How does CBD work in the body? - 17 Cannabidiol (CBD) oil benefits
Learn how to use the benefits of CBD Oil to improve you quality of life forever.
For centuries, humans have utilized CBD oil as a natural remedy in the treatment of a wide range of ailments. But it’s only in the last few decades that modern science has started to take CBD seriously. In the process, researchers are discovering that CBD may be helpful for treating and/or managing a diversity of conditions, from anxiety to acne, epilepsy, chronic pain, depression, PTSD, and even cancer.
For those not familiar, CBD oil (Cannabidiol Oil) is derived from cannibinoids—naturally occurring chemical compounds that are found in cannabis and hemp plants. If you want to learn more about it you can read our article: What is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is non-psychoactive, meaning it won’t get you “high.” What it can do is provide several notable perks. We’ll explore some of the many potential benefits of CBD oil in detail below.
As public perception and legal regulations begin to soften around CBD and other marijuana-derived products, researchers have been able to conduct more and more studies into these products’ potential benefits. While more research is underway, here are some of the benefits that have been uncovered thus far. Studies suggest CBD oil effects may include…
CBD may help relieve or alleviate pain by way of two primary mechanisms. For starters, it affects the brain’s neurotransmitters in ways that can minimize the extent to which people perceive pain. This translates to feeling less pain overall. Additionally, CBD is anti-inflammatory. Much like an over-the-counter pain reliever might ease aches by reducing inflammation, CBD also reduces pain partly by soothing the body’s inflammatory response.
Boost Mental Health by Alleviating Anxiety, Depression, & More
Many studies have found CBD oil can be a major boon for mental health. To date, research suggests CBD may help:
- Relieve social anxiety. One 2011 study found CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort among people who participated in a simulated public speaking event
- Soothe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A 2018 study suggests CBD may assist in the management of traumatic memories—without the nasty side effects of many of the pharmaceuticals currently used to treat PTSD
- Lessen the symptoms of depression. One 2010 study (which was conducted on mice) found CBD might affect the brain and body in ways that are similar to prescription antidepressants
- Assist in the management of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). A study from 2015 found CBD can actually lessen compulsive tendencies, which explains why it may be effective in managing the symptoms of OCD
- Relieve generalized anxiety and other anxiety disorders. The same study that found CBD may assist in the management of OCD also found CBD may help a range of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder. That study concluded CBD can reduce anxiety behaviors associated with all of these disorders, likely due to CBD’s influence in several brain regions
- Assist in the treatment of schizophrenia. This is thanks largely to the fact that CBD might have antipsychotic effects
Researchers are still working to understand exactly why CBD can relieve so many mental health conditions, but they think it might relate to CBD’s interactions with serotonin, a neurotransmitter that strongly affects mood.
Assist in Substance Abuse Treatment and RecoveryA small body of research suggests CBD might play a role in treating substance addiction and abuse. That’s possible for several reasons:
- Evidence suggests CBD modulates some of the same neuronal circuits that are involved in drug addiction
- As noted above, CBD might also help relieve compulsive tendencies, which often play a role in substance abuse
- There’s also evidence CBD can help protect the central and/or peripheral nervous systems from negative effects brought on by substance abuse
For these reasons, preclinical studies have suggested CBD might be helpful in the treatment of addictions to cocaine, opioids, psychostimulants, and tobacco. These studies are promising enough that the U.S. and Canadian governments are heavily investing in research in this area.
