Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, has become a popular alternative treatment for a variety of health conditions. Unlike THC, which is responsible for the “high,” that some people experience when using marijuana products, CBD is not psychoactive. This makes these products a popular alternative for people seeking relief from some health conditions, without the mind-altering side-effects of marijuana or prescription drugs such as opioids. If you are thinking about trying it, consider these 11 uses.
1. Benefits of CBD for Pain Relief
Marijuana has been used to relieve pain as far back as 2900 B.C. Modern medical research has been able to isolate the compounds contained in marijuana that are most responsible for pain relief. The human body produces neurotransmitters, called endocannabinoids, that bind to cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system. Research has shown that CBD may relieve or reduce chronic pain by reducing inflammation, affecting endocannabinoid receptor activity, and interacting with neurotransmitters. Additionally, a combination of CBD and THC is effective in treating conditions such as multiple sclerosis and arthritis.
2. Anxiety Relief
Researchers have found that Cannabidiol use may alter the way the brain responds to serotonin. A study of 600 patients with social anxiety disorder found that a 600mg dose of CBD helped reduce the anxiety they experienced during public speaking. Animal studies have shown that CBD may help reduce anxiety by lowering heart rate, easing insomnia, reducing stress, and improving the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
3. Addiction Recovery
14 published studies have concluded that CBD shows promise as a treatment for people with addictions to opioids, cocaine, or psychostimulants. While CBD by itself was not found to be effective in reducing withdrawal symptoms in opioid addicts, it has proven effective in reducing drug-seeking behaviors in cocaine, methamphetamine, and other psychostimulant drug users. Additionally, research has indicated that it may be useful in the treatment of nicotine and cannabis addiction.
4. Relief of Childhood Epilepsy Symptoms
CBD has been shown to reduce and sometimes stop the number of seizures in children with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. These syndromes usually do not respond to traditional anti-seizure therapies. The FDA has approved a CBD containing drug, called Epidiolex, for the treatment of these conditions.
5. Treatment of Depression
Animal studies have shown that one of the benefits of CBD is that it can increase serotonin production in the brain, which may be useful in treating some types of depression and other mood disorders. Clinical studies have not yet been done in humans, but CBD has been found to produce lasting anti-depressant effects in studies on mice.
6. Inflammation Reduction
CBD has been shown to reduce the production of cytokine and cause T-regulatory cells to prevent the body’s autoimmune response from attacking healthy cells. These effects may prove useful in reducing inflammation in the body and improving the symptoms of various autoimmune conditions.
7. Stress Reduction
When people experience stress, the body produces a hormone called cortisol in response. Cortisol has been found to contribute to several negative health outcomes, including weight gain. Studies have shown that CBD may reduce the amount of cortisol produced in the body, which can have a positive effect on the body’s response to stress.
8. Relief of Cancer Symptoms
In some people, the benefits of CBD has provided relief for symptoms of cancer and cancer treatment that did not respond to pain medication. In addition to relieving pain, it has proven effective in reducing nausea and vomiting experienced after chemotherapy treatment. Animal studies have found that CBD may have cancer-fighting properties, but no human trials have yet been conducted.
9. Treatment for Neurodegenerative Disorders
Research is being conducted into the effect of CBD on the CB1 brain receptor. It is believed that the effect it has on this receptor may be useful in treating neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke. It is also believed that CBD may reduce the inflammation that can cause symptoms of these disorders to worsen.
10. Reduce Nerve Pain
Medical marijuana has long been used to treat various forms of nerve pain. The effect of CBD on nerve pain still needs to be studied in humans, but in animals, it is effective at reducing neuropathic pain, such as that experienced by some diabetics, and cancer patients.
11. Better Sleep
The World Health Organization has found that CBD has promise for treating many conditions that reduce the quality of sleep. Also, it is not habit-forming, which may make it a good alternative to traditional sleep medications. You can find more information about how this may help your sleep in Joy’s guide to CBD.
Research is still ongoing, but the benefits of CBD has shown a lot of promise in combating many health conditions, without the risk of addiction or the high that comes with the use of some other marijuana products. These benefits make such a supplement an attractive alternative therapy for many people.