Reported Benefits Of CBD
Does it seem like everywhere you look, people are talking about the benefits of CBD? No wonder! Ever since new laws relating to CBD came into being in November of 2018, things have started to look up for CBD.
But, why is everyone focusing on CBD’s benefits now? Prior to the new legislation, there was a lot of controversy surrounding CBD. This is because of another popular cannabinoid: THC.
THC gives you a feeling of being “high” when you consume it in any form. Since it is illegal in the UK, CBD became a controversial subject because it shares the same parentage as THC.
Because of its association with THC, there were a lot of questions in people’s minds. Is it safe to use? Does it make you high like THC? What are the side effects? Is it legal? Why should you even try it?
This article examines the evidence regarding CBD. If you wish to try it out, you should educate yourself about it before putting it in your body!
What you’ll get from this page
CBD has been around for millennia. In 2727 B.C., Chinese Emperor Sheng Nung drank cannabis-infused tea to treat malaria, rheumatism, gout, and memory problems. More recently, Queen Victoria used CBD oil tinctures for her menstrual cramps.
There are many reported cases of treating people with CBD in history. Unfortunately, Western-style research of the health benefits of CBD is still in its early stages.
This is, in part, because of legislation. As a cannabis-derivative, CBD was illegal until late 2018. This made it hard to properly research and study. Following the recent changes in CBD’s legal status, research has exploded. Several studies are currently underway, with promising results.
Reported Benefits Of CBD
Even though several studies support CBD’s potential health benefits, few of the reported benefits are recognised by the relevant government authorities as yet.
With more quality research, this will probably change in the future. In the meantime, millions of people have tried CBD and many feel it has helped them treat a variety of ailments.
CBD may help with the following issues:
CBD and anxiety
Cannabis has been used to treat anxiety since around 2000 BCE. This remains one of the most common uses of the plant.
Anxiety isn’t something you should take lightly at all. It is linked to issues like insomnia, depression, panic, social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behaviour, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
A report published in Neurotherapeutics in 2015 after they analysed all the research and trials indicates that CBD may help treat anxiety. While these claims are not as solid as human trials, they point to a better future for anxiety sufferers.
CBD and addiction
Addiction is another common problem these days. Even though using CBD to fight addiction may sound counter-intuitive, this is exactly what a review showed.
The review, published in Substance Abuse in 2015, described the analysis of 14 published studies. It concluded that CBD may have therapeutic effects in people with opioid, cocaine, and psychostimulant addiction. CBD’s benefits also extend to people with cannabis and tobacco addiction.
CBD, heart health, and stress
In the journal JCI insight in 2017, researchers published a small report saying that CBD may help with stress-related changes in blood pressure. This study was conducted on nine healthy male volunteers who took a single dose of either CBD or placebo. Researchers then subjected them to a stressful event.
The volunteers who had taken CBD had lower blood pressure as compared to volunteers who were administered with placebo.
Since heart health heavily relies on high blood pressure, the researchers concluded that CBD may help maintain heart health.
This study also concludes that CBD’s benefits may include helping with stress as well. However, like many CBD studies, the small size of the sample –nine men–means that further research needs to be conducted.
CBD and obesity
Several studies have reported the benefits of CBD on diabetic and/or obese people. One of the most popular ones is a report published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2011.
Fifty-two thousand participants participated in a survey as part of the study. Its analysis showed that obesity was about one-third lower in cannabis users.
CBD and depression
An estimated 300m worldwide suffer from depression. However, there has been no major breakthrough in medication for 30 years.
Thanks to the compatibility between the chemical structure of CBD and the endocannabinoid system in our body, CBD may prove to be an effective solution for depression.
The cannabinoids have an effect on our serotonin levels. These, in turn, control our mood.
A 2009 study concluded that CBD may be an effective solution to depression in low doses. However, high doses may reverse the effect and worsen the condition.
This suggests that CBD may be biphasic, i.e. it has one effect in low doses and its opposite in high ones. That is why CBD dosage is critical.
Authors of a 2016 study researched further the link between CBD and depression. They wrote that “CBD could represent a novel fast antidepressant drug, via enhancing both serotonergic and glutamate cortical signalling through a 5-HT1A receptor-dependent mechanism.”
Given the severe possible side-effects of existing anti-depressants, this is welcome news for anyone suffering from depression. Numerous studies are being conducted in the search for improved anti-depression medication.
CBD and pain management
For millennia, people have used cannabis for pain relief. Second-century Chinese doctor Hua Tuo used mafeisan, an anaesthetic made from wine and cannabis, to anesthetize patients during surgery.
More recently, Sir John Russell Reynolds, a neurologist and physician to Queen Victoria said in 1859 :
“For the relief of certain kinds of pain, I believe, there is no more useful medicine than cannabis within our reach.”Sir John Russell Reynolds
Today, cannabis-based prescription pain medicines are available. The most popular is Sativex, which has been approved in many countries, including the UK.
CBD and epilepsy
Thanks to its anti-seizure properties and low risk of side effects, doctors consider CBD oil a promising treatment option for epilepsy, especially in children.
Indeed, while people make a variety of health claims involving CBD, it is only for treating epilepsy that is well established.
This has led to the development of the first and only (todate) FDA-approved prescription CBD. Doctors use the drug to treat patients two-years-old and older with Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. These are rare forms of epilepsy that emerge during childhood and can be difficult to treat.
