The Cannabidiol (CBD) oil has been at the center of attention in the U.S.A. ever since it stopped an epileptic seizure on national TV, with researchers currently held up in labs attempting to demystify the magic compound.
So, like many others out there, you might be wondering what exactly CBD is? Where does it come from? How does it work? What are some of the benefits of CBD Oil (Cannabidiol)?
We answer all these and many other questions you might have below as we discuss everything you need to know about CBD.
What is Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil?
Popularly known as CBD Oil, cannabidiol is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant. You’re probably already familiar with THC which is another compound found in the cannabis plant. The key difference between the two is that unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. Simply put, don’t expect to get high after taking the compound.
That said, however, there are many medicinal benefits of CBD oil (cannabidiol). Preclinical trials show that the compound is effective as an inflammatory medication, antioxidant, neuroprotectant, anxiolytic, antidepressant, antipsychotic, analgesic and anti-tumoral agent.
The drug is mostly used in the form of an oil, though people with with more severe conditions such as epilepsy and cancer may be advised to use medical cannabis oil extracted from carefully selected varieties of cannabis.
How it Works
Cannabidiol is one of nearly 80 cannabinoids (chemical compounds) found in the cannabis plant. It is the most dominant compound in the resin glands (trichomes) of the female cannabis plant.
Cannabinoids are agonists that bind certain receptors to our cannabinoid receptor cells. Cannabinoid receptor cells are found in our endocannabinoid system (ECS) which runs through the entire body, from the brain to other vital organs such as the skin, digestive tract, and even our reproductive organs.
Studies reveal that the ECS is one of the greatest neurotransmitters in the body. Among other things, it plays a key role in improving;
- Appetite, and
- Motor control
Aside from that, the ECS is also important in bone development, immune balance, reproduction, and appetite regulation. It also helps in maintaining homeostatic balance within the body.
CDB, once in the body, interacts with receptor cells in the ECS to produce its therapeutic effects.
Medicinal Benefits of CBD Oil (Cannabidiol) Oil
Although there is still a wave of controversy surrounding the drug and its medicinal use, CBD has been proven to be useful in the treatment of three medical conditions;
- Epileptic disorders
If you watched or heard about the Charlotte Figi story in 2013, you may not need additional explanation to understand how CBD helps with epileptic disorders. Before making the final decision to try CBD, Charlotte was having 300 seizures a week and one every 15 minutes. But, after taking the drug, she didn’t have a single seizure for an entire week!
Since then, a lot of research has been conducted on the effectiveness of CBD in the treatment of epileptic disorders. And, just recently, GW Pharmaceuticals, a British pharmaceutical company, completed phase III trials with a pure CBD medication for epilepsy. It means that it’s only a matter of time before the drugs legally hit the shelves.
- Schizophrenia and psychotic disorders
A 2015 review published in the Schizophrenia Research indicates that the qualities that make CBD effective in reducing the psychoactive properties of THC may also make the drug helpful in the treatment of schizophrenia.
THC, you remember is the other cannabinoid that makes people feel high. To achieve this effect, THC targets two parts of the brain - the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex. Incidentally, these are the same regions implicated in schizophrenia. The opposite effects of CBD in the two areas could help in the treatment of schizophrenia.
This is interesting because THC has the exact opposite effect. Too much THC will leave you feeling incredibly anxious. CBD, on the other hand, significantly lowers anxiety.
Owing to this property, the drug can even be used to ease the discomfort caused by social anxiety. This was proven in 2011 when researchers working with ten patients with social anxiety found that taking 400mg of CBD reduces anxiety symptoms.
Other Benefits of CBD Oil (Cannabidiol)
Other than being effective in the treatment of epileptic seizures, schizophrenia, psychotic disorders, and anxiety, CBD oil is also useful in;
- Relieving chronic pain
Patients with conditions such as fibromyalgia which can cause chronic pain are encouraged to use CBD.
- Reducing inflammation
Chronic inflammation is the primary cause of many non-infectious diseases such as Alzheimer’s and heart disease. Research shows that CBD can help ease inflammation.
- Reducing oxidative stress
Too many free radicals in the body, resulting from excessive oxidation, are one of the leading causes of stress. CBD acts as an antioxidant and has neurological qualities, thus can reduce the damage caused by free radicals.
- Fights drug-resistant bacteria
Studies show that CBD has the potential to destroy drug-resistant bacteria. In tuberculosis-infected rats, the drug was able to slow down the progress of TB by inhibiting T-cell proliferation.
- It’s good for heart health
CBD reduces artery blockage, blood pressure, and stress-induced cardiovascular response thus helps in preventing heart diseases.
- Treatment of cancer
Finally, there is ongoing research on the potential effectiveness of CBD in treating cancer. Already, the compound has been shown to slow down the spread of cancerous cells.
There are several other potential benefits of CBD Oil (Cannabidiol) under research including its role in relieving skin infections and promoting healthy weight. In fact, some studies even suggest that CBD can be used to treat a range of pet diseases.