What is CBD?
CBD or cannabidiol is a prominent nonpsychoactive compound found in the Cannabis sativa plant. It is also popularly used as a natural remedy for various ailments since it has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiemetic, anticonvulsant, antipsychotic, and anxiolytic properties (1). Due to its therapeutic properties, it has become a potential medication for the treatment of nervous tissue inflammation, oxidative stress, nausea and vomiting, schizophrenia, anxiety, and epilepsy.
Another compound found in the Cannabis plant is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which causes sensations of getting high and is usually associated with the use of marijuana. However, it is important to note that, unlike TCH (the major psychoactive compound present in Cannabis), CBD is not psychoactive. Additionally, CBD's quality is the reason why it is becoming an attractive alternative for people who seek relief from certain symptoms, such as chronic pain, without experiencing the effects of marijuana and other pharmaceutical products.
CBD from the Cannabis plant is extracted and then diluted using carrier oils, such as hemp seed oil or coconut oil. When it comes to treating a wide variety of ailments, including anxiety and chronic pain, the effectiveness of CBD oil is supported by scientific studies.
The following are some of the scientifically proven health benefits of CBD oil:
1. Relieves pain
Certain compounds of marijuana, which include CBD, have natural pain-relieving effects. Our body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a specialized system that is involved in the regulation of different bodily functions, such as immune system response, pain, sleep, and appetite. According to studies, the human body produces the neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids and CBD influences the endocannabinoid receptor activity, which helps reduce pain and inflammation, including neurotransmitter interaction.
Other studies have also found that a combination of THC and CBD has a beneficial effect when it comes to treating pain that is associated with arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Several countries have already approved the botanical drug called Sativex, which is an oral spray that contains a combination of THC and CBD to help manage pain associated with multiple sclerosis.
2. Reduces anxiety and depression
The use of CBD in both animal and human studies has shown results of a reduction in anxiety and depression, which are two of the most common mental health problems that can devastate a person's overall well-being. In fact, depression and anxiety are leading contributors to disability all over the world according to the World Health Organization (2).
Conventional treatment of anxiety and depression involve the use of pharmaceutical drugs, which can cause many unpleasant side effects, such as headaches, drowsiness, insomnia, agitation, and sexual dysfunction. Aside from these side effects, certain prescription medications can be habit-forming, leading to substance abuse. For these reasons, many people who have these disorders develop an interest in pursuing a more natural treatment approach using CBD oil. Even children with anxiety, insomnia, and post-traumatic stress disorder have also been safely treated using CBD oil (3). CBD's effects are attributed to its link to serotonin, which is a type of neurotransmitter that is responsible for the regulation of social behavior and mood.
3. Alleviates side effects of cancer treatment
The most common side effects of cancer treatment, such as nausea and vomiting, may be reduced with the help of CBD (4). Although these symptoms can be treated using conventional medications, sometimes, they can be ineffective, prompting people to seek other options.
Even though CBD vaping oil may have cancer-fighting properties and has shown effectiveness in the reduction of chemotherapy-induced symptoms, more research is still needed to fully assess its safety and efficacy in cancer treatment.
4. Helps treat seizures and other neurological problems
People with neurological disorders may benefit from using CBD due to its ability to influence brain signaling systems, such as the endocannabinoid system. Multiple sclerosis and epilepsy are the most studied neurological disorders for CBD use.
5. Lowers diabetes risk
The effects of marijuana use on insulin, glucose, and insulin resistance among adults in the U.S. were emphasized in a 2013 study published by the American Journal of Medicine. This study included both male and female adults (4,657) and participants who were past users (1,975) and current users (579) of marijuana.
According to researchers, current users of marijuana had lower fasting insulin levels at 16 percent. Another significant observation was the smaller waist circumference of current marijuana users (8). Waist circumference is a significant indicator associated with the onset of type 2 diabetes symptoms, such as high blood pressure and heart disease.
6. Promotes heart health
Current research studies have linked CBD use with improved cardiovascular health (9) and treatment for hypertension or high blood pressure (10). Researchers have also suggested that CBD's ability to lower blood pressure are due to its stress-reducing and anxiolytic properties.
Other Potential Benefits of CBD
CBD is also being studied for its effect on treating other health issues, such as:
- Substance abuse
- Prevention of cancer
- Diabetes prevention
- Psychotic symptoms
- Schizophrenia and other mental disorders
In general, CBD is considered safe to use and is well-tolerated by most users. However, some people may still develop adverse reactions with CBD use. The side of effects of CBD (11) may include any of the following symptoms:
Most people report tiredness as a common side effect of CBD. Others have noticed changes in their weight and appetite.
In some people, CBD may also interact with certain medications. To make sure that CBD is safe for you to use and to avoid drug interactions, consult with your healthcare provider first.
Research studies regarding the potential health benefits of CBD oil are still ongoing. In spite of ongoing studies about the safety and efficacy of CBD use, several results from current studies have suggested that CBD may be an effective, safe, and natural remedy for a variety of health problems.