CBD Hemp Oil – Proven Benefits and Uses

In the past several decades, CBD oil has gained rapid popularity not only for its relaxing properties, but for its potential health benefits as well.

If you’ve been following the fight to legalize medical marijuana in the United States, you may have heard of CBD oil before, but just what exactly is it and what does it do?

In this comprehensive guide, we’re going to go far beyond those two questions and delve into the history of CBD, its uses, side effects, legality, and even show you how to make it at home.

By the time you’re done reading, you’ll know everything there is to know about CBD oil.

What is CBD Oil?


CBD, also called Cannabidiol, is just one of 85 different chemical compounds in marijuana plants. CBD oil is derived from hemp, or cannabis grown with very little THC (often less than 0.3%).

We refer to marijuana as cannabis grown for its psychoactive effects, and hemp as cannabis grown for its practical uses as a fiber.

Unlike THC, which is another compound found in cannabis plants, CBD oil is not psychoactive or intoxicating and has shown strong signs of being an effective treatment for a variety of diseases and mental health disorders.

A Brief History of CBD Oil


While it didn’t gain much attention in the United States until the 1990s, scientists have known about CBS oil for decades, and hemp has been used medicinally for centuries – there’s even evidence that it was used to treat epilepsy as early as 1800 BC in ancient Sumer.

CBD was first isolated from hemp in 1940 by researchers at the University of Illinois. For the chemistry buffs out there, here is the original research paper.

Even though they had isolated Cannabidiol and determined its molecular structure, scientists still didn’t understand much about it, namely how it interacted with the human body.

It was not until the 1970’s that CBD oil began to be studied for its therapeutic properties, particularly its ability to suppress nausea in chemotherapy patients and increases appetite in AIDS patients.

Today, the known benefits of CBD oil, particularly its ability to treat children suffering from severe epilepsy, has been a driving factor in the fight to legalize medical marijuana and an increase in serious research efforts.

While we still have ways to go, progress is slowly being made.

Is CBD Oil Legal in All U.S. States?

Since the enactment of the Controlled Substances Act in 1970 prohibited the growth of cannabis plants in the United States, legalization has been a slow process.

But one state at a time, the cannabis, also called hemp, used to make CBD oil is regaining its legality.

At the time of writing this article, 31 U.S. states allow the growth of industrial hemp, with the newest addition to the list being North Carolina.

States That Allow Growing Industrial Hemp

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Virginia

So say you live in Georgia, a state that’s not on the list. You can’t grow hemp yourself, but can you buy CBD oil produced in another state? It’s tricky.

While Hemp oil is legal in all 50 states, the production of CBD oil is not.

However, this doesn’t stop the import of CBD oil made from industrialized hemp grown legally overseas, which is why you’re able to buy it legally on the Internet.

For more information about CBD oil in your state, click here for a list of states that allow medical marijuana, and here for a list of 16 states with laws specifically concerning CBD.

The Difference between CBD Oil and Hemp Oil


While they both come from hemp, hemp oil is derived from sterile cannabis seeds, which are legal under the Controlled Substances Act.

CBD oil, on the other hand, is derived from the plant’s flowers.


You can find products containing hemp oil in the beauty section of your local retail store, but to get CBD oil you’ll either need to be in a state where it’s legal to produce or purchase an import.

What is CBD Oil Used For?

Thanks to a widely popular CNN documentary featuring Dr. Sanjay Gupta (watch a clip here), CBD oil is perhaps best known for its effectiveness in treating seizures, but scientists are discovering that CBD oil has dozens of different uses.

While CBD oil is most often used for medicinal purposes, it does have some cosmetic benefits as well.

When used topically, CBD oil can act as a moisturizer, acne treatment, and anti-inflammatory for irritated skin.

Medicinal Uses

As more individuals have success with Cannabidiol, more research goes into using it as a potential treatment for the following medical problems:

  • Epilepsy
  • Anxiety
  • Schizophrenia
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Cancer
  • Addiction
  • Muscle pain and inflammation
  • Sleep disorders

Even if you suffer from one of these ailments or diseases, you shouldn’t try CBD oil until you’ve talked it over with your doctor.

While things are looking good for the future of Cannabidiol, scientists have still not yet completed research into its possible side-effects.

Types of CBD Oil Products

CBD oil can take on many different forms, including liquids, ointments, and sprays, and capsules.

Most oils and sprays are used by putting the substance under your tongue – ointments are used on and absorbed by the skin, and capsules are ingested.

CBD Capsules


Many people who don’t like the taste of sprays and oils prefer capsules.

While CBD capsules are the most convenient way to take Cannabidiol, keep in mind that you don’t absorb as much CBD from a capsule as you do from something that you put on your tongue.

Cannabidiol capsules can be purchased online.

What is CBD Vape Oil?


A couple of visionaries looked at CBD oil and asked the big question: does it vape? And yes, vape it does.

CBD vape oil is the same as regular Cannabidiol – it’s just taken into the body in a different way.

