Ancient doctors and healers across the globe who prescribed cannabis thousands of years ago did so because they witnessed its medical benefits firsthand. In the last half century, modern science has begun to shed light on the biological processes behind the healing, where plant and animal chemistry work in concert. CBD has many health benefits.
CBD for Inflammation
Inflammatory conditions like arthritis, lupus, irritable bowel syndrome, eczema, or every day aches and pains, can be debilitating. Most medical solutions attempt to treat and control the symptoms without addressing the underlying causes of the inflammation. CBD helps alleviate those painful symptoms while also altering the mechanisms responsible for the inflammation.
CB2 receptors help to regulate our body’s natural immune response. Inflammation is an immune response to injury, foreign bacteria, and viruses. Chronic inflammation occurs when the immune system can no longer recognize the body’s natural responses and begins to attack normal, healthy cells, leading to the possible progression or development of certain diseases.
CBD can stop these inappropriate immune responses before they begin. For example, cytokines are small proteins released by immune cells and are involved in initiating inflammation. CBD works to suppress cytokine production while boosting T-regulatory cells (Tregs). Tregs work to modulate the immune system and prevent autoimmune diseases.
CBD Oil for Anxiety Relief
CBD may alleviate severe social anxiety. Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder, or SAD, is one of the most common forms of anxiety disorders that impair quality of life.
In a 2011 study, scientists wanted to study the effects of CBD on people with SAD. The scientists selected 24 people with this condition who had never received treatment for SAD then divided participants into two groups. One group received 600 mg of CBD while the control group received a placebo. The scientists then asked study participants to take part in a simulated public speaking test while researchers measured blood pressure, heart rate, and other measurements of physiological and psychological stress.
The CBD group showed significantly reduced levels of anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort during their speech performance. In comparison, those in the placebo group presented the opposite. Considering anxiety and depression in general, CBD may be able to help by targeting the source of the issue.
Low levels of serotonin is linked to depression and anxiety. CBD activates a serotonin receptor called 5-HT1A, which increases serotonin levels in the brain. CBD also inhibits the re-uptake of neurotransmitters adenosine and anandamide, both known to elevate mood and limit the effects of anxiety.
And, because CBD can reduce pain and inflammation, it can help promote sleep and relaxation, reducing stress levels and providing calm.
One of the greatest benefits of CBD oil is its ability to relieve pain. Studies have found CBD to be effective in treating pain from a wide range of conditions, including arthritis, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, back pain and muscle spasms. Studies have also found CBD to be effective in reducing the pain, spasms. and involuntary movements in individuals with Parkinson’s Disease.
Significant amounts of research have shown CBD to have a major impact on the glycine receptors found in the central nervous system. These receptors play a key role in our perception of pain. CBD increases the effect of glycine receptors and, in doing so, decrease our sensation of pain. As mentioned above, CBD also has an anti-inflammatory effect that reduces redness and swelling.
CBD for Cancer Patients
Some studies have found that CBD can reduce the growth of cancer cells. One of the ways CBD may do this is through antagonizing the GPR55 receptors. When active, these receptors have been shown to promote the growth of cancer cells. One particular study suggests that CBD oil can “turn off” the ID-1 gene, the gene responsible for the spread of breast cancer.
CBD may also be able to reduce the spread of cancer through its effects on cellular function. While the mechanisms are still being investigated, CBD has been shown to play a role in apoptosis, or cell death, of cancerous cells, preventing them from further replicating and spreading.
There is a lot more research left to be done in the area, but the fact that CBD can reduce inflammation in the body and alter the reproduction of certain cells offers some hope.
Finally, CBD oil may help manage the side effects of cancer treatments.
Because of its pain-relieving properties, CBD oil may be able to help mitigate the painful after-effects of chemo and radiation treatments. There have also been some studies examining cannabidiol’s ability to reduce anticipatory nausea, often experienced by cancer patients prior to treatment.
CBD’s Antipsychotic and Neuroprotective Properties
CBD has been showing great potential as an antipsychotic and neuroprotectant. More study is required to understand the exact reasons for this effect, but it may have something to do with the way CBD prevents the breakdown of the endocannabinoid anandamide.
Another potential reasons for CBD’s antipsychotic effect could be its ability to bind with the dopamine D2 receptor. This is a receptor targeted by commonly prescribed antipsychotic medications.
These antipsychotic properties are not just important for individuals with schizophrenia, but can also impact those with bipolar disorder, and those experiencing psychosis related to Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, or alcohol and drug use.
CBD continues to surprise medical researchers with the variety of common health benefits it provides. An increasing number of scientists, physicians and consumers are learning about these health benefits and incorporating CBD into a healthy lifestyle plan.
Because, CBD acts to reduce inflammation, it can also help reduce the appearance of acne. Sebum is an oily substance that is produced in the body to help hydrate the skin. Too much sebum can cause acne. One study has found that CBD oil prevented activity in the sebaceous glands that produce sebum leading to clearer, less oily skin.
For this reason, many skin care and beauty brands are starting to incorporate CBD into their products.