Protect Against Neurological Health Issues
A number of studies have suggested CBD may have “neuroprotective” effects, which basically means it helps keep the brain healthy, protect it from neurological conditions, and assist in the management of neurological health issues. For example, research has found CBD may be useful in the management of brain-related conditions including:
- Alzheimer’s disease. A 2017 study examining the use of CBD for Alzheimer’s disease suggests CBD may help protect the brain, prevent or even reverse cognitive deficits (that’s according to research done on rodents), and boost cognitive health via its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects
- Epilepsy. Several studies—including one from 2016—have found CBD might reduce the frequency of seizures in epilepsy patients. The same 2016 study suggests CBD might be especially useful in cases of epilepsy that have proved resistant to conventional treatments
- Multiple sclerosis (MS). A 2018 review found supplementing with CBD might reduce fatigue, pain, and spasticity in MS patients. It may also improve overall mobility in people with MS
- Parkinson’s disease. Research into the effects of CBD on Parkinson’s disease is still limited, but one 2014 study found that supplementing with CBD significantly improved quality of life among Parkinson’s patients. Other studies have provided some evidence that CBD might ease some symptoms of Parkinson’s, including psychosis and tremors
Boost Heart Health
CBD may bolster cardiovascular health in a number of ways. A study from 2017 found that even a single dose of CBD can lower resting blood pressure and help protect against blood pressure spikes brought on by stress. Meanwhile, a 2011 study suggests CBD may help protect the heart by reducing inflammation, limiting cell death (which is linked to heart disease), and protecting the cardiovascular system from stress.
Assist in the Treatment of Acne
A 2016 study found CBD may improve skin health in several ways. As noted above, CBD is anti-inflammatory, which means it can help soothe the inflammation that is par for the course with acne. CBD may also reduce the skin’s product of sebum, an oily substance that can provoke acne when it’s produced in excessive amounts. Finally, there’s some evidence CBD may help suppress the spread of acne.
Protect Against Diabetes
Research in this area is still limited, and many of the most promising studies have been conducted on mice. Still, preliminary research suggests CBD might help prevent the development of Type 1 Diabetes. A study from 2006 suggests that’s because CBD may reduce inflammation in the pancreas, which is associated with diabetes.
Research into the role of cannabis in sleep has yielded mixed results, but a review from 2017 suggests CBD may assist in the treatment of insomnia. That’s thanks in large part to the fact that CBD can help relieve anxiety, depression, and stress—all of which can interfere with quality sleep.
Assist in the Management of Cancer
Studies suggest CBD might be beneficial to cancer patients in several ways. Per a 2010 study, it may help ease cancer symptoms (especially pain). It may also relieve some of the side effects of cancer treatment. (For example, a 2006 study found CBD might help relieve nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy.) Finally, a small body of research suggests CBD might have antitumor effects.
There is no single dosage of CBD oil that will work perfectly for every person and every condition. Instead, optimal dosing depends on a number of factors, including a person’s experience and tolerance level with CBD, the condition they’re trying to manage, whether they’re taking a product that also includes THC (a psychoactive compound found in cannabis), the form in which they’re taking CBD, and the quality.
A good rule of thumb is to start with a small dose and gradually work your way up from there. Most CBD products include serving suggestions, so beginners might start with that or even a little less. Depending on how that goes, they might choose to stick with the low dose or gradually ramp it up. If your doctor is familiar with CBD oil, it’s worth getting their opinion.
CBD oil can be consumed in several forms. Just as there is no one “perfect” dose, there is no one perfect delivery system that will be ideal for every person. Instead, different people prefer different forms depending on their personal preferences. That being said, here are some of the most popular ways to consume CBD:
- Gel capsules. These are swallowed just like a regular vitamin supplement. It will take some time for the CBD’s effects to kick in, and the effects are likely to last for several hours.
- Edibles. Many food products and beverages—including cookies, gummy candies, smoothies, honey, lollipops, and even ice cream—can be infused with CBD oil and then consumed normally. As with consuming CBD via gel capsules, ingesting CBD in this form will involve a bit of a delay before the CBD takes effect, and these effects are likely to last for several hours.
- Tinctures. CBD oil tincture are liquid-y products that are administered under the tongue. Effects tend to kick in relatively fast and last for several hours. This is how the best CBD Oil is most often taken.
- Vaping. This entails using a dedicated vaporizer (which will likely look a bit like a pen) to heat up CBD oil and inhale its vapor. Effects set in right away but will likely last for less time than when CBD is consumed in capsule, edible, or tincture form.
- Topicals. As the name suggests, these products—which may take the form of creams, lotions, or salves—are applied topically (i.e., to the skin). These products are generally intended to relieve localized aches and pains or skin conditions.
So far, research suggests CBD oil is packed with potential benefits—and it offers them up without the potentially harmful side effects or dependencies often caused by pharmaceutical drugs. That’s a win for anyone looking for natural relief in mind and body.
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