The benefits of cannabis continue to make controversial headlines in the arena of wellness and medicine. But with more doctors, scientists and consumers experiencing the many surprising benefits of CBD, oil specifically, it is likely a matter of time before it becomes a federally regulated component of your wellness selections.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD for short) is a naturally occurring cannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant. It is one of over one hundred cannabinoids identified in hemp plants. However, unlike the full cannabis plant, CBD does not contain THC which is responsible for the stoned/high feeling that the recreational drug provides. Extracted from the flowers and buds of the hemp plant, CBD is being pressed into oil and is increasingly popular to treat, and even prevent, a wide array of health issues in states where medicinal marijuana has now been legalized. CBD oil is stronger and more natural than most non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Since the Chinese first utilized marijuana for medicinal purposes in 2900 BC, many civilizations have utilized its benefits, for an array of medical conditions.
Most Popular Befit Backed by Science: Pain Management
CBD oil is widely regarded as an effective product to treat and manage pain. The endocannabinoid system is a specialized system in the human body that aids in the regulation of sleep, appetite, the immune system and pain response. These naturally produced endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in the body’s nervous system. CBD can help to reduce chronic pain by impacting this receptor activity, thus reducing inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters. Currently, research is underway to determine the extent to which CBD can help with conditions such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
Groundbreaking Research: Brain Health
The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that by 2050, nearly 14 million Americans will be diagnosed with the disease and it will cost the nation $1.1 trillion. A recent article published by MBG Health highlighted recent research into CBD oil and its benefits for brain health, specifically to protect the brain from diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, because it can help to prevent free radical damage, reduce inflammation and not only to protect the cells in the brain but to help generate new ones. This is also part of the reason why CBD is increasingly popular for patients suffering from seizures.
Studies are still under way to determine whether CBD can benefit those suffering from epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. Because CBD hosts strong antioxidant (stronger than vitamins C and E), anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties, it is widely recognized as a natural way to promote brain health and overall wellness. Earlier this year, the FDA advisory panel unanimously approved a CBD-based medication to treat two rare forms of childhood epilepsy.
Heart Health and Blood Pressure
New research this year, published by the American Society for Clinical Investigation, has indicated that CBD may be an effective, natural treatment to lower high blood pressure. One study revealed that using CBD oil reduced resting systolic blood pressure and stroke volume in subjects who were exposed to stress. Researchers concluded that the anxiety regulating properties of CBD were responsible for the decrease in blood pressure, which ultimately supported heart health. The anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in CBD oil can also help to prevent heart related illnesses.
Support for Cancer Patients
There is increasing research that supports the efficacy of CBD oil in treating some symptoms related to cancer treatment, such as nausea and pain. In a recent study, patients who were undergoing chemotherapy used CBD oil and found it helped to reduce the side effects of chemo, particularly feelings of nausea. The majority of these patients also reported that CBD helped lessen their discomfort and pain.
Sleeplessness and Anxiety
CBD oil has been safely used to treat anxiety, including sleeplessness and PTSD. CBD has the ability to act on the brain’s receptors for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood and social behavior. It is similar to anti-depressants, only more natural. You must be careful to use only CBD oil to treat any anxiety-related conditions, as any traces of THC can increase anxiety and have the reverse of the desired effect.
Research suggests that CBD oil may be used to treat acne. This is due to its proven efficacy in treating inflammation and its ability to reduce the production of sebum and prevent the activation of small secreted proteins called cytokines. CBD-based products are popping up in many sexual health products and skin care products too, as they become a more natural solution to maintaining healthy, young-looking skin. Research is also underway for CBD’s effects on arthritis, allergies and other respiratory illnesses, and cancer prevention, to name a few.
The proven efficacy of CBD oil to treat inflammation comes mostly from animals at this point, however, as more scientific evidence suggests that CBD aids in the prevention of inflammation-related diseases, this is becoming a more widely accepted view.
The FDA has not yet taken steps to regulate the production of CBD-based products, and there is much research to be done on safe interactions between CBD and other medications. However, with more and more clinical trials underway and an increasing number of success stories reaching the masses, it is likely that CBD oil will become a more readily available and more widely accepted part of healthcare.