News and media outlets these days are crawling with headlines about the rising popularity of CBD, and with good reason. New research has linked CBD’s use to a number of health benefits, popularizing the substance as an all-natural remedy for numerous common problems such as anxiety, chronic pain and many more. This article will go into detail about some of the most common use cases and benefits.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (called CBD for short) is a derivative of cannabis that functions within the body to provide numerous physiological benefits. Unlike THC, the component of cannabis that results in mental alterations and a “high,” CBD is not psychoactive.
How Does It Work?
But how, exactly, does CBD have such miraculous effects on pain levels, anxiety levels, and even cancer growth? Everything starts with the body’s endocannabinoid system. This, too, is an abbreviation—the endocannabinoid system is fully known as the endogenous cannabinoid system or ECS. A complex system of receptors located throughout the body (from the brain to the immune system), the ECS responds to cannabinoids consumed via CBD oil, for instance.
These cannabinoids are what “stimulate” the ECS, so to speak, and create numerous physiological effects throughout the body. Here’s 10 of the most commonly discussed benefits of CBD.
CBD Can Help Alleviate Stress and Anxiety
With 40 million U.S. adults affected by some form of anxiety, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the country according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Even more Americans claim to be stressed or overworked—a survey performed in 2017 by the American Psychological Association revealed that three-quarters of the population have experienced at least one stress-related symptom in the past month. Luckily, numerous studies have been performed which demonstrate the effectiveness of CBD as a treatment for various anxiety disorders and stress-related illnesses.
CBD Can Help Reduce Inflammation
A body’s angry inflammation can mean discomfort, pain, swelling, and a general inability to function comfortably. CBD to the rescue! Research has suggested that diseases reliant on inflammatory processes (think arthritis, for example) don’t stand a chance against CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties.
CBD Can Help Manage Insomnia and Other Sleep Disorders
You hear it all the time—eight hours of sleep per night is crucial—but following that advice is easier said than done. Every night, millions of Americans have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, but studies suggest that the endocannabinoid signaling of CBD can help to modulate sleep and introduce circadian cycle regularity.
CBD Helps to Manage the Perception of Pain
The high incidence of difficult-to-treat pain is alarming, particularly when considered in the context of the current opioid epidemic. Luckily, CBD can help to manage the way that we perceive pain, providing an alternative to potentially addictive pharmaceutical pain medications with unpleasant side effects.
CBD Can Reduce Seizures in Epileptic Patients
Seizures can be devastating, and yet 56% of the 3 million U.S. adults with epilepsy continue to experience seizures. In some cases, this is due to a lack of specialty care, and in other cases it is because the seizures themselves are refractory to treatment. For these individuals, CBD may offer relief.
CBD Can Help Deter Neurodegenerative Disorders
While CBD is frequently used to treat active symptoms, its neuro-protective properties may also allow it to play a role as a preventative agent. Neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s remain leading causes of death in industrialized countries. Currently, they are incurable.
CBD Can Help Deter the Growth of Cancel Cells
One of CBD’s most incredible properties may be its supposed ability to slow cancer growth. Additionally, CBD has demonstrated its use as an agent to relieve cancer-associated pain and intensely unpleasant chemotherapy side effects such as nausea and vomiting.
CBD Can Help to Combat Withdrawal Symptoms
In light of the recent opioid crisis, addiction is at one of its highest rates in U.S. history. However, CBD may provide an answer by reducing withdrawal symptoms and reducing the rate of relapse in those who are fighting addiction. By stopping the brain’s “reward pathway” from firing, CBD effectively reduces withdrawal symptoms.
CBD Promotes a Healthy Immune Function in the Body
Another instance of CBD’s holistic and preventative properties is its ability to help the immune system function at maximum efficiency due to its ties with the ECS.
CBD Can Reduce Nausea and Motion Sicknesses
Finally, CBD’s interaction with serotonin receptors makes it an incredibly effective agent to reduce the unpleasant feelings of nausea and motion sickness. In some cases, CBD has even demonstrated its value as a more beneficial alternative to over-the-counter and prescription medications.
As CBD’s popularity continues to grow and the body of research expands, more and more benefits are expected to be revealed in the coming years. For now, however, there is no doubt that CBD has vast potential as a beneficial agent for numerous health problems that commonly affect huge portions of the population.