CBD, a naturally occurring chemical substance found in the cannabis plant, has been gaining popularity fast these days. CBD oil is the natural remedy that has been on everyone’s mind lately, and it seems that more and more companies are delving into production as we speak. But what are the real health benefits of CBD, and how much research has been done to prove them? Let’s find out!
Research-Backed Health Benefits of CBD
CBD Helps Treat Neurological Disorders
It’s bad enough that neurological disorders such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s have a huge impact on life expectancy. And yet, these conditions can also seriously jeopardize a person’s quality of life.
Fortunately, various studies show that CBD may have a positive effect and help treat these conditions. Most notably, patients suffering from muscle spasticity due to MS and epileptic seizures may benefit greatly. In particular, the drug Sativex, an oral spray containing both THC and CBD, was proven to reduce spasms according to one study. Similarly, another study showed that CBD could reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures.
It May Aid Pain Relief
Most people already know that marijuana can help with pain relief. However, due to the all-too-familiar high THC is famous for, not many are willing to risk it all to alleviate pain.
Luckily, they may not have to, as it has been shown that one of the health benefits of CBD is precisely pain relief. Since CBD interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are major parts of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), it may help reduce chronic pain. Once inside our bodies, it also promotes anandamide signaling and prevents its absorption. This feel-good molecule is able to reduce pain, as well as have an impact on our overall well-being and happiness.
CBD Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation, especially the chronic kind, can dramatically impact our lives since it can contribute to various non-infectious conditions. Autoimmune diseases, cancer, and heart disease are just some examples we should be wary of.
However, scientists include inflammation reduction among the major health benefits of CBD. According to one study, CBD can have an anti-inflammatory effect on rats and mice and thus reduce inflammatory and neuropathic pain. That’s all thanks to its interaction with the ECS. CBD impacts the endocannabinoid receptor activity, which allows it to reduce inflammation systematically.
It May Ease Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression
Though many people believe that marijuana can help ease anxiety, it’s generally not recommended because it can worsen the symptoms or even cause paranoia. THC’s cousin CBD, however, won’t have such an effect.
According to one Brazilian study, CBD can significantly ease symptoms of anxiety, but only if the dosage is right (in this case, 300 mg). As for depression, no notable human studies have proven CBD’s effect. There are a few promising animal studies, however, that show its antidepressant potential.
CBD Helps Fight Diabetes
As one of the biggest killers of the 21st century, diabetes is as scary as it sounds. However, there are some signs that one of the major health benefits of CBD is precisely diabetes prevention. Namely, a study done on non-obese diabetic mice showed that this compound might lower the incidence of diabetes.
Furthermore, since diabetes is connected to inflammation, CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties may also help moderate blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Consequently, the compound may alleviate insulin resistance, as well.
It May Ease Withdrawal Symptoms When Fighting Addiction
When fighting addiction, going through withdrawal is the biggest — and the most uncomfortable — step one can make. The mixture of anxiety, nausea, sweating, and discomfort (among other things) is enough to make a person go crazy with their desire to put an end to it all and go back to using.
Fortunately, one study done on a 19-year-old cannabis user showed that CBD could decrease withdrawal symptoms, thus helping users remain motivated to overcome their addiction. On top of that, research shows that CBD may help those addicted to tobacco as well. It may significantly reduce cravings and the number of smoked cigarettes.
CBD Improves Our Mood
Finally, it’s important to mention that CBD may also have a huge influence on our overall mood. It may increase our overall happiness and help us feel good as well as think more positively, all thanks to its interaction with 5HT1A, a serotonin receptor.
Furthermore, it also acts as a positive modulator for GABA, a naturally occurring amino acid and neurotransmitter. GABA’s low levels are linked to epilepsy, chronic pain, and anxiety and mood disorders. By changing the GABA-A receptor, CBD actually eases anxiety and boosts GABA’s calming effects.
As research continues, there’s no doubt that we will get to learn more about the health benefits of CBD. Even now, there’s potential that it may improve insomnia, have anti-tumor effects, and possibly even alleviate symptoms of psychosis. Time will only tell whether the studies have been right all along. For now, it’s evident that CBD’s popularity as a natural alternative for pain relief and other ailments isn’t accidental.