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Cannabidiol, better known as CBD oil, has become an accepted natural alternative for a variety of health-related issues. Its use as a substitute for over-the-counter pharmaceutical drugs has been rapidly growing over the last few years. Unlike most supplements, it can be used for a broad range of issues such as lowering high blood pressure to providing relief for the side-effects associated with cancer treatments. However, one of the least understood benefits of CBD oil is its possible effectiveness in treating some symptoms associated with alcohol and drug addiction.
What is CBD Oil and How Does It Work?
Cannabidiol is one of the naturally occurring non-psychoactive elements found in the cannabis sativa plant. It is also found in certain strains of hemp which is the tough fibrous part of the cannabis herb. CBD oil is made by extracting resin from the stalks of hemp or cannabis flowers and then diluting it with a carrier oil such as coconut or olive oil. Most of the CBD oil used for medicinal purposes comes from hemp.
Both scientific studies and anecdotal evidence reveal that CBD oil is helpful in reducing the symptoms of a wide variety of ailments. Although some of the health issues may differ, recent studies have shown that the body’s endocannabinoid system is the common thread. Named after the cannabis plant, the endocannabinoid system consists of receptors & molecules that inhabit the brain, organs, glands, and cells within the human body.
The endocannabinoid system performs different jobs in various parts of the central nervous system with the overarching goal of creating a stable equilibrium throughout the human body. The balance that the endocannabinoid system maintains between tissues, organs, and cells enables the body’s systems to perform at peak performance. Since endocannabinoid receptors have such a big job, they are viewed by scientists as the key to health and fitness. These hard-working receptors are responsible for regulating the following bodily functions:
- Motor coordination
- Pain Perception
- Temperature Control
- Bone growth
- Eye Pressure
- Nerve and brain tissue
- Immune Function
- Appetite and hunger
Cannabinoids have a profound effect on the endocannabinoid system by acting directly and indirectly on the body’s receptors. If the endocannabinoid system is weak, cannabinoids can help the receptors function at an optimum level. CBD helps cells connect with the central nervous system and organs to create a perfect balance between the body and mind.
How does CBD differ from Marijuana?
Marijuana is the dried leaves, flowers, stems and seeds of cannabis sativa. Cannabis contains both Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD. THC is the component in cannabis that causes the feeling of euphoria by interacting with CB1 receptors in the brain. These receptors affect coordination, mood, thinking, and appetite. THC’s interaction with these receptors induces the result typically connected with the use of marijuana that’s associated with the sensation of “getting high.” Unlike THC, cannabinoids are non-psychoactive, and their interaction with the CB1 receptors does not alter impressions, awareness or judgment. Although CBD oil does not modify perception, it does create changes in the body that are essential to maintaining good health and wellness. Overall, CBD oil pulls out the useful compounds found in cannabis without the psychoactive chemicals that produce the effects associated with inhaling marijuana.
CBD Oil Benefits List
CBD oil has become quite popular for individuals looking for relief from pain and other ailments but don’t feel comfortable using pharmaceutical drugs. Because of the way cannabinoids interact with the body, CBD oil has a variety of uses. Here are some of the common ailments that CBD oil has shown success in treating.
- Alleviating chronic pain
- Reducing cancer-related symptoms
- Improving heart health
- Treating acne and other skin conditions
- Reducing childhood epileptic seizures
- Treating inflammation
- Neutralizing free radicals
The CBD oil benefits list addresses a wide-range of health issues that many people deal with daily. But research has shown that cannabinoids may be effective in treating the symptoms associated with anxiety and depression.
CBD Oil for Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression are recurrent mental health issues that have a debilitating impact on the quality of life. Both ailments are typically treated with prescribed drugs, which can have unpleasant side-effects such as sexual dysfunction and insomnia. In addition, some pharmaceutical drugs can be addictive and lead to substance abuse.
