Cannabis is a fascinating and amazing plant and scientists have identified over 100 compounds called cannabinoids in this plant. One of those compounds is cannabidiol, which is remarkably similar with THC with one important distinction—it doesn’t have a psychoactive effect. Because of this, CBD is believed to have many medicinal benefits without producing a high.
CBD is recognized by the World Health Organization as safe for consumption. Generally, the side effects are mild and some people may not experience any side effects at low doses. The most common side effects include fatigue, changes in appetite, and diarrhea.
There are seemingly endless claims out there about what CBD can and can’t do for the human body. Honestly, a deep dive into the benefits of CBD can be a little overwhelming. So here’s a quick look at the seven most well-supported benefits of this cannabis product.
The endocannabinoid system is a system of receptors, signaling molecules, enzymes that naturally occur in the body. This system was actually discovered because of the way cannabis interacts with the body. Among the many important functions of the endocannabinoid system is management of the inflammatory response.
CBD can be used as a supplement to support the anti-inflammatory functions of the endocannabinoid system. On 2015 research review published in Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry states that CBD oil can create a whole-body improvement of the symptoms of inflammation.
Even more specifically, researchers have been able to link the use of this cannabis derived product to significant improvements in the inflammatory symptoms of autoimmune disorders like arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
Managing inflammation isn’t the only important function of the endocannabinoid system, it also plays a role in how our bodies experience pain. Knowing that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, it makes sense that pain relief is another observed benefit of this product.
In 2018, the Journal of Pain Research published promising research highlighting the pain relief experienced by patients with malignant tumors when using CBD. Additionally, animals studies have observed the ability of CBD in reducing pain from surgical incisions.
In addition to controlled studies, there is also anecdotal evidence that points to the pain relief benefits of CBD. In 2018, the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research published a cross-sectional survey of 2,409 participants. The results of this study showed that pain was among the top three reasons individuals used CBD and that 36 percent of users were able to achieve their desired results using CBD alone.
Just over 18 percent of the adult population in America is struggling with an anxiety disorder.
This mental health disorder has long been associated with the way serotonin is processed in the brain and SSRIs were created to resolve this issue.
There is research that indicates that CBD may offer promise as a natural treatment for the symptoms of anxiety. So far, the research is limited. One animal study published in the journal Pain in 2019 observed improvement in behaviors related to anxiety in rats. Another study used 600 mg of CBD in men who reported a phobia of public speaking and observed significant improvements in their anxiety.
One of the most well-researched benefits of CBD oil is the effect it has on hard-to-treat seizure conditions. Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome are two seizure disorders that are incredibly difficult to treat. Because CBD has been so effective in managing the seizures associated with these conditions, the FDA recently approved a prescription version of CBD called Epidiolex.
CBD is especially attractive because of its mild side effects, like fatigue and diarrhea. Other popular seizure medications are associated with more serious side effects like vomiting, dizziness, and depression.
The side effects of chemotherapy are notoriously difficult to manage. It’s common to experience intense fatigue, nausea, and vomiting with many kinds of chemotherapy medications.
While not officially endorsed by the National Cancer Institute, the organization does state that cannabinoids have been used to reduce the symptoms of chemo, like nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. CBD has also been found to be effective in managing pain caused by cancer, even more effective than THC according to a 2010 study published in the Journal of Pain Symptom Management.
Additionally, CBD may inhibit the growth of tumors with research linking this cannabis product with slowed growth of tumor cells.
It’s estimated that 10 percent of adults deal with chronic insomnia, which is sleep disruptions or difficulty falling asleep that last more the six weeks. Popular sleep aids can be habit forming and create severe side effects in many individuals. Individuals with chronic insomnia know just how difficult it is to treat, but CBD is an excited alternative that is helping many getting some more rest.
CBD is also safe and has few side effects when take at the appropriate dose. It isn’t completely clear how CBD oil improves sleep. One belief is that it improves sleep because of its effect on the the endocannabinoid system, which plays a role in regulating sleep. Additionally, CBD has a calming effect on the nervous system and is associated with decreased anxiety, which could aid sleep.
According to the American Heart Association, over 100,000 individuals in the United States are dealing with high blood pressure. The risks of chronically high blood pressure are well known and include increased risk of strokes and heart attacks.
In 2017, researcher found that CBD could be used to lower blood pressure. In this study, which was published in the journal JCI Insight, a CBD dosage of 600mg lowered blood pressure significantly in both men at rest and men under stress.
If CBD may help you manage a health condition listed above, it is a good idea to speak with a doctor before beginning use for the first time. Although it is generally considered to be safe for consumption, there are some individuals who may find it isn’t the right fit.
For example, children, pregnant women, and older adults can take CBD but should take smaller doses under the direction of a healthcare professional. Additionally, there are some medications that interact negatively with CBD.
In addition to helping you decide if CBD is right for you, a healthcare professional can help you determine the right dosage and monitor for adverse reactions. It is most helpful to find a doctor who has experience with CBD. If this isn’t possible, find a doctor who is at least open minded to researching the benefits and uses of this cannabis product.
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