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CBD oil has surged in popularity among consumers over the last decade. New research discoveries continue to prove its therapeutic benefits. So, what are the uses and health benefits of CBD oil?
First Things First – What Is CBD
Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is one of over 100 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids found in the cannabis or marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa.
The cannabis plant is made up of two main ingredients: CBD and THC.
Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, CBD is not psychoactive. That means it won’t get you high – you won’t have any effects like euphoria, won’t feel sedated or altered in any way.
This quality makes CBD an appealing option for those who are looking for relief from pain and other symptoms without the mind-altering effects of marijuana or certain pharmaceutical drugs.
Still, some people, for unknown reasons, just react differently to CBD. About 5% of people say they feel altered after taking CBD. In a way, it’s like not all the people react the same way too, for example, Advil. You never know how your body will react to any new supplement, so when taking CBD for the first time, do so carefully.
Is CBD Oil The Same As Hemp Oil
The plant Cannabis sativa has two primary species, hemp and marijuana. Both contain CBD, but there’s a much higher percentage in hemp, which also has very low (less than 0.3%) levels of THC compared to marijuana.
When people talk about hemp oil, they’re referring to oil extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant. There are no cannabinoids – CBD or THC – in hemp oil. This ingredient is packed with healthy fats and often appears in beauty products for its moisturizing benefits.
CBD oil contains CBD mixed with an inert carrier oil, such as coconut oil or hemp seed oil. The bottled oil, called a tincture, is sold in various concentrations. There are also CBD capsules, CBD gummies, and under-the-tongue CBD sprays.
CBD oil is gaining momentum in the health and wellness world, with some scientific studies confirming it may ease symptoms of ailments like chronic pain and anxiety, stimulate appetite, help you fall asleep etc. (more on this will be discussed below). CBD has also shown promise in treating certain types of seizure.
- Chronic pain
- Drug addiction and withdrawal
- High blood pressure
- Muscle spasms
- Parkinson’s disease
Some of these claims are better supported by research than others. Despite its growing popularity, CBD oil remains sorely under-researched. Here is just some of what the current evidence says.
Health Benefits Of CBD Oil
1. Relieves Pain
Scientists have discovered that certain components of marijuana, including CBD, are responsible for its pain-relieving effects.
Studies have shown that CBD may help reduce chronic pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters.
Several human studies have found that a combination of CBD and THC is effective in treating pain related to multiple sclerosis and arthritis.
Anxiety and depression are usually treated with pharmaceutical drugs, which can cause a number of side effects including drowsiness, agitation, insomnia, sexual dysfunction and headache. What’s more, some of these medications can be addictive and may lead to substance abuse.
CBD oil has shown promise as a treatment for both depression and anxiety. Furthermore, CBD oil has even been used to safely treat insomnia and anxiety in children with post-traumatic stress disorder.
These qualities are linked to CBD’s ability to act on the brain’s receptors for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and social behaviour.
3. Might Have Neuroprotective Properties
One of the most studied uses for CBD is in treating neurological disorders like epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.
Though research in this area is still relatively new, several studies have shown promising results. Sativex, an oral spray consisting of CBD and THC, has been proven to be a safe and effective way to reduce muscle spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis.
One study gave 214 people with severe epilepsy 0.9–2.3 grams of CBD oil per pound (2–5 g/kg) of body weight. Their seizures reduced by a median of 36.5%.
CBD has also been researched for its potential effectiveness in treating several other neurological diseases.
For example, several studies have shown that treatment with CBD improved quality of life and sleep quality for people with Parkinson’s disease.
Additionally, animal and test-tube studies have shown that CBD may decrease inflammation and help prevent the neurodegeneration associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
4. Can Alleviate Cancer-Related Symptoms
CBD may help reduce symptoms related to cancer, and side effects related to cancer treatment, like nausea, vomiting and pain.
Though there are drugs that help with these distressing symptoms, they are sometimes ineffective, leading some people to seek alternatives.
One study of 16 people undergoing chemotherapy found that a one-to-one combination of CBD and THC administered via mouth spray reduced chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting better than standard treatment alone.
Even though there are promising results in many studies regarding CBD’s effect on cancer (studies conducted on rats) more studies in humans are needed before conclusions can be made.
5. May reduce Acne
Acne is a common skin condition that affects more than 9% of the population. It is thought to be caused by a number of factors, including genetics, bacteria, underlying inflammation and the overproduction of sebum.
Based on recent scientific studies, CBD oil may help treat acne due to its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to reduce sebum production.
6. Could Benefit Heart Health
Recent research has linked CBD with several benefits for the heart and circulatory system, including the ability to lower high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is linked to higher risks of a number of health conditions, including stroke, heart attack and metabolic syndrome.
Studies indicate that CBD may be able to help with high blood pressure.
One recent study treated nine healthy men with one dose of 600 mg of CBD oil and found it reduced resting blood pressure, compared to a placebo.
The same study also gave the men stress tests that normally increase blood pressure. Interestingly, the single dose of CBD led the men to experience a smaller blood pressure increase than normal in response to these tests.
Researchers have suggested that the stress and anxiety-reducing properties of CBD are responsible for its ability to help lower blood pressure.
Thank you for reading this article. If you have any question, or want to leave a comment – impression, suggestion, your thoughts, experience… please do so in the comment section below, and I’ll be happy to help you out.