The benefits of CBD include relief from pain, anxiety, depression, inflammation and more. Although many of the effects of CBD are purportedly true, the information in this article is backed by comprehensive and scholarly scientific research, much of which has been verified within the last year.
The Benefits of CBD
CBD (Cannabidiol) is a natural supplement derived from cannabis. It DOES NOT produce a psychoactive effect in users (i.e. it doesn’t get you high/stoned), though it does have a number of proven health benefits. The FDA has even approved the use of CBD in a new prescription drug.
More and more research is being done on CBD and its effects every year, and benefits are continually being added to the list. Here’s what we know about the benefits of CBD so far, according to the research.
CBD has been shown to relieve chronic pain in users. Many who suffer from pain associated with cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other conditions have found relief by using CBD.
Substance Abuse Control
Because CBD is non-addictive, using it for pain relief is much safer than relying on the long-term use of pain medication such as opioids. Synthetic pain medication can have harmful side effects and has shown to be devastatingly addictive. CBD is non-dependence forming and is safe for the body even in high doses.
One of the benefits of CBD is its ability to reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is widely believed to be the culprit behind almost every chronic disease. From hangovers to cancer, inflammation wrecks havoc on the body by damaging tissue and breaking down our organs, skin, and even our DNA. Fighting inflammation is the key to maintaining good long-term health.
Some common chronic inflammatory diseases that CBD has been shown to alleviate include:
The most undisputed benefit of CBD is its use as an antiepileptic. The FDA has even approved an antiepileptic drug containing CBD that has proven to be highly effective. New stories are emerging every day from around the world on how CBD is helping people reduce their seizures and live normal lives, sometimes for the first time in their lives. Studies have shown that CBD use leads to a reduction in seizures by up to 40%.
Rates of anxiety in the United States are extremely high, yet anxiety medication is known to have a range of negative side effects, some of which can be severe. CBD has been shown to safely control anxiety (especially social anxiety), and many report that they feel more at ease and more like themselves while using CBD. Once again, CBD is non-dependence forming, unlike some popular varieties of anti-anxiety medication.
The anti-anxiety effects of CBD are helping those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder find comfort and relief. Studies have found that those suffering even from severe PTSD symptoms such as flashbacks and self-mutilation achieved drastic and long-term relief from using CBD.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is an anxiety disorder that causes major disturbances in life caused by a lack of control over one’s thoughts and compulsions. CBD has been shown to reduce the severity of OCD, therefore giving the user more control over their thoughts and actions.
Severe anxiety can spiral into full-blown panic attacks causing the sufferer to lose control mentally, and at times, physically. The calming, anti-anxiety effect of CBD helps users maintain control and avoid panic.
CBD helps the body regulate its natural and hormonal processes. As a result, CBD can stimulate the appetite and help your body recognize and react properly when it needs nourishment. This can help counter the effects of appetite reducing medications and treatments such as chemotherapy.
Note: CBD won’t make you hungry instantly all the time (an effect commonly resulting from the use of another cannabinoid, THC.) In other words, CBD won’t give you “the munchies.” It helps your body work naturally and is not said to cause users to overeat.
CBD has been shown to mimic the effects of some anti-psychotic drugs and ease the symptoms of various types of psychosis without the common side effects of these medications (which can be life-altering). This is especially true of conditions like schizophrenia.
Note: Studies have shown that CBD helps those suffering from schizophrenia, though scientists are unsure yet as to why. Continued studies are needed to understand the mechanisms more clearly.
Low doses of CBD have been shown to decrease levels of nausea and vomiting. This points to CBD being a possible option for alleviating nausea caused by chemotherapy, motion sickness, anxiety, and food sensitivities.
Studies have shown CBD to be effective against some harmful bacteria in the body. This can help prevent infections that would otherwise be difficult to treat. CBD has not been shown to have any effect on the healthy bacteria in the body.
Note: CBD is not effective at fighting bacteria in general, and it should not be used as a substitute for antibiotics.
Spasmodic conditions cause the muscles in the body to move involuntarily. One of the benefits of CBD is that it reduces the occurrence of these spasms and provides comfort and stability to users’ lives. Some of these conditions manifest themselves outwardly, like spasmodic dysphonia, though others are internal and can cause serious discomfort and pain.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a chronic spasmodic condition that causes cramps, bloating, constipation and general discomfort. It is caused by involuntary muscle contractions in the intestines, though it can feel like an upset stomach. This condition can make eating a daily chore and can easily lead to anxiety and other disorders due to the chronic stress and discomfort it causes. CBD relieves the muscle movement in the intestines and gives users the ability to eat more freely without worrying about bloating, pain, or diarrhea.
Overactive Bladder is a syndrome that causes sufferers to use the bathroom frequently. It is caused by involuntary contractions of the bladder. CBD can help to reduce the muscle spasms in the bladder, allowing it to signal the need to “go” at regular intervals.
Dyskinesia is the medical term for involuntary muscle movements that we might call tics, fidgeting, or twitching. CBD can help calm the muscles and reduce these movements.
Some research has suggested that CBD can be used to help those who suffer from insomnia to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Note: Some have found CBD to be effective for insomnia, though others have found it to have an invigorating effect similar to a cup of coffee (albeit without the jitters). Start with a low dose of CBD to see how it affects your level of drowsiness.
Important: Before Exploring the Benefits of CBD
The benefits of CBD are many, but before exploring how it can be used to improve your life or your condition, you should know one thing: If you suffer from any of the above conditions or symptoms associated with them, you need to first see a doctor.
CBD can offer relief for a number of conditions, but it is not a miracle drug or a cure-all. Also, many conditions that you may think can be remedied by using CBD may actually have a different cause or source. For example, if you suffer from OAB (Overactive Bladder), it’s possible that you suffer from a spasmodic condition that can be treated effectively with CBD. Though it’s also possible that you have a bladder infection that needs medical attention immediately.
Remember, the key to a healthy lifestyle is in combining the benefits of CBD with medical expertise, diet, exercise, and moderation.