How Can CBD Oil Benefit Your Mental And Physical Health And How Does It Work?
Health Benefits List of Questions Answered
CBD oil has changed life for many people seeking a healthier, happier existence.
Even for individuals suffering from chronic conditions that simply cannot be cured or even reliably treated, the oil has given them the ability to feel healthy and make their life more manageable.
An increasing number of people have been able to regain a sense of control over the way they feel thanks to the anti-inflammatory, pain relieving benefits of cannabidiol (CBD).
But with more people learning about cannabidiol and a growing number of claims surrounding cannabidiol based products, there are many questions on the specific health benefits to be gained.
So what are the health benefits of a product like CBD oil? Simply put, the oil has been shown to offer a variety of health benefits for a range of different conditions and health concerns. Before going deeper into health specific benefits, it’s important to understand what this oil does and why it works for certain ailments.
How Does CBD Oil Work?
To understand why this oil provides certain health benefits, it’s beneficial to have a rudimentary knowledge of how cannabidiol affects the body and why.
The efficacy of the oil are rooted in the presence of the endocannabinoid system. This system is comprised of special chemical receptors contained within the central and peripheral nervous system in mammals. It has direct connections to the brain via the central nervous system and therefore can have powerful effects throughout the body.
These receptors are responsive to cannabinoids, which are compounds the body naturally produces to regulate various functions. They are also present in plants belonging to the Cannabis Sativa species including strains of the hemp plant.
If you don’t remember learning about the endocannabinoid system in your biology or anatomy classes, there is a good explanation for that. Even professionals in the scientific and medical world are still becoming acquainted with it and its relationship with other systems and functions of the human body.
The endocannabinoid system is a fairly recent discovery. It came about as endocannabinoid receptors were identified—the first one, known as CB1, in 1990 and the second, known as CB2 in 1993.
Since this discovery, scientists have been learning how natural cannabinoid production, and the introduction of cannabinoids from substances like CBD oil, plays a role in the regulation of other bodily systems and overall health.
There is still a lot to learn about how specific health conditions may be a direct or related result of individual endocannabinoid function and natural cannabinoid production. It is clear that introducing cannabinoids by taking in THC or CBD affects the body numerous ways.
Our memory, appetite, response to stress, immune response, energy levels, quality of sleep, ability to fight inflammation, perception of pain, and other factors and capacities are shown to have a strong connection to the endocannabinoid system and what our endocannabinoid receptors detect and respond to.
Using CBD oil is a reliable way of triggering the endocannabinoid system, which then prompts other reactions within the body. Fortunately, the vast majority of those reactions are pretty positive and desirable.
This is part of the reason the CBD oil benefits, combined with treatments show such promise for so many ailments.
“We are now at a point where you have to understand how [endocannabinoids] can be so relevant in so many areas—literally everywhere in the body. There must be a reason why these endocannabinoids are always there.”
Who Can Benefit From CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol based treatments are not necessarily new, but our ability to reliably isolate this substance and study its effect on the endocannabinoid system is still relatively recent.
Any amount of research will tell you that clinical trials and carefully controlled studies of CBD’s effect on specific ailments and conditions are limited, though increasingly underway.
Currently, CBD based pharmaceutical medications have been approved for pain management and alleviation in patients afflicted with multiple sclerosis and in the treatment of specific types of childhood epilepsy. It has also been shown to reduce and prevent instances of seizures in certain conditions.
Though the FDA has only approved CBD for treatment of two rare forms of epilepsy, cannabidiol based medications have gained wider acceptance internationally. In places like the UK and Canada, CBD prescription drugs are available for the treatment of pain related to chronic diseases and other health issues.
Common CBD based health supplements still show a great deal of promise for a wide range of conditions. It is not difficult to find extensive testimonials and anecdotal support for such products.
For example, in the study, “The Endocannabinoid System as an Emerging Target of Pharmacotherapy”, published in Pharmacol Rev in 2006, researchers Pál Pacher, Sándor Bátkai and George Kunos concluded that “the endocannabinoid system has been implicated in a growing number of physiological functions, both in the central and peripheral nervous systems and in peripheral organs.
