Copaiba Vs CBD: Everything You Need To Know
Copaiba essential oil is very popular among aromatherapy enthusiasts, and for a good reason. It has a long history of use as a folk medicine in South America, and its health properties are now under study. Some of these therapeutic functions appear to be similar to those of cannabidiol, or CBD oil, and many people are wondering about the differences between copaiba and CBD.
However, it can be said at the onset: copaiba is not a CBD oil replacement, even if it's sold as such. It definitely has some beneficial properties, but in most articles, it's not even clear how those compare to the benefits of CBD oil.
Let’s take some time to clear up the confusion between the two oils.
Copaiba vs CBD—What Are the Main Differences?
1. Not as well-researched
One significant difference that needs to be addressed first is that copaiba's medicinal potential is not as well-studied or documented as that of CBD. The evidence is limited to basic and sparse research, as well as uncontrolled clinical observations in humans.
At this stage, it appears that copaiba has some inflammation-fighting properties based on one terpene, as noted in an article written for the Science Daily entitled “Copaiba: Silver bullet or snake oil?”
"In case reports, individuals with joint pain and inflammation who used copaiba reported favorable results, however, this hypothesis is promising but as of yet unproven." 
In a preliminary investigation, it has shown activity against certain parasites, most notedly promastigote forms of L. amazonensis. The crude oil was shown to be the most potent. 
Another laboratory study speculates that it might also have anesthetic, healing, and antitumor medicinal properties, which are all very promising, but there's little to no supportive clinical evidence as of yet. 
2. Not proven yet to be as potent an anti-inflammatory
Copaiba is high in beta-caryophyllene, which has demonstrated anti-inflammation capabilities, and the essential oil is advertised as such. More about this later.
Yet as an anti-inflammatory remedy, it doesn’t match CBD oil. This is because whole-spectrum CBD targets inflammation in many different ways beyond the beta-caryophyllene terpenes.
Perhaps more study will show copaiba to be equal to CBD in this regard, but right now such claims seem unfounded.
3. It's not as well-tolerated or as safe
There is some risk associated with taking or using any form of medicine, natural or otherwise. However, the side effects of CBD are so mild that it's generally regarded as safe to use under most reasonable circumstances.
The upper limits of dosing are tested often on humans in a research setting, but in most cases, even the higher doses are well-tolerated. The known side effects of cannabidiol are temporary and rare.
There is no recommended maximum dosage for CBD oil, with some acute treatments using upward of 1,000 mg of CBD oil a day.
Copaiba is a unique essential oil because it is safe to ingest in low doses. Normally, ingesting essential oils is ill-advised.
Unfortunately, it also has a very strong taste, and it's only recommended for consumption via capsules no more than three times a day.
However, ingesting too much copaiba oil could reportedly trigger nausea, vomiting, and gastrointestinal distress, an experience similar to food poisoning. In one animal study on rats with colitis, the researchers noted:
"Copaiba oil decreased oxidative stress and inflammation but did not prevent intestinal damage in the colon of colitic rats. The alterations of plasma markers of hepatic damage caused by the oil seem to be associated with its harmful action on the liver."
So, it appears that copaiba could be damaging to the liver. This action needs more research in clinical settings, though. 
This could be a reason copaiba is most often used for external applications, such as in skin creams and massage oils.
So Which is Best: Copaiba or CBD Oil?
At this stage, it appears that cannabidiol has much broader applications across a wide range of health issues. Research is showing it benefits many conditions, from fighting cancer to reducing social anxiety. Plus, as mentioned, it’s almost always safe to use, even in high doses. (That said—don't take high CBD doses without the knowledge of your doctor if you are taking pharmaceuticals chronically for a serious health condition. There is a possibility of drug interaction, which needs to be monitored in case of serious illness.)
Nobody denies that the beta-caryophyllene found in copaiba is a potent anti-inflammatory agent, but its overall capabilities right now pale in comparison to those of CBD oil.
More about Copaiba Oil
Copaiba essential oil comes from the Copaifera tree, found throughout South America. The tree exudes a resin, ranging anywhere from clear to dark brown, that historically was used for lacquers and varnishes. When the balsam is steam-distilled, the end product is copaiba essential oil.
As illustrated, it’s mainly copaiba's anti-inflammatory qualities that are causing many to tout it as the new CBD oil.
And More about CBD Oil
Cannabidiol oil is one of many compounds sourced from the Cannabis sativa L. genus of plants. Most commonly derived from industrial hemp plants, it is also a popular product within the medical marijuana industry.
Despite its relation to tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC (they are both cannabinoids), CBD is non-psychoactive. This means that unlike THC, it isn't a possible trigger for a “high,” with anxiety or euphoria. Instead, CBD triggers a mild sense of relaxation, if any sensation is noted at all.
The medicinal properties of CBD hemp oil are thanks to terpenes, cannabinoids, and other compounds. Especially in whole-plant extracts, CBD oil may contain dozens of different compounds, all with unique and nuanced effects on the endocannabinoid system.
Through its interaction with the endocannabinoid system, CBD has thus far demonstrated tons of potential for the treatment of a significant number of health issues, including anxiety, depression, autoimmune disorders, chronic pain, cancer, and so forth.
Like copaiba, one of CBD's most well-known characteristics might be that it’s an anti-inflammatory. As noted, cannabidiol contains beta-caryophyllene, the same terpene that is found in copaiba.
RELATED: 8 Most Important CBD Studies
What is Beta-caryophyllene?
Some essential oil websites mistakenly refer to beta-caryophyllene as a cannabinoid, but it is actually a terpene. Terpenes are similar to cannabinoids in some regards, and they are now thought to have many medicinal properties in their own right. Some terpenes interact with our cannabinoid receptors.
Beta-caryophyllene is one of the terpenes that stimulates the endocannabinoid system, and it's also the reason many have drawn comparisons between copaiba and CBD oil. As mentioned, both oils contain high levels of this same terpene, which research has demonstrated has potent anti-inflammatory action.
Yet regarding CBD, copaiba is not really a competitor. It has its place in nature's abundant pharmacy, and more study should demonstrate this. But it's definitely not "the new CBD oil," and it shouldn't be confused as such.