People have been using cannabis and hemp plants for a long time. Many people use them to deal with various medical conditions and some people use them for recreational purposes. However, lately, the trend has been that more people are turning to them for medicinal purposes to avoid the adverse side effects of some pharmaceuticals.
Cannabidiol (or CBD), is one of the many compounds with medicinal benefits that can be found in these plants. Another compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is also found in these plants. THC is present in especially high levels in marijuana plants. It is THC that produces the high feeling widely associated with cannabis. On the other hand, CBD, which can be found in higher quantities in hemp plants, has no psychoactive effects.
Due to the therapeutic effects of CBD, there are many products available nowadays that contain the cannabinoid and these are available in various forms, including the following:
What medical conditions can CBD help treat?
Although there’s so much talk and unverified information that CBD can treat almost every condition, scientific studies show it can only be proven to help treat a few issues—as can be seen from this 2018 WHO report. In addition, it’s worth noting that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies CBD as a dietary supplement. As such, vendors can market CBD products without any scientific evidence to support their claims, and users buy them under “buyer beware” conditions.
Below are some of the few conditions that scientific studies have shown that CBD can treat or that the compound has shown some medical benefits related to dealing with them.
For many years, anecdotal reports have touched on using CBD to treat epilepsy. A few intensive scientific pieces of research seem to back those claims. For example, according to a study featured in the New England Journal of Medicine from May 2018, CBD showed efficacy in lowering the
frequency of seizures among people suffering from Lennox Gastaut syndrome (LGS), a form of epilepsy.
Moreover, in June 2018, the FDA approved a CBD–based oral solution, known as Epidiolex, to treat seizures associated with two rare, but severe, forms of epilepsy, namely LGS and Dravet Syndrome. The approval of the CBD formulation was a big breakthrough because some commonly used treatments had been shown to be ineffective for around 30% of those suffering from the illness.
Anxiety and depression
Scientists have conducted many studies to look at how CBD can help to manage different neuropsychiatric disorders. Among the most recent, an October 2015 study published in Neurotherapeutics led to findings that topical CBD can treat several anxiety disorders.
So, how does cannabidiol help with managing anxiety? The scientists who studied the potential of CBD in relieving anxiety are of the view that the compound may alter the response to serotonin of the human brain’s receptors. This is a chemical that is known to have some effect on mental health.
To back the claim that CBD can help to deal with anxiety, we can point to a study that shows that people with social anxiety could deliver speeches after a 600 mg CBD dose. Other studies done previously, albeit on animals, lead to the conclusion that CBD may be an effective anxiety reliever in the following ways:
· Promoting sleep among those affected by insomnia
· Lowering stress levels
· Improving post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms
· Managing heart rate and other physiological effects of anxiety
Cannabidiol can be used as a potential remedy for various mental issues including social anxiety disorder, PTSD, panic disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The beauty of using CBD for mental health issues is that it produces results pretty fast.
In addition, people can use the cannabinoid for extended periods with no severe side effects, unlike most anxiety meds or antidepressants, which have a horde of adverse effects. Thus, CBD may be an excellent alternative medication for people with various mental disorders.
High blood pressure
The principal manifestation of high blood pressure is a constant struggle to relax due to extremely high-stress levels. For such people, the essential requirement is to lower their stress levels. The good news is that CBD can help to achieve this because it relieves anxiety and reduces stress.
According to a study in England on the effects of CBD on high blood pressure, researchers found that a dose of the compound led to a 6 mmHg drop in resting blood pressure. The July 2017 study featured in the JCI Insight involved several healthy men aged between 19 and 29 years, who had not previously used CBD and never smoked.
The study concluded that the men’s response was a result of the pain-relieving (analgesic) and anxiety-reducing (anxiolytic) effects of CBD.
One of the first uses of marijuana and hemp plants was to deal with pain. In modern times, cannabidiol is still an efficient pain reliever and is a crucial component in most pain management solutions.
People experiencing chronic pain due to a number of ailments need to use medications regularly to manage their pain. Unfortunately, there is a big risk in taking pain-relieving drugs for a long time—such as developing an addiction to strong meds such as opioids.
Cannabidiol is an excellent alternative to the pain meds used by people with chronic pain. This is because it helps to deal with pain and does not pose the risk of addiction or cause any of the adverse effects that are linked to some pharmaceuticals.
Moreover, those who need CBD for medicinal purposes can buy CBD flower from Cannaflower or other organic CBD growers and suppliers.
The price is very affordable, especially in bulk. Also, CBD –based products are easy to find, and they are available in different forms that users can conveniently use and carry around.
So, what categories of pain can CBD help to manage? Cannabidiol can be a potential remedy for several pains related to arthritis. For example, the July 2016 Edition of the European Journal of Pain has a published study that shows that arthritis patients could rely on CBD to deal with pain.
The study involved animals (rats) and sought to find if the application of CBD gel on the skin could help reduce pain and inflammation. The researchers found that skin products with CBD could be effective pain relievers with no adverse effects from their use.
Acne and various skin problems
Some people suffer from red pimples on their skin, and more so on their faces. The problem is linked to infections of the sebaceous glands and is mainly present in adolescents. This skin issue is referred to as acne.
Most people will grapple with acne at one point or another in their life, and there are various types of acne.
Various studies show that CBD may help to deal with acne. One study led to the conclusion that CBD can treat acne because it helps to reduce inflammation. Other than treating acne, cannabidiol has other uses in dermatology.
It has shown efficacy in treating psoriasis thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects and capacity to reduce itching.
In addition, those with psoriasis could benefit from CBD’s anxiety-reducing effect, given that the disease often has some psychological impact on them and they need to deal with this as part of their treatment process.
Many people grapple with various addictions, but the common ones are tobacco, opioid, and alcohol addictions. It is not a walk in the park to deal with these addictions, and most people relapse even when they have kept off the substances for long periods.
However, CBD has shown great promise in helping overcome various addictions, especially tobacco, cocaine, alcohol, and even opioids.
Cannabidiol’s properties can significantly help those struggling with the effects of handing addiction, primarily as they work on quitting the various substances and experience withdrawal symptoms. Because most addicts suffer from nausea as a withdrawal symptom, CBD can be used to provide relief by reducing the feeling.
In addition, CBD’s relaxation-inducing effect comes in handy for recovering addicts going through severe and intense withdrawal symptoms.
CBD is an excellent pain management therapy component, CBD helps addicts handle the pain as they work on stopping abusing various substances.
Moreover, CBD can benefit recovering addicts by assisting them in maintaining good mental health as they pass the challenging phase.
Effects of cancer treatment
A key focus has been on using CBD to reduce the symptoms linked to cancer treatment. More specifically, the use of CBD in cancer management has been in helping to manage nausea and vomiting, which are common side effects of radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments. The FDA has so far given the green light on using two CBD-based drugs to combat the side effects.
In addition to the management of cancer-treatment-related symptoms, the American Cancer Society indicates that some recent studies have discovered that CBD could reduce the growth rate of cancer cells.
As you can see from the above discussion, there are indeed some medical conditions that CBD can help treat. People with the above issues can consider cannabidiol if it could help them to deal with them.
However, it is always advisable to seek your physician’s advice before using any CBD products for medicinal purposes. This is especially necessary if you are using other meds since CBD can interact with other them. Also, it is crucial to be aware of some side effects of CBD, including dry mouth, dizziness, mood problems, and gastrointestinal issues.