Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the active compounds found present in the cannabis plant, Cannabis sativa. CBD oil is made by extracting and isolating the CBD compound and diluting it with a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed oil.
There is a lot of stigma surrounding CBD oil and the morality of using it as it is frequently associated with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the psychoactive element of the cannabis plant. THC causes the sensation of getting ‘high’ that’s associated with consuming marijuana. THC is not naturally present in CBD but can be formulated into CBD oil.
CBD is commonly regarded as a natural remedy to many common ailments. It is an appealing option to pain relief without the psychoactive effects of marijuana or other prescription drugs. It is gaining popularity in the medical and wellbeing world with some studies confirming that it can ease symptoms of chronic pain and anxiety.
The Health Benefits of CBD Oil
- Pain Relief – Marijuana, a strain of the cannabis plant rich in THC has been known to be used for pain relief since 2900 BC. Scientists have recently discovered that it’s the CBD contained in marijuana that is responsible for relieving pain.
It works by impacting on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) of the human body, that is involved in regulating functions including sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. CBD has a specific impact on the receptors of this system which as a result reduces inflammation.
In one particularly study on rats, it was found that CBD injections reduced the pain response to surgical incisions while another rat study showed that CBD reduced sciatic nerve pain and inflammation.
Several studies on humans have confirmed that a combination of CBD and THC is effective in treating multiple sclerosis and arthritis. So much so that the oral spray, Sativex, containing these ingredients, has been approved by a number of countries to combat the pain relating to MS.
Studies into Sativex have suggested that it could improve the pain in walking and of muscle spasms and also improving sleep in many patients suffering with MS and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Reduction of Anxiety and Depression – Anxiety and depression are common mental health disorders that can have crippling effects on health and well- being. According to the World Health Organisation, depression is the single biggest contributor to disability, with anxiety coming in as the sixth biggest.
Anxiety and depression are usually treated with prescription drugs such as SSRIs that cause a number of side effects such as drowsiness, nausea, insomnia, sexual dysfunction and headaches. CBD oil has shown real signs of reducing the effects of anxiety and depression and more and more sufferers are opting to explore this natural remedy than traditional methods.
Studies on human subjects have suggested that a 300mg dosage of CBD oil could potentially be the most effective treatment to reducing the effects of anxiety. It has even been used as a treatment for insomnia and anxiety related disorders within children that have post traumatic stress disorder.
Studies show that CBD has the ability to affect the brain’s receptors for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and social behaviour.
- Alleviate Cancer Symptoms – A combination of CBD and THC could potentially help reduce the symptoms of cancer and cancer treatment such as nausea, vomiting and pain. A specific study that looked at 177 cancer patients that were suffering with pain relating to the disease. Those that received a combination of both CBD and THC claimed to have felt a significant reduction in pain compared to those that were just administered THC. There is also evidence to suggest that CBD could combat symptoms resulting from chemotherapy as well;however, these studies need to be looked into further to assess their accuracy.
- Reduce Acne – Acne is a skin condition that effects around 9% of the population. It is thought to be caused by a number of factors including; genetics, bacteria, underlying inflammation and the overproduction of sebum, a secretion produced by sebaceous glands in the skin. Based on recent studies, CBD has been found to potentially have anti-inflammatory qualities and reduce the production of sebum in the body which means that it could be effective in reducing acne.
- Other Potential Benefits – CBD has also been studied for its role in several other health issues. It is thought to provide the following health benefits:
- Lowering Blood Pressure – Which in turn lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke and metabolic syndrome.
- Antipsychotic Effects – Could potentially help with schizophrenia and other mental disorders.
- Substance Abuse Treatment – CBD has been suggested that it could modify circuits in the brain relating to drug addiction such as morphine dependence.
- Anti-tumour Effects – CBD has been known to treat the spread of breast, prostate, brain, colon and lung cancer in animals.
- Diabetes Prevention – CBD was shown to have reduced the incidence of diabetes in mice by up to 56% and significantly reduce inflammation.
The Side Effects of CBD Oil Despite CBD oil being considered safe for use it may cause some side effects in a small amount of people. These side effects could include diarrhoea, changes in appetite and weight and fatigue. CBD has also been known to impact on other medications that consumers are also taking. If you are considering CBD oil it is important to contact your doctor to check if it will impact on any existing medication that you may