What Does Cannabidiol Do?
Since the United States passed the 2018 Farm Bill and Canada effectively ended cannabis prohibition, an increasingly abundant body of research is highlighting the healing potential of cannabidiol (CBD).
CBD belongs to a group of over a hundred active compounds in cannabis plants. These compounds, called cannabinoids, stimulate receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS helps the body regulate such vital functions as temperature, inflammation, emotions, and can help regulate sleep cycles.
Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), its sister cannabinoid, CBD is not psychoactive. Supplements that contain CBD don’t produce the “high” of medicinal products that contain THC. CBD products allows consumers to reap some of the benefits of cannabis without experiencing the psychoactive effects of THC.
Let’s take a look at some of the main benefits of CBD Oil and other cannabidiol-containing products.
CBD May Help Reduce Anxiety
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that one out of every thirteen people worldwide suffer from anxiety issues. The most common mental health issues are anxiety disorders, such as:
- Generalized Anxiety
- Social Anxiety
- Specific phobia
Doctors typically prescribe pharmaceuticals such as benzodiazepines for their patients with anxiety. Unfortunately, these types of medications come with uncomfortable side effects. Long-term use of prescription anti-anxiety drugs can lead to addiction and health risks. Additionally, taking too much benzodiazepine medication or mixing them with alcohol can lead to fatal overdoses.
Anxiety-sufferers have excellent reasons for seeking a natural alternative, and many patients are turning to CBD for a potential solution. Numerous animal and human clinical studies indicate that CBD has anxiolytic properties and may help to reduce anxiety. According to recent laboratory studies, CBD helps calm parts of the brain, including the amygdala, which controls the fight-or-flight response. Furthermore, there have been no reported overdose deaths from cannabis to date.
CBD and Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is the most clinically cited use for cannabis products, including CBD. According to the Canadian Pain Task Force, one in every five Canadians lives with chronic pain due to conditions, such as:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Back pain
Inflammation and oxidative stress are at the root of most pain conditions. Studies have shown that CBD reduces inflammation and oxidative stress by stimulating the ECS receptors in the immune system. As a result of these findings, pharmaceutical researchers are actively working to develop cannabis-based anti-inflammatory drugs.
Society is becoming more aware of the dangers of opiate-based prescription painkillers. Like benzodiazepines, opiate-based pharmaceuticals have serious side effects and often lead to addiction. Opiates have been implicated in a shocking number of overdose deaths in recent years.
More and more chronic pain sufferers are looking to cannabis products like CBD to help them manage their symptoms. Opioids have receptors in the middle part of the brain, which controls vital functions such as respiration. Conversely, cannabinoid receptors are absent in the midbrain, and cannabinoids like CBD do not cause fatal overdoses.
CBD for Healthy Skin
Cannabinoid receptors are not limited to the brain and immune system. The skin also has receptors that respond to cannabis compounds, such as CBD. The abundance of cannabinoid receptors in the skin makes topical CBD products potentially useful for alleviating the symptoms of a variety of ailments, such as:
- Localized pain: The proven anti-inflammatory effects of CBD make it an ideal ingredient to add to sports creams and other pain-relieving CBD creams.
- Inflammatory skin disorders: A 2019 clinical study conducted at the University of Modena’s Medical School found that topical CBD applications significantly improved the quality of life for people suffering from inflammatory skin disorders, including psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.
- Acne: Numerous clinical studies have shown that CBD reduces the inflammation of the sebaceous glands and decreases sebum production, two of the main factors contributing to acne.
CBD is increasingly being included in quality beauty products to help reduce inflammation for healthy, glowing skin.
Digestive Issues and CBD
Contemporary diets and the stresses of modern life have caused an upsurge in digestive disorders like Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). According to the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation, Canada has one of the highest rates of irritable bowel syndrome. Over 70% of the people surveyed say that their GI problems regularly interfere with their daily lives.
Numerous clinical studies have found that CBD reduces the intestinal inflammation that accompanies digestive conditions.
CBD and Cancer
For decades, medical marijuana physicians have prescribed cannabis for cancer patients to help manage pain and reduce the uncomfortable symptoms of chemotherapy. According to the peer-reviewed journal, Current Oncology, cannabinoids like CBD may significantly improve the quality of life for patients undergoing chemotherapy.
The study is only one of many laboratory and clinical studies on the effectiveness of cannabis to reduce the unpleasant symptoms of cancer treatments. Years of research on medicinal cannabis has proven that cannabinoids help to reduce the nausea, vomiting, and weight loss that typically accompanies chemotherapy. However, some patients don’t want the psychoactive effects of THC-containing medical marijuana. CBD may be a viable alternative for treating those patients, especially children, undergoing cancer treatment.
Although more investigation is needed, CBD shows promise as a potential treatment for certain types of cancer. Recent research has found that CBD promoted programmed cell death in breast cancer cells.
CBD May Help with Epilepsy
Cannabinoids like THC and CBD may modulate the neuronal excitability and the neuroinflammation that leads to seizures. A series of recent clinical studies give concrete proof that cannabinoids have antiseizure properties.
In 2018, the US Food and Drug Administration approved of Epidiolex, the first CBD-based drug for treating the severe seizures brought on by Dravet syndrome and Gastaut syndrome. The pharmaceutical’s manufacturer rushed to patent the formula after the publication of several cases of apparent seizure-reduction in childhood epilepsy. The most famous case is that of Charlotte Fiji, a young girl whose doctors and parents reported a dramatic decrease in her seizures after being treated with a high-CBD cannabis strain.
CBD May Slow the Progress of Neurodegenerative Disorders
Despite years of propaganda to the contrary, cannabinoids have been shown to have neuroprotective qualities. In vitro studies show that CBD exhibits neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. CBD inhibits the release of beta-amyloid peptide, a toxic compound that contributes to neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease, and Multiple Sclerosis.
Additionally, cannabinoids have been proven to prevent glutamate excitotoxicity (GE) in laboratory animals. GE is a condition found in all trauma-based and chronic neurodegenerative disorders. The condition happens when excess stimulation by neurotransmitters like glutamate cause neurons to die.
Though the scientific community is yet to find a cure for neurodegenerative disorders, CBD and other cannabinoids may help slow down the progress of these debilitating conditions.
CBD for Pets
Watching a beloved companion animal suffer is one of the most excruciating experiences for a pet owner. All vertebrates, including dogs and cats, have an endocannabinoid system that appears to function in the same way the human ECS does. Therefore, CBD has the potential to work in the same manner in animals. For dog owners, consult our CBD dosage for dogs guide for more information. Pet owners increasingly seek alternative remedies for such common conditions as:
- Arthritis in elderly animals
- Situation-induced anxiety provoked by thunderstorms, fireworks, travel, and vet visits
- Epileptic seizures
- Canine glaucoma
There are a variety of pet-friendly CBD products, including easy-to-administer sublingual CBD tinctures for dogs and tasty treats. Consult with your veterinarian before administering CBD to your pets.
Side Effects of CBD
Although adverse reactions are rare, some consumers experience mild side effects, such as:
- Dry mouth
- Appetite changes
- Low blood pressure
Always consult a trusted health-care professional before starting any new supplement regime, including CBD. Cannabidiol may interact with certain prescription medications, making them stronger. If you would like to know more about CBD, check out our FAQ or contact us at Online Dispensary Canada. Our staff will be delighted to answer any of your questions about our CBD products.