You’ve probably heard about CBD being used for a wide range of conditions, from arthritis to anxiety, but what are the true health benefits of this substance? It can be hard to sort fact from fiction, with some people staunchly against it simply because it’s derived from the cannabis plant, and others so in favor of it that they make wild health claims based on nothing but anecdotal evidence.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a phytocannabinoid found in the leaves and flowers of the cannabis Sativa plant. Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t have psychoactive properties, so it isn’t responsible for the high that you get from smoking or otherwise ingesting cannabis. Rather, it appears to have a range of health benefits that scientists are still learning more about every day.
Although CBD is just one phytocannabinoid, CBD oil and other CBD products are often “full-spectrum” or “broad-spectrum,” meaning they contain all or most of the other cannabinoids from the cannabis plant. Since CBD products are legal in all 50 states, it can only be made using hemp plants with less than 0.3% THC. Even if they do contain THC, it’s in such low doses that it won’t cause a high.
You shouldn’t confuse CBD oil with hemp oil, which is generally made from hemp seeds and contains no cannabinoids.
Some people tout wide-ranging health benefits of CBD, including curing cancer, which simply doesn’t appear to be true, based on current research. It does, however, have some clear health benefits and some which look promising but need further research to back them up.
Controls some seizure disorders
CBD has been shown to reduce seizures in people with certain seizure disorders. It’s so effective that there’s even an FDA-approved medication called Epidiolex that’s used to control seizures in children with Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes. These particular seizure disorders do not generally respond to standard anti-seizure medications, so CBD has been life-changing for some.
Several studies have suggested that the correct dose of CBD can help relieve anxiety. One study found that those given a moderate dose (300MG) of CBD felt and displayed less anxiety during a simulated public speaking test than those not given it, as well as those given lower and higher doses. According to the Mayo Clinic, CBD increases the activity of serotonin receptors, which is likely what leads to decreased feelings of anxiety and depression after taking CBD.
Many people find that CBD helps to relieve pain from a range of conditions, but especially inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis. Of course, anecdotal evidence only goes so far, but one study suggested that Sativex — a CBD and THC-based medication already approved to treat pain from multiple sclerosis — can also relieve pain in people with rheumatoid arthritis. This may be attributed to the THC, rather than the CBD, but full-spectrum CBD oils contain small amounts of THC that can contribute to pain relief without making you feel high.
CBD appears to help people with insomnia both fall asleep and stay asleep for longer. One study showed that sleep scores improved within the first month in the majority of patients given CBD in capsule form. Other studies suggest that CBD may be useful in treating pediatric insomnia, especially in children suffering from PTSD.
Although more research is needed, preliminary studies suggest that CBD might have some neuroprotective properties, according to Healthline. This means that it could help to prevent neurodegenerative disorders or slow their progression over time. It could have far-ranging treatment benefits for people with conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, as well as those recovering from strokes.
Types of CBD products available
If you’ve decided that you want to try CBD, you should learn more about the different products available and which is right for you.
CBD oil is one of the most popular ways to consume CBD. It’s a versatile option since you can simply drop it into your mouth or mix it with food or drink if you don’t like the flavor. Or it can be combined with a body lotion for topical use. Plant People CBD Drops Relief is one of our favorite options. You can also buy CBD oil suitable for dogs and cats, to relieve pain and anxiety, such as Cornbread CBD Oil for Pets.
CBD capsules are essentially CBD oil inside a capsule for easier dosing and no mess. Plant People Be Calm CBD Capsules are designed to relieve daily stress and anxiety and use plant-based capsules that are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
CBD vape pens or vape juice deliver CBD straight to the lungs, like it would be if you vaped or smoked marijuana, so it’s a great choice for people who are vaping CBD as an alternative to cannabis. The long-term effects on the lungs aren’t yet known, however, so it isn’t our top choice. Also note that it’s unsafe to vape CBD oil — it’s very different from CBD vape juice and can cause serious lung damage.
CBD edibles are any CBD products that you can consume. These usually take the form of gummy sweets, but you can also find CBD powders to mix with water. If you don’t like the taste of CBD oil or swallowing capsules, edibles are a nice alternative.
CBD topicals are creams and balms — such as Cornbread CBD Lotion Menthol — which are designed for topical pain relief from arthritis and for general aches and pains.
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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