CBD is one of the most exciting new health trends. Dr. Sanjay Gupta endorsed CBD on the Dr. Oz show claiming, “I think there is a legitimate medicine here. We’re talking about something that could really help people.”
While many people have common questions about CBD, a lot of research is showing how this can be a valuable resource for health problems.
The list of problems CBD seems to be able to help with is long and growing. A few of the conditions include autism, ADHD, insomnia, heart disease, diabetes, COPD, and substance abuse. The focus of this article is on the top five: pain relief, anxiety, cancer, nausea, and seizures.
Research has found CBD to be safe, well-tolerated with little to no side effects, and no risk of addiction. And unlike marijuana, CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive properties, so users of CBD don’t get high.
Here are five of the best benefits you can get from CBD oil.
5.) CBD Oil Helps Pain Relief
There have been a few studies that have found that CBD can be effective for pain, especially in the joints. In one study done by the Departments of Pharmacology and Anaesthesia at Dalhousie University in Canada, researchers found that CBD reduced inflammation and osteoarthritis pain. It also reduced neuropathic pain, which is when pain signals continue to fire even after the cause of the pain has been removed, which is common in osteoarthritis sufferers. Neuropathic pain usually isn’t alleviated by pain medications.
People with Arthritis are usually prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, or disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Another reason CBD is promising is that the side effects of these pharmaceutical drugs can be serious and include:
- NSAIDS: swollen feet, heartburn, stomach ulcers, and possible increased risk of blood clots, heart attacks, and stroke
- Corticosteroids: cataracts, elevated blood fats and blood sugar levels, increased appetite, and bone loss.
- DMARDS: stomach upset and increased susceptibility to infection.
Many of these drugs considered perfectly acceptable, and they too use natural ingredients as keys to their drugs. While some people fear that CBD would be a heroin-type drug, it’s far from it. Several other medications on the market do the same thing for pain relief that CBD oil does and are perfectly legal, but CBD oil has fewer or no side effects compared to common prescriptions you might get from your doctor.
4.) CBD Oil Is an Anxiety Reducer
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the US, affecting over 18% of the population.
Anxiety sufferers are typically treated with medication or cognitive behavioral therapy. The list of side effects of anxiety medications are long, and the FDA requires all antidepressants to carry a warning on the box regarding the risk of suicide as people under 25 may experience an increase in suicidal thoughts and behaviors while taking antidepressants.
This is where CBD shows a lot of promise. It’s believed that CBD eases anxiety by helping the body process serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter responsible for feelings of happiness and well-being. Researchers at McGill University in Canada found that CBD decreased anxiety-like behavior in rats and normalized serotonin activity.
Dr. Steve Patierno, deputy director of the Duke Cancer Institute, says there are “Strong hints in the medical literature that CBD does have anti-anxiety properties.”
The basic premise is that CBD oil affects mood and thus anxiety issues. When you’re calm overall, your nerves cannot get the best of you, and anxiety cannot be crippling.
3.) CBD Oil for Cancer
Chemotherapy and radiation, the most common treatments for cancer, have serious side effects. CBD has been shown to reduce these side effects by reducing chronic pain, decreasing inflammation, and regulating hormones.
In addition to reducing the side effects of cancer treatment, a growing body of research suggests that CBD may be effective against the spread of cancer:
- The Institute of Toxicology and Pharmacology published a study in 2010 that found that CBD can prevent cervical cancer and lung cancer cells from multiplying.
- The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology that CBD is a potential inhibitor of both the growth and spread of cancer.
- The Journal of Breast Cancer Research and Treatment published a study in 2011 that concluded that CBD slowed the growth of breast cancer cell.
If CBD can slow cancer cell growth or stop production, it could help reduce the drawbacks of chemotherapy and radiation. The oil is not poisonous to the body like chemo, and there is no need to worry about overdose.
2.) CBD Oil for Nausea
Nausea and vomiting can happen for many reasons: pain, stress, anxiety, digestive problems, problems in the middle and inner ear, head injuries, motion sickness, and side effects from medication. One of the most problematic medications for causing nausea is chemotherapy. Nausea and vomiting that often occurs within 6-24 hours after chemotherapy is often severe.
The area of the brain that’s responsible for controlling nausea and vomiting is called the dorsal vagal complex (DVC). Cannabinoid receptors have been found in high concentrations in the DVC. There are also cannabinoid receptors in the gut. Both THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana) and CBD act on the cannabinoid receptors to prevent nausea and vomiting, though CBD is better because it doesn’t get you high.
1.) CBD Oil Helps With Seizures
Medications called anticonvulsants are often given to people with seizures. Because seizures are brain oriented, a neurotransmitter effector can be useful to alter brain chemistry and help prevent problems. Unfortunately, these anticonvulsants can have negative side effects. CBD oil, on the other hand, doesn’t have those same side effects.
In June 2018, the FDA approved the first CBD-based treatment, Epidiolex, for the treatments of two types of epileptic seizures.
Researchers don’t understand how CBD reduces seizures yet, but they believe that CBD influences the hippocampus in the brain. The hippocampus is responsible for exchanging information to different parts of the brain, and when an exchange is disrupted, a seizure occurs.
Dr. Orrin Devinsky, director of the NYU Langone’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center said, “Compared to other drugs used to treat epilepsy, I think Epidiolex, which is 99-percent pure cannabidiol, has a better side-effect profile than many of the available drugs.”
Dr. Angel Hernandez of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital explains that pharmaceutical-grade CBD helps suppress seizures and “increases our options to treat many of these patients with very, very difficult-to-control epilepsies…most of these children and adults do not respond to normal pharmacological treatment.”
These are only five of the potential medical uses for CBD oil. Other possible uses include depression, epilepsy, acne, PTSD, COPD, heart disease, diabetes, and substance abuse. Because CBD can help these problems without as many side effects that are common in medication, CBD oil has the potential to help many people have more comfortable lives.