CBD oil [or Cannabidoil] is a medicinal compound extracted from the hemp plant. Although controversial, studies show that it can be a powerful treatment for various illnesses and disorders.
Like cannabis, CBD oil comes from the hemp plant, but unlike cannabis, that is processed from the hemp flower, CBD oil is extracted from the stems of the plant. CBD contains no THC [technical name; delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol], and so has none of the affects that are most associated with cannabis and its other derivatives. Even with medical benefits and none of the ‘highs’ of cannabis, CBD oil is still illegal in some states in America. In other states and in the UK, CBD oil is only available with a special prescription for extreme cases. However, recent events and studies are challenging existing laws and social stigmas surrounding the use of cannabis products for health benefits.
From using CBD oil for anxiety, to treating cancer symptoms, the potential benefits of using CBD oil are numerous. The most widely reported use and probably the most used argument for making CBD oil more accessible is its seemingly unique ability to treat people who suffer from neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis and brain lesions. CBD seems to work directly on the brain and nervous system to calm unwanted activity, reducing the severity and frequency of seizures and spasms and also protecting the brain from further damage caused by such events.
Cannabis has been used for thousands of years as a painkiller and now studies are backing up this ‘herbal remedy’ with scientific evidence. CBD has a direct effect on the body’s endocannabinoid system. This system has a role in regulating sleep, appetite, pain and the immune system. Studies have shown that CBD reduces pain and other symptoms by affecting the endocannabinoid receptors, reducing inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters. The result is a very effective treatment for chronic pain disorders and motor-function diseases such a multiple sclerosis.
Human and animal studies have shown the benefit of using CBD oil for anxiety and depression. Where more traditional medications can have some nasty side-effects including some that can make the symptoms worse, the side-effects from using CBD oil for anxiety and depression are far fewer and less severe. CDB oil also appears to have no addictive properties, whereas many benzodiazepines currently used to treat anxiety and depression can cause the patient to become dependent and even increase the likelihood of substance abuse.
When tested against a placebo on people during public speaking, CBD oil has been shown to significantly reduce the speaker’s stress and anxiety. In some cases, it has actually improved the subject’s cognitive abilities under stress, allowing them to think clearer and remain more focused on their task.
Researchers have found that CBD achieves this because, whereas THC [the substance cannabis farmers cultivate the plant to produce more of to give that ‘high’] is psychoactive and causes cognitive impairment, CBD has the opposite effect. CBD can both kill the psychoactive effects of THC and reduce the effects of anxiety.
Main-stream anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs tend to create a feeling of mental sedation, physical sedation or detachment. However, all studies show, so far, that CBD oil has none of these side-effects.
One thing is clear, if you are interested in taking CBD oil for anxiety, pain or any other affliction, the potential of this new, and at the same time, ancient remedy is very exciting. More research is needed to confirm its safety and to measure its long-term effects before it is made widely legalised, but it is looking more likely that this will happen in the not too distant future, so watch this space!