Updated: May 20
Is your body telling you to calm down? It’s very possible because these days, everything seems to be on the fast track. There’s so much happening around us that it’s easy to feel anxious, depressed and downright overwhelmed. To the max. Job demands, non-stop media bombardment (both good and bad), social obligations, plus the challenges of caring for a home and family make a tasty recipe for stress. And the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic only makes all these things worse. If you’re looking for safe relief from stress and anxiety, consider trying CBD. CBD stands for Cannabidiol and quickly is becoming one of the most popular and commonplace pain remedies around. You may have even seen a dedicated display of it at your local grocery store. You might say CBD is the “it” product of the moment, showing up in everything from sprays and oils, to coffee shop lattes, to beauty lotions. Although CBD is derived from the Cannabis sativa plant (yes, that’s marijuana), it is a naturally occurring substance that only promotes a feeling of calm. Unlike marijuana, CBD does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the major ingredient in marijuana with psychoactive properties (getting high). Instead, CBD is known to heal pain, decrease inflammation and calm anxiety - without altering your state of mind. In theory, it can replace opioids (which are often associated with addiction) and other pain relievers you can obtain both over the counter and via prescription. This article will explore CBD and highlight some of the ways it could potentially help free you from the clutches of stress and pain, and get back to living an active and meaningful lifestyle.
CBD can alleviate pain (chronic, migraines, cluster and other headaches) ? Perhaps the biggest reason people turn to CBD is the pain relief associated with it. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one out of every five Americans suffers from some type of chronic pain. If you’re one of those unfortunate individuals, CBD could be an attractive option for relief. The human body contains a specialized system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which helps regulate functions like sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response; endocannabinoids, which we all have, are neuroreceptors that bind to cannabinoid receptors in our nervous system. According to research, CBD impacts endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation and interaction with neurotransmitters, ultimately reducing pain. CBD can reduce anxiety or depression? Anxiety and depression are two disorders that can dramatically affect a person’s well being. In fact, a World Health Organization (WHO) study found that depression is the single biggest contributor to adult disability worldwide. Typically an area for pharmaceuticals, the drugs used to treat conditions like these can have adverse side effects and can even be addicting, as in the case of benzodiazepines. This is not a concern with CBD. Many people with anxiety and depression find CBD attractive because of its natural qualities. The antidepressant-like effects of CBD are linked to its ability to act on the brain’s receptors for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and social behavior. In short, CBD reduces stress and decreases the physiological effects of anxiety, like an increased heart rate, for example. If anxiety also makes it difficult for you to sleep, you should know that CBD has even been used to safely and successfully treat insomnia. CBD can alleviate cancer related symptoms Studies have shown that CBD may help reduce symptoms related to cancer and the side effects of its treatments, such as chemotherapy-induced nausea, vomiting and pain. More and more research also is being conducted to assess the possibility and safety of CBD’s potential for fighting cancer itself. While test tube and animal studies have shown that CBD may have anticancer properties, more studies in humans are needed before any definite conclusions can be made. But, what an exciting prospect this is for the millions who suffer from the disease. CBD might help with neurological disorders Research in this area is relatively new. However, scientists believe that CBD’s ability to act on the endocannabinoid and other brain signaling systems may offer benefits for those with neurological disorders, such as multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Possibly even Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. Improving the quality of life and sleep quality, and preventing cognitive decline would provide a monumental breakthrough for individuals with these afflictions. CBD could benefit heart health High blood pressure has been linked to several health conditions including heart attack, stroke and metabolic syndrome. Thanks to its stress- and anxiety-reducing properties, CBD has been shown to have benefits for the heart and circulatory system, including the ability to lower high blood pressure. Those same properties may help reduce the inflammation and cell death associated with heart disease. CBD may ease the symptoms of diabetes Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes differ in their origin and treatment, but the root of both is the same - too much glucose circulating in the blood. Although research findings to date are mixed about whether CBD can positively affect diabetes symptoms and complications, we do know that it helps with the inflammation and pain that diabetes patients often experience.
CBD can help fight acne
More than nine percent of the population is affected with acne, a skin condition that’s caused by several factors, including genetics, bacteria, underlying inflammation and the overproduction of sebum, an oily secretion made by sebaceous glands in the skin. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to reduce sebum production, CBD can be a safe and effective treatment. It works three ways: by preventing sebaceous gland cells from secreting excessive sebum; exerting anti-inflammatory actions; and preventing the activation of pro acne agents like inflammatory cytokines.
CBD potential risks
CBD is generally considered to be safe. However, as with all therapeutics, you need to be aware of potential risks and side effects that may come with use. Possible adverse effects include:
Changes in appetite and weight Fatigue
Unfavorable interactions with drugs, supplements and alcohol Changesin alertness
Mood changes, including irritability.
Anyone using CBD should first speak to a healthcare professional.
CBD has had a remarkable introduction to human therapeutics and shows tremendous potential
CBD is gaining traction for the positive role it can play in a number of health issues and interest is growing daily. Not only does CBD ease the symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression, but we’re learning that it can help with pain management, heart problems, cancer, neurological disorders, diabetes and even acne. Studies also suggest that CBD has the potential to offer benefits in the areas of antipsychotic disorders, substance abuse and anti-tumor effects. Studies indicate that CBD is safe and effective when used in numerous applications. And, as research continues to ramp up, new therapeutic uses for this powerful natural remedy are sure to be discovered.