Cannabidiol Products / How it May Benefit Your Health
Cannabidiol, or better known as CBD is an oil taken from the cannabis plant. There are many health benefits from using cannabidiol products such as managing pain and inflammation. It is not however, legal in all states.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of CBD for the prescription use of Epidolex to treat different kinds of epilepsy.
Let’s take a look at what is CBD, how it may benefit someone’s health, how to properly use it, the legal position in the U.S. and any potential risks.
What is CBD oil?
There are several compounds found in the cannabis plant and CBD is just one of them. Many studies and research have been done to find the potential health benefits from using CBD.
Marijuana has two compounds, THC and CBD. They both have entirely different effects.
THC used to be the more well-known compound in cannabis, until recently. It does however, remain the most active component and comes with psychological effects. Your mind is altered and you feel the high regardless of how it is used. This happens because once THC hits your system it breaks down when heat is applied.
CBD on the other hand does have psychological effects. It does not alter one’s mind or give you that high feeling. It may however, yield changes to the body and has shown to have substantial health benefits.
You can learn more about the differences between THC and CBD.
Here’s How CBD Works
Cannabinoid receptors are part of the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoids yield effects in the body when they interact with the receptors.
There are two receptors that the body produces:
CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 are there throughout the body, predominantly in the brain. They coordinate memories, movement, mood, emotion, appetite, pain, thinking and other functions as well.
CB2 receptors are more commonly found in the immune system. They mark pain and inflammation.
CB1 receptors allow THC to attach themselves as CBD rouses the receptors so the body can produce its own cannabinoids, identifies as endocannabinoids.
Cannabidiol Products Benefits
Rendering a study in 2018, benefits of consuming CBD oil include:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Chronic pain
- Anxiety and depression
- Joint pain and arthritis
- Sleep disorders
- Asthma and allergies
- Lung issues
- Seizures and epilepsy
CBD is a natural alternative to help manage pain and inflammation. There is evidence that the compounds in CBD may provide relief from chronic pain.
With so much research over the years regarding the effectiveness and safety of CBD oil for the treatment of epilepsy, in 2018 the FDA had approved using Epidiolex, which is a purified method of CBD.
Scientists are now starting to see how CBD can help prevent seizures with no adverse side effects that traditional medications would have. CBD targets the endocannabinoid system, and as of yet there are no synthetic drugs available that do that.
You can find out more about Epidiolex here.
What kind of effect does CBD have on Alzheimer’s disease?
Those that suffer from Alzheimer’s can lose the ability of recognition, such as faces that were once familiar to them. A study in 2014 showed CBD may be helpful to hold the ability to identify familiar faces.
A review in 2019 discovered that CBD may help slow down the start and progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
A 2012 review discovered evidence that CBD might help stop the spread of some forms of cancer. It seems to overpower the growth of cancer cells and encourage their destruction.
There was discussion in a 2020 review regarding CBD being added to chemotherapy drugs to help the immune system’s response to cancer treatment.
More research was done on how Cannabidiol products may help the following:
- reduce side effects of chemotherapy
- reduce anxiety
- improving the action of chemotherapy
- stop growth of cancer cells
You can learn more about how CBD may help cancer here.
It is not recommended to treat anxiety disorders with cannabis, as THC may intensify feelings of paranoia and anxiousness. However, CBD, may help in reducing anxiety.
A review in 2015 suggested that CBD may help to reduce anxiety behaviors for those that have the following conditions:
- panic disorders
- obsessive compulsive disorders
- general anxiety disorders
- social anxiety disorders
Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes happens when there is inflammation due to the immune system attacking cells in the pancreas.
Evidence was discovered by researchers in 2016 that CBD may lessen inflammation to guard against or postpone the start of diabetes Type 1.
Acne is caused, in part by over worked sebaceous glands and inflammation. CBD has yet another promising use in the treatment of acne.
According to a 2014 study, CBD was found to help lower the production of sebum due to its anti-inflammatory effects.
Using CBD as a topical treatment, research suggests it could reduce inflammation in other skin disorders such as psoriasis.
More skin care lines are incorporating CBD in their ointments and creams.
It is somewhat a bit confusing regarding the legality of CBD in the United States. Under the Farm Bill, Hemp and all hemp derivatives are legal in the U.S. However, the product needs to have less than 0.3% THC.
Cannabidiol Effects and Risks
Cannabidiol products may have some minor risks. It could interact with some medications and supplements. It isn’t possible to know if a product is effective and safe for everyone when not FDA approved.
The FDA does not recommend the use of CBD while pregnant or breast feeding. It is always best to consult with your health care provider when adding any type of supplement to your daily routine.
How to use CBD
There are many ways in which to use CBD oil. They aren’t the same when smoking whole cannabis.
It is important to follow instructions exactly when using prescribed CBD for epilepsy.
Using CBD products:
- Putting into drinks or food
- Using a dropper under the tongue
How much you use depends upon:
- How much you weigh
- Concentration of product
- Reason for using CBD
You can learn more about CBD dosage here.
The interest is growing about Cannabidiol products being used as therapy for many conditions. However, just one product is currently approved by the FDA. The products not approved by the FDA are legal in most states.
More detailed prescriptions and dosages will begin to develop once the regulation increases in the United States.
So, for right now, those interested in using CBD as a therapy for their condition, it is recommended to speak to your health care provider on which product is best and how much to use before trying CBD.