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What is CBD oil?
CBD is the name of a compound found in the cannabis plant. It is one of numerous compounds found in the plant that are called cannabinoids.
Is CBD marijuana?
CBD oil is a cannabinoid derived from the cannabis plant. Until recently, the most well-known compound in cannabis was THC, tetrahydrocannabinol. This is the most active ingredient in marijuana. Marijuana contains both THC and CBD, but the compounds have different effects. THC is well-known for the mind-altering “high” it produces when introduced to the body when smoking the plant or cooking it into foods.
CBD is not psychoactive. This means that it does not change the state of mind of the person who uses it. However, it does appear to produce significant changes in the body, and it may have medical benefits.
Most of the CBD used medicinally is found in the form of the cannabis plant, known as hemp. Hemp and marijuana come from the same plant, cannabis sativa, but they are very different.
How CBD works?
All cannabinoids, including CBD, attach themselves to certain receptors in the body to produce their effects. The human body produces certain cannabinoids on its own. It has two receptors for cannabinoids, called CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors.
The CB1 receptors are found mostly in the brain and deal with coordination and movement, pain, emotions and mood, thinking, appetite, and memories, among others. THC attaches to these receptors.
CB2 receptors are more common in the immune system. They have an effect on inflammation and pain.
It used to be thought that CBD acts on these CB2 receptors, but it appears now that CBD does not act on either receptor directly. Instead, it seems to influence the body to use more of its own cannabinoids.
Potential Health Benefits
Because of the way that CBD acts in the body, it has many potential uses. CBD oil is taken orally, rubbed on the skin, and sometimes inhaled through vapor or used intravenously to produce its effects.
Pain relief or anti-inflammatory properties
Researchers suggest that the non-psychoactive compounds in marijuana, such as CBD, could be a new treatment for chronic pain.
CBD is already in use for some conditions that cause chronic pain, such as PMS, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, diabetic neuropathy
Quitting smoking and drug withdrawals
Study posted to Neurotherapeutics found that CBD may be a promising substance for people who abuse opioids. These are early findings, but they suggest that CBD may be used to avoid or reduce withdrawal symptoms.
Epilepsy and mental health disorders
A review posted to Epilepsia noted that CBD has anti-seizure properties and a low risk of side effects for people with epilepsy.
CBD may help to treat many of the disorders that are linked to epilepsy, such as neurodegeneration, neuronal injury, and psychiatric diseases like schizophrenia.
Helps fight cancer
CBD has been studied for its use as an anti-cancer agent. A review posted to the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology notes that CBD appears to block cancer cells from spreading around the body. It also indicates that CBD tends to suppress the growth of cancer cells and promote the death of these cells.
Patients with chronic anxiety are often advised to avoid cannabis, as THC can trigger or amplify anxiety and paranoia in some people.
However a review from Neurotherapeutics suggests that CBD may help to reduce the anxiety felt by people with certain anxiety disorders such as:
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- general anxiety disorder
- panic disorder
- social anxiety disorder
- obsessive-compulsive disorder
Type 1 diabetes
Recent research posted to Clinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation found that CBD may ease the inflammation in the pancreas in type 1 diabetes. This may be the first step in finding a CBD-based treatment for type 1 diabetes.
Another promising use for CBD is as a new treatment for acne. A recent study posted to the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that CBD helps to lower the production of sebum that leads to acne, because of its anti-inflammatory effect on the body.
Initial research published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that CBD was able to prevent the development of social recognition deficit in subjects.
This means that CBD could potentially prevent people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s from losing their ability to recognize the faces of people that they know. This is the first evidence that CBD has potential to prevent Alzheimer’s disease symptoms.