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What Does CBD Do to the Mind, Body, and Your Sleep?



You’ve surely seen that CBD products seem to be taking the world by storm at the moment. CBD talk is popping up all over the place! But that might leave you wondering: exactly what does CBD do? 

With balmscapsulestincturesliposomes, vapes, and even CBD soft drinks currently available, many people wonder why CBD products have become so popular.

Fear not! In the following article, we’ll discuss some of the main reasons millions of people take CBD supplements as part of their daily health and fitness routines.  

What Does CBD Do?

You’ll discover how CBD could help with pain management, protect and promote brain health, alleviate anxiety, and even help you get a good night’s sleep. 

We’ll also reveal how CBD could help to control and reduce inflammation and may be used as an effective way to lower blood pressure naturally. 

Throughout this five-minute guide, we’ll reference some of the latest scientific research papers as well as citing some of the most popular CBD studies published over the last two decades.

Contents

1. What Is CBD?
2. CBD and Pain Management
3. CBD Could Promote and Protect Brain Health
4. CBD Effects on Anxiety
5. Does CBD Help You Sleep?
6. CBD May Help to Control/Reduce Inflammation
7. Other CBD Oil Uses and Potential Benefits
8. Conclusion

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1. What Is CBD?

 

Before we can answer the question, “What does CBD do?” it’s important to take a look at what CBD is. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 114 naturally occurring cannabinoids that are present in and can be derived from both cannabis and hemp plants.

Unlike flowers and buds taken from the marijuana plant, there is little to no THC present in hemp-derived CBD. As THC is the compound responsible for the stoned/“high” feeling associated with cannabis use, many users are pleased to know that CBD is non-psychoactive. This means that taking products that contain CBD will not get you “high.”

CBD can be extracted from the buds and flowers of the hemp plant. Once removed, it’s pressed into oil and can be consumed in many different ways.

In the last two decades, with CBD research becoming more prevalent, the compound is praised for its potential to alleviate, control, and even prevent a vast array of health issues. (Click to tweet) With medical marijuana now legal in 33 states, opinions that have long been associated with cannabis and its derivatives are slowly changing. [1]

CBD has very few adverse effects in comparison to many pharmaceutical medications. For this reason, many people are choosing CBD as a natural alternative to prescribed drugs. (Click to tweet)

In fact, starting with the Chinese in 2900 BC, countless civilizations have utilized hemp extracts to alleviate a range of medical conditions.

Starting with the Chinese in 2900 BC, countless civilizations have utilized hemp extracts to alleviate a range of medical conditions. This hints at the answer to the question "What Does CBD Do?"

RELATED: All You Need to Know about CBD

Now, let’s take a look at some of CBD oil’s popular uses and effects and dive in to discuss that burning question, “What does CBD do?

2. CBD and Pain Management

 

CBD is broadly accepted as an effective natural compound that helps to alleviate and manage difficult-to-treat pain. [2]

This is due to the way CBD interacts with the body’s natural endocannabinoid system (ECS). The endocannabinoid system is a complex and specialized network of receptors that spreads throughout our brain and body.

CBD oiltincturescapsules, and edibles are all widely regarded as effective products that may help control chronic pain. The body’s endocannabinoid system helps to regulate appetite, sleep, pain response, and our immune systems.

CBD oil, tinctures, capsules, and edibles are all widely regarded as effective products that may help control chronic pain.

Scattered throughout our endocannabinoid system are cannabinoid receptors known as CB1 and CB2. When we take CBD supplements, endocannabinoids are produced, and they bind to these receptors throughout our body’s nervous system.

As well as contributing to common brain functions such as mood and memory, the ECS has a direct impact on the ways we experience pain.

CBD may help to alleviate chronic pain by stimulating these special receptors and interacting with neurotransmitters. This can reduce levels of inflammation, as the ECS promotes homeostasis, helping to restore a natural, healthy balance to the central nervous system.

CBD may help to alleviate chronic pain by stimulating CB1 and CB2 receptors.

RELATED: What Is CBD Oil and What Makes It so Popular Today?

At present, research is ongoing to determine how CBD supplementation could help to manage conditions such as multiple sclerosis and arthritis. [3]

Currently, prescription pain medications, NSAIDs, and over-the-counter drugs are primarily recommended to treat chronic pain. However, many people seek natural alternatives such as CBD due to the unpleasant side effects associated with prescription painkillers, especially opioids.

Here’s the thing...

Dependence, liver damage, and kidney problems are just some of the risks associated with some of the most prescribed pain medications in the USA today. [4]

CBD, on the other hand, comes with a very slim side effect profile, with most users reporting no adverse effects at all. (Click to tweet

CBD comes with a very slim side effect profile, with most users reporting no adverse effects at all.

RELATED: Is CBD Safe for All Ages?

