So much has been said about the positive effects of CBD. Its popularity has been increasing, and you can see many dispensaries operating in places where this is legal to sell. It has also been developed into various products that suit those who use it. You can now see many types of CBD in the marketplace: tinctures, gummies, rubs, creams, lotions, and oils.
What Is CBD?
CBD is cannabidiol, a natural active ingredient extracted from cannabis. CBD is the second most potent ingredient in the plant, with THC being the number one. CBD will not make you high, unlike THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient extracted from the plant.
In 2021 alone, sales of CBD products in the U.S. reached roughly USD$5.3 billion and is projected to reach USD$16 billion by 2026. This is besides the fact that CBD is not legal in several states and is only conditionally legal in some.
There are three states—Nebraska, Idaho, and South Dakota—where CBD used to be illegal. But since the passing of the Farm Bill of 2018, CBD has become federally legal in all 50 states if it comes from hemp, which was removed from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).
In conditionally legal states, it’s stipulated that CBD shouldn’t have more than 0.3% of THC unless you have a medical marijuana card. In contrast, in some states like Montana, New York, Vermont, and Maine, CBD is entirely legal. That said, you must first check your state’s laws before buying and using CBD.
The Effectiveness Of CBD
CBD has been known to improve many symptoms. Today, only one FDA-approved CBD drug is on the market, which is meant to treat a rare and severe form of epilepsy in children. This CBD oral solution treats the symptoms of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome in patients two years and older.
With the growing popularity of CBD, many have tried and used it to improve various conditions like chronic pain and inflammation, with great results. Others have said that it helps with their sleep and improves skin problems like acne. But questions like, ‘Does CBD improve focus?’ still surface from time to time as many try to explore how CBD can be effective for them. To give you a better idea, here are the top uses and benefits of CBD oil backed by research:
- May Help Reduce Symptoms Of Anxiety And Depression
Many patients diagnosed with clinical depression or anxiety who have tried CBD oil mentioned the immediate effect of the substance compared to prescription and anti-anxiety medication that take weeks before you see results.
CBD also reflected fewer and more tolerable side effects in one study than those prescribed antidepressant drugs that could sometimes wreak havoc on their day-to-day life. Antidepressants typically manifest side effects like insomnia, agitation, and sexual dysfunction, whereas CBD has fewer side effects in comparison.
Serotonin plays an essential function in the body because it’s the chemical messenger responsible for regulating mood, sleep, digestion, and even sexual desire. Depression happens because of low levels of serotonin. CBD enhances how the brain’s chemical receptors interact with the serotonin already in the body, which can improve one’s mood.
However, CBD is not guaranteed to work on everyone and can interact with other medications you’re taking. Thus, before you use CBD for anxiety or depression, you should consult with your doctor first.
- May Help Relieve Chronic Pain
CBD is a natural analgesic. Many people who live with chronic pain may experience relief from using CBD. A study shows that cannabinoid receptor type 2(CB2) present in CBD helps inhibit the release of cytokines. Cytokines are tiny proteins that have inflammatory effects on the body. In the study on patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), these tiny proteins bind to receptors and trigger a response in the receiving cells.
Typically, cytokines trigger the pain response when a part of the body is inflamed or injured. CBD inhibits the release of cytokines and slows down the chronic inflammatory response, thereby modulating pain release. People living with MS and those who suffer from severe numbness, spasms, and tingling may benefit from the effects of CBD.
- May Help Improve Sleep
Some people may have trouble sleeping and staying asleep through the night. This can be aggravated due to stress, anxiety, or insomnia.
One study to test how CBD improves sleep showed that it helps by addressing an individual’s anxiety, and when they’re more relaxed, they can sleep better. Most patients in the same study reported that they had improved levels of anxiety and sleep quality, which was sustained over time. Thus, people with sleep problems may benefit from CBD, especially if their sleep problems are due to anxiety.
- May Help With Cancer Management
Cancer is a difficult disease. Many patients with cancer have to deal with radiation therapy and chemotherapy which come with uncomfortable, if not painful, side effects. However, there is increasing optimism about CBD’s ability to aid in cancer management because of its analgesic, anti-emetic, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Patients with late-stage cancer can improve their quality of life through palliative care. The stress of the illness can deteriorate a patient’s condition more than cancer. CBD may help improve the patient’s condition by managing the side effects of treatment and help the patient sleep, eat better, and be more comfortable. If you feel that this is something you want to try, consulting your oncologist will be a great first step.
- May Help Reduce Blood Pressure
Individuals may experience an increased heart rate and high blood pressure under stress. Over time, this can be dangerous as it increases the risk of stroke, heart attacks, and heart disease. In one study, CBD helped maintain the cardiac output of participants exposed to cold stress.
This can be good news for many people who frequently experience a spike in their blood pressure. However, CBD can interact with certain medications like blood thinners, so if you’re considering using CBD for your hypertension, you must consult your doctor first.
Multiple benefits of CBD have been recorded through different studies. Some of these include helping relieve chronic pain, helping cancer patients tolerate the severe side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, and reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Because most of the studies on CBD are either in-vitro or are conducted on animals, further research is required to substantiate CBD’s effects and benefits to humans. On that note, if you plan to use CBD for any of your diagnoses, you must proceed with caution and consult your doctor first.
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