In the not-too-distant past, CBD (cannabidiol) was considered the younger, less sophisticated sibling of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). However, those days are long behind us, as CBD has developed a mass following of people who swear by this chemical’s ability to reduce anxiety, reduce pain, relieve insomnia, treat seizures, and so much more. In this article, we’ll discover some of the things that CBD might help with.
CBD is one of 100+ cannabinoids found in cannabis and hemp plants. However, unlike THC, CBD does not have psychoactive effects. There are several ways that you can use it: smoke it, drink/eat it, rub it into your skin, or drop it under your tongue. That being said, no matter what form you choose, CBD will not get you high.
It’s important to note that much of the research into what CBD does is still in preclinical and more research is necessary, early results indicate that it offers therapeutic benefits when used daily for approximately 30 days.
In order to help you determine if you should consider CBD, we will explain below what current research shows. However, if you’re serious about treating your medical condition with CBD, it’s a good idea to consult your medical provider. After all, a quality CBD product is not cheap, and a professional can help you decide if it’s the appropriate option for you.
Potential Uses for CBD
Below, we’re going to explore several potential uses for CBD. Hopefully, this can help you learn what CBD might help with.
CBD for Anxiety: Can it really help you calm down?
Chances are you’ve noticed that there seem to be a lot of CBD products on the market that claim to relieve anxiety. You’ve probably wondered if there’s any truth to it or if it’s all just a bunch of hype. At this time, there’s not a lot of research, but based on a review of 49 small, preclinical studies, CBD does seem to help with the management of anxiety.
However, the question of how much should be taken and for how long is still being debated. Many studies do indicate that it should be taken on a daily basis for several weeks to show any effects. For example, one study in 2019 indicated that 25 milligrams daily for a period of approximately 30 days worked best for most participants.
CBD for Pain: What type of pain can CBD treat?
When you hear about CBD being used for pain relief, it is typically referring to chronic pain. This means that the pain has been felt daily for at least 3 months. Typically, chronic pain is more common in older populations, but there are certain conditions such as muscular injuries, endometriosis, and IBD that could be responsible for chronic pain in younger populations.
Again, though research is still fairly new, there is some indication that taking 25 milligrams of CBD every day for at least 2 weeks helps ease body and nerve pain. That being said, there is also some indication that it seems to work best when accompanied by 27 milligrams of THC. Research also indicates that this same dosage is effective for the long term, so you don’t have to keep increasing your dosage to get the effects.
CBD for Insomnia: Can it really help you get more high-quality sleep?
You probably don’t need to be reminded of the importance of sleep when it comes to living your best life. Over the years, CBD has gotten a lot of attention when it comes to sleep. Research on this topic has been mixed. However, studies have indicated that it can help REM sleep and may decrease nightmares in people with PTSD, as well as help people who have chronic pain get better sleep.
Once again- don’t expect a miracle. The effects will not kick in immediately. In most of the research studies, it was indicated that a dosage of 25 to 175 milligrams daily for a period of approximately 3 months was most effective. Since there is a big difference between 25 milligrams and 175 milligrams, it’s best to start low and work your way up if you’re not feeling any changes. Make sure to give it about a week for your body to get adjusted to the new dosage.
CBD for Skin Care: Is this the next big thing?
What happens when you combine fanatical skin care marketing with an already hyped ingredient such as CBD? You end up with a lot of promises with little to no evidence to back them up. Of course, this does not mean that CBD can’t help skin- but before you jump onto the bandwagon with CBD, you may want to consider other, less expensive skin care products.
The area of skin care that has the best research regarding CBD is acne. One study in 2014 had researchers applying CBD to tissue/cell samples. The CBD reduced the production of oil as well as offered some anti-inflammatory effects, which is a factor involved in the formation of acne. A study in 2016 supported the findings that the anti-inflammatory properties associated with CBD could be helpful for skin conditions.
That being said, it’s important to understand that neither of these involved the application of CBD directly to human skin. Therefore, expect more studies in the future.
CBD for Cancer: Can it kill cancer cells?
When it comes to animal studies and test tube studies, yes- CBD can kill cancer cells, which is exciting to consider. However, it’s entirely too early to claim that CBD is a cure for cancer. The research that has been done, such as this study in 2007 and this study in 2011 on CBD and breast cancer is still fairly new and more research is required to confirm these findings.
CBD for Seizures: What it is best at treating
By now, with all of these “maybes” associated with CBD, you’re probably wondering if research has revealed anything definitive when it comes to medical use. The answer is yes. CBD, more specifically, a medication known as Epidiolex has been FDA-approved in the treatment of seizures. This is a nasal spray with equal parts CBD and THC. One study in 2019 indicated that this medication substantially reduced seizures in most participants.
If you are interested in using CBD to treat your seizures, or you know someone that is, be sure to consult with a medical provider. Most of the time, for best results, CBD is paired with other medications.
Is CBD Legal?
Since CBD comes from the cannabis plant, there’s one big question in the back of everyone’s mind: is it legal? Unfortunately, this is where it gets a bit complicated.
Basically, CBD products can have up to 0.3% THC and still be legal on the federal level- but illegal at the state level. Therefore, if you live in one of the states where recreational cannabis is legal, you can buy it anywhere that sells it without an issue.
If you are not sure about the specific laws in your state, click here to learn more.
Another issue that often comes up is whether or not CBD will cause you to test positive on a drug screen. In most cases, you should be perfectly fine. However, it’s also important to keep in mind that cross-contamination can happen and due to the fact that these products are not regulated by the FDA, you may not be able to trust the dosage/potency listed on the label.
Is CBD safe?
Based on current research, it’s hard to overdose on CBD. For example, one study indicated that 1500 milligrams per day is safe for humans. This is a lot higher than most of the dosages mentioned in this article.
Of course, it’s important to note that there are a few potential negative side effects such as changes in appetite, diarrhea, and fatigue. Also, it’s a good idea to avoid CBD if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, as there is not enough research to determine it’s safety on developing fetuses or growing infants.
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