The benefits that CBD can have for the body, to reduce pain and alleviate ailments, are vast. CBD oil has been recognized for its potential to treat many common health issues, including anxiety, depression, acne and heart disease. It is also shown to be a powerful and natural treatment for those with cancer, providing an alternative supplement for pain and symptom relief.
A reason why CBD has become so prominent in the natural remedy world is its versatility. Backed by scientific evidence, here is a list of some of the health benefits of CBD oil.
RELIEF FOR CHRONIC PAIN AND INFLAMMATION
These days, it is rare to find a person that doesn’t suffer from some sort of body pain. The older we get, the greater our chances are that our bodies develop aches and pains. If left alone, over time these small ailments can turn into long-term chronic pain and inflammation. Studies have shown that CBD may help reduce the pain and stiffness that results in chronic pain. By impacting the endocannabinoid receptor activity (i.e. the class of cell membrane receptors that affect appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory), CBD can reduce inflammation.
Peripheral neuropathy, is a condition where nerves are damaged, causing weakness, numbness and pain. Among the most common causes of neuropathy is diabetes mellitus, but the condition can also be caused by infections, alcoholism, traumatic injuries, autoimmune diseases, medications, infections, tumors, and inherited disorders.
Some of the negative effects from multiple sclerosis and central neuropathic pain, that patients experienced, were reduced while undergoing two years of CBD treatment (Rog, Nurmikko & Young, 2007). CBD was shown to significantly reduce neuropathic pain in cancer patients without diminishing nervous system function or adversely affecting chemotherapy effectiveness (Ward, et al., 2014).
CALMS EPILEPSY AND OTHER NEUROPSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS
CBD has anti-seizure properties and is being studied for its possible role in treating epilepsy and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Other studies seem to indicate that CBD can help with the effective treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias including stroke, migraine headaches, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and brain tumors.
In a recent study published in the Current Pharmaceutical Design, (Robson, et. al) the authors found that CBD may have similar effects to some antipsychotic drugs and may be powerful in treating patients suffering from schizophrenia. CBD has not been shown to produce any side effects, unlike the pharmaceutical drugs that have traditionally been used in treating mental disorders and conditions (Iffland & Grotenhermen, 2017).
CBD is known to have a positive therapeutic effect in controlling seizures in both adults and children due to its safe and effective ability to reduce muscle spasticity (Devinsky, et al, 2017) .
What it boils down to is this: stress is the common denominator in each of these neuropsychiatric disorders. CBD oil’s ability to calm and reduce stress is the reason why it has shown to be so effective in this area.
CBD is the only phytocannabinoid, other than THC, to have been investigated in preclinical and clinical studies for anticonvulsant effects. Few controlled clinical trials have been published on the use of CBD in patients with epilepsy [Cunha, et al. 1980; Grotenhermen, et al. 2016; Iffland & Grotenhermen, 2017].
Twenty-three patients with therapy-resistant epilepsy (e.g., Dravet syndrome) were treated using CBD for three months while increasing doses up to 25 mg/kg b.w., in addition to their regular epilepsy medication. Apart from reducing the seizure frequency in 39% of the patients, the side effects were only mild to moderate and included reduced/increased appetite, weight gain/loss, and tiredness [Grotenhermen, et al. 20176; Iffland & Grotenhermen, 2017].
Another clinical study lasting at least three months with 137 children and young adults with various forms of epilepsy, who were treated with the CBD drug Epidiolex, was presented at the American Academy for Neurology in 2015. The patients were suffering from Dravet syndrome (16%), Lennox–Gastaut syndrome (16%), and 10 other forms of epilepsy (some among them were very rare conditions). In this study, almost 50% of the patients experienced a reduction of seizure frequency [Grotenhermen, et al. 20176; Iffland & Grotenhermen, 2017].
The largest CBD study conducted thus far was an open-label study with Epidiolex in 261 patients (mainly children, the average age of the participants was 11) suffering from severe epilepsy, who could not be treated sufficiently with standard medication. After three months of treatment, where patients received CBD together with their regular medication, a median reduction of seizure frequency of 45% was observed [Grotenhermen, et al. 20176; Iffland & Grotenhermen, 2017].
The therapeutic potential of CBD in Alzheimer’s patients is eye-opening. This disease largely affects the endocannabinoid system. Therefore, all of our body’s major functions like the nervous system, immune system, and all of the body’s organs are under major attack in Alzheimer sufferers. So, to make the claim that CBD can have a positive, healing effect on essentially the entire body, all at the same time, is a bold statement. However, emerging evidence found that CBD is, in fact, able to prevent Alzheimer’s patients from losing their social recognition (Bedse, G. et al. 2015). Ultimately, this means that CBD oil could help those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease keep their ability to recognize the faces of people they know.
Neurological disorders are disorders of the body’s nervous system, which consists of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. While symptoms of neurological disorders vary significantly depending on the specific type of disorder, they can include muscle weakness, loss of muscle control or poor coordination, paralysis, loss of sensation, spasms, seizures, loss of mental control, loss of consciousness, confusion, and pain.
