The Uses & Benefits of CBD Oil
Recently, the FDA recommended the approval of a drug, Epidiolex, derived from cannabis. This is a first in the history of the United States. Although people have been legally using cannabis-derived products for medicinal purposes for years, the recent recommendation by the FDA marks an official turn in the fight to legalize cannabis-derived products and medicines. With the recommendation, there is no question that CBD oil and other cannabis-derived products are beneficial to human health. But just what are those benefits? Read on to learn more about CBD oil, and which health conditions and issues can be alleviated with its use.
What is in CBD oil that provides health benefits?
CBD oil stands for cannabidiol, and it is a natural, increasing popular-product used for treating a host of ailments, aches, and pains. CBD oils come in two main types. The first type is composed of isolated cannabinoids, while the second type is “broad-spectrum” CBD oil that encompasses other components present in the marijuana plant.
The marijuana plant Cannabis Sativa possesses more than 100 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. These cannabinoids are what give CBD oil its power to heal and alleviate pain and other common health issues. It’s important to understand that the active cannabinoids in CBD oil are not the same as THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is the compound in the marijuana plant that makes a person feel “high.” CBD, however, is not psychoactive and cannot make someone high and is derived from the federally legalized industrial hemp plant.
The fact that CBD oil is free from the psychoactive THC compound is what makes the products so appealing. For years, marijuana has been thought to give people health benefits. But the issue was that it was impossible or challenging to isolate the psychoactive THC ingredient from the health-giving cannabinoids.
CBD oil is an excellent, low-cost, low-side-effect way for people to find relief from certain health conditions without the mind-altering effects of THC, or mainstream pharmaceutical drugs, which can come with a host of adverse, distressing side effects. It is an all-natural product, where the cannabinoids are extracted from the hemp plant. The cannabinoids are then diluted with a carrier oil, the most common being coconut oil or hemp seed oil.
CBD Oil for Pain Relief
Since ancient times, the marijuana plant has been used to treat chronic pain. In the modern era, scientists have been able to isolate and study the parts of the marijuana plant that are responsible for pain relief. What has been found is that CBD and a few other components of hemp are responsible for alleviating chronic pain in users of both types of CBD oils.
The human body possesses what’s called an endocannabinoid system, or ECS. The ECS system is responsible for regulating certain, everyday functions, including the body’s responses to pain, appetite, the need for sleep, and the immune system response to pathogens and other foreign invaders and infections. Endocannabinoids that travel along the ECS system are a type of neurotransmitter. These neurotransmitters bind to the receptors that make up the body’s natural endocannabinoid system.
But what part does CBD oil play in this system? Studies have found that CBD oil impacts the receptors in the ECS system. The components in CBD oil reduce inflammation and also interact with other neurotransmitters in the body which are responsible for feelings of chronic pain. Studies on broad-spectrum CBD oils that include THC components (but don’t get a person high) can alleviate the pain associated with multiple sclerosis.
CBD Oil for Anxiety
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health conditions in the world, affecting close to 18% of the U.S. adult population in a given year. Usually, anxiety is treated with a combination of talk therapy and medications. But many people do not like the side effects that pharmaceutical medications can have. In some parts of the U.S., people with anxiety may find it challenging to find a suitable therapist to treat their anxiety that is covered by their insurance.
CBD oils are useful for treating anxiety, they are a lower-cost and more widely available treatment option for anxiety sufferers, and they do not come with distressing side effects. Also, anxiety disorders can cause other conditions too that CBD oil can alleviate, such as depression, insomnia, and increased agitation. Studies have found that CBD oil is effective for relieving social anxiety symptoms, and the anxiety symptoms present in PTSD. What’s more, CBD oil is not addictive like many common anxiety medications.
CBD Oil for Depression
Depression, like anxiety, is another common mental health condition. Untreated depression can increase the risk of a substance use disorder, and also put a person at risk of self-harm and suicide attempts. The U.S. economy loses more than 2 billion dollars a year because of depression in the workplace, with depression being one of the leading causes of workplace absenteeism and disability worldwide.
Usually, depression is treated in much the same way as anxiety – with a combination of medications and talk therapy. But depression is a chronic issue, and many people will not like the side effects present in antidepressant medications. Similar barriers to anxiety treatment with talk therapy exist for depression sufferers. It can be difficult or cost prohibitive to find a capable, mainstream treatment for depression. Fortunately, CBD oil has delivered promising results in studies focused on using CBD oil to treat depression.
The cannabinoids in CBD oil impact the brain’s natural neurotransmitter serotonin, which is responsible for depression symptoms. In numerous animal studies, the use of CBD oil has had antidepressant effects.
CBD Oil for Sleep Disorders
Up to 60 million people in the U.S. suffer from both chronic and acute sleep disorders or insomnia. Usually, acute sleep issues resolve on their own but long term sleep conditions can severely impact a person’s quality of life, and they can be challenging to treat. Common medications used to treat sleep difficulties can come with a host of severe side effects and the risk of addiction. In studies on CBD oil and sleep issues in adults, the results found that initial treatment for insomnia with CBD oil produced a reduction in symptoms and severity for a month after starting treatment. The results, however, fluctuated over time.
