Omega-3 fish oil vs. CBD oil – which will come out on top?
In our modern world, we are lucky to have a wealth of information available right in our back pockets. Better online access has helped people to become more educated on a variety of topics ranging from ancient history to the latest news. One particular subject that has captured the imaginations of many is natural healthcare.
As we have become more aware of the potentially harmful side effects of pharmaceuticals, more and more of us have started to seek alternative ways to maintain our health and relieve various medical conditions.
While many natural remedies have a lot going for them, one glaring downside is that most of them are not well-researched, meaning that they are often cast aside as ‘snake oil,’ suspected of being nothing more than an elaborate placebo.
That being said, some natural remedies have received far more scientific interest than others. Two prime examples of this are omega-3 fish oil and CBD oil. These two popular supplements have gained more attention than most from the general public and medical researchers alike.
But how do these two supplements stack up against one another? Let’s take a look.
Omega-3 Fish Oil and CBD Oil: Overview
Fatty acids are an essential nutrient, with a wide variety of reported health benefits. On a molecular level, they are long chains of carbon atoms with an -OOH group at one end. There are different types of fatty acids: Saturated, unsaturated, and polyunsaturated.
Saturated fatty acids have two hydrogen atoms attached to each carbon atom, whereas unsaturated fatty acids have two of these hydrogen atoms replaced by a double bond. Polyunsaturated acids have multiple double bonds and are considered to be the most beneficial to human health. Unsurprisingly, omega-3 fatty acids fall into this latter category.
These molecules have many vital functions within the body. As well as providing energy, omega-3s help to build cell membranes, especially those found in the brain, retina, and sperm. They are also broken down to form signaling chemicals which are involved in immunity, hormonal function, and the cardiovascular system, among other things.
Omega-3 fatty acids are usually associated with fish, and ‘oily’ fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines are the best dietary sources. However, there are also several good plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and one of these is hemp.
You are probably already aware that CBD oil is extracted from the hemp plant too. One thing to note, though, is that while hemp seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients, CBD oil is extracted from the whole plant, not the seeds.
Therefore, hemp seed oil and CBD oil are not the same. Although hemp seed oil may still provide many benefits, it does not contain cannabidiol, the compound responsible for CBD oil’s recent rise to fame.
Benefits of Omega-3 Fish Oil and CBD Oil
Both omega-3 fish oil and CBD oil are reported to have a wealth of positive effects when it comes to both physical and mental health. In fact, the list of potential benefits is so long that it is way beyond the scope of one article to discuss all of them.
With that in mind, we have chosen some of the best-known and most thoroughly researched topics relating to fish oil and CBD to look at in more detail. Keep reading to find out more.
Omega-3 Fish Oil vs. CBD Oil for Inflammation
Inflammation is understood to be at the root cause of a myriad of serious health problems. These include chronic pain, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and depression. Both omega-3 fish oil and CBD are thought to have potent anti-inflammatory effects which could help to keep these issues at bay.
There is a huge amount of research supporting the anti-inflammatory effects of both omega-3 fish oil and CBD. We’re calling this one a tie.
Omega-3 Fish Oil vs. CBD Oil for Mental Health
Omega-3 fish oil and CBD oil are both reported to have various benefits for mental health.
The former is thought to regulate chemical signaling within the brain to support cognitive function and preserve neuronal structures. Research has found that omega-3 fatty acids could help with depression, anxiety, mood swings, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder as well as benefiting the memory. This supplement may be helpful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, but it seems only if taken very soon after the onset of the disease.
CBD is also known to have neuroprotective effects which could aid memory and prevent Alzheimer’s. It is also thought to have antipsychotic properties and may alleviate a number of other mental health issues including anxiety, stress, and even addiction.
This is another tough one to call as there is so much positive evidence for both supplements. We’re calling it another tie.
Omega-3 Fish Oil vs. CBD Oil for Sleep
Research on children suggests that omega-3 fatty acids could provide almost an hour of extra sleep each night – an impressive figure by anyone’s standards. Omega-3s are thought to improve sleep through a connection with melatonin, the hormone known for making you sleepy.
Although CBD is frequently used to aid relaxation and treat sleep disorders, the research is somewhat inconclusive. One study found no significant difference between CBD and placebo when it came to adjusting sleep-wake cycles. That’s not to say that CBD won’t help conditions such as insomnia at all. It’s just that, so far, there is little scientific proof.
Purely based on this evidence, we have to give this one to omega-3 fish oil.
Omega-3 Fish Oil vs. CBD Oil for Epilepsy
It has frequently been suggested that omega-3 fatty acids could benefit patients with epilepsy. However, the evidence is somewhat inconclusive.
CBD, on the other hand, really shines when it comes to epilepsy, and several high-quality studies have demonstrated its benefits in this area. In addition to reducing seizures, CBD may make anti-seizure drugs such as clobazam even more effective.
Based on the available evidence, this one has to go to CBD, hands down.
Omega-3 Fish Oil vs. CBD Oil for Heart Health
One of the best-known benefits of omega-3 fish oil is its ability to protect the cardiovascular system and improve heart health. It has been shown to reduce harmful substances such as triglycerides, lower blood pressure, prevent clot formation, and reduce inflammation (a major contributing factor in cardiovascular disease). However, despite this, studies have found that this supplement does not reduce the risk of heart attacks or strokes.
Research into CBD for heart health is still in its infancy, but the initial findings are promising. CBD appears to help blood vessels relax to improve circulation, protect the cardiovascular system and prevent ischemic damage. CBD may be especially helpful for people with diabetes who are at an increased risk of heart disease compared with the general population.
Both supplements have clear benefits for heart health, and so we have no choice but to call another tie.
Side Effects of Omega-3 Fish Oil and CBD Oil
Although generally well-tolerated, as with any supplement, both omega-3 fish oil and CBD oil have the potential to cause some side effects.
Some common omega-3 fish oil side effects include:
- Bad breath
- Body odor
Some common CBD oil side effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Reductions in blood pressure
Based on the number of potential side effects typically listed for each product, this is another win for CBD.
Omega-3 Fish Oil vs. CBD Oil Summary
So which supplement came out on top, omega-3 fish oil or CBD? Let’s take a look:
|Health Benefit||Omega-3 or CBD?|
This was a hard one to call as both supplements have so much going for them. However, since it may cause fewer side effects, CBD just about wins the day. After all, nobody wants fishy breath!
Another major plus for CBD is that, unlike fish oil, it is completely plant-based making it suitable for vegetarians and vegans alike.
Final Thoughts on Omega-3 Fish Oil vs. CBD Oil
Although CBD came out top in this battle of the supplements, we were only able to review a fraction of the evidence relating to each one. There are plenty more reported benefits of both omega-3 fish oil and CBD oil, with studies to either back or throw doubt upon each of these claims.
If you wish to use omega-3 fish oil, CBD oil, or any other natural health product, it is vital to conduct your own thorough research first and speak to a qualified healthcare professional to determine their suitability for you.