The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the cannabis-derived medication Epidiolex. While many people used cannabis-derived products legally for medical purposes over the years, this was a first in the history of the United States.
The FDA decision marked an official shift in the ongoing fight to legalize products extracted from cannabis. The statement solidified the idea that products made of cannabidiol (CBD) oil and cannabis are safe and effective for human health.
What is CBD?
CBD is a compound extracted from Cannabis sativa, which has two widely known variations: marijuana and hemp. Cannabis contains over 113 different kinds of chemical compounds known as cannabinoids.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the principal ingredient in marijuana, but CBD is derived primarily from hemp. Hemp produces small quantities of THC, less than 0.3%, to be exact.
In 2018, the Farm Bill passage made selling hemp and hemp-derived items legal in the United States (with restrictions in individual states). Not all CBD products are extracted from hemp and are therefore not recognized as legal.
CBD is a non-psychoactive component, meaning it does not produce the euphoric or “high” feeling commonly associated with marijuana or cannabis.
Advantages of Using CBD Oil
May Help Relieve Pain
Unfortunately, many of us will deal with pain at some point in our lives, whether acute or chronic. According to the 2017 GSK Global Pain Index, 95% of the global population has felt body pain, while at some point, 86% of people have had a headache.
Many people diagnosed with some form of pain has shown interest in CBD in one way or another. CBD is thought to provide potential medicinal advantages, with the most popular being possible pain relief.
CBD interacts with a wide variety of proteins in the central nervous system and body, including the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). This system includes several receptors, such as CB1 receptors in the central nervous system and brain, and CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the immune system and spleen.
THC binds strongly to these receptors, but CBD does have the opposite effect. CBD blocks the absorption of a natural molecule of cannabinoids named anandamide, which controls pain and correlates with feelings of pleasure and well-being. As CBD stimulates anandamide signaling, levels in the bloodstream increase, and help relieve body-wide pain.
A 2014 study released by the British Journal of Pharmacology showed that the analgesic properties of CBD are regulated by the TRPV1 receptor, thereby concluding that CBD may be used as a pharmacological alternative in the treatment of chronic pain associated with some diseases.
Growing work shows that CBD is an important treatment tool for a large variety of pain-related conditions. In a 2016 animal study, the European Journal of Pain stated that different dosages of transdermal CBD gel (6.2 mg & 62.3 mg administered to laboratory rats) were successful in reducing arthritis pain and inflammation.
Helps Heals and Protects Skin
The skin has the highest concentration and the largest number of CB2 receptors in any other body organ. Research indicates that CBD oil is very likely to treat different skin disorders, such as acne and eczema, by encouraging premature cell death.
CBD has a better antioxidant compared with Vitamins C and E. Consequently when applied as a cream, salve, lotion, or oil, CBD may support the skin by repairing damage from free radicals such as toxins in the atmosphere and UV rays.
The skin has cannabinoid receptors that assist in the sebaceous glands in controlling oil production. Therefore, companies are creating topical products based on cannabis that are intended to treat similar issues from psoriasis to acne and may also help to facilitate faster healing of damaged skin.
Ancient sources indicate that cannabis extracts have been used to help people from various cultures around the world. The use of CBD oil and concentrated cannabis to treat skin and skin cancer conditions is becoming widespread by the day.
Could Improve Cholesterol Health
For a particular study carried out in 2013, 4,652 participants were used to test the effect of cannabis on their metabolic systems. The researchers contrasted non-users with past as well as existing users. The researchers found that existing consumers of cannabis had higher levels of good cholesterol in their blood, or high-density lipoprotein (HDL-C).
In the same year, 700 members of the Inuit Population of Canada were used to examine that frequent cannabis consumers had significantly lower levels of bad cholesterol or LDL-C, and higher HDL-C levels.
Could Help Maintain Brain Health
Research suggests that cannabinoids are neuroprotective, which means that they help preserve and control brain function. The influence is attributed to the acts of cannabinoids on the brain, like enhancing the effectiveness of mitochondria and eliminating damaged cells.
CBD and some of the antioxidant compounds present in cannabis also help to reduce the toxicity of glutamate. Extra glutamate stimulates the brain’s nerve cells, causing them to burn, causing over-stimulation of the cells, which may eventually lead to cell damage or death.
As a consequence, cannabinoids prevent brain cell damage, keep the brain healthy, and improve its functioning. Also, CBD has anti-inflammatory effects on the consumer’s mind.