There are so many conversations going on surrounding cannabis use right now that it can be hard to keep up. Medical marijuana has been legalized in several U.S. states, and recreational marijuana is also approved in many areas. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is another cannabis-derived substance that is being studied and used for its ability to improve the symptoms of many psychological and physical health conditions. Research shows that CBD has many therapeutic properties and a wide range of applications. In this article, you’ll learn about the benefits of CBD.
CBD Doesn’t Make You High
No matter what you use CBD oil for, you won’t experience mind-altering effects. This is a benefit for people who get anxiety when they use marijuana. It also allows you to use CBD throughout the day without interfering with your job performance or ability to drive.
CBD oil doesn’t have intoxicating effects because it doesn’t contain THC, which is the psychoactive compound in marijuana. The intoxicating qualities of pot have prevented its widespread use for managing your health. CBD may be more widely accepted. It is easier for many consumers to obtain. As long as it is derived from industrial hemp and doesn’t contain THC, CBD is legal in every U.S. state.
CBD Can Relieve Pain
The human body has cannabinoid receptors throughout the central nervous system. These are involved in neurological communication, which includes pain signals. Endogenous cannabinoids are natural chemicals within your body that work with the endocannabinoid system. Exogenous cannabinoids, such as CBD, can be consumed, applied topically or inhaled to influence the same system.
Some individuals who deal with hard-to-treat, chronic pain may have deficiencies in the endocannabinoid system. Introducing CBD may improve endocannabinoid function and improve the physical distress that is associated with conditions such as:
• Irritable bowel syndrome
One of the reasons that people feel pain is that nociceptors, or sensory nerve cells, are stimulated in response to certain stimuli. The nerve cells communicate those signals to certain parts of the brain that are associated with pain perception. CBD may decrease nociceptive transmission in the thalamus, inhibiting its ability to relay those signals to other parts of the central nervous system. CBD has been shown to control pain as well as or better than morphine.
You don’t have to experience major pain to get benefits from CBD. CBD-infused athletic lotions can be applied to the skin to help relieve soreness from overexertion. It may also soothe muscle cramps and arthritis discomfort.
CBD May Help With Arthritis
Arthritis is a condition that is marked by inflammation. Swelling in the joints leads to cartilage and bone damage, which can make you achy and sore.
In a 2016 study, rodents with inflamed joints were given a topical CBD gel that contained different doses of CBD. Applying the product topically allowed it to stay in circulation for longer and prevented it from being deactivated in the digestive system.
Researchers noted that the CBD gel reduced inflammation and relieved pain. It even reduced the thickness of the synovial membrane, which becomes swollen in people with arthritis and leads to fluid accumulation.
In another study, researchers gave subjects CBD orally or by injection. Moderate doses reduced tenderness and swelling. Low and high doses didn’t produce the same effects.
Arthritis eventually leads to joint damage. Research shows that administering CBD can counteract nerve damage and prevent pain from becoming worse.
CBD Helps With Cancer
CBD can help cancer patients in a variety of ways. It is considered to be an antineoplastic agent. This means that it delays the development of abnormal cells. Other antineoplastic agents are currently used to treat certain types of cancers.
CBD obstructs the reuptake of anandamide, a neurotransmitter that is associated with pain reduction. Anandamide has also been shown to induce death in melanoma cells. Maintaining an abundance of usable anandamide in the body may have implications for treating skin cancer.
In addition to its potential for preventing cancer and delaying its progression, CBD may help with distressing symptoms associated with cancer and chemotherapy. Cancer pain may be caused by damaged tissue or a tumor that pushes on nerves, bones or organs. It can also be triggered by tests, surgery and cancer treatments.
Opioids are commonly used to help people with cancer pain become more comfortable. These narcotics have a high risk of addiction potential, however, and they can produce serious side effects.
Nabiximols is a pharmaceutical that contains THC and CBD. It is being tested for its ability to treat pain from cancer and multiple sclerosis. Much of the testing on cannabinoids for cancer pain involves compounds that contain THC. Because CBD reduces inflammation and mediates pain signals, it also shows promise for relieving physical distress associated with cancer.
Pain is not the only negative side effect of cancer. Some cancer treatments cause nausea, vomiting and diminished appetite. According to the American Cancer Society, the drugs dronabinol and nabilone have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, to treat these symptoms.
The drugs contain or mimic THC, the mind-altering cannabinoid that is found in marijuana. However, you may be able to get similar results without the psychoactive activity by using CBD. In 2012, a study was published on CBD’s anti-nausea effects. Researchers found that CBD reduced nausea and vomiting when administered in moderate doses. Other studies have delivered similar results.
CBD Has Been Studied for Nerve Problems
Multiple sclerosis, ALS, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and fibromyalgia are health problems that affect the nerves. Although there is no known cure for these conditions, treatment can help manage symptoms. Some medications and therapies can prevent the progression of the diseases, but results vary.
Preliminary studies have discovered that CBD can help enhance quality of life for people with Parkinson’s disease. It can improve REM sleep behavior disorder, a condition that causes nightmares and other disturbing behavior during sleep for many patients with Parkinson’s. It has also been found to reduce the psychosis that is associated with this disease.
People with multiple sclerosis usually develop problems with mobility throughout the course of their lives. Although no studies have directly linked CBD with improved mobility, researchers have found that CBD can improve symptoms of depression, fatigue, inflammation, muscle spasms and pain. In doing so, it may help with mobility issues too. A 2017 study showed that CBD may also prevent multiple sclerosis from worsening.
