10 Health Benefits of CBD
CBD, or cannabidiol– as it is referred to in the scientific community– is an age-old remedy and health supplement that has been used by people around the world for centuries. CBD is one of over 100 different cannabinoids found in the cannabis sativa plant. Since our body naturally produces cannabinoids and has receptors that respond to them, our bodies work with CBD, and in most cases, can thrive from using it.
For years, cannabis has been widely misunderstood by consumers and healthcare practitioners. Having been wrongly categorized as a mind-altering substance that was used for getting stoned instead healthy, it was kind of a taboo subject. That is, until recently, when people in the started to become aware of all of the remarkable things that medical marijuana can do for the human body.
The reason that CBD has been misunderstood for so many years is that it is closely related to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the part of the cannabis plant that is responsible for the euphoric, “high“ feeling that people get when they smoke marijuana.
Thanks to hundreds of studies being conducted year-round across the globe, we are now starting to learn about the positive effects of the cannabis plant as a whole. As such, researcher are finally scratching the surface of knowledge to uncover some of the remarkable things that CBD oil is capable of. While it is by no means a magic cure-all, cannabidiol extracts and oils have the potential to significantly influence our lives in a positive way.
In this article, we will be taking a more in-depth look at:
- How CBD affects our bodies
- How the endocannabinoid system(ECS) in our bodies works
- What health issues CBD has been scientifically proven to treat
- What health issues we may be able to treat in the future
How Does CBD Have an Effect on the Human body?
You’re probably wondering what it is about this stuff that affects our bodies. How does it work? And why does it work so well for humans?
The answer is due to a little thing called the ‘endocannabinoid system.’ When we say ‘little,’ we are being facetious, as the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is responsible for a wide range of our bodies natural functions. If we break the word ‘endocannabinoid” down into two parts, we get ‘endo’ and ‘cannabinoid.’ The word endo means ‘endogenous,’ which is basically just a fancy way of saying “naturally produced inside the body.” The word ‘cannabinoid’ is synonymous with cannabis. So, when we put the two meanings together, it essentially means ‘naturally occurring cannabinoids in your body.’
Our bodies run on a very similar substance to cannabinoids. This is why CBD – a cannabinoid derived from the cannabis sativa plant group – works so well for a variety of ailments. It is essentially like a plant-derived substitute for something that we already make in our bodies. Researchers believe that the reason why some people are actually suffering from many of the symptoms that CBD can help treat is that their bodies do not naturally produce enough endocannabinoids to sustain specific functions.
How Does the Endocannabinoid System Work?
The ECS works by equalizing certain parts of our body and its functions. For example, if we are hot, our ECS will send signals to our sweat glands to activate them and help cool us down. If we are hungry, our stomach will growl. CBD works within this complex system, complimenting it and operating alongside our naturally occurring cannabinoids to help our system function optimally.
We have two main groups of ‘receptors’ within our endocannabinoid system, and both groups are responsible for entirely different functions within the human body.
Our CB1 receptors are responsible for keeping our central nervous system in check. In short, these receptors regulate and help control the brain and spinal cord.
CB2 receptors are responsible for our digestive system, specific cells within our immune system, and our extremities, like our hands and feet.
10 Health Benefits of CBD
For centuries, CBD has been used as a viable form of pain relief for many physical ailments. Believe it or not, records of CBD use for pain relief date as far back at 2900 B.C.! (1)
People have been using cannabidiol for pain for much longer than we humans had initially thought. By studying history, we have learned that it was quite possibly used in a variety of circumstances including managing pain during childbirth. CBD binds with our CB1 receptors to dull or eliminate pain in our bodies. Additionally, CBD products have been shown to reduce inflammation.
There was recently a study done with a product called Sativex which showed promising signs of CBD being capable of improving pain levels and reducing the recurrence of spasms in patients with Multiple Sclerosis. This is not the first human study to suggest the effectiveness of Cannabis products on pain associated with arthritis and MS.
