“CBD doesn’t get you high, it gets you healthy.” – CBD Journals
The CBD Craze
CBD (or Cannabidiol) has gotten a lot of hype in the past few years as a natural remedy for everything from epileptic seizures to anxiety to inflammation to sleeplessness. While it may seem like it just came on the scene, it has actually been around for thousands of years to treat various types of pain, but the western medical community has only recently begun to study it again.
Cannabidiol is extracted from the flowers and buds of marijuana or hemp plants. It does not produce intoxication or the “high” feeling that marijuana does because it does not have the active compound, THC. CBD is not a psychoactive, meaning that it does not change a person’s state of mind. Instead, what it does is help the body to use its own endocannabinoids more effectively.
Benefits for Anxiety & Depression
The effects are still being researched and tested, but CBD has been linked to treat a number of symptoms. One of the largest benefits is the ability for CBD to reduce your body’s natural stress hormone (Cortisol). It works straight away like a thermostat, bringing your body immediately into balance after taking an oral dose of between 400-600mg by allowing the brain to access and reduce the breakdown of the “bliss” molecules like serotonin and anandamide. Taken consistently, CBD can result in a more stress free life.
In fact, the New York Times recently put out a survey to 5,000 people and found that 60% of CBD users were doing so for anxiety, and for good reason. While anxiety and depression are both common health disorders that can has overwhelmingly negative impacts on health and well-being, use of CBD has been shown to help to reduce anxiety and depression in both human and animal studies.
Although these disorders are usually treated with pharmaceutical drugs that come with a host of side effects like drowsiness, agitation, insomnia, and headaches and can be addictive, CBD oil may be a promising solution as a more natural approach.
Benefits for Skin
In addition to anxiety, CBD can also help the flare ups of acne through its anti-inflammatory properties. Acne can arise due to genetics, bacteria, underlying inflammation, or an overproduction of oil. While it will require more testing, one test-tube study did find that CBD oil prevented sebaceous gland cells from secreting excessive sebum, exerted anti-inflammatory actions and prevented the activation of “pro-acne” agents like inflammatory cytokines.
Benefits for Pain Management
CBD has also been shown to reduce pain and inflammation when delivered under the tongue in a topical use. In fact, in a study with mice, CBD applied topically to arthritis was shown to reduce inflammation and dull pain signals. Inflammation is the process by which your body’s white blood cells protect you from infection.
Unregulated inflammation, however, becomes a disease. If the inflammatory process goes on for too long or if the inflammatory response occurs in places where it is not needed, it can become problematic.
Symptoms include redness, swelling, pain, and stiffness. Chronic inflammation has been linked to diseases like heart disease or stroke, and may also lead to autoimmune disorders. With the new link to prevention and cure with CBD, it is a promising way to go about treatment.
CBD vs. FDA
The only CBD drug the Food and Drug Administration has approved is Epidiolex, an oral solution to treat seizures for two rare forms of epilepsy; Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome for people two years and older. Both syndromes are genetic and begin in childhood or as an infant, respectively, are known to inhibit motor learning skills, and cause victims to have difficulties relating to others or performing usual daily living activities.
Epidiolex’s effectiveness was studied in three randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials involving 516 patients with either Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome. Epidiolex, taken along with other medications, was shown to be effective in reducing the frequency of seizures when compared with placebo. There were shown to be some side effects like sleepiness, lethargy, decreased appetite, diarrhea, rash, and fatigue, this medication can be a real solution from people who suffer from these conditions.
The FDA does not regulate for most conditions, so dosages are open to interpretation and should be treated with caution. Talking to a doctor before taking any to determine which and how much is a recommended route.
Side Effects of CBD
Side effects range based on the person as well as the dosage and plant strain of the CBD. Symptoms like tiredness, diarrhea, appetite changes, and significant weight gain or weight loss have been correlated to CBD.
It is also good to note is that science has yet to uncover some aspects of CBD, like its long term effect on hormones, or any negative body adaptations over time. It is not recommended to use on children at this time as there has been little research done on how CBD affects a child’s developing brain.
Overall, the benefits of CBD are still being researched and studied, and the successful treatments may be at an individual level rather than a hard and fast truth. Do your research before engaging in CBD for remedies, as there isn’t a strong government regulation on products, make sure you’re purchasing from reputable and trustworthy sources.