After years of prohibition, hemp is finally having its moment as one of Mother Nature’s most natural wellness boosters. When the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp, many saw CBD as a passing fad. But as the benefits of CBD are being backed up by real-time use and growing studies, the stigma surrounding CBD is slowly diminishing.
In fact, nearly 60% of US adults have now tried CBD and believe it has real benefits, according to a recent survey. And those consumer beliefs are getting supported by a growing body of research validating some of the most profound benefits of CBD.
The Basics of CBD
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural compound produced by cannabis hemp plants. CBD, along with other beneficial compounds, is extracted from the plant through its resinous oils. From there, it can be mixed with carrier oils for infusion into the CBD products you see on the shelves today.
CBD can be consumed through inhalation, oral consumption, or by applying it topically. When doing so, the cannabinoid interacts with the endocannabinoid system which is our body’s network of receptors that send signals throughout physiological systems to help maintain homeostasis, or a general balance of optimal health, physically, and mentally.
What Are The Benefits of CBD?
In a recent survey, it was found that 62% of U.S. adults who use CBD do so for anxiety and stress, while an additional 60% indicated chronic pain relief as their primary reason for consumption. While these are two of the most popular uses of CBD, they’re definitely not the only benefits of CBD.
CBD Benefit #1: Stress and Anxiety
One thing that’s clear from research on CBD is that it positively interacts with serotonin, which is a crucial receptor for balancing moods. Low levels of serotonin, also nicknamed the “happy chemical” are associated with anxiety and depression. In fact, the common prescription medications prescribed for these conditions, like Zoloft and Prozac, are SSRI’s AKA Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors.
For this reason, the medical community believes CBD could potentially be therapeutic for anxiety and other mood disorders. Here are the most recent studies that support their theory:
- A 2013 British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology study concluded “CBD was shown to offer benefits including acting in some experimental models as an anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, antiemetic, anxiolytic and antipsychotic agent.” Anxiolytic, being the technical term for an agent that reduces anxiety.
- On serotonin, another study suggests that CBD should be explored as an alternative treatment for conditions related to neuro-receptors, including anxiety, and depression.
- As for specific anxiety disorders, a study review conducted in 2015 came to the conclusion that evidence from trials suggests CBD could have the potential to help with a variety of anxiety disorders, including:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Panic disorder (PD)
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- A more recent study conducted in 2020 in New Zealand, explored the benefits of CBD for participants' overall quality of life. Once the trial concluded, a group of participants reported a significant improvement in “their ability to perform daily functions” due to CBD’s reported ability to reduce pain, and anxiety.
CBD Benefit #2: Inflammation and Pain
Outside of anxiety, one of the other most researched potential CBD benefits is for chronic pain and conditions associated with inflammation. Studies are supporting CBD's use as a natural anti-inflammatory agent and potentially analgesic (pain relieving). Considering inflammation can cause a whole slew of health ailments, it’s a highly regarded CBD benefit to be explored.
First and foremost, inflammation causes pain, which is why most over-the-counter pain medications (think Aleve and Ibuprofen) are NSAIDs, or non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs. In fact, a recent study found CBD to be 20 times more effective than common NSAIDs, as well as having fewer side effects.
As for the science behind CBD’s efficacy for pain and inflammation, here’s a breakdown of the studies that have explored the cannabinoid’s inner-mechanisms and influence:
- Internally, an inflammatory response is typically caused by signaling molecules known as eicosanoids. Early research shows that CBD’s ability to inhibit the specific COX2 eicosanoid enzyme, may be how it’s so effective at reducing inflammation. Especially considering NSAIDS are made to target the same enzyme to reduce pain.
- Another source said to be responsible for inflammatory responses and inflammation pain, are cytokines. Like eicosanoids, studies are showing that CBD influences inflammatory cytokines, and can even reduce their negative effects. In turn, reducing inflammation, overall.
CBD creams and the topical application of CBD are also showing the potential to help reduce the pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis. This is shown by a 2016 study where participants reported a reduction in pain and inflammation when CBD was applied topically. Later in 2017, another study came to the conclusion that CBD was a safe and effective way to help manage the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
CBD Benefit #3: Skin Care
Speaking of inflammation, it’s a trait that not only wreaks havoc on your internal health but your external health too. While there have been very few studies on the effects so far, many believe CBD’s anti-inflammatory and anti-itch effects can help common skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis. People get double benefit from CBD cream to address both skin conditions and reduce pain and soreness as mentioned above.
CBD Benefit #4: Sleep
Because the endocannabinoid system helps maintain homeostasis, it also helps regulate the body's wake and sleep cycles. Many real-time users swear by CBD’s effects for sleep, but few studies have been able to definitively pinpoint just how or why. As for research, here’s what we know so far:
- In a study on anxiety, 80% reported reduced levels of anxiety, which also resulted in 65% reporting improvements in sleep.
- A more recent study discovered that high doses of CBD produced sedating effects, while lower doses of CBD improved focus and mental sharpness.
CBD Benefit #5: Heart Wellness
As if anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, anti-itch, and analgesic effects weren’t enough, CBD is proving to have antioxidant qualities, too. This is especially important for the cardiovascular system. In one study on mice, CBD’s effects proved to reduce oxidative stress, a trigger for heart disease. The same trial showed, CBD helped reduce cell death and inflammation which is also commonly associated with heart disease.
Another study showed CBD effects specifically benefited men in reducing high blood pressure. While researchers work to uncover the whys and hows behind CBD’s heart benefits, some believe it could be due to its ability to reduce levels of stress and anxiety.
CBD Benefit #6: Neuroprotection
A benefit of CBD that’s not as apparent to everyday life, but crucial for well-being and longevity is CBD’s neuroprotective qualities. Several studies and data show that the cannabinoid is beneficial for neuroprotection which helps prevent, and soothe symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases, including:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Multiple Sclerosis
CBD Benefit #7: Seizure Care
The most well-researched CBD benefit is its anti-seizure effects. In 2018, Epidolex became the first FDA-approved prescription CBD medication. Today, it’s prescribed to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), Dravet syndrome, and tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) in patients over the age of one.
Finding Peace with the Benefits of CBD
Based on the research outlined in this article (and beyond), we truly believe CBD is more than just a trend. CBD is now one of the most popular holistic methods for wellness, whether you're getting older, dealing with a long-term illness, or just want to feel your best. With very few side effects and a wide range of product options, it's simple to incorporate CBD into your current wellness routine to improve your well-being from the inside out.
Find peace with CBD, whether physically, mentally, or spiritually. With our finely crafted collection of farm-to-counter CBD products, you'll be on your way to feeling your best. Take advantage of the benefits of CBD by shopping at our collection now.
This information does not constitute medical advice and it should not be relied upon as such. Consult with your doctor before modifying your regular medical regime.