It’s frustrating – while cannabis has been legalized in Canada, parts of the US, and a handful of other countries, it remains a Schedule 1 drug at the time of this writing (July 2019) within most of the world, alongside cocaine and heroin.
It’s a classification that blocks research on fully understanding the true potential of CBD’s benefits.
Without sufficient evidence in human studies, research is slow, and because CBD is mostly available as an unregulated supplement, it’s hard to know exactly what you’re getting.
While scientists say that research restrictions keep us from understanding how and to what extent CBD benefits a whole host of our issues, good preliminary evidence still exists.
If you have any concerns of what CBD is exactly, take a look at this article. Otherwise, let’s breakdown the array of CBD oil’s health benefits.
Can CBD Oil Help Manage Chronic Pain?
CBD oil for pain management is certainly one major way this compound can help you get back to living the life you want to lead.
For example, this review from 2017 revealed the power of using CBD oil for pain management. It concluded that CBD for neuropathic pain was a reputable means of treatment, especially for those in palliative care. However, there was ‘no evidence’ for CBD as a means of pain relief for those suffering from HIV, cancer, or other late-stage ailments. Well, not yet, anyway.
As you’ll read, there are a myriad of ways in which to consume CBD for pain. One popular means is CBD oil, but you can also consider vaping or smoking for more instant relief. Alternatively, edibles might be best for those who know when their conditions tend to flare up and who suffer from respiratory issues, as relief could take from between two to four hours.
Treating Your Anxiety with CBD
Currently, cognitive behavioral therapy and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly used treatments for anxiety and anxiety-related symptoms.
But now, CBD oil as a treatment is proving to be robust in institutional research studies, showing considerable promise for those suffering from the likes of PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder (PD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), or even obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), to name a few.
It’s understandable that your first thought might be, “I don’t think I should be getting high if I’m suffering from anxiety”.
Well, you wouldn’t be experiencing a high because CBD isn’t like its phytocannabinoid counterpart, THC. It’s THC that’s the compound responsible for the psychoactive experience, not CBD.
Don’t take it from us. When it comes to research, we’ve gathered a full guide on CBD and anxiety. But in terms of promising research, take this 2019 study that found that CBD reduced the uptake of serotonin in rats assisting them in behaving in a less anxious manner.
Or a study in 2011 that showed that subjects who did not receive a CBD placebo of the compound, but did in fact consume CBD prior to a public speaking event, actually performed better with far less anxiety and no evidence of negative self-talk prior to taking the stage.
No matter the reason for your taking CBD, it’s always a good idea to start low in dose and go slow. More importantly, consult with your doctor first before making any alterations or additions to your treatment.
Can CBD Oil Cure Cancer?
In this article, we’ve also attempted to explore the big question on every cancer patient’s mind: “Can cannabis cure cancer?”
To be clear, as of yet, there’s no concrete evidence that using CBD for cancer will cure patients from the deadly disease. While CBD does show promise in specific areas, it’s certainly not a cure-all for cancer as some claim.
But what CBD has been shown to help with are the side-effects related to cancer treatment, such as nausea, pain relief and inflammation. On top of that, CBD and other cannabinoids have been shown to slow down cancer cell growth in several types of cancer, including breast, liver, leukemia, brain and melanoma.
Overall, the promise in using CBD for cancer is related to the symptoms involved. Not a complete cure.
So, we know a bit about the relationship between CBD and treating anxiety, pain, and alleviating cancer-related symptoms, but what about the relationship between CBD and schizophrenia?
Can CBD Benefit Those With Schizophrenia?
Hallucinations, delusional thinking, and crippling paranoia – these are just some of the symptoms associated with schizophrenia. But what’s that got to do with marijuana, THC, and CBD, you may be wondering.
Well, good question.
Fortunately, we created an informative guide that could give you the spark in using CBD to potentially mitigate the symptoms of schizophrenia. But if we take a glance at some of the research, a recent study from 2018 concluded that CBD was associated with significantly lower degrees of psychotic, or positive, symptoms as well as improve cognitive function in participants.
A study from 2017 found similar linkages between CBD and cognitive symptoms with schizophrenics taking part in the study reporting less instances of social withdrawal.
Once you read through the guide, please always consult with your GP and specialist, as well as local budtender before making any alterations to medications.
