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Benefits and Side Effects of CBD

Added 30 March 2022

Go to any cannabis store, and you will see countless products selling CBD products that claim to change your life. 

While many companies sell fake products (how are you going to ever know?!) with no way to verify their authenticity, some companies offer amazing stuff with lab reports and make an effort to educate their customers too. 

Unlike other marketing jargon, product descriptions from such companies are mostly telling the truth.

CBD has several benefits for your health. It can help you with pain and inflammation, weight loss, migraine headaches, and other conditions like ALS and Parkinson's.

In this article, learn what these benefits are and how CBD helps. 

1. CBD Alleviates Pain and Inflammation

pain

For thousands of years, people have used cannabis to deal with pain and inflammation. However, scientists have only recently figured out the exact compound in cannabis that helps — CBD. 

CBD is one of the major cannabinoids present in cannabis that can help alleviate symptoms of inflammation and pain by supporting the nerve cells and activating pain receptors in your body.

Additionally, CBD can improve sleep quality, which is essential for recovery from pain. It also blocks pain transmissions between the muscles and the brain, enhances satellite cell differentiation in the muscles, and reduces cortisol levels by encouraging protein synthesis.

Below are some of the specific conditions where CBD can be helpful.

DOMS After Working Out

Delayed onset muscle pain (DOMS) is what follows a good workout, but it can demotivate new gym-goers and be painful to deal with for many. Essentially, working out damages the muscle fibers, resulting in pain.

Here, CBD is a valuable supplement to add to your diet because of its various anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving benefits, as mentioned earlier. 

Arthritis Pain

Arthritis is a painful condition with two variants: rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Here, CBD is claimed to alleviate the resulting pain in three significant ways — it is anti-inflammatory, it alleviates the pain, and helps the tissues restore. 

A study conducted on mice with arthritis showed that CBD supplements improved their conditions drastically. 

Another study showed that CBD alleviates inflammation and pain and prevents the infiltration of T-cells in rheumatoid arthritis, which encourages joint tissue recovery.

CBD also blocks inflammatory messengers like nitric oxide, IL-1, IFN-g, and TNF-a, which cause pain and inflammation.

Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches are severe headaches often accompanied by nausea, sensitivity to light or sound, and fatigue. And it is excruciating to deal with. However, we don't know what causes migraine.

A few theories suggest that migraine headaches may result from excessive serotonin released from the platelet cells, neuroinflammation, or brain artery spasms. 

Despite little knowledge about the cause of migraine, scientists have found that CBD may help better than most prescription painkillers.

Essentially, CBD blocks the transmission of pain, alleviates inflammation in the brain, and perhaps inhibits serotonin releases or vascular spasms. Some CBD users also claim that CBD has helped prevent migraine headaches entirely. 

However, the studies are not enough to back the claim. More clinical studies are required. But so far, CBD seems like a good-enough option to deal with migraine headaches.

2. CBD Aids Mental Wellbeing 

mental health

Mental health conditions include various disorders, like anxiety, depression, insomnia, BPD, etc., and CBD can offer multiple benefits.

CBD inhibits neuroinflammation, enhances neurotransmitter activity, helps you get better sleep, and has various neuroprotective abilities. Below are some of the mental issues that CBD helps with.

Anxiety

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), anxiety disorder is one of the most common mental health conditions that one in 13 people suffer from.

And CBD can help manage and treat anxieties of different kinds, including PTSD, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and social anxiety. According to a study in 2019, CBD was found to be quite effective in reducing the symptoms of such anxiety disorders. However, the study was conducted only on 57 people, so we need more data. 

The benefits CBD offers for anxiety patients include: the regulation of serotonin and dopamine, muscle relaxation, boosted GABA functions, reduced inflammation, better sleep cycles, and regulated cortisol levels.

Chronic Stress

Everyone gets stressed out once in a while, but too much of it can show adverse effects. It can lead to several other conditions like low immunity, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue syndrome, burnout, depression, etc.

Stress is caused due to excess cortisol in the body, which is the primary stress hormone. Therefore, reducing it can help manage overall stress levels in the body.

