What is CBD?
Short for cannabidiol, CBD is the lesser known derivative of the Cannabis Sativa plant and is one of over 100 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. Unlike the much more popular active ingredient THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, CBD’s benefits can be felt without the user experiencing a “high” as it does not contain any psychoactive properties. In order for it to be used for medicinal and wellness purposes, it must be extracted from the flowers and buds of the Cannabis plant and is usually pressed into oil. With the legalization of marijuana use, cbd oil has recently gotten a lot stronger and is more natural than the non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory alternatives (NSAIDs), but exactly what benefits can this natural remedy provide?
Since Marijuana began being used for medicinal purposes in china around 2900 BC, it has been used, in part, for the treatment of pain and one of the biggest components of marijuana contributing to those benefits are CBD. But how does it work?
Well, the body produces what’s called endocannabinoids which are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system. Among other things, the endocannabinoid system regulates things like sleep, immune system and, you guessed it, pain response. Studies show that the CBD interacts with those endocannabinoid receptors, reducing inflammation and ultimately pain. The experience of pain relief is even more defined when combined with THC
Sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, Pre-clinical studies are looking at the roll of CBD, and cannabis in general, in relieving symptoms of:
- chronic pain
- MS pain
- muscle pain
- spinal cord injuries
Possible Relief of Anxiety
Over the past few years, CBD oil has shown promise in the treatment of both Anxiety and PTSD. Studies have concluded that CBD has the ability to interact with, and increase the brain’s serotonin receptors, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood, among other things. Receptors are tiny proteins attached to your cells that receive chemical messages and help your cells respond to various stimuli.
In this way, the effect is similar to that of an antidepressant, but naturally derived. It is important that when attempting to treat Anxiety and depression with CBD oil that you make sure it is super pure as any traces of THC can actually cause an increase in anxiety which is, of course the opposite of the desired effect
A study found that CBD seemed to reduce nervousness and cognitive impairment in patients with social anxiety. The research found that 600mg of CBD helped people with social anxiety with things like giving a public speech. Other studies on animals show that CBD helped relieve anxiety by:
- reducing stress
- decreasing physiological effects of anxiety including increased heart rate and rapid, shallow breathing
- improving symptoms of PTSD- inducing sleep in insomnia cases.
Can Alleviate Cancer-Related Symptoms
Apart from the Cancer itself, patients also experience a wide array of negative effects from the treatments themselves. While there are already drugs on the market to help Cancer patients who are going through aggressive treatment programs such as Chemotherapy, they are sometimes ineffective which often leads people to search for alternatives.
Research has increased tremendously over the last couple of years that supports the effectiveness of CBD oil in treating some of the symptoms associated with Cancer and it’s therapy. In a recent study, patients who were undergoing chemotherapy used CBD oil and found that it was quite efficient in the reduction of nausea, pain and discomfort.
A study of 16 people undergoing Chemo found that a 1:1 ratio of CBD and TCH administered to the patients significantly reduced treatment-related nausea and vomiting better than a more traditional medical option.
Perhaps even more profound was a study showing that CBD actually inhibited the spread of aggressive breast cancer cells in mice. Though there are clearly marked differences between the bodies of mice and those of humans, it can suggest that it may work in humans as well.
May Reduce Acne
It is thought that Acne is caused, in part, by a wide range of factors such as genes, bacteria, underlying inflammation and the overproduction of sebum (an oily secretion in the skin made by sebaceous glands).
A 2014 Scientific study found that CBD oil may be an effective treatment for acne. Researchers explored the effects of CBD on human sebocytes, which are cells that create sebum. They found that CBD was effective in preventing the cells from creating an excess of oily sebum. In addition they revealed that the CBD oil triggered an anti-inflammatory response in the cells and prevented inflammatory cytokines (which trigger acne) from activating.
Since then, CBD-based skin care products have increased and are considered to be natural solutions to maintaining healthy, radiant, young looking skin.
An article published by MBG health highlighted research into CBD and its benefits on brain health. They found that because CBD is able to prevent free radical damage, reduce inflammation and not only protect ,but generate new cells, it can be quite beneficial in protecting the brain from diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
This is also the reason CBD is increasingly popular for patients with epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and who suffer from strokes. Because of the strong antioxidant (stronger than vitamin C + E), anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties, it is now being more widely recognized as a natural way to promote brain health and overall wellness.