CBD Oil Benefits: Do You Know the Possibilities?
Cannabis as an alternative and complementary medicine is a new and expanding area of research. Prestigious medical centers around the world have been funding studies on cannabis and the plant's various chemical compounds over the past few decades. As cannabis becomes better understood, a substantial body of sound research is accumulating. A snowball effect is taking form, picking up speed as the plant continues to display huge medicinal potential.
While the THC component of cannabis is more difficult to study due to long-standing legal complications in the United States, other compounds contained in the same plant, like cannabidiol (CBD), are much more easily accessed. Cannabidiol study paving the way for medical research into cannabis because, as of yet, CBD has no known side effects and is apparently non-psychoactive. Its existence is much easier to manage, control and accept by society than its more notable cannabinoid cousin, THC.
Despite the furious advance of medical research, CBD study remains in its infancy. There are few large-scale clinical trials underway, and most investigation remains in the preliminary stages. This means that most studies are still going on at the Petri dish and “lab-rat” level, with only limited resources being invested into human clinical trials.
This is not to say that no human trials have been published, but so far, they tend to be limited in scope. As more and more people turn to cannabinoids like CBD to treat their health issues, there is a tsunami of case study evidence building up. On top of the case studies, there are also some synthetic cannabinoids approved for medical use. These synthetic cannabinoids are often used as legal substitutes for the natural plant compounds and have opened up many doors for further exploration.
Even the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is approving and funding research projects into the “Potential therapeutic uses of THC and other cannabinoids in treatment of pain, HIV, addiction, and other health conditions.” Clearly, if NIDA is doing it there must be a substantial benefit to explore.
Medical Potential of CBD Oil
The wave of research into CBD and other cannabinoids is not without significant merit. Take a moment to search for “CBD oil benefits” and thousands upon thousands of results likely turn up. For the cynical among us, it's easy to simply ignore the miraculous claims coming out of more unsubstantiated sources. Disreputable websites often make statements like, “CBD cures cancer” and “CBD eliminates epilepsy in children.”
Do any of these claims stand up to scrutiny? Unfortunately, because there is currently a lack of long-term clinical study nobody with any authority can claim CBD cures anything...yet. With that being said, there is a lot of preliminary research examining the potential medical applications of CBD. The initial investigations are not definitive (yet) but they appear to be extremely promising in a lot of ways.
What does the current body of research have to say about the potential health benefits of CBD oil? Here is an in-depth DBD oil benefits list:
Perhaps one of the most noted uses of CBD oil is as an anti-inflammatory. But what does the research tell us? In one 2011 review of the potential anti-inflammatory properties of CBD, the authors concluded that: “Studies on models of human diseases support the idea that CBD attenuates inflammation far beyond its antioxidant properties.” Beyond its potential as an antioxidant, CBD seems to target system-wide inflammation through a variety of pathways.
Some studies have shown that CBD reduces the influence of an overactive immune system. It has also been shown to prevent the migration and infiltration of inflamed cells from one area to another. Another way through which preliminary experiments have shown that CBD reduces inflammation is that it apparently reduces oxidative stress throughout the body.
Cannabidiol is continuously advertised for its potential cancer-fighting abilities. While these claims are made on a daily basis, they are only based on what the in-vitro and in-vivo research indicates. Only rigorous clinical trials will lead to definite answers about CBD and cancer, but the initial research on CBD’s cancer-fighting potential is still very promising.
Cannabidiol application has been explored in a wide variety of different cancers including breast, bladder, brain, colon, prostate, lung, and many more. Each trial obviously has individual results; some common threads are demonstrating CBD’s potential as an anti-cancer therapy.
Some of the threads that are weaving together include the way CBD seems to inhibit the migration of cancerous cells from one area to another. Cannabidiol also apparently promotes cell-suicide, but only of abnormally acculturated cells. Healthy cells tend to stay perfectly healthy during applied CBD treatments. On top of this, CBD has shown significant benefits for the treatment of some severe side effects (nausea, vomiting, etc...) that are common during chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
In one often-cited article published in 2011 in the Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, Brazilian researchers uncovered the potential of CBD to effectively treat people suffering from social anxiety disorder (also known as social phobia) during a simulated public speech. In this study, there were two groups of participants: those who had a diagnosed, but never treated, social anxiety disorder and also a healthy control group. Each group received either a single controlled dose or a placebo of CBD before the speeches were delivered.
The authors measured physiological indicators of stress during six different points of the simulation and also included information from the participants’ self-reported stress levels. Once they tallied the results, they concluded that: “Pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort in [the medicated group’s] speech performance” when compared to the control placebo group. In this early human trial, CBD clearly demonstrated its anti-anxiety potential.
