CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring compound found in marijuana and hemp plants. It is a popular natural remedy used for many common ailments. Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the main psychoactive chemical responsible for the ‘high’ feeling associated with marijuana use, CBD doesn’t cause intoxication. According to the World Health Organization CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential. It is also well tolerated with a good safety profile.
Most of the CBD available in the market today is derived from hemp plants which contain less than 0.3 percent THC. CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the leaves and flowers of the hemp plant and then diluting it with an inert carrier oil such as coconut or hemp seed oil.
While there is some controversy around CBD products due to the recreational use of marijuana and the confusion between THC and CBD, there is growing awareness about CBD benefits. Let’s look at seven CBD oil benefitsthat are backed by scientific evidence.
Can CBD Improve My Skin?
CBD is a widespread ingredient found in skincare products such as body oils, lip balms, lotions, and moisturizers. It has gained popularity due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and soothing properties. Researchers are conducting studies to identify and investigate the full range of CBD benefits for the skin.
According to a 2014 study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation , CBD can be effective in the treatment of acne. CBD reacts with the immune system to have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. This, combined with its ability to reduce the production of sebum, is why it can be useful in acne management.
Besides acne, CBD is also being investigated in the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. A 2019 study determined that CBD as a topical ointment is a safe and effective treatment to improve the quality of life of patients suffering from inflammatory skin disorders.
Can CBD Help With Pain?
One of the most popular CBD benefits is pain relief. According to a 2018 study , 62% of CBD users use CBD to treat a medical condition. The top two medical conditions identified in the study were chronic pain and arthritis/joint pain. The actual mechanism of how CBD helps treat or manage pain is still unknown. Since CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, it might help with pain relief through this mechanism.
Many animal studies have shown that CBD can help relieve pain and inflammation associated with arthritis and osteoarthritis. Human research on CBD oil benefits for pain relief, however, still needs to catch up. In a small human study, CBD was effective at reducing intense pain, sharp pain, and cold and itchy sensations caused by peripheral neuropathy .
Can CBD Help With Anxiety?
After pain relief, CBD users most commonly use CBD to help with anxiety. CBD has the ability to act on the brain’s receptors for serotonin, a chemical linked to mental health, and has shown significant promise as an anti-anxiety treatment in clinical studies.
A comprehensive 2015 review of current research found strong evidence to support the potential of CBD in the treatment of a broad range of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder (PD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD). A more recent review of 25 clinical studies found that improvement in anxiety levels resulted after single doses of CBD ranging from 300 to 600 mg.
Can CBD Help Me Sleep?
While research on CBD benefits is still in its infancy, initial research suggests that CBD may help with sleeplessness by addressing the underlying causes of poor sleep. For example, if you can’t sleep because of a common mental health disorder, such as anxiety or PTSD, CBD can help by reducing the symptoms of the disorder. In a 2019 study on whether CBD improves sleep and/or anxiety, anxiety scores after CBD treatment remained low throughout the duration of the study while sleep scores dropped in the first month and then fluctuated for the duration of the study.
Another reason for sleeping poorly can be chronic pain. CBD can help improve sleep by reducing chronic pain. We have already looked at the evidence to support the claim that CBD soothes pain.
Can CBD Stop Seizures?
This CBD benefits list would be incomplete without talking about CBD and epilepsy. In clinical trials, CBD has been found to be effective for the treatment of seizures. A review of the various ongoing and completed clinical trials encourages its use as a treatment for epilepsy by combining it with other anti-epileptic drugs.
In June 2018, the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) approved the use of CBD (as Epidiolex®; GW Pharmaceuticals) for the treatment of seizures associated with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in patients two years of age or older. Both are very rare forms of genetic disorders that are resistant to common antiepileptic treatment.
Can CBD Boost Brain Health?
An exciting benefit of CBD oil is that it can help boost brain health. There are a couple of ways CBD can improve brain health : by reducing inflammation in the brain, by reducing oxygen buildup in the brain, and by working as a brain stimulant and neuroprotectant. Due to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective properties, CBD can help relieve symptoms for a number of neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease , Parkinson’s disease , vascular dementia, etc.
Can CBD Help With Addiction?
Research on CBD and drug addiction is quite promising. CBD may have a therapeutic effect on methamphetamine, cocaine, and other psychostimulant addiction. A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry states that CBD helps reduce drug cravings and anxiety in individuals with heroin use disorder. Some preliminary data also suggests that CBD may help with cannabis and tobacco addiction . Evidence suggests that CBD helps by reducing the activation of the amygdala, a brain area involved in addiction.
Is CBD Safe To Use
Unlike THC, which carries a long list of possible side effects, CBD appears comparatively safe for most adults. Some possible side effects include:
- dry mouth
- low blood pressure
In a 2019 study on mice, extremely high doses of CBD lead to liver damage. People with liver problems may need to use lower doses of CBD compared to healthy individuals.
CBD can also interact with other medications you are taking, such as blood thinners. If you are thinking about taking CBD oil, stick to the recommended dose and remember to talk to your doctor first.
Why Doesn’t CBD Work For Me ?
Different people have different sensitivities to CBD. For some, it might work like a charm and for others, there might be no effect at all. Yet others might experience an increase in the symptoms that they were trying to treat with CBD. Before you give up on CBD altogether because a product didn’t have the desired effect, remember that you might either be making a dosing mistake or using a poor quality product.
A good rule of thumb is to start with a micro-dose to test for sensitivity before gradually increasing the dosage to recommended levels. Remember to listen to your body. It is quite possible that you will find your ‘sweet spot’ before you reach the recommended dose. Some CBD users recommend taking CBD daily for several weeks or months to see a difference in symptoms.
You also need to make sure that you consume products from a reputable source to reap the CBD benefits . Since the FDA doesn’t regulate CBD products sold OTC, low-quality products have flooded the market.
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