Plant-based oils are popular amongst wellness enthusiasts. You probably have already seen your friends sniffing essential oils like lavender oil, famous for relaxation, or heard others speaking about the benefits of CBD oil.
Now you might wonder if CBD oil is an essential oil too, and if not, how it's different from essential oils so widely used in aromatherapy. Read more to learn about the primary differences and shared qualities of essential oils and CBD oil.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are naturally occurring oils in many plants. They are extracted from different plants to use in aromatherapy or topical application.
Essential oils are called essential because they represent the very essence of the aroma and flavor of a plant. Most essential oils are rich in aromatic plant compounds known as terpenes. Terpenes are thought to provide the benefits of aromatherapy through the inhalation of essential oils.
The most popular essential oils in aromatherapy are:
- Lavender oil
- Peppermint oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- Lemon oil
- Eucalyptus oil
Many people use aromatherapy for relaxation, mental and physical well-being.
Essential oils are highly concentrated oils that can be inhaled directly from the bottle or using a diffuser or humidifier or applied to the skin after diluting them in a carrier oil. Some manufacturers produce oils for internal use, but it's less common and possibly dangerous.
Aromatherapy affects the body by stimulating smell receptors in the nose, sending messages through the limbic system — the part of the brain involved in our responses to emotions such as fear and anger. When you inhale essential oils with stimulating properties, they can have numerous effects through the reaction of the limbic system. Lavender essential oil, for instance, may positively affect your sleep and help you relax.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive cannabis compound that became a wellness hit after the legalization of hemp and its derivatives in 2018. Hemp is a cannabis plant with low THC content – the psychoactive cannabinoid responsible for marijuana's high and high CBD content. Wellness enthusiasts widely use CBD for varying reasons and goals, and it produces different effects amongst consumers.
CBD oil is the most famous out of all CBD products on the market. It combines two primary ingredients: CBD extract and carrier oil.
Manufacturers extract CBD from hemp using different methods, most commonly CO2 extraction and diffuse the extract into a plant-based oil such as MCT, olive oil, hemp seed oil, etc.
CBD consumers use oil for oral ingestion or topical application. CBD oil can be consumed orally, sublingually, or infused into drinks and foods. Some apply CBD oil directly to their skin, although CBD topicals are more commonly used for topical application.
The most common CBD product type and also the fastest-acting is CBD tincture. It combines CBD oil with ingredients for the flavor to mask CBD oil's naturally bitter taste. Sublingual administration of tinctures allows CBD to travel to the bloodstream much faster than other oral CBD products.
How Does CBD Oil Work?
CBD is a plant-based compound. It's similar to human cannabinoids – endocannabinoids in the human body's endocannabinoid system (ECS). The system regulates various body processes, such as memory, pain, sleep, mood, and appetite. It consists of CB1 and CB2 receptors existing in different parts of the body. Endocannabinoids are endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters that activate ECS receptors to maintain the system's primary functions and homeostasis.
Plant-based cannabinoids are structurally similar to endocannabinoids. When you take CBD, it interacts with ECS receptors like endocannabinoids producing varying outcomes across consumers. People use CBD for numerous reasons such as relaxation, mood boost, muscle soreness, and recovery, or overall health, amongst many other reasons.
- Is a natural cannabis compound
- Is federally legal per the 2018 Farm Bill
- Works through the interaction with Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
- Provides consumers with varying results
CBD Oil vs. Essential Oils
CBD oil and essential oils are similar in the way that they are plant-based. Other than that, they differ in their origin, consumption methods, and the effects they produce.
CBD can be consumed orally, unlike essential oils. Oral consumption allows the cannabis compound to travel to your bloodstream and from there to endocannabinoid receptors in ECS. ECS plays a vital role in many body functions, and when consumers take CBD, it's thought to help regulate functions of ECS.
Oral CBD oil Products include:
- CBD oils and tinctures
- CBD softgels
- CBD edibles
CBD topicals are also popular amongst CBD consumers, but unlike essential oils, they deliver results not through the aromas but by CBD interacting with ECS receptors in the skin. You can apply CBD topicals directly to the skin, while you must first dilute essential oils in a carrier oil.
Essential oils, on the other hand, work through inhalation by the scent of oil traveling from the nostrils to the brain triggering physical and emotional responses.
Can I use CBD Oil and Essential Oil together?
- Yes, you can use CBD oil and essential oils simultaneously.
Luckily, you don't need to choose between CBD oil or essential oils and safely use them together. However, don't mix essential oils with CBD oil for oral ingestion. Use essential oils through direct inhalation, diffusers, humidifiers, or apply them directly to the skin.
When it comes to CBD, you can choose between oral, topical, and CBD vape products. You can use CBD oil and essential oils simultaneously, and they won't negatively affect one another's effect.
You can also combine CBD and essential oils in homemade topical products, like soaps, face masks, or lotions. That way, essential oils will produce an aromatic experience while CBD will interact with ECS receptors in your skin; therefore, they will complement each other in a single product.
Can I Use CBD Oil in Aromatherapy?
Yes, you can use CBD oil in your diffuser or humidifier; however, it won't produce the same effects as essential oils. That's because essential oils deliver their benefits through the aroma, while CBD itself isn't an aromatic compound. CBD needs to interact with ECS receptors in the human body to produce results, which isn't achievable through aromatherapy. You cannot sniff CBD oil and expect to experience any significant effects, as it is not stimulating with its scent like lavender oil is.
You have to ingest it orally, apply it to your skin, or use CBD vape products to drive CBD’s results.
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