CBD Oil Alternative

CBD oil is extremely popular today, as a remedy for pain and anxiety.But what are some natural alternatives? Find out here. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of years, chances are you’ve at least heard about CBD, short for cannabidiol. It’s one of the hundreds of active ingredients in cannabis (aka marijuana) and hemp. One of its main benefits, according to Olivia Rose, ND, a naturopathic doctor in Toronto,

Natural Alternatives to CBD Oil You May Not Know About

CBD oil has boomed in popularity since it was legalized at the federal level in the US in 2018. It is extracted from cannabis or hemp, separated from the psychoactive drug, THC. What’s left is an amazing supplement that users say has many benefits, including:

  • Pain relief
  • Reduce anxiety and depression
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Treat cancer-related symptoms
  • Acne reduction
  • Treat neurological disorders

These reported results are beneficial to many people. However, some people may not experience the expected results, and others may prefer to try different options. Still others may prefer to alternate between CBD oil and other options, to reduce the likelihood of any dependencies. For those people who want more choices, there are many options.

Kratom Powder

Kratom powder comes from the dried leaves of the tropical mitragyna speciosa tree, common to Southeast Asia. It contains the psychoactive components, mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine. A popular variety is Red Thai Kratom Powder. Kratom is usually named for the color of the veins in the leaves, which can be red, white, or green, along with its place of origin.

These natural chemicals are reported to have very similar effects to CBD. Generally, small doses of kratom are reported to have mild stimulant effects, while larger doses are reported to have anti-anxiety, and sedative properties. Kratom is also used by people who suffer from PTSD, as well as people who are recovering from an opioid addiction. Many of them have reported positive results that rival those of prescription medications.

Ginger Root

You can find ginger root at most supermarkets, and in a variety of forms in health food stores. It’s reported to have anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. It is also reported to have cannabinoid properties such as pain relief, and it’s been reported to treat premenstrual syndrome, and nausea.

Many CBD manufacturers are even offering options that include ginger root and turmeric for enhanced effectiveness. Ginger root contains gingerol, which is reported to be its active compound, with anti-aging properties, such as protection against degenerative diseases.

Magnolia Bark

Magnolia trees are common to the southeastern United States, and other parts of the country, and the world. People have used the bark of this tree to treat anxiety and depression for centuries. It is also reported to serve as a sleep aid.

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One study of 40 women showed that those who took 250mg of magnolia and phellodendron bark extract 3 times daily had measurable anxiety relief, compared to a placebo. Other studies have shown positive effects, too, including lowered cortisol levels.

Clove Oil

Similar to cannabis, clove oil contains beta-caryophyllene, a terpene. These natural chemicals are said to work against anxiety and depression, where the molecules target CB2 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. Many people, including dentists, have even used clove oil to alleviate tooth pain by applying it to a cotton swab and treating the affected area.


Native Americans have used echinacea purpurea for centuries as a holistic remedy for coughing, sore throats, and pain. Also known as the purple coneflower, it is a hairy perennial that can be found in prairies, meadows, and other areas of the southeastern United States. It contains N-alkylamides (NAAs) and is said to interact with the immune system to reduce pain and inflammation.


The root of this pink or white flower is high in cannabinoids. Native to China, it is reported to help regulate the signaling pathways of chronic ECS, or Exertional Compartment Syndrome. This is the condition where exercise produces pain, swelling and possible disabilities in the arms and legs. It’s most common in young adult runners and other athletes who engage in high-impact exercise.

With this in mind, peony is reported to reduce joint inflammation, and muscle spasms. Also known as Bai Shao, peony root is known in Chinese medicine for moving blood. With this in mind, it is also reported to help with menstrual cramps, and spasms. It is also said that a couple of drops of a peony tincture may help to relieve grief and sorrow.

What to do Next

This list is not exhaustive. There are other plant products to consider, such as turmeric, liverwort, black pepper, and black truffles. The most important thing to remember is that there is no such thing as a magic pill that will solve all of your ailments. People have tried many of these natural remedies for centuries, and results vary among individuals.

