If you are yet to use a hemp-based cannabidiol (CBD) product, then you’re missing out! This non-psychoactive compound is being used to manage a range of illnesses and health issues, from arthritis to acne, and depression to migraines. CBD is even helping some people to give up smoking, and may be effective for other addictions, too.
There’s tons to discuss regarding CBD’s natural health benefits. In this article, we will focus on how CBD can be used to improve physical wellbeing. When you’ve finished reading, you’ll be familiar with the following:
- How CBD helps to relieve pain
- The benefits of CBD as an anti-inflammatory
- CBD’s anti-addictive properties
- How CBD is helpful for the skin
- Which CBD products work best for various conditions
- How CBD boosts your endocannabinoid system
And we’ll also briefly go over some other illnesses, such as epilepsy and fibromyalgia. But first, let’s look more closely at what CBD is, and get a basic idea of how it influences the body.
What is CBD and how does it work?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural cannabinoid that enhances health by interacting with receptors in the body. The subtle direct and indirect effects of CBD produce a number of therapeutic effects, inside and outside of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). CBD is not like standard cannabis, in that it doesn’t make you ‘high’ or ‘stoned’.
In fact, CBD products are not made from the usual marijuana that people smoke for the euphoric effects, but hemp. This is a cannabis plant that has hardly any of the intoxicating tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) necessary for a psychoactive response. CBD used to be prohibited by the United States federal government, since it is a natural derivative of cannabis.
But hemp reform now permits CBD from the Cannabis Sativa L. plant, and hemp products are not restricted if they have less than 0.3 percent THC content. This has opened the door for a booming hemp-derived CBD market, which has shone a light on CBD oil’s benefits for physical conditions.
What are the health benefits of CBD?
CBD has numerous potential benefits, although there are currently a lack of clinical trials to confirm its therapeutic value. This section features some of the most common uses for CBD, paying attention to the existing science.
CBD for optimized health via endocannabinoid system regulation
What makes CBD a natural health supplement primarily is the beneficial effect it has on the ECS. CBD hemp oil is great for improving physical health, with ECS regulation helping to decrease sensitivity to pain and boost the immune system. The chemical is also good for bone and reproductive health, and can improve cognition and memory.
CBD provides these effect by promoting balance at the CB1 and CB2 receptors. The impact of CBD is more natural than that of THC. The former doesn’t disrupt the chemical makeup of the ECS, but nurture it for optimum functioning.
CBD oils and capsules are often used for ECS regulation as they are healthy products to take, in comparison to smoking hemp flower and consuming sugary infused edibles. If using CBD as an ECS supplement, a steady daily dose is perhaps the best way of enjoying the effects.
CBD for chronic pain
Existing medication for pain relief tends to work, but usually comes with side effects that makes these treatments unpalatable. For instance, opioid drugs efficiently dampen pain signals, but the body becomes tolerant quickly. Even worse, these painkillers can be physically and psychologically addictive which, coupled with an overdose risk, makes them highly dangerous.
CBD vaping products and more have grown in popularity as treatments for pain. First off, CBD doesn’t come with tolerance or addiction issues. For many, it’s also preferable to cannabis with THC, as there are no mind-altering intoxicating properties to worry about. A non-psychoactive CBD remedy manages pain perception by regulating CB1 receptors, and binding to vanilloid receptors.
Vaping and smoking CBD rapidly suppresses intense pain, while orally-taken products are well-suited to tackling chronic pain. CBD creams can be used to complement the pain relief of other CBD products, or as a solo treatment for localized analgesic benefits. Those using CBD for pain should mix and match with different products and doses to find the best therapeutic combination.
CBD for inflammatory illnesses
As with pain, the effectiveness of traditional anti-inflammatory drugs is limited due to the potential side effects they cause. Studies have shown that non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) heighten the risk of stomach bleeding and ulcers. Aspirin could be useless and even unhelpful for elderly patients with inflammatory conditions.
CBD’s anti-inflammatory qualities have not received the media focus that the compound’s other properties have, but this could be the most profound benefit offered by CBD. Researchers studying the ECS have found that CB2 receptors in the peripheral nervous system can be harnessed to send anti-inflammatory messages to the immune system.
Keeping the immune system balanced and regulated is difficult, hence the proliferation of inflammatory illnesses and autoimmune diseases. But CBD’s indirect regulation of CB2 receptors, and the anti-inflammatory effects of other cannabinoids, mean that organic CBD oil from a full hemp extract is uniquely placed to manage immune system volatility.
CBD products are taken more for arthritis than any other condition besides chronic pain, according to a 2018 questionnaire. This was the first comprehensive survey of its kind on American CBD usage. CBD creams may relieve symptoms of psoriasis, and edibles and CBD vape juices could be effective for lupus, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and more.
