There’s no denying the fact that we are experiencing a CBD boom, yet there is still so much that is misunderstood about the cannabis derivative. While medical marijuana has been around for a while in several states, it wasn’t until mid-2018 that the FDA approved the first CBD-derived pharmaceutical in the United States. Since then, the medical community has upped the ante in CBD research and clinical trials exponentially. Hemp has been considered a cash crop for centuries, so it’s only a matter of time until the Federal Government decides to reverse their archaic regulation and take advantage of its endless potential.
In order to better understand the effects of CBD, I think it’s important we discuss what it doesn’t do. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the psychoactive compound in marijuana – CBD does not induce any high or euphoric sensations. In reality, clinical trials have shown that CBD effectively minimizes the psychoactive effects of THC. Furthermore, the U.S. Farm Bill recently legislated that industrial hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC to retain any relaxed legal status.
Medical studies published around the world have all found that CBD is loaded with curative properties for a variety of diseases and ailments. While it may not be a cure for many of them, it certainly offers unmatched benefits in the treatment of symptoms without any notable drawbacks.
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) published some newsworthy findings not too long ago. The international committee reviewed the current literature on the medicinal benefits of CBD and determined that it was time to remove it from international drug control. They concluded that legitimate CBD “presents no potential for abuse or dependence” and noted that there is “no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD”. The ECDD elaborated further saying that “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.”
Cannabidiol has been studied extensively in the search for an effective treatment of major conditions such as epilepsy, Tourette’s, depression, anorexia, IBS, dementia, and chronic pain. Much of CBD’s efficacy is due to its unparalleled ability to diminish inflammation. This is made possible by the endocannabinoid system, which runs throughout the nervous and immune systems of mammals. Once ingested (or applied topically), CBD targets CB1 and CB2 receptors, which play crucial roles in the regulation of pain, memory, appetite, metabolism, and mood. Let’s take a closer look at the many CBD oil benefits.
Not all cannabinoids—the active chemical compounds in marijuana and hemp—get you stoned. Some may increase focus and suppress appetite. https://t.co/iWtlcp2T3M— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) October 25, 2018
CBD Oil Benefits List
Recent research has uncovered a long list of potential uses for CBD, though many believe there is still much to learn. Cannabidiol offers such an extensive range of applications thanks in part to the endocannabinoid system. This vital system of neurotransmitters and receptors are found throughout the bodies of most members in the animal kingdom. Besides for a fundamental role in the nervous and immune systems, the endocannabinoid system can be found in connective tissue, cardiac cells, and hormonal glands.
Protects against obesity and diabetes
Medical studies have shown that CBD’s role in appetite regulation can be a major factor in a person’s likelihood to be obese. Recently, an Israeli-American biopharmaceutical company discovered that CBD has a profound effect on sugar metabolism.
The researchers believe that CBD therapy may even be able to reverse and cure diabetes, unlike insulin which merely treats it. The joint team now believes CBD affects weight loss by encouraging sugar metabolism and insulin production through promoting the conversion of white fat into healthier brown fat.
In addition to helping prevent obesity, CBD has been proven to promote cardiovascular health, due to the high concentration of cannabinoid receptors found in cardiac tissue. Furthermore, studies have shown that cannabinoids’ ability to modulate immune functions supports healthy cholesterol profiles and minimized the risk of cardiovascular disease. While research has indicated that CBD use can lower levels of LDL-C (AKA bad cholesterol), it is significantly more adept at raising HDL-C levels (AKA good cholesterol).
Similarly, medical trials have demonstrated that endocannabinoid signaling is inherently connected to the pathology of atherogenesis, one of the leading causes of heart disease and stroke. The chronic inflammatory disorder is characterized by damage to the arterial walls’ lining, usually the result of high blood pressure.
Likewise, the Israeli-American biopharmaceutical company behind the study on CBD and sugar metabolism uncovered CBD’s capacity to treat damaged heart tissue. The international team studied infarcts in rats - areas of dead cardiac tissue caused by a lack of blood flow - and found that CBD effectively shrunk these areas by as much as 30%.
Treating Skin Conditions
The CBD boom has led to all kinds of products, even many in the cosmetic and personal hygiene field. As a strong antiseptic and anti-inflammatory agent, it’s no wonder why companies have looked to CBD to improve a wide variety of skin conditions. Besides for minor ailments, such as aging and dry skin, cannabinoids have even proven to be effective in treating eczema, acne, and psoriasis.
CBD’s remarkable impact on the skin is no accident. In fact, the skin has the highest concentration of CB2 receptors in the human body. Consequently, countless topical creams, lotions, ointments, salves, and serums have been infused with CBD to treat a massive array of conditions. Similarly, cannabinoids are said to even be capable of repairing damage caused by airborne pollutants and UV rays.
