There’s no doubt that CBD is a popular wellness product at the moment. Coffee shops have CBD lattes, spas are offering CBD facials, and beauty companies want to win the race to release lotions with CBD Oil Benefits or hemp oils in their formulas. From your anxious co-worker to your uncle suffering from arthritis; everyone wants to get their hands on some CBD.
Even though it’s infiltrated pretty much every corner of the wellness world, the use of cannabidiol (CBD) oil is controversial. Especially when it comes to figuring out the correct and most efficient way to use it and also whether the stuff you’re buying is actually genuine.
What is CBD oil?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a chemical compound from the Cannabis Sativa plant, also commonly known as Marijuana or Hemp. It’s a naturally occurring substance that is used in products like oils and edibles, in order to impart a feeling of relaxation and calm. Unlike its close relative tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is a major active ingredient in marijuana giving the person a high effect, CBD is not psychoactive.
Researchers have been looking at the possible therapeutic uses of CBD. CBD oils are oils that contain concentrations of CBD, the concentrations and the uses of these oils vary.
Marijuana contains both THC and CBD, and both these compounds have different effects. While THC creates a mind-altering ‘high’ as heat breaks it down before introducing it into the body, CBD is different. Along with CBD not being psychoactive, it produces significant changes in the body and some research has even suggested that it has medical benefits.
How does CBD work?
All cannabinoids, including CBD, produce effects in the body by attaching to certain receptors. Even the human body produces certain cannabinoids on its own and has two receptors for it – CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors. The former are present throughout the body, but many are in the brain. They deal with coordination and movement, pain, emotions, mood, thinking, appetite, memories and other functions. THC attaches to these very receptors.
While CB2 receptors are more common in the immune system and affect inflammation and pain. Researchers once believed that CBD attaches itself to these CB2 receptors, but now it appears that CBD does not attach directly to either receptor. Instead, it seems to direct the body to use more of its own cannabinoids.
CBD Oil Benefits
Here are six potential CBD oil uses and where their research stands.
To learn about the ways that CBD could help people with neurodegenerative disorders, diseases that cause the brain and nerves to deteriorate over time; researchers are looking at a receptor located in the brain. This receptor is known as CB1.
Researchers are studying the use of CBD oil for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease and stroke. CBD oil may also reduce the inflammation that makes neurodegenerative symptoms worse, but more research is definitely needed in order to have a holistic understanding of CBD effects on neurodegenerative diseases.
CBD has been noted as a possible treatment for epilepsy before. Researchers are currently testing how much CBD is able to reduce the number of seizures in people with epilepsy, as well as how safe it is. According to the American Epilepsy Society, cannabidiol research offers hope for seizure disorders, and research is currently being conducted to increase an understanding of its safe use methods.
A study conducted by Lancet from 2016 worked with 214 people with epilepsy. The participants added oral doses of 2 to 5 mg of CBD per day to their existing anti-epilepsy medications while being monitored for 12 weeks. Overall, participants had 36.5% fewer seizures per month. However, severe adverse effects were recorded in 12% of the participants.
Anxiety is known to be easily managed by CBD. Researchers think it may change the way our brain’s receptors respond to serotonin, a chemical linked to mental health. Receptors are tiny proteins attached to our cells that receive chemical messages and help our cells respond to different stimuli.
One study found that a 600mg dose of CBD helped people with social anxiety give a speech. Early studies done with animals have shown that CBD may help relieve anxiety by reducing stress, improving symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, decreasing physiological effects of anxiety, and inducing sleep in cases of insomnia.
CBD oil effects on your brain’s receptors may also help you manage pain. According to some studies, cannabis can offer some benefits when taken after chemotherapy treatments. Other pre-clinical studies sponsored by the National Institute of Health are looking at the role of cannabis in relieving symptoms caused by arthritis, chronic pain, MS pain, muscle pain, and spinal cord injuries.
The effects of CBD on receptors may help reduce overall inflammation in the body and in turn CBD oil may offer benefits for acne management. A human study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that the oil prevented activity in sebaceous glands, the overproduction of which leads to acne. More human studies are needed to evaluate this though.
Treatment of Cancer
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) says that CBD may help alleviate cancer symptoms and cancer treatment side effects. However, the NCI doesn’t fully endorse any form of cannabis as a cancer treatment. CBD’s ability to moderate inflammation and change how cells reproduce seems promising for future cancer treatments.
CBD Oil Risks
There are no major risks for CBD oil users. However, the possible side effects include:
- Low blood pressure
- Withdrawal symptoms such as irritability and insomnia.
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Recommended Read: The Science Behind CBD For Stress Relief