20 Benefits of CBD Oil | Medical Cannabis
CBD is a compound found in Cannabis plants and is part of a group of ingredients called cannabinoids. Although Cannabis may have negative connotations as people use it as a recreational drug in order to get high, CBD and its effects differ significantly from this as it does not contain the psychoactive component; Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD oil is therefore a non-psychoactive product and research so far has concluded that it has no noticeable side effects. The positive feedback from the growing numbers of people who have seen CBD Oil have a transformative effect on their daily lives has resulted in this product being subjected to a lot of scrutiny in recent times. In this article we take a look at how CBD is beneficial for both your mental and physical health and why it is the product everyone is talking about.
Firstly, why is everybody talking about CBD Oil?
For many years both scientists and those who have used Cannabis for medicinal purposes have spoken of its various benefits. Its notable effectiveness at providing pain relief, reducing muscle spasms and lowering blood pressure are fairly well known. Recently, however, the introduction of CBD Oil has really thrust this natural plant in to the limelight, provoking much discussion and debate in the process. Not only has research in recent times shown that CBD can be used for more than just the aforementioned health conditions but its non-psychoactive effect on patients has proven revolutionary. This has resulted in law changes and the subsequent legalisation of CBD Oil in countries like the CBD. These changes now mean that CBD oil is part of the mainstream health industry and anyone can take advantage of its many potential benefits.
May Provide Relief from Chronic Pain
For those of you who suffer from chronic pain on a regular basis, CBD Oil may provide a natural alternative to synthetic prescription drugs. Chronic pain can prevent people from carrying out everyday tasks and can be extremely debilitating. Immunity to synthetic medicine is on the increase which is why research in to more sustainable natural alternatives is vital for sufferers of chronic pain.
A Study on the effects which CBD Oil has on chronic pain was revealed in the European Study of Pain. Following several studies and in depth trials the report concluded that there is ‘substantial evidence’ that CBD is effective at treating chronic pain in adults. Another study which was revealed in the Journal of Experimental medicine actually supported this conclusion. This second study looked further in to the tolerance levels of CBD and discovered that unlike with many synthetic medicines, chronic pain sufferers would not have to increase their dosages for it to be effective. This was certainly a revolutionary breakthrough for sufferers looking to find natural relief from chronic pain. When we look in to the specific ways in which CBD works in order to relieve chronic pain, it provides further hope for sufferers. The research provided evidence that Cannabinoids helped to inhibit the neuronal transmission in the pathway of pain
May Reduce the effects of Arthritis and Joint Pain
Arthritis and joint pain is a problem for many of us in our daily lives. Arthritis can cause stiffness in the joints, swelling and an inability to use a full range of motion. Although painkillers like paracetamol can be used to reduce the pain of Arthritis, regular long term use of this prescription drug may cause liver damage. The desire for an effective natural treatment for arthritis is therefore great among sufferers.
The good news is that there have been numerous recent studies in to the effectiveness of CBD Oil for the treatment of Arthritis and joint pain and the results have proven to be fairly positive. A Study carried out in the European Journal of Pain found that the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD could help reduce the pain surrounding the inflammation caused by arthritis. It must be noted however, that CBD was only tested on rats with arthritis and it is yet to be established whether it can have a similar effect on humans.
May Reduce Inflammation
We looked briefly at the positive effects CBD may have in the treatment of inflammation with regards to arthritis but what about inflammation in general? Inflammation is basically a sign that not everything is okay with your overall health and can be caused by an injury or infection. On many occasions it can be vital for doctors to reduce inflammation – which can take the form of swelling or redness - first before establishing the specific problem.
What has been promising about the recent studies in to the effectiveness of CBD in reducing inflammation has been the unique way in which this cannabinoid interacts with our body’s endocannabinoid system. Although more research is required to establish to what extent CBD can be considered as an effective treatment for inflammation, the early signs certainly look extremely positive.