Anthropologists from across the globe have determined that cannabis has been used for centuries to treat wounds. Unlike most other topical skincare products, CBD regulates the oil production in the sebaceous glands. This key function enables CBD to promote faster healing of dry, damaged skin.
Chronic Pain Relief
Of all the conditions associated with CBD therapy, few are as commonplace as chronic pain relief. There’s even an argument to be made that cannabis is the oldest continuously used pain reliever known to Man. People around the world have been using the plant for pain for centuries and there’s no end in sight, especially since medical marijuana is becoming more ubiquitous each year.
Though not all pains are created equal, medical studies have enabled researchers to isolate which conditions CBD treats more proficiently. For instance, cannabinoids are remarkably effective at treating pain associated with menstruation, fibromyalgia, and peripheral neuropathies, while notably less so for conditions such as Malaria, Lupus, and COPD. Nevertheless, it’s clear that CBD is one of the most effective products for everyday pain relief.
Regulate Sleep Patterns
People have been self-medicating with cannabis for years to treat in all sorts of sleep disorders. However, several studies from the early 2000’s have confirmed the sedative qualities of certain cannabinoids. While THC is directly associated with provoking sleep, CBD has been linked to alertness. By the same token, cannabidiol doesn’t necessarily wake you up; rather, it mitigates excessive daytime sleepiness.
Similarly, CBD’s influence on sleep patterns is likely the results of its ability to minimize the factors which inhibit sleep. Cannabidiol alleviates chronic pain, anxiety, and stress, naturally making it easier to fall asleep.
Clinical trials completed at Tel Aviv University’s Department of Physiology and Pharmacology have shed light on the many neuroprotective properties of cannabis. In addition to protecting the brain and central nervous system from long-term cognitive damage, CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties are key to preserving aging brains. In fact, there are several clinical trials aimed at utilizing CBD for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases including multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.
However, recent studies suggest that CBD does more than just treat brain damage. Besides for removing damaged cells and stimulating critical intercellular communication, cannabinoids may also be effective in preventing neurological disorders. This is accomplished by boosting cellular regeneration and minimizing the over-stimulation of nerve cells.
Mood Regulation (Depression, Stress, and Anxiety)
Mental health conditions are on the rise and there’s no sign of them slowing down any time in the near future. Regardless of the how or why this is happening, the medical community is desperately searching for better means of treatment for a variety of these disorders.
Studies have shown that, like many antidepressants, cannabinoids regulate the release of serotonin, ultimately encouraging mood stability. Likewise, clinical trials suggest that CBD is especially useful in treating depression related to chronic stress. CBD has also exhibited tremendous results in treating anxiety, and social anxiety in particular.
As a stimulus for cell growth and intercellular communication, CBD therapy is proven to encourage overall bone health. Cannabinoids facilitate proper bone growth by effectively blocking harmful bone decomposing enzymes and provoking the development of a stronger bone matrix. Consequently, CBD works to both treat and prevent bone decay and diseases such as osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
CBD Side Effects
Before I discuss any potential side effects of CBD, I believe it’s important to warn you about an unfortunate truth. As with many other industries, there are countless CBD products on the market that are mislabeled, often containing no CBD at all. This tactless reality has been verified by several major researchers and is used by many to discredit CBD products as a whole.
One of the most notable studies came from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and found alarming figures. Professor Marcel Bonn-Miller, Ph.D. discovered that approximately 70% of commercially available CBD products were either over or under labeled. Whether this is due to oversight, poor regulation, or promotional dishonesty is still unknown, but the result stays the same.
Because the CBD industry is still largely unregulated, there are several questions you should ask before you purchase a cannabidiol product. One of the most important things to look for in a CBD company is whether or not they have their products tested by a third party lab, such as CWC Labs and Pure Analytics. This ensures that their product is everything it says it is, including that it is safe for consumption.
In addition to simple quality control, third-party testing is an important component in determining the product’s legality. Likewise, these tests can help verify what solvents were used in the manufacturing process and if they contain any THC, organic compounds, or contaminants. While it may sound like a nice cherry on top, these tests are serious indicators of a product’s legitimacy. In fact, it wasn’t that long ago that dozens of people were sickened by synthetic CBD in Utah by products produced overseas.
CBD has been noted for its outstanding safety profile, particularly for having little to no side effects. While tiredness, diarrhea, and change in appetite were noted in multiple studies, these are rare and preferred to the alternative side effects of many common pharmaceuticals. Additionally, many medical researchers believe this remarkable safety profile may be essential for combating the worldwide problem of medical non-compliance.
