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18 Incredible Benefits of CBD Hemp Oil (Cannabidiol)

Cannabidiol is a popular natural remedy used for many common ailments.

Better known as CBD, it is one of the 104 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids found in the cannabis or marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, and causes the sensation of getting “high” that’s often associated with marijuana. However, unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive.

This quality makes CBD an appealing option for those who are looking for relief from pain and other symptoms without the mind-altering effects of marijuana or certain pharmaceutical drugs.

CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant, then diluting it with a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed oil.

Its gaining momentum in the health and wellness world, with some scientific studies confirming it may help treat a variety of ailments like chronic pain and anxiety.

CBD Hemp Oil: What Is It & What Does It Do?

The medical use of marijuana has brought some attention to the subject of using cannabis-derived products for health, but it’s important to understand how CBD oil differs. We’ll get into this more in a bit, but the key difference lies in the parts of the plant being used to make the product. For example, CBD oil is also different from hemp seed oil, since it is extracted not from the seed but from the flowers, leaves, and stalks of hemp.

Surprisingly, research shows that CBD products are actually helpful at reducing many ailments. Such diverse ailments that they seem to be unrelated, in fact… but they are not. Emerging research shows that each of these ailments may be related to dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system, or ECS for short.

Haven’t heard of it? You’re not alone! It’s not as familiar to us as the cardiovascular or immune system, but is a critical component of the human body.

Understanding the Endocannabinoid System

The endocannabinoid system is possibly one of the most fascinating systems in the body. It was discovered through researching the effects of cannabis on the body. In fact, this amazing system that regulates the body’s internal balance got its name from the cannabis plant that made its discovery possible.

The endocannabinoid system is made up of endocannabinoids and their receptors. These are found everywhere in the body from the brain and other organs to glands and immune cells. The endocannabinoid system works differently in different parts of the body but the end goal is homeostasis (internal balance).

Ever heard of a “runner’s high”? Research reported in the Scientific American found endocannabinoids are largely responsible for this natural “hit” of euphoria that increases feelings of well-being and decreases the perception of pain. Cannabidiol (CBD oil) is another way to affect this powerful body system.

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.

Scientists have discovered that certain components of marijuana, including CBD, are responsible for its pain-relieving effects.

The body produces endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system.

Studies have shown that CBD may help reduce chronic pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters.

For example, one study in rats found that CBD injections reduced pain response to surgical incision, while another rat study found that oral CBD treatment significantly reduced sciatic nerve pain and inflammation.

Several human studies have found that a combination of CBD and THC is effective in treating pain related to multiple sclerosis and arthritis.

Does CBD Oil Create a High?

The short answer is: No. (Though oils with THC can also contain CBD).

There are two different types of CBD oil products — hemp-based CBD oil (the one I’m talking about in this article) and marijuana-based CBD (which is what someone would buy at the dispensary). Both contain CBD, and they’re both derived from the cannabis plant, but hemp and medical marijuana are are different varieties of the plant.

Marijuana-based CBD is generally going to have more THC and other cannabinoids. CBD oil does not contain THC (the compound that causes a “high” feeling). This is an important distinction that many people don’t understand.

The variety that is typically (and legally) used to make CBD oil is hemp. How is hemp oil different? A plant can only be legally considered hemp if it contains .03{5de7cc22ced1fce78b8aba70bb2d11eb1e41d11be4e7d1e51b445dc6f80625f6} per dry unit (or less) of the compound THC.

In a nutshell, CBD oil or hemp oil contains the benefits of the cannabis plant without the potential drawbacks of psychoactive compounds typically found from inhalation or other methods of consumption.

Cannabidiol (CBD) Benefits & Uses for Pain, Inflammation, Epilepsy & More

CBD oil is a great remedy for a lot of different ailments. Here are some of the amazing uses people (and medical research) report for CBD oil:

1. Relief for Chronic Pain

Those suffering from chronic pain from diseases like fibromyalgia are finding relief with CBD. Taking CBD can offer pain relief and can even prevent nervous system degeneration. In fact, it has been approved in Canada for multiple sclerosis and cancer pain.

What’s really amazing is that CBD doesn’t cause dependence or tolerance, so it’s a great choice for those trying to stay away from opioids.

CBD, especially in combination with THC (.03{5de7cc22ced1fce78b8aba70bb2d11eb1e41d11be4e7d1e51b445dc6f80625f6} <), may be effective in reducing pain associated with diseases like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Also read, CBD Oil: Should you try it for Arthritis Symptoms?

