CBD-based products are hitting the market at an exponential rate, and according to Business Insider, CBD oil has become a $1 billion industry. Plenty of businesses are cashing out on the CBD craze, offering products ranging from CBD-infused gumdrops to CBD bath bombs. With the rising popularity of CBD oil, skeptics have been comparing it to a modern day snake oil. Does CBD oil actually live up to its claims?
CBD is one of the 85 chemical compounds found in the stalks, flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant. Unlike marijuana, CBD has no psychoactive effects due to the absence of THC. THC is the most active ingredient in marijuana, and is responsible for giving the mind-altering “high” its known for. CBD oil is extracted from the plant and it contains no (or only trace amounts of) THC, making it perfectly legal in the U.S.
CBD and the Human Body
The body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that receives signals from cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are involved in physiological processes like pain-sensation, mood and appetite. While the body naturally produces cannabinoids, the cannabinoids in CBD interact with the endocannabinoid system and is responsible for the therapeutic effects CBD oil is known for.
5 Common Uses and Benefits of CBD Oil
People are turning to CBD for both physical and mental effects. Here are some of the most common reasons people are using cannabidiol:
- Anxiety – According to the World Health Organization, anxiety is the sixth largest contributor to disability worldwide. While normally it can be treated with prescription drugs, people are turning to CBD oil to relieve their anxious symptoms. In studies where CBD oil was tested against common anti-anxiety medication, the CBD group experienced less anxiety and “greater cognitive and emotional function.”
- Rheumatoid Arthritis – Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) involves the immune system attacking the tissue in the joints, leading to pain and chronic inflammation. CBD oil reacts with the receptors in the endocannabinoid system, reducing pain and effects of inflammation. Due to CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects, it is thought to slow down the progression of damage to joints over time.
- Pain Relief – Studies have shown that CBD can reduce pain by interacting with neurotransmitters to lower pain levels. According to clinical trials in rats, CBD injections reduced the pain response to surgical incisions, while another treatment showed that oral CBD significantly reduced nerve pain and inflammation. The compound has been used to treat muscle injuries and acute swelling.
- Insomnia – For those who have trouble falling asleep, CBD-rich products have shown to promote a healthy night’s rest. CBD has been linked to “increasing overall sleep amounts,” and increasing quality of sleep. Since the compound is closely tied to reducing anxiety, it helps the users fall asleep faster by reducing stress-inducing thoughts.
- Anti-Seizure – Seizures can happen due to dramatic fluctuations in electrical brain activity. While clinical trials are still being tested, studies have shown a link between CBD and anti-seizure properties. In a trial published by the New England Journal of Medicine, doctors explored the effects of cannabidiol treatment for those with Dravet syndrome, a form of epilepsy induced by fevers. According to the study, those who received CBD experienced the seizure frequency drop by about 39.9 percent.
Before Purchasing CBD Oil
Overall, the studies look promising regarding CBD oil’s benefits. Many of the therapeutic effects are beginning to come to light now that the compound is becoming more understood as it relates to the human body.
However, before you buy the first CBD oil you see, make sure you do research to ensure you are getting what you expect. Since CBD is not FDA approved, there is little regulation when it comes to labeling. Before purchasing, read reviews to find a reputable company that is willing to provide lab results of their product for quality assurance.