CBD is a natural health remedy that many are using to help treat common issues like pain and anxiety.
Also known as cannabidiol, CBD is one of the more prominent of the cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant.
CBD is found in very high quantities within hemp and marijuana. CBD’s psychoactive cousin, THC, is found in its highest amounts within marijuana, which is what causes the ‘high’ feeling many experience when taking it.
When taken alone, CBD has been known to offer a number of health benefits, without the feeling high.
One very popular way of taking CBD is through the oil and tincture method.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD is usually extracted from the leaves and flower of the hemp plant, as it’s very low in THC and significantly reduces the risk of psychoactive effects.
This extract is then mixed with an oil which can be absorbed into the body and consumed. This is usually coconut oil or hemp seed oil.
CBD oil is one of the fasted acting options when it comes to taking cannabidiol. Most manufacturers suggest placing a few drops under the tongue and holding it in place for a minute or two before swallowing.
This allows the oil to be absorbed into the blood stream quickly. You should begin to feel the effects around 15-30 minutes after taking it.
Here are five science-backed ways in which CBD oil can benefit your health.
May help with anxiety
This is something that affects an increasing number of people around the world, and recent research has indicated that CBD may be an effective treatment.
Within studies, CBD has shown a lot of potential for helping to reduce the impacts of anxiety on those who supplement with it.
In one case, a month-long study gave individuals with anxiety and sleep disorders CBD for a month. During this month, the researchers noted that 80% of all those with anxiety displayed reduced symptoms.
Those who suffered with lack of sleep showed improvement too, with 67% experiencing better sleep after taking it .
In another study, researchers gave 24 people who experience social anxiety CBD or a placebo before public speaking. Those who took the supplement showed a significantly lower score for anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort during their speech .
In animal studies, CBD oil has been shown to provide antidepressant affects, however more research is needed to confirm this on humans .
Could reduce pain
Throughout history, there have been notes of marijuana being used to treat pain and discomfort.
Now, we have the ability to perform research into what it is that makes the plant popular as a natural remedy, and it appears to come back CBD.
Your body has a huge system called the endocannabinoid system, or the ECS. This is responsible for regulating your body to maintain homeostasis and healthy functions. For example, it has influence over your sleep, appetite, how you process pain, and even your immune system .
Your body naturally creates endocannabinoids, which act as messengers and bind to your CB1 and CB2 receptors to create change within the functions outlined above. CBD interacts with this system by triggering the receptors so they are more active and work more efficiently .
This, along with its anti-inflammatory properties , has responsible for reducing pain and discomfort within the body.
A study in the Journal of Experimental Medicine found that it helped to reduce both pain and inflammation in cases where chronic pain is experienced .
There is evidence to suggest that taking CBD oil can help to alleviate some of the symptoms that come with cancer and cancer treatment, like nausea and pain.
One study took 117 cancer patients who did not respond to pain medication and gave them either THC or a combination of THC and CBD. The combination option resulted in significantly lower pain scores than those who took THC alone .
In another study, CBD successfully reduced the negative symptoms of nausea and vomiting that occurred as a result of chemotherapy .
Furthermore, there is currently research underway assessing how effective CBD might be in helping to treat cancer.
A study on tissues in test tubes found that use of concentrated CBD led to death of breast cancer cells .
Another study on mice found that taking CBD inhibited the spread of breast cancer cells .
Could help with acne
This skin condition is something that affects a huge number of people.
It has been speculated in the past that the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD oil may be able to help with skin flare ups, however research suggests it offers more than one benefit.
A test-tube study found that CBD also helped to reduce the amount of sebum, reduced inflammation as expected, and inhibited inflammatory cytokines, which can cause acne .
The research we’ve seen so far indicates that Another study was quoted as saying:
Might improve brain health
The ECS (endocannabinoid system) is intrinsically linked to your nervous system and therefore works with your brain to keep your body in optimal health. As such, it may not surprise you to learn that CBD may hold benefits for your brain as well as your body.
In fact, research into the effect of CBD on neurological disorders has resulted in it becoming legal medication (Epidiolex) which is used to treat rare forms of childhood epilepsy.
Although this area of research is still relatively new, CBD is showing a lot of promise for a number of different issues.
One study of 214 participants with severe epilepsy were given 0.9-2.3 grams of CBD oil per pound of bodyweight, which resulted in a significant reduction in the regularity of seizures. Overall, they were reduced by a median of 36.5% .
Another study found that CBD oil also reduced seizures in children with a type of epilepsy called Dravet syndrome .
Since this success, many scientists are now looking into how CBD oil might help with other neurological issues.
For example, there are studies which say CBD may help to reduce inflammation and slow cell degradation that’s associated with Alzheimer’s disease .
It’s also been shown to help relieve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, allowing for a better quality of life and improved sleep .
Although more research is needed and there are undoubtedly a huge number of studies underway at this moment, the relationship between CBD and neurological health is clearly in need of more exploration. So far, the results appear to be promising.
[Related Article: What is CBD?]
May reduce blood pressure
Recent research has revealed that supplementing with CBD may help to reduce blood pressure and promote a health heart.
What’s more, it helped to keep blood pressure low in potentially stressful situations.
For example, in a study of 10 healthy men, each was given a 600mg serving of CBD oil which saw their resting blood pressure drop in comparison to a placebo.
What’s more they were given stress tests designed to increase their blood pressure, at which point they recorded a much smaller increase in pressure than when they hadn’t taken the supplement .
Based on this type of research, experts have suggested that CBD’s role in reducing anxiety may have a subsequent positive effect on keeping blood pressure low.
Other studies on animals have indicated that the anti-inflammatory and anti-stress properties of CBD may help to help to promote heart health and cut down the effects of heart disease .
Are there side effects of taking CBD oil?
Generally, CBD is considered safe, as the majority of people who take it do not experience any side effects. However, it may not be suited to everyone, and some people have shown adverse reactions within the studies outlines above
The issues commonly noted are:
- Appetite changes
It has also been noted to interact and inhibit some medications, so always speak to your physician before taking it alongside anything else.
We do not recommend you resort to CBD as a way to treat any conditions you may have without consulting your doctor first. It’s also not yet a proven
The Final Word
CBD oil has been shown to offer a range of potential health benefits that may help to alleviate the negative effects of a range of conditions.
From reducing cancer-related pain through to keeping anxiety at bay, it appears to have a lot of potential in a variety of areas.
While it seems to help by offering a broad spectrum of benefits, the research surrounding these benefits is still ongoing and, while we’re sure new therapeutic uses will be discovered in the near future, we’re still learning about this supplement.
For now, it appears to be a safe, natural way to help treat health issues and promote overall wellbeing.