Cannabidiol (CBD) has long been touted as the new wonder drug with benefits that span across many industries ranging from health and wellness to cosmetics, food and drink and even pet care. In the U.S. sales of CBD products generated roughly $5.3 billion in 2021, and are predicted to reach around $16 billion by 2026. In this article, we will look at some of the benefits of CBD in more detail and explore how it can benefit you.
What Is CBD?
For many, the idea of using CBD is treated with caution as it may conjure up images of marijuana-smoking hippies, and getting ‘high’. ‘Does CBD give you red eyes?’ is a question others may ask themselves. However, CBD is a naturally-occurring chemical that is found in cannabis and hemp yet it does not contain the psychoactive compound, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and does not produce the high feeling typically associated with cannabis use.
When CBD is smoked, consumed through edibles or applied topically as an oil or lotion, it interacts with neuroreceptors in the endocannabinoid system which are responsible for regulating movement, coordination, mood, pain, memory, appetite and other functions in the body. CBD is legal in the U.S. if it contains less than 0.3% THC and is derived from the hemp plant.
Benefits of CBD
While research on the benefits of CBD continues, the following areas have shown improvement as a result of this chemical:
Reduction in Anxiety and Depression
According to a recent study published in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry, a single 300g dose of CBD was shown to reduce the anxiety and cognitive impairment induced by recalling certain traumatic events in patients suffering from PTSD. Its non-psychoactive properties make CBD suitable for therapeutic purposes and in addition to its anxiety-reducing benefits, it is also successfully used to treat stress and depression in people.
CBD has shown to be beneficial in treating epileptic seizures in some people. This has led to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approving the drug Epidiolex as the first FDA-approved drug that contains CBD.
Epidiolex is used to treat seizures caused by two rare forms of epilepsy namely, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. In a clinical trial, when taken in combination with other prescribed medications, Epidiolex was shown to reduce the frequency of seizures in users compared to those who were given a placebo.
Improve ALS Symptoms
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurological disease which affects the nervous system causing degeneration of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord resulting in loss of muscle control. When taken in combination with ALS medication, CBD has been shown to improve symptoms of ALS sufferers and return some of their functioning back to them. CBD also has anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial in delaying the progression of neuroinflammation stemming from ALS.
According to the National Centers for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), there is evidence to suggest that CBD could be beneficial in treating chronic pain. Its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and analgesic properties make CBD ideal for relieving pain in many people and can be especially helpful for treating conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia.
As this article shows, there are many benefits to this naturally-occurring compound ranging from mental and emotional wellbeing to treating chronic medical conditions.