CBD oil - what are the benefits?
Updated: Jan 7, 2019
Today, 4/20, it the unofficial day to celebrate the existence of cannabis. Besides being a recreational drug, it has been used medicinally for many years. These days there's a new "hype" around CBD oil, an essential oil derived from the cannabis plant, which has been shown to have many potential health benefits. What better day to find out more about this than today?!
CBD is one of the many compounds known as cannabinoids, found in the cannabis plant, Cannabis sativa. The main compound of cannabis is the well-known tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is psychoactive and causes the sensation of getting "high". CBD does not have this psychoactive compound. A cannabis plant has different amounts of CBD and THC depending on the strain. Marijuana farmers have bred their plants to be very high in THC, whilst hemp farmers have not modified the plant to ensure a higher CBD content. Because of this, CBD oil derived from hemp plants will give the medical benefits of cannabis without changing the state of mind of the person who uses it.
How does it work?
All cannabinoids attach to certain receptors in the body to produce their effects: CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are involved with processes like managing excessive neuronal activity (e.g. decreasing anxiety), pain reduction, reduction of inflammation, movement control, memory and cognitive function. The body naturally produces endocannabinoids, which are so-called neurotransmitters that bind to the cannabinoid receptors.
CBD has been shown to indirectly stimulate the body to use more of it's natural cannabinoids and therefore enhance the processes mentioned above. Despite CBD oil has been shown to have many potential health benefits, more research is still necessary.
1. Pain relief and anti-inflammation
Due to the stimulation of neurotransmitters in the body, CBD can reduce pain and work as an anti-inflammatory. Many people take painkillers to control their pain, which have many side effects. CBD could be a natural alternative and potentially help with conditions like arthritis.
2. Reduce anxiety and depression
CBD oil may be a good alternative for medication for anxiety disorders due to the limited adverse effects. It has been shown to reduce the feeling of anxiety. This is because CBD can stimulate the brain's serotonin receptors, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and social behaviour. Because of a bigger sense of relaxation, it might also help with and improve sleep.
3. May reduce acne
Acne is mainly caused by inflammation and overworked sebaceous glands (the glands that produce sebum that leads to acne) in the body. Because of the anti-inflammatory effect on the body, CBD helps to lower the production of sebum. CBD oil could therefore be future treatment for acne.
4. Quitting smoking and drug withdrawals
Using CBD oil can help reduce for example addictive use of marijuana. This is mainly because of the effect of CBD to reduce anxiety. This can help in preventing psychosis. It has also been shown to modify brain circuits related to drug addiction.
Some studies have shown a positive effect of CBD with epilepsy patients who were unresponsive to regular treatment and medication options.
6. Helps fight cancer
CBD has been shown to block tumour formation. It has also been shown to prevent the spread of breast, prostate, colon and lung cancer. In addition, due to it's pain relieving properties it may help with the symptoms.
CBD has also been linked with benefits like reducing cholesterol and lowering blood pressure. More and more research becomes available showing the dangers and side-effects of blood pressure medication. CBD oil may be a natural and effective replacement treatment.
Always consult your medical doctor before taking CBD oil, especially when using in combination with other medication.