What exactly is CBD and what are the Benefits?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last three years, you probably have heard about and seen all over the news/social media the latest craze involving CBD. What exactly is CBD and why are they shaking up the medical industry? With society taking on a more natural role when it comes to health and wellness, CBD has popped up right in time to help fix some much needed mental and physical problems we may have. Although, it's often hard to find the right type of information with companies and doctors all having their own opinions on the subject. Along with this, it’s also important to make sure you understand what the benefits are for such a new product.
So, what are the benefits of this new wonder supplement?
To begin, let us dive into more about what CBD actually is? CBD is the short form for cannabinoids (pronounced kuh·na·buh·noydz) and is defined by Hempika as the following:
“Cannabinoids are chemical compounds, that activate cannabinoid receptors, spread throughout the body of all vertebrates. Cannabinoid receptor activation interacts with neurotransmitters, which has a beneficial effect on our endocannabinoid system.”
In simpler words, the cannabis plant contains two major components, CBD and THC. Cannabinoids, with cannabidiol (CBD) being the most talked about, are the non-psychoactive component that occurs naturally in the body, but can also be found in the cannabis plant. THC is the psychoactive component that gives us the ‘high’ and the munchies when consumed. By adding more of the extract (CBD) from the cannabis plant to our bodies has been proven to provide many health benefits, naturally, and without any major, if none at all, side effects.
Although research is a little scattered and different information seems to be coming from everywhere you look, there have been some great studies proving some of the benefits of CBD.
One of the biggest breakthroughs of our time was how much the cannabis plant has been able to help people with Epilepsy. In short, epilepsy is a central nervous system disorder that causes seizures. Studies have shown that one-third of epilepsy patients have continued to have seizures despite having adequate medication.
In the study conducted by many credible Universities throughout Europe, 550 patients with two different forms of epilepsy were given different doses of CBD oil over a set timeframe. The study found that the “Main outcomes included the percentage change and the proportion of patients with ≥ 50% (greater than 50%) reduction in monthly seizure frequency during the treatment period and the incidence of treatment withdrawal and adverse events”.
With many patients sharing their experiences of taking 10-plus prescribed pills daily to help with seizures and seeing little improvement, it's a huge milestone to be able to take away the hardship of that and replace it with one simple medication. Now, thankfully, the FDA has actually approved Epidiolex, the first plant-based drug derived from CBD.
CBD oil has shown incredible results for seizures with clinical studies proving its effectiveness and going as far as halting seizures completely for some patients. This could potentially lead to substituting some, if not at all traditional chemical medicines that patients have been taking for years, with the hopes of managing the patient's seizures naturally and without any side effects.
Pain and Inflammation
Pain and inflammation sufferers can definitely benefit from the anti-inflammatory properties of the cannabis plant.Healthline.com even suggests that the cannabis plant has been used to treat pain since as far back as 2900BC. Mentioned in the above Healthline article the word “endocannabinoids”. This neurotransmitter is something that our body produces naturally.
What essentially happens is that the cannabinoid and endocannabinoids bind in our nervous system. Therefore, “Studies have shown that CBD may help reduce chronic pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters”. Through rat and human studies; multiple sclerosis, arthritis, chronic pain, and sciatic pain have all seen great improvements from pain relief from controlled dosages of CBD. Further studies are said to be needed to show the full effects of CBD on pain relief, but it’s nice to know that a naturally grown plant can have some sort of positive impact on something that billions of people worldwide live with daily.
What can be seen as the mental health disease of the 21stcentury, anxiety has hit us all in one way or another. A very interesting study completed by many top Universities in Brazil was done in 2011. The study aimed to see how CBD oil would affect those during public speaking, which we all can agree can be quite daunting for some. The studies gathered 24 patients who were healthy or who had social anxiety disorder but had never been treated. Once patients took either the placebo or CBD, they were told that they had two minutes to prepare a four-minute speech about “the public transport system of their city”, all while being recorded. The study found that the “pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly decreased alertness in anticipation of their speech.” How much CBD will affect your anxiety will depend on what level your anxiety. Different studies, on animals and humans, have shown decreases in anxiety however, more research is needed to be done to see just how effective it can truly be.
If you have been wondering what this latest craze has been all about, it is for a reason. CBD can potentially help manage or cure various ailments that have been previously managed with chemical medications and often can cause more harm than good. Many individuals have been reaping the benefits for years already and many others are converting to this natural form of medicine every day now. With governments and doctors also jumping on the CBD train, the future looks bright for this potential wonder drug. Whether you take it in oil form, edibles, vape cartridges and even just smoking a traditional CBD flower, CBD could be what you have been looking for and it is hard to believe that it has been here the whole time.