CBD helps to regulate the internal functions within the body but also regulates the mind’s external responses to the environment. Several studies have shown that CBD oil may be a feasible treatment for depression and anxiety. This has encouraged many people living with mental health issues to seek CBD oil as an alternative treatment. CBD binds to the body’s serotonin receptors causing a decrease in feelings of anxiety and depression
There is no miracle cure for anxiety and depression. However, several case studies and clinical trials have shown that cannabinoids do help in regulating mood and emotions. This is why CBD oil is becoming a useful option for the ongoing management of some mental health disorders. More research is needed to truly gauge the efficacy of its uses for treating anxiety and depression. Anyone considering using CBD oil to treat mental health disorders should always consult with their doctor first.
CBD Oil for Addiction Recovery
Compelling scientific evidence has revealed that CBD oil may be an effective method for treating some substance abuse related symptoms. As with most chronic illnesses, addiction is a disease that may have episodes of relapse and remission. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that in 2014, 21.5 million Americans were in need of therapeutic treatment for addiction. Because CBD is not addictive and non-psychoactive, it may serve as the panacea for reducing the cravings and anxiety experienced by individuals suffering from addiction. CBD’s capacity to regulate the body’s dopamine receptors is the key to providing relief for the following withdrawal symptoms:
- Excessive hunger
- Sleep issues
- Muscle pain
- Disorientation and mental confusion
- Agitation and mood swings
- Cold and sweaty outbreaks
A recent study with animals by the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego discovered that the brain’s serotonin receptors are ignited by CBD. This was found to be directly related to a reduction in drug-seeking behavior. In this study, CBD oil was administered to rats after they were given alcohol and cocaine. The results indicated that even five months after CBD had left their systems, the rats did not engage in drug-seeking behaviors.
CBD oil has also proven effective in breaking the smoking habit. The University of London conducted a study that found a relationship between cannabinoids and the addiction to nicotine. In this study, habitual smokers were given an inhaler filled with CBD and a placebo. The participants who used the CBD inhaler showed a radical reduction in tobacco consumption, and their craving for nicotine decreased.
Is CBD Oil Safe?
Due to its association with marijuana, many ask the question, “Is CBD oil safe?” Although uncommon, some people have reported minor side-effects from using CBD oil. These include dry mouth, low blood pressure, feeling sleepy and light-headed. Although CBD is not toxic, always consult a healthcare professional before consuming the oil to treat chronic health conditions. This is essential for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or taking any prescribed medication.
Administering CBD Oil
Even though many states have made the use of marijuana legal, most doctors are wary of prescribing CBD. This is due to the absence of an established guideline for recommended dosages. In fact, scientists have just recently started developing guidelines for administering medical marijuana. Therefore, determining the proper dosage of CBD oil depends on a variety of factors. Every individual is genetically unique, so a serving size of CBD oil will be different for each person. Again, it is recommended that you talk to a healthcare professional when considering dosage amounts for CBD.
CBD oil is usually taken orally in the form of drops or a paste. It is dispensed and held under the tongue until fully absorbed. It has a distinct flavor that some find unappealing, so drinking juice while ingesting the oil may be necessary. Other forms of oral administration include capsules, edible chocolate bars, and oral sprays. The diverse methods in which CBD oil can be consumed make it an appealing natural supplement that can be tailored for each individual’s specific needs.
Due to the manner in which CBD oil interacts with the endocannabinoid system, there are many significant benefits from using it as a natural supplement. Recent studies have shown promising results in the efficacy of cannabinoids as a therapeutic treatment for many ailments. Scientific and anecdotal evidence has revealed that CBD oil is a safe and non-toxic alternative to some prescription drugs. This non-psychoactive supplement has proven to be a viable option for reducing the symptoms of an assortment of chronic ailments and diseases.
If you are interested in learning more about CBD oil and whether it could useful for you, speak with a medical professional. They will help you determine if it is appropriate, how to use it and the proper dosage.