Cannabidiol oil, or CBD oil, is a popular natural remedy for many ailments, like anxiety, and is derived from cannabis.
Many Benefits From CBD Oil
CBD is one of many compounds, known as cannabinoids, in the cannabis plant. Over the years more researchers have been looking at the potential therapeutic uses of CBD and have found it helpful for people who have ailments from anxiety to cancer.
Regular (plant) Marijuana contains both THC and CBD, where its compounds have been proven to have different effects. THC creates a mind-altering “high” when it is broken down by heat and introduced into the body.
CBD is not THC
Unlike THC, CBD oil is not psychoactive which means it does not change the state of mind of the person who uses it. However, CBD does appear to produce significant changes in the body, and some research suggests that it has medical benefits.
Over decades, researchers have found that THC may help treat pain, nausea, loss of appetite and other problems, while CBD was thought to be biologically inactive in humans. But in the past 10 years, scientists have concluded that CBD may be quite useful. Dozens of studies have found evidence that the compound can treat epilepsy as well as a range of other illnesses, including anxiety, schizophrenia, heart disease and cancer
“This is a really powerful compound,” says Mikhail Kogan, the medical director of the George Washington University Center for Integrative Medicine. “I’ve seen it work for a lot of my patients.” He prescribes high-CBD strains of cannabis regularly for such illnesses as epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, autoimmune disorders, autism and insomnia.
In the cannabis plant, CBD and THC generally have an inverse relationship: The more THC there is, the less CBD, and vice versa. In recent years, growers have bred some plants to contain high levels of CBD. Some say the two compounds work synergistically and that for many ailments, combining CBD and THC is best.
What makes CBD especially appealing is that it doesn’t get the user high. Most recreational marijuana users want this effect, of course, but many patients would rather avoid it. This has allowed CBD to sidestep many of the political, legal and medical concerns that have hindered the spread of medical marijuana.
It Might Help Combat Cancer
As more scientists recognize the compound’s potential, there has been an “explosion of research,” according to Pal Pacher, a pharmacologist and cardiologist at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda. He has been studying the chemical for more than a decade where his work has shown that CBD may have benefits in both heart disease and diabetes.
One key area of CBD research is epilepsy. Currently, several scientists are focusing on its potential to reduce seizures, especially among those for whom other treatments have failed. “We’ve found significant positive effects with CBD,” says New York University neurologist Orrin Devinsky, who studies the compound for severe childhood epilepsy.
Some researchers have found that CBD may prove to combat cancer. Authors of a review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found evidence that CBD significantly helped to prevent the spread of cancer. In addition, the researchers noted the compound tends to suppress cancer cell growth and promote their destruction.
The compound has also shown promise in treating anxiety, depression and schizophrenia. Much of this work has been in rats and mice, but several studies have found benefits for humans.
Researchers have found no significant side effects on the central nervous system, the vital signs, or mood, even among people who used high dosages. The most common side effect was tiredness. Also, some people reported diarrhea and changes in appetite or weight.
There is still a lack of available long-term safety data, and studies involving children are still not large enough to reach conclusive evidence of long term CBD use.
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