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Within the past few years, it seems like CBD products have made their way into a lot of people's everyday wellness routines and the most common uses of CBD are for pain, inflammation, anxiety, and sleep disorders.
Recommended for its health benefits, CBD (also known as cannabidiol) is a compound that comes from the Cannabis plant. Often associated with its psychoactive counterpart tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CBD does not make you “high”. Instead, it is known for its calming effects and can be found infused in a variety of wellness products.
According to webMD, researchers are looking for answers when it comes to the full potential of CBD. However, most of the research on CBD has been in animals, and its current popularity has outpaced the science. But, what have they discovered so far?
What Are the Benefits of CBD?
This article covers evidence-backed health benefits of CBD, as well as potential side effects.
1. May Relieve Pain
By interacting with neurotransmitters in your central nervous system, CBD could potentially relieve pain related to inflammation, arthritis, and nerve pain.
In one four-week trial, people who had nerve damage in the lower half of their body reported a significant reduction of intense, sharp pain after using a topical CBD oil.
Some research suggests that CBD may be effective for certain types of pain, including acute and chronic back pain, when used on its own. However, it seems to be most effective when combined with a little THC.
Additionally, some research suggests that CBD may relieve symptoms of rheumatic diseases such as fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions.
A study that included survey data from 2,701 people with fibromyalgia found that those who used CBD for pain relief reported improvements across numerous FM-related symptoms.
However, there’s a lot more to be studied, including whether there are significant adverse long-term effects of CBD when used for pain relief.
2. May Help With Inflammation
Did you know that an estimated three out of five individuals worldwide die from diseases associated with inflammation? Diseases such as Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Cancer, and Respiratory Diseases related to chronic inflammation are among the most deadly in the world.
A newer study suggests CBD effectively fights inflammation and antioxidant by binding to the body’s endocannabinoid receptors, suppressing inflammation.
According to another study published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine, CBD significantly reduced inflammation and neuropathic pain in rodents. Take note of, rodents did not develop a tolerance to CBD with continued use.
3. May Help With Anxiety And Depression
Anxiety and mood disorders like depression or post-traumatic stress disorder can, unfortunately, have a severe effect on the quality of your daily life and may even cause both physical and emotional stress that could lead to other underlying conditions like sleep disorders, and high blood pressure, and heart disease.
It’s too early to understand the complete range of effects that CBD may have on anxiety and mood disorders, but individual studies seem to suggest varying positive results.
In one study of 57 men who received either oral CBD or a placebo 90 minutes before participating in a simulated public speaking test, researchers found that a 300-mg dose of CBD was the most effective at significantly reducing social anxiety during the test.
Several other studies have found that CBD may be a potential new alternative for the treatment of anxiety and depression.
Research investigating the effects of CBD on symptoms of anxiety and depression is ongoing.
4. May Help With Sleep Disorders
A good night’s sleep is essential to your overall health and wellbeing. Experts recommend adults sleep seven to nine hours each night. Proper sleep ensures you feel well-rested and have energy for the next day.
A good night’s rest also contributes to memory formation, helps grow and repair muscle and tissue, and prevents sickness. Unfortunately, falling asleep or staying asleep can be difficult for certain types of sleepers.
Initial studies of CBD and sleep disorders suggest positive outcomes. However, not everyone experiences the same sleep benefits with CBD use, and different doses might lead to different effects. Research suggests that low doses of CBD are stimulating, while high doses of CBD are sedating.
Possible improvement in sleep. Some studies suggest that CBD might help improve sleep in people with certain sleep disorders, though more research is needed.
5. May Be Beneficial For High Blood Pressure
Some research has linked CBD with several benefits for the heart and circulatory system, including the ability to lower high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is linked to higher risks of a number of health conditions, including stroke, heart attack, and metabolic syndrome.
In a small study, 9 healthy men were treated with 600 mg of CBD oil. The CBD treatment reduced resting blood pressure compared with a placebo.
In the same study, the men also took part in stress tests that normally increase blood pressure. Interestingly, the single dose of CBD led the men to experience a smaller blood pressure increase than normal in response to these tests.
Overall, these findings are encouraging, but we need more studies on the potential benefits of CBD treatment on blood pressure and heart health.
Other Potential CBD Benefits
- Cancer-related symptoms. Some studies seem to suggest that CBD can help decrease the size of tumors and help stop the spread of cancerous cells in skin cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and more. As with other areas of study, further human clinical trials are needed to understand the full effect CBD has on various kinds of cancer.
- Substance abuse treatment. CBD may help relieve anxiety and depression in people who have a dependence on certain drugs, including heroin.
- Possible extension of life in those with glioblastoma. Recent studies suggest that treatment with a combination of CBD and THC may help extend the life of some people with an aggressive form of cancer called recurrent glioblastoma, however, research is limited.
- Skin Conditions. Some studies have suggested that CBD oil may benefit the skin. A 2020 study, for example, found that CBD oil may help reduce inflammation, which could be useful for treating a variety of skin conditions including allergic dermatitis, skin cancer, acne, and psoriasis.
Potential Side Effects Of CBD Products
Though CBD is generally well-tolerated and is considered safe, it may cause adverse reactions, mainly at high doses in some people.
- Issues with coordination
- Drowsiness or fatigue
- Changes in appetite and weight
CBD can also affect a variety of medications, including pain medications, antidepressants, antipsychotics, diabetes, and more. Before you try CBD oil, discuss it with a healthcare professional to assess the safety and avoid potentially harmful interactions.
If you do decide to use a CBD product, choose a brand that has a good reputation and one that has been third-party tested for quality and purity. Make sure the date on the lab report is up to date and that they test for Pesticides, Mycotoxins, Residual Solvents, and Heavy Metals.
NuLeaf Naturals, Bluebird Botanicals, and CBDfx sell CBD products that undergo testing by accredited third-party laboratories, and at the time of writing this article, their lab reports were up to date. Along with testing for Pesticides, Mycotoxins, Residual Solvents, and Heavy Metals.
Final Thoughts On The Benefits Of CBD
CBD oil has been studied for its potential role in easing the symptoms of many common health conditions, including anxiety, inflammation, and neurological disorders. Plus, it may benefit heart health and blood pressure and help relieve certain types of pain.
Keep in mind that some of these benefits of CBD are related to the use of CBD combined with THC, not CBD alone.
Although we need extensive studies to verify its benefits, effectiveness, and side effects, research appears very promising. CBD seems to be a natural complement to the traditional treatment of a wide variety of health conditions without the dreaded side effects.
Even though CBD is considered quite safe for most people, it’s important to talk with a healthcare professional before adding any CBD products to your routine, especially if you’re taking any medications.