Many online resources, such as CFAH outline the numerous benefits of CBD. CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a chemical derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. CBD affects the brain but notably does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – the ingredient in cannabis that causes a high. Therefore, we can reap the benefits of CBD without experiencing the psychotic effects and dangers of addiction often associated with cannabis.
1. Improves Mental Wellbeing – Anxiety, Stress & Depression
It is very typical for people to experience the symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression. Many of their symptoms overlap and can often be experienced in response to everyday stressors or significant life events. The THC in marijuana is what causes the feeling of a high. It has been known to make some individuals feel calmer, whereas, in others, it has been known to increase their anxiety levels due to its psychotic effect.
In contrast, CBD has been suggested to improve these symptoms. Therefore, a lot of research into the effectiveness of CBD as a treatment for anxiety and depression has been conducted. Some research has shown CBD to decrease blood flow to parts of the brain associated with anxiety. In contrast, other studies have seen it work on the brain receptors, such as serotonin, associated with depression.
2. Pain Relief
Not only can CBD relieve you of emotional pain, but physical pain as well. CBD is proven to positively affect your serotonin levels in the brain, which can improve your mood and, consequently, pain. Some studies have also evidenced the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD, which work on the endocannabinoid (ECS) and pain-sensing systems.
The ECS is responsible for regulating the body’s state of homeostasis, which is crucial for the digestive, immune, and neurological systems to operate effectively. CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties have also been shown to relieve symptoms of IBS, such as stomach pain and constipation. Plus, the pain-relieving effects can help with arthritis’s chronic pain and symptoms.
3. Sleep Disorders
Getting enough sleep is incredibly important for our physical and emotional well-being. Therefore, it’s essential to understand how we can improve our sleep to promote optimal health. CBD oils for sleep can come in morning or evening doses, and some are crafted with other botanicals for additional calming properties. With the benefits of CBD on our emotional well-being, there is no surprise that plenty of research has found individuals reporting a better night’s sleep with it.
It’s now been proven that CBD can treat certain types of epilepsy due to its ability to lower the degree of cell excitation in the part of the brain associated with seizures.
This is partly due to CBD enhancing the release of GABA. GABA is a neurotransmitter that inhibits brain mechanisms that contribute to seizures. Indeed, the FDA approved a plant-based formulation of CBD, called Epidiolex, in 2018. This drug treats seizures in people over the age of two suffering from Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut Syndromes – two rare forms of epilepsy.
5. Brain Cell Protection
Due to the psychoactive effects of THC, many people believe marijuana to be harmful to our brains. However, there has been research that’s investigated the neuroprotective properties of CBD. It suggests CBD can protect brain cells in patients with neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other types of dementia.
Multiple studies have reported that CBD cannabinoids can help eliminate the toxic protein related to these diseases by relieving the brain of inflammation, oxidative damage and promoting cell regeneration. This is related to CBD’s effect on the CB2 receptors in the brain.