It seems like the entire world is going crazy for CBD oil, the new darling of wellness, touting benefits in relieving and healing a variety of issues – ranging from anxiety, stress, and PTSD relief to arthritis, acne, stroke rehabilitation, pain disorders, Alzheimer’s, and depression, among others.
With the recent legalization and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of CBD, that trend will certainly to continue. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-intoxicating hemp extract and wellness product. But unlike marijuana, CBD contains no THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), so it won’t get you high.
What is CBD used for? To date, the FDA has approved it for use in preventing rare and difficult-to-treat epileptic seizures in children, citing an urgent need for further study for a wide range of medical conditions.
Both the National Institutes of Health and the FDA have concluded that CBD is generally recognized as safe to use, non-habit forming, and that early research has shown it to be a promising treatment for a variety of medical issues, and that more research is needed to understand CBD’s potential for treatment, and as well as possible side effects. Generally speaking, research to date has found that CBD has a “better side effect profile” than other prescription medications used to treat the same illnesses, which means CBD tends to have fewer and less significant side effects — which is one of the reasons that researchers are so on fire to study it further. The good news is that the recent passage of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 which legalized CBD oil in all 50 states – means that more medical and scientific studies will be approved and conducted in the upcoming years.
According to the National Institutes of Health, CBD is anti-inflammatory (reduces inflammation and swelling), antiemetic (reduces vomiting and nausea), antipsychotic (manages psychosis, including delusions, disordered thought, paranoia, hallucinations) and anxiolytic (reduces anxiety).
The most promising uses for CBD oil to date are:
Pain relief for those using opioid prescriptions to manage severe and or chronic pain. 97% of participants in the study said they were able to reduce the amount of opiates they used, and 81% found greater relief with cannabis than opiates, with reduced side effects. The NIH is also funding a new five-year study on medical marijuana and opioid use. And another study found that CBD effectively relieved incision pain in rats.
Treatment of PTSD, which is suffered by more than 25 million people in the U.S. alone. This study found that CBD reduced fear when administered immediately after the adverse event.
Treatment of More than 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression, including nearly 1 in 12 adults in the U.S. This new study found that CBD may be a faster-acting and more effective antidepressant than conventional prescription medications.
Help you lose weight. This study on obesity and cannabidiol usage found that CBD helps to convert white fat to slimming brown fat. The study of more than 50,00 participants concluded that cannabis users had obesity rates that were one-third lower than non-cannabis users.
Improving cognition in patients with cognitive impairment due to schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s Disease, neurological disorders including epilepsy, and neuro-inflammatory conditions such as fibromyalgia and meningitis. This article reviewed and compiled the results of 27 articles, including nine clinical studies.
Lowering blood pressure. This study which measured the effects of 600 mg of CBD on lowering blood pressure, and the blood pressure increase in humans die to stressors such as family, economics, work, etc.
Aiding recovery following a stroke or this study found that CBD can improve recovery and reduce brain damage in infants following an Arterial Ischemic Stroke.
Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease. This study found CBD may be a beneficial treatment of UC.
Reducing fear of public speaking. This study found that taking 300 mg of CBD dramatically reduced anxiety around public speaking.
Combating panic disorders. More than 5% of Americans suffer from panic disorders, and this study found that CBD may help in reducing panic. And another study found promising evidence that CBD may be an effective treatment for anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
And another extremely promising study found that high doses of CBD can reduce methamphetamine consumption in rats, and another study found that using CBD for just a week could help to prevent drug relapses in addicts for months.
What is CBD used for? Well, what isn’t it used for? Researchers are just beginning to study CBD’s impact on specific diseases, as well as any potential long-term side effects of cannabidiol usage, but clinicians, researchers, and wellness experts are optimistic about this promising new treatment.