CBD has made its way into the wellness market in the last few years. The response is stupendous, to say the least. Once a fringe health trend, CBD is now being heavily publicized for its health and wellness benefits. Advocates for this product cannot stop raving about its numerous benefits. CBD is being accredited as a miracle drug in the mainstream market, leaving people more curious about CBD.
Medical marijuana has been in use for a long time. People have been using it to treat anxiety, stress, and pain-related problems. The downside was the psychoactive effect it produced in its consumers, which made them addicted to the high it provided. So it is not surprising that CBD oil, a natural derivative of hemp or marijuana, gives the same benefits without intoxication. It appealed to many people looking for natural alternatives for their chronic pain that were anything other than over-the-counter pain medication.
So, what is CBD?
CBD or cannabidiol is the second most famous component of the cannabis plant. It is often confused with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the pot's psychoactive ingredient. But CBD, unlike THC, does not produce the sensation of 'high' after use. CBD oil, however, has been used in medicinal marijuana for decades. It is said to have therapeutic properties without mind-bending effects.
How does CBD work?
Researchers believe that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system. But how exactly it brings about its effects is still being studied. It is also suspected to interact with non-cannabinoid receptors. One thing is for sure, it is a pleiotropic drug, producing its effect through more than one biological pathway.
Is CBD legal?
That depends on where you live and what are your state laws. But CBD containing less than 0.3% THC is legally being sold for therapeutic purposes as a supplement rather than medicine. CBD oil extracted from hemp is legal in some places federally. FDA, recognizing the potential of this substance in health management, is conducting numerous studies to establish its role as a treatment drug.
In what form is CBD available?
It is not hard to find CBD-infused products nowadays. CBD is available in oil, capsules, CBD gummies, oral sprays, vapes, patches, and topical preparations. Every formulation boasts a different purpose and relief to different problems. CBD oil is an extract mixed with an oil, like coconut oil. It is marketed as a tincture and available in different concentrations.
What is the best way to use CBD?
CBD is available in the market in so many different forms that finding one that suits you is not really a problem.
Some ways of using CBD products are:
- Mixing them with food or drink
- Taking them with a dropper
- Swallowing capsules
- Applying cream directly onto your body
- Spraying it under the tongue
After many studies, the most efficient way to take CBD is in its oral form. You can take your dosage in the form of a tincture where you put it directly under your tongue. The area is so capillary rich that CBD enters the bloodstream immediately, and the effects are much quicker.
If you want to maintain a solid dosage of CBD intake, you can always use the capsule form. It provides the measured amount of CBD, and coated capsules mask the taste.
Topical CBD only acts on the area it has been applied to, while taking it in oral form in any way provides an overall benefit that is more beneficial and long-lasting.
What are the CLAIMED benefits of CBD?
CBD oil is being advertised as a solution for anxiety and depression. It is said to help with sleep disorders. Part of the charm of this compound is that it is not intoxicating. It allows the patients to reap the benefits without getting dependent on it. It is also very popular as an anti-inflammatory and pain relief medication. The best thing about CBD oil is that it is a natural product which makes it relatively safe for human use. The WHO expert committee on drug dependence, ECDD, concluded that CBD "does not appear to have abuse potential or cause harm."
We will be looking at some of the claimed benefits of CBD up ahead:
It helps calm epilepsy.
FDA has approved a drug named 'epidiolex' that contains CBD as epilepsy and seizure medication. It is known to be very effective in epilepsy management. It has been proven to work in the following two types of epilepsy:
- Lennox-Gastaut syndrome
- Dravet syndrome
These specific types of epilepsy involve seizures that are hard to manage with any other medications.
Researchers are beginning to understand how CBD prevents seizures without the sedating side effects of medications used previously. Synthetic drugs have not yet been manufactured to target the endocannabinoid system, which CBD does.
It provides relief from anxiety.
This is probably one of the most popular effects of CBD and a reason its popularity skyrocketed. Studies show that CBD in doses higher than 300mg provides a calming effect for the patient. Hence, it can manage anxiety disorders and other fear-related syndromes. Scientists had previously established that CBD might help reduce anxiety-related behaviors in people with the following conditions:
- General anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
The authors noted that current treatments could have drawbacks, and some people stop using them due to the dependence they caused. However, these properties have not yet been discovered in CBD.
It is helpful in PTSD management.
Multiple kinds of research have shown that CBD oil can help with the symptoms of PTSD. It calms the patient, reduces fear, and helps manage nightmares and traumatic recalls. People taking CBD oil along with conventional counseling for PTSD have been known to show better results.
CBD for sleep management.
Many people use CBD to manage their insomnia or other sleep disorders. Insomnia may be caused by many reasons, one of which is anxiety and stress. As CBD oil is known to help with anxiety disorders, it also shows promise in treating sleep disorders.
It helps manage chronic pain.