May Provide Relief from Muscle Spasms
Many people suffer from uncontrollable muscle spasms which can be very painful. These spasms occur as a result neurological impulses carried from the central nervous system. Various things can cause regular muscle spasms, including diseases like cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and damage to the spinal cord. There are some well-known prescription drugs such as Xanax,diazepam,baclofen and Valium which are used by those who suffer from muscle spasms. These drugs are known as ‘muscle relaxers’ and they work by interrupting the communicative neurological relationship between the brain and the muscles themselves. Recently there has been evidence to suggest that CBD could work in much the same way as these well-known muscle relaxers. The effectiveness of CBD in the treatment of muscle spasms is strongly linked to the aforementioned endocannabinoid system (ECS) - which is a network of natural cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors within the human body.
What is absolutely fascinating about ECS is that it is present in almost every physiological system within the human body. Because of the extensive presence of ECS within our body, CBD can react with the cannabinoid receptors and therefore function as a muscle relaxant. Although more research is required on the effectiveness of CBD as a treatment for muscle spasms, these early results have certain proven to be extremely positive.
May Have Antipsychotic Effects
Regular use of Cannabis itself has been strongly linked to paranoia, anxiety and hallucinations. However, it is the Tetrahydrocannabinol within Cannabis which causes these psychotic effects. Because CBD does not contain any THC at all it does not have these effects on people. In contrast, research has shown that people who take CBD oil are at a lower risk of developing psychosis. A study was carried out on people with psychosis by Scientists at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London. This study aimed to determine to what extent CBD could help patients with psychosis. Among the 88 patients studied, some were given CBD and others received placebo in addition to the medication they were taking at that time.
The results of this study were positive when it came to the patients who had taken CBD. Of those who had taken CBD, “a significant reduction in symptoms” was evident. Although it is yet to be established how CBD actually managed to reduce the symptoms, it has certainly been considered as a positive discovery, Furthermore, the majority of patients who had taken CBD did not report any side effect. The results led to one of the scientists conducting the trial to state that “CBD could represent a new class of treatment.”
May Reduce Anxiety
Anxiety is certainly a topic which has received a lot of coverage over the past few years. Anxiety can have many forms including social phobia, panic disorder, phobias, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Early research has actually shown that CBD can reduce the severity of anxiety. Through studies and research, scientists have even been able to establish the ways in which CBD works inside the brain in order to reduce anxiety in people. The results of the studies which have been carried out thus far show that CBD interacts with a brain receptor named CB1. Receptors are attached to your cells and respond to chemical signals from various stimuli. A particular chemical which is significant in relation to mental health is Serotonin.
Low levels of Serotonin are associated with higher levels of depression and anxiety. CBD was discovered to change Serotonin signals in patients during these tests, which represents a significant breakthrough. Although more research is required, in the future it is not too farfetched to suggest that CBD could be a great alternative to traditional anxiety treatments like Prozac. In 2011 a trial was conducted to establish the effects which CBD had on Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). Overall, CBD was shown to reduce the anxiety levels of the people who took part.
May Help Cancer Patients
There has been quite a lot of information in the media over recent years regarding the potential use of CBD for cancer patients. Although many of the studies which have already been carried out have shown some very positive results it is still early days. What we are aware of, thanks to Cancer Research UK, is that lab tests established that cannabinoids were a catalyst for cell death through a mechanism known as apoptosis. Furthermore, the cannabinoids were also shown to prevent cells from dividing and also stopped tumours from developing via new blood vessels.
The tests also revealed how the cannabinoids reduced the chances of cancerous cells spreading throughout the body and also accelerated the autophagy process which can lead to the death of cancer cells. It is, however, important to note that almost all of the research carried out thus far has been with the use of lab grown cancer cells or animal models. The results could therefore be different when it comes to real patients. What the tests did help to reveal were the ways in which the cannabinoids reacted with the CB1 and CB2 receptors to reduce or prevent cell growth.
