Cannabidiol is gaining more and more popularity as an incredible discovery in the medical community. To be honest, this information might be right, but so far only some medical studies were carried out in order to discover the benefits and side effects of oil obtained from industrial hemp. It is understandable why people are cautious when it comes to this product. Advertisers promote it as a wonderful discovery, but since it is obtained from cannabis, a plant which has a controversial reputation there is some concern regarding its effectiveness and side effects.
There are three types of cannabis: Sativa, India, and ruderal which were used in the traditional medicine for thousands of years. In the mid-1800’s marijuana was making its debut in the western medicine due to its sedative, anticonvulsant, analgesic, antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties, but a century later, in the mid-1900’s it was banned in the USA and other countries due to the growing abuse cases. Only decades later cannabis received a second chance for medical purposes.
Unlike marijuana, which contains THC, responsible for the euphoric effect, CBD doesn’t contain this substance. Hemp cultures are illegal in the USA because their seeds contain small amounts of THC. Still, hemp products are available on the US market as oils, ointments or supplements. In the USA Cannabidiol in so popular, it became an industry of its own, and it is growing steadily in spite of the efforts certain local and federal governments made to control it. In These cases, authorities are misinformed or simply uninformed regarding the safety measures taken by the CBD manufacturers.
For a substance with no euphoric side effects, in the last couple of years, cannabidiol caused some buzz among researchers and even regular people. This substance is extracted by cold pressing the seeds of industrial hemp, and it doesn’t have an intoxicating effect on users because it doesn’t contain THC, the chemical responsible for that unique feeling one gets by consuming the plant itself. Many retailers and natural dietary supplements manufacturers rushed to promote CBD as the next wonder product which can significantly improve one’s health, regardless of how complicated the situation is. Just like in all the other cases, popularity comes with disadvantages, and this time it is a widespread misconception related directly to cannabis and indirectly to CBD. A mild addiction is possible to some individuals with history abuse, but the benefits of using this oil are considerable, and they can’t be ignored.
Cannabidiol available in different forms
Because cannabidiol is a fully natural and organic product, it represents an excellent alternative to traditional medication for a broad range of health issues like depression, cancer, seizures, nausea and mental disorders. It is a safe remedy with low risk of potential side effects. CBD is available on the market in different forms and packages in order to be easier to use according to the health problem one is trying to improve:
- Pills – are as easy to use as classic medication and it is easy to keep track of the ingested dosages. They can be carried in the bag, and its formula is friendly for vegans as well. If consumed as a food supplement, they become even more efficient, so this is a popular choice for treatments based on CBD.
- Vaping oils – CBD can be purchased as a liquid which can be heated and inhaled through a special device or e-cigarette. This oil is often flavored to make the treatment experience less traumatic.
- Skin lotion – CDB is available for topical use as well in the form of skin creams and ointments. When applied directly to the skin, CBD is absorbed slowly by the body offering a long lasting effect. CBD can reduce local pain, scars, wrinkles and leave the skin soft and smooth. It is recommended as a treatment for acne, psoriasis or dermatitis.
- Isolate – as powder, CBD is also recommended for external and topical use. It works the same way skin lotions do it’s just a matter of personal options.
PROS for using cannabidiol
The full spectrum of benefits is just being discovered by the medical community. Some results bring contradictory data, but in most cases, scientists agree that CBD has a good influence on the human body. So far the findings conclude there are some significant health benefits of CBD consumption:
Reduce Depression and Anxiety
Among other chemicals found in the human body, Endocannabinoids are responsible for maintaining the energy balance, memory, and mood within optimum parameters. They also influence the drugs addiction. The same receptors which activate CBD also trigger the response of endocannabinoids. The medical research discovered that CBD could play a role in determining if ECS increase the function of the receptor to reduce anxiety and depression while improving the mood. Cannabidiol is a more and more attractive option for managing traumatic experiences to (or “intending to”) avoiding impairment generated by the stress. Considering the modern lifestyle, balancing the professional and personal life is a challenge most people must face. Some of the find a way to deal with all this stress and anxiety by using cannabidiols to relax and gain a new perspective on life. A recent study, conducted several years ago, supports the idea that CBD can control the way people respond emotionally to traumatic events by acting upon the stress receptors in the brain and reduce their activity.((https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3576702/))((https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3691841/))
Ill people usually lose appetite due to heavy medication. For example, individuals who undergo chemotherapy consistently report a lack of energy and appetite due to this painful process. The consumption of cannabidiol can release some hormones responsible for controlling hunger. ECS system, if stressed by medication and illness, reacts by reducing the desire to eat. CBD responds by restoring in sick patients the will to eat more in order to strengthen the body to keep fighting the disease. These substances not only induce hunger, but it also stimulates the entire digestive system. This is a positive consequence for individuals who try to regain weight after a period of serious illness. It is not uncommon for cannabidiol to be used as a treatment for obesity or anorexia.((https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2906701/))
Supports Joints, Muscles, and Organs’ Health
Inflammatory disease, like rheumatoid arthritis, appears when the body is attacked by its immune system causing inflammation. There are certain medical studies which support the idea that CBD can improve the condition of muscles, joints and other organs by reducing the pain levels and balancing the mood. Cannabidiols represent a pain reliever recognized in the medical community. Cbd is often used as a treatment in cases of patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia or cancer. Chemotherapy is a painful process, and people who undergo this treatment need all the help they can get to cope better with the pain. A study conducted on patients with chronic pain noticed that after only two weeks of treatment based on cannabidiols the pain level was considerably reduced.((https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4851925/))
Slows Down the Aging Process in the Brain
As we get older, so does our brain and its performance is reduced. A study conducted on the CBD impact on the brain’s activity showed that it could clean the brain of the free radicals accumulated over time. These negative agents are impossible to avoid as they are the result of our lifestyle, food and drinking habits, cosmetic products and the environment in general. By canceling the negative effect of free radicals in the brain, CBD improves the cells longevity and refreshes the brain’s functions.((https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170508112400.htm))
Supports the Brain’s Health
Medical conclusions are supporting the idea that consuming CBD can generate a better activity of the ECS system which will fight the degradation process of the brain cells. A disease like Alzheimer, Huntington or multiple sclerosis cause the brain to deteriorate, but CBD can slow down the process by strengthening the immune system.
