Short for Cannabidiol, CBD is a chemical that makes up about 40% of the cannabis extracts. Over the years, it has become a hot topic among the natural health circles owing to its wonderful effects on everything from mild pain to chronic illnesses.
CBD oil is usually made by extracting the CBD from the cannabis plant (marijuana or hemp; mostly hemp because marijuana is illegal in most parts of the world; duh!) and diluting it with a carrier oil such as olive oil or coconut oil.
Even though it comes from the cannabis plant, CBD oil is significantly different from hemp and cannabis oils. Cannabis oil is mostly made from marijuana with high percentage of THC—the component that makes you believe you can fly and that God is talking to you—while hemp oil is obtained by cold-pressing the hemp seeds. These two oils have comparatively lower percentages of CBD.
CBD oil, however, is made after extracting all the available CBD in the cannabis plant.
CBD as a Medicine
Why would you want to dump CBD in your body without the fun, psychoactive properties of THC? Well, we all do crazy things.
But, CBD oil can potentially save your life! Medicinal effects of CBD oil are not a new thing. And the part that’s giving it all the momentum is that most of its uses have been backed by science.
Perhaps the most basic use of CBD oil is in reliving both mild and chronic pain. The human body has an endocannabinoid system regulating functions such as sleep, pain, immune system, appetite etc. To achieve this, the endocannabinoids produced by the body act as neurotransmitters and bind with the cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system.
Early studies in CBD oil research have shown that CBD oil can aid in curtailing chronic pain by impacting the endocannabinoid receptor activity, interacting with the neurotransmitters, and reducing inflammation. These studies were conducted on subjects with multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Useful for Anxiety and Depression
The two most common mental health disorders around the globe can have devastating effects on the health and well-being of a human being. While both of these are treatable, the problem lies with the addictive nature of the drugs which are usually used to treat these disorders.
In a study conducted on 24 people with a social anxiety disorder, the group who received the CBD (as opposed to the one that received placebo) showed significantly reduced levels of anxiety, discomfort, and cognitive impairment in social situations.
Further research has shown that CBD oil can be used safely to treat insomnia and anxiety in children with PTSD. These effects of CBD oil are possible because of its ability to act on the brain’s receptors for serotonin.
Alleviates cancer-related symptoms
A study looked at the effects of CBD and THC in 180 people with cancer-related pain who had no relief from the normal pain medication. The subjects were divided into two groups. One group was treated only with the THC-containing extract while the other one was given an extract that contained both THC and CBD. The latter group showed more a significant reduction in pain.
Another research on 16 people undergoing chemotherapy has revealed that CBD can potentially help alleviate chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.
CBD’s ability to interact with the endocannabinoid system and other brain-signalling systems can potentially provide relief for neurological disorders. Multiple studies in the use of CBD for treating epilepsy and multiple sclerosis has shown promising results.
Different studies revealed that an oral spray comprising of CBD and THC can effectively reduce muscle spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis, seizures in people with epilepsy and children with Dravet syndrome, and improve the life-quality and sleep patterns for people with Parkinson’s disease.
Protects the Heart
Relatively recent research in CBD has shown that it has properties that can lower the high blood pressure levels and thus reduce the risks of stroke, heart attack, and metabolic syndrome.
Some studies suggest that CBD could protect the heart by relaxing blood vessels, combating oxidative stress, and reducing inflammation. It has also shown to reduce irregular heart rhythms.
Other Potential Uses
In addition to these wonderful effects, CBD because of its anti-inflammatory properties can reduce acne and sebum production. Some studies suggest that CBD can help people with schizophrenia and other mental disorders by reducing the psychotic symptoms. It has also shown the potential to modify the circuits in the brain related to drug addiction thus helping with substance abuse treatment. Other studies project CBD as a useful remedy for tumor and diabetes prevention.