What Health Issues Does CBD Help With?
You have probably heard about CBD and might be wondering what it is for. CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it is one of the most active ingredients found in most cannabis plants.
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Unlike with all the other ones, you won’t get any psychoactive effects. This means users won’t feel the high aspect of it. This is probably the reason why there is a huge spike in people using this compound.
What health issues does CBD help with? CBD can help alleviate some health issues like anxiety and depression. It can also be used as an anti-seizure treatment. It might have neuroprotective properties, and it can provide pain relief to a lot of people.
Learn more about CBD in this article, as well as some of the health benefits that you can get from it.
Aside from that, it is important to know the side effects so that you can set your personal restrictions on its use. At the end of this read, you will also have learned about the safety and legality of using CBD.
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the lesser-known child of the cannabis plant. Its more famous sibling, which is tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, is the active ingredient in most weed that catapults users’ highs.
The plant has long been used as a medicine for many illnesses. Aside from that, it is considered to be part of a ritual dating back to around 750 B.C.
Cannabidiol, along with THC, are just two of the plant’s 100 cannabinoids. THC is considered to be psychoactive, and CBD isn’t, though this is still a matter of debate and needs more research.
THC can cause you some anxiety, but it is not clear what effect CBD has. It is known that THC can lead to addiction and craving, while, on the other hand, CBD is known to be the one that is used for recovery.
Health Benefits of CBD
CBD comes with so many benefits to the body. Scientifically speaking, the body’s endocannabinoid system is getting increased attention in terms of how it affects your health.
This is because this particular body system consists of receptors in your brain and throughout your body to which endocannabinoids bind.
Endocannabinoids are the compounds that are involved in regulating pleasure, memory, concentration, appetite, pain, and other things.
CBD is one of them, so the potential effects on your body are vast. One product that has been increasing in popularity lately and that maximizes the use of CBS is CBD oil.
Cannabidiol oil, or most commonly known as CBD oil, is a product that is derived from the cannabis plant. It is a type of cannabinoid, which is a chemical found naturally in most marijuana plants.
Although they are acquired from the same plant, CBD oils do not create a high or have psychoactive elements. The psychoactive element is caused by another cannabinoid, which is THC.
There is still some controversy about CBD and CBD oil in general. This is because of recreational marijuana use. However, there is growing awareness about some of the possible health benefits of CBD.
Here are some of the things you should know regarding the potential medical usage of CBD and where the research stands:
1. Anxiety and Depression Relief
Anxiety disorder and depression are two of the most common mental health disorders that have devastating impacts on your health and well-being.
According to the WHO, depression is the single largest contributor to disability globally, while anxiety disorders are ranked sixth.
Anxiety and depression usually can be treated with different pharmaceutical drugs that have a lot of potential side effects. This includes drowsiness, agitation, insomnia, headache, and sometimes sexual dysfunction.
In addition, medications like benzodiazepines can lead to addiction and substance abuse. This is where CBD oil can play a vital role, as it has shown promise as a treatment for both anxiety and depression.
This is why a lot of people are leaning toward this natural approach. There was a study in Brazil in which 57 men received a placebo while others received oral CBD 90 minutes before they participated in a public speaking test.
They found that a 300-mg dose of CBD was the most effective, and it reduced anxiety during the test. The placebo, which was 150 mg of CBD, and a 600-mg dose of CBD had little to no effect on anxiety levels.
As a result, CBD oil has now been used to treat insomnia and anxiety in most children who have post-traumatic stress disorder. It has also shown antidepressant-like effects in most animal studies.
These qualities can be linked to CBD’s ability to act on the brain receptors for serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and other social behavior.
CBD has been getting a lot of buzz from the media because it can be a possible treatment for people who have epilepsy.
The research is still in its initial stages, but many researchers are testing the quantity of CBD that can reduce the occurrence of seizures in people with epilepsy. According to the American Epilepsy Society, CBD research promises hope for seizure patients.
The research is currently being conducted to be able to understand the proper doses of this compound in relation to seizures.
A study from 2016 worked with 214 people with epilepsy. The participants consumed oral doses of 2 to 5 mg of CBD per day.
This was in addition to their existing anti-epilepsy medicines. The study’s researchers monitored all the participants for the whole 12 weeks, and they recorded every negative side effect, as well as checked the frequency of the seizures.