And CBD can help regulate and reduce cortisol levels, according to a 1993 study. 

CBD also offers other benefits against chronic stress. For example, it enhances hypothalamic functions, protects the organs from oxidative damage, helps the body rest, and manages other side effects of stress.

Insomnia

Insomnia is a condition where you can't sleep properly. It comes in two forms — sleep onset insomnia (difficulty falling asleep) and sleeps maintenance insomnia (difficulty staying asleep). 

Here, CBD can help significantly. It has soothing qualities that help you sleep faster. In addition, it can reduce nightmares and regulate sleep cycles so you can stay asleep for longer. It can also help with other causes of insomnia like anxiety, stress, or depression.

But that does not mean you chug down a few capsules every time you can't fall asleep. CBD's effect on sleep depends on the dose — a low dose offers a mild stimulating effect, which is ideal for treating insomnia, but CBD in higher doses can have a stronger sedative action.

For the same benefits, CBD is also quite helpful for people suffering from REM sleep behavior disorder.

Mood Disorders like BPD

Mood disorders like bipolar disorder are neurological disorders that affect one's emotional regulation. Other mood disorders include mania, hypomania, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

CBD can help significantly to manage such disorders. Studies on animals have shown that CBD drastically improves the depression scores in the groups compared. Other studies have shown that CBD can also increase the serotonin and dopamine activity in the brain, which inhibits the symptoms of mood disorders.

CBD also prevents or slows the progression of inflammation in the brain, a common side effect of such disorders.

Addictions

Addiction, whether it is associated with sex, gambling, or cigarettes, can affect your body in many ways, and it is classified as a mental disorder. 

Again, CBD can work wonders in alleviating the cravings and withdrawal symptoms of addiction by regulating the dopamine levels in the brain. For example, a study concluded that CBD can reduce cigarette cravings drastically in long-term smokers.

Important Note:

Despite the various benefits, CBD is not an approved treatment for mental disorders like depression, insomnia, addiction, etc., — a lot of research is still required. However, CBD may help when combined with other forms of therapies. 

We recommend seeking professional help if you suffer from any mental disorders before choosing CBD or other natural health supplements to help with your disorder. 

3. CBD Improves Skin Health

skin health

The largest organ of your body — the skin — is prone to many issues over time since it's exposed to the environment. Moreover, it's sensitive to your lifestyle. But it protects your organs, stores nutrients, manufactures vitamin D, and maintains your body temperature. 

So, any issue on the skin can also lead to other health conditions. Below are some of the common skin conditions CBD can help you with.

Acne

Acne, a common skin condition, results from sebum overproduction in the skin, which allows the bacteria to grow within the pores. The result is inflamed, swollen, or red patches on the skin.

CBD can help by reducing redness and inflammation at the acne site, regulating oil production in the skin (another cause of acne), lowering sebum levels, and eliminating bacteria within the pores.

Psoriasis and Eczema

Psoriasis is another common condition caused by the body's autoimmune response that leads to the rapid regeneration of skin cells. The symptoms include scaly and itchy red patches. 

On the other hand, eczema is another inflammatory condition that affects the outer skin layers. Its symptoms are rough, dry, painful patches on the skin.

Currently, there is no cure for this condition, and patients often experience episodes of psoriasis. However, CBD has shown some promise as it can help manage the condition.

According to a 2013 study, CBD regulates the cannabinoid receptors under the skin, reducing skin regeneration to safer levels. 

Another study suggested that CBD inhibits nuclear factor-kappa-b (inflammatory messenger molecule) involved in the formation of psoriasis. 

And as mentioned earlier, CBD can help manage inflammation and pain, a common symptom of psoriasis and eczema.

So, CBD can help you deal with eczema and psoriasis to a great extent — all you have to do is apply some CBD ointment to your skin regularly

4. It Aids Reproductive Health

Reproductive health

One of the unique benefits of CBD is that it can help you maintain your reproductive health, regardless of your gender. 

For starters, CBD can make sex more fun and help those with performance anxiety. And on a more serious note, it can help you deal with various health conditions. 

For example, CBD can help prevent pain during sex, support those who have erectile dysfunction, regulate the symptoms of PCOS and PMS, and relieve pain from endometriosis.

