CBD Oil: A Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide

1. What is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is made of CBD and other natural ingredients. CBD is short for cannabidiol. It’s one of 60 + unique cannabinoid compounds that occur naturally within the hemp plant. Hemp produces mostly CBD, but produces many other cannabinoids.  The words in the CBD industry can be quite confusing (many are very similar). Paisley Ox CBD created this guide to help you understand exactly what you are purchasing and using.  CBD is legal in all 50 states in the US and is safe to use. It is a non-addictive and non-psychoactive substance, meaning that it does not act on our neural pathways the way THC can.  But there is one important caveat… some CBD contains the legal amount of the natural cannabinoid THC.  Paisley Ox CBD will tell you what other sellers will not.  We want you to make an informed purchasing decision. You will find that Paisley Ox is the most transparent seller on the market. More on this below.

2. The main differences between Hemp oil and CBD oil 

CBD and Hemp oil (or Hempseed oil) both come from the Hemp plant, but different parts. CBD oil comes from the stems and stalks of hemp.  Hemp oil (or hempseed oil) comes from the seeds of the plant.  Hempseed oil is an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory. Unlike CBD products, Hemp oil does not contain cannabinoids. CBD oil does. CBD has medicinal and health benefits. I have read many studies that show that CBD can reduce pain, anxiety, insomnia and inflammation.
Here is why you have to understand what you’re getting and using. Some sellers will use the term hemp oil interchangeably with the term CBD oil. Even though CBD is legal in all 50 states, due to confusion related to THC in general, some sites will not allow the sale of any CBD. I have yet to find a site or store that refuses to sell hemp oil. Check the fine print on the label. Some companies call their CBD oil Hemp oil. The reason should now be obvious to you. Watch the Paisley Ox CBD video on the homepage for a detailed explanation of what CBD is, exactly.

3. Full Spectrum vs. Broad Spectrum vs. Pure Isolate 

There are 3 main “types” of CBD on the market. CBD is legal in all 50 states. But, knowing the difference between the 3 types of CBD is critical. Not only for medical reasons; but in the interest of full transparency.

Pure Isolate

Pure isolate contains only one cannabinoid: CBD. Natural additives can boost the benefits of pure isolate and broad spectrum CBD. Terpenes would be an example of a common natural additive to CBD. The “boost” from the addition of terpenes to CBD results in what’s called “the entourage effect”.

Broad Spectrum 

This form contains all cannabinoids produced by hemp except THC.

Full Spectrum

This form of CBD contains all the cannabinoids produced by the hemp plant. This includes CBD as well other cannabinoids, including a small amount of the cannabinoid THC.  The amount of THC produced by hemp (and contained in any “full spectrum CBD” product) is below the legal limit of 0.3%. This very low percentage of THC confers the medicinal benefit without the high.
Compare this to the amount of THC produced by a completely different plant- marijuana. The amount of THC produced by the marijuana plant ranges from 20%-70%. At these levels, most people will experience a “high”.
Why is this so important to know? Even though the amount of THC in Full Spectrum CBD is small, it can cause a urine drug screen to be positive for THC.  While this won’t matter to most, it will certainly matter to some.  If testing positive for THC in a urine drug screen could be a problem for you, avoid Full Spectrum CBD. Opt for Broad Spectrum CBD or Pure Isolate CBD. I would avoid any seller that does not label their bottles with these specific details. You should not have to read the fine print. Sellers should make these distinctions clear in the large print on the front of the bottle. I would not buy from any company with bottles labeled “CBD Oil” with no qualifying information.

4. Terpenes

Hemp naturally produces terpenes along with many other plants (and some insects!). Research shows that they have a synergistic quality when added to CBD and other cannabinoids called the Entourage Effect.  This means they boost the benefit of cannabis products. This can be especially helpful when using a product that does not contain THC. There are different types of Terpenes, and they vary in their effect. Some terpenes such as Limonene can improve mood and decrease stress. Other terpenes such as Myrcene can help with sleep. Terpenes give products their distinctive smell and flavor.  In nature, terpenes help protect cannabis plants such as hemp by deterring insects that could destroy crops.

5. Health Benefits (antioxidant properties, etc.)

CBD has many, many health benefits.  Often, these benefits reduce (or drop) the need for prescription medications.  CBD is well known for reducing pain.  Topical CBD products like Paisley Ox Pain Freeze make CBD easy to apply to muscles and ligaments. Roll on products make it is especially nice for massaging out tight knots in muscles. Tinctures of CBD oil can help with anxiety and insomnia as well as improve mood and decrease pain.

Still wondering if CBD works for medical conditions? Consider this: The FDA approved new epilepsy medication made of high dose CBD. Not THC. Enough said.
CBD and other cannabinoids also have antioxidant properties.  This is important to our health. Oxidative stress changes our cells in such a way that they no longer function. What’s worse is that these morphed cells damage nearby cells. Antioxidants combat this problem.  No prescription pain product can boast the pain relief and the health benefits of CBD.

6. CBD hemp oil for pain

As stated above, CBD from hemp oil is probably most known for its ability to reduce pain.  This is actually what piqued my interest in CBD as a neurologist. Patients were coming to me asking about CBD and telling me their success stories.  Given the limited number of options at my disposal for pain reduction, studying CBD seemed the logical (and responsible) thing to do for my patients and myself.  There are many, many research studies that demonstrate the benefits of CBD for pain.  A quick Google search will show this. An article published in 2008 by Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management states that “Cannabinoid analgesics have generally been well tolerated in clinical trials with acceptable adverse event profiles. Their adjunctive addition to the pharmacological armamentarium for treatment of pain shows great promise.” So, the pain relieving (and anti-inflammatory) properties of CBD have been well known for quite some time.