2. Calms Childhood Epilepsy

CBD has anti-seizure properties that have been shown to successfully treat drug-resistant children who have neurological disorders like epilepsy (with no side effects!). In one study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, CBD decreased frequency of seizures by 23 percentage points more than those taking a placebo.

While I much prefer a natural remedy as a first course of action, but even the Food and Drug Administration seems to agree that cannabis-derived drugs may have something to offer. In April 2018 FDA advisers cleared the very first cannabis-derived drug for approval, one that promises to help control seizures.

Other Remedies to Consider: Childhood epilepsy is a serious condition and it is important to work with a qualified practitioner with a specialty in this area. Emerging research also shows that a ketogenic diet can be very helpful for drug resistant epilepsy, especially in children.

3. Reduces 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 single largest contributor to disability worldwide, while anxiety disorders are ranked sixth.

Anxiety and depression are usually treated with pharmaceutical drugs, which can cause a number of side effects including drowsiness, agitation, insomnia, sexual dysfunction and headache.

What’s more, medications like benzodiazepines can be addictive and may lead to substance abuse.

CBD oil has shown promise as a treatment for both depression and anxiety, leading many who live with these disorders to become interested in this natural approach.

In one study, 24 people with social anxiety disorder received either 600 mg of CBD or a placebo before a public speaking test.

The group that received the CBD had significantly less anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, compared to the placebo group.

CBD oil has even been used to safely treat insomnia and anxiety in children with post-traumatic stress disorder.

CBD has also shown antidepressant-like effects in several animal studies.

These qualities are linked to CBD’s ability to act on the brain’s receptors for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and social behavior.

CBD has been shown to reduce levels of stress and anxiety in those suffering from conditions such as PTSD, social anxiety disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder. CBD even reduced the stress and discomfort surrounding public speaking.

4. Fights Multi-Drug Resistant Bacteria

Researchers discovered that cannabinoids (including CBD) have an unusual ability to destroy bacteria (especially drug-resistant strains). More research is needed to find out how and why it works.

A 2011 study found that CBD can also slow the progression of tuberculosis in rats. Researchers concluded that CBD likely does this by inhibiting T-cell proliferation, rather than possessing antibacterial properties.

Whatever the mechanism is for destroying bacteria, CBD seems to be a potent weapon against the antibiotic resistant “superbugs” that are becoming more and more of a problem today.

5. Reduces Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is a huge problem in our society that contributes to many non-infectious diseases including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, autoimmune disease, and more, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Diet and lifestyle play a huge part in chronic inflammation but when folks are already eating a healthy, nutrient-dense diet and optimizing their lifestyle (getting enough sleep and exercise for example), CBD oil can help. Research also shows that CBD oil can reduce chronic inflammation that leads to disease.

Other Remedies to Consider: Research agrees that it is important to address gut health to manage inflammation. Removing refined sugar from the diet has also been shown to reduce inflammation in as little as a week.

6. Reduces Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress is responsible for many ailments today. Oxidative stress is when the body has too many free radicals and can’t keep up with neutralizing them (with antioxidants). This is more of a problem now than in the past because our environment is so much more toxic than it once was. A 2010 study shows that CBD oil acts as an antioxidant and another study found CBD has neuroprotective qualities. So CBD can reduce neurological damage caused by free radicals.

7. Improves Heart Health

Heart disease is a growing problem today. In fact, it’s the leading cause of death in the U.S. A healthy diet and lifestyle is a top priority for heart health, but CBD oil can also help. According to research cannabidiol reduces artery blockage, reduces stress induced cardiovascular response, and can reduce blood pressure. It may also reduce cholesterol.

As mentioned earlier, CBD oil is helpful in preventing oxidative stress and inflammation. Both of these are often precursors to heart disease.

Recent research has linked CBD with several benefits for the heart and circulatory system, including the ability to lower high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is linked to higher risks of a number of health conditions, including stroke, heart attack and metabolic syndrome.

Studies indicate that CBD may be a natural and effective treatment for high blood pressure.

One recent study treated 10 healthy men with one dose of 600 mg of CBD oil and found it reduced resting blood pressure, compared to a placebo.

The same study also gave the men stress tests that normally increase blood pressure. Interestingly, the single dose of CBD led the men to experience a smaller blood pressure increase than normal in response to these tests.

Researchers have suggested that the stress- and anxiety-reducing properties of CBD are responsible for its ability to help lower blood pressure.

Additionally, several animal studies have demonstrated that CBD may help reduce the inflammation and cell death associated with heart disease due to its powerful antioxidant and stress-reducing properties.

