CBD – Cannabidiol, is a popular natural remedy used for many common ailments.
Better known as CBD, it is one of more than 100 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids found in the hemp plant.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary psychoactive cannabinoid found in hemp and causes the “high” sensation often associated with hemp. However, unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive.
This quality makes CBD an attractive option for those seeking relief from pain and other symptoms without the mind-altering effects of hemp or certain pharmaceutical drugs.
CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the hemp plant, then diluting it with a carrier oil such as coconut or hemp seed oil.
It’s gaining momentum in the health and wellness world, with some scientific studies confirming that it can alleviate symptoms of conditions such as chronic pain and anxiety.
Here are seven health benefits of CBD oil that are backed by scientific evidence.
Can Relieve Pain
More recently, scientists have discovered that certain components of hemp, including CBD, are responsible for its pain-relieving effects.
The human body contains a specialized system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is involved in regulating a variety of functions, including sleep, appetite, pain, and immune system response.
The body produces endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system.
Studies have shown that CBD can help reduce chronic pain by affecting endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters (Source 4Trusted).
For example, one study in rats found that CBD injections reduced the pain response to surgical incision, while another study in rats found that oral CBD treatment significantly reduced sciatic nerve pain and inflammation (Source 5Trusted, Source 6Trusted).
Several human studies have found that a combination of CBD and THC is effective in treating pain related to multiple sclerosis and arthritis.
An oral spray called Sativex, which is a combination of THC and CBD, is approved in several countries to treat multiple sclerosis-related pain.
A study of 47 people with multiple sclerosis examined the effects of taking Sativex for one month. Participants experienced improvements in pain, walking and muscle spasms. Still, the study did not include any control groups and placebo effects cannot be ruled out (Source 7Trusted).
Another study found that Sativex significantly improved pain during movement, pain at rest and sleep quality in 58 people with rheumatoid arthritis.
CBD May Reduce Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression are common mental health disorders that can have devastating impacts on health and well-being.
According to the World Health Organization, depression is the largest contributor to disability worldwide, while anxiety disorders rank sixth.
Anxiety and depression are generally treated with pharmaceutical medications, which can cause a range of side effects including drowsiness, agitation, insomnia, sexual dysfunction and headache.
Moreover, medications such as benzodiazepines can be addictive and can lead to substance abuse.
CBD oil has shown promise as a treatment for depression and anxiety, leading many living with these disorders to take an interest in this natural approach.
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In a Brazilian study, 57 men were given oral CBD or a placebo 90 minutes before undergoing a simulated public speaking test. The researchers found that a 300 mg dose of CBD was the most effective in significantly reducing anxiety during the test.
The placebo, a 150 mg dose of CBD and a 600 mg dose of CBD had little or no effect on anxiety.
CBD oil has even been used to safely treat insomnia and anxiety in children with post-traumatic stress disorder.
CBD has also shown antidepressant effects in several animal studies(Source 14Trusted, Source 15Trusted).
These qualities are linked to CBD’s ability to act on brain receptors for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and social behavior.
CBD May Relieve Cancer-Related Symptoms
CBD may help reduce cancer-related symptoms and side effects related to cancer treatment, such as nausea, vomiting, and pain.
One study looked at the effects of CBD and THC in 177 people with cancer-related pain who did not experience relief from painkillers.
Those treated with an extract containing both compounds experienced a significant reduction in pain compared to those who received THC extract alone.
CBD may also help reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, which are among the most common chemotherapy-related side effects for people with cancer.
Although there are medications that help with these distressing symptoms, they are sometimes ineffective, leading some people to seek alternatives.
One study of 16 people undergoing chemotherapy found that an individual combination of CBD and THC administered via mouth spray reduced chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting better than standard treatment alone.
Some test tube and animal studies have even shown that CBD may have anti-cancer properties. For example, one test tube study found that concentrated CBD induced cell death in human breast cancer cells.
Another study showed that CBD inhibited the spread of aggressive breast cancer cells in mice.
However, these are test tube and animal studies, so they can only suggest what might work in people. More human studies are needed before conclusions can be drawn.
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