Research has shown that cannabinoids possess neuroprotective effects, which in turn support the health of the brain, spinal cord and nerves, and help in preventing and limiting the progression of various neurological disorders. The cannabidiol has shown it can help protect neurons, modulate the inflammatory response, and encourage neuro-regeneration (Lafuente, et al. 2011; Liu, et al. 2015).
RELIEF FOR MIGRAINE HEADACHES
As if migraines aren’t debilitating enough, try going through multiple trials of pharmaceutical drugs and none of them providing any relief. Migraineurs know that situation all too well. It’s true, migraine headaches can be very tough to treat. Many migraine sufferers find that symptoms such as pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound are some of the hardest symptoms to treat with pharmaceuticals.
While it has yet to be proven that CBD will wholly treat a migraine, research does show that cannabis oil can help ease the initial migraine triggers that ultimately lead to a severe headache (Greco, R. et.a l. 2010; Russo, E.B., 1998).
REDUCES ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION
Patients with chronic anxiety are usually treated with pharmaceutical drugs, which can have numerous side effects. Many of these prescribed drugs can also be addictive and may lead to substance abuse. However, Esther M. and coworkers (2015) reported that CBD may help to reduce anxiety in people with certain anxiety disorders including:
- General Anxiety Disorder
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
CBD as a treatment for both depression and anxiety is an attractive approach among consumers who experience unwanted side effects from pharmaceutical drugs or just simply prefer a natural treatment method.
HELPS TO FIGHT CANCER ANDALLEVIATE CANCER-RELATED SYMPTOMS
According to a recent study published by Zhang, J. et al. (2016) CBD tends to suppress the growth of new cancer cells, while helping to kill off those that currently exist. The study also revealed that it appears CBD is shown to block cancer cells and prevent them from spreading and invading entire areas within the body.
CBD has low toxicity levels. This is a major driver in what alleviates cancer-related pain and symptoms, especially in those consumers who do not experience relief from pain medication. Symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and general pain from cancer treatment medication are all examples of the type of relief CBD can provide.
Various studies have been performed to study CBD anticancer effects. CBD anti-invasive actions seem to be mediated by its TRPV1 stimulation and its action on the CB receptors. Intraperitoneal application of 5 mg/kg b.w. CBD, taken every 3 days for a total of 28 weeks, almost completely reduced the development of metastatic nodules caused by injection of human lung carcinoma cells (A549) in nude mice. This effect was mediated by upregulation of ICAM1 and TIMP1 (Leanza, et al. 2016).
This, in turn, was caused by upstream regulation of p38 and p42/44 MAPK pathways. The typical side effects of traditional anticancer medication, emesis, and collateral toxicity were not described in these studies. Consequently, CBD could be an alternative to other MMP1 inhibitors such as marimastat and prino-mastat, which have shown disappointing clinical results due to these drugs’ adverse muscoskeletal effects (Iffland & Grotenhermen, 2017).
Another study used xenografts to study the proapoptotic effect of CBD, this time in LNCaP prostate carcinoma cells (Leanza, et al. 2016). In this five week study, 100 mg/kg CBD was administered daily, i.p. Tumor volume was reduced by 60% and no adverse effects of treatment were described in the study. The authors assumed that the observed antitumor effects were mediated via TRPM8 together with ROS release and p53 activation (Flowler, 2015).
Another approach was chosen by Aviello et al. (2012).They used the carcinogen azoxymethane to induce colon cancer in mice. Treatment occurred using IP injections of 1 or 5 mg/kg CBD, three times a week for three weeks (including one week before carcinogen administration). After three months, the number of aberrant crypt foci, polyps, and tumors was analyzed. The high CBD concentration led to a significant decrease in polyps and a return to near-normal levels of phosphorylated Akt (elevation caused by the carcinogen). No adverse effects were mentioned in the described study.
IMPROVES ACNE, PSORIASIS, DERMATITIS AND OTHER CHRONIC SKIN CONDITIONS
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD may help to treat acne and reduce the overproduction of oily discharge. This inhibits the sebaceous glands from over-producing, and therefore, acne is more effectively controlled. The most common form of acne, acne vulgaris (the long-term skin disease that is characterized by blackheads or whiteheads), can also be treated by using CBD due to its ability to combat oily skin glands.
There are a plethora of other skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis where CBD’s anti-inflammatory compound can provide relief for these extremely itchy and painful symptoms (Gallaway et.al. 2005; Oláh, et al. 2014; Wilkinson and Williamson, 2007).
BENEFITS FOR HEART HEALTH
According to Stanley and co-workers (2013) the cardiovascular system can reap the benefits of CBD to maintain good heart health. CBD’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and stress-reducing properties are able to lower blood pressure. High blood pressure is a catalyst for a number of other health conditions, including stroke and heart attack. CBD may be a natural and effective preventative supplement to maintain a healthy heart.
Hereditary genes and viruses found in the environment can trigger diabetes. In most people suffering from diabetes, the disease starts developing due to oxidative stress and inflammation. This affects the endocannabinoid system and ultimately impacts the oxygen production in the body. With the additional inflammation, the lack of oxygen causes tissue damage to occur. Chronic inflammation plays a major role in the development of insulin resistance, i.e. type 2 diabetes. According to Di Marzo (2008), CBD could treat this inflammation and improve the body’s metabolism. CBD may also ease the inflammation in the pancreas in type 1 diabetes.