7. Seizures and CBD Oil

While the use of CBC oil (and THC) for seizures has been verified, it is important to understand that CBD oil purchased online and in shops has not been shown useful for this particular diagnosis.  This is due to the absolute grams of CBD in the product. The CBD formulations produced and modified for epilepsy by pharmaceutical companies contain much, much higher levels of CBD.  So it would not be wise to ditch your prescribed seizure medications in an attempt to treat your seizures naturally with over-the-counter CBD oil.


I have found CBD oil to be a nice adjunct to regular medications for mild to moderate ADD in adults. In some cases, it seems to reduce symptoms of ADD without the combined use of stimulants whatsoever.  If you are looking for a safer way to manage ADHD as your first line of treatment, I would definitely suggest you consider CBD; in particular, CBD with terpenes known for helping ADHD. Of course, this would depend on your particular set of circumstances. (For example, if you are about to be fired because you can’t focus; you may need a prescription medication- and fast). In this case, CBD with terpenes such as the ones that improve focus would be my suggestion. Limonene is an example of a terpene that has been associated with increased focus and energy.

9. CBD oil for migraines

Migraine prevention

As a neurologist (and a migraine sufferer), the potential for CBD to help migraines is of special interest to me. The anti-inflammatory properties seem to be the main property of CBD that can reduce the severity of migraines. If taken regularly, these anti-inflammatory properties along with the anti-oxidant properties can come into play.  As with most supplements used to treat chronic conditions (such as magnesium or riboflavin for migraines), it would be best to take CBD regularly for a full three months to allow time for the full benefit of the supplement.  Read the Paisley Ox CBD dosage guide to decide which dose is right for you.  Then I would suggest a Full Spectrum CBD as my first choice for migraine preventative treatment. If Full Spectrum is not the right choice for you, my second choice for migraine prevention would be a Broad Spectrum CBD with Terpenes.

Research trials for CBD and migraines

On study completed in Amsterdam and reported at the 3rd congress of the European Academy of Neurology in 2017 showed that a combo research product of THC+ CBD out performed common migraine preventative medications amitriptyline and verapamil when taken regularly. However, to see the drop in migraine frequency of 55%, the amount of THC in this clinical trial was far higher than one would find in a full spectrum CBD product. Not that everyone requires a high ratio of THC to CBD for benefit, as some of us are sensitive to medications and supplements. I point this out because some CBD sites out there reference this trial to sell products, but they do not provide all the relevant information.

CBD oil and stopping a migraine (rescue/abortive treatment)

For abortive treatment, I have found topical CBD to be helpful. I see a lot of patients in my office with “cervicogenic headaches” that trigger their migraines. This means that their tension starts at the back of the neck, shoulders or at the base of the skull and radiate to the temples or forehead. Often, application of the topical during the tight muscle phase can reduce the risk of neck tension triggering a migraine. I use the Paisley Ox CBD Pain Freeze on my neck, shoulders, and my temples. The cooling effect alone is very nice. The roller allows a massage type motion when applying the product.

10. CBD oil for anxiety

I see so many patients with anxiety. For whatever reason, we have the misconception that anxiety is the domain of women. Not so. I see just as many men with anxiety related/exacerbated symptoms.
The problem is massive, with over 40 million American adults affected.  People that suffer from anxiety are 3-5 times more likely to require regular visits to the doctor and they are six times more likely to end up hospitalized for psychiatric illness.  There is no “quick fix” for anxiety, as there are many variables at play. Stress is a major factor in many illnesses, including heart attacks, dementia and chronic depression.  The management of anxiety ideally starts with lifestyle (regular exercise, meditation, adequate sleep, elimination of triggers); but sometimes we need something to calm our anxiety down enough to even start the process of lifestyle management.
CBD oil has extensive data to show that it can be beneficial for mild-to-moderate anxiety. It is also safe to add to your prescription medications (but check with your doctor first).  CBD oil for anxiety can often eliminate the need for a doctor when combined with trigger reduction and lifestyle modification. It works by affecting serotonin receptors.
There are many excellent medications on the market for anxiety, but I am a big advocate for starting with trigger identification followed by lifestyle change and natural remedies.  If this is not effective enough, or if your anxiety is debilitating, you need to see a physician.

11. CBD for depression

I have studied CBD for depression in clinical trials with several interesting findings. 1. CBD appears to bind serotonin receptors (so it can act in a serotonin-like way) 2. Lower doses of CBD with lower doses of SSRIs (such as prozac) caused an improvement in symptoms of depression. Here is a direct quote from the abstract “Ineffective doses of CBD (7 mg/kg), when co-administered with ineffective doses of FLX (5 mg/kg) or DES (2.5 mg/kg) resulted in significant antidepressant-like effects, thus implicating synergistic and/or additive mechanisms.”
Though this is a pre-clinical trial, the results are very exciting, as the addition of CBD to an SSRI might allow one to reduce the dose of prescription antidepressants! For some, this is a big deal if they experience side effects with SSRIs (or if their SSRI has lost some of its effectiveness). Some people may see an improvement in mild depressive symptoms with CBD alone and may not need a prescription at all.  As with any supplement for a chronic condition, take it consistently for at least 3 months before deciding whether it works for you.