CBD manages pain by interacting with neurotransmitters. It increases the level of adenosine in the brain and inhibits pain sensations. Furthermore, it binds with TPRV1 in the brain and stops the pain signal from reaching processing centers. Patients suffering from chronic pain have been reported to show exceptional results in pain relief.
Management of inflammation.
CBD affects the redox balance of the body. It acts as an antioxidant and decreases oxidative stress in the body. It does that by stopping the formation of superoxide radicals. In this way, it helps reduce inflammation in the body.
Helps overcome addiction.
Given to people suffering from substance abuse, CBD oil has proven to be effective in limiting patients' dependency. It reduces withdrawals, cravings and stables heart rate. It also helps to manage the anxiety of a person addicted to drugs and helps calm them. CBD is widely used in nicotine cessation therapies and by people who want to quit smoking.
It helps with arthritis.
Many studies have been done to understand the role of CBD in terms of osteoarthritis management. It has been established that by binding to the GPR55 receptor, CDC acts as an antagonist, slowing osteoarthritis and helping in reabsorption.
Increases immune response.
CBD decreases the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, inhibiting the production of T cells that help in the management of the autoimmune system and help counter systemic inflammatory disorders. Research suggests that CBD has both immunosuppressant and anti-inflammatory properties. These factors are essential for people with autoimmune conditions, where inflammation is a typical drawback of autoimmune disease.
Helps in managing side effects of chemotherapy.
Numerous studies have concluded that the oral form of CBD is very effective as antiemetics. These compositions are widely used to manage nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy. Other experiments are being conducted to study the role of CBD in further improving cancer therapy side effects.
Role in managing anorexia.
There is evidence of CBD oil being helpful in weight gain in patients who suffer from wasting syndrome due to HIV and anorexia nervosa. The evidence is still limited, but more studies are being conducted to understand the mechanism of this drug.
Helps with diabetic issues.
CBD encounters the impact of high glucose levels on the body cells. It helps decrease glucose levels and increases the levels of insulinotropic peptides. This way, CBD can be a potential treatment for diabetes as it regulates the insulin-related hormones in the body.
Type 1 diabetes occurs due to the attack by the immune system on the pancreatic cells, leading to inflammation.
In 2016, researchers corroborated that CBD may play its role in easing inflammation and delaying the manifestation of type 1 diabetes.
Works as a mood enhancer
CBD acts on multiple pathways in the brain to interact with neurotransmitters associated with mood changes. It allows the release of serotonin which makes a person feel good. This property makes it very useful for people suffering from depression.
Apart from these benefits, CBD is revered for being beneficial in managing diseases like lupus, spasticity associated with ALS (multiple sclerosis), and cholesterol levels of the body. It is making its mark in the beauty industry. It helps treat numerous skin-related issues like eczema, acne, and wrinkles. Studies have also shown a positive effect of CBD in lowering blood pressure induced by stress or anxiety. Thus lessening the chances of heart failure and improving overall heart condition.
How much is CBD good for the body?
Consult your doctor and discuss the problems you are looking to use CBD for. Every situation entails a different dosage, and every person needs an additional amount to act effectively. It is, however, advised to start the dosage slow and low. Start with a tiny amount and increase the dosage per the desired effect. Recommended dosages depend on :
- Body weight
- The concentration of the product
- The issue CBD is being used for
Is CBD harmful in any way?
Although extensive studies about the effects of CBD on the human body have proved it safe for use, some side effects can be encountered, such as :
- Dry mouth
- Appetite changes
- Weight fluctuation
- Increase in liver enzymes
- Effects the consciousness level in some patients
When to not use CBD
Interaction with drugs having grapefruit warning is seen to have adverse effects.
Medications that usually carry a grapefruit warning include:
- Antibiotics and antimicrobials
- Anticancer medications
- Antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications
- Antiepileptic drugs
- Blood pressure medications
- Blood thinners
- Cholesterol medications (statins)
- Erectile dysfunction medications
- Gastrointestinal medications
- Heart rhythm medications
- Pain medications
- Prostate medications
Suppose you are planning to use CBD for any medical problem. In that case, it is strongly advised that you consult your physician beforehand. This way, you will understand the risks and potential complications before its use. Women who are breastfeeding or are pregnant are usually advised against CBD.
Future of CBD.
But for now, there is only one drug approved by the FDA. It calls the need for more extensive research into these products. This miracle cure-all drug is being studied and interrogated for the effects it is claimed to have shown in various patients. There is yet a lot of extensive research to be done, but the future looks very exciting. The natural, organic treatment for several health issues is being welcomed by more and more people every day. CBD is claimed to be "adaptogenic" – a natural, non-toxic substance that regulates your stress response.
Is it rightly being endorsed as a miracle healer? We have yet to establish. But so far, the research being done is bearing very fruitful results.
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- "Hypnotic and Antiepileptic Effects of Cannabidiol." The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. (1981).