Benefits and Uses of CBD

You may have recently heard of CBD Oil in the news, from a friend, or even on a menu at a restaurant and wondered what exactly it was and if it was safe. You could also be very familiar with what CBD Oil is but have questions about how to use it and what the benefits to yourself might be. Most likely you are aware that CBD (cannabidiol) is related to the cannabis plant family and you are correct. CBD Oil is extracted from hemp as one of the more than 100 chemical compounds called cannabinoids that are found in the plant. However, unlike the psychoactive compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) that is heavily present in marijuana, CBD still provides many of the same benefits without the mind-altering effects of THC.  

 

One of the most common reported uses for CBD Oil is to reduce pain. This can be chronic pain due to arthritis, an injury, or any other number of pain causing maladies. No matter what the cause CBD is being used to alleviate pain. Humans have been using marijuana to treat pain for over a thousand years and recent studies have shown that the pain reduction effects of marijuana come from CBD. Unlike medical marijuana though, CBD can be purchased legally without a prescription or a visit to a doctor. CBD helps reduce pain by interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid[1] system. This system is responsible for regulating a variety of bodily functions including pain[2]. CBD impacts with endocannabinoid receptors which reduce inflammation and pain neurotransmitters.

 

CBD’s effects on the endocannabinoid system also point towards beneficial uses in treating neurological disorders. One of the most studied aspects of CBD is how it can be used to treat epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. Even though this research is new the FDA has already approved an epilepsy drug with CBD as the main active ingredient. CBD has also been found to improve the quality of life for users with Parkinson’s disease. Studies[3] in this field are constantly being researched and many sufferers of neurological disorders are bound to see amazing results in the future due to CBD.

 

In addition to treating pain, CBD may also be useful for treating anxiety and or depression. According to the World Health Organization, anxiety and depression are 2 of largest contributors to disability worldwide. Currently, anxiety and depression are often treated with pharmaceutical drugs. Many of these drugs have serious side effects from drowsiness and headaches to sexual dysfunction. In addition, many of these pharmaceutical drugs are addictive and can lead to substance abuse. One study showed that users who took a 600mg dose of CBD prior to a public speaking[4] test performed better than the group that took the placebo. Researchers have linked this effect on anxiety and depression to CBD’s interaction with serotonin receptors in the brain.

 

CBD has even proven effective for animals and pets. Studies[5] have shown that CBD can reduce anxiety and pain in dogs and cats the same way it does for humans. CBD can be used as an anticonvulsant, an anti-inflammatory, stress reliever, or just as a powerful painkiller. Just as with humans, it is recommended that users consult with their veterinarian before administering CBD to their pets.