THC may help reduce sleep interruptions and improve nighttime breathing problems. People who try to overcome sleeping problems can find an ally in CBD which fights to reduce anxiety and restlessness. Its ability to help individuals relax and fall asleep faster is quite well known. Medical studies even concluded the treatment is safe for people with sleep apnea as well because it improves the breathing rhythm of the night.
Increase the Brain’s Activity
Scientists noticed that CBD could increase the energy levels within the cells and as a consequence, the efficiency of mitochondria is improved. Through the process of destroying the effects of free radicals, the brain’s activity is increased because the mitochondria can function at proper levels. The brain consumes a lot of energy to maintain all of its functions, so it is essential to consume enough CBD to over-exceed the demand.
Some medical studies concluded that CBD could limit the severity of psychotic episodes. Usually, it needs to be taken a considerable amount off THC along with CBD to notice a difference. Researchers suggest that CBD has a therapeutic influence over different forms of psychosis. Unlike most of the typical antipsychotic medication, CBD doesn’t cause severe side effects which could prove dangerous for the health or even life-threatening. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severe psychiatric disorder which appears in people who suffered a life changing dramatic experiences like accidents, natural disasters or military combat. A study conducted recently, only in 2015, concluded that CBD is effective for people with PTSD because it grows their social and coping abilities and reduces insomnia and anxiety. Regulating breathing can also have a positive influence on people who have asthma as well and reduce the severity of their attacks.((https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26341731))((https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604171/))
Has Anti-bacterial Properties
Since the mid-1950’s the anti-bacterial property of CBD was admitted, so the substance was used to treat tuberculosis. As a natural product CBD can be utilized as a therapeutic alternative to standard treatment which became ineffective. Some studies focused on the fight against Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), one of the most resistant bacteria shows that CBD has a strong reaction to control its growth.((https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18681481))
Prevents and Treats Sight Problems
CBD gains a reputation for preventing the macular degeneration. Glaucoma is a sight condition caused by increased intraocular pressure. Cannabidiol can reduce the pressure within the eye for a period.((https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1772142/)) Unfortunately, the improved sight lasts only around three hours, so the treatment will last for a long time and be constant to keep the IOP low. Long lasting cannabidiol treatments might have undiscovered yet side effects.
Supports the Heart and the Circulatory System
CBD relaxes blood vessels as well, and as a result, circulation is improved, and blood pressure is reduced. There is still need for further research, but the pre-clinical tests suggest that cannabidiol can lessen the risk of developing stroke, heart attack, hypertension, atherosclerosis, or other types of coronary disease.((https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3579247/))
Could Prevent and Treat Cancer
Even if scientists and doctors agree there is still for more data, it seems that CBD could kill the cancerous cells and stop the blood supply from reaching the tumor. Using cannabidiol as a treatment for cancer could improve the patient’s condition and reduce pain, increase appetite, control nausea ad alleviate weakness. The studies conducted so far found a link between CBD and an improved medical condition of individuals suffering from a wide variety of cancers among which breast, thyroid, brain, colon, prostate, lungs, skin or leukemia.((https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/hp/cannabis-pdq))((https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22506672))
Improves Skin Condition
CBD triggers the production of lipids in the skin which helps to reduce the symptoms of conditions like acne, rosacea, psoriasis, dandruff, eczema or dry skin. Applying cannabidiol on the hair will improve its texture also.((https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4151231/))
All these pros for using cannabidiol are in need for further study, but the findings so far are very promising. Many people reported noticeable improvement of their medical condition after a relatively short period of using CBD. Being a natural substance, it should not generate life-threatening side effects. For short use, it is a more natural alternative to traditional treatments, yet it is not clear yet if using CBD for a long time will not cause more harm than good.
