No alternative medication is more popular than CBD right now, a non-hallucinogenic cannabis powerhouse. CBD products of all varieties are popping up in pharmacies, food stores and on the web as an all-natural solution to the ailments that prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) meds just cannot solve. CBD is found in differing quantities in hemp and cannabis plants. Some cultivators have deliberately bred strains to increase concentrations of the non-psychoactive compound.
The inability to get high from taking CBD gives users the best of both with medicinal cannabis. No longer does medicating with the herb mean feeling stoned for three or hours, or perhaps even paranoid. Instead, the anxiolytic effects of the CBD will keep you calm and in control of your faculties, as the CBD co-operates with the receptors in the important endocannabinoid system (ECS).
In this article, we’ll look at nine separate conditions where patients are shunning mainstream prescription meds for CBD alternatives.
1) CBD for insomnia
Everyone has had nights where they seem to have spent more time awake than asleep, but there’s a way to combat the ultimately draining condition known as insomnia. CBD is a brilliant relaxant, encouraging deep sleep by creating a surplus of GABA, a crucial neurotransmitter. GABA instructs neurons to effectively calm down, bringing peace in the nervous system. This is a much softer way of inducing sleep than pills such as Lunesta and Ambien. Take CBD oil for fast-acting relaxation, or edibles if you’d prefer subtler, long-lasting effects.
2) CBD for anxiety and depression
Anxiety and depression are debilitating mental health disorders which seem to be sweeping the Western world at the moments. Here in America, millions are prescribed strong medication, including selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and benzodiazepines to improve their state of mind, however such treatments can create physical and mental addiction and leave the patient with harmful side effects. Contrastingly, CBD is natural, does not cause physical addiction – as confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and has minimal side effects.
The magic of CBD is showcased in the endocannabinoid system, which controls pain perception, mood, appetite, sleep, the immune system, pleasure reward mechanisms and more. Cannabinoid receptors are present in the brain (primarily the CB1 receptor), nervous system and all around the body. Psychoactive THC works with CB1, whereas CBD interacts with both the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
Cannabidiol is an anxiolytic and antidepressant, increasing its stock with anxiety and depression patients who are uncomfortable with the hallucinogenic nature of high-THC cannabis. Consider CBD as a balancing, non-intoxicating compound which improves general health and can even be taken as a supplement – just like we do vitamins and minerals.
3) CBD for migraines
Migraines are estimated to affect just over one in eight American adults, and these intense, powerful headaches can destroy a person’s quality of life if left untreated. Interestingly, the Congress of European Academy of Neurology featured a study demonstrated how much more effective CBD and THC were for managing migraines than prescription medication.
Pain levels among the study’s participants were reduced by more than 50 percent when taking cannabinoid meds instead of prescription drugs.
4) CBD for chronic pain
Many Americans also suffer with chronic pain, and in this area the traditional treatment options are simply not up to scratch. More than 60,000 Americans died in 2016 from accidental opioid overdoses, much of it from prescription medication. Many more Americans are addicted to OxyContin, Tramadol and other opioid painkillers. The opioid receptors that these drugs react with cause a physical addiction. Some are turning to high-strength CBD substitutes.
In the right amounts, CBD is a powerful pain combatant and doesn’t come with the nasty caveats of addiction and overdose death. The potent anti-inflammatory properties of CBD ease the pain and can even help to repair damage – some studies have shown CBD restoring cartilage around the bones of arthritis sufferers. While CBD oils are popular, many have found the localized effects of CBD creams more useful.
5) CBD for nausea
There are few solutions to nausea, which has several causes, from simple motion sickness to chemotherapy. Gastrointestinal issues can also lead to nauseous symptoms. However, CBD can help. Once again, the positive results of CBD at treating nausea stem from the compounds work in the ECS. In 2011, a study using animal models displayed the anti-nausea properties of CBD by showing how the compound sparks activity among the parts of the brain responsible for vomiting and nausea.
6) Improve post-workout recovery with CBD
The anti-inflammatory effects of CBD can be harnessed to aid post-workout recovery. The aches and pains after a hard session in the gym can put us off wanting to go again, therefore CBD’s soothing, non-aggressive properties are well-received. OTC drugs like NSAIDs and ibuprofen are easily abused, and a less healthy option than all-natural CBD oil. Deaths have been recorded from NSAID abuse, and these drugs increase the risk of cardiac arrest and strokes with consistent usage. Conversely, CBD has no significant side effects.
7) CBD for fibromyalgia
Treatments for fibromyalgia are limited, and it’s generally a case of trying to limit symptoms. However, the severe pain that the condition causes could be eased by CBD, according to new research that links fibromyalgia to chemical imbalances in the endocannabinoid system. Dr Ethan Russo proposed the idea of Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD) in the mid-2000s to explain diseases with unknown causes, and it has gathered steam in recent years. Migraines have also been linked to CECD. Given what we know about the miracles of cannabis and CBD, it’s not at all surprising that fibromyalgia patients are enjoying unprecedented results with CBD oil.
8) CBD for epilepsy
CBD perhaps wouldn’t have pricked America’s conscience like it has if it wasn’t so effective at treating rare childhood epilepsy – the compound is helping Dravet’s syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome patients across the globe. The most famous case was Charlotte Figi, a six-year-old American girl whose CBD treatment plan was the focus of a 2013 CNN documentary by the well-known Dr Sanjay Gupta.
Prescription meds didn’t work for Charlotte, but the anti-epileptic properties of CBD have all-but-eliminated her seizures, from a peak of 300 per week. The clear evidence that CBD can help with these life-threatening illnesses is spurring non-psychoactive cannabis legislation in several states and countries.
9) CBD for arthritis
We briefly mentioned CBD’s positive impact on arthritis in the chronic pain section, and it’s thanks to the ECS reducing pain perception that the anti-inflammatory qualities of this non-psychoactive cannabis component can come to the fore. Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid patients are reaping the benefits of CBD treatment.
Many view cannabis as a plant for the young, but older generations are finding that the herb that made waves in their youth is much more than a recreational throwaway. CBD-infused salves, balms and creams are thought to be best for quelling arthritis pain.