3. CBD Could Promote and Protect Brain Health

 

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, by 2050, almost 14 million will be living with the condition, costing the nation around $1.1 trillion. [5]

However, a recent article published by MBG Health revealed new research into CBD oil and how it could be beneficial to brain health. [6]

The article discussed how CBD could help to reduce inflammation and prevent free radical damage, which may protect the brain from conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s.

The article went on to suggest—even more promisingly—that CBD supplementation could help to encourage the generation of new brain cells. This is one of the reasons that CBD has become increasingly popular amongst patients who suffer from seizures. 

CBD has strong antioxidant, neuroprotective, and anti-inflammatory properties.

RELATED: A CBD Benefits Chart That Will Change the Way You Look at CBD

Research is still ongoing as to whether those living with multiple sclerosis and epilepsy can benefit from regular CBD use. However, as CBD has strong antioxidant, neuroprotective, and anti-inflammatory properties, it’s increasingly recognized as a natural way to potentially boost brain health and enhance overall well-being. 

Back in 2018, the FDA approved Epidiolex, a CBD-based medication that treats two rare forms of childhood epilepsy. Not only is this a huge stride for CBD, it indicates that CBD effects have been very positive thus far in epilepsy research.

4. CBD Effects on Anxiety

 

CBD products have shown potential in relieving some forms of social anxiety disorders and social anxiety. In fact, recent clinical trials have revealed that CBD can be used to reduce anxiety effectively. [7] (Click to tweet)

A 2019 study published by the Permanente Journal reported that 79% of participants experienced reduced levels of anxiety when treated with CBD. [8]

These preliminary results on CBD’s positive effects have encouraged mental health advocates to seriously consider CBD oil for its antianxiety properties. 

Recent clinical trials have revealed that CBD can be used to reduce anxiety effectively.

RELATED: How CBD Helped Me Win the Battle Against Panic Attacks and Anxiety

Although the way CBD works in relation to anxiety is yet to be fully understood, millions of people use CBD to relieve their symptoms. 

Check out this fact:

A 2019 Gallup poll reported that 14% of Americans take some form of CBD. Again, this could be due to the adverse effects that popular pharmaceutical solutions for anxiety treatment provide. [9]

For people who don’t want to be hooked on highly addictive benzodiazepines, CBD can provide a holistic approach to managing anxiety. This occurs as a result of natural interactions between CBD and the endocannabinoid system.

In a recent 2020 study, researchers studied the effects of CBD on 397 participants living in New Zealand. The participants were given CBD prescriptions for a range of ailments. These included: [10]

  • non-cancer-related pain 
  • neurological symptoms
  • mental health disorders

Each group reported overall improvements in their quality of life after three weeks of receiving CBD treatment. Those prescribed CBD to treat depression or anxiety experienced improvements in their ability to perform daily tasks and reduced symptoms related to their anxiety or depression.

Those prescribed CBD to treat depression or anxiety experienced improvements in their ability to perform daily tasks and reduced symptoms related to their anxiety or depression.

RELATED: CBD Oil for Relieving Anxiety: A Guide

Additionally, 70% of participants were satisfied with their CBD treatment, with satisfaction scores ranging from good to excellent. Fewer than 10% of participants reported adverse side effects, including vivid dreams and mild sedation. Fewer than 1% of the 397 people who received CBD treatment reported worsening symptoms. 

Although there is a lot more research required around the effectiveness of CBD to manage anxiety, studies like this show great promise. This is especially true when compared to some of the current pharmaceutical options available to treat depression and anxiety.

5. Does CBD Help You Sleep?

 

Some studies have revealed that CBD could be effective as a sleep aid, with early studies indicating that high doses of CBD may be useful in supporting sleep.

One study found that when compared to a placebo, a dosage of 160mg of CBD worked to increase sleep duration. The research concluded that a combination of the placebo (5mg of nitrazepam) and 40, 80, or 160mg of CBD also helped participants to fall asleep. [11]

Cortisol is our body’s stress hormone, with levels typically peaking during the morning. However, people who have insomnia can have raised cortisol levels at nighttime. Regardless of insomnia, people who have raised cortisol levels in the evenings often experience an increase in nighttime awakenings.

Does CBD Help You Sleep?

RELATED: CBD Oil for Sleep: How to Sleep Better

But here’s the cool part.

A 2019 study showed that cortisol levels decreased significantly when participants were given 300 or 600mg of CBD oil. This suggests that CBD affects the release of cortisol, which could support the theory that it may act as a sedative. [12]

Further research on CBD and sleep studied 103 participants who experienced poor sleep or anxiety. Researchers looked at the effects of CBD when combined with other prescribed medications on 103 participants. [13]

The doses of CBD administered ranged between 25–175mg with 25mg being quickly established as the most effective dose to treat anxiety. Addressing troubled sleep required much larger quantities.