As a result, they found that participants had 36.5% fewer seizures per month. However, some adverse effects were recorded in 12% of the participants.
3. Might Have Neuroprotective Properties
Many researchers believe that CBD’s ability to act on the endocannabinoid system and other brain signaling systems can offer benefits for those who have neurological disorders.
One of the most studied uses of CBD is in treating neurological disorders such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. Although most of the research from this area is relatively new, several studies have shown promising results.
Sativex is a kind of oral spray that contains CBD and THC. It is one of the compounds that has been proven to be effective and safe for reducing muscle spasticity in people with MS.
In one study, Sativex was found to reduce spasms in 75% of 276 people with multiple sclerosis. They had been experiencing muscle spasticity that was resistant to many medications.
In another significant study, 214 people with severe epilepsy were given 0.9-2.3 grams of CBD oil per pound of body weight. The results showed that a median of 35% reduced their seizures.
It was also found out that CBD oil significantly dropped seizure activity in most children with Dravet syndrome. This syndrome is known to be a complex childhood epilepsy disorder.
Another found that CBD oil showed great promise for people suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
In addition, animal and test-tube studies have shown that CBD might decrease inflammation and help prevent the neurodegeneration associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
4. Pain Relief
Marijuana plants have been in the world for more than a millennium; most of our ancestors used this plant to treat pain as far back as 290 B.C.
In more recent studies, scientists have found that certain components of marijuana, including CBD, are responsible for most of its pain-relieving effects.
The human body is known for its specialized system, i.e., the endocannabinoid system. This is heavily involved in a variety of functions such as sleep, pain, appetite, and immune system response.
Your body is capable of producing endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system.
Multiple studies have shown that CBD can help reduce chronic pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity, interacting with neurotransmitters, and reducing inflammation.
For instance, one study in rats showed that CBD injections reduced pain response to surgical incision, while another rat study showed that oral CBD treatment significantly removed sciatic nerve pain and inflammation.
Some studies show that a combination of THC and CBD is very effective when it comes to treating pain related to MS and arthritis.
5. Anti-Acne Effect
CBD’s effects on the receptors in your immune system can help reduce inflammation all over your body. As a result, CBD oils can help you manage acne.
A human study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that CBD oil prevented some activities in the sebaceous glands, which are responsible for producing sebum.
This is a natural oily substance that hydrates your skin. If you produce a lot of sebum in your body and face, it can lead to acne breakouts.
As always, before using CBD oil for your acne treatment, it is wise to discuss the matter with your dermatologist.
This is because there are still human studies that must be evaluated to prove the potential benefits of CBD with regard to acne. This health detriment is a common skin condition that affects more than 9% of the world’s population.
Acne is common because it can be caused by multiple factors, including bacteria, genetics, underlying inflammation, and the overproduction of sebum.
In many recent studies, CBD oil was shown to help treat acne thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce sebum production.
One study demonstrated that CBD oil prevented sebaceous gland cells from producing excessive amounts of sebum.
Also, it exerted anti-inflammatory actions and prevented the activation of pro-acne agents like cytokines.
It was also proven in some studies that CBD might be an efficient and safe way to treat acne thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Though all these results are promising, human studies are still ongoing regarding the effects of CBD on acne.
6. Alleviate Cancer-Related Symptoms
CBD is now considered capable of reducing symptoms related to cancer and the side effects of cancer treatment.
One study showed the effects of CBD and THC on 177 people with cancer-related pain who did not experience any relief from different pain medications.
Those people who were treated with an extract containing both compounds showed a significant reduction in their pain.
CBD is promising when it comes to alleviating chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. These are the most common chemotherapy-related side effects of people who are suffering from cancer.
Though there might be some drugs that help get rid of these side effects, they are sometimes ineffective, which is why people are looking for alternatives.
A study of 16 people undergoing chemo found that one combination of CBD and THC administered through mouth spray reduced a lot of chemo-related nausea and vomiting as compared to the standard treatment alone.
When it comes to test-tube and animal studies, it has been shown that CBD may have some anticancer properties.
7. Could Benefit Heart Health
Recent research shows that CBD is linked to several benefits for the heart and circulatory system. This includes lower high blood pressure. High blood pressure is associated mostly with several health risk conditions, such as stroke, heart attack, and metabolic syndrome.
