Despite its controversial origins, cannabidiol (CBD) oil is gaining increasing mainstream attention. Known for its healing properties, the non-intoxicating cannabis derivative is considered a natural remedy for many ailments. Let’s look at some of the benefits that CBD-users swear by (and are backed up by research!):
1. Can alleviate chronic pain
CBD oil is well known for its analgesic properties. CBD has an effect on our body’s endocannabinoid system which is said to be involved in regulating functions such as pain, sleep, immune response and appetite. Both topical use and sublingual(under the tongue) use of CBD isolates may support moderate chronic pain reduction. Those suffering from diseases such as cancer-related pain, multiple sclerosis and arthritis have reported achieving pain relief from habitual CBD oil usage. For certain skin diseases such as epidermolysis bullosa, topical use of CBD oil have resulted in significant pain alleviation when combined with traditional treatments. This is not to say CBD oil is a cure- all solution for chronic pain, but it is shown to be effective for many individuals as an non-addictive alternative pain treatment.
2. May reduce inflammation (& acne breakouts!)
Medical research has shown that CBD isolates can regulate our immune system’s response to illness, infection, or injury presented in the form of inflammation by interacting with glycine receptors, a type of protein vital to the pain transmission process to the brain. Many chronic inflammation sufferers claim to benefit from the consistent use of CBD supplements. Paired with a healthy diet and active lifestyle, CBD oil supplements aid in preventing both pain-reduction and chronic inflammation that leads to disease. Additionally, CBD oil can help prevent acne outbreaks by reducing sebum production. CBD oil acts as a “potent” and “universal” anti-acne agent, possessing a unique “triple anti-acne” profile.
3. Can alleviate generalized anxiety disorder and other types of anxiety-related conditions.
Another benefit of adding CBD into your self care routine is that it can reduce anxiety. A recent study suggests that “[The] increase of negative self-evaluation during public speaking was almost abolished by CBD” on patients with Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Similarly, CBD is linked to reducing stress in rats. Rat subjects were observed to have lower heart rates that their controlled counterparts. Another 2015 study conclusively demonstrates the efficacy CBD has in reducing anxiety behaviors like PTSD, GAD, OCD, among others.
4. Helps reduce epilepsy-related seizures
CBD is also known to reduce seizure frequency of treatment-resistant epilepsy. Pre-clinical studies have shown that CBD has significant anticonvulsant properties in both adults and children. This poses as a great opportunity for patients with adverse reactions to more traditional methods of treating epilepsia. However, studies on the correlation between the two are still scarce and more research is necessary to attest its overall efficacy in treating the disease.
5. Can help treat insomnia
About 25% of Americans develop Acute insomnia each year. As the number increases, more people are turning to natural remedies to counteract sleeping disorders. CBD has proven to increase total sleep time and aid with diseases such as REM sleep behavior disorder. CBD can help treat insomnia by addressing its underlying cause: Anxiety. When compared to other natural sleeping remedies such as melatonin, Gretchen Lidicker, author of CBD Oil: Everyday Secrets: A Lifestyle Guide To Hemp-Derived Health and Wellness, states that CBD promotes relaxation and reduces overall anxiety.
6. May reduce withdrawal symptoms of heavy tobacco use and opioids
CBD can reduce withdrawal symptoms of heavy tobacco dependence by modulating our body’s endocannabinoid system. In a 2015 controlled study, researchers found that a CBD solution reduced drug-cue induced craving and anxiety on opioid- dependent individuals. CBD shows great promise but further studies need to be conducted.
7. Might improve heart health
Another great benefit of using CBD oil is that it can promote a healthy heart. This study suggests that cannabidiols help reduce the risk of heart-related conditions by mitigating high blood pressure (hypertension) . In the study, 9 healthy men were given 600 milligrams of CBD or a placebo. Those who took CBD had a lower blood pressure before and after being exposed to stimulants (extreme cold or exercise.
Why it isn't a magic cure
Now that we have discussed how CBD can positively impact your day-to-day, let’s look at some of the possible side effects users report having. Overall, CBD is benign. Side effects can only cause discomfort for a limited period of time. However, CBD can cause unwanted reactions with prescription drugs that can potentially be harmful. It is also known to exacerbate the effects of Parkinson’s and lower your blood pressure. If you take prescription medication, if you’re pregnant or have blood pressure issues, contact your doctor before using CBD. Other mild side effects of CBD include: fatigue, diarrhea, changes in appetite, and changes in weight.
The bottom line
CBD as a supplement has great potential to treat a myriad of ailments especially when used as a complement to more traditional treatment options. Its properties continue to yield significant positive results promoting general wellness and good health. Although medical research shows great results, more research is necessary to obtain a more comprehensive and detailed understanding of CBD oil and its benefits.