Curious about CBD Oil and how it can naturally boost your health? Here’s how to reap its benefits – without the high.
You may have heard the buzz lately about a substance on the market: CBD oil. You know it comes from cannabis, but you’re not exactly sure what it is, minus the fact that people rave about its ability to ease pain and decrease anxiety.
Keep reading to see what all the hype is about, what CBD oil is, its benefits, and if it’s right for you.
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What Is CBD (Cannabidiol)?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the major compounds found in the marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa. It belongs to a class of substances in cannabis called cannabinoids along with THC. While THC is responsible for cannabis’ mind-altering effects, CBD is non-psychoactive.
Because of this, marijuana grown in the past for recreational use was usually low in CBD and high in THC in order to produce an altered mind state. However, as research begins to show the benefits of CBD, manufacturers are beginning to actively promote higher CBD blends.
CBD vs THC
The major difference between THC and CBD is that THC is psychoactive while CBD is non-psychoactive. In other words, CBD won’t give you the “high” associated with THC.
Both cannabinoids interact with your body’s own endocannabinoid receptors. However, CDB affects these receptors differently than THC, weakly binding (if at all) with receptors in your brain that trigger mild euphoria. This allows you to get the benefits associated with cannabis without altering your mind state.
In addition, both CBD and THC have many of the same benefits. Yet CBD has shown to be well tolerated even in large doses, where THC may cause temporary side effects like increased heart rate, memory loss, slowed reaction times, and red eyes. (2)
6 Natural Benefits of CBD Oil
CBD oil is widely studied for its benefits and its potential future as a key player in treating many serious medical ailments. Below are several research-backed benefits of CBD oil.
1. Relieves Pain and Inflammation
CBD interacts with our body’s own cannabinoid receptors in a way that can help reduce pain and inflammation, as well as interact with neurotransmitters to help reduce the perceived impact of pain.
For instance, studies show CBD injections can help reduce the pain response to surgical incisions, as well as offer significant relief from pain and muscle spasms in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. (3, 4)
2. Reduces Anxiety
Anxiety is extremely common in our fast-paced society, and can become a huge life hindrance if left untreated. CBD shows promise as an effective remedy for anxiety as well as the symptoms that go with it.
One study found that 24 people with social anxiety disorder, receiving 600 mg of CBD before a public speaking event, experienced significantly less anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort during their speech, compared to the placebo group. (5) Researchers believe this effect stems from CBD’s interaction with serotonin receptors in your brain, which regulate mood and behavior.
3. Fights Cancer
Research also shows that CBD contains anti-proliferative effects that can help stop the spread and invasion of cancer. (6) In one study, CBD was able to selectively target and inhibit the growth of cancer cells (in this case, breast tumor cells), while minimally affecting surrounding cells. (7)
In addition, CBD has been shown to be non-toxic even in high amounts, so it can possibly be used in long-term treatments. (8)
4. Helps with Neurological Disorders
Studies show that CBD has the capacity to improve synapse plasticity, decrease neural inflammation, and encourage neurogenesis (growth of new brain cells). Researchers believe this is the reason CBD has shown such promise when it comes to helping treat neurological disorders like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease. (9)
5. Improves Sleep
CBD might also be a promising treatment for sleep disorders and insomnia. Studies show that children treated for epilepsy with CBD also experience improved sleep as a side effect, most likely due to the anti-convulsive nature of CBD. This could translate into a relaxing effect on your body. (10, 11)
6. Eases Depression and Psychosis
If you’ve been suffering from depression, psychosis, or other psychological disorders, CBD may be a great choice to help manage it. Studies show that CBD has antidepressant effects and can boost mood, as well as reduce psychotic symptoms, like delusions. (12, 13)
CBD Oil for Epilepsy
One of the key areas CBD shines is in the treatment of epilepsy. Much research has been done on CBD’s ability to lower seizure incidence.
One study found that after three months of treatment with CBD, 39 percent of patients with epilepsy had more than a 50 percent reduction in seizures. (14) Another study showed that CBD was more effective than a placebo in reducing seizures in patients with epileptic conditions like Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. (15)
Researchers believe that CBD’s anticonvulsant properties and ability to regulate the firing of neurons, play a role in helping to reduce seizures.
Where Can You Legally Find CBD?
CBD is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug in the U.S. due to it being a compound found in marijuana. Schedule 1 basically means there is a risk of abuse when using it, so access is limited.
However, many states are now allowing the use of low THC, high CBD products for medical reasons. To see the state-by-state usage laws, check out this link.
Side Effects & Risks
There has been little research on the long-term side effects of CBD in humans. However, studies involving continued use show little to no side effects. CBD is generally regarded as safe, and even protective against the negative effects of recreational cannabis.
4 Ways to Use CBD Oil
One of the ways you can take CBD oil is by inhaling it using a vape pen. This is regarded as one of the best ways to get CBD into your bloodstream quickly. However, keep in mind that inhaling any type of smoke is not beneficial to your long-term health.
2. Topical Application
There are creams, lotions, and other topical products on the market containing CBD that are used directly on the skin. The CBD oil penetrates through your pores to reach your bloodstream.
CBD oil can also be taken sublingually (under your tongue) in tincture form.
Just like taking a vitamin, CBD oil can be ingested straight as a tincture or even added to foods like smoothies, juices, or even baked goods.
The Bottom Line
CBD oil is a promising solution to many ailments we experience today. Talk to your doctor and check the laws in your state to see if it may be available to you.
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