Just about anywhere you stop for gas or groceries these days you’re quite likely to see CBD products for sale. From gummies and other edibles to smokable bud/flower and fast-acting tinctures, dosing with CBD has never been more convenient.
With it being legal in all 50 states, more and more people are “experimenting” with CBD products for the first time. That being said, scores of those new users have become extremely vocal proponents and excitedly share the numerous and sometimes surprising benefits they’re enjoying.
If you’ve been curious as to what CBD actually is or you’re wondering if CBD oil could possibly be of benefit to you, this short article will definitely come in handy.
What Exactly is CBD?
CBD is short for Cannabidiol, a naturally occurring cannabinoid that is present in both the cannabis and hemp plants. While marijuana contains CBD, the products you typically see across the country are made from CBD that is derived from the hemp plant.
As such, CBD oil and products do not contain high levels of THC, the cannabinoid mainly responsible for the “high” associated with marijuana. This means that users can enjoy the many benefits of CBD without the worry of failing most drug tests.
There are two main techniques that are used to extract the CBD, carbon dioxide and ethanol which is also capable of removing chlorophyll and other unwanted compounds. After extraction, the CBD is “cleaned” via chromatography and then is pressed and ready to be turned into CBD oil and other products.
So, what is CBD oil used for? Here are the top 5 benefits that may surprise you.
Help with Chronic Pain
Arguably the most prominent benefit of CBD oil is its effectiveness at treating pain. From arthritis to migraines and joint issues to neuropathy, dosing with CBD oil is proving to be extremely beneficial to sufferers of all ages.
Numerous studies have been undertaken recently in order to prove or disprove these claims, and researches have found promising results. Our nervous system has a specialized endocannabinoid system with cannabinoid receptors that help with the regulation of our body’s response to pain, sleep, appetite, and even our immune system.
By interacting with our neurotransmitters and having a positive impact on those cannabinoid receptors, CBD is showing that it does in fact have the ability to reduce inflammation and help relieve chronic pain. Lotions, balms, and other topicals infused with CBD oil are excellent for localized pain, while edibles and tinctures are perfect for chronic back and body pain.
One thing to keep in mind though is that it may take a bit of experimenting in order to find your right dose and method. Some users don’t see much relief from edibles, but topicals and tinctures work great. Start with lower doses either in the morning or at night (especially if having trouble sleeping), and work your way up as needed.
Of course, as always, be sure to speak with your physician before starting any new supplement or treatment.
Effective Against Seizures
According to research and anecdotal evidence, CBD has varying levels of efficacy in treating epilepsy. Two years ago, the FDA approved a plant-based formulation of CBD,Epidiolex, for patients over 2 years old that suffer from two rare forms of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS). This same CBD product also has FDA approval for the treatment of seizures caused by tuberous sclerosis complex.
Typically, these seizure disorders affect young children and teenagers, so FDA approved CBD medication is generally prescribed to them. However, it is important for these patients to only dose with the medical-grade CBD as store-bought CBD can have various additives, including higher levels of THC, and may not be subject to stringent testing.
Furthermore, there are indications that store-bought, or artisanal CBD, may be a detriment to those suffering from epilepsy. A study published on Neurology.org compared the effects of pharmaceutical-grade CBD against store-bought CBD oil and the findings were rather disheartening.
Participants with epilepsy that dosed with artisanal CBD saw a 70% increase in seizures while the Epidiolex users experienced a 39% reduction in events. However, this was a small study with only 31 subjects and just 9 of them using artisanal CBD and was what is known as a retrospective study, which means researchers looked at the patients’ histories as opposed to following their progress closely over time.
Other Surprising Benefits of CBD Oil
While more research is necessary, several studies have been completed that indicates CBD may be beneficial for a growing variety of people.
Blood Pressure – evidence shows that CBD is an effective, natural way to fight high blood pressure issues.
Brain Cells – there are indications that CBD can not only prevent free radical damage but it may also protect and even generate new brain cells.
Nausea – cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy have reported less pain and nausea when dosing with CBD.
Insomnia – it has been shown to help with sleeplessness, including insomnia caused by anxiety.
Anxiety – as it works similar to pharmaceutical anti-depressants, CBD oil is showing promising results in helping to reduce anxiety and even PTSD episodes.
No matter which way you decide to dose or why you’re looking to use CBD, take the time to research the product and company. Look at reviews, determine if the products are certified organic, or at least what ingredients are actually in the product.
If you’re suffering from chronic pain or any of the other ailments discussed above, you owe it to yourself to learn more about CBD.