Dysfunction within the endocannabinoid system is perhaps one of the main triggers for depression and mood disorders. As our understanding evolves about how our endocannabinoid system works, and subsequently how CBD could work within the system, scientists are hopeful that CBD could offer new and compelling ways to treat depression and other ailments
Through animal trials, researchers have determined that CBD is one of a few cannabinoids that target depressive experience along with THC and CBC significantly. There are a few avenues through which CBD may help relieve the underlying causes of depression.
One such pathway is through reactivation of the CB1 receptors scattered throughout the system. In postmortem studies of depressed people, their brains showed significant declines in CB1 activity when compared to healthy individuals. One of the benefits of CBD oil could be the way it stimulates these receptors’ mechanisms, thus triggering an antidepressant effect.
The other way through which CBD could sooth depression is by acting in similar ways to the synthetic-chemical selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medications. In one study, CBD stimulated vanilloid VR1 receptors and activated 5-HT1A receptors. Both of these receptors play a key role in serotonin regulation in the body, and subsequently, mood regulation.
Epilepsy and Seizures
Some of the most powerful evidence about the therapeutic potential of CBD is from epileptic case studies. Arguably, it’s cannabidiol's ability to reduce the occurrence of drug-resistant seizures in children which the stories of have propelled the substance to global fame.
There is still much debate as to how CBD works to reduce severe seizure disorders, especially when all other medications seem to fail. However, some reports from parents and medical practitioners alike are nothing short of miraculous.
According to a small research survey published in 2013 in the Journal of Epileptic Behavior, over 80 percent of parents reported significant or total reduction in the appearance of seizures in their children. On average, each child had cycled through 12 different epileptic drugs with each one failing to have any effect on their disease. Parents also reported other positive results from using CBD oil, including noticing their children were more alert, in a better mood, and getting a fuller night’s sleep.
There is a definitive link between the progression of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease and a decline in functioning of the endocannabinoid system. The logistics of this connection are still only minimally understood. It has however led to a pursuit of CBD therapy as an alternative treatment for the disease, particularly the aggression and agitation which is so common in the later stages of the disease. Although there are a few case studies on CBD and Alzheimer’s, there are also a few studies looking at synthetic cannabinoids (dronabinol or nabilone) and Alzheimer's.
It’s thought that CBD’s significant anti-inflammatory characteristics, as well as its neuroprotective qualities, help it to slow down the progression of the disease. After all, inflammation is the lead mechanism for neurological-deterioration of diseases like Alzheimer's.
Considering the anti-inflammatory properties mentioned above, CBD may be a viable treatment for cardiovascular diseases as well. It also has antioxidant qualities which may offer further protections for a healthy, functioning heart.
Several scientists believe that CBD could be a perfect therapy for heart disease triggered by diabetes, as well as for patients at risk of stroke. It has shown promising results for reducing tissue damage during stroke and speeding up the recovery of the circulatory system afterward.
Perhaps linked to its ability to reduce stress, CBD seems capable of reducing high blood pressure and other symptoms of high-stress sufferers. Researchers at the University of Nottingham recently asked the question: “Is the cardiovascular system a therapeutic target for cannabidiol?” and through their review of the literature determined that “Accumulating evidence now also suggests that CBD is beneficial to the cardiovascular system.”
This is by no means an exhaustive list of potential applications for CBD oil, more topics are covered in the articles listed here:
The Future of CBD
As with all potential new medications, CBD is still required to go through rigorous scientific testing before federal approval is given. Patients and doctors alike need to be mindful as these trials get underway. Despite the wealth of preclinical data on the usefulness of CBD for treatment of a wide variety of health issues, we all must await the final results before forming any firm conclusions.
With that being said, CBD remains one of the safest known alternative therapies on the market. Although it is awaiting final approvals from the Food and Drug Administration, it does say something about its potential that a variety of synthetic cannabinoids have been approved for medical applications usage.
One of the common threads found throughout all CBD research is the note that CBD is particularly safe to use, even in high doses. Most studies mention the lack of dangerous side effects. Interestingly, especially in the areas of cancer and depression, researchers often note that patients prefer using CBD over traditional medications.
Everyone is excited about what the future could hold for CBD oil benefits. The groundwork has been laid for this all-natural substance to be used throughout a wide variety of medical applications. It’s no wonder that many people are already doing a little research and beginning their own self-experimentation to see what CBD could do for their own health and well-being.