As the horizons of the wellness industry are expanding, so is the range of wellness products accessible to us. Our well-being is a personal resolve many of us hope to achieve, and cannabidiol, better known as CBD oil, is one such asset that is also now available in our arsenal. At first glance, you might be skeptical of cannabidiol because of cannabis’ infamy, it’s understandable and expected. Even so, putting it into perspective, cannabis is used for medical and recreational uses. There is a direct medicinal link to CBD oil which makes it an effective and useful product for our well-being.
CBD is one of the many occurring cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. CBD oil may be amassing rapid popularity now, but cannabidiol’s origins go back as far as the 1830s when an Irish medical researcher, William B. O'Shaughnessy, started researching on the potential pharmaceutical use of cannabis.
Now comes the million-dollar question, will CBD oil get you high? The verdict is, it won't. CBD is extracted through the cannabis plant by breaking it down to a rudimentary level and exposing all of its components. CBD is missing THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) which is essentially the psychoactive complex that creates a recreational 'high'. As Ryan Crane has suggested in his TedxChicago Talk, we need to rethink the concept of cannabis and put aside preconceived biases. Even though there’s no high that occurs, it does not negate the fact that CBD oil creates a sense of serenity, which eases our nerves and helps calm us. We will look at this in detail below. According to a reportby the World Health Organisation (WHO), there is no "dependence or abuse potential" to the use of CBD. This has also eliminated any concerns regarding addiction to CBD.
CBD oil’s vast array of benefits has currently made it a staple in wellness centers, spas, aesthetics industry, and even in vegan diets, and lean cuisines. CBD oil is taking over and you can probably find it in any local CBD stores in shopping malls, organic grocers, organic vendors, and convenience stores. However, it has consolidated the greatest usage in the health and medicinal industry, because everything from body pains, acne, cancer, heart problems, anxiety, depression, and most importantly, seizures, have been claimed to be greatly improved through CBD oil usage. Another allure of CBD is its ease of usage as it comes in a lot of forms: oil, powder, gel, even vapes, and we can either take it orally in a capsule or apply it to the body directly.
CBD oil has proven to be revolutionary in Epilepsy research and the formulation of a high effectiveness drug and this is great because 80 million people worldwide suffer from some form of Epilepsy. CBD oil, in the form of the Epidiolex drug, is one of the latest medications that the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has approved for use in patients dealing with epilepsy as there was significant yearly scientific research available to support CBD oil’s claims.
The primary benefactors of this are children who are aged 2 years or older. Although there are about 20 options readily available hitherto, CBD is a more enhanced form of a drug as it alleviates two severe forms of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome, and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, that others have been unable to as 30% of Epilepsy can be immune to treatment. In fact, Epidiolex is the first-ever medication that the FDA has approved to treat Dravet syndrome-related seizures. However, as CBD also serves to induce relaxation, a few patients have reported feeling drowsy after consuming the medicine, but most of the feedback regarding the drug has produced hope of further CBD oil medical usage to combat epilepsy.
Anxiety and Depression Treatment
Another arena in which CBD oil usage is prevalent is in the treatment of anxiety, specifically social anxiety, and depression. Unfortunately, in these contemporary times, mental illnesses are rampant and a great cause of worry. Almost all adults deal with anxiety or depression at some point or another, but the good news is that CBD is available to help them as well at any local CBD store. As aforementioned, the slight relaxation effect that’s provided through CBD can eliminate nervousness by encapsulating the recipient in a state of calm. People have claimed to feel safe after taking CBD and combats the ‘fight or flight’ intuition that many people with social anxiety have to deal with.
On the other hand, CBD combats depression by releasing serotonin (the happy hormone) into the bloodstream which uplifts our moods. Essentially, it replicates the effect that doing things we love creates. When we play video games, serotonin is released into our body and we feel rewarded and happy, but when someone is depressed, they can lack the motivation to indulge in activities that would make them happy. In this instance, CBD becomes the serotonin producer and we have witnessed a greatly positive impact on consumers.
Additionally, in another study, CBD was also used to treat anxiety in children who were suffering from PTSD and it proved to be successful.
Heart Problems Prevention
While this is one of the lesser researched avenues of CBD, it has also been claimed to better cardiovascular healthand reduced problems pertaining to the heart, like strokes and heart attacks, by improving the blood pressure. This has so far been the most effective in people who usually suffer from high blood pressure. It was seen that a small dosage of CBD was able to regulate resting blood pressure to a normal healthy rate; this is known as ‘vasorelaxation’. This effect can be linked to the same properties of CBD that reduce anxiety and uplift our mood.
Some other studies have also shown that inflammation of the heart is reduced and thus, the cell death rate is also reduced as CBD is an effective antioxidant that flushes our bodies from the inside and promotes better health. There is still more research to be done surrounding this claim, but the results so far have been promising.
Body pain treatment
After seeing CBD usage in more severe conditions, its utilization for body pain can seem trivial in comparison. Cannabis was being used by the Chinese to treat pain as far back as 2900 B.C. Now that we have managed to extract CBD from the hemp plant, we are using the most potent part of it (CBD) to treat pain. The cannabinoid is then picked up by the endocannabinoids in our bodies that help improve receptor activity in the body and reduces inflammation which causes the pain.
A study was done with 47 patients with multiple sclerosis, and they were provided a spray called “Sativex” which was a combination of CBD and THC. They used it orally for one month and reported a reduction in body pain and muscle spasms, along with an improvement in their walking.
We can easily call CBD a rising star in the health and wellness industry and it is safe to assume that we will have numerous more uses for it as research continues, but we will have to move past the stigma around cannabis in order to access CBD on a new and elevated level. CBD can be used to treat common body pains as well as severe epilepsy forms, which goes to show its wide range of medicinal properties and vast capabilities. The various forms that it comes in, which are aforementioned, only add to its popularity among the masses. However, as educated individuals, we need to remember that while there are so many enriching and beneficial qualities associated with CBD, we should not take it as the be-all and end-all of our lives. It’s a powerful product that we should incorporate into a healthy lifestyle thoughtfully and deliberately, rather than use it in isolation and hope for miracles.