Cannabis has been called the most medicinal plant in the world for a long time. The number of people who have reported relief from varying conditions is mind boggling.
How can one plant help with so many different ailments? Well, cannabis has over 480 naturally occurring units of which 66 are exclusive to the cannabis plant (LAM). These cannabinoids have shown to be versatile and efficient in how they interact with your receptors. Combined, they have been shown to help with tens of different conditions.
I'm only going to cover a few of the more popular ones to prevent this post from turning into a book.
1. Dual Pain Relief
Many people have reported that CBD products have helped them manage their chronic pain. It can be hard to decipher fact from fiction or wishful thinking. When I first heard about the pain relief properties of cannabidiol, I thought it was BS. It sounded like some cannabis lovers promoting cannabis in a round about way. I figured they were under the placebo effect or just espousing total BS. Even though I was skeptical at first, I kept an open mind to their claims and began to conduct my own research.
Below you'll find some information I gathered that is backed by reputable studies.
This study was published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine by Rockefeller University Press in 2012. In other words, it was performed by a prestigious institution and can even be found in the US National Library of Medicine. The results were great for CBD enthusiast and supporters.
The study concluded that CBD was very effective at reducing two types of chronic pain, inflammatory and neuropathic.
Neuropathic pain is persistent and disruptive to people's daily routines. It's the kind of pain that won't let you forget about it. It's caused by compromised nerve fibers. The fibers become dysfunctional because of injury or some other type of damage. When your nerve fibers become dysfunctional and you feel persistent pain, it's because they're sending a pain signal to your receptors. These signals are only supposed to fire when your body is being harmed (webmd).
The study showed how CBD can help neuropathic pain. I will try to sum it up in a way anyone can understand it, but you can always read the full study here.
CBD is a TRPV1 agonist. TRPV1 is an abbreviation for a mouthful of words (transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1) that describe a protein in your body with the TRPV1 gene encoding. One of TRPV1's jobs is to provide a sensation of pain. It's a wonderful thing when it works properly, but it can also be a very bad thing when dysfunctional. When you touch a hot stove and withdraw your hand quickly because of the pain, you have TRPV1 to thank.
When an agonist, such as cannabidiol, activates TRPV1 over an extended period of time, it causes TRPV1 to become desensitized. This inevitably decreases the inflammatory molecules released by TRPV1. This is just one of the reasons CBD has been shown to be very effective for inflammatory pain (BJP).
Furthermore, one of the best things about CBD is that you won't build up a tolerance to it and there haven't been any major side effects reported like with pharmaceuticals. Often times pharmaceutical pills become less effective, causing you to reach for more. Next thing you know, you're dependent or addicted. You won't have to worry about that with this naturopathic remedy.
2. Reduces Anxiety
Several studies have shown CBD to be effective in reducing all kinds of different forms of anxiety. It was shown to be especially helpful for social anxiety disorder in this study, and “clearly suggest an anxiolytic-like effect.”
That should come as great news to the 40 million adults in America who suffer from an anxiety disorder (ADAA). My wife used to be one of them. Key phrase being “used to.” Believe it or not, anxiety disorders are actually very commonplace.
The 40 million Ameican adults who are suffering from anxiety disorder represents 18% of the population. That number surprised me at first, but the more I began to think about it, it made a lot more sense!
Here's another study published by the University of Sao Paulo's School of Medicine that came to the same conclusion. Here's their exact conclusion, “These results give further support to the proposal that BNST is involved in the anxiolytic-like effects of CBD observed after systemic administration, probably by facilitating local 5-HT1A receptor-mediated neurotransmission.”
There have been a lot more studies that have reached the same conclusion. Just click here to find some more if you're in the mood to read some dense stuff.
3. Relieves Depression
Roughly 14.8 million adults in America have major depression (DBSA). That's nothing to sneeze at and the consequences can be severe. When depression goes untreated the consequences can range from small things like unhappiness to larger things like insomnia and suicide.