Scientists believe that CBD works by modulating electrical and chemical activity to help quiet the excessive activity in the brain.
However, more research in the long-term effect of CBD use in the children’s developing brain is needed.
These six CBD benefits are just a few of the claimed health benefits the compound may offer. Many of these have been backed by research. There are numerous other claims, including healthy, acne-free skin, sleep disorders, etc. New studies aiming at proving or disproving these are being conducted at the moment.
The human body is a complex structure. As Hippocrates pointed out two millennia ago, “one man’s medicine is another man’s poison.” This is hardly surprising: we’re all unique, and no two bodies are the same.
While some may enjoy the benefits of CBD, it could have little or no effect on others. Consult your physician before trying out any new medicine or including a new product in your daily routine.
Even if a product is working for you, dosage is critical. As mentioned above, CBD may be biphasic, having one effect at low doses and its opposite at high ones.
For some, CBD oil may trigger the following side-effects, especially at high doses and chronic usage:
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in mood
- Dry mouth
Some reports indicate that extremely high doses of CBD oil may lead to increased levels of liver enzymes. This is basically an indication of liver inflammation.
Apart from this, CBD oil may also react with other medications, including anti-epileptic drugs.
People with certain conditions should also avoid CBD. For example, medical cannabis is prescribed to people with glaucoma because THC can help treat their condition. However, CBD can actually worsen it, as it can increase intraorbital pressure.
Does this mean you should avoid CBD oil and other CBD products? Not necessarily, since not everyone will experience any side-effects. However, you should consult your GP if in any doubt.
Also, to safely enjoy the benefits of CBD, be sure to buy it from a trusted source. Farmers in many countries, especially in Asia, use hemp to clean up soil from pollutants such as heavy metals and pesticides. These pollutants will then find their way into CBD produced by such hemp.
That’s why it’s best to buy from companies which test their product throughout production and publish the results online.
Due to CBD’s recent popularity, many companies have created their own version of CBD products. If you’re looking to include CBD’s benefits in your life but don’t know where to start, here is a list of all the ways you can use CBD:
- Balms, lotions
- Bath salts
- Sleep tablets
- CBD patches
- Vape oil
Ever since new laws have come forward regarding CBD, people have started using it a lot. Thanks to the internet, we can find out about what they think of it.
Everybody reacts differently to things, so don’t form an opinion based just on people’s claims.
Also, there are many different CBD brands. Importantly, their CBD content may differ, as the experience shared on Quora by Catherine, a CBD user, shows:
“I have been dealing with chronic pain for a variety of health issues, as well as severe insomnia. But I was leery to try CBD oil. I have never used drugs, I don’t drink, and I try to avoid even over-the-counter and prescription drugs if I can.
My son got me a sample from a friend who purchased ultra-potency medical-grade CBD oil. I started out at 1 drop 2x/day and worked up to 4 drops 2x/day.
By the 3rd day, I was already starting to feel better. By the end of the first week, I knew I had found my answer.
I was sleeping at night, and waking feeling refreshed. I felt less anxious and less hungry. My pain was still there, but I could cope better and did not need any meds. I had been taking Tylenol with Codeine.
Once my sample had run out, I asked my son if I could order a full bottle. He stopped at a booth at a local county fair, and bought the brand of CBD oil they were selling.
Well, I tried that bottle for a couple of weeks, hoping to get the same relief. I started at .25mg/2x day, and worked my way up to 2.0mg/2x day – and no improvement. I continued to wake often in the night in pain, and my anxiety increased instead.
I felt like I may as well have been taking water, for all the good it did me!
So I went back to my son, and asked if he could get me a bottle of the original sample?
I have taken that now for just 3 days, and already I am starting to feel the effects – at just 1 drop/2x day!”
With a bit of math, one realises that the original product was ten times more potent than the booth one! It’s no wonder, then, that Catherine only benefited from CBD with the original product.
So, if you wish to buy CBD oil, make sure to do your research and find out which brand has the best CBD products. Also, make sure to check the reviews!
Is CBD Oil Legal?
CBD is still in a legal grey area. To complicate things further, CBD comes in a lot of different products. You can find CBD-infused lotions, vape, supplements, dog treats, oil, and more. However, the most popular form of it is CBD oil. You can ingest it, use it topically, or both depending on the brand and type.
CBD is only legal if its product contains less than or equal to 0.2% THC. Also, the THC should not be able to separate from it easily.
However, a new law came out in November 2018. It states that CBD oil which contains more than 0.2% THC can now be medically prescribed to patients. Before this, doctors weren’t allowed to prescribe this to their patients.
The reason for this is that certain conditions may benefit from a combination of CBD and THC. While more research is needed, it was felt that doctors should be able to prescribe stronger doses of THC, depending on the ailment and patient. However, there are still limitations to this law.
For example, doctors can only prescribe CBD oil in the case where there aren’t any other licensed medicines available for the treatment required by the patient.
Because of a legal quirk, CBD products are legal for humans but remain illegal for animals. So, be careful if you want to start giving your dog CBD treats. First of all, there haven’t been a sufficient amount of tests conducted for it to be deemed safe on animals.
Second, giving CBD to pets remains illegal in the UK. Even if you are sure of the benefits, you still cannot give your pets CBD treats.