Not every plant product has peer-reviewed studies, so it is important to do your own research. If you have major symptoms, it’s also important to speak with a doctor or other healthcare professional. However, if you want to experiment with some natural remedies, then you can start with this list.

For example, kratom has a small but loyal following of people who swear by its helpful properties. Start exploring forums and other websites where you can educate yourself on kratom, as well as other CBD alternatives. Then, consider trying some of these items, to see if they work well for your symptoms.

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How CBD Stacks Up Against Traditional Medicine

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of years, chances are you’ve at least heard about CBD, short for cannabidiol. It’s one of the hundreds of active ingredients in cannabis (aka marijuana) and hemp. One of its main benefits, according to Olivia Rose, ND, a naturopathic doctor in Toronto, Canada, is that it doesn’t cause the ‘high’ feeling you’d typically get from using products containing THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). “Research on the use of CBD for many health conditions is growing and it seems to have a wide range of potential use, from pain syndromes to insomnia, anxiety and even difficult-to-treat childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS),” she says. “CBD is becoming a viable alternative in cases where patients have exhausted the potential of pharmaceutical medications and other natural treatments.”

How does CBD affect our body?

CBD works by affecting the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is responsible for regulating sleep-wake cycles, mood, anxiety, stress, metabolism, inflammation, pain, brain health, etc.—basically everything related to our health. It has nothing to do with being “high.” Still, it’s an important system which plays an integral part in regulation, maintenance, balance, and optimal health. It remains in the immune system, nervous system, and every organ.

How CBD Stacks Up to Its Alternatives

While CBD has been shown to be quite effective in the treatment of a myriad of conditions that we’ve mentioned above, it’s not the only “natural” solution. In fact, there are plenty of non-cannabis plants that can mimic the functions of cannabinoids. According to Dr. Rose, these may have a similar effect, but may not prove to be as potent as CBD alone. “This is primarily because manufacturers typically standardize their product to contain a certain percentage of CBD,” she says. “Herbal medicine is very complex as one plant can contain hundreds of compounds that work in concert to elicit the desired therapeutic effect.” This is why most herbalists and naturopathic practitioners like Dr. Rose tend to use whole plant products—to allow the plant components to act synergistically.

If you’re interested in CBD alternatives, here are some that experts recommend trying:


Known as the purple coneflower, Echinacea has a long history of use by native Americans for cough, sore throat and pain, according to Dr. Rose. It houses a compound known as N-alkyl amides and interacts with the immune system, inflammation, and pain just like THC.

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Ginger Root

Ginger root is very well known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and cannabinoid properties. “It can help relieve pain associated with syndromes such as knee arthritis and premenstrual syndrome,” explains Dr. Rose. “It’s also used in pregnancy to combat nausea and vomiting.”


This native flower of China is more of a treasure, as it is rich with cannabinoids. “It’s involved with the regulation of signaling pathways of the ECS, which control the perception of pain,” says Dr. Rose. It has the ability to fight off inflammation in gout and other joint diseases, and also calms muscle spasms.


Magnolia bark has been used in traditional medicine for centuries and continues to be used as a natural treatment for anxiety and depression. “It may reduce the effects of stress and promote a calming effect on the body by interacting with the ECS,” says Dr. Rose. “It may also promote a more restful sleep.”

Clove Oil

“Clove oil contains a special terpene called beta-caryophyllene that’s also found in the cannabis plant,” says Brooke Alpert, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., founder of B Nutritious and Daily Habit.

How CBD Stacks Against Them

All of the above natural remedies regulate the endocannabinoid system in much the same way as CBD. However, Dr. Rose points out that each herb constituent has a different mode of action within the ECS. “One major difference between CBD extracts and the above herbs is how it’s produced,” she says. “CBD products are manufactured to highlight CBD through standardization, while herbal products such as echinacea aren’t necessarily standardized to exploit the cannabimimetic components.” This, she explains, makes it a challenge to compare the potency of CBD to other herbal remedies that may similarly influence the ECS.

Additionally, it’s worth pointing out that there are some short-term side effects of consuming cannabis, such as increased heart rate, coordination of mind and body, panic, and hallucinations. If you’re unsure as to whether or not CBD is right for you, consider speaking with your primary care provider who can further discuss your options.

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