Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. It can be found in either marijuana or hemp (various strains of the plant). The difference between these strains are the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is the psychoactive element that is the responsible for the ‘high’ users experience when consuming marijuana. CBD has little to no amounts of THC in it and does not change a person’s state of mind when it is consumed; however, there is evidence to suggest that CBD does appear to have significant changes in the body and some research suggest that it has medical benefits.
How Does CBD Work?
Cannabinoids, including CBD and THC all have an effect on the body by attaching themselves to certain receptors. The human body produces cannabinoids by itself and it has two receptors for them called CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are mostly found in the brain and are responsible for coordination, emotions, pain, thinking, appetite, memories and many other functions. When consumed, THC attaches itself to CB1 receptors and consumers will notice changes to the above-mentioned functions when they do.
CB2 receptors are more common in the immune system of the human body and they affect inflammation and pain. It was previously thought that CBD attaches itself to CB2 receptors but studies have shown that it does not attach itself to any receptors and that it actually encourages the body to create more of its own cannabinoids.
The Benefits of CBD
Certain studies have shown that CBD could have an impact on the following:
- Pain Relief and Inflammatory Qualities – Over the counter pain medicines such as Paracetamol and Ibuprofen have always been recommended for pain and stiffness. There are some studies that have been conducted on mice and rats that suggests that CBD significantly reduces pain and inflammation. Researchers are currently looking into whether some of the non-psychoactive elements of marijuana could provide a new treatment for chronic pain.
- Quitting Smoking and Drug Withdrawals – A pilot study published suggested that smokers who used CBD inhalers smoked less cigarettes and had no cravings for nicotine, indicating that CBD could possibly be used for quitting smoking or drug addictions. Researchers noted that CBD reduced the symptoms of substance disorders including anxiety, mood swings, pain and insomnia.
- Epilepsy – In the United States, after researching the use of CBD oil for treating epilepsy, the FDA approved the use of CBD against two rare forms of the condition in 2018. In the US, a doctor can now prescribe the CBD contained medication, Epidiolex, for Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) and Dravet Syndrome (DS) two rare forms of epilepsy found in young children.
- Other Neurological Symptoms and Disorders – Researchers are studying the effects of CBD on other neuropsychiatric disorders that are linked to epilepsy and could prevent it. A study has also found that CBD could contain effects similar to those found in anti-psychotic drugs that treat schizophrenia, although more research needs to be conducted to provide more accuracy.
- Cancer – There are some studies that suggest that CBD could be effective in fighting cancer. Researchers have noted that its effects could significantly help to reduce the spread of cancer in the body making it much easier to treat. They also pointed out that as CBD has much lower levels of toxicity than traditional cancer treatments, it could potentially be an effective accompaniment when treating a patient.
- Anxiety – Traditionally doctors have recommended that people avoid cannabis, as THC can exacerbate or create feelings of anxiety or paranoia; however, there is evidence to suggest that CBD may help to reduce anxiety in people with certain anxiety disorders such as; PTSD, general anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and OCD. There is no evidence to suggest that CBD has any adverse effects on sufferers of anxiety but research is being undertaken to look into this further.
- Type 1 Diabetes – Type 1 diabetes occurs when inflammation from the immune system attacks cells in the pancreas. Research has shown that CBD may be able to reduce that inflammation making it a suitable treatment for people suffering with this type of diabetes.
- Acne – Acne is formed partly by inflammation and overproduction of sebum from sebaceous glands in the body. There is evidence to suggest from studies that the anti -inflammatory qualities in CBD could help reduce the production of sebum and therefore help prevent acne vulgaris which is the most common form of acne.
- Alzheimer’s Disease – There has been some initial research conducted that suggests that CBD was able to prevent the development of social recognition deficit in those that suffer with Alzheimer’s. More research will need to be undertaken but if the studies are correct this could be a significant step in slowing down the progression of this disease.
Due to restrictive laws preventing researchers from testing with cannabis, research into the benefits of the plant have been hard to conduct. Now that the legalities of the plant have changed, more and more studies will be undertaken to see how accurate these initial findings are. It is important, when considering CBD oil that you consult your doctor to discuss possible side effects and interference with any existing medication that you are taking.
This non-biased post regarding the supposed benefits of CBD treatment has probably caused the most commotion among the blog readers as the benefits of every one to seem to differ greatly. I have found that settling before sleep has helped me, what are your thoughts how has it worked for you. Thank you for reading and join in the discussion Mitchell Stuart.