CBD can also treat some of the complications that arise as a result of diabetes such as:
- Cardiovascular dysfunction
- Nerve damage; causing numbness, burning or pain in the toes and fingers
- Bacterial and fungal skin conditions
Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease that prevents the body from properly utilizing glucose. Studies have shown CBD reduces the risk of diabetes, can help treat diabetes once its developed, and assists in the management of pain associated with the disease.
In a placebo-controlled, randomized, double-blind study with 62 subjects with non-insulin-treated type 2 diabetes, 13 patients were treated with twice-daily oral doses of 100 mgs of CBD for 13 weeks. This resulted in lower resistin levels compared to baseline. The hormone resistin is associated with obesity and insulin resistance. Compared to baseline, glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide levels were elevated after CBD treatment. This incretin hormone is produced in the proximal duodenum by K cells and has insulinotropic and pancreatic b cell preserving effects. CBD was well tolerated in the patients [McAllister, et al. 2017; Iffland & Grotenhermen, 2017].
Forty-eight patients were treated with 300 mg/kg oral CBD, seven days before and until 30 days after the transplantation of allogeneic hematopoietic cells from an unrelated donor to treat acute leukemia or myelodysplastic syndrome in combination with standard measures to avoid GVHD (graft vs. host disease; cyclosporine and short course of MTX). The occurrence of various degrees of GVHD was compared with historical data from 108 patients, who had only received the standard treatment.
Patients treated with CBD did not develop acute GVHD. In the 16 months after transplantation, the incidence of GHVD was significantly reduced in the CBD group. Side effects were graded using the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE v4.0) classification, which did not detect severe adverse effects [Yeshurun, et al. 2015].
There are many different types of disorders and diseases that can affect the liver, which is an organ responsible for digesting food and ridding the body of toxic substances. The disorders can be inherited or caused by lifestyle and health factors, like alcohol abuse and viruses, which damage the liver. In addition, obesity can cause damage to the liver.
Research has shown that CBD, which activates the CB2 receptors of the body’s endocannabinoid system, is therapeutically beneficial for treating many liver disorders (Mallat, et al., 2011).
Studies have shown that CBD can help combat cirrhosis by assisting in the death of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), which are responsible for the accumulation of scarring on the liver. CBD’s activation of the CB2 receptors, however, has been shown to be effective at inducing apoptosis (death) in these activated HSCs (Lim, et al. 2011). Research also shows it reduces the force of inflammatory pathways and oxidative tissue injury, therefore limiting the damage caused by cirrhosis (Mukhopadhyay et al. 2011).
CBD has also shown to possess liver protective properties and to promote liver health. CBD was shown to prevent oxidative stress and autophagy from alcohol consumption. One study found that cannabinoids inhibited CYP1A enzymatic activity, meaning it reduced the liver’s risk of toxicity and cancer (Ashino, et al. 2014).
CHRONIC INFLAMMATION: INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE (IBD)
Chronic inflammation is caused by abnormal behavior in the immune system and can lead to tissue, joint, and organ damage. Studies have shown CBD is effective at reducing chronic inflammation associated with a variety of diseases and can help patients manage the pain associated with their inflammation-related condition.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is chronic inflammation of lining of the digestive tract. The two major types of IBD are ulcerative colitis, which affects the innermost lining of the large intestine and rectum, and Crohn’s disease, which can affect different areas of the digestive track and often sees the inflammation spread deep into affected areas. More rare types of IBD’s include collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis.
CBD has been determined to effectively address the symptoms associated with inflammatory bowel disease. CBD, possesses anti-inflammatory effects, offers pain relief, reduces nausea, and stimulates appetite. One study found that 17.6% of inflammatory bowel disease patients use CBD and other cannabinoids to treat their symptoms, and although use was also found to be associated with a higher risk of surgery, patients reported an improvement in abdominal pain (83.9%), abdominal cramping (76.8%), joint pain (48.2%), and diarrhea (28.6%) (Storr, et al., 2014).
CBD: A POTENT ANTIOXIDANT
Phenols, including resorcinols, are well known anti-oxidants. The CBD, being resorcinols, is likewise a potent antioxidant.
Hampson et al. (1998) investigated the anti-oxidative properties of CBD, and recorded that it prevents hydroperoxide (H2O2)-induced oxidative damage equally well, or better, than ascorbate (vitamin C) or tocopherol (vitamin E). Their data suggest that CBD may be a potentially useful therapeutic agent for the treatment of oxidative neurological disorders such as cerebral ischemia. In a more recent study, it was found that CBD, when administered concurrently with binge ethanol exposure in rats, protected against hippocampal entorhinal-cortical neurodegeneration. They showed that this protection was not due to NMDA-receptor antagonism, as other NMDA antagonists that are not antioxidants did not prevent cell death and attributed the CBD action to its anti-oxidative effects (Mechoulam, et al. 2007).
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