Over the years, people have talked about superfoods. These are the food items that seem to provide virtually all the nutrients you’ll need to keep healthy and fight disease. Now there’s talk about CBD oil and how it’s seeming the most exciting super-supplement of them all.
Over the last two decades, most states in the US have allowed for the medicinal use of marijuana. Each state has its own list of medical ailments for which medical marijuana is allowed for purchase and use. Very rarely does a state only have a single ailment on its list. Often, medical marijuana is allowed for close to a dozen medical conditions.
Research suggests that many of the purported health benefits can be attributed to CBD, which is a chemical compound in marijuana that does not make people high. It’s distinct from THC, which is the actual high-inducing compound. THC remains federally illegal, but CBD is legal. In fact, CBD from hemp (which contains only 0.3% THC) is deemed absolutely legal in all 50 states by federal law.
But what is CBD oil really good for? There’s comparatively little scientific evidence on the whole to support the use of CBD oil. Plenty of online anecdotal reports have surfaced, but there haven’t been too many controlled studies using strict scientific processes involving humans. Blame the ban on marijuana for that, since federal law still deems marijuana as a controlled substance like cocaine and heroin.
Here are some of the supposed benefits of CBD oil for your health, and the scientific data that supports these assertions:
1. Epileptic Seizures
Of all the supposed health benefits of CBD oil, this one has the greatest amount of scientific evidence to back it up. In fact, the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) just recently approved the sale of a drug based on CBD, for use against certain rare types of epilepsy that affects mostly children. The FDA approval means that the medicine has gone through an exhaustive process of tests and studies that prove both its effectiveness and its safety.
You may have heard stories before about how some people just fall asleep after smoking marijuana. It’s not surprising that many people take CBD supplements for sleeping difficulties. After all, sleeping pills are addictive and it can make you feel less than ideal the morning after.
This is supported by a few small-scale studies. One study involved lab rats, which found that the subjects slept for longer periods of time after taking CBD. Other studies involving human subjects also indicated that consuming CBD supplements right before bedtime can improve overall sleep quality.
There’s a catch, however; you need to make sure you get the dosage right. The studies involving lab rats also found that CBD at high doses made the subjects more jittery. Take too much CBD and it can lead to insomnia instead.
3. Mood Disorders including Anxiety
Since it helps with sleep, it also isn’t at all surprising to think of CBD oil as a way to combat anxiety. Many patients who take CBD report feeling calmer and more relaxed after taking the compound. It’s for this reason that some people take this for anxiety issues.
Some comparatively large-scale studies confirm that it does help in reducing anxiety, though the data suggests that the right dosage is imperative. It works when the dosage is within 300 to 600 mg of CBD. That may be too high a dose for some people though, and taking supplements (which typically offers much lower doses) to get to within this range may prove too expensive.
Initial studies about CBD’s effect on psychosis have been encouraging. A more recent study even concluded that CBD oil may herald a new class of treatment for psychosis. While there isn’t enough data for a definite conclusion, the initial evidence suggests that more research may be justified to find out for sure.
The latest studies, including those that involve lab animals, have found that the pharmacological profile of CBD is quite similar to that of certain antipsychotic medications. Experts suggest that with further research it may be found to be helpful for certain similar ailments including bipolar disorder.
This is also one of the more common ailments for which CBD oil is used. In fact, it’s for this reason that many people have turned to medical marijuana in the first place. One of its advantages is that despite the “evil” reputation of marijuana, it’s not addictive at all. CBD isn’t addictive either.
In contrast, many prescription drugs for pain are extremely addictive. The number of addicted patients to these prescription drugs has reached alarming levels, and some are referring to this dire situation as the “opioid epidemic”.
A study conducted by researchers from UC Berkeley confirmed these benefits as they tracked patients who used medical marijuana instead of opioids. The results indicated that the cannabis was just as effective as other typical prescription medications for pain, except that the marijuana did not result in the expected side effects.
Other studies involving CBD and lab animals have reported similar findings. One study indicated that it works very well in treating patients with chronic pain. Another study found evidence that it can work with arthritis as well.
Some take CBD oil as an anti-inflammatory, applying a topical cream to aching areas of the body. While there’s not much scientific evidence to back up this practice, other experts suggest that CBD can work for muscular inflammation if taken orally. This means you use a vaping machine or swallow the CBD (usually when infused in certain food and drinks). It may also be more effective as a tincture when you put in a few drops of the CBD oil under the tongue so that it enters your system via the mucous membrane.
7. Inflammatory Bowel Disease
The anti-inflammatory property of CBD also suggests that it can help with certain types of IBD, including Crohn’s disease. Some of the initial studies back up this theory, but more tests must be conducted first to firm up the evidence.
8. Skin Conditions
Many CBD shops now stock CBD skincare products, as an alternative treatment for more commonly used anti-acne medications like salicylic acid. CBD’s anti-inflammatory property comes into play, this time by reducing the inflammation in glands that produce sebum. This inflammation can lead to acne breakouts.
The CBD can reduce the problem, and even prevent it in the first place. Some research studies support this belief, though you may want to talk to your dermatologist about it first. The same goes if you’re going to try one of the many anti-aging CBD creams available in the market these days.
Even before medical marijuana became a thing, reports have come out over the years about oncologists helping their cancer patients to access medical marijuana more easily. While some say that CBD can also help with the pain, nausea, and vomiting associated with cancer and its treatment, some evidence has been found that it can actually help with cancer itself.
Plenty of scientific evidence supports CBD’s use as a way to treat nausea, as it’s been found that CBD can help increase serotonin levels. But another study also found that CBD may actually slow down the growth of breast tumors. This was revealed in a study published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics in 2006.
However, experts agree that CBD in itself is not a replacement for chemotherapy. Still, it can complete whatever cancer treatments these patients are taking.
10. Cardiovascular Issues
In 2013, a study was published about CBD in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. The study showed encouraging evidence that CBD can protect the heart against the damage wrought by type 2 diabetes, inflammation, or high glucose levels.
A more recent study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology also indicated similar results, showing that CBD can help with the health of your heart. This study showed how CBD can counter the negative effects of high blood pressure and stress on the cardiovascular system. The researchers believe that CBD may become an alternative to more traditional medicines for lowering high blood pressure.
11. Other Degenerative Diseases
According to the WHO report issues in 2018, CBD may offer therapeutic benefits for other serious diseases. These include multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. These findings were indicated by small studies, and the World Health Organization recommended doing further clinical research on these subjects.
The good news here is that at the very least, it’s safe to take CBD oil. That’s what all the studies bear out, with no mention of side effects unless grossly large doses are taken. It’s also true that more clinical studies must be undertaken to firm the conclusions regarding the definitive benefits of CBD oil.
Can it help you? It doesn’t seem to hurt to try. Plenty of anecdotal reports suggest that it can help, though some experts believe that the placebo effect may have lots to do with CBD’s effectiveness. That only means that if you believe it will work for you, then chances are higher that it will.
Also, check out The Scientific Facts Behind the CBD Craze