May Relieve Nausea
The feeling of nausea and the need to vomit is something I’m sure we have all experienced at one time or another. It is certainly not very pleasant and is a feeling we wish to eradicate with immediate effect. There has been some research carried out recently in to the potential for CBD to supress feelings of nausea. The findings from the studies conducted thus far suggest that CBD helps to activate a compound which is called 5-hydroxytryptamiine-1A (5-HT1A).
This activation triggers a series of complex biological responses which help to relieve nausea and therefore prevent a bout of vomiting. What has been interesting about the results from the research in to CBD and its potential to supress nausea is that it is most effective in smaller quantities. Researchers discovered that the diphasic manner in which CBD works means that small doses will work best to prevent vomiting which has been induced by toxins. Higher doses of CBD may even have the potential to make the feeling nausea and the desire to vomit even worse.
May Be Able To Help Seizures Including Epilepsy
As part of the focus in to many of its potential uses, research in to the effectiveness of CBD in relation to preventing or reducing the frequency or severity of seizures, including epilepsy, has been carried out. A recent U.S. study provided some positive findings with regards to CBD and seizures. A drug called Epidolex which derives from CBD oil was used in the recent study which involved a mixture of adults and children who suffer from seizures.
The results showed a 40% reduction in seizures among patients who received the CBD based substance compared to 20% in those which were given a placebo. Another survey which was carried out in 2014 provided further evidence that CBD could be an effective treatment for seizures. This study which was carried out by researchers at Stanford University involved 19 children. Sixteen children (84%) were said to have seen a reduction in their seizures whilst taking CBD oil. Two sets of parents said that their children had no seizures at all during the study. Furthermore, other reported benefits of CBD during the study included a better sleep pattern, improved mood and a greater level of alertness.
May Lower Risk of Diabetes
There’s currently a large emphasis throughout the world to support people’s general health and help to prevent conditions like diabetes. Thus far, studies involving CBD and its potential to reduce the risk of diabetes have provided positive results. In a 2006 study involving diabetic mice, treatment via CBD was shown to greatly reduce diabetic symptoms. The use of CBD during the study had further benefits as it also reduced plasma levels in the mice.
In a more recent study, in 2013, the American Journal of Medicine reported 16% lower fasting levels of insulin and 17% lower insulin resilience in people who used CBD. Furthermore, another study showed that CBD actually protected the major components in the production of insulin. Not only can CBD be seen as a potential treatment for type 1 diabetes but it may also be used to treat type 2 diabetes in the future. Through its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD can help to prevent the accumulation of sugar within the blood. This process will therefore improve the body’s glucose metabolism.
May Promote Heart Health
Taking measures to promote and protect our heart health, particularly as we get older, is always advisable. A healthy lifestyle, which involves a balanced diet and regular exercise, plays a big part in heart health. There are also various supplements and vitamins available which can be taken in order to help to reduce things like high blood pressure and cholesterol. Studies which have recently been carried out have shown that CBD may be beneficial in promoting heart health by lowering blood pressure.
People with high blood pressure are at greater risk of health issues including heart attacks, strokes and metabolic syndrome compared to those with lower blood pressure. In a study which involved ten healthy men – who were all given 600mg of CBD Oil – the CBD was shown to reduce their resting blood pressure in comparison to a placebo. Furthermore, the men also underwent stress tests which would usually increase blood pressure considerably but instead only a small increase in blood pressure was noticeable after CBD had been taken. The researchers concluded that CBD’s natural capacity to reduce stress and anxiety in people is likely to be the reason why it was shown to lower blood pressure during this trial.
May help to treat psoriasis
Psoriasis is a fairly common skin condition which causes the skin to become red, flaky and scaly and creates crusty patches which leads to itchiness and soreness. In order to treat Psoriasis people take tablets and also use topical lotions on the skin itself. Studies have shown that the properties in CBD could be effective in the reduction and treatment of psoriasis. In a study carried out in 2009 it was concluded that CBD helped to regulate the immune system and provide a reduction in inflammation in the process.
