With more doctors, scientists and consumers experiencing the many surprising benefits of CBD, oil specifically, it is likely a matter of time before it becomes a federally regulated component of your wellness selections.
Due to the prohibition of cannabis and associated research restrictions, there are limited evidence from human studies to support the benefits of CBD oil. However, with the legalization of cannabis in some regions around the globe, research in this area is gaining momentum.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD for short) is a naturally occurring cannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant. It is one of over one hundred cannabinoids identified in hemp plants. However, unlike the cannabis plant that most are familiar with, marijuana, CBD is derived from hemp does not contain enough THC to elicit a ‘High”. THC is responsible for the stoned/high feeling that the recreational drug provides. Extracted from the flowers and buds of the hemp plant, CBD is being pressed into oil and is increasingly popular to treat, and even prevent, a wide array of health issues in states where medicinal marijuana has now been legalized. CBD oil is stronger and more natural than most non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Endocannabinoids are signaling molecules that help regulate various processes, such as pain, memory, mood, immunity, and stress. The human body has an endocannabinoid system that assists ion regulatory functioning.
CBD does also interact with other receptors, such as serotonin and opioid receptors. It might also boost levels of naturally occurring endocannabinoids, which may explain its seemingly broad range of uses.
Cannabidiol is a popular natural remedy used for many common ailments and has many benefits.
Providing therapeutic value without the “high” is a quality makes CBD an appealing option for those who are looking for relief from pain and other symptoms without the mind-altering effects of marijuana or certain pharmaceutical drugs.
CBD is most certainly gaining momentum in the health and wellness world, with some scientific studies confirming it may ease symptoms of ailments like chronic pain and anxiety.
Here are seven health benefits of CBD oil that are backed by scientific evidence.
1. Pain Relief
CBD oil is widely regarded as an effective product to treat and manage pain. The human body contains a specialized system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is involved in regulating a variety of functions including sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response.
These naturally produced endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in the body’s nervous system. CBD can help to reduce chronic pain by impacting this receptor activity, thus reducing inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters.
The body produces endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system.
Studies have shown that CBD may help reduce chronic pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity by interacting with neurotransmitters (4Trusted Source).
Scientists have discovered that certain components of CBD, are responsible for its pain-relieving effects.
2. Brain Health
Research has shown that CBD oil has benefits for brain health because it can help to prevent free radical damage, reduce inflammation and not only to protect the cells in the brain but to help generate new ones.
This is also part of the reason why CBD has traditionally been and is increasingly popular for patients suffering from seizures.
Studies are still under way to determine whether CBD can benefit those suffering from epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. Because CBD hosts strong antioxidant (stronger than vitamins C and E), anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties, it is widely recognized as a natural way to promote brain health and overall wellness. Earlier this year, the FDA advisory panel unanimously approved a CBD-based medication to treat two rare forms of childhood epilepsy.
3. Could Reduce Anxiety and Depression
CBD oil has been safely used to treat anxiety, including sleeplessness and PTSD. Because CBD has the ability to act on the brain’s receptors for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood and social behavior, it can have similar benefits to anti-depressants, only more natural.
Anxiety and depression are usually treated with pharmaceutical drugs, which can cause a number of side effects including drowsiness, agitation, insomnia, sexual dysfunction and headaches. What’s more, medications like benzodiazepines can be addictive and may lead to substance abuse.
CBD oil has shown promise as a treatment for both depression and anxiety, leading many who live with these disorders to become interested in this natural approach.
CBD has also shown antidepressant-like effects in several animal studies and human trials.
4. Heart Health and Blood Pressure
New research this year, published by the American Society for Clinical Investigation, has indicated that CBD may be an effective, natural treatment to lower high blood pressure.
One study revealed that using CBD oil reduced resting systolic blood pressure and stroke volume in subjects who were exposed to stress. Researchers concluded that the anxiety regulating properties of CBD were responsible for the decrease in blood pressure, which ultimately supported heart health.
The anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in CBD oil can also help to prevent heart related illnesses.
National Center for Biotechnology Information, NLMNIHDHHSUSA.gov conducted a study in which their data showed “that a single dose of CBD reduces resting blood pressure and the blood pressure response to stress, particularly cold stress, and especially in the post-test periods.”
5. Alleviation of Cancer-Related Symptoms
While the research is still very early, experts speculate that CBD may play a role in treating cancer. The increasing research that supports the efficacy of CBD oil in treating some symptoms related to cancer treatment, such as nausea and pain specifically by slowing tumor growth and inducing the death of cancer cells.
It may also help reduce symptoms related to cancer and side effects related to cancer treatment, like nausea, vomiting and pain.
Here are a few examples:
In one study of 119 cancer patients (most of the cancers were metastatic and traditional cancer therapies had been exhausted), CBD oil was given on a three day on and three days off schedule. In most of the patients, an improvement in their cancer was noted, such as a decrease in tumor size. No side effects from CBD were reported.
In a case study, an elderly man with lung cancer refused traditional chemotherapy and radiation for his cancer treatment and instead, self-administered CBD oil. After one month of taking the CBD oil, a computed tomography (CT) scan revealed near-total resolution of his lung tumor along with a reduction in the number and size of chest lymph nodes.
In another study, two patients with aggressive gliomas (a type of brain tumor) were given CBD capsules in addition to chemoradiation and a multidrug regimen.
Both patients had a positive response to the treatment with no evidence of disease worsening for at least two years.
6. May Assist in Reduction of Inflammatory Skin Conditions
In some studies, certain cannabinoids demonstrate anti-inflammatory, anti-itch, anti-aging, and anticancer properties. Some experts suggest that these effects occur when the drug interacts with the endocannabinoid system found on the skin.
Some skin conditions that may improve with CBD treatment include:
• atopic dermatitis
• skin cancer
• itchy skin
Based on recent scientific studies, CBD oil may help treat acne due to its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to reduce sebum production.
CBD-based products are popping up in many sexual health products and skin care products too, as they become a more natural solution to maintaining healthy, young-looking skin.
7. Addiction management and treatment
CBD has been shown to modify circuits in the brain related to drug addiction.
Some experts suggest that CBD oil can help people with addiction by reducing activation of the amygdala, a brain area involved in addiction.
Cravings for drugs generally occur by exposure to a particular cue. So, reducing the craving during cues can help people abstain from heroin.
A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry explored CBD’s effect on cue-inducing craving and anxiety in people with heroin use disorder. The researchers demonstrated that compared with placebo, those who took CBD had lower cravings and anxiety. These results are promising and require further investigation.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Though CBD is generally well tolerated and considered safe, it may cause some adverse reactions in some people.
• Changes in appetite and weight
CBD is also known to interact with several medications.
This is especially important if you take medications or supplements that come with a “grapefruit warning.” Both grapefruit and CBD interfere with cytochromes P450 (CYPs), a group of enzymes that are important to drug metabolism
You should always consult your doctor before entertaining the idea of adding CBD to your health regimen.