Nature may just surprise you.
If you are thinking of using cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, for help with a physical or mental health condition, you are not alone.
Projected U.S. consumer sales of legal cannabis, which may turn out to be one of nature’s finest gifts, could reach multi-billion dollar status by the year 2025, according to Statista.
While reports heralding the wide spectrum of CBD oil benefits have many embracing it to treat the symptoms of a variety of mental and physical health issues, including chronic pain, seizures, anxiety and post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), others remain wary of potential negative side effects CBD oil may have on the human mind and body.
Even with science working furiously to catch up with nature, little research yet exists to shed light on the cumulative effects using CBD oil may have on your physical, mental, or emotional state of being. However, there is promise.
UCLA Health reports that “in the 1990’s, scientists discovered endocannabinoids, the natural cannabis-like molecules produced by the human body. Scientists began to realize cannabis exerted its effects, in part, by mimicking our endocannabinoids. It appears the main function of the endocannabinoid system is to maintain bodily homeostasis — biological harmony in response to changes in the environment …
“Research initially suggested endocannabinoid receptors were only present in the brain and nerves, but scientists later found that the receptors are present throughout the body, including our skin, immune cells, bone, fat tissue, liver, pancreas, skeletal muscle, heart, blood vessels, kidney, and gastrointestinal tract. We now know the endocannabinoid system is involved in a wide variety of processes, including pain, memory, mood, appetite, stress, sleep, metabolism, immune function, and reproductive function.”
Preliminary thoughts propose CBD oil could be the natural substance that reawakens our own, currently dormant endocannabinoid system.
If true, CBD oil provides promise for our future.
Still, people are confused. Most are concerned that CBD oil is like its cousin THC, another compound from the cannabis plant.
However, while the two have an identical chemical makeup, their structural arrangement differs by one atom, causing the two to interact quite differently with our bodies’ neurological receptors. So, while THC offers a psychoactive high. CBD oil does just the opposite — calming the nervous system and promoting a healthier and happier response with little potential for addiction.
If you’re thinking about giving it a try, here are four potential mental and physical health benefits of CBD oil to consider.
1. More restful sleep
We are a sleep-deprived society with overly busy minds.
Each night as you lay down, it’s a common habit to review your “to-do” lists from the day and begin making another for the next. This might cause you to struggle with falling sleep; then struggle to stay in the deeply relaxed state necessary for rest and healing. Without proper rest and time spent recharging that state of a sound sleep, your whole body can become unstable and ill-mannered.
CBD oil, because of its anxiety and pain-reducing effects, can assist in quieting your mind. It may afford you a more peaceful, refreshing, and sound sleep.
This is important because while you are sleeping, your body and brain are working hard to clear and clean toxins, as well as excess cortisol that keeps you uptight and stressed.
The more relaxed you become during sleep, the better your brain and body can function to ward off the unhealthy elements that contribute to ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease and strokes.
Wouldn’t it be nice to awaken refreshed and ready for the day, knowing you got a great nights sleep? You might consider CBD oil as an alternative way to return your body to a more stable rhythm of rest and digestion, rather than one of fight or flight.
Not only will you feel better, but you will also have more pep in your step knowing you are giving your body what it needs to stay mentally alert and vibrant.
2. Protection from osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a disease that reduces the quality of your bone structure, as well as the density and strength of your bones in general.
As you age, your bones become more brittle. If you have low calcium levels, it is likely you battle with an inability to reabsorb bone, thus making you more susceptible to fractures, loss of height and stooped posture.
Research suggests CBD oil may help spur the process of new bone-formation, consequently decreasing the effects of bone loss on our system as a whole.
Scientists hypothesize that CBD oil deactivates the very receptor in our brain that promotes the break down of bone. If they find this to be true, then it is possible CBD oil will allow for a greater percentage of bone reabsorption, as well as manufacture and growth of new bone. A win-win for anyone looking to stay strong in older age.
3. Improved brain function, including stabilized mood and lower anxiety
As reported by Dr. Peter Bongiorno, co-medical director of InnerSource Natural Health and Acupuncture in New York, “Research studies on both animals and humans have shown that CBD may help lower feelings of isolation, relieve autism symptoms, and reduce the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It seems CBD can calm the brain and support the hippocampus, which is a brain area important for healthy emotion and memory.
“One study showed CBD could reduce social anxiety in a way comparable to ipsapirone and diazepam (valium). A 2012 double-blind, randomized clinical trial looked at the benefits of CBD for psychosis. In this study, 40 volunteer patients were given CBD or an antipsychotic. Both treatments helped patient symptoms equally, while the group taking CBD enjoyed many fewer side effects and no problems with movement, weight gain, or hormonal dysregulation — all common side effects of antipsychotic medications.”
Additionally, he notes, “A version of CBD oil was just studied for its benefits in childhood epilepsy—and will now be released as simply a CBD oil.”
More in-depth studies are being conducted to better understand CBD’s usefulness as a remedy and pain reliever for other medical conditions.
While consensus for complete healing is not yet available, some suggest CBD oil may target cells in various regions of the body, not just the brain, associated with symptoms of these mental and physical health issues.
It will take further study to harness all the benefits CBD oil may potentially offer for those who suffer from mood, gastric, and neurological disorders.
In the end, you have to do your own research when it comes to finding the right CBD oil for your condition.
Even as scientists continue to study the 80-plus compounds of the cannabis plant and how CBD oil, in particular, can help awaken a dormant endocannabinoid system, it’s important to remember that the scientific inquiry into CBD oil is still relatively new.
I don’t say this to discourage you, but rather for the following reasons:
1. Use of CBD oil is still unregulated
There is no regulations as of yet by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the doses required for specific ailments. Though the medical community is feverishly working to develop synthetic versions of CBD for regulatory reasons, many suppliers sell CBD oil as a dietary supplement.
2. Some CBD oil suppliers add a trace amount of THC to their compound
So if you work for an organization that conducts random urinalysis, you have to read the label. There is little evidence to suggest this trace amount would be enough to show on a drug test, but with little to no regulation for CBD manufacturers, it is best to be careful.
3. Studies have raised concerns about potential negative interactions with other medications
WebMD cautions, “Studies on CBD also have raised concerns about possible interactions with other drugs. For example, epilepsy studies found that ‘there were very clearly increases in the blood levels of some other anti-epileptic drugs when people were on CBD.'”
4. There may be potential negative effects on liver function
“About 10 percent of people taking CBD in studies had increases in liver enzymes,” notes WebMD, “which would indicate possible liver damage.”
Read the label and do your research.
It is my hope that in a few years science will be able to confirm what nature already knows — the creator when the earth was formed, provided everything we would need for a sustainable and awesome life.
If CBD oil can re-awaken our own endocannabinoid system, it is possible we might one day be able to cure many ailments that keep us from thriving as a society.
If this proves to be true, maybe once again we will embrace the beauty nature has to offer both internally, as well as externally.
Susan Dykes is a spiritual healing coach who looks for alternatives that will promote better well-being and happiness. For more, she can be contacted via email.