Cannabidiol should be legal to use in all states for medicinal purposes. It is unconscionable that people with ailments should have to put up with pain and discomfort when there are available therapies to ease their symptoms. The medicinal use of CBD oil has been proven through various studies, but misguided legislation has restricted access and penalized consumers. The use of CBD oil is controversial for the wrong reasons because of misinformation.
What is CBD Oil?
The general public seems to equate CBD with marijuana. This is not accurate. Marijuana contains THC or delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol and CBD. CBD is not a psychoactive compound like THC. CBD does not have a mind-altering effect although it may trigger some physical reactions, which can be helpful under certain conditions.
How is CBD Produced?
CBD is produced through the extraction of hemp plants. Hemp plants are different from marijuana stock although both come from Cannabis sativa. Over the years, growers have bred marijuana to increase THC concentration while hemp growers have not done much to modify the plant. Thus, hemp is sometimes referred to as the least processed form of Cannabis sativa.
CBD oil production may be done through:
- whole plant extraction which is the method preferred by medical CBD producers
- alcohol extraction using grain alcohol as the primary solvent
- carbon dioxide extraction, which uses a series of CO2 chambers of varying pressure
How CBD Oil Works
The human body produces its supply of cannabinoids along with receptors called CB1, mostly present in the brain, and CB2, which are found all over the body. CBD oil affects CB2 receptors that affect the immune system, inflammation and pain reactions. CBD appears to trigger a response that stimulates cannabinoid production and utilization.
Symptoms and Conditions Affected by CBD Oil
1. Pain Relief
CBD oil may act as an analgesic to manage chronic pain. A study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine showed that CBD reduced inflammation in mice and rats by targeting specific glycine receptors. A review of studies conducted years later backed this finding with more studies.
2. Manage Sleep Disorders
In smaller doses, CBD can be used to promote alertness in the daytime to minimize daytime sleeping, developing a consistent sleep-wake cycle. At specific doses keyed to a person’s condition, CBD can reduce anxiety to help patients fall asleep sooner, increasing the amount of resting time, especially for insomniacs.
- CBD may help regulate REM disturbances that lead to wakefulness or disruptive sleep. Patients with REM behavior disorders are unable to achieve the state of atonia that regulates reaction to dreams. These patients exhibit strong physical reactions while sleeping, which would affect sleep quality, endanger themselves and people around them.
3. Manage Symptoms of Anxiety
Quite often, anxiety is managed by using pharmaceuticals such as benzodiazepines and antidepressants, the use of which can lead to dependence and addiction. Studies have shown that the use of CBD can reduce anxiety, helping patients to cope with stressful situations. Patients with a social anxiety disorder were given CBD or a placebo before a public speaking event. A comparison of the results clearly showed that patients who received the CBD treatment exhibited lower anxiety levels compared to those who were given the placebo.
4. Manage Depression
Antidepressants work by promoting the regrowth of neurons and neural connections in the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that regulates emotions. CBD has been used to manage epileptic symptoms by reducing further damage to neurons in the hippocampus. A study of lab mice treated with CBD indicated that cannabinoids could restore the functionality of damaged neurons in the hippocampus. Patients with depressive symptoms can benefit from using CBD because it can prevent further erosion of neurons while restoring neural function.
5. Reduce Acne
CBD may prevent and treat acne due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Also, CBD has been found to control the over-secretion of sebum, which is one of the leading causes of acne. Using CBD oil as a spot treatment on affected areas appeared to reduce inflammation and re-infection in acne vulgaris effectively.
6. Lower Risks of Hypertension and Heart Conditions
Studies have shown that CBD can have an impact on the circulatory function. CBD supports anxiety and stress management, which may be the reason behind lower resting blood pressure readings in healthy males. Subjected to stress triggers, those who were given CBD showed lower increases in blood pressure readings than subjects who were given the placebo.
7. Reduce the Risk of Diabetes
CBD may be an essential aid in preventing and managing diabetes, which affects about 10 percent of the U.S. population. A study published in the journal Neuropharmacology discussed the effects of CBD use on diabetic-prone lab mice. Only 32 percent of the mice treated with CBD developed diabetes while 100 percent of the untreated group developed the metabolic disorder.
8. Support Weight Management
While THC has been shown to increase appetite, CBD suppresses appetite by relaxing the part of the brain that controls hunger. CBD oil can help patients lose weight by controlling cravings and over-eating in the same way that it is used to control symptoms of anxiety.
9. Improve Cholesterol Profile
CBD has been shown to improve metabolism so that the body can process calories more efficiently. It has omega 3, omega 6 and polyunsaturated fats to improve circulation and prevent the buildup of harmful cholesterol in the arteries.
10. Reduce Cancer Risks and Manage Symptoms
The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD translate to anti-tumor effects. A study conducted in animals indicated that CBD use could prevent the spread of breast, brain, colon, prostate, and lung cancer cells.
CBD oil has been the subject of various studies to determine the effects on some of the most common and vexing chronic conditions. These studies indicated that CBD has a lot of potential in the treatment of anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, cardiovascular issues, and weight management.
Health care providers may be reluctant to bring up CBD as an alternative therapy, so it may be up to patients to initiate discussions of the use of CBD oil to address health issues and improve health outcomes.