Have you ever heard of natural CBD? Who are we kidding—of course you have! Who hasn’t? Chances are (if you haven’t been living under a rock), you’ve heard some rumors about the various and valuable uses of CBD. You might have even looked into a couple of them. Perhaps you’ve even tried a CBD product in hopes of harnessing some of its magic powers for yourself. But do you know of all the uses? Sure, you’ve heard of a few. It may help with pain, sleep, so on and so forth. But there are many, many uses of CBD, and some lesser known! Before we explore some of these common and uncommon uses, let’s get some background information.
All About CBD
CBD, formally referred to as “cannabidiol,” is one of over 400 naturally occurring chemical compounds found in plants of the cannabis sativa genus. To narrow it down a little bit, cannabidiol is one of over 113 cannabinoids found in plants of the Cannabis sativa genus. This means that it has a special ability to enact meaningful changes in our brain in body. How can it do this, you ask? The answer is: the endocannabinoid system. This is a complex communication network in our brain made up of cannabinoid receptor cells that can interact with cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, in order to enact those aforementioned meaningful changes. Exactly what kind of “meaningful effect” takes place comes down to how the respective cannabinoid binds with the receptor cells. CBD binds indirectly and weakly. As a result, its effects are more subtle. There is no intoxication or “high” to speak of, but there is a relaxing, mood-perking effect. Another well-known cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Undoubtedly, you already know about THC and its more infamous effects. You see, THC binds strongly and directly with the receptor cells. The result is a notable intoxication or “high.”
In 2018, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) officially recognized for the first time in history this crucial difference with the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill. They made hemp and hemp-derived products federally legal. This includes CBD in particular because the hemp plant is naturally high in CBD and low in THC. The marijuana plant, on the other hand, is naturally high in THC and low in CBD, so, as we see time and time again, it remains illegal and controlled on a federal level. While the question over marijuana remains unanswered and controversial, this legislation was a historic and monumental one because it gave citizens access to the many uses of CBD…with one stipulation. According to the USDA, a CBD product qualifies as federally legal only if it contains less than 0.3% THC.
All About CBD Uses
As mentioned, there are many, many uses CBD may bring to the table. Some are common knowledge, others a little more surprising. To cover all our bases, we’ll touch on a mix of both.
Inflammation & Pain
This area of usage definitely falls under the “commonly known” category. Many people turn to CBD as an alternative method to alleviating and managing bodily discomfort, particularly associated with inflammation, a common cause of joint and muscle pain. Typically, you hear of people ingesting CBD oil or edibles in order to get their desired dose. However, CBD topicals have also become popular. This includes salves and balms that you apply, topically, to the area of concern. The intention is for the CBD mixture to soothe physical discomfort without ingestion.
For a lot of people, anecdotal evidence and word of mouth is enough to bring them onto the bandwagon. Understandably, though, we often prefer a little more than just anecdotes to appease our conscience. Given that access to CBD has long been prevented, research has much catching up to do and is still relatively basic. However, studies have shown promising findings in regard to CBD’s potential anti-inflammatory abilities. In a 2018 review on multiple studies assessing CBD’s ability to relieve chronic pain, the researchers concluded that CBD was, indeed, effective in overall pain management with no negative side effects to speak of. This is pretty significant considering the risks and unwanted side effects that often come with pharmaceutical pain medication or surgical intervention. In another study on rats with arthritis, it was found that not only did transdermal CBD reduced inflammation and pain behaviors in the rats, but also prevented further joint damage. A great option may be CBD arnica for injuries.
Anxiety & Insomnia
Another area research is beginning to look into is CBD in the treatment of anxiety and insomnia. In one study, it was found that CBD effectively reduced anxiety scores in 79.2% of patients, and improved sleep scores in 66.7% of the patients. Ultimately, researchers concluded that CBD was a potential treatment for anxiety-related disorders (more so than for sleep), although more research needs to be done.
Perhaps a less marketed area of CBD use is pet care. Animals, just like us, have endocannabinoid systems. This means that they, too, may be able to reap the rewards CBD has to offer. Pets, just like us, can suffer from anxiety and inflammation-related pain. Given that findings have been promising, it is likely that CBD may bring a similar kind of relief to our furry friends. This is most definitely worth looking into if your pet struggled with any such issues, especially given that CBD is an entirely natural, and (from what we know) safe method of relief.
Not everyone knows about CBD’s growing popularity in the beauty and dermatological field. Not only can topicals be great for standard moisturizing, but it might also be able to help manage acne and breakouts. Firstly, its potential anti-inflammatory properties may help soothe inflamed acne. Second, it may be able to protect our skin from and overproduction of oil that can lead to breakouts, according to a 2014 study.
All About CBD’s Safety
Based off what we currently know, CBD seems to be a safe supplement or alternative in your health and wellness routine. As we know, however, research is preliminary. Researchers cannot yet say for sure the long-term effects of CBD use. It is always recommended to speak with a medical professional about whether CBD is a good option for you.