CBD affects the release of cortisol, which could support the theory that it may act as a sedative.

RELATED: Why New Liposomal Sleep Formula Is the Best Natural Sleep Aid

The study lasted for three months, with investigators checking in with participants every four weeks. During the first follow-up, almost 70% of people reported improvements in their sleep, with this number dropping to 56.1% four weeks later.

Research concluded that although CBD may help to improve sleep in the short term, the effects may not be sustained. However, this could be due to a buildup in tolerance, with slight increases in dosage potentially needed for users to experience the same effects.

6. CBD May Help to Control/Reduce Inflammation

 

Although inflammation is a necessary reaction that helps the body to heal, chronic or ongoing inflammation can cause significant anxiety and pain. CBD has shown potential as a natural anti-inflammatory, without the adverse effects of prescribed or over-the-counter medications.

There is a wealth of CBD research in animal models, which reveals that the cannabinoid interacts with the immune system, reducing pain in a range of conditions and helping to reduce inflammation.

A 2015 study found that CBD helped to minimize inflammation in several pathways throughout the body. This represents CBD as a potential treatment for many conditions that are characterized by inflammation. [14]

CBD research in animal models, which reveals that the cannabinoid interacts with the immune system, reducing pain in a range of conditions and helping to reduce inflammation.

RELATED: CBD and Inflammation: What You Need to Know

In 2016, a study investigated CBD as a treatment for pancreatic inflammation in mice living with diabetes. The mice that received ten weeks of CBD treatment developed diabetes much later than those that didn’t receive CBD. The mice treated with CBD also had a considerable reduction in immune cell activity. [15]

In 2018, a study published in Neurology revealed that CBD desensitized receptors known to mediate sensory perception, pain, body temperature, and inflammation. [16]

Although these results show promise and the majority of FDA-approved medications are initially tested on animals, there is still a need for rigorous human trials before CBD is approved as a medication.

7. Other CBD Oil Uses and Potential Benefits

 

Research published in 2017 indicated that CBD oil could be used as an effective way to lower blood pressure. This could be due to the anxiety-relieving properties associated with CBD, which could ultimately mean that CBD may support heart health. [17] (Click to tweet)

Research published in 2017 indicated that CBD oil could be used as an effective way to lower blood pressure.

Additionally, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties found in CBD oil could help to prevent heart-related illnesses. 

What’s more…

Due to CBD’s proven efficacy in treating inflammation, both topical and ingested CBD products could help in the treatment of psoriasis and acne. (Click to tweet)

This is because CBD has been known to help reduce the production of sebum, which can increase the severity of acne and other irritating skin conditions.

These are but a few of CBD oil’s uses and benefits, and the list continues to grow quickly as more studies are performed.

RELATED: CBD Oil’s Most Important Benefits: 2020 Update

8. Conclusion

 

As you can see, there is quite a list of answers to the question, “What does CBD do?” but it doesn’t end there. Research is ongoing. Although the FDA has not yet regulated the production of CBD-based products, they are in the process of releasing new draft guidelines that will make the approval of oral CBD medications easier. [18]

There is a lot more research to be completed on the safe interactions between CBD and other medications. That said, with many more clinical trials underway and a wealth of anecdotal success stories published across the world, it’s almost certain that CBD products will become a widely accepted part of the global healthcare industry.

We recommend speaking to your doctor before you start adding CBD to your daily health regimen.

RELATED: What Are the Health Benefits of a Daily CBD Oil Regimen?

As always, here at SOL*CBD, we recommend speaking to your doctor before you start adding CBD to your daily health regimen. This is especially important if you have been diagnosed with any chronic illnesses and are currently taking prescription medications.

Sources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3202504/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2503660/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4851925/
  4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/prescription-pain-pills-worth-the-risks#:~:text=Risks%20and%20benefits&text=Common%20side%20effects%20include%20nausea,unrelated%20to%20cancer%20is%20debated.
  5. https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/facts-figures
  6. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/the-surprising-way-cbd-affects-your-brain-health
  7. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165032718303100?via%3Dihub
  8. https://www.thepermanentejournal.org/issues/43-the-permanente-journal/original-research-and-contributions/6960-cannabidiol-in-anxiety-and-sleep-a-large-case-series.html
  9. https://news.gallup.com/poll/263147/americans-say-cbd-products.aspx
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7330185/
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24281562/
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326553/pdf/18-041.pdf
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326553/pdf/18-041.pdf
  14. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/272373349_Cannabidiol_CBD_and_its_analogs_A_review_of_their_effects_on_inflammation
  15. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27767974/
  16. https://n.neurology.org/content/90/15_Supplement/S53.004
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5470879/
  18. https://www.marijuanamoment.net/new-fda-guidance-will-make-it-easier-to-approve-cbd-based-medicines/

 


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