Cannabidiol (CBD) is an active component of the Cannabis sativa plant. It is becoming a popular ingredient to include in a myriad of products, including sprays. CBD sprays may help alleviate a range of symptoms.

In this article, we explain more about CBD in general. We also look at CBD sprays in more detail, including how and why to use them and the possible benefits and side effects.

Is CBD legal?The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the legal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. This made some hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC federally legal. However, CBD products containing more than 0.3% THC still fall under the legal definition of marijuana, making them federally illegal but legal under some state laws. Be sure to check state laws, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the FDA has not approved nonprescription CBD products, and some products may be inaccurately labeled.

A person using a CBD spray.Share on Pinterest
CBD sprays are available in topical, oral, or nasal formats.

CBD comes from either the cannabis plant or hemp plant, both of which are types of the Cannabis sativa plant. CBD is one of several active cannabinoids in these plants.

Another compound that these plants contain is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is responsible for the “high” that people usually associate with cannabis. CBD alone will not cause a person to feel high.

Some CBD products contain a trace amount of THC. However, THC usually represents no more than 0.3% of the product, and this amount is unlikely to cause a person to feel high. In other products, manufacturers isolate the CBD from the THC, meaning that they will contain no THC.

The main difference between the cannabis plant and the hemp plant is that the hemp plant usually contains less THC.

Learn more about the differences between hemp CBD and cannabis CBD.

Manufacturers can incorporate CBD into a range of products with different applications. A CBD spray can be a quick and easy way to administer CBD.

A person can apply a spray in a few different ways. The most suitable option will depend on the product, what the person finds comfortable, and what is most effective for the issue that they wish to address.

If the spray is for topical application — for instance, certain spray mists — a person will spray the product onto their skin and let it sink in.

In some cases, a person can apply a spray nasally. To administer the product through the nose, they will need to insert the nozzle into one of the nostrils. After closing the other nostril by gently pressing the side of the nose, they can push down on the nozzle to release the spray.

Another way to apply a spray is orally. These sprays require a person to spray the product into their mouth. Depending on the product instructions, a person may need to aim for their tongue or the back of their throat.

When using a CBD spray, it can be challenging to determine the correct dose. As with any form of cannabinoid, it is best to start with a small amount to avoid unpleasant side effects.

Learn more about the correct dosage of CBD.

Using CBD may cause some people to experience side effects. Some of the more common ones are:

In rare cases, a person may have an allergic reaction to CBD. Anyone who starts using a CBD spray and experiences itching in the mouth, difficulty swallowing or breathing, or swelling of the throat, lips, or mouth should seek emergency help.

It is also important to note that although research regarding CBD and its use in humans is increasing, there is still not a huge amount. Therefore, there are potentially other short-term and long-term side effects that are still unknown.

Research specifically exploring the benefits of CBD in spray form is at the early stages. However, looking at the research on CBD in general can give some idea as to the possible benefits of CBD sprays.

  • Anxiety: A 2016 case study of a 10-year-old girl who experienced sexual abuse found that an oral CBD spray led to a reduction in anxiety and improvement in sleep. Another study, which involved 72 adults, produced similar results, showing that symptoms of anxiety decreased following a course of daily CBD capsules.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): In a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 11 people living with PTSD took CBD capsules, a CBD spray, or both once or twice a day for 8 weeks. After the course of CBD, 10 of these individuals had a reduction in their PTSD symptoms.
  • Insomnia: According to a 2017 review, medium and high dosages of CBD can have a sedating effect. This finding suggests that CBD sprays may help people who have insomnia or difficulty falling asleep.
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS): One symptom of MS is spasticity, in which stiffness in the muscles can lead to difficulty moving. Some research suggests that oral CBD sprays may help reduce spasticity. However, further research is necessary to confirm this.
  • Chronic pain: An older study highlights that CBD may reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Neuroprotection: The authors of a 2018 review conclude that oral administration of CBD, including in a spray product, may have neuroprotective properties. As a result, CBD sprays may help against certain conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Chemotherapy-induced nausea: An older study reported that a cannabis-based spray reduced vomiting and feelings of nausea in people undergoing chemotherapy.

Many manufacturers of cannabis-based products, including those of CBD sprays, may make therapeutic claims and promises that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have not yet evaluated. People should use products containing CBD with caution and never use them to replace conventional treatments.

CBD is a compound that derives from the Cannabis sativa plant. There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that it may help alleviate certain symptoms.

A person can purchase sprays that include CBD as an ingredient. Depending on the product and the issue that the person wishes to address, it may be necessary to administer these sprays orally, nasally, or topically.