Thousands of years ago, if you had a toothache, headache or a stomach bug, or you were depressed, you may have gone to the village medicine man, and he would have given you just what you needed: some form of cannabis. The power of cannabis is woven throughout human history, but somewhere along the line, a lot of its power began to be disregarded.
With the renewed interest in bringing back medicine that nature intended for us to have, and more than half of the country legalizing cannabis on some level, the powerful cannabinoids in the cannabis plant are becoming accessible again. A particular cannabinoid—cannabidiol, or CBD—is rising as a shining star among consumers.
Here are just a few of the researched benefits of CBD:
1. CBD Is Anti-Inflammatory
CBD is full of natural anti-inflammatory compounds, which can be beneficial for a range of conditions like arthritis, pain associated with injuries, and more. In a study performed on mice with arthritis, CBD not only improved symptoms of pain, but it also helped show marked improvement in the levels of inflammation and protected the joints from being further damaged.
2. CBD Has Neuroprotective Properties
Many forms of cannabinoids are what is referred to as a neuroprotectant, which basically means they have the ability to protect the health of the neurological system, including the brain. Because of this, CBD is capable of helping to thwart problems with cell death in the brain, which could be big news for research into protecting people from certain types of neurological disease, such as neuropathy and Alzheimer’s.
3. CBD Has Anti-Cancer Properties
In tests of living cells, CBD actually prevented cancerous cell growth. It killed several types of cancers including lung and colon cancer cells. One 2012 study on animals who had been given CBD showed that they were far less likely to develop colon cancer in spite of being exposed to cancer-causing carcinogens. Numerous studies to support the proposed anti-cancer properties of CBD are underway, and the research is expected to yield positive benefits that can be put to good use in the treatment of multiple types of cancer.
4. CBD Reduces Pain
How CBD affects chronic pain has been widely examined, and expectations are high that CBD could be a promising new type of painkiller for people living with chronic pain issues. A large analysis of 766 participants showed that cannabinoids were highly effective in aiding different pain levels, and these cannabinoids included CBD. In a different study, a combination of CBD and THC showed reduced pain levels for 189 people with MS and chronic pain.
5. CBD Helps with Anxiety
CBD is a known anxiolytic, and many people do take CBD oil for that reason. In one brain imaging study, 10 people who suffered from seasonal affective disorder saw marked improvement in blood flow to the brain in regions that are responsible for motivation, cognition and blood flow out of the parts of the brain that are relative to anxiety. In another study, CBD reduced the anxiety associated with public speaking.
6. CBD Is Good for the Skin
CBD’s anti-inflammatory products make it a potential treatment for many things like acne and eczema. In a human tissue study, CBD lowered the presence of oils created by the oil glands. The skin actually boasts some of the largest concentrations of CB2 receptors, which is one reason why topical CBD and CBD lotions are so popular and effective for various conditions.
7. CBD Is Helpful for Epilepsy
In 2018, the first FDA-approved drug containing CBD came to fruition after a full battery of clinical trials. In this study, CBD was tested on 214 children and adults with epilepsy and was found safe at the highest doses, and had a successful outcome with treating even those epileptic seizures considered treatment-resistant. A survey conducted during one study on CBD for epilepsy in children yielded insightful information: As many as 84% of the parents stated that seizures were reduced in frequency; two participants stated their children had no seizures at all; and many parents reported improvements in overall mood, alertness and sleep.
8. CBD Promotes Better Sleep
CBD is suspected to help with sleep because of its anti-anxiety properties, which can produce a more relaxed and calmed state of mind. While studies are limited on CBD for sleep, there was one study done on a child who was struggling with both insomnia and PTSD who overcame her symptoms almost completely with doses of CBD.
9. CBD Helps Schizophrenic Symptoms
In a study of 42 patients who were diagnosed with acute schizophrenia, all symptoms improved after four weeks of treatment with up to 800 mg daily of CBD oil. Inflammation in the brain is common with schizophrenia, and CBD helps to lower that inflammation, which is assumed to be relative to the positive outcome of the study. CBD was noted to work well as an antipsychotic and tolerated much better than typical drugs.
10. CBD Improves Appetite and Deters Nausea
THC—the psychoactive compound of the cannabis plant that produces a high—has long been known for helping to deter nausea and improve appetite in cancer patients going through chemotherapy treatments. Now, preliminary studies are showing that the antiemetic properties of CBD can do the same by decreasing nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy and other therapeutic treatments so appetite improves.
11. CBD Helps with Smoking Cessation
CBD is being studied in multiple scenarios associated with addiction, but those studies are yet to conclude as of 2019. However, research does suggest that CBD may help people quit smoking. A pilot study found that 24 smokers who used CBD vapes reduced the number of cigarettes they smoked by as much as 20%, and there were no increased cravings for nicotine.
The more research that goes into CBD as it relates to health and medical issues, the more we are discovering just how astounding the benefits of this cannabinoid could really be. So, what is CBD used for? Actually, it’s starting to look like a little bit of everything. Only the future knows what will eventually come of CBD in the medical-treatment field, but current discoveries make the future look extremely bright.
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