For example, one study found that treatment with CBD reduced oxidative stress and prevented heart damage in diabetic mice with heart disease.

8. Improves Skin Conditions

CBD oil can be used topically to treat skin conditions. Studies show CBD oil has a high potential for treating skin conditions like eczema by encouraging abnormal cell death. It can also help regulate the skin’s oil production, reducing acne. CBD also contains many nutrients like vitamin E that help improve and protect the skin.

May Reduce Acne

Acne is a common skin condition that affects more than 9{5de7cc22ced1fce78b8aba70bb2d11eb1e41d11be4e7d1e51b445dc6f80625f6} of the population.

It is thought to be caused by a number of factors, including genetics, bacteria, underlying inflammation and the overproduction of sebum, an oily secretion made by sebaceous glands in the skin.

Based on recent scientific studies, CBD oil may help treat acne due to its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to reduce sebum production.

One test-tube study found that CBD oil prevented sebaceous gland cells from secreting excessive sebum, exerted anti-inflammatory actions and prevented the activation of “pro-acne” agents like inflammatory cytokines.

Another study had similar findings, concluding that CBD may be an efficient and safe way to treat acne, thanks in part to its remarkable anti-inflammatory qualities.

Though these results are promising, human studies exploring the effects of CBD on acne are needed.

9. Fights Cancer

CBD oil’s role in cancer treatment still needs more research, but what is available is looking promising. According to the American Cancer Society, CBD oil can slow growth and spread of some kinds of cancer (in animals). Because it fights oxidative stress and inflammation (and both are linked to cancer) it makes sense that CBD oil could help fight cancer cells.

CBD may help reduce symptoms related to cancer and side effects related to cancer treatment, like 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 pain medication.

Those treated with an extract containing both compounds experienced a significant reduction in pain compared to those who received only THC extract.

CBD may also help reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, which are among the most common chemotherapy-related side effects for those with cancer.

Though there are drugs that help with these distressing symptoms, they are sometimes ineffective, leading some people to seek alternatives.

A study of 16 people undergoing chemotherapy found that a one-to-one 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 anticancer 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 studies in humans are needed before conclusions can be made.

10 . Digestive Aid

A healthy appetite is vital to a healthy body, especially when the body is healing. Some illnesses decrease the appetite to the point of preventing the body from healing itself. CBD stimulates appetite, according to the National Cancer Institute. In the human body, CBDs bind to cannabinoid receptors in the body. Scientists believe these receptors play an important role in regulating feeding behavior. CBDs stimulate appetite when they dock onto these receptors.

CBD also helps heal the leaky tight junctions that contribute to intestinal permeability and decreases spasmodic activity common in irritable bowel syndrome.

11. Sleep Aid

Does CBD Make You Sleepy? Ironically, not at all. However, CBD has shown to be effective in alleviating symptoms of insomnia, how it works to do so may be different than you imagined. Instead of administering sedative effects like THC or sleeping pills, CBD combats insomnia at the source.

12. Joint Support

One of the primary CBD oil benefits for arthritis sufferers is its positive effect on pain, and research confirms it. A study published in the journal Pain in December 2017 analyzed whether CBD could prevent osteoarthritis pain and joint neuropathy. Based on their findings, researchers affirmed that it did both because it decreased joint inflammation and served as a protectant to the nerves.

Can it help arthritis symptoms?

Some preliminary research suggests that CBD may help with arthritis pain. In animal studies, which may not translate to humans, CBD relieved arthritis pain and inflammation. On the other hand, results of human studies are mixed. For example, a 2016 analysis of human trials for RA, OA and fibromyalgia found that CBD improved pain and sleep, but the studies were small and of poor quality.

Even so, Daniel Clauw, MD, a professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and an expert in chronic pain, doesn’t write off CBD’s potential benefits and recommends it to some of his patients.

“A recent trial* showed CBD alone was effective in [the treatment of] knee OA, and it appears as though it is very safe,” he says. “Nearly all potential side effects of cannabinoids are from THC, not CBD.”

13. Antipsychotic effects

Studies suggest that CBD may help people with schizophrenia and other mental disorders by reducing psychotic symptoms.

14. Substance abuse treatment

CBD has been shown to modify circuits in the brain related to drug addiction. In rats, CBD has been shown to reduce morphine dependence and heroin-seeking behavior.

15. Anti-tumor effects

In test-tube and animal studies, CBD has demonstrated anti-tumor effects. In animals, it has been shown to prevent the spread of breast, prostate, brain, colon and lung cancer.