Imagine you have 100 people in front of you, each prescribed medication from their doctor. Now suppose that ⅓ of them never even fill the prescription, while ½ of them fail to take their medicine as prescribed. This is the unfortunate and unacceptable truth of medical non-adherence in America, which costs taxpayers nearly $300 billion a year, and causes over 125,000 deaths annually.
CBD Oil for Pain
Reports indicate that there are nearly 80 million Americans suffering from chronic pain, many of whom still searching for the right remedy. There’s no denying the dangers of harsh pharmaceutical pain relievers, especially in light of the modern opioid crisis and the rise of black market fentanyl. The natural analgesic offers real pain relief to the millions in need without any fear of addiction, uncompromising costs, or unpleasant side effects.
Cannabinoids work to eliminate pain by targeting the innumerable CB1 and CB2 receptors throughout the central and peripheral nervous system. Similarly, CBD possesses high levels of adaptogens – Organic substances which enhance the body’s natural defense against stress, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and neuropathy. As a result, many spas and healthcare facilities around the world are finding new and unique CBD therapies to promote overall well-being from the molecular level.
Furthermore, CBD products are now one of the most popular natural pain relievers for treating topical and internal pain. Whereas medical marijuana is often stigmatized, illegal, or not recommended, legal CBD is treasured by countless men and women of all ages from all walks of life.
CBD Oil for Anxiety
The current generation’s Xanax problem has shed light on many issues; primarily, it has indicated the prevalence of anxiety in our culture. Benzodiazepines, more commonly referred to as benzos, are among the most prescribed and abused drugs in the United States. Recent estimates show that over 5% of the population takes these drugs, many of whom become addicted and overdose. In fact, we’ve witnessed an increase in benzo-related overdose deaths of over 500% in the last two decades.
In light of this, more and more people are searching for healthier alternatives to treat their everyday stress and anxiety. CBD’s innate ability to remedy these conditions is largely due to the high concentration of CB receptors in the brain. Moreover, cannabinoids have illustrated noteworthy results in the treatment of schizophrenia, psychosis, and depression. Additionally, clinical trials have indicated that CBD therapy is a useful treatment option for people managing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and panic disorder.
One of the principle studies on CBD’s effect on anxiety compared the results of patients with social anxiety disorder tasked with public speaking simulations. Their results revealed that ingesting cannabinoids diminished cognitive impairment, anxiety, and overall discomfort.
CBD Oil for Dogs
While many people like to focus on how CBD has pervaded nearly every demographic, there is a tendency to overlook some of the more surprising evidence. I’m referring to the advantages of cannabinoids for pets, and dogs in particular.
The endocannabinoid system is present in almost all mammals, so it should come to no surprise that even our beloved pets can benefit from CBD. In truth, there are already several notable brands producing CBD dog treats.
As with humans, dogs are often given CBD to treat mild to severe pain or anxiety, especially as they get older. If you’ve ever owned a dog, you’re probably familiar with the unshakable terror they often face during a storm and the consequence of arthritis. Studies have shown that CBD is both safe and effective in alleviating some of the most common ailments in pets.
Similarly, pet owners who have to leave their pets at home for extended periods of time may be familiar with the unfortunate reality of separation anxiety. Fortunately, CBD has a profound effect on pets and can help alleviate these distressing symptoms and conditions.
CBD Oil Cancer
Few diseases have affected our society quite like cancer. While cannabis is often utilized by cancer patients for their pain management, new studies show that cannabinoids may even help treat and prevent the deadly condition.
As of now, some of the top biomedical research facilities are already working on disruptive drug delivery tech and pharmaceutical cannabinoids to treat cancer. In fact, CURE Pharmaceutical recently announced a joint effort with Technion-Israel Institute of Technology – one of the leading cannabis labs in the world – to tap into the anti-tumor effects of cannabinoids. Similarly, InnoCan Pharma, a major force in cannabis research, is developing CBD-based treatments for post-chemotherapy skin support.
In addition to shrinking tumors and facilitating the healing process, cannabis is proven to help prevent tumors in the first place. Moreover, cannabinoids have shown a particular capability to reduce the risk of cancers most common among males, including colon and bladder cancer. Likewise, there is some evidence which suggests that even topical CBD therapy may benefit and treat skin cancers, including both melanoma and carcinoma.
While recent medical studies and clinical trials have uncovered countless benefits and applications for CBD, there is still much to learn about cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system. Fortunately, we’re seeing a significant decrease in the stigma associated with cannabis, especially in light of the FDA’s first approved CBD-based pharmaceutical. I’m looking forward to seeing what will be next, both in legislation and research.
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