CBD, or cannabidiol, is purported to have many health benefits. Research continues into all the various CBD benefits, and we’ll be discussing a few instances below.
How might CBD help you? As a more natural element, is CBD better than prescription medication? We’ll answer all these questions and more.
CBD Benefits Epilepsy Patients
Epilepsy, a condition that causes seizures, is an ongoing battle for some. Certain types of epilepsy are resistant to regular pharmaceutical medication, so sufferers are looking elsewhere for solutions.
That solution may be CBD. There is much research going into how CBD can benefit people with epilepsy. Cases where the patient is a child have been especially promising.
There is strong evidence for CBD benefitting childhood epilepsy, particularly in the case of Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), both of which don’t usually respond to regular antiseizure medications.
Several documented cases show CBD reducing the number of seizures in patients with these types of epilepsy. Other studies also indicate a possible benefit of using CBD for patients with refractory epilepsies, whereby seizures were better controlled.
A CBD-containing medication, Epidiolex, is the first cannabis-derived medication to be approved by the US FDA and is used to help treat epilepsy. Medications such as this may be a more natural and safer alternative to prescription medications.
CBD Benefits Anxiety Disorders and Stress
Unlike THC, CBD may actually help in calming down patients (THC, on the other hand, can increase anxiety, panic, and nervousness).
CBD doesn’t contain the psychoactive element that produces a “high” effect like THC (and with it, the paranoia and anxiety).
Because of this, CBD may benefit those with anxiety disorders or PTSD and may help in decreasing stress.
One study showed that CBD may help those suffering from PTSD reduce their fear response. However, this study was only done on rats, so results may differ in humans.
CBD and Insomnia
CBD’s ability to reduce stress is also why CBD is purported to help with conditions like insomnia. People who take CBD claim to fall asleep more easily and stay asleep throughout the night. Less stress means a greater ability to sleep.
CBD and Blood Pressure
Another benefit of CBD’s potential to reduce stress is lowering blood pressure. One study showed that participants who had been given CBD had a reduction in blood pressure when their stress levels were tested.
CBD Benefits Skin
CBD has been shown to be a natural anti-inflammatory, particularly in the case of sebaceous glands. Inflammation in these glands is what causes acne, so CBD’s anti-inflammatory elements may help in reducing breakouts.
Another benefit of CBD for the skin is that it may be able to moderate the immune system, reducing redness, swelling, and irritation in the skin.
Additionally, CBD helps to promote the growth of new, healthy skin cells, thus eliminating damaged cells.
Psoriasis, a currently incurable condition that causes dry, itchy patches on the skin (a result of a buildup of skin cells), can be made better by the intake of CBD as well, thanks to its promotion of new skin cell growth.
CBD Benefits the Heart
Reducing blood pressure isn’t the only benefit CBD can give to the heart, but it is a big link to CBD’s impact on heart health.
How does CBD lower blood pressure? In part, this may have to do with CBD’s ability to relax the arterial walls, lowering tension on blood vessels all throughout the body.
CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects are also beneficial to the heart. Many heart conditions are plagued and worsened by inflammation issues, so lowering inflammation in the heart can help ease these conditions. Lowering inflammation in patients with heart problems also helps to lower their pain levels.
CBD has also been shown to reduce the amount of plaque from inside arteries—plaque being another common issue of heart problems, as plaque makes it harder for the heart to pump blood throughout the body. Lowering plaque levels over time helps to reduce the chance of heart problems in the future.
CBD Benefits Cancer Patients
CBD’s relation to cancer is one of the areas where more research is needed, but although it isn’t generally understood why, CBD does appear to benefit cancer patients.
Most simply, CBD seems to be able to help with nausea and vomiting. Regular cancer treatments such as chemotherapy can cause nausea, so taking CBD may, at the very least, help cancer patients better deal with other treatments’ side effects. The same can be said for CBD’s pain relief effects—helping patients to better handle the effects of cancer and regular treatments.
More complicated and less understood is CBD’s potential to stop the growth of certain cancer cells. CBD oil may be able to limit the migration of cancer cells to other parts of the body.
Some studies do show that CBD may be able to shrink cancer cells.
CBD Benefits Grow with Research
With legality opening up more and more, research from around the world into CBD and its health benefits will become more common.
While much of the current research, studies, and cases offer encouraging results, it’s important to keep in mind that CBD is not a cure for anything and you should be mindful of companies claiming their products do offer cures.
Yes, CBD is far more natural than many current prescription medications available today, and so CBD may be a valid alternative choice for certain conditions. CBD may be an answer to things like the opiate crisis. But we are still learning about it.
Should you be interested in trying CBD for its medical benefits, we recommend speaking with a doctor first. That way you can be sure it won’t interfere with any of your current medications or conditions.
The good news is, purported CBD benefits are plentiful and CBD, according to research, has far fewer nasty side effects than most prescription medications.
CBD and its benefits and effects need to continue to be researched. We don’t know everything yet, but every day we learn more and more about CBD and all it can do.
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