With more and more research coming out that shines a light on the reported health benefits of CBD and essential oils, people are starting to experiment with combining the two and achieving some surprising results.
While there are many potential benefits, it’s important to combine your CBD oil and essential oils carefully to avoid unwanted effects.
Before jumping in and mixing up your own CBD and essential oil blend, it’s important that you educate yourself on these beneficial compounds and their potential uses. Continue on for an explanation of how essential oils and CBD act on your body separately, as well as how certain combinations of the two could provide maximum relief from certain conditions.
What Are Essential Oils and How Do They Work?
Essential oil is a generalized term that describes a concentrated oil derived from plant material. These highly concentrated oils and are usually made by cold-pressing the plant parts, or through a steam-distillation process. Essentials oils can be made from the seeds, leaves, stems, roots, and even the fruits of plants.
Many essential oils are reported to have a variety of health benefits when used properly. Reportedly, by way of stimulating the limbic system, many of these essential oils are able to elicit positive physiological and psychoactive effects.
Some potential use cases for essential oils include:
- Alleviating symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Aiding digestion
- Pain relief
- Sleep aid
Essential oils derived from lavender and sandalwood may provide calming effects from their smell alone. Others, such as peppermint oil, may calm your digestive system when taken orally in small amounts.
Terpenes in CBD Oil and Essential Oils
While CBD oil and essential oils are talked about quite a bit, terpenes have flown under the radar until very recently. Terpenes are naturally occurring compounds that give plants their distinct aromas, flavors, and colors. Unsurprisingly, terpenes are found in essential oils and certain types of CBD oils.
The cannabis plant produces over 100 different terpenes and researchers have found many to offer various potential health benefits. Pinene, for example, is found both in pine trees and cannabis plants and has shown potential as an effective anxiety reducer.
To access the benefits of terpenes in your CBD oil, you’ll likely need to find a product that’s broad- or full-spectrum. Full-spectrum CBD oils are made from the whole hemp plant, so they keep the other compounds, like THC and terpenes, intact; broad-spectrum CBD products include everything a full-spectrum CBD oil does except THC. Alternatively, some items made with CBD isolate will include terpenes that have been added to the finished product.
Whether producing a refreshing scent, enhancing your mood, or exerting benefits on your physical body, terpenes are crucial components of essential oils and CBD oil alike. Through a phenomenon known as the entourage effect, terpenes work with the other natural compounds in CBD oil to produce amplified benefits. For this reason, adding more terpenes to the mix via essential oils could boost the positive effects you receive from your CBD oil.
CBD and Essential Oil Potential Uses
CBD and essential oils have many claimed uses and benefits, many of which have overlap in their methods of application and action.
Many essential oils elicit effects when simply breathed in, while others need to be applied topically. Oral ingestion is also an option, though it’s important you educate yourself on the individual oil you are interested in, as some essential oils, such as birch, cedar wood, or eucalyptus are dangerous when eaten or drank.
CBD oil is available in many forms, and can easily be combined with a lot of the more popular essential oils. Edibles, vaporizers, capsules, topicals, and drops are available which make combining CBD with essential oils easy.
Here’s a closer look at some of the ways essential oils can be combined with CBD oil to increase their potential benefits.
Bergamot Essential Oil and CBD Oil to Calm Anxiety
Bergamot oil is an essential oil derived from the bergamot orange and has a citrus scent. Researchers have found that inhaling bergamot oil improves mood and even relieve symptoms of anxiety.
Quite a few studies have also looked into CBD oil’s potential anti-anxiety effects. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that during animal studies, CBD had the potential to reduce stress and decreased signs of anxiety in test subjects.
Furthermore, a study conducted on test subjects with social anxiety disorder found those who were given 600 mg of CBD before a public speaking test showed significantly fewer signs of anxiety and discomfort than those given a placebo.
To enjoy and capitalize on the anti-anxiety effects of both bergamot and CBD oil, add a few drops of bergamot oil to a cloth, or apply it to your pulse points (wrists, neck, temples) for easy inhalation throughout the day. Combine this with a few drops of CBD oil under the tongue or a CBD edible for added long-lasting relief. If you need additional, on-the-spot anxiety relief, a CBD vape coupled with a few sniffs of bergamot oil should do the trick.
