CBD is a word that has been thrown around a lot lately. In the media, on the news, and amongst industry professionals from healthcare to academia.
Many people swear by CBD for its purported ability to aid with overall health and various conditions such as inflammation, pain and anxiety. Although research is ongoing, and much more work necessary to validate and substantiate this compound’s purported health benefits, initial findings look incredibly promising.
In this guide, we’ll explore five of the most promising (potential) benefits that CBD may be proven to deliver on.
What is CBD?
Even if you’ve heard of the supplement/compound, you may still have questions as to what CBD even is? After all, you’d probably want to know exactly what you’re putting into your body beforehand, right?
CBD stands for Cannabidiol, and represents one of the key compounds found in the cannabis and hemp plant. Hemp is a strain of the cannabis plant and should not be confused with marijuana.
CBD is a cannabinoid like THC. Yet unlike CBD’s cousin, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD is not psychoactive. This means that it will not produce the “high” marijuana is known to elicit among its users. CBD is a type of cannabinoid and works with many receptors in your brain called endocannabinoids.
The Rise of CBD’s Popularity
Since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp has been lifted from the list of “controlled substances” and is now legal to cultivate and process (provided certain terms are met). This move, along with increasing research demonstrating its purported health benefits, has caused the popularity of CBD to skyrocket. In fact, 14% of Americans say they use CBD regularly.
What are individuals using it for? Around 40% of those users say they take it for pain, 20% say they use it for anxiety, and another 11% for sleep.
The rise in CBD use is also connected to the cannabis industry experiencing a revival as more jurisdictions move towards decriminalization and legalization. In 2019 alone, the CBD industry saw $813 billion in sales and is expected to climb to a whopping $812 billion by 2022.
CBD can be made into many forms like oil, topicals, and edibles. Since it’s rise in popularity over the past couple of years, you can buy it practically anywhere, with the compound showing up on physical and digital store shelves alike.
But not all brands live up to the standards necessary to provide the type of results consumers expect. As such, buying from those brands with the highest of quality standards is important. For example, third party testing for purity and potency is key, as is utilizing industry-leading extraction methodology and manufacturing practices such as those employed by CBD leader Rebel.
Potential Benefits of CBD Use
Although the benefits detailed in this guide are supported by research and/or clinical evidence, more research is necessary in order to determine things such as optimal dosing, long term effects, and more. Use this guide as an educational information resource, but always make sure to consult your physician prior to starting any type of CBD regimen.
Be an advocate for your own health and if you feel the decision is right for you, Check it Out and find out why millions around the world advocate for its use.
If you suffer from social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or any of the other conditions classified as anxiety, CBD may be the remedy you’ve been searching for. CBD is thought to work for anxiety because it interacts with your brain’s endocannabinoid receptors the same way traditional medication does (1). Further, as an all-natural supplement, CBD may make a world of difference if you have experienced negative side effects like weight gain or depression from using harsh pharmaceuticals.
What’s the Research Say?
According to a study published by the Brazilian psychiatry journal Scielo, participants who used 300 mg of CBD before a public-speaking exercise reduced their anxiety significantly. Another study found 400 mg of CBD can help ease symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder. (2) If you suffer from nightmares as a result of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, CBD can also help reduce symptoms. (3)
What About Case Studies?
Anecdotal evidence from hundreds of thousands of satisfied users abounds both on and offline. For example, Benji Jones, a reporter for Business Insider, decided to try CBD to treat his anxiety and gives a personal, in-depth review of his experience. As part of his experiment, Jones decided to take 250 milligrams of CBD oil per day broken into 3 doses. Initially, Jones said he felt quite tired and lethargic after taking a dose, but near the end of the week, he said his anxiety improved significantly. Besides anxiety, Jones also reported improved quality of sleep and a noticeable decrease in body inflammation.
Remember, CBD is not meant to treat any medical condition nor replace any medication you may be on. Always discuss the use of CBD with your primary care doctor prior to beginning a regimen.
2. Inflammation and Pain
If you’re constantly experiencing aches and pains, you know how hard it is to find relief. Using traditional anti-inflammatory medications can cause damage to the body if taken too much and many people struggle to find a treatment that works for them. The side effects of anti-inflammatory medications include liver damage, addiction, and even heart damage. About 11 percent of the US population suffers from chronic pain that interferes with their daily activities (4).
What’s the Research Say?
But luckily, there may be a new way to treat body inflammation that doesn’t have such horrible side effects. According to a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, rats injected with CBD exhibited signs of pain reduction after having a surgical incision. Another study found rats experiencing nerve pain showed signs of relief after taking CBD orally.
There has been research done on humans too. 47 people were given an oral CBD spray called Sativex to treat multiple sclerosis for one month as part of a study. (5) The study found that participants showed signs of improvement in walking and muscle spasms. Another study using Sativex revealed that individuals with rheumatoid arthritis showed better mobility and sleep quality after taking CBD medication. (6)
CBD may help to reduce pain because its cannabinoids target the a3 glycine receptors found in the spinal cord and brain which control how we respond to pain. CBD interacts with these receptors and as a result, suppresses the sensation of pain associated with inflammation.
Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, affecting 30% of individuals short term and 10% long term. Anybody with this sleep disorder knows its a vicious cycle. Being unable to sleep during the night leads to an unproductive day and irregular sleeping patterns the next night. Insomnia can cause impairment which can lead to devastating mistakes like car accidents and other fatalities. To make matters worse, many find treating their insomnia to be quite a challenge and traditional medication can do more harm than good. Possible side effects of pharmaceuticals to treat insomnia include addiction, impairment and loss of balance, shaking, and more.
What’s the Research Say?
Although more work is needed, current research is showing CBD may help you get a good night’s sleep. A study published by The Permanente Journal found that CBD helped significantly reduce anxiety and insomnia. Subjects were given 25 milligrams of CBD every day to treat anxiety or insomnia. As a result, 79.2 percent of individuals suffering from anxiety showed signs of improvement and 66.7 of individuals struggling with insomnia said they slept better.
One of the worst side effects of insomnia is the grogginess you feel the next morning. You constantly feel like you’re in a fog and it makes daily activities almost impossible. Grogginess can also be the result of over-the-counter and prescribed medications. But CBD has shown to help with this side effect. A 2014 study showed that CBD can help you feel more awake. Researchers concluded CBD may help you feel more awake because of it interacting with the brain’s hypothalamus, which plays a key role in alertness. (7)
54 million adults in the US have been diagnosed with arthritis and the total number is expected to grow by 49 percent by 2040. Needless to say, it’s a health crisis that is continuing to grow. Arthritis hinders mobility and causes chronic inflammation. Many individuals who choose to treat their arthritis with pharmaceuticals can experience negative side effects that can put a toll on their health like heart damage, difficulty breathing, increased blood sugar levels, and even hair loss.
What’s the Research Say?
But you may be able to get relief from your arthritis once and for all with the help of CBD. A 2017 study found that CBD reduced pain associated with Osteoarthritis over a 14-day period. (8). CBD is effective in treating arthritic pain because it targets the site of pain and interacts with the nervous system which regulates how we respond to pain. Many people are already using CBD to treat their arthritis.
In fact, one study found that chronic and joint pain are the top conditions now being treated by CBD. Another study concluded that not only are people using CBD, but they are also seeing relief. Out of 2,600 survey participants, 30 percent reported they were currently using CBD to treat their arthritis and three out of four said they saw signs of improvement. (9) Respondents also said their mobility and morning stiffness improved.
5. Acne and Skincare
Acne is usually thought of as a condition that is purely cosmetic but it can actually be uncomfortable or painful for people who have it. Individuals with sensitive skin can have an even harder time getting treatment because some products contain ingredients that cause a burning sensation.
Aside from skin dryness and irritation, skincare treatments can cause serious problems like dizziness and high blood pressure. Having acne can also cause mental problems for people like low self-esteem and sometimes depression because they are not satisfied with how they look.
What’s the Research Say?
CBD may be an all-natural way to get rid of acne and make the skin appear more youthful because of the way it interacts with the endocannabinoid system. (10) CBD also has inflammatory properties, which can help decrease the redness of acne as well. One study found that CBD can help reduce how much sebum our bodies produce which is a contributing factor to acne. (11)
Scarring is a prominent side effect of acne and many people struggle to correct their skin even after their acne has cleared. A study published by La Clinica Terapeutica found that individuals with psoriasis and atopic dermatitis who used CBD-infused ointment on their skin saw a decrease in scarring and improvement in elasticity and hydration.
Potential Side Effects of Using CBD
While many people have touted CBD for its wonderful health benefits, no health aid is perfect. Some individuals have experienced dry mouth, drowsiness, low blood pressure, and a change in appetite. Another factor to consider before trying CBD is the risk of it negatively interacting with the medications you already take. The cause of side effects could be solely linked to CBD itself, or the fact that so many products have different purity levels. According to a study where 84 CBD products were tested, more than a quarter had less CBD than they claimed to and 18 products had higher levels of THC allowed by law.
Although hemp-derived CBD with a THC concentration under 0.3% is now legal to use due to the decriminalization of hemp, it is not yet regulated by the FDA. The only product that is approved as of now is Epidiolex which is used to treat epilepsy. More clarity on CBD’s effectiveness and side effects will surface once the FDA gives guidelines on how CBD should be used and distributed.
The Bottom Line
CBD has grown in popularity over the past year because of its various health benefits and is considered an all-natural way to treat many different conditions like arthritis, insomnia, and even acne. There are several forms of CBD including oil, ointments, and capsules that you can buy at pharmacies or grocery stores. Not all products have the same purity level and may have other additives present in them.
While there has been research done on its effectiveness, it’s still considered a new treatment and needs further examination. The possible side effects of CBD include dry mouth, change in appetite, and drowsiness. It can also counteract with other medications. It’s also important to keep in mind CBD is still not regulated by the FDA. Overall, many people have expressed improvement after using CBD. If you’re considering using CBD for treating a condition you have, consult your doctor for use and dosage.
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