect, nor did they have to graduate to more powerful (and dangerous) drugs.
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), CBD and other cannabinoids may be useful in treating the symptoms of cancer, the side effects of cancer treatment, and cancer itself. When doctors recommend cannabis to cancer patients, it is usually to treat pain, improve sleep, and stimulate appetite.
The institute acknowledges that CBD may cause the death of breast cancer cells while leaving normal breast cells unaffected, and may make chemotherapy more effective and increase glioma cancer cell death without harming healthy cells.