The word “CBD” conjures up images of marijuana in the minds of most people. However, according to a study conducted in America, the connection between CBD and marijuana isn’t as strong as one might think.
The report revealed that 36% of Americans between the ages of 18-49 had used CBD at least once, while 19% of those aged 50-64 had used it once. Studies suggest that around 55% of CBD products are used as balms or oils.
Then, what is CBD?
Derived from the Cannabis sativa plant, Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical that has various effects on the brain and is obtained from hemp, a type of plant with small amounts of THC. CBD can have a chemical effect on the brain when ingested or applied to the skin.
A prescription-strength form of CBD is commonly used for treating epilepsy and other conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease and pain. CBD may have some unwanted effects, including drowsiness, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, and dry mouth.
The following list outlines five potential health advantages of CBD balms and other CBD products:
- Epilepsy Treatment
About 30% of people with epilepsy are affected by treatment-resistant epilepsy, which is when the failure of certain drugs to treat seizures leads to uncontrollable seizures.
This condition usually leads to recurrent seizures that can negatively affect a person’s quality of life. Although it’s not always possible to treat epilepsy with medication, some people with this condition can benefit from using cannabidiol (CBD) or medical marijuana.
In 2018, the FDA allowed the use of CBD under the brand name Epidiolex for treating various types of epilepsy. These include Tonic-clonic and Absence seizures.
- Relieving unbearable pain
Many people use cannabidiol, a compound found in marijuana, to relieve pain. The body’s endocannabinoid system is responsible for receiving and translating signals from the psychoactive substances in the plant. These chemicals are known as cannabinoids and play a role in various functions, such as regulating the immune system and sleep.
Unlike THC, a psychoactive substance, cannabidiol does not produce a high, and it can help the body use its endocannabinoids to treat pain. For instance, increasing the levels of Anandamide, a compound associated with regulating pain, can help improve mood.
Few studies in the U.S. have shown that CBD can help treat various chronic pain conditions, like some caused by spinal cord and brain nerve damage. In one study, researchers gave CBD to a group of patients with peripheral neuropathy while a control group received a placebo.
The study’s results revealed that the patients who took CBD experienced a significant reduction in their pain levels. They also noted that the placebo did not cause any side effects.
- Chronic pain relief
Numerous reports have suggested that CBD can be used to treat chronic pain. A comprehensive review of the studies revealed strong evidence supporting the use of cannabidiol for treating pain in adults.
The researchers noted that patients with chronic pain were unlikely to develop a tolerance to CBD, preventing them from increasing their dosage over time. They also noted that these types of cannabinoids could potentially offer helpful treatment options.
Recent studies in the U.S. have shown that CBD can help treat various chronic pain conditions, like those caused by spinal cord and brain nerve damage. In one study, researchers gave CBD to a group of patients with peripheral neuropathy while a control group received fake pills.
The study’s results revealed that the patients who took CBD experienced a significant reduction in their pain levels.
- Reducing anxiety and depression
Studies prove that CBD can affect serotonin levels in the brain, which are known to help treat anxiety. Like other drugs, such as antidepressants, CBD can help boost serotonin levels in the body.
There is currently no known way to know how much CBD can be used to treat anxiety. However, studies suggest that taking 200 mg to 500 mg can help reduce anxiety in people with this condition.
The authors state that evidence supports the use of CBD as a successful monotherapy or complementary therapy for the effective treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, general anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
However, prolonged CBD use can also result in a few side effects, including diarrhea, fatigue, drowsiness, and other issues.
- Managing the effects of PTSD
The condition known as PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is frequently associated with the veteran population. Some people may develop PTSD, a chronic mental health condition, after experiencing a traumatic event. Individuals with PTSD may have difficulty sleeping, experience anxiety or depression, and relive the event repeatedly.
Before being diagnosed and treated for PTSD, many individuals with this condition often struggled with depression and anxiety. They also often experience extreme traumatic memories. In addition to traditional therapy, patients with this condition also use CBD.
There are various treatments for this condition, but evidence suggests that CBD can help manage symptoms. In 2019, a study revealed that CBD could ease PTSD symptoms. Studies have shown that our internal endocannabinoid system regulates anxiety and mood and helps us learn how to cope with fear. The system is made up of various cannabinoids that can control emotions.
PTSD is believed to be caused by the presence of an imbalanced version of an internal component of our body’s endocannabinoid system, known as Anandamide. This compound can help trigger a feeling of calm and relaxation. In addition, external cannabinoids can help alleviate anxiety and depression by stimulating the same receptors used by Anandamide.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can have adverse side effects. While some of its symptoms can be relieved by treatment, others may find themselves isolated and unable to communicate. Some patients resort to abusing or drinking their medication to relieve their condition.
Supporting studies have also shown that CBD can affect the functioning of the hippocampus and the amygdala in the brain, and it could cause these two regions to become hyperactive, which could worsen the symptoms of PTSD.
The second most frequent psychoactive component in marijuana is cannabidiol, or CBD, which has since become the most extensively studied drug in the Cannabis genus. While it has been known to cause various side effects, it has also proved to be very versatile and beneficial. Due to its versatile properties, it has fewer side effects than other drugs.
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