CBD is short for Cannabidiol, a type of Cannabinoid. Cannabinoids naturally occur in our systems, and as such, CBD is generally classified as a dietary supplement. However, many people think of it slightly more as a medication. The benefits of CBD might be a bit wider-ranger than you’ve heard up to this point. This post will explore them in detail.
CBD For Pain
One of the biggest, most valuable, and most often-experienced benefits of CBD is its pain relief. Many people live with nagging, ongoing pain. This may include muscular pain, intense body aches, and often back or spine pain. For a lot of folks in this predicament, an answer for years has been to take over-the-counter remedies, such as Tylenol (acetaminophen), Aspirin, Aleve (naproxen), or, in some cases, opioids.
This is what creates a demand for CBD, a natural substance that does not cause irritation to the digestive system or run the risk of damaging your liver.
A Variety of Conditions
While one might think of CBD as a catch-all, general remedy for pain—and that’s fine—it’s also important to understand that it has very specific and scientifically-proven impacts on a variety of serious conditions:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Dravet’s Syndrome (pediatric epilepsy)
Pain Relief Through Anti-inflammation
In addition to knowing the various benefits of CBD, it’s really important to get a sense of the workings of how these benefits come about. If you look at the syndromes and nagging problems above, one thing they all have in common is inflammation. Inflammation is a condition in which excessive white blood cells flood the blood stream. When this material leaks into tissue, it inflames it, and that causes pain. One of the chief properties is its anti-inflammatory properties.
The reason for this is that CBD attaches to the Endocannabinoid System within us. This system regulates some important functions like sleep and hunger, but it also pushes for homeostasis. This means that it tries to keep our system in balance; well, by definition, inflammation is an imbalance.
When we talk about over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, we’re looking at Aleve or Ibuprofen. There’s a Catch-22 when we discuss Aleve or Ibuprofen vs. Tylenol. Tylenol isn’t anti-inflammatory, so it’s of no help in this area. But Aleve and Ibuprofen are very hard on the stomach, and there are a lot of people who simply cannot tolerate these drugs without feeling queasy or worse. CBD, whether taken in tinctures, capsules, or in edibles such as cookies, is not associated with nausea—and may improve it.
Why Do People Use CBD to Break Opioid Addictions?
There’s a decent chance that, on the subject of the benefits of CBD, one of the first things you ran across was the way it helps people who are pulling themselves off of harmful opioids. The person was, of course, taking opioids to deal with either chronic or severe pain, and didn’t want to suffer from withdrawals. One thing to keep in mind is that CBD does not work in the same way as opioids. As we’ve seen above, rather than binding to opioid receptors, CBD works on the Endocannabinoid system (ECS). But, as we’ve also seen, it has succeeded for thousands of people in providing pain relief sufficient to replace opioids.
But there’s something even more important for anyone who’s struggled with a dependency on opioids. One study looked at former heroin users and found that when using CBD—as opposed to a placebo—experienced reduced cravings for the dangerous opioid. This is an incredible fact that helps illuminate the far-reaching, life-changing benefits of CBD.
Does CBD Help With Anxiety?
Yes! This is another medical benefit of CBD. This is another case in which we have scientific evidence, even if the nature of medical studies is that they have a specific focus. This study establishes CBD’s documented positive effects on SAD, Social Anxiety Disorder. It may help back up the stories you’ve heard from many friends about CBD helping their fight against anxiety.
Does CBD Help With Depression?
Let’s break down CBD just a bit. One of its components is a wonderful chemical called Anandamide. It is part of the ECS, which, as we’ve seen, is all about keeping us in balance. It has been shown that people with less Anandamide tend to be depressed or to feel anxiety—in other words, their brain chemistry isn’t balanced.
Now, if it helps clarify things, Anandamide is present in chocolate, and helps account for feelings of euphoria that some people feel after indulging in the sweet treat. In this way, we see that while CBD doesn’t produce any high—because it has no THC—like many supplements, it does have some mood-enhancing effects. Naturally, when a person is in physical pain and then finds relief, this has a great impact on his or her emotions. When you factor in chemical improvements in this area, there’s no question that CBD will improve one’s overall well-being.
Other Health Benefits of CBD
Because CBD is a helper to the ECS, it provides a variety of benefits, some of them coming from its anti-inflammatory properties. For example, it is thought to help with blood pressure, and this study looks at overall positive effects of CBD on cardiomyopathy and attendant symptoms.
Also, CBD is known to help fight acne, by causing less of the oils that, in excess, lead to the red bumps. Again, it’s inflammatory, and acne is caused by, among other things, inflammation.
You can see, then, that it’s hard to see why one wouldn’t use CBD, whether occasionally, to quell a specific illness, or as needed for mood elevation. The impacts it has do their work on multiple conditions, with one function applying to many processes in the body.
Different results can come from other things a person puts in his or her system, height and weight, genes, and other factors. All one can do is give CBD a chance.