CONS for Considering Cannabidiol a Source of Wellness
All the studies conducted so far on the effects of CBD on the human body conclude that it brings a broad range of benefits and it is safe to be used. Daily doses that go up to 1500 mg are well tolerated by the human body, and they don’t cause dangerous side effects in humans, nor animals. Up to this limit, there weren’t noticed changes in the standard parameters of the heart rate, appetite, blood pressure or body temperature.
However, some potential side effects were discovered in certain individuals. The result varied from one person to another according to the dosage or the genetic predisposition. In some people, results showed that the hepatic drug metabolism was inhibited and the activity of p-glycoprotein was decreased. CBD could interact with a series of medications and treatments and liver enzymes known as cytochrome P450 reduce their activity. These enzymes are essential for a proper function of the body because they metabolize the drugs ingested by a person. High doses of cannabidiol taken over an extended period could reduce considerably or even neutralize the activity of these enzymes and alter the effect of the medications taken to treat a medical condition.
Depending on the ingested medication or drug, these effects of CBD could be a negative thing or a positive thing. If it cancels the effectiveness of a medical treatment recommended by a doctor, it is definitively a bad thing, but if it manages to cancel the effect of THC it not necessarily a bad thing. To reduce the dramatic sound of this possible side effect, one can consider that eating grapefruit can produce the same effect on the liver enzymes.
Some people reported an unpleasant sensation of dryness in the mouth after being administrated CBD. There is a medical explanation for the cause of this minor side effect, and it involves the endocannabinoid which can reduce the production of saliva. Research conducted a few years ago, in 2006 concluded that CB 1 and CB 2 receptors are also found in the sublingual glands where the saliva is being produced. When these receptors are activated the saliva production is reduced causing a dry mouth sensation, also known as “cotton – mouth”.
There are contradictory results regarding the effect of the cannabidiols when it comes to treating Parkinson disease. Some studies indicate that in high doses it could increase the intensity of the tremors and muscle movement, while others claim the substance is well tolerated by the body and it is safe to use for treating this kind of medical condition.
Recently a new diagnostic was discovered. It is a relatively rare disease named cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS).((https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3576702/)) There is little information regarding this health problem, but in people who consumed CBD in high doses for a long time, it makes them vomit violently. It is unclear how many cases of CHS will appear after a treatment based on CBD because so far there are only theories regarding it trigger factors. It is believed to stand for some people who heavily consumed cannabis for more than three years. Other scientists associate this problem with CBDs effect on the digestive system. One hypothesis is based on the idea that cannabidiol slows down the digestive system which makes it build up waste and eventually the vomit is a form of body cleaning itself up. Like said before, CHS is a sporadic condition, and many chronic consumers of cannabis and CBD never experienced it. The causes for this condition are still to be discovered.
Cannabidiol is obtained from the same plant as THC and in many cases, a small amount of THC are fond in the final product. For people with very high sensitivity to THC or those with drug abuse history, some of the side effects could be generated by the ingestion of THC. It is known that THC is the main active ingredient in marijuana which gives one the special feeling. Well, THC can cloud thinking and reduce the ability to focus. If mixed with particular medication it can cause dizziness and fatigue. Cannabidiol is not recommended to be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women since its benefits, and side effects are not entirely understood yet.
Making a list of pros and cons helps one understand more clearly which are the advantages and precautions of using cannabidiols. Even if cannabis was used in traditional medicine for centuries in modern medicine it became a subject of interest only recently. After years of being considered a dangerous plant, eventually, the medical community accepted its therapeutic potential and began studying its effects on animals and humans. CBD is obtained from the seeds of industrial hemp still; there is a small chance for the final product to contain traces of THC, the primary active substance of marijuana which ensures the ‘high” feeling. You don’t need to worry about getting “stoned” if using CBD because its effect on the body is unique than the one of THC.
So far the results indicate that cannabidiol brings many benefits to the general health and has the potential to improve or even cure a broad range of medical conditions from seizures, heart problems, eating disorders, neurological affections, skin issues, mental disease or digestive conditions and so on. Even if obtained from the hemp, CBD it gaining a clean reputation in the medical community. Even if there are some misconceptions about cannabidiol, with a little information, one can clear thing up.
Meanwhile, the list of possible side effects is relatively shorter. Medical studies revealed only a few health problems which could be triggered by the CBD consumption and they are fairly minor or mild. Cannabidiol is a substance well tolerated by the human body and poses no threats to the general health or life. The side effects vary from one individual to another, and most of them appeared to people with drug abuse history or chronic users of cannabis and cannabidiols.
CBD is a new medical discovery which is gaining more and more popularity, and it seems to bring wonderful benefits for the health. Even so, it is recommended to talk to a doctor before using this product, especially if one is aware of dealing with health problems, even small ones. In some cases, it might interact with a current medication and reduce its effectiveness. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised to avoid using this product since there is still need to gather more date regarding CBD’s long term effects. To sum things up, cannabidiol is a great medical and scientific discovery which has the potential to be used for replacing standard medication for many medical conditions, without te risk of dealing with dangerous side effects.