CBD Oil for Arthritis & Inflammation
Arthritis and inflammation are common and chronic health issues that affect up to 54 million U.S. adults. Animal studies on inflammation and sciatic pain found that CBD oil was beneficial for alleviating symptoms. In human studies, broad-spectrum CBD oil was effective for relieving arthritis pain.
CBD Oil for Acne
Acne is a skin condition that can vary in intensity and duration, but up to 9% of the U.S. population suffers from acne. The cause of acne is not entirely well-known, but a combination of inflammatory responses, bacteria, and an over-production of skin oils are thought to trigger the condition. Test-tube studies on CBD oil and acne have found that CBD oil produces an anti-inflammatory effect on the sebaceous glands and reduces the skin oil that is known to trigger acne. A combination of its ability to reduce inflammation and control the sebaceous glands makes the benefits of CBD oil look like a promising treatment method for acne.
CBD Oil for Migraines
Migraines are incredibly distressing, painful, and debilitating headaches that affect up to 38 million people in the U.S. Migraines can be chronic or acute. Pharmaceutical medications and nasal sprays are the most common methods for treating and preventing migraines. CBD oil and migraines have not been studied. However, CBD oil is known to be useful for reducing pain and inflammation that can sometimes trigger migraines in particular people who are susceptible to the condition. Pure CBD oil can be used to alleviate other conditions that can trigger the start of migraines in some patients.
Epilepsy is a chronic seizure disorder where there is unusual activity in the brain, inducing random and sometimes severe seizures. CBD oil studies have found that CBD oil that is free of THC components is useful for reducing seizure activity and stabilizing the condition. People with a history of seizure disorders should avoid THC and broad-spectrum CBD oil products.
Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a painful, chronic disease where the immune system attacks and eats away at the protective covering over the nerves in the body. There is no cure for MS, and treatment is focused on alleviating the patient’s pain and slowing the progression of the disease. Studies on MS patients and CBD oil have found that broad-spectrum CBD oil sprays and broad-spectrum CBD oils reduced MS pain.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition, and 90% of sufferers are women. Muscle pain, weakness, skin sensitivity, fatigue, and brain fog are some of the most common symptoms in fibromyalgia. Studies on CBD oil and fibromyalgia haven’t been conducted yet. However, studies on cannabis users and fibromyalgia have found that smoking marijuana and ingesting marijuana reduced some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia. The scientist who conducted the study concluded that more advanced research into the effects of CBD oil and fibromyalgia is warranted.
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic central nervous system disorder. There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, and patients will suffer from a variety of debilitating symptoms, including tremors, stiffness, and loss of balance and coordination. The body’s natural endocannabinoid system plays a significant role in Parkinson’s symptoms, and CBD oil directly impacts the ECS. Studies have shown that CBD oil, both broad-spectrum and isolated CBD oil, reduces some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Adults and children with the condition have difficulty focusing, sitting still, and problems with impulse control. Usually, ADHD is treated with a combination of behavioral therapy and medicines. There have not been any promising, conclusive studies on the effects of CBD oil for people living with ADHD.
High blood pressure is associated with an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and oxidative stress on the heart, leading to heart disease. High blood pressure is usually treated with lifestyle and diet changes, and medications. Studies on CBD oil and heart health have found that CBD oils reduce both resting and active blood pressure. CBD oil is also packed with anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which are beneficial for reducing oxidative stress on many bodily systems, including the heart.
Millions of Americans struggle with their weight, with 60% of the U.S. adult population either overweight or obese. Weight issues can be treated with lifestyle and diet changes, but these can be difficult to implement and maintain for many people. Also, hormonal imbalances, and mental health conditions, and prescription medications can make it very difficult for overweight adults to lose weight and keep it off. Studies on CBD oil and weight loss promotion and weight gain prevention have shown promising results in both animal and human studies.
Nausea is often associated with cancer treatments and HIV/AIDS medications. Studies on CBD oil and nausea have found that the cannabinoids in CBD oil had a positive effect on nausea symptoms, and reduced stomach upset and vomiting in nausea patients.
Where can someone obtain medicinal-grade CBD oil?
For people who are interested in purchasing CBD oil, it is ideal to buy the product in a state that has legalized hemp products. This will ensure that the product is of high-quality and isn’t full of toxins or additives. The only states that still outlaw hemp are Wyoming, South Dakota, and Idaho.
The hemp plant will absorb products from the soil and air where it grows, which can contaminate the plant. It’s ideal that users purchase CBD oil from a “food-grade” farm. European farms have some of the strictest regulations for growing medical-grade marijuana and hemp in the world. Purchasing CBD oil from a European hemp farm ensures that buyers will be getting a high-quality product. To be shipped to the U.S., CBD oil must contain .3% of THC or less to be legal. Before purchasing, always thoroughly research the source of the intended CBD oil product to get the full health benefits of CBD oil.