Cannabidiol (CBD) oil and other CBD products are in the limelight these days, as recent studies suggest that it is beneficial for several things. The oil is made by mixing CBD extract into a carrier oil such as coconut oil. It does not create a high effect and is not considered to have any dangerous side effects. Due to these reasons, the CBD oil is becoming acceptable for various uses, few of those uses are listed below.
To relieve pain
Evidence suggests that the use of cannabis for pain relief dates back to 2900 B.C. Recently, after studying cannabis and its components, scientists found out that there are specific components in cannabis that are effective for relieving pain. These components include CBD. There is a specialized system within our bodies called the endocannabinoid system (ECS); it is responsible for regulating various functions such as immune system response, sleep, appetite, and pain. The ECS consists of endocannabinoids, a type of neurotransmitters that binds with our nervous system’s cannabinoid receptors.
According to studies, the CBD interacts with the neurotransmitters and impacts the endocannabinoid receptor activity, which helps reduce chronic pain and inflammation. An animal study used CBD based injections to study the effects of CBD on pain and found out that CBD effectively reduced pain caused due to surgical incision. Another animal study used oral CBD to treat sciatic nerve pain and inflammation; the results reaffirmed CBD’s use for pain relief.
Sativex, an oral spray containing CBD and THC, is approved in several countries, including Canada and the U.K., for treating pain caused by multiple sclerosis (MS). Several studies suggest that a combination of CBD and THC is useful for treating different types of pain, including arthritis pain and MS pain.
47 people with MS were given Sativex for a month in a study conducted in 2017. After a month, participants reported reduced pain when walking and experienced fewer muscle spasms. Another study of Sativex reports that it improves pain at rest and at motion for people with rheumatoid arthritis, it also improves the quality of sleep.
To reduce depression and anxiety
Depression and anxiety are prevalent mental health conditions that have devastating effects on the patients’ well-being and health. According to the World Health Organization, anxiety disorders are the sixth-largest contributor to disability worldwide, while depression is the single largest. Usually, doctors prescribe pharmaceutical drugs for treating depression and anxiety, but these drugs can cause several side effects, including headache, drowsiness, insomnia, agitation, and sexual dysfunction. Not only that, pharmaceutical drugs like Benzodiazepines can cause addiction and may also lead to substance abuse.
Unlike these pharmaceutical drugs, CBD oil is not addictive, and it is considered to be useful for treating both depression and anxiety. This is the main reason why people are more inclined towards this natural approach for treating various ailments. According to a study, CBD is useful for reducing stress and anxiety. The study included 57 participants who received oral CBD or a placebo 90 minutes before a stress test. Those who received 300 mg of CBD experienced a significant reduction in stress and anxiety during the stress test. In contrast, those receiving the placebo did not experience any decrease in anxiety levels.
CBD is considered to have effects that are similar to antidepressants but without the risk of addiction and side effects. CBD oil can also be used to treat anxiety and insomnia in children with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These anxiety and depression reducing effects of CBD are linked with its ability to interact with serotonin (a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating social behavior and mood) receptors in our brain.
To alleviate cancer-related symptoms
Cancer and its treatment can cause several symptoms, including pain, nausea, and vomiting, and these symptoms may be reduced or managed with the help of CBD. According to a study of CBD and THC’s effects on drug-resistant pain, a combination of extracts can significantly reduce pain related to cancer and its treatment. THC alone, however, was unable to reduce the pain at the same level.
Another study suggests that CBD can reduce nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy, both of which are common side effects of chemotherapy. There are pharmaceutical drugs that the doctors prescribe to cancer patients for managing these distressing symptoms, but these drugs can be ineffective, which is why people try to find alternatives for effectively managing these symptoms. According to a study of 16 cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, an equal combination of CBD and THC may increase the efficiency of the standard treatment used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.
To reduce acne
Over 9% of the total population suffers from acne, making it one of the most common skin conditions on the planet. Several factors contribute to the common condition, including sebum overproduction, genetics, inflammation, and bacteria. Recent studies about CBD oil suggest that it has anti-inflammatory properties, and it can also reduce the production of sebum, both of which are effective for treating acne.
According to a test tube study, CBD oil prevents the secretion of excessive sebum from the sebaceous gland cells and exerts anti-inflammatory effects, which prevents pro-acne agents such as inflammatory cytokines from getting activated. Another study reaffirms the findings of the study mentioned above, hailing CBD and its anti-inflammatory properties as an efficient, effective, and safe way of treating acne. Once again, these are test tube or animal studies, which is why we need human studies to be sure about the positive effects of CBD on acne.
To provide neuroprotective properties
Neuroprotective properties of CBD and its ability to treat various neurological disorders like MS and epilepsy are among the most studied subjects of CBD studies. Researchers believe that CBD interacts with the ECS and other brain signaling systems, which can be beneficial for treating or managing various neurological disorders. Research in this area is relatively new, but still, it shows promising results.
One study of 214 severe epilepsy patients shows that a dosage of 0.9–2.3 grams per pound of bodyweight of CBD oil may reduce seizures by 36.5%. Another study of children with Dravet syndrome shows that after using CBD oil, the participants experienced reduced seizure activity; the placebo did not have the same effects. It is important to note, however, that the participants of both studies experienced adverse reactions, including fatigue, convulsion, and fever.
Apart from MS and epilepsy, CBD is also considered as a potential treatment for neurological diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, etc. Data from different studies show that CBD may be effective for improving the life quality and the quality of sleep for people with Parkinson’s. Similarly, test-tube and animal studies have shown that CBD may reduce inflammation and prevent neurodegeneration caused by Alzheimer’s. There is another animal study that suggests CBD may prevent cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients. Animal and test-tube studies only suggest what could work for humans; they are not concrete proof of anything, which is why we need human studies in order to be sure about the benefits of using CBD for preventing or treating neurodegenerative diseases.
To benefit heart health
Recent research about CBD shows that CBD has the ability to lower blood pressure and it is beneficial for heart health and the health of the circulatory system. Hypertension or high blood pressure can cause several damaging health conditions such as metabolic syndrome, stroke, or heart attack and according to studies, CBD can help manage high blood pressure.
A recent study, consisting of nine healthy participants, found that a single dosage of CBD oil reduces the resting blood pressure; the placebo, however, did not have the same effects. The participants of the study were given a stress test, which usually increases the blood pressure, but after receiving a 600 mg dose of CBD, the participants did not experience the usual increase in their blood pressure. This ability of CBD to reduce blood pressure is linked to its ability to reduce stress and anxiety.
There are several animal studies that reaffirm CBD’s ability to reduce inflammation and cell death caused by various heart diseases; this ability is enabled by the stress-reducing and antioxidant properties of CBD. These studies also show that CBD is effective for preventing heart damage and it also reduces oxidative stress.
These are just a few of the uses of CBD oil; it may also be used for reducing psychotic symptoms in people with mental disorders such as schizophrenia. It is also believed to be effective in treating substance abuse. CBD may also prevent diabetes, according to a mice study.
All these benefits of CBD may only be achieved if you use quality CBD oil and CBD products that are tested by an independent lab. Make sure that you don’t buy any substandard CBD products as they may contain harmful elements that can damage your health instead of improving it.