Take care when sourcing and dosing too – THC, for example, can trigger psychotic episodes, while CBD and schizophrenia should reduce the risk of negative symptoms with an increase in cognition and motivation.
Clearly schizophrenia is a debilitating disorder. But if we were to look at what the number 1 disability is in the United States, you might be surprised to learn it’s arthritis. Astonishingly, arthritis affects around 91 million Americans.
So, how can CBD oil potentially help this extremely common ailment?
How CBD Benefits Those With Arthritis
For many people with arthritis, chronic pain is a constant companion alongside it. And as mentioned above, when looking at CBD for pain management, studies show promising results for chronic pain that’s associated with arthritis.
How does CBD help arthritis exactly?
Some studies suggest that in people with rheumatic diseases, including RA and osteoarthritis, it may help lower inflammation in joints. Rather than take it from us, here are just a few thought-provoking studies.
When looked at through the lens of osteoarthritis, this 2017 study showed that not only did CBD prevent the later development of pain and nerve damage in affected joints, but also helped slow acute, transient joint inflammation.
This 2006 study is also hopeful – results showed, in human trials no less, that patients who did not receive the placebo were able to sleep more, rest without pain and have no pain when moving.
So, if you are keen to try this out, keep in mind that CBD oil, salves, and topicals are not FDA approved. This means that you have to perform your own legwork in finding a reputable shop that works with a practice that believes in the healing power of this mighty plant.
Topicals and salves may require some experimentation – controlled, at home, not at the office, or when operating a vehicle – of course. When it comes to edibles, they take much longer to traverse the digestive system and deliver pain relief. So, plan well ahead when you’re going to eat them.
Does using CBD for Depression Work?
Whether CBD can treat depression remains one of the big questions, which we’ve explored thoroughly.
Sadly, more and more Americans aged 12 and over are experiencing lasting depressive episodes with over 16 million citizens within the U.S. reporting at least one occurrence of feeling down per year since 2014.
What’s more, approximately 7.5% of children under the age of 12 are experiencing varying degrees of lingering sadness.
As there are currently five broad categories of depression, no two protocols are 100% alike.
That said, SSRIs, or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, alongside cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are normally recommended depending on your symptoms.
So, how is CBD being used to treat and manage depression?
Typically, SSRIs block the reuptake of serotonin (the happy chemical) by acting in partnership with the body’s endocannabinoid system to make more serotonin available. And CBD does the same by modifying the actions of these naturally occurring receptors.
In other words, they bind the ‘output’ function and prevent serotonin from exiting the brain. In this way, therefore, they keep serotonin in the system longer for a boost in mood.
If you look at this animal-based study from 2014, CBD prevented the activation of the neuroreceptors CB1 and CB2 as well as performed favorably in conjunction with the 5-HT1A neuro-receptor.
As we said earlier, work with your primary care team before making any adjustments. Do not quit your SSRIs cold turkey as you may be left feeling worse than before and at risk of experiencing SSRI withdrawal symptoms.
With this knowledge at your disposal, we are on the precipice of understanding the potential benefits of CBD for assisting with anxiety, or schizophrenia, arthritis, chronic pain or even with showing promising research related to cancer cell reductions.
But something that might sound out of left field – is CBD for skin care, particularly skin inflammation and acne!
Forget the Botox – CBD Oil Might Help Heal Skin
Yes, that’s right, we’ve looked into CBD oil for skin! Before writing the whole thing off, let’s consider the science behind CBD and how its properties interact with the body’s inherent endocannabinoid system.
This is to say that the body has two main receptors that target the introduction of CBD, hemp, or THC: CB1 and CB2. The former generates that euphoric high we sometimes crave and is expressed mainly in the brain (central nervous system and also in the lungs, liver and kidneys). Conversely, the latter is expressed mainly in the immune system and helps to regulate our increasingly out-of-whack bodies.
Interestingly, a 2015 study found that by using face cream with 3% of cannabis seed extract over a 12-week period twice a day, there was a significant reduction in breakouts.
Here’s to a future where we can ditch the hardcore acne creams and replace them with something more soothing!
CBD’s Benefits Are Wide Ranging
A lot of studies regarding CBD oil benefits are still in their infancy and cannabis is officially a medicine for only a handful of conditions.
Of course, a lot more research needs to be done across all areas, but the benefits of CBD oil will inevitably come out as legalization sparks up across the globe. Slowly, but surely.