More importantly, modulating the activity of the endocannabinoid system turned out to hold therapeutic promise in a wide range of disparate diseases and pathological conditions, ranging from mood and anxiety disorders, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury, to cancer, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, hypertension, glaucoma, obesity/metabolic syndrome, and osteoporosis, to name just a few.”
Many more articles and studies from mainstream sources are showing how much of a ripple effect can be found through the endocannabinoid system. The ability to affect its function is powerful, especially when dealing with ailments that can be otherwise difficult to treat with consistent success.
Before you start thinking CBD may be the cure-all for everything and anything, it’s important to understand that more research will be required to determine exactly who can expect the greatest benefit from Cannabidiol oil, but there is ample preliminary research that attests to certain benefits.
“The growing number of preclinical studies and clinical trials with compounds that modulate the endocannabinoid system will probably result in novel therapeutic approaches in a number of diseases for which current treatments do not fully address the patients’ need.”
What Are The Mental Health Benefits of CBD Oil?
The endocannabinoid system’s relationship to the brain is still being explored, but the unique properties of CBD show strong potential for correcting and easing various psychological disorders. Current research gives many reasons to consider CBD oil as an effective aid in an overall approach to managing certain psychological conditions and resulting symptoms.
Anecdotally and in pilot studies, CBD oil has been shown to offer consistent benefit for individuals suffering from various types of anxiety and panic disorders, PTSD, depression, OCD, and even addiction.
Studies are also underway to see how CBD may provide antipsychotic effects on par with drugs used to treat schizophrenia, as well as various forms of psychosis.
As CBD has been shown to reduce feelings of panic, anxiety, and compulsion—without the side effects associated with anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, and other psychiatric medications—it may make treatment of disorders more manageable for individuals who struggle with side effects and end up discontinuing medications as a result.
It has also provided relief and reduction of perceived pain in patients who are managing addiction to various opioids and prescription pain medications.
It can have a positive effect on individuals going through withdrawal, easing symptoms including compulsion and cravings for various substances like nicotine.
Treatment of mental and psychological disorders can be difficult to navigate and often boil down to case-by-case successes and failures. This is why CBD oil’s value in treating certain aspects of mental health still requires extensive study.
Trying CBD oil to ease common mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety has not been shown to result in any harm but it’s important to do so under the guidance of your regular physician and a licensed therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist.
It’s necessary to have full awareness of CBD’s side effects and the potential for withdrawal symptoms. Though considerably less severe than side effects associated with many psychiatric medications, overuse or misuse of CBD oil can result in drowsiness, changes in appetite, and diarrhea.
It’s also possible to develop a tolerance for CBD oil when overused, but there is no known risk of addiction, toxicity, or death which can occur with overdoses of other drugs.
If large amounts of CBD are used and the treatment is stopped, withdrawal symptoms may be experienced. They include irritability, insomnia, restlessness, hot flashes, nausea and cramping. These symptoms typically subside over a period of several days.
“These findings suggest that CBD has beneficial effects in patients with schizophrenia. As CBD’s effects do not appear to depend on dopamine receptor antagonism, this agent may represent a new class of treatment for the disorder.”
Does CBD Oil Help For Pain?
Those suffering from chronic pain due to a degenerative disease or sustained musculoskeletal injury, such as disc and nerve disorders, have found relief through CBD oil.
CBD oil benefits for pain, excluding pain relief and anti-inflammatory effects of the oil are significant in a time when long-term use of opioid medication and associated side effects have become a health crisis unto itself.
More and more individuals suffering from chronic pain end up overusing and misusing conventional prescription medications, resulting in severe addictions and overdoses that can cause irreversible health problems and even death.
The limited and mild side effects of CBD, paired with its substantial benefits can help reduce the reliance on some courses of treatment that come with a great deal of risk and compromise.
The oil has also shown to reduce pain and inflammation that occur in individuals suffering from fibromyalgia, various types of arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, stroke, spinal injuries, and other conditions.
CBD’s ability to suppress inflammation and ease chronic pain holds promise for targeting pain in specific areas of the body and for overall relief of pain. The fact that the oil can be used both topically and internally is highly advantageous for treatment of a variety of pain conditions.