Below are some common reproductive organ conditions that CBD can help with.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

95% of women of reproductive age suffer from premenstrual syndrome, which usually occurs a week before the menstrual phase. Hormonal changes in the body cause PMS, and they are accompanied by various psychological and physical symptoms, like mood swings, acne, bloating, anxiety, irritability, etc.

Many women have reported that CBD has helped them deal with PMS symptoms, especially mood swings, acne breakouts, muscle cramps, pain, insomnia, and anxiety. 

There aren't any in-depth clinical studies to show how CBD helps with PMS. Still, some small studies suggest that CBD can help with the symptoms. 

PMS is caused during the luteal phase when drastic hormonal changes (particularly estrogen and progesterone) in the body affect serotonin production in the brain.

So, scientists believe that PMS is primarily caused by a drop in serotonin activity in the brain during this phase.

According to the National Academies of Sciences, CBD can help regulate this serotonin production, alleviating the symptoms of PMS to a great extent.

PCOS

The polycystic ovarian syndrome is one of the conditions that scientists are still trying to figure out. Unfortunately, there is no cure for it, and we don't understand how to diagnose and treat it. 

PCOS is a widespread imbalance of hormones in the body like androgens and insulin, leading to several symptoms like acne, irregular periods, unwanted hair growth, sleep problems, infertility, etc.

And while CBD can't cure this condition, it can help one deal with the symptoms and slow down its progression. 

For example, an analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Data (2005 to 2010) concluded that CBD has an impact on insulin resistance. In the research, participants who used CBD products regularly had 16% lower insulin resistance.

So, CBD optimizes insulin levels and aids in weight loss (discussed below), among other symptoms, which can help you deal with the side effects of PCOS.

5. CBD is Neuroprotective — It Protects the Brain

nervous system

CBD is also a neuroprotective compound, which can preserve the structure and function of the CNS neurons in the brain. 

These neurons are super sensitive to damage from inflammatory or oxidative compounds. The most common causes of neuron damage include autoimmune diseases like prion or genetic polymorphism, neurodegenerative disorders like loss of nerve cells, or traumatic injuries to the brain or spinal cord. 

Such damage to the CNS neurons can lead to other conditions like mood disorders, loss of motor function, difficulty concentrating, etc.

But studies and anecdotal reports have shown that CBD can help protect the nerves and reduce the symptoms of neurological disorders. It is anti-inflammatory and helps mediate endocannabinoid receptors, protecting the nerves and supporting cell regeneration.

Below are some of the common neurological disorders that CBD can help with.

Epilepsy

The benefits of CBD are especially evident in patients with epilepsy. CBD has been the focus of many clinical trials, where CBD extracts were tested for their potency against conditions like Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, childhood absence epilepsy, or Dravet's syndrome.

A 2018 study conducted on 670 patients shows that 71% of CBD users experienced fewer seizures over time. And 40% of the individuals had half the number of seizures. And a quarter of them experienced a 70% drop in the frequency of seizures.

And 10% of CBD users were completely seizure free!

It also showed that full-spectrum CBD was more effective at minimizing the symptoms of epilepsy compared to CBD isolates.

CBD helps with epilepsy in many ways — it alleviates convulsions, protects the nerve cells from damage, modulates the receptors that prevent or bring down the chances of episodes, reduces neuroinflammation, and enhances the brain's GABA activity. As a result, it can reduce many users' seizure frequency and severity.

Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder that affects the nucleus accumbens in the brain, which is responsible for dopamine production.

As the disease progresses, dopamine production reduces, resulting in various side effects like muscle tremors, depression, apathy, poor concentration, and insomnia.

There is no cure for Parkinson's disease, but CBD can help slow down the progression and alleviate some symptoms. It can also improve the quality of life for Parkinson's disease patients drastically.

For example, CBD can reduce muscle tremors, which is one of the common symptoms of this condition. CBD can also improve the production of dopamine in the brain, which helps slow the progression down.

Another way CBD can help with this condition is by reducing neuroinflammation and aiding the microbiome diversity in the brain.

ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, and Huntington's Disease

ALS, multiple sclerosis, and Huntington's disease can be categorized under one umbrella because they have similar symptoms, and CBD helps with the symptoms in similar ways. 

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease where the myelin sheath around the nerve cells starts to deteriorate. Without the sheath, the nerve cells fail to transmit the messages to the body. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this condition.

Huntington's disease is genetic, caused by Huntington's protein buildup in the brain, which eventually destroys the nerve cells. Its symptoms include uncontrollable muscle movements, emotional swings, and reduced cognitive functions.

Lastly, Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS) is a neurodegenerative condition where neurons that control muscle movement break down, leading to various symptoms like affected motor functions, bad posture, imbalance, slurred speech, weakness, etc. 

There are no cures for the three conditions, but CBD can help. CBD helps by targeting the underlying causes like inflammation or autoimmunity of nerve cells and their functions. And it also helps manage the side effects like pain, insomnia, anxiety, muscle cramps, and depression.

Most of the research regarding CBD's role in dealing with MS and Huntington's disease comes from a 1:1 CBD/THC preparation called Sativex — the only cannabinoid drug approved by the FDA to treat such conditions.

Studies show that Sativex improved the symptoms and slowed down the progression in animals treated with the medicine. CBD also helps with other side effects like muscle spasms.

As for ALS, there is not enough research regarding CBD. Most of the reports are anecdotal from CBD users who have found it useful for their condition. 

Other ways CBD can help with these conditions include the following:

  • It slows down the progression of autoimmune conditions
  • Reduces neuro-inflammation
  • It prevents T-cells from congregating
  • Regulates muscle spasms and improves bladder control
  • Alleviates nerve and chronic pains
  • It helps deal with insomnia

6. CBD Helps Reduce Weight

weight loss

Weight can be a concern for many, especially due to underlying conditions like hormonal dysfunction or thyroid. CBD can come in handy here as long as it is used alongside a proper diet and workout.

Studies on animals have proven that CBD can dramatically improve metabolism and reduce appetite, which are two ways to lose weight. No, CBD won't make you stop eating, but it will reduce your appetite, so you don't eat more than you need.

Additionally, CBD also alleviates chronic inflammation and pain commonly associated with obesity, supports hormonal functions, aids with digestive disorders, reduces stress and anxiety, and encourages mitochondria functions.

All of these combined make CBD a terrific dietary supplement if your goal is to shed some pounds and lead a healthier life.

Side Effects of CBD

CBD is helpful, but it isn't a magical compound to cure it all. Therefore, you must be careful when using CBD to help your condition. 

While there aren't any severe side effects associated with CBD, too much of it can still lead to some unpleasant side effects. Common side effects of CBD include:

These side effects are often mild, as shown by a 2011 study, which shows that CBD has few side effects that don't impact major bodily functions.

However, if you take other medications, you must be careful while taking CBD because CBD can hinder the liver's ability to metabolize medications. 

The liver uses a class of enzymes called P450, responsible for metabolizing many medications and cannabinoids. When CBD is taken with these drugs, it can slow down the metabolism. 

Reduce your chances of experiencing such side effects by consuming the correct dose and discussing with your doctor to ensure your medications won't interact with CBD. 

Summary: Benefits and Side Effects of CBD

The benefits listed above are just the tip of the iceberg. New discoveries about CBD are made regularly, which show that CBD can significantly help the human race. CBD has a lot to offer, from helping with your hangover to letting you sleep peacefully and improving your skin to reducing muscle spasms.

The only condition is that you use CBD wisely. Always discuss your plans to take CBD with your physician. Although CBD is legal in many countries now, some doctors may hesitate to prescribe it. Also, if your current medications are helping you to a great extent, you may not need to use CBD. However, consider discussing with other physicians if you're looking for alternatives. 

Like THC, CBD is a terrific compound that can improve your life. Sure, it won't take you to another dimension, but it will help improve your lifestyle and deal with many symptoms. 









Comments

Ezzjaybruh
Ezzjaybruh

@budxs how do you feel about cbd? Haha

BudXs
BudXs

@Ezzjaybruh,

How bout we CBDon't