If you haven’t noticed, cannabidiol (CBD) has become somewhat of a sensation within the world of health and wellness, and its mainstream success is gaining more traction every day. Researchers are frequently uncovering new and impressive benefits of using CBD.
Based on the data we have currently, CBD offers relief in various forms from a variety of diseases and ailments. Among these diseases and illnesses are anxiety, depression, multiple sclerosis (MS), cancer-related symptoms, athletic injuries, acne, epilepsy, sleep disorders, inflammation and many more. Projected to be a multi-billion dollar industry, it’s no wonder that CBD is becoming a household name.
What exactly is CBD, what are its benefits, and is there any science to back all of this information up? In this guide, we’ll explore a few of the best-known CBD oil benefits as well as other promising benefits that are on the horizon.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol or CBD is a promising phytocannabinoid found in agricultural hemp. It has been recognized for its benefits on human and animal health and is capable of affecting nearly every biological process. CBD is a non-psychoactive and has a remarkable safety profile.
CBD is among the many chemical compounds known as cannabinoids which come from the cannabis plant. CBD oil is extracted using supercritical CO2 extraction, with the use of solvents, or through the use of a carrier oil such as coconut oil, hemp oil, or olive oil. Unlike the more popularly known cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD isn’t capable of producing a high.
A Brief History of CBD
While the cultivation of cannabis can be dated back to somewhere around 4,000 years BCE, scientists and physicians refrained from giving it real attention until 1533. Hundreds of years later, new scientists set out to prove the medical benefits of CBD and their hard work turned out to be successful. These scientists individually extracted cannabidiol from the Cannabis Sativa plant for the first time, uncovering that the chemical compound was non-psychoactive and therefore ineffective in causing a “high.”
This revelation found CBD to be an attractive alternative to more traditional forms of medicine in the cases of specific medical issues. Attention to CBD as medicine skyrocketed in 2013 when the health of Charlotte Figi, a child suffering from a severe and rare seizure disorder, took a turn for the better after her parents put her on a CBD-inclusive treatment plan.
Now, in 2018, the focus on CBD oil and its benefits is becoming widespread. Despite the growing number of studies about CBD oil and its benefits, the research is it is still in its infancy–but is gaining traction quickly in the health, wellness, and medical fields.
How Is CBD Oil Taken?
CBD oil is most readily available as a tincture. Ingestion of this method involves applying a few drops under your tongue and holding it in your mouth for a few moments so it can be absorbed, before swallowing. It can also be an addition to water or smoothies. A spray form is available (spritz under your tongue), as are capsules, creams that can be applied topically, and e-liquid for vape pens.
CBD Oil Benefits
The potential benefits of CBD oil are many. It’s been suggested that the cannabinoid offers a range of health and medical benefits, which is part of the reason it’s been such a hot topic lately.
Pain Relief and Management
One of the most commonly cited CBD oil benefits is its use for pain management. Given CBD’s capacity to reduce inflammation and interact with neurotransmitters, it has the valuable effect of overcoming feelings of physical pain.
Many diseases and ailments such as multiple sclerosis (MS), certain forms of cancer, and athletic injury come with symptoms of physical pain, sometimes even to a chronic extent. These symptoms make CBD an especially useful addition to an already established treatment plan for any disease that causes pain.
So, how is it that CBD can activate pain relief? It has to do with our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which receives and deciphers signals from cannabinoids, such as CBD. Through its relationship with the ECS, CBD can stop the body from absorbing certain compounds associated with pain regulation, such as anandamide, as marked by a recent study.
Although research on the long-term relief of pain through the use of CBD is still limited, researchers suggest that there has been little-to-no proof of adverse side-effects to its ingestion. Therefore, theoretically speaking, CBD might be a worthy candidate for long-term and chronic pain management.
Anxiolytic and Anti-Depressant Properties
One of the greatest potential CBD oil benefits is that it may be able to help people suffering from anxiety and depression. Anxiety disorders affect 40 million people in the United States. It is the most common group of mental illnesses in the country. However, less than 40% of people with an anxiety disorder receive treatment. While much of the research done on cannabis as a treatment option for anxiety focuses on THC (medical marijuana,) mounting research is addressing the possible benefits of CBD as an anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) solution.
While the role of CBD as a treatment for anxiety disorders remains up for debate, emerging studies are looking hopeful that it can. From a biological standpoint, researchers found that CBD had anti-anxiety effects through its association with action on limbic and paralimbic brain areas, two areas which regulate anxiety.
Across the globe, nearly 300 million people suffer from a depressive episode in a 12-month period, showing that depression or depressive symptoms are common among the population at large. Being one of the most common disorders among people in the U.S., depression is second only to anxiety disorders, and it’s common for both diseases to exist alongside one another.
The results of one study showed that the antidepressant effects of CBD were comparable to its similarly positive results of being an anticonvulsive, anti-anxiety, and antipsychotic treatment method, while another study coincided with the finding that CBD showed significant antidepressant-like effects.
Antiepileptic (Seizure Reduction)
Epilepsy is a chronic, neurological disorder marked by sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance, loss of consciousness, or convulsions, associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain causing recurrent, unprovoked seizures. It is one of the most common neurological diseases known to man, accounting for nearly 3.4 million people nationally–470,000 of these people being children.
This disease is difficult to manage, even with a recovery plan in place. When researchers discovered CBD to be a potential treatment option for epilepsy, many people suffering from the disease found long sought-after hope, especially those living with treatment-resistant epilepsy.
Researchers found that CBD treatment improves seizure control in patients for whom other treatment options are unsuccessful. The cannabinoid proved to be so successful for this type of epilepsy that over 60% of volunteers reported being better able to manage their episodes, which were significantly reduced in frequency. Beyond being an effective treatment to the conclusion-aspect of epilepsy, CBD proved to host many additional benefits for patients.
Among these benefits was the reduction of fatigue, sleepiness, irritability, insomnia, appetite loss, aggressiveness, nausea, acne, dizziness, confusion, weight loss, vomiting, and obsessive behavior. It is possible that these same benefits will occur in non-epileptic individuals as well, making CBD oil all the more appealing.
This list is only a portion of the potential CBD oil benefits, and it’s safe to say that new findings will continue to emerge as this previously underrated remedy gains more popularity in its ability to foster healing and recovery in a variety of people around the globe.