What Does CBD Do to The Body?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of two main cannabinoids found in cannabis and hemp plants, the other being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD works by stimulating one of the largest regulatory systems present in the human body: the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Within the ECS are two primary receptors, CB1 and CB2.
CB1 receptors primarily are found in the brain and nervous system. However, they also are present in several organs and certain areas of the reproductive and gastrointestinal systems, among others. CB2 receptors primarily are found within the immune system. These receptors can be activated either by the body’s naturally occurring cannabinoids, or by cannabinoids such as THC and CBD.
However, unlike THC, when CBD is ingested, it does not directly stimulate these receptors. Rather, it simply signals the body’s naturally occurring cannabinoids to activate the receptors. This, in turn, stimulates the CB1 and CB2 receptors to do more of what they normally do. In addition to CB1 and CB2 receptors, CBD works with several other receptors as well.
CBD is nontoxic, and no fatal overdoses have been recorded. CBD has no known serious side effects, though some users have reported side effects such as dry-mouth and mild stomachaches. Compiled below are some of the most common symptoms CBD is used to assist in relieving.
CBD has shown promising potential in effectively treating various health conditions associated with chronic pain. Several studies found that CBD significantly decreases pain, especially when used in conjunction with other opioids. Studies even have suggested that cannabinoids such as CBD may eventually be considered in a new class of drugs for the treatment of chronic pain.
People suffering from health conditions such as multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and neuropathy (nerve damage) may benefit greatly from adding CBD to their treatment regimen.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD may assist in the relief of joint pain and swelling, as well as in the reduction of joint degeneration and disease progression. In fact, many diseases have inflammation as their root cause. So, individuals with health conditions such as arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, Type 1 diabetes, and even celiac’s disease, can benefit from CBD.
CBD has shown promising anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effects. Several studies have shown that these CBD effects occurred quickly, and remained consistent. The reason CBD is so effective in relieving anxiety and depression symptoms is CBD also works with the serotonin system, in addition to the ECS.
CBD may be beneficial in treating a number of anxiety and depression-related disorders, including:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Panic disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Mild to moderate depression
CBD is known to have an antipsychotic effect, which means it is likely a promising treatment for disorders such as schizophrenia.
One of CBD’s more widely known therapeutic applications is assisting with seizures often associated with health conditions such as epilepsy. One survey including parents of children with epilepsy, found that 84 percent of parents reported a reduction in seizure frequency in their child while he or she was taking CBD. In this study, the children also were reported to have experienced increased alertness, improved sleep, and enhanced mood.
CBD also is being studied for its possible effectiveness in treating other neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders. It’s suggested that CBD may assist with the reduction of neurodegeneration and neuronal injury.
Another promising quality of CBD is its antiemetic properties. Several studies have suggested that nausea and vomiting can be relieved with CBD. In these studies, it was found that a lower dose was most effective, and a higher dose had little to no effect on symptoms.
In addition to relieving nausea, CBD also can help to increase appetite. This can be beneficial for a number of conditions, such as anorexia, bulimia, and morning sickness. CBD also can help people going through intensive treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy, as appetite often decreases during these treatments.
Several studies have found that CBD may be an effective therapy for substance abuse and other addictive disorders. One study found that individuals who replaced nicotine with CBD, and inhaled CBD any time a nicotine craving occurred, reduced the number of cigarettes smoked by more than 40 percent. In addition, the craving for nicotine did not increase. Another similar study came to the same conclusion, but with the use of opioids instead.
CBD also can help relieve many of the undesirable symptoms associated with withdrawal, such as mood swings, anxiety, nausea and insomnia.
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Disclaimer: Be sure to consult your doctor or another health professional before adding CBD to your treatment regimen. This is especially important if you are currently taking any medications. Remember, while research into the benefits and effects of CBD is very promising, more scientific research is needed.