What is CBD?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is one of the active ingredients found in the cannabis sativa, or hemp, plant. Unlike another, more famous chemical compound, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD is neither psychoactive nor psychotropic, which means that CBD does not produce a ‘high’.
People have been taking CBD for health reasons for thousands of years. Recently, CBD oil has become very popular as more and more people are finding out about the many benefits of CBD. CBD oil is a common way for people to take CBD. CBD oil is a mixture of cannabidiol and an inert carrier oil like hemp seed oil or coconut oil.
Called a tincture, bottled CBD oil comes in concentrations ranging from 100mg to 5,000mg per 10-60mL. CBD oil can be taken orally by placing drops under the tongue (sublingual) or applied directly onto the skin (topical). CBD oil can also come in capsules, gummies, chewing gums and sprays.
CBD has a wide range of physical, neurological and mental effects because it affects the body’s own cannabinoid system, called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). As more scientific research is done on CBD, more and more health benefits are being discovered. CBD affects the chemical receptors in the human brain, including glycine receptors which regulate hormones like serotonin as well as opioid receptors that regulate pain.
CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, which means it reduces inflammation or swelling. It’s also an antispasmodic which means it suppresses muscle spasms. CBD is a bronchodilator, which means it dilates the bronchi in our lungs which makes breathing easier.
CBD is an antioxidant. Antioxidants are chemical compounds that help defend the body’s cells against potentially harmful molecules called free radicals, often linked to inflammatory conditions like stroke and myocardial infarction. Because of these antioxidative properties, CBD has also been shown to protect the body from age-related diseases like arthritis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease which are often worsened by the oxidative stress caused by the toxic chemicals in the body.
Certain clinical trials have also shown CBD to be effective in treating epilepsy, while also having therapeutic benefits for neurological disorders such as depression and multiple sclerosis (MS). As its popularity increases, more research is being done into CBD’s benefits in treating anxiety as well as PTSD.
CBD oil benefits
One of the greatest benefits of CBD oil is that it doesn’t get you ‘high.’ Furthermore, our body doesn’t build a tolerance to cannabidiol, which means that CBD oil isn’t addictive. Scientific studies have shown that CBD oil can be therapeutic to a vast array of medical conditions including, but not limited to, the following:
- Alzheimer’s disease/Dementia
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Chronic Pain
- Heart Disease
- Sleep Disorders/Insomnia
Acne is a skin condition characterized by red pimples on the skin, especially on the face, caused by inflamed or infected sebaceous glands. Acne affects most people at some point in their life, often during adolescence.
Studies have shown that CBD oil can benefit those suffering from acne because of its anti-inflammatory properties. While it can help reduce the number and severity of acne breakouts, CBD oil also reduces a person’s sebum (oil) production. Overproduction of sebum is one of the main causes of acne.
Addiction is a brain disease manifested by the physical and psychological inability to stop consuming a drug, activity, or substance, despite causing substantial physical and psychological harm.
CBD oil may benefit those suffering from addiction because the body’s endocannabinoid system plays a key role in addiction. CBD modulates a person’s serotonin levels while also indirectly affecting the endogenous cannabinoid and opioid systems. These qualities of CBD have been found to reduce the intensity of an addict’s cravings and also limit the neurological effects of chronic addiction.
Alzheimer’s disease, similar as dementia, is a progressive deterioration of the brain. The symptoms develop gradually over time, becoming more severe with time. Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by memory loss, confusion and difficulty communicating with other people.
CBD oil has been found to benefit those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease because of its antioxidative and neuroprotective properties. Not only have studies demonstrated that CBD can ameliorate symptoms of severe dementia, but it can also be beneficial in helping dementia patients come off other, habit-forming drugs such as morphine, benzodiazepines and antipsychotics.
Anorexia is a serious psychological disorder characterized by an obsessive preoccupation with one’s body image and a desire to lose weight by refusing to eat or binge-purge behaviour.
Studies into treating people with anorexia have found that molecules and compounds that affect CB1 receptors in the brain, like CBD, can lead to appetite stimulation. One of CBD oil’s benefits is its ability to modulate and regulate these receptors which are found in our endocannabinoid system, and researchers and doctors are doing more studies into CBD being used as a potential treatment for anorexia.
Anxiety disorders are a group of mental disorders characterized by excessive nervousness, fear, apprehension and worry about current and future events. These feelings are often out of proportion to the actual danger. Symptoms of anxiety can include an increased heart rate, shakiness, sweating, panic, fatigues and trouble concentrating.
Anxiety disorders are often treated pharmacologically with prescription drugs whose side effects are often quite negative, including tiredness, insomnia, headaches and nausea. Pharmaceutical drugs such as benzodiazepines can often be addictive and there is a very real danger of substance dependence and/or abuse.
CBD, on the other hand, has very few negative side effects and has been shown to produce antidepressant-like effects in several studies. CBD affects the brain’s receptors for serotonin in a similar way to pharmaceutical antidepressants. One of CBD oil’s benefits is its anxiolytic (anxiety-relieving) effects and its capability to regulate mood and social behaviour.
Arthritis is a common term referring to joint pain or joint disease. There are over a hundred types of arthritis, the most common being osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Symptoms include joint swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion.
One of the primary CBD oil benefits for arthritis sufferers is its effectiveness in reducing pain and inflammation. Studies on osteoarthritis found that CBD oil for arthritis benefited the test subjects not only by reducing joint inflammation but also providing nerve protection.
Asthma is a chronic respiratory disorder in which the airways narrow and produce extra mucus. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, coughing, tightness or pain in the chest, wheezing and shortness of breath. For some, asthma is a minor nuisance, while for others it can be life threatening.