Just fill your e-cigarette or vape pen with CBD e-liquid and viola, you’ve got yourself a vape with health benefits.

While the CBD oils sold online are not as potent as those medically prescribed for serious diseases, they can help with mood disorders, lower anxiety, and lessen pain caused by inflammation.

CBD Vape Oil Side Effects

Because it’s inhaled, you’ll feel the positive effects of CBD vape oil faster than if you ingested a capsule.

While not much research has been done yet on the side effects of Cannabidiol, whether swallowed as a capsule or inhaled through a CBD vape pen, the most commonly reported are digestive issues, such as upset stomach and diarrhea.

However, these are very uncommon.

Will CBD Vape Oil Show On a Drug Test?

No, vaping CBD will not show on a drug test.

This is because drug tests are looking for THC, not CBD, and because CBD doesn’t produce any kind of high, employers really have no reason to look for it in the first place.

However, just to be safe, make sure you purchase pure CBD oil with 0% THC.


Related Article: How to Pass a Drug Test

CBD Oil Benefits

We’ve been touting all of these great health benefits of CBD oils, such as:

  • Improved mood
  • Lowered anxiety
  • Pain relief
  • Seizure reduction
  • Lessening withdrawal symptoms
  • Stimulating appetite
  • Nausea treatment

But how exactly do CBD oils work in the human body?

How CBD Oil Works in the Body

CBD works by activating the body’s serotonin (anti-depressant effect), vanilloid (pain relief), and adenosine (anti-inflammatory effect) receptors.

How quickly you start to feel the results from CBD oil depends on how it was ingested and your weight – someone small who ingested the oil in spray form will feel the effects much faster than a larger person ingesting CBD in capsule form.

CBD Oil Effects and Side-Effects

CBD oil has been shown to have surprisingly positive effects on a variety of diseases, both in humans and their pets.

The following are some of the most effective uses of CBD oil:

CBD Oil for Pain: CBD is a proven anti-inflammatory, making it an effective treatment for chronic pain, arthritis pain, cramps, and anything else caused by inflammation.

CBD Oil for Cancer: The American Cancer Society reports that in lab studies, CBD has been shown to slow the growth of and even kill certain types of cancer cells. While this type of research is yet to be tested on humans, it’s a promising find. Marijuana has also been shown to reduce the pain and nausea that results from chemotherapy.

CBD Oil for Anxiety: One of the most popular effects of CBD oil is its ability to keep anxiety disorders under control. When used daily, Cannabidiol can offer a safe and effective anxiety-reducing alternative to pharmaceutical drugs with harsh side effects.

CBD Oil for Dogs: Yes, CBD oil is even safe enough to give to dogs and cats. It treats the same problems in pets as it does in humans – joint pain, anxiety, seizures, and inflammation.

Of course, nothing in this world can be perfect, so there are some negative side effects to using CBD oil.

Luckily, no serious side-effects have yet been reported, but researchers are still figuring out how Cannabidiol affects different groups of people.

So far, these are the most common negative side effects associated with CBD oil:

  • Drowsiness/fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Upset stomach/diarrhea
  • Irritability

Experiencing these side-effects is uncommon, but researchers need to rule out any long-term side-effects before CBD oil can receive FDA approval.

What is Pure CBD Oil?

Pure CBD oil is a higher quality form of Cannabidiol oil. Containing no additives and no traces of THC, not only is it the safest option, but also the most potent with a higher than average concentration of CBD.

Benefits of Using Pure CBD Oil

Most of the major benefits of using pure CBD oil are the same as regular CBD, only stronger, such as pain relief and lessened anxiety.

These are some of the more unique benefits of using pure CBD oils:  

  • 0% THC: If you’re worried about using a cannabis extract because you don’t want to experience marijuana’s psychoactive effects or fail a drug test, opt for pure CBD oil. Containing no THC at all, it’s the safest choice.[/thrive_icon_box]

Fewer side effects:

  • Pure CBD oils are less likely to cause nausea and fatigue.

No prescription required: Even though they are more potent than regular CBD oils, most pure CBD oils do not require a prescription.

How to Tell the Difference between Real and Fake Pure CBD Oil

When you see pure CBD oil for sale online, how can you tell whether it’s real or fake?

Your first clue is usually price: especially in the United States, CBD oil isn’t cheap to import.

If the price seems too cheap to be true, it probably is.

Another indicator of a scam is the way that the product is marketed – if you see CBD oil online that claims to cure every ailment under the sun, it’s also probably too good to be true.


While the medicinal effects of Cannabidiol are great, keep your expectations of online brands realistic.

Best Pure CBD Oils

In our own pure CBD oil review, we looked at a range of products and found what the best pure Cannabidiol oils had in common.

The top products were made from organically grown hemp and had a CBD concentration over 20mg.

How to Make CBD Oil

If you live in a state where growing hemp is legal, you can make CBD oil at home. Not only is this more cost-effective than buying online, but you can also tweak your recipe to your liking.

