You’ve probably already heard about CBD health benefits. From health experts to doctors, everyone has an opinion on its use.
But really, what’s the big deal? Why are people going so crazy about it?
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is one of the naturally occurring cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant and is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients found in marijuana. Despite being a constituent, it’s actually derived from the hemp plant, not the marijuana plant, and, by itself, does not cause the ‘high’ that its cousin does. According to a report published by the WHO, there is no evidence suggesting that pure CBD holds abuse or dependence potential, or is associated with any adverse side effects.
Before we dive too deep, let’s cover one basic: what is a cannabinoid? A cannabinoid is a compound that interacts directly with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). In short, this is a network of receptors that interact with cannabinoids to maintain vital functions in the body:
- Immune response
- Cellular regeneration
What’s the difference between CBD and THC?
If you ask around, most people might think that CBD and THC are the same, but despite having the same chemical constituents, CBD and THC do not elicit the same effect on the body. Because the molecular structures of THC and CBD are not identical, the compounds react with cannabinoid receptors in different ways, which account for the different effects they produce on the body.
To get into the nitty-gritty of the reaction, both compounds bind with the CB2 receptor in the same manner, but with the CB1 slightly different. Where THC binds with the CB1 receptors directly, THC does not, and can even negate the effects of the THC bond, thereby neutralizing the psychoactive effects that THC commonly induces.
So if you’re looking for that euphoric effect or a ‘high’, THC is your go-to. However, if you’re still looking for the benefits without the high, CBD is for you.
CBD health benefits
While people have been smoking marijuana for ages, CBD is a relatively new trend, especially in the health market. Research has shown that even in large doses, CBD is well-tolerated and exhibits limited side effects with many benefits.
So here are 5 reasons why we love CBD:
The body’s endocannabinoid system is involved in managing pain perception. A 2015 study showed that rodents given topical CBD for arthritis pain had significantly lower inflammation levels and reduced pain signals after only 4 days of supplementation with no side effects.
Studies point to CBD’s ability to interact with serotonin and GABA receptors in the brain to help symptoms of anxiety and depression; serotonin plays an important role in mood and anxiety, while GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that calms excessive brain activity and promotes relaxation
CBD has shown some really promising results as a protective compound for the brain due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities. Recent studies have investigated CBD’s role in neurogenesis and in helping heal the brain after trauma. Studies show that CBD may help to reduce brain damage incurred from stroke or other brain injuries, as well as a possible therapy for neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s Alzheimers, and MS.
CBD is a cannabinoid that acts on several neurotransmission systems involved in addiction. While data is limited, some preclinical studies suggest that CBD may have therapeutic properties for opioid, cocaine, and psychostimulant addiction. Other preliminary data suggests that it may also be beneficial in treating cannabis and tobacco addiction. CBD exhibits many therapeutic properties of its own that could benefit addiction disorder treatment such as its protective effects on stress vulnerability and neurotoxicity.
May improve sleep
Studies have shown CBD administration may also help to improve sleep. Not only does it help to increase overall sleep time, but it increases sleep latency, too. Some studies also report improvements in insomnia with the use of CBD oil.
If you haven’t tried CBD yet, these benefits may just be enough to get you to give it a try. And as we mentioned, there’s no risk associated with taking CBD — only reward.