You've probably heard about CBD oil, and how it can offer relief for a variety of conditions. Pain, inflammation, mental health conditions, sleep, even skin conditions could be improved with CBD oil use. But what is it, and how does it work? And what exactly can it help you with?
Recently, CBD has been gaining popularity because of its potential benefits but because it seems new to us - many people feel confused due to the lack of information or the amount of misinformation available and may avoid it altogether. Interested in learning more about CBD? Then keep on reading! Please consult with your doctor to see if any form of CBD is right for your needs.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol. It's a cannabinoid that comes from hemp, usually industrial hemp. It interacts with your endocannabinoid system, and essentially amplifies your body's natural endocannabinoids, which regulate your mood, motor control, sleep, pain, digestion, and more.
Though CBD is a cannabinoid like THC, its marijuana counterpart, CBD won't get you high. But it could help you feel more relaxed and alleviate pain.
Major Conditions CBD Can Help
CBD can help with many different conditions, but research is limited for some. These are some specific conditions that CBD has been scientifically proven to help:
- Chronic pain: Arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and other conditions can cause chronic pain. But when you take CBD, your body can perceive and respond to pain differently, helping you alleviate pain and feel better. With anti inflammatory properties, CBD can cut down on inflammatory pain and nerve pain.
- Cancer symptoms: Cancer patients often suffer from pain, depression, troubled sleep, nausea, and vomiting. CBD can offer relief for these cancer symptoms, and may help reduce opioid use with pain relief in particular. The nausea and vomiting that often accompany chemotherapy can be relieved by CBD so cancer patients feel more comfortable.
- Anxiety and depression: CBD can help with symptoms of mental health disorders including anxiety and depression. It can offer a reduction in anxiety in social situations, and improve negative self assessments. For some, CBD offers effects similar to antidepressants and can motivate social interaction.
- Sleep: Many adults struggle to sleep, and insomnia can be a chronic problem. But CBD can help you improve your sleep quality and overall get more sleep. CBD typically helps with sleep by alleviating symptoms such as pain and anxiety that can cause poor sleep quality, but it's also a good choice for simply dealing with difficult sleep.
- Skin problems: With anti inflammatory properties, CBD can be helpful for managing skin issues including acne, psoriasis, and eczema. CBD can inhibit excessive oil production, which can alleviate acne. And, cutting back on inflammation can calm your skin to help deal with other problems such as redness, scaling, and irritation.
CBD is legal at the federal level, and legal to use in most states, especially those with legalized marijuana. It's generally regarded as a low risk drug with a good safety profile and typically is not habit forming or have serious side effects. CBD comes in a variety of forms, and the way you use CBD can depend on what you want it for.
If you're alleviating overall pain, you may prefer a CBD vape if you need fast relief, even if it's somewhat short lived. If you're looking for longer effects, a sublingual tincture may be more helpful. The same is true for mental health symptoms. Staving off a panic attack or serious anxiety episode might call for a quickly effective vape, but if you're just looking for a way to cut back on stress throughout the day, a CBD edible could be more useful. Salves, lotions, and other topical applications can be used for skin issues, or for targeted pain, such as arthritic joint pain.
Consider how CBD can help these common conditions and others, and whether it's a good choice for you. Generally, CBD is safe to use and could be a low risk alternative to more serious treatments for some patients. Talk to your doctor about how you can integrate CBD in your treatment plan.
Amelia Noble is a researcher with the CBD Awareness Project. When she's not working, you can find her playing board games.