CBD’s neuroprotective effects may be partially responsible for its ability to improve symptoms of these diseases. Some experts theorize that oxidative damage to nerve cells plays a role in the development of ALS. As we discuss in further detail below, CBD is an antioxidant that may deter this type of damage.
Few studies have been done on CBD and fibromyalgia. However, research shows that many fibromyalgia patients that use cannabis experience an improvement in their symptoms.
CBD is an Antioxidant
Many health and beauty products tout the antioxidant benefits of their ingredients. To understand what that means, it is useful to understand how oxidation harms cells.
Oxidation is a normal process that occurs when certain chemical reactions occur. It produces free radicals, which are molecules that are missing an electron. They travel throughout the body, seeking other molecules to bond with. When they pair up with certain molecules, they can cause damage.
Antioxidants donate an electron to free radicals, stopping them from scavenging for other molecules to bond with. CBD is a powerful antioxidant. It works better than vitamins E and C, which are also known free-radical fighters. This gives it numerous benefits for treating a variety of issues that affect your health and wellness.
UV damage and environmental toxins can damage the skin through oxidative processes. When it’s used topically, CBD may counteract this damage.
Oxidative stress is implicated in the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. CBD’s antioxidant properties may make it a key player in future treatment of this condition. Patients with Alzheimer’s disease have experienced relief from symptoms such as agitation and aggression when taking CBD. They have also experienced improvements in sleep, irritability and emotional numbness when taking a combination of cannabinoids.
CBD Can Improve Skin Problems
The endocannabinoid system extends to the skin. We mentioned that CBD can counteract skin damage from UV radiation and atmospheric pollution. CBD can also improve skin issues such as itching, dermatitis, acne, eczema and psoriasis.
Because CBD influences inflammation and oxidation, it can relieve skin problems that stem from allergies, external factors or other health conditions. The cannabinoid also shows promise for improving dry skin conditions, sensitive skin and excessive hair growth.
You can rub CBD oil directly on the skin. Many personal care products are also infused with CBD. For a full-body approach to skin soothing, try running a bath using salts that contain CBD. CBD lotion can be used on the face or body to help with blemishes, dry skin or irritation.
CBD Can Work On Digestive Issues
Cannabinoid receptors have been found in the digestive tract. Activating the receptors in this area may protect the intestinal lining, improve motility problems and reduce intestinal fluid secretion. Using CBD to modulate the endocannabinoid system may have implications for diseases that affect the gut, including nausea, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, diarrhea and gastrointestinal reflux disease.
Cannabis extracts have been used for centuries for treating digestive distress. THC works directly on the endocannabinoid receptors. CBD works indirectly. One of the ways that CBD may affect the receptors in the gut may be by increasing the levels of anandamide in the body. It also interacts with enteric glial cells, which regulate inflammation and immune responses. CBD may reduce intestinal damage caused by inflammatory bowel illnesses.
CBD May Aid in Weight Management and Metabolic Disorders
Obesity and fat metabolism are linked with diabetes. In one study, CBD was found to reduce the incidence of diabetes in rodents. Its anti-inflammatory properties may be relevant for its therapeutic potential for type I diabetes. CBD may also improve symptoms that are associated with type II diabetes, such as circulation problems.
CBD May Enhance Mental Health
CBD oil has been used in many studies that investigate mental health issues, such as anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. CBD may improve your mood via several mechanisms.
CBD can also relieve fear-induced stress and anxiety. It may work as well as diazepam, a commonly used sedative, for relieving anxiety that’s caused by conditioned stress. This has positive implications for treating aversive behaviors that are associated with PTSD.
It has been studied for its ability to relieve other types of anxiety too. CBD can reduce social anxiety and help you maintain focus when you’re under stress. An extensive 2015 review demonstrated that evidence supports the use of CBD for treating obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.
CBD Might Help You Sleep
Different cannabis strains exert distinct effects on sleep. In people who smoke marijuana, indica strains tend to promote relaxation more than sativa strains. Studies on CBD for sleep have produced varying results.
In one study, researchers found that rodents that experienced sleep disturbances related to anxiety had normal sleep cycles after being dosed with CBD. However, other researchers found that taking 15 milligrams of CBD along with 15 milligrams of THC increased periods of wakefulness overnight.
Also, low doses of CBD may make you more alert. This indicates that using it during the day to prevent drowsiness may prevent you from taking those naps that keep you awake at night.
If you have trouble sleeping because you’re dealing with pain or anxiety, CBD can promote better rest by relieving those underlying issues.
CBD Can Benefit People With Seizure Disorders
A large body of research pertains to CBD and its ability to reduce seizures in people with disorders such as epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Many of the studies include THC.
However, CBD may work in conjunction with THC and other medications. In one report, cannabis that was enriched with CBD lowered the incidence of seizures in children with treatment-resistant seizure disorders. Other researchshows that non-psychotropic cannabinoids can treat conditions that are associated with neuronal hyperexcitability.
CBD Can Help Your Pets
CBD benefits aren’t limited to humans. CBD oil for pets can improve ailments in animals, such as:
It’s easy to place a few drops under your pet’s tongue or mix the product with food.
Using high-quality CBD is important. Some products that claim to contain cannabinoids don’t contain any CBD at all. Full-spectrum hemp oils and CBD extracts contain a wide range of plant compounds that provide multiple benefits. Check out our website to explore a comprehensive variety of products and resources that bring you the benefits of CBD.