What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring chemical found in cannabis plants and their flowers, these chemicals are commonly referred to as cannabinoids.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring chemical found in plants and their flowers, these chemicals are commonly referred to as cannabinoids. There are over a hundred different cannabinoids identified in the plant, so why is this cannabinoid so widely discussed? CBD is the second most prominent cannabinoid after THC, it is well tolerated by most patients, it has few side effects and has many potential therapeutic uses.  

How CBD works

All humans and animals have an Endocannabinoid System (ECS), this system is responsible for regulating and controlling many important bodily functions such as sleep, inflammatory response, pain control, emotional and cognitive processing. Cannabinoids produced within our bodies are known as endogenous cannabinoids or endocannabinoids.

Unlike THC, CBD has a low binding affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptors and it is instead thought to prevent the breakdown of endogenous cannabinoids that are important for maintaining mental and physical wellbeing. A study published in 2019 found that the cannabinoid prevented the breakdown of the Anandamide endocannabinoid which is responsible for producing a sense of wellbeing and feelings of happiness. However, more research is needed to better understand how it interacts with the ECS.

The method of consumption

CBD can be consumed in multiple forms including, oil solutions, oral tablets, topical creams, edibles, sprays and vapour. How you consume it can impact the duration and intensity of the product’s effects. For example, vaped flower is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream providing rapid relief whereas edible forms are processed in the liver which means it can take longer to take effect however, the effects may be felt for longer.

Is it safe? What are the risks?

Most patients tolerate CBD well and experience little to no side effects. However, it is not for everyone and can interact with certain medications such as blood thinners. Medical cannabis can potentially cause dry mouth, diarrhoea, reduced appetite and fatigue. Some patients have concerns about impairment however, research suggests that CBD does not impair cognitive function in healthy individuals and may even improve cognitive processing.  

Always follow your doctor’s dosing guidelines and report any negative side effects you may have experienced as soon as possible.

Isolate CBD Oil

As the name suggests, this is pure isolated CBD free from THC and other cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. Isolates are typically consumed as an oral solution or through capsules. Isolates are a great option for patients who want to try alternative medicines but are concerned about using THC products. Prescribers often start with an Isolate oil first to gauge how the patient responds to cannabinoid-based medicines before moving on to full-spectrum products or other products containing THC.

A lot of patients find Isolate oil is beneficial on its own while others find they need a full-spectrum product or products that contain higher levels of THC to better treat their medical condition. Everyone responds to cannabinoids differently which is why we work with you to develop a personalised treatment plan and adjust this as needed to ensure you’re getting the best treatment for you.

Full-spectrum CBD Oil

Full-spectrum CBD extracts from high-CBD strains contain all of the naturally occurring compounds found in the plant including small amounts of THC up to 0.3% which is not enough to produce a “high”.  

It is thought that the combination with THC and other naturally occurring compounds such as terpenes or terpenoids in full-spectrum oil leads to stronger effects due to what is known as “The Entourage Effect”. This theory suggests that these compounds work together to pronounce the effects and benefits of the cannabinoid.

Broad-spectrum CBD Oil

Broad-spectrum CBD oil contains additional compounds extracted from the plant but unlike full-spectrum oil, does not typically contain any THC. If Isolate oil does not achieve the desired level of results, broad-spectrum oil is often taken to enhance the effects of the CBD when a patient cannot or does not want to use medicines containing THC.

Will it get me high?

No, CBD oil is not psychoactive on its own. In fact, research suggests it is actually a natural antipsychotic. When taken with THC, it will reduce the psychoactive effects of THC.

Potential Benefits of CBD

There are countless anecdotal reports from patients on the benefits of cannabinoids and their ability to improve health outcomes. However, clinical research on the efficacy of CBD as a medicine is still very limited.

Sleep quality

Sleepless nights can leave you more than a little tired, chronic insomnia is detrimental to your overall health, it can increase blood pressure, stress and reduce cognitive performance – regular sleep is critical to your overall wellbeing.  

Fast-paced lifestyles and constant exposure to screens make it difficult for many of us to switch off at night. Chronic insomnia can also be attributed to stress, poor mental health and chronic pain. Often people struggling with insomnia have higher cortisol (the stress hormone) levels at night which can impact their ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.  

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is one of the primary regulators of the body’s stress response. Cannabinoids interact with the ECS affecting endocannabinoid receptor activity potentially reducing stress and anxiety which may lead to improved sleep quality.  

A recent review of research on the effects of CBD on the stress response found it to be safe and potentially effective at reducing the stress response. Another study published in 2019 explored the effectiveness of the medicine for sleep and anxiety. Within the first month, 72.2% of participants had improved anxiety scores, sleep scores had also improved by 66.7%.

While medical cannabis is a promising potential sleep aid it is worth noting that there have been limited studies and more research is needed to prove the efficacy of CBD sleep treatments.

Mental health

Approximately 17% of New Zealanders have been diagnosed with a mood or anxiety disorder at some stage of their life. Often the psychiatric medications prescribed to treat mental health conditions come with a raft of side-effects that impact the patient’s overall quality of life. If you are struggling to find an effective medication or with adverse side effects, it may be worth exploring natural alternatives that could help improve your mental wellbeing.

There have been several studies assessing natural medicine's ability to reduce anxiety, that have had promising results. A review of research in 2015 concluded that current evidence indicates CBD has “considerable potential” as a treatment for anxiety disorders but further evidence is still needed.  

Chronic Pain

According to research published in 2011, 1 in 6 New Zealanders suffer from chronic pain. Chronic pain can seriously impact your life, reducing your freedom of movement and worsening your mental wellbeing.  

Medical cannabis can potentially reduce pain associated with inflammation, cancer treatments and other conditions that contribute to chronic pain. More human trials and studies are required to confirm whether it is an effective pain reliever as it has primarily been assessed for pain relief in animal models.


Seizures affect between 1-2% of New Zealanders, often beginning early in life. Conditions like epilepsy are brain disorders that cause repeated and dangerous convulsions. Recurrent seizures can be life-threatening and tend to seriously impact the quality of one’s life.  

It is not yet known how natural medicine may potentially help prevent or reduce seizures. It is thought that cannabinoids may interact with the neurotransmitters present in the endocannabinoid system to modulate neuronal excitability. In 2019, a study found that when cannabidiol was combined with anticonvulsants it led to long-term reductions in seizure frequency for the participants and another study of Australian and New Zealand epilepsy patients showed a reduction in seizures of 50% after six months in over half of the participating patients. However, further studies are needed to understand if it is an effective potential treatment for seizures.

Where can I get CBD Oil in New Zealand?

Through our online clinic we offer low-cost consultations and dispense affordable medical cannabis products nationwide. CBD Oil is an unapproved controlled medicine which means it is available through prescription only. If you are deemed eligible for a prescription and purchase your medicine through our patient portal, you can expect your medicine to be delivered to your doorstep in the next 2-3 business days.

If you think CBD could be beneficial for easing your medical condition, book a consultation and we will help you through the process.