5 Incredible Benefits of CBD
For decades people have written off cannabis as just a recreational drug, however in the last few years there has been mounting research that indicates cannabis is much more: a powerful plant with incredible medicinal properties. Today, CBD, a primary compound found in cannabis, is prevalent in everything from medicine to food. Since August 8th is National CBD Day, we want to recognize some of the incredible benefits that CBD has to offer.
Cannabis refers to a group of three plants: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. There are over 120 cannabinoids (components) in cannabis, however the main active chemicals include tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). While THC induces a “high” feeling upon consumption, CBD is non-intoxicating and non-euphoric, meaning it does not. There are a variety of ways to consume CBD, such as capsules, drops, teas, vapor, or candies - but CBD oil is the most prevalent.
CBD has shown promise in treating mood disorders and stress. This could be because CBD may impact the brain’s level of serotonin, which is an important chemical and neurotransmitter that plays a role in mood, sleep, digestion, and behavior. In fact, a 2015 analysis that reviewed 49 previous CBD studies concluded that CBD oil is a promising treatment for various forms of anxiety, including social anxiety disorder (SAD), panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), generalized anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The medical community is particularly excited about CBD’s role in mood disorder treatments because it has less side effects compared to other widely used medicine.
CBD may help benefit people with chronic pain and inflammation. Researchers believe this could be due to the way CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is the human body’s cell-signaling system. CBD may interact with endocannabinoid receptors in the brain and immune system to help cells respond appropriately, which creates anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects. Also, CBD inhibits glutamate release and other inflammatory agents, which enables it to dull the tingling and burning sensations of neuropathic pain. A 2018 review of previous CBD studies concluded that CBD was effective in overall pain management for various types of pain, including cancer pain, neuropathic pain, and fibromyalgia. Other types of inflammatory and neuropathic pain that CBD may benefit include migraines, arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, cramps, and muscle aches.
Improve Sleep Quality
Sleep is important for so many biological functions, but many people struggle to get the proper amount and quality needed. Fortunately, CBD may relieve insomnia and improve sleep quality. This could be due to CBD regulating cortisol, a stress hormone that impacts vital non-REM sleep cycles. As mentioned previously, CBD has also been linked to alleviating anxiety, which is also a common cause of insomnia. Interestingly, a 2019 study that used CBD to treat people struggling with anxiety and sleep found that almost 80% of their anxiety improved and almost 70% reported improved sleep in the first month (with varied results over time). Although more studies need to be done, initial results are promising.
Neurons, as illustrated above, are the powerful nerve cells of the brain. The brain has around 80-100 billion neurons that use electrical and chemical signals to carry information throughout the human body and coordinate all necessary functions of life. CBD has been shown to have possible neuroprotective properties, meaning it might slow or reduce the degeneration of the central nervous system and preserve neuronal structure, health, and function. These properties might enable CBD to protect the neuron health of people with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis. Additionally, it may protect the nervous system and brain from head injury damage, such as stroke or concussion.
It turns out that CBD doesn't just help you feel good, it can help you look good, too. CBD oil may fight a litany of skin issues due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Specifically, it can inhibit oil production and target just the problematic cells that activate breakouts. Because of its ability to target problematic cells, CBD oil is likely a more gentle alternative to other harsh chemicals used to treat some of these tricky conditions, allowing skin to heal without irritation. The skin conditions it may benefit include dryness, signs of aging, acne, psoriasis, and eczema.
Although research is still in its infancy, CBD is proving to be a powerful substance for a variety of use cases, from the inside out. Every human body is different, so experimentation is the key to discover how CBD may work best for you and your needs. Remember, it is always best to talk to a doctor before taking any new supplements or compounds, including CBD. Although CBD is not shown to cause intoxication or dependence, it may have side effects such as diarrhea, changes in appetite and weight, and fatigue. With all this in mind, we wish you and this powerful plant a happy National CBD Day!