While the pain relieving qualities of cannabidiol are shown to be significant for many people, it is not as effective a treatment option for acute injuries or sudden discomfort, such as a sprain, spasm, or break.
As most over-the-counter and conventional pain treatments provide reliable relief for such injuries in the short term, CBD oil usually isn’t necessary. It can, however, be useful when acute injuries lead to a chronic or reoccurring pain condition. The properties of the oil make it uniquely favorable for regular, long-term use rather than as a quick remedy for a temporary pain condition.
Cannabidiol oil may have potential for helping individuals cope with pain, inflammatory responses, and other symptoms associated with some cancers, such as nausea and vomiting. Researchers are also exploring ways CBD might prevent the growth of tumors and cancer cells, but many more studies are needed to determine its potential role as an aid in cancer treatments.
Is CBD Oil Right For Me?
Before undergoing any sort of treatment, investing in a new product, or trying something unfamiliar for the sake of your health, it’s wise to exercise some skepticism and do your research. You can do this and still maintain an open mind.
You should speak to your doctor, especially if you are already undergoing a prescribed or guided treatment for a specific ailment, disease, or disorder.
Typically, CBD doesn’t conflict with other medications, but only your physician can help you confirm if CBD oil will be safe and effective for your specific needs.
Even if your doctor doesn’t explicitly endorse your use of CBD, you should at least confirm that CBD oil will not be a detriment or interference to any current treatments or conditions.
In some cases, CBD can be a useful complementary or supplemental enhancement to various courses of treatment, but again, you must discuss your individual case with your primary care physician.
Many doctors are only just now learning about CBD based treatments, so don’t get discouraged if your physician sounds dismissive or overly skeptical when you bring it up during your next office visit.
Remember that the endocannabinoid system is a fairly recent discovery and is still just being understood. It’s not unusual for medical professionals to be unfamiliar with treatments based on the function of this system.
This is why you may also want to reach out to doctors who are versed in cannabinoid based health resources. There are now directories online that will help you to connect with local doctors who are versed in cannabinoid treatments.
How Do I Get CBD Oil?
Though it’s important to work with a doctor, especially if you are treating a specific condition, you do not need a prescription to get CBD oil.
There is much concern regarding the legality of CBD oil since it can potentially be harvested from marijuana plants and isolated in a manner that’s similar to THC extraction.
Both THC and CBD are cannabinoid compounds that can be found in different strains of cannabis plants. Legal hemp crops can also be used as a source of CBD. No marijuana needs to be involved in the production of CBD and CBD products do not need to contain any THC whatsoever.
CBD results in no psychoactive effects. There is no “high” or feelings of euphoria produced from using CBD oil, nor are there feelings of paranoia, apprehension, intoxication, or inebriation that are common with THC.
CBD oil, as long as it is obtained from legal hemp sources and contains no more than .3% THC, is regarded as legal to use. You do not need a medicinal marijuana card or even need to live in a state where marijuana is legal to acquire or benefit from CBD hemp oil.
This doesn’t mean you should be careless in your selection of CBD oil. Unfortunately, regulation of quality and contents in CBD oil and CBD products can be inconsistent from one source to the next.
Some disreputable health supplement manufacturers and suppliers may even label their products as CBD despite a complete lack of any real CBD oil or CBD contents. This is a problematic effect of CBD becoming better known as a valuable health treatment and its increased marketability.
It’s now not uncommon to see packaged food, candy, and confections, along with bottled drinks, topical lotions, salves and spa products, and other items marketed under the CBD, hemp, or cannabis umbrella of health supplements.
Though these products will make bold claims and look appealing, be careful to check the label for active ingredients.
CBD oil or products containing actual CBD should not be tried on a whim without understanding how it may potentially affect. You should also never buy it from a seller and manufacturer you do not trust.
Always choose your sources carefully and avoid purchasing based on price-point and marketing alone. Make sure you have a full understanding of how much CBD you should use based on your height, weight, and specific health needs.
If the CBD oil product you receive appears low quality, is poorly packaged or labeled, and if you find you cannot easily reach the supplier or manufacturer should you have questions, it’s best to avoid using that product.