Psoriasis occurs as a result of skin cells being produced to quickly due to a deficiency in the immune system. The excess cells then develop upon the skin in the form of scaly patches. A study in 2007 discovered that cannabinoids helped to slow down the growth of cells named keratinocytes, which are in the outer layer of the skin and therefore prevent these scaly patches from developing. Research has also shown that CBD works to relieve pain naturally and therefore can be considered a useful treatment to the soreness and discomfort which is apparent with psoriasis.
May help to treat long term Migraine sufferers
Migraines are a severe form of headache and are common among adults and can even affect children. In fact, it is said that over 1 billion people worldwide are affected by migraine. People suffering from migraines can find themselves in so much pain that they cannot carry out everyday tasks and may also suffer from dizziness and nausea as a consequence of the migraine itself. A study carried out in Amsterdam in the Netherlands and then later presented at the 3rd Congress of the European Academy of Neurology, revealed that CBD could be an effective treatment for migraines.
During the study, those who were given a solution containing CBD over a three to four month period saw a reduction in migraine attacks. Researchers concluded that CBD may be just as effective as other well-known drugs for the prevention of migraines. What was also stated, however, was that CBD may only be effective at treating patients who had suffered from migraine since childhood but may not be effective at treating those with cluster headaches. As a result of its tendency to relieve pain, CBD could also be taken, not just as a preventive measure but also whilst someone is suffering from a migraine.
May Lead to Better Quality Sleep
Most of us are well aware about the importance of sleep. Poor sleep patterns and sleep deprivation can lead to lack of concentration, restlessness, feeling down and also an increase in cortisol which may trigger weight gain. Lack of sleep can also have an impact on our long term health, putting us at a greater risk of heart problems and decreasing our life expectancy. The quality of sleep we get is also very important to ensure we wake up feeling refreshed and energised the next day. Many people who suffer from sleep related problems including insomnia find they will get addicted to sleeping pills and instead a natural alternative may work best.
CBD may be an excellent natural alternative as it has been shown to promote a form of sleep known as REM (Rapid Eye Movement). This form of sleep is a deep sleep which is very beneficial to us as it helps to prevent you from feeling sleepy throughout the course of the day. Furthermore, because insomnia and other sleep disorders can be triggered by anxiety, CBD can help to relieve this in the first place, therefore giving you a better chance of improving your sleep pattern.
May Boost your Overall Mood
Having just looked at the potential for CBD to improve our sleep patterns, it’s very appropriate that this leads us on to something which is closely linked to quality of sleep; our mood. In an era in which mental health is a very poignant subject, a lot of research has been carried out in to ways for individuals to improve their overall mood. Obviously, getting enough sleep and taking regular exercise – which releases mood-boosting endorphins – are two fundamental ways to improve mood, but what else is available?
Many people turn to various forms of medication when they are suffering from depression or simply want to improve their mood in their daily lives. Drugs which are usually prescribed for this, however, often come with an array of unpleasant side effects, including drowsiness, memory loss and sexual dysfunction. As there is strong evidence to suggest that CBD boost immune function, improves sleep and also controls blood sugar levels, this can have a significant impact on our mood. It may also lower blood pressure which can keep us calm in stressful situations. Furthermore, CBD can reduce tension within your muscles and also combat restlessness and fatigue and therefore boost your mood in the process.
May Help Those Who Suffer from Schizophrenia
There are millions of people who suffer from schizophrenia worldwide. People who suffer from schizophrenia are likely to have unclear or confused thinking, may hold fake beliefs and may also hear voices in their head. Less severe symptoms include; difficulty concentrating and deciding how to act upon new information. There are various types of medication available for people who suffer from schizophrenia but research over the past few years has shown that CBD could offer a natural alternative to synthetic drugs.
