With more holistic products readily available, CBD is creating a buzz in the wellness industry. CBD stands for “cannabidiol,” a chemical found in cannabis (marijuana and hemp), and the difference between marijuana and hemp is that while both contain CBD, hemp contains low amounts of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (the stuff that gets you high) Cannabidiol (CBD) is a popular natural remedy used for many common ailments.
CBD is an appealing option for those who are looking for relief from pain and other symptoms without the mind-altering effects of marijuana or certain pharmaceutical drugs, and it’s gaining momentum in the health and wellness world.
Here are five health benefits of CBD that are backed by scientific evidence.
1. Improved Sleep
Chronic lack of sleep has consequences, it can weaken the immune system, increase inflammation, and elevate the risk for a variety of serious health conditions. CBD and sleep go way back, fast forward to the present day, and research is beginning to build, supporting CBD’s calming impact on the central nervous system.
CBD is most often found in the tincture format, but most people are looking for something a bit easier, recent new product styles include all-natural gummies, vape cartridges, and even sweet calming caramels. CBD is available in different concentrations and since everyone’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) is different, the exact dose to treat sleep issues varies. It might take some trial and error to determine what works best for you.
2. Pain Relief
Cannabis has been used to treat pain for thousands of years – it dates as far back as 2900 B.C. The human body contains a specialized system called the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in regulating a variety of functions including sleep, appetite, pain, and immune system response. The body produces endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system.
Studies have shown that CBD may help reduce chronic pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation, and interacting with neurotransmitters. So, if you suffer from pain, research shows that CBD could provide a pain relief option. From neuropathy to arthritis, and from spasm-related pain for MS patients to chronic pain, CBD can reduce pain, making it easier to stay active and improve wellness.
3. Reduces Anxiety
Anxiety and depression are common mental health disorders that can have devastating impacts on wellbeing. Anxiety and depression are usually treated with pharmaceutical drugs, which can cause a number of side effects including drowsiness, agitation, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, and headaches.
Research has shown that CBD could provide treatment for several types of anxiety disorders, such as social generalized anxiety, panic disorders, OCD, and PTSD. The findings point to CBD interacting with receptors in the brain we use to manage anxiety and related behaviors.
A recent study found that medical CBD prescriptions for mental health symptoms improved overall quality of life after three weeks. This is all good news for today’s anxiety-induced world and the sufferers who find it difficult to embrace day-to-day life and meet its challenges.
4. Brain Health
Numerous studies have looked at the effect of CBD on Alzheimer’s disease. A recent article published by MBG Health highlighted recent research into CBD and its benefits for brain health, specifically to protect the brain from diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, because it can help to prevent free radical damage, reduce inflammation, and not only protect the cells in the brain but to help generate new ones. This is also part of the reason why CBD is increasingly popular for patients suffering from seizures.
One 2019 review found that CBD might help slow the onset and progress of Alzheimer’s disease. More research is underway to understand the dosage better. Some scientists believe a treatment involving both THC and CBD may be more effective.
5. Benefits Heart Health
Recent research has linked CBD with several benefits for the heart and circulatory system, including the ability to lower high blood pressure. One recent study treated nine healthy men with one dose of 600 mg of CBD oil and found it reduced resting blood pressure, compared to a placebo. The same study also gave the men stress tests that normally increase blood pressure. Interestingly, the single dose of CBD led the men to experience a smaller blood pressure increase than normal in response to these tests.
Researchers have suggested that the stress and anxiety-reducing properties of CBD are responsible for its ability to help lower blood pressure. Additionally, several studies have demonstrated that CBD may help reduce the inflammation and cell death associated with heart disease due to its powerful antioxidant and stress-reducing properties.
Chad Frey is the founder of Flowerz, a CBD wellness company located in Washington DC and Nashville.