CBD for addiction
The devastating impact of some addictions are obvious, such as alcohol, cigarettes and heroin. Meanwhile, the likes of gaming and internet addiction are more subtle, but can be debilitating in their own way to quality of life. CBD research is finding that the cannabinoid may interfere with reward pathways formed by the brain, and that this could help to safely wean people from their addictions.
A 2019 study on heroin revealed that CBD treatment could alleviate anxiety and cravings, which in turn reduces the likelihood of relapse and overdose. This effect may also help people who are addicted to prescription opioid drugs (e.g. Vicodin and OxyContin). The investigation showed that the CBD group enjoyed a two-to-three-fold drop in cravings compared to the placebo group.
A previous pilot, randomized, double-blind study in 2013 documented how giving smokers a CBD inhaler reduced cigarette intake by 40 percent over the course of a week. Twenty-four smokers took part in the research – 12 were given CBD while the other 12 had a placebo. The researchers suggested that the potential of CBD for nicotine addiction “warrants further explanation.”
CBD for skin care
CBD for hemp health doesn’t just apply internally, but externally, too. The skin is a living organism, and CBD topicals can be applied lavishly for various health effects. The anti-inflammatory properties shine through to reduce swelling and bruising, and also to manage the redness and skin patchiness that comes from psoriasis. CBD creams also provide natural acne relief, resetting sebum production to a healthy level.
Some swear by the anti-aging effects of CBD, according to the free radical aging theory. Scientists have debated this concept hotly. The logic is that CBD – an antioxidant – puts the brakes on external aging by neutralizing free radicals. CBD certainly has a nourishing and moisturizing effect on the skin, which preserves a youthful, vibrant appearance.
CBD for epilepsy
Epilepsy is the illness that CBD research has got the furthest in. So far, in fact, that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved an epilepsy drug made with a pure CBD extract – Epidiolex, from GW Pharmaceuticals. Epidiolex is used to treat Dravet syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy. Standard epilepsy drugs cannot efficaciously manage the condition. There are also signs that CBD helps with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a similar type of intractable epilepsy. These conditions can cause hundreds of seizures a week in children. In some cases, CBD has reduced that number to single figures or even zero.
CBD treats convulsive seizures efficiently, as does cannabidivarin (CBDV), another non-intoxicating from hemp. Eliminating seizures helps to improve sleep patterns and behaviour in patients, and generally enhance quality of life.
CBD for fibromyalgia
The ECS is breathing new life into research for a fibromyalgia remedy. This bizarre illness causes physical and mental symptoms, from intense pain in specific areas, to cognitive decline known as ‘fibro fog’. Other symptoms include stiffness, fatigue, insomnia and headaches. The unusual set of symptoms have baffled experts, but ECS scientists may be piecing things together.
It just so happens that nearly, if not all fibromyalgia problems can be traced back to ECS issues. This has led to a theory that it is chronic dysfunction in the ECS – referred to as Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CED) – that causes fibromyalgia. And indeed, early indications are that CBD can ease symptoms, by regulating the ECS.
CBD for sleep
Make insomnia and fatigue a thing of the past by using CBD products for sleep. By relaxing the muscles and the mind, CBD puts the user into a state of calm that promotes sleep. For insomnia, a quick hit of CBD from a vape pen or tincture oil may do the trick.
Capsules are better for all-night relief if you are waking up during sleep. CBD works to eradicate fatigue not just by increasing sleep duration, but by enhancing the amount of deep sleep. This is the phase where the body and brain waves slows right down, and we relax and repair for the day ahead.
Is CBD better for physical health than THC?
CBD is definitely a more viable form of treatment for physical health problems than THC. The intoxicating effects of the latter mean it simply doesn’t work well for those who have to work, and be in full cognitive and physical control. The therapeutic effects of CBD – and a combo of THC and CBD – are undeniable, however. THC delivers potent relief and be very effective when used responsibly.
CBD oil’s benefits are great everyone, though. And studies are starting to reveal that it can be used as an isolated treatment. This is handy for those who have reservations about drug tests, and want to avoid all products with THC.
CBD will transform healthcare in the next couple of decades. Now that experts are studying the endocannabinoid system, they are getting new ideas about how to solve illnesses. ECS manipulation is not just helpful for physical illnesses, but has huge potential for anxiety, PTSD and depression, too. The onus is now on politicians to make CBD research easier for scientists to conduct, and for the FDA to carry out clinical trials on CBD for various ailments.
Have a story to share about how CBD has helped you? Please leave a comment below!