CBD Oil - Snake Oil, Placebo Or The Real Deal

Posted on: 20 January 2020

It seems like anywhere you look there is another place or person selling a new product intended to improve personal health — CBD oil. There are claims of this new wonder product curing all sorts of ailments including, among others, seizure, chronic pain, hypertension, depression, nausea, and irritability. These claims naturally lead a consumer to wonder if this is just the latest cure-all sideshow elixir, a placebo that tricks the mind into thinking it is having these healing effects or a true science based approach to homeopathic healing.

Known officially as cannibidiol, CBD is one of the chemical compounds found in cannabis plants such as marijuana. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not cause any psychoactive effects which cause the "high" of marijuana. For this reason when isolated from the other compounds, CBD is able to be produced and used without legal restrictions normally associated with marijuana. While CBD is present in marijuana, it is much more pure and abundant in hemp, which is a "cousin" plant to marijuana. Because hemp contains no THC, this also makes this source safer from accidental exposure to THC.

So, what is the science behind these claims? Inside the human body there is a system of neurotransmitters, receptors and enzymes produced by the human body that all work together to address ailments within the body.  This system is known as the endocannabinoid system. On the surface of cells throughout the body there are receptors which are waiting for specific neurotransmitters to connect with them to complete crucial tasks within the cell. The body naturally produces just two neurotransmitters that can make this connection. Much like most such body functions, sometimes the body just doesn't make enough. This results in the cell not functioning as well as possible. This can cause, depending on the type of cell, in physical pain or psychological issues. 

The chemical compound in CBD has been scientifically shown to be able to make this connection with human cell receptors and thereby boost the proper cell function. The cell receptors do not care if the neurotransmitter is internally produced or externally supplied, it only cares that it gets its connection. By increasing the number and availability of neurotransmitters, CBD effectively increases the likelihood of connection and the resulting healing process.

Unlike the "snake oil" of traveling salesmen of the past or placebos used in controlled experiments, CBD has been shown to have scientifically proven healing effects on the body with very minimal potential side effects which supports the belief that this new health craze is the real deal.