Cannabidiol, or CBD, is now popular in mainstream health and wellness. It is one of many cannabinoids found in cannabis plants, with tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the most famous of them for its psychoactive effects. Unlike THC, however, CBD is non-psychoactive.
This means that it cannot make you or anybody else “high” the way that THC does. It is also a must-have for the modern lifestyle.
CBD oil and other concentrated CBD extracts appeal to those who want the many health and medical benefits of CBD without the mind-altering stone of marijuana, and even other prescription drugs.
Extracted from the cannabis plant, primarily industrial hemp, CBD is then infused into a carrier oil, with hemp seed and coconut being the most popular. Why? What is all the fuss over CBD? Are there any good scientific reasons to use it, or is it all just hype?
We now know that cannabinoids, including CBD, are responsible for the painkilling properties of cannabis. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the human endocannabinoid system regulates functions such as appetite, sleep, immune response, and pain. Endocannabinoids, tiny neurotransmitters, bind to endocannabinoid receptors in the nervous and immune systems.
CBD interacts with endocannabinoid receptors, influencing their activity, lowering inflammation, and signaling neurotransmitters. The result of this is changed pain perception, reduced inflammation, and relief of the site of pain itself. Several studies on humans already show CBD highly effective at treating all types of pain, with most focused on arthritis- and multiple sclerosis-related pain.
Society is suffering the effects of depression and anxiety in many ways. According to the World Health Organization, anxiety is the sixth leading cause of disability across the world, with depression the first. Common antidepressants are dangerous, with addictive, life-threatening side effects. Anxiolytics to treat anxiety are no better, causing innumerable, seemingly insurmountable problems, even death.
Both human and animal studies prove the powerful antidepressant and anxiolytic effects of CBD. In fact, it is safer and more effective than pharmaceuticals. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, CBD treats both anxiety and insomnia in children suffering post-traumatic stress disorder. Studies prove it treating social anxiety. CBD influences serotonin activity, calming mood and social behaviors.
CBD famously relieves the side effects of cancer and treating it with radiation or chemotherapy, which include severe appetite loss, vomiting, nausea, insomnia, and pain. Studies show it working even where conventional medications fail. We already know about its antidepressant, anxiolytic, and mood-enhancing effects, all just as important in fighting cancer.
However, there is more. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, some laboratory studies on both human and cells show CBD with potent anticancer and antitumor properties. One such study on human breast cancer cells proved CBD actually inducing cell death in samples. Evidence now shows CBD killing cancer cells, preventing metastasis, reducing tumor growth, and treating associated symptoms.
The anti-inflammatory of CBD are fast becoming legendary. More studies prove CBD with the ability to fight inflammation than possibly any others do, with the U.S. National Library of Medicine even confessing its widespread use already as a novel treatment for the development of new anti-inflammatory drugs. CBD regulates the inflammatory response, and it does so within cells directly.
The efficacy of CBD in reducing inflammation means treating the underlying cause of it, as well. Not only that, but by lowering inflammation levels in the body, it treats inflammatory diseases too. These include asthma, acne, psoriasis, hypertension, inflammatory bowel disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Crohn’s disease, and so many others. In this way, CBD is also a preventative against inflammatory issues.
The effect of CBD on the endocannabinoid and other neurotransmitter systems has clear neurological benefits. Although rare, existing studies into using CBD for multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and other neurological disorders show promising results, and anecdotal evidence exists aplenty. It also safely and effectively relieves muscle spasms, spasticity, and related symptoms in patients with these ailments.
One study found CBD reducing spasms in 75 percent of its drug-resistant patients. In another, it reduced seizures by a medium of 36.5 percent in epileptic participants. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, still another showed CBD oil lowering seizure activity notably in children suffering Dravet syndrome. Its neuroprotective properties are now established science.
CBD has the unique ability to treat the symptoms of even the worst psychotic disorders. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, CBD reduces psychotic symptoms effectively in patients with schizophrenia and other mental disorders. THC, on the other hand, is notorious for increasing anxiety and paranoia associated with psychotic episodes, but CBD has an opposite, very calming effect.
In fact, studies actually prove CBD the best antidote for a THC overdose and its frighteningly crazy symptoms. In the same way, CBD acts on serotonin levels to improve mood and relieve feelings of anxiety and depression. It also lowers anandamide levels, and influences vanilloid receptors deep within the brain to restore mental and emotional balance.
Recently, scientists discovered the role that CBD can play in maintaining a healthy weight, and even in losing weight a healthy way. In fact, the medical community is now touting it as a solution to obesity and related illnesses, including diabetes. The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD improve cardiovascular, vascular, immune response, and body mass health, all while treating the symptoms of diabetes itself.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, one study found treating diabetic mice with CBD not only lowered inflammation levels significantly, but it also reduced the development of diabetes by a whopping 56 percent. This indicates immense preventative potential, as cases of diabetes are growing each day across the United States.
There are far too many medicinal properties of CBD to mention in a single article. Its list of benefits and uses grows every day. Scientists are discovering new therapeutic possibilities for CBD at a rapid pace, and not only in treating disease, but in preventing it from the outset. CBD lowers blood pressure, improving heart health. It affects memory, sleep, emotion, perception, and so much more.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, CBD could be a major treatment for substance abuse in the future, capable of slowing even the opioid crisis, if not ending it altogether. In rat studies, it clearly reduces heroin-seeking and morphine dependence behavior. It even has antitumor effects, preventing the spread of various cancers. There is no reason for anyone not to use CBD to survive modern times.