5 Benefits of CBD
Cannabidiol, or CBD as most folks know it, is part of the cannabis plant. Having played second fiddle to THC for quite a while now, CBD is finally getting its time in the spotlight. Recent research points to the important role CBD plays in relieving symptoms from issues such as chronic pain, insomnia, and anxiety. Keep reading to learn about the 5 benefits of CBD, and find out more about the current science happening in the cannabis world.
What is CBD?
Before we jump into specifics on the benefits of CBD, let's get specific about what CBD is. According to PubChem, "Cannabidiol is a phytocannabinoid derived from Cannabis species, which is devoid of psychoactive activity, with analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antineoplastic and chemopreventive activities." ...Huh?
Psychoactive — of a chemical substance, causing changes in nervous system functions that result in altered perceptions, cognition, consciousness, or behavior
Analgesic — referring to a drug, the quality of pain relief
Anti-inflammatory — about half of analgesic drugs are anti-inflammatory; they relieve pain by reducing inflammation
Antineoplastic — anti-cancer drugs; chemotherapy
Chemopreventative — chemopreventative agents actively prevent the development, growth, and spread of cancerous cells
So, CBD is part of the cannabis plant, it won't alter your consciousness, it offers anti-inflammatory pain relief, it can be used to treat already occurring cancerous cells, and it can be used in the prevention of cancerous cells before they even occur. Anything else?
You bet. Let's get into the 5 benefits of CBD.
1. Pain Relief
We'll start off the benefits of CBD with the whopper: pain relief; this is where many quests start, and then ultimately end, with CBD. Further, much of the research available about CBD has to do with its pain-relieving qualities.
There are 2 types of pain:
Nociceptive Pain — This pain is from physical damage to your body. Bruises, broken bones, cuts, burns, and other physical injuries will cause this type of pain.
Neuropathic Pain — This pain is from a nervous system that is damaged, diseased, or deteriorating. This type of pain is present in people who have fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, or neuropathy.
CBD is most effective with neuropathic pain, this also includes inflammatory pain. This works because of how CBD affects humans' endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS regulates all kinds of things in your body like sleep, mood, appetite, and memory. CBD, and many other cannabinoids, have been found to interact with the ECS in a myriad of ways. And, thankfully, it is these interactions that are the cause of CBD's pain-relieving qualities.
2. Anxiety Reduction
In the wake of the pandemic of the last few years, it's no surprise that anxiety and depression levels have been on the rise. In fact, it is estimated that anxiety and depression disorders have risen by over 25% in 2020.
Luckily, CBD can help with this, too. Though research is limited, studies have shown that CBD is effective in treating social anxieties related to public speaking. Others have found evidence to suggest "that CBD promotes both a rapid and a sustained antidepressant effect." And, more studies still have found that "CBD displays promise as a tool for reducing anxiety in clinical populations," but urge that more research still needs to be done.
3. Sleep Aid
Not being able to sleep is the worst, and we're all familiar. But for those suffering from chronic insomnia, it's a true waking nightmare. Fortunately, the science says CBD has been found to "improve sleep quality, decrease sleep disturbances, and decrease sleep onset latency," or, the time it takes to fall asleep.
4. Skin Care
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) we talked about above that regulates sleep, mood, and appetite is also involved in regulating cutaneous cell growth — or, how your skin grows. CBD has been found so effective at treating acne that researchers called it the "trinity of cellular anti-acne actions." The CBD is effective in acne reduction because it is actively anti-inflammatory, reduces the secretions of the sebaceous glands (the ones that produce oil in your skin), and is remarkably antibacterial.
5. Seizure Treatment
Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome — things most of us have never heard of. For those living with these conditions, however, they are all-encompassing. These conditions are both very rare and cause children to start having seizures from as young as weeks old. As these conditions progress, seizures become more and more frequent — and the conditions more and more dangerous for these children. Until a few years ago, there were no medications on the market showing any promise to help these symptoms.
Until CBD, that is. In fact, a medication derived from CBD was created to help these conditions and has proven very effective. It is the first cannabis-derived drug to be approved by the FDA.
5 Benefits of CBD — A Final Word
Cannabidiol (CBD) clearly has many uses — and it seems like we're still discovering more all the time. We're certainly excited to keep an eye on the scientific community as they figure out all of the ways that CBD, and all of the other 110 different cannabinoids in cannabis, work with our endocannabinoid systems and the rest of our bodies to improve lives.