The legalization of CBD on the federal level allowed for more extensive research to be conducted on the potential therapeutic benefits of CBD on the human body. Recent research have shown that CBD has a wide array of medical benefits, which begs the question; “How will CBD impact my health?”
CBD or cannabidiol, is one of many cannabinoids found in cannabis sativa plant family. Pure CBD is natural, non-habit forming, and nonpsychedelic. Unlike THC, CBD does NOT get you high, but is usually associated with feelings of relaxation and calm. CBD products typically have a THC concentration of less than .03% but be sure to read the product label for a more detailed description.
CBD interacts with our body’s endocannabinoid system. The Endocannabinoid System, or ESC, is a biological system responsible for the release of endocannabinoids, a type of neurotransmitter. Endocannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors and proteins in our central and peripheral nervous system.
I: CBD and Anxiety
CBD, or cannabidiol, binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain that regulate fear and anxiety induced behaviors. In fact, research suggests that CBD can help treat a variety of anxiety disorders; including Generalized, Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Panic Disorder (PD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD).
A 2020 New Zealand Study monitored 397 adults on a strict CBD concentration regiment. All participants in the group reported improvements in their overall quality of life after a 3-week CBD trail period. The individuals who received CBD treatment for anxiety or depression reportedly experienced improvements in their ability to perform daily functions, as well as reduced pain, anxiety and depression symptoms. The studies illustrates CBD’s ability to increase serotonin levels in the body, minimizing their feelings of anxiety.
Researchers and Healthcare professionals have yet to establish a standardized dosage to elicit the optimal effects CBD has to offer. There is no research that suggests you can overdose on CBD related products.
If your CBD needs are more for internal or cognitive wellness than external or skincare, then taking oral CBD may be a better option. There are multiple methods to take CBD orally, but the most common would be CBD tinctures, or CBD Drops. CBD drops are placed under the tongue and held there for about twenty seconds before swallowing. The cannabinoids are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream through the sublingual blood vessels. This sublingual method offers faster effects because of its higher bioavailability, which allows more CBD to enter the bloodstream since it avoids the first-pass metabolism.
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II: CBD and Inflammation
CBD interacts with the bodies endocannabinoid system, which helps regulate and normalize many physiological processes, including pain, mood, stress, sleep, and immune system function. CBD has shown to exhibit unique anti-inflammatory, anti-itch, and anti-pain properties that make it extremely attractive as a medical remedy, particularly in dermatology.
A study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using an animal model, CBD applied the skin could help mediate chronic inflammatory pain related to arthritis. Another small study published in 2019 in Clinical Therapeutics found that a CBD ointment helped clear skin and reduce itch and inflammation.
Research regarding the therapeutic benefits of CBD is still ongoing, but early trials are showing encouraging results, with little to no drawbacks.
III: CBD and Chronic Pain
Current research suggests that CBD interacts with the core components of the ECS (receptors) located in the brain and immune system. According to the National Centers for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), some evidence suggests that cannabis or CBD could have modest benefits for chronic pain.
A 2020 review reports that CBD could have benefits for relieving chronic pain, improving sleep, and reducing inflammation, but that these effects are condition-specific.
While CBD is a promising option for pain relief, research has not yet proven it safe and effective, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have not approved CBD for treating pain. More evidence is needed to determine the therapeutic potential of CBD and to determine safe and effective dosages for pain.
IV: CBD and Heart Health
CBD is a compound derived from Cannabis and hemp plants that is widely used for its medical properties and health benefits. Among the many benefits of CBD are its countless positive effects on heart health. CBD oil tinctures have been linked to increased circulation, lower blood pressure, and even lowered risk of some major heart conditions like heart attack and stroke. Other studies suggest that CBD can even have protective effects on the heart, reducing the damage inflicted after a heart attack and limiting the long term damage that medical conditions like Diabetes have on the heart.
High blood pressure, also referred to as hypertension, can have detrimental effects on the body. The force on the body’s blood vessels can damage its walls and lead to a range of complications. These complications include heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. According to the CDC, heart disease is responsible for over 650,000 American deaths each year. Part of what makes CBD so great for heart health is its anti-inflammatory properties. CBD works to relax blood vessels and arteries, creating immediate relief from hypertension. Some human studies found that CBD decreased resting blood pressure and lowered blood pressure spikes in individuals with heart conditions.
Additionally, the same compounds in CBD oil that make it great for reducing anxiety are part of what make it great for reducing blood pressure as well. CBD has been effective in lowering cortisol levels, which is a stress hormone that is also found to be related to high blood pressure. A 2019 study found that one dose of CBD can greatly reduce anxiety and the physical effects of it on the body. Many people find that CBD has far less side effects than prescription blood pressure medications, making it a potentially great option for some individuals. Because of the way CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, it is also non-addictive compared to many prescription medications. Though it works great for those with pre-existing heart conditions, countless heart-healthy people can recognize the effects of CBD in as little as one dose as well.
Lowering blood pressure, improving circulation, and lowering the risk of heart conditions are just a glimpse of what CBD can offer you. Check out Our CBD and Heart Health Guide for more quality CBD info!
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V: CBD and Depression
Experts believe that CBD’s potential benefits for depression are related to its positive effect on serotonin receptors in the brain. There has been a link between low serotonin levels and alleviated forms of depression.
CBD doesn’t necessarily boost serotonin levels, but it may affect how your brain’s chemical receptors respond to the serotonin that’s already in your system.
A 2014 animal study found that CBD’s effect on these receptors in the brain produced both antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects. A more recent 2018 review of existing studies concluded that CBD has anti-stress effects, which would reduce depression related to stress.
As mentioned, this is an area that’s still being actively studied, and new research and reviews are published every year. As researchers begin to better understand CBD and its potential benefits or concerns, information about how to most effectively use the product will continue to change.
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