16. Diabetes prevention

In diabetic mice, treatment with CBD reduced the incidence of diabetes by 56{5de7cc22ced1fce78b8aba70bb2d11eb1e41d11be4e7d1e51b445dc6f80625f6} and significantly reduced inflammation.

17. Promotes Healthy Weight

Cannabidiol can help maintain healthy blood sugar, stimulates genes and proteins that helps break down fat, and increase mitochondria that helps burn calories.

CBD also encourages the body to convert white fat to brown fat. White fat is the kind of fat we typically think of when we think about body fat. Brown fat is fat that is in small deposits that behaves differently than white fat. Brown fat is said to improve health by enhancing the bodies ability to burn white fat, create heat, and even regulate blood sugar.

18. Help for Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a complicated and serious disease that is typically managed through therapy and pharmaceutical drugs (that carry hefty side effects). Anecdotally, many folks have found that CBD oil has helped reduce hallucinations. Research is beginning to catch up too. A March 2015 review of available research found that CBD was a safe, effective, and well tolerated treatment for psychosis. But more research is needed to bring CBD into clinical practice.

It should be mentioned that THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana, may actually increase psychosis for those at risk. CBD oil, on the other hand, only helps reduce psychosis and may even counteract psychosis brought on by marijuana use.

 

CBD Side effects noted in studies include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in appetite
  • Fatigue

WARNING

Though CBD oil on its own is very safe, it may interact with medications, particularly opioids. Speak with your doctor if you’re concerned about interactions or are unsure about using hemp oil for your conditions. I know it’s tough to find a primary care doctor who understands alternative practices, but there are options like the Naturopathic.org member directory, that pair you with a doctor who fits your lifestyle.

Sources:

  1. Russo, E. B. (2008, February). Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2503660/
  2. Devinsky , O., M.D. (2017, May). Trial of Cannabidiol for Drug-Resistant Seizures in the Dravet Syndrome. Retrieved from https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1611618
  3. Facts & Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved January 17, 2018, from https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics
  4. G. (2018, January 01). 35 Reported Health Benefits of CBD. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from https://www.honeycolony.com/article/benefits-of-cbd/
    Villines, Z. (n.d.). Can CBD oil help anxiety? What you need to know. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319622.php
  5. Linge , R. (2016, April). Cannabidiol induces rapid-acting antidepressant-like effects and enhances cortical 5-HT/glutamate neurotransmission: role of 5-HT1A receptors. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26711860
  6. Appendino, G., Gibbons, S., Giana, A., Pagani, A., Grassi, G., Stavri, M., Rahman, M. M. (2008, August). Antibacterial cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa: a structure-activity study. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18681481
  7. Kozela, E., Lev, N., Kaushansky, N., Eilam, R., Rimmerman, N., Levy, R., Vogel, Z. (2011, July 12). Cannabidiol inhibits pathogenic T cells, decreases spinal microglial activation and ameliorates multiple sclerosis?like disease in C57BL/6 mice. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from https://bpspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01379.x
  8. Nagarkatti, P., Pandey, R., Rieder, S. A., Hegde, V. L., & Nagarkatti, M. (2009, October). Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2828614/
  9. Cassol-Jr, O. J., & Comim, C. M. (2010, August 12). Treatment with cannabidiol reverses oxidative stress parameters, cognitive impairment and mortality in rats submitted to sepsis by cecal ligation and puncture. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20561509
  • Hampson, A. (1998). Cannabidiol and (?)?9-tetrahydrocannabinol are neuroprotective antioxidants. Retrieved from https://www.pnas.org/content/95/14/8268.full
  • Iseger, T. A., & Bossong, M. G. (2015, March). A systematic review of the antipsychotic properties of cannabidiol in humans. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25667194
  • Nonpsychotropic Plant Cannabinoids, Cannabidivarin (CBDV) and Cannabidiol (CBD), Activate and Desensitize Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) Channels in Vitro: Potential for the Treatment of Neuronal Hyperexcitability. (n.d.). Retrieved January 17, 2018, from https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/cn5000524
  • Stanley, C. P., Hind, W. H., & O’Sullivan, S. E. (2013, February). Is the cardiovascular system a therapeutic target for cannabidiol? Retrieved January 17, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3579247/
  • (2017, December 07). The Topical Benefits of CBD. Retrieved January 17, 2018, from https://echoconnection.org/topical-benefits-cbd/
  • Marijuana and Cancer. (n.d.). Retrieved January 17, 2018, from https://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatments-and-side-effects/complementary-and-alternative-medicine/marijuana-and-cancer.html

 

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