It seems that everywhere you turn these days, there’s always some salesman, radio host, billboard, or commercial touting the benefits of CBD oil. The cannabis craze is truly in full swing and people just can’t stop talking about all of the wondrous things that this simple plant extract can do.
From the first puff, drop, rub, or bite, you feel it –an instant rush of relief sweeping through your body. In mere moments all of your anxiety and pain is washed away, and you feel better for the first time in months. That all sounds pretty good, right? But is it really true, or is it just a sales pitch?
The status of the cannabis plant has obviously changed in recent years. What was once an illicit substance not to be brought up in polite society is now a widely recognized medical solution. Yes, despite its history of recreational use, cannabis has come to be seen as a viable treatment option by many in the medical industry and this is not without reason. The recent change in attitude is primarily due to more being understood about CBD oil.
To date, CBD has undergone hundreds of medical studies testing its effectiveness and benefits. While scientific consensus on anything is hard to come by, many in the field now agree that CBD is beneficial in the treatment of physical pain and certain psychological conditions. But those are just the broad strokes; the specific medical benefits of CBD oil require more discussion.
The Benefits of CBD Essential Oil
By this point we have all heard that CBD oil has anti-inflammatory properties. According to Harvard Health, a study from the European Journal of Pain, for example, has shown that CBD can lower both pain and inflammation when applied to the skin. This is a result that has been tested and replicated several times through numerous studies since 2011.
Based on data and popular scientific opinion, this means that CBD is highly beneficial for managing diseases like arthritis and ulcerative colitis. However, what is less talked about is the benefit of using CBD essential oil for general skin care. According to an article published in Medical News Today, CBD not only reduces inflammation, but also decreases the production of oil made by human skin.
CBD as a Skincare Solution
This oil, or “sebum” is secreted by the sebaceous glands and acts as a moisturizer and protective barrier against bacterial and fungal infections. We all make it and need to make it in order to keep our skin healthy and protected. Unfortunately, when skin produces too much sebum, it traps dead skin cells and dirt inside pores and leads to acne. For most, this means having to deal with an occasional pesky pimple. For others, it means full blown acne scars and inflammation leading to poor body image and low self-esteem.
Luckily for those in the latter category, CBD has been found to regulate the amount of sebum produced by skin. This was tested clinically and proven in a 2014 study conducted by The Journal of Clinical Investigation. According to the study, not only does CBD prevent sebaceous glands from creating too much sebum, it also prevents inflammatory cytokines from activating, further decreasing inflammation and acne flare ups.
The benefits of using CBD essential oil for acne management don’t stop there though. In light of growing interest in hemp use, a 2016 study was conducted exploring the many virtues of the plant. Among some key benefits listed were the antibacterial and antifungal properties of CBD oil contained in hemp resin glands. While the hemp plant itself is typically used for more industrious purposes such as a component in rope, textile, and paper products, the testing done on the small amount of CBD oil found in it does appear promising.
Combine these antibacterial properties with the anti-inflammatory properties mentioned and you’ve just discovered a potential superdrug for your skin. So, how do you harness it? Medical News Todays lists three options for using CBD oil along with your skincare routine:
- Mix CBD oil with carrier oil. Olive, coconut, shea butter, or argan work great for this.
- Take CBD orally via tinctures or tablets.
- Apply natural CBD oil directly to the skin via a topical compound.
The first option is probably the best for those with particularly sensitive skin as carrier oils typically reduce the risk of irritation. The second method may help in some cases, but it’s mainly for long term treatment rather than short term relief. The third option is perhaps the most helpful, but may dry out your skin if you overdo it.
At this point, it seems that CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties have been hammered home through rigorous clinical trials and scientific studies. In fact, the drug has already become widely available for use and is actively being prescribed by doctors to fight inflammation. Does the same apply to CBD’s pain relieving benefits? Let’s find out.
Benefits of CBD Oil for Pain
Much like the research surrounding CBD’s effectiveness in reducing inflammation and warding off bacteria, research into the drug’s pain relieving properties is, you guessed it, quite extensive. According to Project CBD, a ton of studies have been carried out in order to determine CBD’s pain relieving potential. From a 2007 study conducted by Pharmideas Research & Consulting Inc. to a 2017 study conducted by the University of São Paulo, CBD has proven time and again to be a good option for managing pain.
