7 Scientifically-Proven Health Benefits of CBD
CBD oil is the latest hemp-related trend, popping up everywhere from cupcakes to headshops to the local gas station. But why is it so popular?
While it may not have the same psychoactive effects as it’s sister cannabinoid, THC, it has become a reliable natural remedy for a variety of ailments that plague the masses. There have only been a few official scientific studies to confirm the extent to which CBD actually helps, but here are the most commonly touted benefits from the world of health and wellness:
No surprise here! Much like it’s controversial cannabis counterpart, CBD is widely accepted as an effective pain reliever. The human body contains a specialized system called the endocannabinoid system, which helps regulate functions like appetite, sleep, and pain. The body also produces neurotransmitters called endocannabinoids which bind to cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system. Stick with me.
So, some studies have shown that CBD, or cannabidiol, may help reduce chronic pain by affecting endocannabinoid receptor activity, which has made it a big hit for those with arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or other persistent muscle and joint-related pains that are often difficult to remedy.
Dulls Anxiety and Depression
Cases of anxiety and depression are more prevalent than ever before, and treatments are increasingly aggressive. It’s hard to know how some medications on the market today will affect you, with some causing nausea, some inducing headaches or drowsiness, and some seemingly taking away your emotions entirely. That’s where CBD steps in.
For those who don’t want to chance the negative side effects of pharmaceutical drugs, CBD oil has been adopted as the all-natural alternative for treating both depression and anxiety. There was even a study in which 24 people with social anxiety disorders were given either 600mg of CBD or a placebo before a public speaking test. The group that received the CBD experienced significantly less anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort during their speech performance than the group that took the placebo. And hey, even if you don’t have diagnosed anxiety or depression, it’s very helpful with dealing with everyday stressors and improving your mood.
Boosts Brain Health
Being a cannabinoid, CBD is neuroprotective and has a variety of positive effects on the brain, like the removal of damaged cells and the ability to reduce glutamate toxicity. Extra glutamate can amp up the nerve cells in the brain and over-stimulate them to the point of cell damage or death. Cannabinoids can aid in protecting brain cells from this damage and maintaining this ultra-vital organ.
Aids Neurological Disorders
Branching off the last benefit and CBD’s effect on brain signaling systems, studies have shown that the oil can be used to treat neurological disorders like epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, and autism. In fact, one NIH study showed signs of CBD oil significantly reducing seizure activity in children with the complex epilepsy disorder Dravet syndrome.
Other research showed people with Parkinson’s disease experienced significantly less discomfort and much better sleep when treated with CBD. This is a huge step for those with these kinds of difficult-to-treat and incurable disorders, and we hope more studies will be done to further explore these kinds of treatments.
One health benefit that doesn’t get as much attention as it should is the CBD’s potential ability to reduce the risk of diabetes. Several studies have shown that prolonged use of cannabinoids results in a lower body mass index, smaller waist circumferences, and a reduced risk of obesity compared to those who are not exposed to them. CBD has been shown to help the body convert fat, promote insulin production and sugar metabolism, thereby proactively protecting the users from the risk of diabetes.
Heals Skin and Reduces Acne
Bet you didn’t know that skin has the highest amount and concentration of CB2 cannabinoid receptors in the entire body! That’s why topical CBD substances like infused lotions, serums and oils have the ability to repair damage from exposure to free radicals like environmental pollutants and UV rays.
The prevalence of CB2 receptors combined with CBD’s anti-inflammatory qualities can also help those suffering from acne, as it keeps sebaceous gland cells from secreting excessive blemish-causing oils, preventing the activation of certain pro-acne agents.
Heightens Heart Health
In addition to reducing stress, CBD has also been found to decrease high blood and lower cholesterol levels in frequent users, consequently improving overall heart health. Given that heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States and accounts for 31% of all deaths worldwide, this is a huge benefit and a big step toward the prevention of this global ailment.
While more research needs to be done before we can know the true extent of the positive effects of CBD treatment (and its national legalization), we’re excited to see what new developments and revelations cannabis research will bring in 2019.