Every so often a new wellness craze comes along and everyone from fitness enthusiasts to sufferers of certain illnesses want to get involved in it. Unlike certain trends and fad diets, CBD oil is one natural remedy that is gaining momentum and looks to be here to stay. But can this hemp plant extract really deliver positive results for medical conditions and our overall well being, and if so how?
Research in this area is still relatively new, but there is an increasing amount of both scientific and anecdotal evidence to back up the health benefits of CBD oil. Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly reported benefits of using CBD to manage health conditions.
1. Relieving Anxiety
Many people believe that CBD oil is a very successful way to treat anxiety, because it changes the way the brain’s receptors react to serotonin, the “happy” chemical needed for good mental health. These receptors are little proteins that attach to cells, sending messages to help the brain respond to stimuli. A study revealed that one 600mg dose of CBD eased helped sufferers of anxiety speak successfully in public and give speeches, while other studies on animals found that CBD played an important role in:
- Stress reduction
- Minimising the physiological effects of anxiety, like high heart rates and sweating
- Encouraging healthy sleep and reducing insomnia
- Managing the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
2. Managing Epilepsy and Seizures
Research about the effects of CBD on epilepsy is still in relatively early stages, but there is much anecdotal evidence to suggest that it is of huge benefit to sufferers of seizures. One study undertaken in 2016 focused on 214 epilepsy patients, all of whom were given oral doses of up to 5mg of CBD a day in addition to their current medication. The patients were monitored over a three month period, during which time the researchers recorded the frequency of their seizures and noted any side effects. The results of the study found that participants reported 36.5 less seizures than normal every month, although some patients reported unpleasant side effects.
3. Easing Neurodegenerative Conditions
Experts are studying a receptor in the brain known as the CB1 receptor, to understand how CBD can help those with degenerative neurological conditions such as:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
Research suggests that CBD oil plays an important role in reducing the inflammation that makes symptoms worse, giving patients of these conditions a longer life expectancy and better quality of life.
4. Pain management
Receptors in the brain are also responsible for how our bodies respond to pain, and research has found that cannabis can play a significant role in this. Studies show significant improvements in the pain related to a number of conditions including arthritis, fibromyalgia, muscle pain, spinal injuries and chemotherapy treatment. There are already some Multiple Sclerosis medications that combine both THC and CBD, which have been approved in Canada and the UK, however it’s as yet unclear whether they act directly against the pain or simply reduce the associated inflammation.
5. Acne treatment
Since CBD has been found to reduce inflammation, it stands to reason that it will also help with the management of skin complaints such as acne. A study showcased in the Journal of Clinical Investigation concluded that the oil played an important role in managing sebaceous glands, which produce sebum needed to keep the skin hydrated. If the skin produces too much sebum it can cause acne and blocked pores. By taking CBD oil regularly, some sufferers of acne have reported a marked reduction in the number of breakouts.
6. Cancer management
Although research is still in its infancy, there is an increasing movement suggesting that CBD can prevent the spread of cancer cells. As yet the use of cannabis is not endorsed by medical bodies as a treatment for cancer, but research suggests that CBD does help manage the side effects of cancer treatments and relieve pain. Another study of 16 people receiving chemotherapy found that the combination of THC and CBD reduced the nausea and vomiting associated with the treatment.
7. Lowering blood pressure and promoting a healthy heart
Studies have suggested that CBD oil offers a number of benefits to the circulatory system, particularly when it comes to managing blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the most dangerous medical states, increasing the risk of major health conditions such as strokes, metabolic syndrome and heart attacks.
A study recently found that one 600mg dose of CBD reduced resting blood pressure, as well as encouraging a healthier response to stress. This is believed to be because of CBD oil’s ability to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as reduce inflammation. CBD oil is a powerful antioxidant, which is also great news for anyone looking to manage their heart health.
Other possible benefits of CBD oil include, but are not limited to: antipsychotic effects for the management of mental health issues such as schizophrenia; addiction treatment; diabetes management; insomnia and tumour prevention.
Many people report marked improvements in a wide range of conditions such as chronic pain, seizures, Multiple Sclerosis, anxiety, fibromyalgia, insomnia, arthritis and much more. However, government regulations mean we are unable to claim that CBD oil can “cure” any of these conditions, and no supplement can be sold as a magical remedy that should be used in place of medical advice.