CBD Oil is Storming to the Forefront of Health
Many of us have experienced the fantastic health benefits of hemp products but have you tried the next level? CBD oil or Cannabidiol is helping us understand the mechanisms of healing in a whole new way.
Previously seen as a recreational drug, cannabis’s ‘bad-boy’ reputation prevented research into its dynamic health benefits until recently. Now the cat is out of the bag and CBD has moved into the spotlight. Originally discovered for its ability to reduce Dravet Syndrome epilepsy seizures, science is now fascinated by CBD’s ability to regulate many systems simultaneously.
WHAT IS CBD AND WHY IS IT UNIQUE?
CBD is a cannabinoid compound. What are cannabinoids you ask? They are a group of molecules found naturally within the body (endocannabinoids) and in plants (phytocannabinoids). CBD is found in abundance in the cannabis family, but unlike its sister molecule THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) it does not have any psychoactive effect; in fact it is known as an anti-psychoactive.
Already a commonly used natural supplement in Australia, Canada and parts of Europe, the health benefits of CBD are interesting to say the least.
All forms of cannabinoids function within the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). Only discovered recently, although one of the oldest systems in the body, the ECS is a master controller of the neurological, immune and metabolic systems. The ECS is complex and entwined with many other systems including the gut and endocrine.
This could explain why the abundance of endocannabinoids found in human breast milk are seen to be essential for proper brain development, gut development and our relationship to hunger.
CBD has several unique properties that would be best described as a modulating because its pharmacological action differs from one cell type to the next. The reason being is CBD does not act directly on either of the two main ECS receptors, CB1 and CB2, it actually functions more like an adaptogen by regulating all ECS receptors. This means it enhances our uptake of endocannabinoids instead of creating the need to add other phytocannabinoids into the system.
Unlike synthetic pharmaceuticals CBD extract remains intact in its complexity, therefore it supports the bodies own innate intelligence.
Is CBD a cure-all? Certainly not, but it’s uncanny ability to create balance across multiple systems is a rather useful trait.
The fast pace of living is just one element that puts a huge demand on our nervous systems. Once we add lack of sleep and sensory overload we start to realise how much support our neurology needs.
Anxiety and Sleep
Most of us have been through a time in our lives when either anxiety or sleep was an issue. Well CBD is fast becoming known for its use in both these arenas, more so than most natural solutions on the market. This could be because of three major factors.
1) CBD prevents the breakdown of calming endocannabinoids and endorphins, equalling more good mood brain food.
2) It also stimulates specific areas of the brain, which have been found to improve the quality and length of sleep.
3) And it helps to regulate several neurotransmitters that enhance mood and cognitive function (including serotonin and dopamine), as well as calming the fear and anxiety-related ones.
In the 2019 study Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep, 79.2% of patients reported a decrease in anxiety scores and 66.7% had improved sleep scores within a month of use. According to the 2015 paper, Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders, researchers found that,
“…existing preclinical evidence strongly supports CBD as a treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive -compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder when administered acutely… CBD exhibits a broad range of actions, relevant to multiple symptom domains, including anxiolytic, panicolytic, and anti-compulsive actions…”
That’s a lot of mental support! Considering just the side effects of anti-anxiety medication, it’s certainly worth looking into this gentle, natural medicine.
Looking at Parkinson’s, Epilepsy and Alzheimer’s
Scientists have found a deficiency in endocannabinoids can trigger vulnerability to neurological diseases such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. In the 2019 Long-term CBD use in Dravet Syndrome study, CBD cut seizure occurrence by almost 50% and was considered safe for long term use.
Bringing Balance to Psychiatric Disorders
A recent surge in scientific publications has found preclinical and clinical evidence documenting value for CBD in some neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. In the 2018 study Pharmacological properties of cannabidiol in the treatment of psychiatric disorders researchers said,
“…current evidence suggests that CBD has the ability to reduce psychotic, anxiety and withdrawal symptoms by means of several hypothesized pharmacological properties.”
All in, CBD appears to be a fabulous tool to nourish neurology.
NIPPING INFLAMMATION IN THE BUD
Along with the immune system, the endocannabinoid system plays an important role in regulating inflammatory processes. Inflammation is now known as the underlying factor in many chronic diseases, chronic pain and even depression. In the 2015 review of CBD and inflammation scientists found that CBD had potent anti-inflammatory effects on inflammatory bowel disease, inflammatory lung disease, pneumococcal meningitis and autoimmune encephalomyelitis.
Changing the Face of Pain
Whether you suffer from an old injury, repetitive strain or an autoimmune disorder, chronic pain is one of the greatest challenges in the world today and neuropathic pain is definitely one of the hardest to treat.
In the study Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain,scientists found that the use of CBD, “significantly suppress chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain without causing apparent analgesic tolerance…” Another study on neuropathic pain and CBD found, “In pathological conditions, such as neuropathy and rheumatoid arthritis… CBD, may represent a useful pharmacological alternative in the treatment of the disease‐associated chronic pain.”
Giving hope to cancer research, it appears that CBD may also help to prevent the growth and spread of cancer tumours. Therecent paper Cannabidiol as an Anticancer Drug, looked at the effects of CBD on lung, glioma, thyroid, lymphoma, skin, pancreas, uterus, breast, prostate and colorectal carcinoma. The review reported, “Cannabinoids possess anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects and they are known to interfere with tumour neovascularization, cancer cell migration, adhesion, invasion and metastasization.” Along with those fantastic results CBD has been found to not only suppress nausea but also to stimulate appetite in chemotherapy patients.
Considering CBD is a completely natural extract and can be acquired without prescription, this special molecule could well be a game changer in the world of wellness.