CBD oil can benefit asthma sufferers because it opens the airways and makes it easier to breathe CBD has bronchodilatory, anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties, all of which make it easier for someone suffering from an asthma attack to breathe.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurobehavioral condition that affects social interaction, language, communication skills, interests and behaviour. Symptoms can include rigid or repetitive behaviours as well as learning disabilities, ADHD, OCD, depression, or anxiety.
More and more research is being done into CBD oil’s benefits to those suffering from ASD. Some initial studies have found that patients taking CBD oil reported significant improvements, including decreased agitation and aggression, increased appetite and an increased ability to concentrate as well as sleep.
Cancer refers to a collection of related diseases when cells in a specific part of the body grow and reproduce uncontrollably, often spreading into surrounding tissues and organs. Symptoms vary, however, they often include weight loss, nausea, fatigue and chronic pain.
CBD oil can benefit those suffering from cancer as it has been shown to affect the metabolism and distribution of anticancer drugs. It has also been effective at preventing or reducing the neuropathy (nerve disorders) caused by certain anticancer drugs.
Most studies suggest that CBD oil’s benefits complement traditional cancer treatments. CBD oil may benefit people suffering from cancer by stimulating appetite, helping with sleep, relieving pain, and reducing nausea symptoms from chemotherapy.
CBD has been shown to be effective for treatment of chronic pain symptoms. The human body’s endocannabinoid system is involved in pain regulation. The body naturally produces endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system.
Studies suggest that CBD oil may be an effective treatment for pain-management through its impact on cannabinoid receptors and neurotransmitters in our brain. Furthermore, cannabidiol is an anti-inflammatory, which can help reduce swelling and thus reduce pain in a certain area.
CBD has also been shown to be an effective treatment for chronic pain due to the fact that it binds to the receptors in the brain which regulate the speed at which nerve signals pass between cells.
Depression is a medical condition which negatively affects how you feel, think and act. Depression can cause various physical and emotional problems and negatively impact every aspect of life. Symptoms may include loss of appetite, fatigue, trouble sleeping, anxiety, irritability, feeling worthless or guilty, trouble concentrating and thoughts of death and suicide.
Studies have found that, while not providing a cure, CBD oil can help people ease their depression When certain chemical substances in the brain, called neurotransmitters, bind to their respective receptors, a series of events is triggered that can reduce anxiety and help control stress levels.
Serotonin is one of the neurotransmitters that can improve mood and reduce stress. Studies have found that CBD can increase the effects of serotonin by enhancing the activity of the receptors onto which serotonin binds. Using CBD oil can potentially benefit those suffering from depression by helping improve mood and controlling stress.
Epilepsy is a group of neurological disorders, which means that they affect the central nervous system. When someone has epilepsy, their brain activity can sometimes become abnormal, causing them to have epileptic seizures. Symptoms of seizures can include temporary confusion, uncontrolled jerking of arms and legs, loss of consciousness, and sudden rapid eye movement.
The benefits of usingCBD oil as an epilepsy treatment has gained a lot of traction recently. CBD has been shown to be effective in treating Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, childhood epilepsy syndromes which are often immune to antiseizure medications.
Numerous studies into CBD’s effects on epilepsy have been undertaken, and it has been shown to not only reduce the number of seizures, but in some studies, stop the seizures altogether.
Fibromyalgia is a long-term medical condition associated with chronic widespread pain in the muscles and bones, areas of tenderness, increased pain response to pressure, and general fatigue.
Because pain is regulated by the body’s endocannabinoid system, CBD oil can benefit those suffering from fibromyalgia. CBD oil can also help improve the side effects of fibromyalgia.
CBD oil has been found to improve sleep, appetite and sexual activity. It can also help those suffering from chronic pain to stop taking opioids or benzodiazepines as part of their pain-management.
Cardiovascular disease, or heart disease, refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels in the heart which can lead to chest pain (angina), heart attack or stroke.
Because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties, CBD oil can benefit those at high risk from heart disease. Studies have shown that CBD oil can successfully alleviate hypertension (high blood pressure) and can also be a beneficial complementary therapy for people whose hypertension is exacerbated by stress and anxiety.
Obesity is a physical condition associated with excess body fat. In general, people are considered to be obese when their body mass index (BMI) is over 30. Genetics and environmental factors often contribute to a person’s obesity. Obesity is associated with chronic inflammation, diabetes and other metabolic conditions.
Some studies have shown that CBD oil can help boost metabolism while reducing appetite, thus potentially helping with weight loss. However, other studies showed an increase in appetite and more research on CBD oil’s benefits for obesity is needed.
Sleep disorders are conditions that result in changes and disturbances to a person’s normal sleep patterns. Sleep disorders can affect overall health, safety and quality of life. Symptoms of insomnia and sleep disorders can include increased daytime fatigue, irregular breathing and/or increased movement while sleeping.
Studies suggest that CBD oil can benefit those suffering from sleep disorders as it can support a more restful and deeper sleep. Elevated CBD levels can reduce chronic pain, anxiety and other challenges that can cause sleep disorders. Furthermore, CBD has been found to reduce REM sleep disorder. So in conclusion, CBD oil for sleep and insomnia isn’t just a hoax.
CBD oil benefits
CBD oil’s benefits range far and wide. It helps reduce stress and anxiety, pain, as well as inflammation. It’s an antioxidant and bronchodilator. CBD oil can benefit people suffering from many different conditions and symptoms.
While being an effective treatment or complementary treatment to many known diseases and conditions, CBD oil can also improve overall wellbeing by improving appetite, sleep and sexual activity, all with complete mental clarity.
From helping battle some of the world’s cruellest diagnoses to improving a person’s overall physical and mental wellbeing, CBD oil has benefits that nearly everyone can, and should, enjoy.
Author: B. W.