One cannabinoid in particular -- CBD -- has been thrust into the spotlight because it provides all of the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis without the psychoactive high. Understandably, people are curious.
How can it provide the potential benefits of marijuana without the psychoactive high?
First off, CBD is extracted from agricultural hemp plants and usually takes the form of an oil. A variety of the cannabis indica plant, agricultural hemp contains only trace amounts of THC -- which means there’s not enough to produce the high.
Once extracted from the hemp plant, cannabidiol oil can then be mixed and matched to come in many forms for user consumption.
CBD oil is commonly mixed and found in creams, gels, salves, sprays, capsules, and tinctures. Most topical uses are easy to apply and offer a convenient way to consume CBD oil. Tinctures and capsules are easy to take orally and can provide the same effects as cannabidiol oil.
CBD can also be found in edible forms, often as a chocolate candy or sweet. All of these forms can be highly concentrated and have different benefits. Its flexibility in the concentration allows the user to find an appropriate dosage for their needs.
You can inhale or smoke cannabidiol with cbd vape oil as well. Vapor pens work with cartridges filled with CBD oil so the user can easily inhale (similar to an e-cigarette).
More research is being done on the potential health effects of CBD, but overall it’s becoming adopted more as part of a healthy lifestyle. Users classify the effects as more therapeutic rather than mind-altering.
Here are three examples of potential health benefits people have experienced from using CBD:
CBD and Anxiety Relief
CBD oil might be able to help you lower your stress and manage anxiety levels. Researchers have found evidence that CBD oil affects how the brain responds to serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical that helps regulate mental health such as anxiety, mood, and happiness.
Findings suggest that consistent use of CBD can lead to anti-panic effects for the user. One study shows the effects of cannabidiol on someone who is about to give a speech in public:
Pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly decreased alert levels in their anticipatory speech.
Some people say that marijuana gives them paranoia or anxiety, but that’s again from the THC component in cannabis. CBD has an antipsychotic nature that counteracts THC, and may actually help regulate your mental state by calming you down.
One common example for cannabidiol use to combat stress and anxiety in patients suffering from PTSD. Users have reported feeling their symptoms post-traumatic stress disorder lessen, including the overwhelming psychological effects like increased heart rate and stress.
CBD as a Treatment for Pain and Inflammation
One of the primary benefits from CBD oil for many users is that it helps with pain management along with reducing inflammation. CBD use is commonly recommended to help with various types of chronic pain, including back pain, cancer, and the aftermath of chemotherapy treatments.
CBD’s therapeutic effects on pain stem from interrupting pain receptors throughout the body. Rather than stimulating pain sensors, CBD facilitates a release of serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals can help reduce discomfort and pain for some people.
The National Institutes of Health have also found preliminary research to support the therapeutic benefits of CBD for certain chronic conditions, such as:
- Muscle pain
- Multiple sclerosis pain
- Chronic pain
- Neuropathic pain from spinal cord injuries
- Anti-epileptic treatment
More research suggests that the effects of CBD may be primarily correlated with its anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have suggested that CBD may improve neurodegenerative symptoms by reducing inflammation before it gets worse.
CBD as a Non-Addictive Sleep Aid
Another reason many people turn to cannabidiol oil is for the feeling of tiredness it brings. CBD oil comes with stronger sedative properties that can help people who have trouble sleeping.
Where many pharmaceutical sleeping pills or aids come with a risk of addiction or a groggy feeling in the morning, CBD is non-addictive and shouldn’t lead to any drowsiness for most people.
CBD is commonly used by people suffering from sleeping issues that includes insomnia, restless leg disorder, interrupted sleep, and similar afflictions.
Preliminary research finds potential benefits from CBD’s effect on sleeping patterns. Certain sleep apneas stemming from serotonin issues, REM sleep disorders, excessive daytime sleepiness and even nightmares associated with PTSD are sleeping issues where the benefits of cbd oil can help.
If you find your life affected by stress and anxiety, pain or inflammation, or sleeping problems, CBD oil might be able to help mitigate the issue. Talk to your doctor about ways CBD products may play a part in a holistic health and wellness routine.