So, what exactly is CBD? You may have heard a lot about this substance in recent years, especially as it becomes more accessible and publicly accepted. Still, you may have concerns about it, some of which are based on misconceptions about CBD. So, today we’re going to focus on CBD and discuss exactly what it is, what effects it can have, and it’s possible benefits.
What Exactly Is CBD?
Let’s get started by answering the big question – what exactly is CBD? It’s short for cannabidiol, and it’s often available as an oil, although it can come in other forms. It’s one of the many different types of cannabinoids (hence the name) found in cannabis plants. While this is the same plant that produces marijuana, it does not have the key ingredient found in marijuana, a compound call tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
What Are the Effects of CBD?
First of all, CBD will not make you feel “stoned” or “high.” CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not strongly affect the brain’s cognitive functions or result in an impaired ability to function. The effects of CBD tend to be largely therapeutic. In fact, ClinicalTrials.gov reports that there are more than a hundred clinical trials currently in progress regarding the potential health benefits of CBD. Some of these involve:
- Various skin conditions
- Certain psychological problems
- Stress and anxiety
- Chronic pain
What Are the Benefits Associated with CBD?
It’s believed cannabidiol somehow prevents the breakdown of a chemical in the brain that’s related to pain, mood, and certain mental functions. There’s also evidence that CBD reduce pain and anxiety. The main benefits associated with CBD are further discussed below.
One of the main benefits associated with CBD is pain relief. There are some studies that suggest CBD may reduce inflammation and interact with the body’s nerve transmitters in a way that reduces the sensation of pain. In one study involving participants with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), patients reported improvements with the ability to move without significant pain.
The World Health Organization (WHO) considers depression and anxiety two of the conditions that can have the most impact on an individual’s overall health and well-being. Such disorders are often treated with medications, although such drugs can have potentially serious side effects.
There’s promising research suggesting CBD could be a safer way to manage anxiety and depression. CBD may also be beneficial for people dealing with any of the following mental health disorders:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Anxiety-related disorders in children
- Social phobias or anxieties
Harvard Health reports that CBD may be beneficial for people who consistently have difficulty falling or staying asleep. Studies suggest CBD may ease the anxiety that sometimes contributes to sleep-related difficulties. A 2019 study involving more than 70 subjects suffering from poor sleep. Participants were given 25mgs of CBD in capsule form. After a month, more than half of the subjects reported improvements with sleep.
Relief from Cancer Treatment Side Effects
A common treatment for cancer is chemotherapy, which involves the use of drugs that kill dividing cancer cells. While this treatment can be effective, it also has common side effects such as nausea and vomiting. There’s evidence suggesting CBD may reduce issues of this nature. CBD may even be able to keep cancer cells from spreading. In one study involving mice, CBD stopped the spread of aggressive breast cancer cells.
Other Possible CBD Benefits
There are some other possible benefits that have been linked to CBD. One of these is the ability to treat acne because of the anti-inflammatory properties associated with CBD. One CBD-related study also suggests CBD may prevent the production of an oily, waxy substance associated with acne called sebum. Additionally, there’s evidence suggesting CBD may also play a role in:
- Reducing spasms associated with multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Treating certain neurological diseases
- Improving quality of life and sleep quality of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients
- Making the heart healthier
- Preventing diabetes
- Managing chronic back pain
Now that you know more about CBD, you may be wondering if it’s right for you and how you can obtain it. Hemp-derived CBD products are federally legal. Marijuana-derived CBD products, however, are not legal on a federal level, but they are legal in some states. It can also be helpful to talk to your doctor to determine if you may benefit from CBD, especially if you are currently taking medications for other health issues.