Granted, most of the studies listed have been carried out on animals, but the findings don’t lie and the research is still going strong. Moreover, even with the current information available, many doctors have already begun recommending CBD for pain management.
This is due mainly to the benefits of CBD over painkillers. You see, while many opioids have the same pain relieving properties as CBD, the compound has been proven to be non-habit forming. This is concurred by the official 2017 World Health Organization report of CBD, which states that the drug has been found to have no abuse potential based on human clinical trials (14). Why is CBD non-addictive if it essentially does the same thing as opiates? This question requires a bit of analysis.
CBD and Addiction Treatment
Painkillers such as opiates work via opiate receptors that trigger dopamine release. Essentially, when a drug like Vicodin enters your system, it brings with it a rush of euphoria which overwhelms your sensitivity to pain. The trouble is that through prolonged use, your body becomes accustomed to this euphoric feeling and eventually begins to feel worse when it isn’t triggered. CBD works somewhat differently.
The reason that CBD is non-addictive is because it does not stimulate the release of dopamine beyond your body’s natural potential; rather it acts on the human endocannabinoid system, a network of cell-to-cell communication. By increasing the amount of cannabinol in your body, CBD positively affects CB1 and CB2 receptors, decreasing the amount of “pain” messages they send to the brain. This process is carried out in a natural way, meaning that your body does not get flooded by excessive chemicals.
The amazing thing about this is that CBD’s non-addictive properties are so beneficial the government is even considering using the oil for treating addiction itself! According to Nicole Richter of Marijuana Break, when combined with its ability to manage stress, CBD’s non-addictive nature makes it an excellent choice for helping addicts battle their withdrawal symptoms.
When individuals with a history of using opiates or illicit drugs stop cold-turkey, they experience a number of unpleasant side effects, including but not limited to:
While there are some medications on the market that help fight opiate and illicit drug withdrawal symptoms, they often carry a lot of repercussions. For example, a commonly prescribed drug used to fight withdrawal symptoms from opiate abuse is Suboxone. While the pill is meant to help ease recovery from addiction, it can often lead patients to become addicted to itself.
Stopping Suboxone use after overcoming opiate addiction can lead to a variety of unpleasant physical and psychological symptoms. These include; muscle cramps, diarrhea, depression, and anxiety, to name a few. Often, when former addicts stop opiate use, they continue using Suboxone in order to avoid the withdrawal symptoms.
Thankfully, CBD research has now provided us with many solutions to fighting addiction withdrawal without severe side effects. Several strains of pure (or almost pure) CBD cannabis, such as AC/DC are known to effectively relieve the symptoms listed above and can be used and stopped at will. Moreover, several tincture and edible alternatives exist as well and have been shown to be just as effective.
Given all of the clinical studies listing the benefits of CBD use for pain as well as its non-habit forming characteristic, it is no wonder that the drug has become so popular. One is even tempted to think that research and increased medical use of CBD is a certainty.
The Benefits of CBD Oil: An Overview of Facts
At this time, it seems that many of our bases are covered when it comes to CBD oil. Through years of study and experimentation with the drug, we have discovered several benefits and while research is still working on unraveling more of the mystery, we have come quite a long way.
CBD’s anti-inflammatory benefits have proven that the compound is not only useful for arthritis patients, but can also be used for simple skincare without fear of adverse effects. Likewise, CBD’s effective management of pain has been well documented and shown to be instrumental in helping millions of people live comfortably.
The drug’s potential has led us to push the boundaries of both medical science and psychological care. Due to its non-addictive benefits, doctors and psychiatrists now have a powerful alternative to opiate and antidepressant medications. With hard work and a bit more probing, we hope that CBD can develop further and gain a solid reputation as a helpful substance for humanity.
For now, research is still ongoing and there is still much more to learn. If you are considering using CBD for pain management, anxiety, depression, or inflammation treatment, please be sure to talk to your doctor first.