CBD: What Are The Health Benefits?

Each and every day, scientists and medical professionals are finding new and exciting information about CBD that solidifies its status as the greatest medical discovery left hidden in plain sight for far too long. There are countless articles circulating the web with information on CBD, but many of them lack the citations needed to really give readers confidence before they try CBD or recommend it to loved ones. Let’s demystify some of CBD’s claims, help you understand why CBD is taking the nation by storm, and figure out how CBD can help with various ailments.

Anxiety, Stress, and Mood Disorders

 

            Many of us lead fast-paced lives with so much on our minds. It’s clear that anxiety is an epidemic, but one that faces plenty of stigmas as we often try to minimize our stressors and push past our troubles.  Anxiety doesn’t have to be as debilitating as PTSD; general fear, nervousness, and procrastination are all symptoms of elevated anxiety.

            In the world of pharmacology, an anxiolytic drug is one that reduces anxiety. On that basis alone CBD has shown to be an effective anxiolytic1, 2, 3 that reduces anxiety in chronically stressed patients and mice3 and it reduces social anxiety from public speaking.2 CBD is also effective in regulating emotional memory processing which can help people who suffer from PTSD, OCD, or face addiction to substance abuse.4

            CBD helps to treat stress and anxiety through the endocannabinoid neurological system which, when activated, promotes many of the same relief benefits as traditional anxiolytic medication. The benefit of CBD is its safety, its general lack of interaction with other medication,5 and its holistic nature. CBD is extracted straight from plants and not synthesized in labs like most pharmaceuticals. By contrast, a whopping 89% of essential pharmaceutical products are not made from organic plants.6

            When stress and anxiety impair your daily life, they could be results of other psychiatric conditions or mood disorders and CBD comes to the rescue for some of these as well. It helps with depression,7, 8 and might be an effective antipsychotic for treating schizophrenia.7, 8 CBD may achieve these effects through its interaction with neurotransmitters like dopamine through the endocannabinoid system and also by increasing cerebral blood flow.9

            Take note, you might even have anxiety about taking CBD for your anxiety! That’s all the proof you need to know that CBD is right for you.

 

Epilepsy, Insomnia, Nausea, and Digestion

 

            On the topic of neurological benefits, CBD is also extremely effective in treating and lowering seizures for people with epilepsy.10, 11 This proof was so crucial it helped pass the 2018 Farm Bill which legalized hemp nation-wide for its textile properties and allowed for the derivation and sale of CBD from hemp plants.12 If you’re curious about hemp, the 2018 Farm Bill, and the two major types of CBD products you can read our article here that discusses these topics and more.

            Beyond epilepsy, CBD shows promise as an effective treatment for insomnia as evidenced by its ability to regulate sleep-wake cycles in rats.13

                  It’s convenient that CBD works well with cooking, but CBD is more than your traditional meal plan because it helps with various problems in the digestive tract. CBD can help with GI pain, gastroenteritis, and diarrhea.14 It also has promise for helping with Crohn’s disease,15 and, linking with our next topic, CBD has also been shown to help treat general inflammatory bowel disease.16 The importance of good digestive health cannot be overstated. Healthy eating habits can help improve all areas of health and supplementing your diet with CBD makes it easy to have peace of mind that you are helping your body function optimally.

 

  

Cardiovascular Systems, Pain, and Inflammation

 

            Inflammation is a growing problem for many people and goes hand in hand with the generalized pain that many people experience after a hard day’s work. Even sedentary lifestyles can be plagued by inflammation: you move too much and you can get inflamed joints, you move too little and you can still get inflammation. It’s a tricky thing so, while diet can help, stock your shelves with CBD to help support your heart and joints, lessen that pain, and get you motivated for your day.

            Pain is part of life, but that doesn’t mean we have to let it slow us down. Pain comes in many forms, but the good news is that CBD can treat a whole array of pain causing problems.17, 18 Starting with some of the worst forms of chronic pain, CBD helps with multiple sclerosis or MS.19 Inflammation and pain often exist together and CBD helps suppress inflammation and lower pain simultaneously.20, 21 It helps with the two major types of pain: chronic pain from inflammatory diseases and acute pain caused by injuries.21 Studies have also shown that applying CBD on the skin reduces inflammation and pain caused by arthritis.22

            Not all issues are caused by lifestyle choices. For instance, myocarditis is inflammation of the heart that is not affected by smoking or activity levels. CBD’s anti-inflammatory response might be useful for treating myocarditis,23 irregular heart rhythm, and it may aid in reducing cholesterol and high blood pressure.24

            When it comes to health, every small step matters. As you feel better about the choices you make your diet will improve and exercise will become easier. The bottom line: when you’re suffering from any health condition other areas of your life can suffer as well. CBD can be the start of a domino-effect of healthy lifestyle choices that can improve many areas of your life. Never underestimate the power of the entourage-effect!

 

 

Focus, Skin, and Bone Health

 

            Whether at work or at home, there are countless distractions assailing our thoughts every day. Our time is precious so fewer distractions mean a higher quality of life, and CBD can help keep your focus locked-on to what matters most.25 This is because the endocannabinoid system correlates with dopamine, which is believed to affect attention and memory.25

            CBD is helpful inside and out. Not only are topical lotions effective applications for CBD but they also synergize CBD’s benefits for your skin. CBD has been shown to be an effective neuroprotectant and antioxidant. It’s even more effective than vitamins C and E!26 Acne is an issue that many people face throughout different stages of life and it might even contribute to intense anxiety and low self-esteem. The good news: CBD can help normalize lipid synthesis that is largely responsible for acne outbreaks.27

                  CBD can help us as we age through its ability to treat and even reverse bone loss caused by osteoporosis.28, 29 The endocannabinoid system is thought to be responsible for the miracle-like effects of regulating bone mass, thus activating the entire system through “full spectrum CBD” may help reverse bone loss caused by osteoporosis.30 You can learn more about the difference between full spectrum CBD and CBD isolate from our article here.

 

 

Safety

 

            The most important bottom line is that CBD does not alter physiological parameters such as heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature in healthy individuals.31 This means it could be even safer to consume than caffeine. CBD does not impair motor skills so you can still operate heavy machinery and drive your car.31 Most importantly, CBD does not get you high.32

                  But, even though CBD doesn’t cause adverse reactions on its own, CBD does affect neurological systems so it can either increase the potency of other medication or lower the effectiveness of other medication.32 In general, it will work with other medications to increase their benefit as long as the medicines you take don’t affect the same neurological mechanisms as CBD. You should consult your doctor if you are interested in taking CBD for epilepsy as combining multiple anti-epileptic drugs can have negative side effects.33 CBD has shown to be safe though it is always wise to talk to a doctor before starting any supplemental regiment especially if you are taking MAOI’s or anti-epileptics.

            As you can see, the human body is an interconnected system where sickness and health can build upon one another. CBD provides a safe stable building block to fortify your health in a vast array of ways. I hope this article has helped you learn about this amazing compound. May this information act as a stepping stone for you on your journey to better health and the great life that awaits you in the future.

Article by Joshua Moynan

 

 

Sources

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  12. https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/2
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  23. https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/conditions/myocarditis
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  27. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4151231/
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