Chamomile Essential Oil and CBD Oil for Depression
Chamomile oil is derived from the chamomile plant and has a variety of uses. Aside from its calming and digestion-aiding properties, chamomile may also provide relief from the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Researchers from Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine and Pharmacognosy Review conducted a study examining the effect of ingested chamomile extract on patients with depression, anxiety, or a combination of the two. The results were meaningful, and the study concluded, “Chamomile may provide clinically meaningful antidepressant activity that occurs in addition to its previously observed anxiolytic [anti-anxiety] activity.”
CBD oil has been shown to have antidepressant qualities too, through its activation of the 5-HT1A receptor. By acting on this neural pathway, CBD is able to make more serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of wellbeing, available in the brain. Traditional antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are effective by similar mechanisms.
If you’re thinking about combining chamomile oil with CBD oil, there are a few different ways to do so. Chamomile oil is safe for consumption, so you can try adding it, along with a few drops of CBD oil, to a cup of tea, coffee, or water. You can also keep a bottle of chamomile oil handy for inhalation throughout the day, and take a CBD edible or capsule in the morning for longer-lasting relief from depressive symptoms.
Lavender Oil and CBD Oil for Better Sleep
Derived from the lavender plant, lavender oil is widely accepted as a natural sleep aid.
A 2005 study examining 31 young men and women who were “healthy sleepers” found lavender to produce mild sedative effects and promote slow-wave and deep-wave sleep. All participants reported feeling more vigorous and better rested the next morning.
Sleep is essential for cognitive function as well as muscle repair and relaxation. Like lavender oil, CBD oil has also shown promise as a sleep aid.
CBD has been found to decrease cortisol levels, reducing stress in the body. Cortisol is produced as a response to stress, keeping the body alert and prepared to react to external stressors or stimuli. Today, stress—and high cortisol levels—have become a part of daily life, which can take a toll on your mental and physical body. CBD regulates these cortisol levels, ultimately reducing stress and allowing your mind and body to relax and recover. When you’re at ease, you can more easily fall asleep and stay asleep.
CBD has also been found to reduce the involuntary muscle movements involved with REM behavior disorder (RBD). RBD often occurs in people with conditions like Parkinson’s disease and it can lead to self-injury and sleep disturbances.
Lavender oil and CBD oil can easily be used in combination. There are products available on the market, like tinctures and lotions, that already combine the two. But if you didn’t want to spring for yet another product, you can work with what you already have.
Add lavender oil to a diffuser, warm bath, or your pulse points for its aromatherapy benefits. Then, take your nightly CBD oil dose and it won’t be long before you feel the calming, stress-relieving benefits that help you to drift off for a peaceful, restorative sleep. Adding a few drops of CBD oil to a lavender tea is another way to reap the benefits of this combination.
Peppermint Oil and CBD Oil for Digestive Relief
Peppermint essential oil comes from the peppermint plant and has been identified as a potential remedy for indigestion.
In a review of 14 clinical trials done on nearly 200 children, peppermint showed potential to reduce the length, severity, and frequency or abdominal pain.
In another study with 200 participants who were receiving chemotherapy treatments for cancer, capsules containing peppermint oil appeared to reduce the occurrence and intensity of vomiting and nausea, compared to those given a placebo.
Like peppermint oil, CBD oil may provide relief from digestive upset. Researchers used several different methods to tests its effectiveness in reducing the inflammation associated with colitis. CBD was found to provide potential relief from gastrointestinal inflammation, and if taken prior to its onset, could potentially even prevent it.
One way to combine peppermint oil and CBD oil for relief of digestion problems is in the form of a tea. Adding a few drops of CBD oil to a freshly brewed cup of peppermint tea may be a great way to enjoy relief from indigestion and general stomach upset. If you’d prefer not to drink or taste the CBD oil, taking a CBD capsule with your tea is an easy alternative.
There is a great deal of potential for finding amplified relief and benefits when combining essential oils with CBD oil. As both are naturally occurring and typically gentle on the body, you should be able to safely experiment with different mixtures of your favorite essential oils and CBD products. However, if you experience adverse effects, talk to your doctor immediately.
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