Some marketing campaigns these days promise that CBD products will fix just about anything. It’s wise to be skeptical of such claims, as they can make CBD sound too good to be true.
Wild claims aside, there are some known benefits of CBD, and much research and development continues to show the benefits of CBD and what it can do for you.
Why is CBD so popular now?
It’s a valid question, given that the cannabis plant family has been cultivated for hundreds of years. Until recently, the use of cannabis in any of its forms was illegal in most places. As the laws in some states governing the growth, sale and possession of cannabis products have changed, the market for its use has grown. On top of that, the non-recreational uses and benefits are now being unveiled.
People are far more amenable to trying CBD products now that it’s legal to do so. Additionally, scientists are now free to conduct the research necessary to find out how it works and why, which will help make CBD marketing more realistic and reliable.
What do we know about how CBD works?
While this is still the subject of debate and research, scientists believe that the effects of CBD come from its ability to interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which naturally already contains substances like THC and CBD.
These endocannabinoids are believed to regulate hormone production and physiological and cognitive processes. Supplementing the endocannabinoids with additional CBD appears to make our own endocannabinoid system function more effectively.
What are the benefits of using CBD?
As yet there is not enough documented scientific evidence to confirm with absolute certainty the benefits of using CBD; on the other hand, no research has been shown to suggest that it doesn’t. The predominance of evidence right now is anecdotal, and scientists are working hard to provide more concrete proof of the benefits of CBD.
Let’s look at some of the ways that CBD is thought to help:
- Skin and hair appearance
- Many skin conditions like eczema and acne are characterized by severe inflammation. Reducing the redness, swelling, and pain is necessary to allow the skin to heal. CBD is known to work as an anti-inflammatory.
- Antioxidants are important to combat the free radicals that occur in the body naturally. One of the damages these free radicals can do to the body is to the skin, causing fine lines and wrinkles among other symptoms. CBD contains antioxidants that can help the body ward off the adverse effects of free radicals, and CBD is often thought to help to reduce the visible signs of aging.
- CBD can also play an active role in hair health. It contains the 21 naturally-occurring amino acids that build proteins, which are vital for hair growth. Protein-rich hair products containing CBD have been shown to restore and improve hair health.
- Benefits to the body
- Many people experience pain as a result of medical conditions or injury. The discomfort can be debilitating, and pain medications can be addictive and cause other problematic symptoms. As a rule, most pain is caused by inflammation that causes the affected area to redden, swell, heat up, and hurt. CBD can work as an anti-inflammatory, which eases the symptoms and alleviates the pain.
- Hormones, when functioning properly, leave the body in a state of homeostasis. This occurs when all the body’s systems are in balance, and the endocannabinoid system plays a vital role in helping the body to maintain homeostasis. Hormonal imbalances can wreak havoc on our bodies and knock us out of homeostasis. For example, when the thyroid gland is not working properly and stops secreting the necessary hormones, a person can to become very ill. CBD is believed to work with the endocannabinoid system to help regulate the body’s hormonal systems.
- It is also thought that CBD may have a positive effect on heart health. As an anti-inflammatory, it can reduce the swelling and inflammation caused by heart disease. Recent preliminary study indicates that CBD might be also effective in lowering high blood pressure, which may help prevent strokes and heart attacks.
- Emotional health
More and more people are turning to CBD to treat conditions like depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Unlike conventional prescription drugs, CBD has very few side effects and does not foster dependence. It is believed that CBD acts on the receptors in the brain that control serotonin, the so-called “feel good” hormone that is often out of sync in patients who battle these conditions. Melatonin, a hormone that governs sleep, is thought to be elevated by CBD, making it easier to fall asleep.
Disorders like depression, anxiety, and insomnia can have life-altering effects for the person who struggles with them. Their ability to work, socialize and enjoy their lives the way they used to are threatened, and a person’s physical health may also be affected in the long-term. Often, improving a person’s mental health goes a long way toward improving their physical well-being.
What are the side effects of CBD usage?
CBD does have some side effects, which vary by person. Should the user detect any, they should cease the use of the product immediately and consult their doctor.
Side effects can include:
- Nausea and diarrhea
- Drowsiness and dizziness
- Changes in appetite, mood, or levels of anxiety
Does CBD work if you’re looking to get high?
No, it doesn’t. There is a common misconception that all products that come from the cannabis family of plants will get you high. This is only true of products that contain THC, the substance responsible for the “high.”
Tetrahydrocannabinol is only one of the many compounds found in the cannabis plant. It is the one that makes users feel super-relaxed and leaves them a little spaced out. THC is also the component of cannabis that is said to be habit-forming.
CBD or cannabidiol is also found in the cannabis plant and is entirely different from THC. As the law stands now, CBD cannot be harvested from the marijuana plant as it contains too much THC. Instead, legal CBD comes from the hemp plant, which contains only tiny traces of THC. To meet federal regulations, CBD products must include 0.03% THC or less.
So, if it’s a high you’re looking for as a benefit of its use, CBD is not for you. But if you seek relief from any of the conditions listed above, there is some evidence that it may help.