CBD oil may also increase liver enzymes (a marker of liver inflammation). People with liver disease should use CBD oil with caution, ideally under the care of a doctor who can regularly check blood liver enzyme levels.
In an analysis of 14 published studies (nine involving animals and five involving humans), scientists with the University of Montreal concluded that CBD showed promise in treating people with opioid, cocaine, or psychostimulant addiction.
Instead, CBD is thought to influence other receptors, including opioid receptors that regulate pain and glycine receptors involved in the regulation of the “feel-good” hormone and neurotransmitter serotonin.
Possible Side Effects
According to the investigators, men provided 300 mg of CBD exhibited less anxiety than those given a placebo. Interestingly, those provided 100 mg or 600 mg of CBD oil did not.
As CBD grows in popularity, so does the research on it but there are currently few clinical studies on the effects of CBD oil. As such, some of these claims are better supported by studies than others.
Scientists believe that CBD reduces nerve pain by binding to glycine receptors in the brain that regulate the speed at which nerve signals pass between nerve cells.
CBD shows promise in the treatment of anxiety disorders, suggests a 2015 review of studies in the journal Neurotherapeutics. According to the investigators, CBD demonstrated potent anxiolytic (anxiety-relieving) effects in animal research, albeit with counterintuitive results.
And though there’s a lot of promise with CBD preparations of all kinds, Hill says there’s still a lot of research to be done.
The cannabis plant has hundreds of chemicals in it, including more than 120 cannabinoids, Hill explains. Of those cannabinoids, two are most familiar: THC, which produces the euphoric effects or “high” people experience from marijuana, and cannabidiol or CBD, which has some anti-inflammatory, anti-seizure, anxiety-relieving and analgesic properties, according to Low Dog.
Tinctures, though, remain somewhat shrouded in mystery, in part because of their old-school apothecary-style packaging, but more likely because of how they’re taken: a few drops at a time, under the tongue.
So are there side effects?
At a plant level, the two chemicals operate as opposites, with CBD acting as a buffer of sorts to the effects of THC. “It’s sort of a ying and yang. THC is responsible for the high and CBD doesn’t do that,” Hill explains.
Here, Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., an expert on herbal medicine and women’s health, and Kevin Hill, M.D., Director of the Division of Addiction Psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, get to the bottom of CBD tinctures’ mystique.
CBD tinctures are generally made from high CBD strains of hemp, with 60 to 70 percent alcohol, and are primarily used to help relieve anxiety or ease pain. “Tinctures are convenient, have a long shelf life, and are absorbed easily when taken under the tongue. The dose can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing the number of drops taken,” notes Low Dog.
But first, a little CBD 101…
When taking CBD tincture, keep the following pointers in mind to maximize its effects.
One final note: if you’re currently taking medication, it’s important to discuss CBD use with your doctor to determine if there might be any possible interactions between the CBD and your medication.
Another benefit of CBD tinctures is their high bioavailability, meaning the body is able to effectively utilize more of the cannabinoids in a tincture administered sublingually (held under your tongue for 15 minutes). Compared to other consumption methods and products, tinctures can deliver the same effects with a lower dose, cutting down on possible side effects, and saving money.
How to use a CBD tincture
Despite the wide availability of CBD products, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to establish an official serving size for CBD, so dosing and consumption methods are a matter of individual preference and need. For those who want a more precise dosing method, CBD tincture and CBD oil are two good options. Read on to learn more about CBD tinctures and CBD oils, how they work, and how to use them.
A tincture is a concentrated plant extract crafted by soaking the plant in a solvent such as alcohol or food-grade oils for several weeks. Photo by: Gina Coleman/Weedmaps
There are numerous ways to take CBD oil. For many users, this is one of the benefits of CBD oil. Some of the more common ways include dropping the CBD oil directly into your mouth or letting the CBD oil soak in under your tongue. Similarly, you can mix it into other foods and beverages to create your own CBD edibles. In some cases, depending on the oil and the reason the oil is being used, consumers may apply it topically. Finally, there are also some versions of CBD oil that have been mixed with a carrier oil, making it suitable for use in vape pens. If you are using one of these products, make sure that the oil you purchase is compatible with your vape pen and from a well-known, established producer.
CBD tinctures are usually taken sublingually and absorbed into the bloodstream by capillaries in the cheek, gums, and under the tongue. To promote maximal absorption, the liquid should be rubbed into the tissue inside your mouth. After letting it soak under your tongue, you can swallow the tincture so that the remainder of the CBD is absorbed through your digestive system. Once in your bloodstream, the CBD in the tincture interacts with your endocannabinoid system, potentially helping your body self-regulate and achieve homeostasis.