Some people jokingly call depression a Prozac deficiency. It's not anything to joke about, but anti-depressants like Prozac have seen over 400% increases in prescriptions over the last couple decades. That's alarming. These addictive pharmaceuticals come with a host of side effects and are being given to kids. Doctors are notoriously slow to recognize holistic approaches, but there is some reputable research that deserves some attention.
CBD to the rescue! In a study published in 2015, CBD was found to be a good anti-depressant. It states, “Our results demonstrate that CBD exerts fast and maintained antidepressant-like effects” (Science Direct). That is just awesome. Not only was it effective, but it worked fast and maintained the effects. There's nothing like sustained relief from one of America's biggest ailments.
Another study with the same conclusion, “Within preclinical models, facilitation of endocannabinoid neurotransmission evokes both antidepressant and anxiolytic effects” (Cell).
And I wouldn't want to leave out this study either, “CBD induces antidepressant-like effects comparable to those of imipramine” (Wiley).
The list goes on and on but I think you get the point. CBD has been shown to be very helpful if you're suffering from depression.
Did you know that depression and inflammation have been linked together? I didn't know that until I began researching all of the benefits of CBD. In a study published by Elsevier Ltd., they discovered that “inflammatory cytokines contribute to the development of depression” (PubMed).
They won't go as far as saying inflammation causes depression, but they said there is “mounting evidence” showing that it's a contributing factor. Well, what do you know? CBD happens to be great at reducing inflammation and inflammatory pain, further contributing to its anti-depressant qualities.
4. Helps With PTSD
The statistics concerning PTSD are shocking. Did you know that over 223.4 million Americans have experienced a traumatic event? I didn't. Furthermore, a good chunk of people will develop PTSD. Over 31.3 million Americans have developed PTSD tod ate (HMPTSD).
These stats made me realize that PTSD is not reserved for military veterans alone. While I am by no means trying to downplay military PTSD, I'm just pointing out that I originally thought it was mainly diagnosed in our brave veterans. But when I sat down and thought about it, I realized I know several people who have PTSD from car accidents and other traumatic events. It's more common than I thought, which makes me even more grateful for CBD.
Studies have shown that endocannabinoid system deficiency is one of the contributing factors to PTSD. To state it simply, CBD helps restore your endocannabinoid system to normal levels (ISPNE Journal).
When your endocannabinoid system is out of balance, you'll experience symptoms like anxiety, irritability, insomnia, and flashbacks. CBD helps alleviate those symptoms allowing you to enjoy naturopathic relief without the side effects of pharmaceuticals.
Here's a snippet from another study you can reference that has found similar findings, “eCB [endogenous cannabinoid] reuptake inhibitors may serve as useful adjuncts in the treatment of anxiety disorders (such as PTSD, panic disorder, and OCD)” (Nature).
Boom! Well, there you have it. CBD has been shown to be effective in treating PTSD.
If you're one of the lucky few people who have always had clear skin, I envy you! Clear skin is something I've always wanted but none of the traditional products worked for me.
CBD has been shown to improve acne conditions. In a study published in 2015, cannabis seed extract cream was applied to human cheeks for 12 weeks. The result, less sebum and erythema secretions (NIH). Sebum is secreted from glands on your face and is one of the major causes of acne.
A little sebum is necessary to protect your skin, but too much can clog your pores and produce a pimply, oily look. If that sounds like your face, then a CBD acne cream might just do the trick.
It's great to see so many doctors and scientist speak out on the benefits of cannabidiol products. Of course, cannabis websites will tell you how great everything cannabis related is, but hearing it from medical experts who has no skin in the game is just awesome.
The research cited above is just skimming the surface. There are numerous studies that I didn't list that support the information above. I just listed a couple for brevity sake. You can always Google the condition name + “CBD study” to find more references. I hope you enjoyed this article and learned a lot about what CBD has to offer. I do have one question for you that I would love to get an answer to.
What surprised you the most about the benefits of CBD oil?