Plenty of studies have suggested that CBD may be able to help with high blood pressure. According to one recent study, a dose of 600 mg of CBD oil helped all 9 participants lower their high blood pressure.
This same study gave men stress tests that normally increased their blood pressure. The research found that a single dose of CBD led these men to experience a smaller blood pressure hike than normal in response to these tests.
It is believed that the stress- and anxiety-inducing properties of CBD are solely responsible for its ability to decrease high blood pressure.
In addition, many animal studies demonstrated promising results, i.e., that CBD might help reduce the inflammation and cell death associated with heart failures due to its powerful antioxidant and stress-reducing properties.
For instance, one study found that treatment with CBD reduced oxidative stress and prevented heart failures in most diabetic mice that had heart illness.
Several Other Potential Benefits
CBD has been studied for its role in the treatment of numerous health issues, as outlined above. While more studies are needed to prove it 100%, CBD is thought to provide the following potential benefits:
- Antipsychotic Effects – Plenty of studies suggest that CBD helps people with schizophrenia and other mental disorders by reducing some of their psychotic symptoms.
- Substance Abuse Treatment – Cannabidiol is considered to modify different circuits of your brain. For their animal trials, CBD has been shown to reduce morphine dependence and heroin-seeking behavior.
- Anti-Tumor Effects – For most test-tube studies, CBD demonstrated anti-tumor effects. This means that it has been shown to prevent the spread of breast, prostate, brain, lung, and colon cancer.
- Diabetes Prevention – In most diabetic mice, CBD reduced the incidence of diabetes by 56%, and it significantly reduced inflammation.
Evidence of Cannabidiol Health Benefits
The strongest scientific evidence involves CBD’s effectiveness in treating childhood epilepsy syndromes. This includes Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, which typically do not respond properly to normal antiseizure medications.
CBD is known to reduce the number of seizures in many test subjects. In some cases, it was able to stop them completely. Some videos of this effect can be seen on the internet; they are quite striking and impressive.
Recently, the FDA was able to approve the first-ever cannabis-derived medicine for these conditions. It is called Epidiolex, which contains CBD.
The most common use of CBD is probably to address anxiety and for patients who are suffering from the misery of insomnia.
Studies suggest that CBD may help you fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
Also, it relieves chronic pain. A recent study from the European Journal of Pain showed that CBD applied to the skin can lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis.
There are many side effects of using CBD, including nausea, fatigue, and irritability. CBD can increase the level of your blood, and it can raise levels of certain medications in your body.
There is a significant safety concern with regards to CBD, which is marketed and sold primarily as a supplement and not a medication.
For now, the FDA does not regulate the safety and purity of dietary supplements, so you may not be able to determine for sure which product is totally safe.
In addition, the product may contain other elements that might be harmful, and it can do more harm than good.
Also, the therapeutic dose of CBD is unknown for any medical condition you have. Some side effects noted in many studies include diarrhea, changes in your appetite and weight, and fatigue.
CBD is known to interact with different medications, so before you start using CBD oils, you need to consult with your doctor to ensure your safety and avoid potential side effects.
This is especially essential to know if you are taking medications or supplements that come with a grapefruit warning. Both grapefruit and CBD interfere with cytochromes P450, which is a group of enzymes that are important to drug metabolism.
One study performed on mice showed that CBD-enriched cannabis extracts have the potential to damage your liver. However, some mice in the study were force-fed extremely large doses of the extract.
The Legality of Cannabidiol
Cannabidiol can be easily procured in most parts of the United States, although its exact legal status is still in question. All 50 states have laws that legalize CBD, with different degrees of restriction.
On the other hand, the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, though it does not habitually enforce it.
In December 2015, the FDA eased the regulatory requirements for researchers to conduct their own CBD trials. As of now, many people obtain their CBD online without a medical cannabis license.
The government’s position on CBD might be confusing to many people. It also depends in part on whether the CBD comes from hemp or marijuana.
The legality of CBD keeps evolving and is expected to change, as there is a bipartisan consensus in Congress. This change would make the hemp crop legal.
CBD is known to have many positive health benefits. However, not all of these benefits can be applied to everyone. The reason for this is that people have different reactions to different substances.
Plus, you must limit your dose to what is advised by your health professional. Also, it is important to ensure that you are using CBD for its medical benefits and not for other reasons.