Anxiety is very commonly treated by mainstream doctors using pharmaceuticals. Very rarely will a doctor suggest natural remedies or a change in diet to help somebody deal with the symptoms of anxiety. However, sometimes that is all that is needed. Some very promising studies show that CBD is a potential game-changer in the mental health field. Mental illness is nothing to mess around with, so further studies will be needed. However, during testing in small study groups, CBD has shown real promise for reducing anxiety in people who suffer from anxiety and panic disorders.
Essentially, anxiety and depression are caused by chemical imbalances in the human brain. Our endocannabinoid system helps to regulate our hormones and the chemical balance of our brains, so, it makes sense that CBD – which compliments and levels out our ECS – would be able to affect our minds and sort of help to balance out the chemicals that we are lacking. CBD has shown just as much promise in the medical field with depression as it has with anxiety. However, further studies are still being done to pinpoint precisely how CBD can help with these disorders.
Yes, that’s right! CBD also helps those who have insomnia. Studies have shown some fascinating, positive effects of CBD on children who suffer from insomnia and anxiety – oddly enough the two seem to often go hand in hand. Studies into the effectiveness of CBD and THC on anxiety and insomnia in children and adults are still being conducted. However, scientists are fairly confident that this could be a long term solution for those who suffer from these conditions.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Due to our Endocannabinoid system and the way that it functions within our body, we have an excellent outlet for the development of science-based treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. There is some evidence that suggests CBD might be able to help survivors of trauma cope with imposing memories and triggers which often make it hard to live comfortably with PTSD.
The pain relief attributed to CBD also applies to the pain and nausea that comes hand in hand with cancer treatment. Some types of cancer can only be treated with chemo and radiation, two treatment options which carry some really nasty side effects. Numerous studies in which both CBD and THC were used have proven that these cannabinoids do help relieve some of the discomfort and nausea that cancer patients were suffering from.
Another excellent bit of knowledge that we are only scratching the surface of is that CBD may Kill some types of cancer cells! If this proves without a doubt to be true, it could completely change the face of cancer-related medical advancement.
There have been a few test-tube studies which suggest CBD may help prevent, or at least help with the severity of acne. More studies are needed of course, but clinical trials have shown that CBD has a positive effect on our bodies sebaceous gland – the gland which produces sebum, which is responsible for acne. Anecdotal evidence has been positive as well, with reports of clearer and healthier skin after use.
Some researchers believe that because CBD has such an effect on our Endocannabinoid system and other brain functions that it may be able to benefit those who suffer from neurological disorders such as MS.
Up-to-date studies show extreme promise using CBD in the form of Sativex for the reduction of muscle spasms in patients with multiple sclerosis. These results were experienced in 75% of the 276 patients who were found to be resistant to other medications.
When administered at high doses (between .9 and 2.3 g of CBD oil per 5 Kg of body weight) clinical studies showed a significant decrease in seizure activity among the test group. Of the 214 people with severe epilepsy, seizures were reduced by a median of 36.5%. That is huge!
There were similar results found in a study done on children with Dravet syndrome(childhood epilepsy). Notably, the FDA approved the used of a new CBD based pharmaceutical, Epidiolex , to treat the disorder.
Further studies are being conducted to see just how big of an impact this life-changing product can make for those who suffer from the effects of epilepsy.
CBD May Help Decrease Cravings and Limit Withdrawal Effects of Addiction
CBD is proving to be an excellent all-around life enhancer. It is currently being explored as a treatment option for severe drug addiction rehabilitation. Current animal studies suggest that it could potentially decrease cravings and limit withdrawal effects in humans. However, this area of research is only in its infancy. If these studies show a positive result, it could change the entire societal landscape with regards to drug addiction. This is excellent news in the face of our worlds growing opioid crisis.
As our knowledge of CBD and its uses grows, we are opening up more and more options for ourselves. The potential of CBD to treat everything from heart disease to high blood pressure is being researched. Sixty years ago, the human race knew very little about CBD and its effects on the human body and how it interacts with
our body’s natural functions. Just imagine where we can be if we continue to learn and expand our knowledge on the wonderful effects of CBD!
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.