New to CBD? Or is that you haven’t yet had the chance to experience its life-changing benefits? If you haven’t, you must because it is definitely life-changing. Everyone and his neighbor is using CBD for health, older people, pets, and those looking to change their lifestyle.
So how can CBD change your life? To answer this question, it is necessary to know a little more about CBD – what it is, where it is found, and how to be used. Once you know all this about CBD, it will be easier to understand how CBD changes life.
CBD (cannabidiol) is a natural cannabis compound gaining popularity as a treatment for several ailments. In truth, CBD is not a treatment. It only provides relief from sleep disorders, all kinds of pain, including joint pains, headaches and migraines, back pain, arthritis, rheumatic pain, and many others.
CBD was legalized in 2018, and CBD supplements are now being sold legally.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the most active ingredient in the cannabis plant and a distant cousin of CBD, has psychoactive properties and gives the user a high. Legally sold products containing CBD should not have more than 0.3% of THC.
LIfe-Changing Benefits of CBD
Despite all the hype and uncertainties around it, there is no denying the benefits of CBD. These benefits are life-changing, especially for day-to-day ailments. Here are some of the benefits of CBD that are also scientifically supported.
Marijuana has been a pain-relief compound that has been in use for hundreds of years. In fact, historically, the first reference to the use of marijuana for treating pain dates back to 2900 B.C.
Marijuana contains CBD, a compound with pain-relieving effects. It impacts the activity of endocannabinoid receptors and reduces inflammation.
Endocannabinoid receptors are neurotransmitters that are produced by the natural endocannabinoid system of the body. These neurotransmitters bind with cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system, interact with them and reduce pain. The body’s natural endocannabinoid system is responsible for regulating several functions of the body. These include appetite, immune system response, pain, and sleep.
A study was conducted on rats, and the following was observed –
- The pain response to surgical cuts in rats injected with CBD was highly reduced.
- There was a reduction in inflammation and sciatic nerve pain in rats that received oral CBD.
Another study observed that pain related to arthritis and multiple sclerosis is effectively treated using a combination of THC and CBD.
Stress & Anxiety
Depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental health issues worldwide. They have a horrifying effect on general health. It is ranked as the largest contributor of all mental health disorders, and anxiety ranks sixth.
These disorders are treated using drugs, which have several side effects. These include sexual dysfunction, loss of libido, headache, insomnia, agitation, and drowsiness. They can also become addictive, leading to substance abuse.
Using CBD is a natural approach to treat anxiety and stress holistically. It is safe and has also been used to treat anxiety in children suffering with PTSD.
The effect of CBD in treating depression and anxiety is linked to its ability to work on serotonin, social behavior, and mood regulation.
Anxiety causes sleep disorders such as insomnia, disturbed sleep, and irregular sleep patterns. People using CBD for regulating sleep and chronic pain report improved sleep patterns because CBD affects their sleep directly or pain relief. The outcomes are positive, but different doses have different effects. Low doses of CBD stimulate and high doses sedate. Apart from the dose, the method of administration also has an impact.
At present, research is still in its early stage, and while CBD shows promise to provide relief from insomnia, its effects on sleep and its regulation still need to be studied.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder causing recurrent seizures with irregular electrical brain activity. Epilepsy can only be managed, but there is no treatment for it as yet.
CBD is approved for the treatment of two kinds of epileptic seizures – Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. It effectively treats these two forms of epileptic seizures, and studies are underway to determine its effectiveness in treating other forms of epilepsy.
Epidolex is a CBD-based medication for epilepsy approved by the FDA. It is a pharmaceutical product and entirely different from artisanal CBD. Taking prescription CBD has shown to have a 39% decrease in seizures.
It has also been shown to ease symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and decrease the progress of Alzheimer’s.
Other Potential Benefits
Studies are underway to determine the effect of CBD on treating health issues other than those mentioned above. However, there is inconclusive evidence to suggest that it provides health benefits as given below –
Antipsychotic effects – Studies show that CBD may help treat mental disorders such as schizophrenia by decreasing psychotic symptoms.
Drug Addiction/Substance Abuse – Cannabidiol modifies drug-addiction-related brain circuits. It has been observed to reduce heroin and morphine dependence. It also helps deal with withdrawal symptoms.
Anti-Cancer Effect – There is evidence to prove that cannabidiol has anti-cancer effects. Animal studies demonstrate that the compound helps prevent the spread of colon, lung, brain, and breast cancer.
Diabetes Prevention – Tests were conducted on diabetic mice. It was observed that treating them with CBD brought about a 56% reduction in incidence. It also helps reduce inflammation.
CBD Vs THC
While CBD has a lot in common with THC, it affects the body differently from THC.
CBD is the second active ingredient, next only to THC. It has beneficial properties and is sold in the form of gummies, gels, tinctures, extracts, and supplements. It does not produce the high associated with THC and helps relieve seizures, depression, and anxiety.
Both CBD and THC bind with the CB1 (cannabinoid 1) receptors. THC binds strongly to bring about a euphoric reaction, and CBD binds weakly and reduces the euphoria.
CBD is a Schedule I drug, and THC is banned.
Both the compounds provide the user with medical benefits. As mentioned before, CBD does not produce a high, and THC provides medical benefits with the euphoric effect. This is why people prefer using CBD, the legal cousin.
CBD provides relief from –
THC provides relief from –
- Muscle spasticity
- Low appetite
Here is a chart comparing the effects of CBD and THC –
|Interaction with ECS (endocannabinoid system)||Yes||Yes|
|Shows up on drug tests||probably||Yes|
|Has side effects||Few||Psychoactive effects|
It is necessary to discuss an important point here. It’s mentioned above that CBD and THC are two different compounds. However, when talking of CBD products, the content of THC is always referred to. If the two are different, why is it that THC is discussed in the same sentence?
The two compounds are the most significant compounds present in the cannabis and hemp plant. Both plants produce CBD and THC. THC content is higher in cannabis, and hemp has a higher quantity of CBD. CBD products may contain a small quantity of THC, but legally, not more than 0.3% of THC is permitted at federal levels.
Legality of CBD
CBD products made using CBD extracted from hemp plants and containing less than 0.3% THC are legal. On the other hand, CBD products made using marijuana-derived CBD are federally illegal, but some state laws have legalized it. It should be remembered that CBD products that do not need a prescription for purchase are not FDA approved and hence, can be mislabeled.
Are there any risks of CBD?
Research supports the effectiveness of CBD in treating epilepsy, and FDA-approved medication is also available. There is also evidence supporting the efficacy of CBD in treating substance abuse and schizophrenia.
However, there are some negative implications too. People using Epidiolex have reported experiencing mild diarrhea and other stomach problems. There is drowsiness after the use of CBD.
It has also been observed that CBD interacts with other medications, and there may be side effects.
It is proven that CBD has life-changing benefits. But along with these benefits come some side effects, which may be temporary. For now, CBD is FDA-approved only in the treatment of epilepsy. CBD is an integral part of several supplements, and all of them are purported to effectively reduce joint pains, headaches, migraines, regulate sleep, improve digestion and increase mobility, among others.
Studies are still underway to determine how effectively CBD can treat other medical issues. Until such time, it is being used as a supplement and is not regulated by the FDA. Because of this, the concentration of THC in the supplement is not always correctly mentioned on the label. But despite this, there is no doubt about the benefits of CBD.