Touted for its many health benefits, CBD is growing in popularity every day.
CBD (Cannabidiol) is one of the 100+ chemical compounds, known as cannabinoids, that are produced by the cannabis plant.
Several years ago, very few people knew what the acronym CBD stood for let alone know its benefits. However, this narration has changed as rarely a day passes without the mention of CBD in connection to its many natural health benefits.
Why Is CBD So Popular?
As already mentioned, the cannabis plant boasts of more than 100 chemical compounds that interact with each other to bring about the various effects in the human body. However, CBD and THC are the most prevalent and well-understood of the cannabinoids.
THC, short for tetrahydrocannabinol is the main psychoactive chemical compound in the cannabis plant. It is the main reason we get high after consuming cannabis.
CBD, on the other hand, won’t get you high. This makes it an ideal option for marijuana patients who want to enjoy the super-healing power of the cannabis plant without experiencing mind-altering effects.
Although more research still needs to be done, preliminary findings have portrayed CBD as a helpful compound in the treatment of many health conditions. In this post, we will look at some of the benefits and uses of Cannabidiol, as shown by research.
1. CBD Can Relieve Chronic Pain
Did you know that the use of marijuana for pain dates back as far as 3000 years ago? However, the exact components responsible for its pain-relieving effect have just been discovered a few years ago. CBD is one of these compounds.
Our body is composed of a specialized system known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system regulates various body functions such as sleep, appetite, pain, and immune system response.
The human body produces endocannabinoids (neurotransmitters) that naturally bind to cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system.
According to studies, CBD may help remedy chronic pain by either, interacting with neurotransmitters, reducing inflammation, or impacting the normal functioning of endocannabinoid receptors.
Several studies have shown that a combination of THC and CBD can help treat pain in multiple sclerosis and arthritis patients.
In a study involving 47 multiple sclerosis patients, it was discovered that those who received Sativex (a combination of CBD and THC) experienced considerable improvement in walking, muscle spasms and pain as compared to those who received a placebo.
In another study involving people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, it was discovered that Sativex helped improve sleep quality, pain at rest, and in movement for all the 58 participants.
2. CBD Helps Reduce Anxiety and Depression Symptoms
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 300 million people suffer from depression. According to WHO, more than 800,000 people die due to suicide every year. Further, WHO states that depression is the largest single contributor to disability across the globe. Anxiety disorders are the sixth largest contributor to disability.
These simple statistics show that anxiety and depression are common medical disorders. You should therefore not feel alone since, as you have seen, more than 300 million people have gone through the same or similar things that you are experiencing right now.
Although most people still rely on pharmaceutical drugs to deal with these conditions, some of these drugs are not only ineffective but may also have severe side effects or lead to substance abuse. It is for this reason that most people have opted to take relief in medical marijuana.
A group of 24 people suffering from social anxiety disorder were either given a placebo or 600 mg of CBD just before a public speaking test.
It was discovered that the group that received CBD experienced less discomfort, cognitive impairment, and anxiety in their speech performance than their counterparts who received a placebo.
Several animal studies have also shown CBD to have antidepressant properties.
Researchers credit these properties of CBD to its ability to impact the brain’s receptors for serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating social behavior and mood changes.
3. CBD May Help Reduce Acne
According to research, more than 9.4% of the global population suffers from acne. This is a skin condition that can be caused by several factors such as underlying inflammation, bacteria, genetics, and over secretion of sebum.
Researchers believe that due to its ability to reduce sebum secretion and its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD may help treat acne.
According to a study on the effects of CBD on human sebocytes, it was discovered that the compound helped prevent the secretion of excessive sebum. It was also discovered that the compound inhibited the activation of pro-acne agents such as inflammatory cytokines.
A 2016 review highlighted the antifungal and antibacterial effects of the cannabis plant. It is believed that these properties may help reduce or prevent infections from pollutants or dirt on the skin.
Although the initial findings are promising, more study is still needed to verify the effectiveness of CBD as a natural remedy for acne.
4. CBD May Help Alleviate Cancer-Related Symptoms
We can never talk about the health benefits of CBD without mentioning its effects on cancer symptoms. It is still too early to make claims about CBD for cancer, but preliminary findings show that the compound can help alleviate the side effects of various treatments associated with cancer treatments.
Another way through which CBD can help cancer patients is through its pain relieving properties. Both cancer and its treatment can lead to severe pain, mainly due to the inflammation, nerve injury, or pressure on internal organs. Too much pain can become resistant to powerful pain relievers such as opioids.
A study was conducted to find out the effect of both THC and CBD on cancer-patients who could not react to the standard pain-reducing techniques. It was discovered that those who received a combination of both THC and CBD experienced improved symptoms than those who were treated with THC only. By indirectly acting on CB2 receptors, CBD may help reduce inflammation, hence reducing the pain.
Another common effect of cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy is nausea and vomiting. Although you can always use pharmaceutical drugs to treat these symptoms, some of these drugs are ineffective hence prompting people to seek alternatives such as CBD.
In a study involving 16 people undergoing chemo, it was discovered that a combination of both THC and CBD helped reduce chemo-related vomiting and nausea better than the standard treatments alone.
Some animal and test-tube studies show that CBD may actually have anticancer properties. In one of the test-tube studies, concentrated CBD helped castigate the death of cancerous breast cells in human. In another study, CBD was seen to inhibit the growth and spread of aggressive cancerous breast cells in mice.
However, more studies and research is needed. If you are a cancer patient and planning to use CBD for the symptoms, it is crucial that you talk with your doctor first as he will be able to advise you appropriately.
Other health benefits of CBD include improved heart health, a remedy against arthritis, muscles spasms, Crohn’s disease, etc.
It is clear that indeed, CBD can benefit human health in different ways. Pet owners are also turning to CBD for the health and well-being of their dogs and other pets.
Whatever you use CBD for, make sure to follow the right dosage instructions, this compound is after all a drug like any other. Seek professional advice if you have concerns about side effects of adding CBD to your treatment plan.
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Sam is a freelance writer specializing in the cannabis industry. His topics include medical marijuana, hemp industry, health benefits, therapeutic properties and government regulation.