What are CBD Benefits?
CBD or cannabidiol is one of the many cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. For long, cannabis has been exclusively associated with the “high” sensation, but more and more studies are coming up pointing towards its medicinal benefits. CBD is one of the most beneficial cannabinoids found in cannabis. This compound can be extracted from marijuana producing CBD oil and many other products that are widely used for different medicinal benefits. What makes this cannabinoid even better is that it doesn’t cause any sort of highness when consumed.
With the continuous rise in the popularity of cannabis-based products, it is crucial that all users understand the full benefits of these products. This is important as it will help you know what to expect when you are taking them and also to separate the real benefits from other fictional sales-oriented benefits painted all over the internet.
The following are some of the benefits of CBD Oils:
- Pain Relief
CBD oils have been used for pain relief purposes for some time now. These compounds interact with the brain’s receptors helping to relieve patients from different types of pain. Cannabis has been so popular for this purpose, and that’s why even the National Institutes of Health has sponsored multiple pre-clinical studies that are seeking to establish the impact of CBD on muscle pain, MS pain, arthritis, chronic pain, and spinal cord injuries.
The two main cannabinoids present in marijuana, CBD and TCH, have also been used in making a multiple sclerosis drug known as Nabiximols (Sativex). This drug has been approved and is already being used in Canada and the United Kingdom.
More studies in a clinical setting are necessary to understand how CBD can be used for this purpose.
- Anxiety Relief
Anxiety management is one of the oldest uses of marijuana. Until recently, people didn’t understand how exactly the plant worked to deliver this benefit but thanks to research studies we now know that CBD is the compound responsible for this benefit. The compound interacts with serotonin in your brain helping you to control your anxiety issues.
One study that was investigating the effects of CBD on social anxiety disorder established that 600mg of the CBD oil helped people overcome their anxiety issues and deliver public speeches. There are also a couple of other animal studies which showed CBD is effective in reducing stress, improving the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, decreasing heart rate and other physiological effects caused by anxiety and inducing sleep.
Some time back, the American Epilepsy Society released a report saying that cannabidiol studies have shown promising results in the treatment of epilepsy. The compound can potentially be used to reduce the frequency of seizures, and there are already various studies proving this. One study involving 214 people suffering from epilepsy used oral doses of between 2-5mg of CBD per day in addition to anti-epilepsy medications for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, the scientists recorded that the number of seizures reduced by 36.5% per month. While this was a remarkable discovery, the scientists also warned that around 12% of the participants experienced some form of adverse effects.
Its therefore, excellent news that CBD can be used as an anti-seizure remedy among epilepsy patients, but more clinical studies are required to determine how this outcome can be achieved without exposing the patients to any side effects.
Neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease affect the vast majority of the elderly population. Researchers explain that CBD and the CB1 receptors can be used to prevent the deterioration of the brain and nerves. The ability of CBD oil to reduce inflammation may also be instrumental in reducing the symptoms of neurodegenerative disorders. CBD is, therefore, a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and others.
- Cancer Treatment
CBD is a great anti-inflammation agent that can help prevent the swelling of cells. This compound can also adjust how cells reproduce, and all these properties make it a potential treatment for cancer. The National Cancer Institute reported that CBD can help in alleviating the symptoms of cancer and is also useful for reducing the side effects of chemotherapy. Unfortunately, there’s still limited clinical information on CBD, and hence the NCI can’t recommend it for cancer treatment yet.
- Improves Skin Health
CBD oil might just be the remedy you need to get rid of the nuisance that is acne breakout. Research shows us that CBD can enhance your immune system to reduce swelling, redness, and irritation of the skin. It will also help in fighting damaged skin cells which will then be replaced with new, younger and healthier cells resulting in radiant skin. Since the compound is also a natural anti-inflammatory, it will help in controlling the secretion of sebum in your skin thus preventing acne breakout.
When used alongside an effective skincare routine, CBD oils will transform your skin completely giving you a youthful appearance.
- Promotes Heart Health
Research studies are showing that CBD is good for cardiovascular health. This compound can be used to improve the performance of the heart and the circulatory system. According to one study published in 2017 in the JCI Insight Journal, CBD prevented stress-related blood pressure. Some participants in this study took CBD while others were placebo and after going through a stressful event, the subjects who took CBD were observed to have lower blood pressure compared to their counterparts. This study used just a single, and it was sufficient to lower high blood pressure in all the subjects.
The ability of CBD oil to lower high blood pressure means that it also protects the users from a heart attack, metabolic syndrome, and stroke.
- Reduces the Risk of Obesity and Diabetes
In 2011, a report was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology about a survey that was done on over 52,000 participants. The survey was investigating the rate of obesity on cannabis users compared to a placebo. The report showed that the rate of obesity in cannabis users was about one-third lower. What’s even more interesting about this report is the fact that cannabis users consumed more calories every day and even then, not many of them ended up being obese.
One study was done on animals in 2006, and this one was looking at how CBD can be used to prevent diabetes. The final report from this trial showed a decrease in the incidence of diabetes in lab rats. Research has also shown that CBD helps in converting white fat into brown fat which is useful in reducing weight. It also promotes the production of insulin and sugar metabolism.
Further extensive trials have also reported that cannabis users had more HDL cholesterol which offers protection against diabetes, 16% less fasting insulin and 17% less insulin resistance.
These studies have also shown that the protection against diabetes fades over time if one stops taking cannabis. This is where we need more research studies to determine how these effects can be made to last longer even after one stops taking marijuana.
Using CBD Oils
There are different ways of using CBD oils to enjoy the above benefits. CBD is usually extracted from cannabis and packaged either in the form of powder or oils. CBD can hence be consumed either orally as a capsule, rubbed on the skin if you are dealing with the oil or cream or used sublingually. How you use CBD will hugely depend on the condition you are treating and a few other factors. You can also talk to your doctor in case you are not sure about which method will work best for you.
CBD Side Effects
The above benefits aren’t the only outcomes that can come out of taking CBD. The use of CBD has also been associated with various side effects. While the incidence of these adverse reactions is very low, it is essential that you learn about them so that you can be on the lookout. These include:
- Low blood pressure
- Dry mouth
Final Thoughts on CBD Benefits
Cannabis-based products are still relatively new in the market. There aren’t enough studies showing their full benefits, and we also can’t tell the long-term effects of consuming these compounds. What we do know is that they are a potential medicinal goldmine that can help with a lot of medical conditions. You should, therefore, be careful when taking CBD for any of the above uses and watch out for any potential adverse reactions. You should also consult your physician before you start taking them especially if you have a complicated medical history.