There are a lot of wild claims about what CBD can and cannot do. It is still a relatively new substance and researchers are still working to validate what CBD is capable of. That being said, a combination of research, clinical studies and patient testimony has identified a few certain health benefits. The extent to which CBD can affect these symptoms is still not fully understood, but there are definitely health benefits to be had.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a substance found in cannabis that works with the endocannabinoid system in the human body. CBD is not psychoactive and does not get you high, but merely has medical benefits. It is mostly found in industrial hemp, although some strains of marijuana can have CBD. In December 2018, the U.S. federal government signed the Farm Bill, which made CBD legal and placed it under the regulation of the FDA, opening the floodgates so CBD could enter public markets.
If you are considering working CBD into your daily routine, here are some well-known health benefits from taking CBD.
1. Treat Chronic Pain
CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that help it treat chronic aches and pains. It binds with the neurotransmitters in your endocannabinoid system to decrease nerve inflammation and treat pain. Whether your pains stem from a one-time accident or a long-term issue, CBD can help relieve your pain. Additionally, if you have problems with inflammation, such as an allergic reaction or swelling, CBD is an effective option.
People can use CBD instead of regular painkillers and live healthier lifestyles. Dr. Mikhail Kogan of the George Washington University Center for Integrative Medicine states, “CBD is safer than Tylenol or caffeine by tenfold. If you compare them to opiates, they’re about 10,000 times safer.” This largely stems from the fact that CBD has few to no side effects and no risk of addiction.
2. Help Muscle Spasms
In line with using CBD to treat pain and inflammation, CBD can be used to treat muscle spasms. As CBD helps with nerve inflammation, it is quite effective for achy muscles and muscle spasms, and is used by a number of celebrities.
For example, actress Kristen Bell, from The Good Place, uses CBD lotion after her workouts to soothe her muscles and speed up recovery. Utilizing CBD in this way allows you to target where you apply it, for quick relief.
3. Treat Acne
CBD is also being picked up by skin-care companies for use in a variety of lotions and serums. It is noted as an effective option for treating acne, moisturizing skin and helping skin glow. However, just because something has CBD in it does not mean it is the right skin product for you.
As you look into CBD for your skin, make sure to first find a quality brand that is able to treat your skin condition, and then look for a similar product that contains CBD.
4. Treat Seizures
Recently, the FDA passed a CBD drug for treating seizures triggered by some forms of epilepsy. These are two rare forms of childhood epilepsy that were previously without effective treatments, but CBD has been proven to help people who suffer from those disorders.
Some members of the medical community are using this as reason to push for more clinical trials for CBD drugs.
5. Better Cholesterol
A 2013 study found that people who regularly took CBD experienced higher levels of “good cholesterol” and lower levels of “bad cholesterol.”
As CBD regulates the metabolism and appetite via the endocannabinoid system, it is able to help spur these changes and aid people in living healthier lifestyles.
6. Arthritis Treatment
A number of studies in the past decade have examined CBD’s potential for treating and preventing arthritis. The research has pointed to CBD as an effective option for treating pain related to arthritis, as well as a means of reducing inflammation and improving bone health for some forms of arthritis. More research needs to be done in this area, but so far the results look promising.
7. Reduce Anxiety and Depression
People who regularly take CBD find themselves in better moods and with fewer symptoms of mental illness. THC, found in marijuana, can often be attributed to increasing anxiety and depression, but CBD is known for helping treat both.
It is not the same as taking antidepressants or anxiety medications, but in many cases it can be a better fit for patients.
8. Reduce Glaucoma
A research study found that CBD was able to reduce the inflammation caused by glaucoma and in turn lower the pain and loss of sight experienced by patients with glaucoma. This is a significant finding, as glaucoma is a major neurodegenerative disease that afflicts millions of people.
Overall, CBD still has some way to go with verifying its use cases with clinical trials. As more research comes out, its applications will be better understood and its effectiveness will become more compelling. As a natural remedy, it has few side effects, so it is a much better alternative to many existing prescription drugs.