What is CBD Oil and What are The Benefits?
CBD- you have probably heard so much talk about these three letters lately! This is due to an increasing amount of people looking towards all-natural ways to treat their own ailments. More and more people are becoming aware of the benefits of CBD oil, hoping to find relief. But what is CBD, and what are people using it for? We’re here to answer those questions, and get to the bottom of what CBD oil is, and isn’t!
What is CBD and How Does it Work?
CBD stands for cannabidiol. It’s one of a group of chemical compounds called cannabinoids. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is perhaps the best-known cannabinoid. CBD, like THC, interacts primarily with the neurons in your brain. But “what’s a neuron?” you ask. Good question. A neuron is a specialized cell found in your central nervous system that transmits nerve impulses.
These nerve impulses allow you to feel, think and breathe. Your brain is composed of billions of neurons that all work together to make everything from your senses to your emotions possible. But not all your neurons are on all the time. They can be on or off in response to stimuli (or the lack of stimuli) inside and around you. This is evident by the fact that most people aren’t always sad, always happy, and are sometimes a confusing mix of both.
When a specific molecule is present in your brain, it plugs into the receptor in a neuron and turns it on. When a neuron, or a group of neurons, turns on, it causes things to happen elsewhere in the body or the brain (like getting rid of pain or making you sad). Our brain contains receptors that only accept cannabinoid molecules. There are even molecules produced by the body (endocannabinoids) that turn these neurons on and off. So when you ingest an edible or inhale some vapor, you’re allowing compounds to enter your body, travel through your bloodstream, and enter your brain. Once they arrive, these compounds can influence brain activity by interacting with receptors on neurons. But they don’t interact with all neurons, just the ones that have the appropriate receptors.
Although it is a cannabinoid, CBD does not directly interact with the two classical cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2). Instead, it affects signaling through CB1 and CB2 receptors indirectly. This partly explains why, in contrast to THC, CBD is non-intoxicating. In addition to its indirect influence on the CB1 and CB2 receptors, CBD can increase levels of the body’s own naturally-produced cannabinoids.
Here’s what those specific CBD-activated receptors do:
• When CBD activates the adenosine receptor, the resultant brain activity reduces anxiety.
• When CBD activates the serotonin receptor, the resultant brain activity reduces depression, blood sugar levels, nausea, and a whole host of other neurological and biological effects.
• When CBD activates the vanilloid receptor, the resultant brain activity alleviates pain and inflammation.
People have used CBD traditionally used for thousands of years to treat various types of pain, but the medical community has only recently begun to study it again.
Here are some of the possible benefits of CBD oil:
A study in the European Journal of Pain used an animal model to see if CBD could help people with arthritis manage their pain. Their researchers note a significant drop in inflammation and signs of pain, without additional side effects.
Muscle spasms are one of the most common symptoms of MS. These spasms can be so great they cause constant pain in some people. One report found that short-term use of CBD oil could reduce the levels of spasticity a person feels. The results are modest, but many people reported a reduction in symptoms.
The same report studied CBD use for general chronic pain. Researchers compiled the results of multiple systematic reviews covering dozens of trials and studies. Their research concluded that there is substantial evidence that cannabis is an effective treatment for chronic pain in adults.
In the United States, CBD oil has varying legality across different states and at a federal level, yet it currently has a range of applications and promising possibilities.
• smoking cessation and drug withdrawal
• treating seizures and epilepsy
• anxiety treatment
• reducing some of the effects of Alzheimer’s, as shown by initial research
• antipsychotic effects on people with schizophrenia
• future applications in combating acne, type 1 diabetes, and cancer
Although more research is required to confirm some uses of CBD oil, it is shaping up as a potentially promising and versatile treatment. CBD oil is especially promising due to its lack of intoxicating effects and a possible lower potential for side effects than many other pain medications.