Although research in to how CBD could help those who suffer from schizophrenia is still in its early stages, the findings from these studies appear to be very positive. A 2015 study carried out by two scientists by the names of T.A. Iseger and M.G. Bossong on behalf of Schizophrenia Research provided some interesting results. The scientists would claim after the study that although it was only a small scale clinical trial it did help to provide evidence that CBD could be “used for the treatment of patients with psychotic symptoms” and that CBD is a “safe and well-tolerated antipsychotic compound.” The pair, however, also stated the need for more larger scale clinical studies in order to back-up these initial discoveries.
May Help People who suffer from Panic Attacks
We’ve already looked at the potential for CBD to be used as an effective treatment for anxiety. People who suffer from anxiety will often also experience the onset of panic attacks. A panic attack is the sudden onset of fear or discomfort which can arrive in a matter of minutes and can be identified through the following symptoms; palpitations, quickening heart rate, a pounding heart, sweating profusely and trembling or shaking. People having a panic attack may often experience an inability to catch their breath. Panic attacks are sometimes considered hereditary but they can also occur to people of families who have never experienced them before.
Panic attacks can be the result of severe stress caused by the death of a loved one, losing a job and divorce but may also be the consequence of medical condition or physical causes. There is evidence to suggest that CBD may help to reduce the severity of panic attacks and may even help to prevent them from occurring in the first place. When a panic attack is occurring, chemicals are sent to various cells in the human body which carry messages of fear, therefore causing the attack to escalate very quickly. Through the use of CBD and the elevation of endocannabinoids, the cells are prohibited from sending any more messages of fear and the onset of panic is significantly reduced.
May Help to Reduce Acne
Acne is a common skin condition which not only affects teenagers but also people who are well in to their 30’s and 40’s. Acne can be a result of a number of factors, including; bacteria, genetics, the overproduction of sebum, underlying inflammation and an oily secretion which is created by sebaceous glands within the skin. Recently, studies have been carried out to establish whether or not CBD oil could be an effective treatment for acne. One such scientific study discovered that the CBD helped to prevent sebaceous gland cells from secreting excessive sebum.
Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD were also shown to prevent ‘pro-acne’ agents, such as cytokines from becoming activated. There have since been further studies which have helped to back-up these initial findings. It is important to note that these studies were not carried out with human involvement but were test-tube trials only. Although the initial results look promising, scientists claim they cannot categorically say whether or not CBD is an effective treatment for acne until humans are involved in the studies.
May help to Promote a Healthy Weight
We are constantly being reminded of the importance of maintaining a healthy weight. Research has shown that being overweight or obese can put you at a greater risk of developing heart disease and cancer. Carrying an excessive amount of weight can also put immense strain on joints and bones. The importance of a well-balanced diet and regular exercise therefore cannot be underestimated. In order to boost fat loss in an attempt to get down to a healthy weight, people will also take supplements.
There are various weight-loss supplements available and it is therefore no surprise that the weight loss industry is so lucrative. Recent evidence has suggested that CBD Oil could be the latest natural product which is effective at promoting healthy weight. Research has shown that cannabinoids may lead to an increase in metabolic rate, therefore resulting in an increase in the capacity for your body to burn calories. Further studies suggested that CBD was effective at maintaining healthy blood sugar and also stimulating the specific proteins which result in the breakdown of fat.
Might Have Neuroprotective Properties
If something is neuroprotective then it is effective at helping to protect nerve cells from damage or degeneration and also any impairment of natural function. Recently, there has been evidence to suggest that CBD may help to protect damage to brain cells and our nervous system. Studies have also shown that CBD could even encourage the growth and generation of new neurons. People suffer from oxidative stress for various reasons including ischemia, autoimmune and genetic disorders and traumatic blows, which can all result in temporary or permanent forms of neural damage. With its therapeutic benefits, it has been suggested that CBD could be an effective treatment for injuries to the brain and spinal cord.
The benefits of CBD as a neuroprotective agent could stretch even further to the treatment of neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s disease. It is the antioxidants within CBD which bind with harmful free radicals before they bind with the cellular structure, suggesting that CBD could work in the regeneration of damaged cells. Much research is still required to suggest the extent to which CBD could be an effective treatment for neurological disorders.
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