You can know for sure that your CBD oil is 100% organic and pure when you choose to make it yourself.  

A Step by Step Guide: How to Make CBD Oil at Home

There are three main ways to extract CBD oil from cannabis: with an ethanol solvent, an oil solvent, or with CO2.

CBD Oil Recipe Ingredients: While each of these methods requires a different set of tools, they all require the same basic ingredient – hemp.

Every 1lb of hemp bud should produce about 2oz of oil, so measure accordingly.

Method #1 – Ethanol

While this method is extremely effective, it is also the most dangerous. Please use extreme caution when using extremely flammable substances and always work in a well-ventilated area.

Materials needed: Cannabis, filtered coffee machine, coffee filters, ethanol (more than 60% pure alcohol) bowls (large and small), strainer, plastic spoon, water distiller, lighter, metal paper clip

  • Put dried cannabis into a large bowl and cover with cold ethanol.
  • Stir the mixture with a plastic spoon for three minutes.
  • Separate the mixture using a strainer, discard the solid plant material.
  • Pour the separated liquid into a coffee filter and let it drip down into the glass coffee pot. The heat should NOT be on at this point.
  • Run the newly filtered mixture through a water distiller.
  • Once fully distilled, pour the remaining liquid into a small bowl and set it on the coffee machine (in place of the glass pot). Let sit with the heat on for 24 hours to remove any excess ethanol.
  • After 24 hours, test the liquid for remaining ethanol using the paper clip and the lighter. Dip the paper clip into the liquid and try to light the tip with the lighter – if it sparks, there’s still ethanol present, and the mixture needs to continue heating for a while longer.

Method #2 – Olive Oil

This is the cheapest and easiest method of extracting CBD oil from cannabis.

Materials needed: 1 cup virgin olive oil, 2.5 cups water, 1 oz cannabis buds, strainer, large bowl, a large lidded pot

  • Put olive oil, water, and cannabis into large pot, stirring together a little bit
  • Cover the pot with the lid and let simmer on low heat for an hour
  • Empty contents of pot into a large bowl through a strainer
  • Put the strained liquid back into a pot and let it sit in the freezer overnight
  • The next morning, peel away the solid layer of oil that has formed on top.



Method #3Supercritical Fluid Extraction (CO2)

While the SFE method creates the purest oil, it’s also the most expensive and complex way to extract CBD. It requires specialized equipment.

Materials needed: CO2 (liquid or solid), cannabis, industrial supercritical CO2 extraction machine

The exact steps in the process are extremely complex, but the basic steps involve moving high pressure, low temperature CO2 through ground cannabis in a pressurized cylinder.

The process is completely natural, no solvents required, but it does require some engineering know-how. Each extraction takes 3-4 hours.

How to Use CBD Oil

Whether purchased or made at home, there are many different ways to use CBD oil.

The method you should use depends on the effect you want, how quickly you want it, and how long you want it to last.

Topical treatments: To use a CBD ointment, simply rub it into the skin where you feel muscle pain, just like you would with any other topical anti-inflammatory. A famous example of a topical CBD oil treatment is Rick Simpson’s oil, which he used to treat his own basal cell cancer.

Sprays and oils: To use a spray or oil, simply put the liquid underneath your tongue. Usually, you’ll be required to hold it there for 60-90 seconds. The taste may be unpleasant, but it’s the most potent method. If you need fast relief from pain or a severe condition, this is the best method for you.

Capsules: Capsules are by far the easiest way to take Cannabidiol, but they’re also one of the least effective. If you only need a low dosage for a minor medical issue, capsules should be just fine.

Vaporizing: For an effect that you can feel almost immediately but doesn’t last as long as a spray or liquid oil, you can inhale CBD as a vapor.

Proper CBD Oil Dosage

Just like the method, the dosage of CBD oil you take also depends on what you are trying to treat.

Someone who suffers from epileptic seizures will need a much higher dose than someone who’s just looking to relax a bit.

With any new treatment, it’s best to start small and work your way up until you find a dosage that works for you.


While we can’t suggest exact dosages, keep in mind that the more you weigh and the more severe your condition, the more CBD oil you’ll probably need.

Can You Use Too Much?


Luckily, there have not been any serious or fatal side-effects linked to CBD oil usage to date – it’s practically harmless.

Just remember that little bit goes a long way – even just a drop of pure CBD oil can have a calming effect.

We recommend following the directions on the particular type of CBD that you use, and then increasing or lowering the dosage as need be.


Because they do not have any psychoactive effects, Cannabidiol is not an addictive substance, so you don’t need to worry about that either.

Concluding Thoughts

The future of CBD oil looks bright – as more states have legalized the growth of hemp and use of medical marijuana, more people have been exposed to the therapeutic benefits of Cannabidiol.

Scientific studies are finally starting to confirm what so many people already know and have experienced.

Do keep in mind that because CBD oil is a relatively new treatment option, all of the potential side-effects are not yet known.

Always talk with your doctor before starting a CBD oil treatment regime and do so at your own discretion.

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