What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words “marijuana” or “cannabis?”
There are a lot of people who would say that it’s addictive or unhealthy, among other vices. For quite some time, marijuana use has been illegal in most states and countries around the world. But the tide seems to be changing.
With more and more states legalizing marijuana, it begs questions such as:
- What has changed?
- Why are governments taking a lenient stance on the use of cannabis?
- What are the benefits of using marijuana?
- Is it possible to use cannabis without getting high?
- What exactly is Cannabidiol (CBD)?
Well, this post aims to answer all these questions and more. Here’s everything you need to know about CBD.
What is cannabis?
In simple terms, cannabis (or weed, marijuana, pot, bhang, ganja, hashish) is a psychoactive drug most often used for recreational purposes. Generally, users smoke cannabis with the aim of getting high and stress-free.
However, although it’s used recreationally, cannabis has many therapeutic qualities. This is the main reason for its rise in popularity.
Research shows that cannabis contains at least 113 types of cannabinoids; with Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) as the main active ingredients.
Each of them serves a specific purpose or have varied effects on people. The main difference between THC and CBD is that THC is for leisure while CBD is for medical purposes.
In other words, Tetrahydrocannabinol is the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana that’s responsible for the “high.” While, on the other hand, CBD comes with a myriad of health benefits.
How does CBD make you feel?
CBD isn’t psychoactive. Therefore, you don’t get high from taking cannabis-based products rich in CBD. This is the main reason why the use of CBD-based products has been gaining traction. Rather than feeling a “high”, CBD allows users to feel relaxed and pain-free.
In fact, the use of cannabis has been around for many years. Ancient healers and doctors used it as a pain reliever and for many other uses in the past.
Now, you may be wondering; what are CBD’s health benefits and medical application? Well, read on to find out.
CDB Uses and Health Benefits
In most instances, CBD works best as a preventative medication due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Here is a brief overview of how CBD is beneficial to human health:
1. CBD is Effective for Pain Management
The biggest benefit or use of CBD is in pain relief (it’s an analgesic). Nowadays, more and more people are switching from opioids to CBD-based medications to treat pain.
Basically, cannabidiol interacts with the nervous system and immune system receptors to help minimize inflammation and pain. In fact, a Journal of Experimental Medicine shows that CBD is an effective painkiller and doesn’t come with any adverse side-effects.
2. It Mitigates the Risks of Diabetes
Although rarely discussed, CBD also helps to control the effects of diabetes. The CBD compound can help lower blood pressure as well as inflammation, but should not be taken as a replacement to diabetes medication. A study by Neuropharmacology showed that CBD plays a vital role in preventing diabetes.
Researchers conducted a study on non-obese diabetes-prone female mice. Out of those treated with CBD, only 32% became diabetic. On the other hand, 100% of the untreated rats were diagnosed with diabetes.
3. CBD Helps to Fight Anxiety and Depression
Aside from treating physiological symptoms, CBD also works well in combating anxiety and depression. It has proven to be greatly therapeutic for a range of mental health conditions.
Basically, CBD eases anxiety and depression due to its effect on the activities of limbic and paralimbic brain regions. CBD is found to upregulate the natural cannabinoids found in our body that is responsible for the release of serotonin. This helps to improve one’s mood and attitude.
4. It is a Great Remedy for Seizures
Medically speaking, seizures are usually a result of dramatic fluctuations of electrical signals in the brain. People who have Epilepsy often suffer from seizures. So, what role does CBD play in the cure and reduction of seizures?
Well, according to The New England Journal of Medicine, CBD greatly reduces convulsive-seizure frequency by a very large percentage.
5. CBD Helps With the Treatment of Cancer
Yes, you read that right. And, now, you are probably wondering how CBD aids in cancer treatment?
Well, CBD together with other compounds found in cannabis act against the formation of tumors. In other terms, these compounds improve the body’s ability to kill tumor cells for prostate and breast cancer.
Moreover, further research has shown that CBD inhibits the growth and spread of cervical cancer cells. However, CBD-cancer studies are still pre-clinical and haven’t yet been tested on humans or even mammalian test subjects. Therefore, it wouldn’t be correct to conclude that CBD can be used to cure cancer. But if you are curious, it would be wise to consult your health care professional.
6. It has Impressive Benefits for Heart Health
CBD has always been touted as an effective treatment for high blood pressure.
This means that CBD helps to prevent heart-related problems like strokes, heart attacks, and metabolic syndrome. But, how? CBD has been found to dilate blood vessels, decreasing one’s blood pressure and allowing for greater flow. Stable blood pressures also minimize the chances of atherosclerosis.
7. Other Uses and Benefits of CBD.
- Reduction of acne: Due to its ability to reduce sebum production and anti-inflammatory qualities, CBD is a great treatment for acne.
- Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease treatment: Cannabidiol can also slow the progression of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Acts as an Antipsychotic: It reduces psychotic symptoms common in people with mental disorders and schizophrenia.
There you have it. A list of some of the most common benefits and uses of CBD. As you can see, there are a number of therapeutic properties of cannabis without the high. But sometimes people often ask about a CBD-THC combination. So, are there instances when a CBD-THC combination would be better than CBD alone?
Well, yes there are. The most popular instance is to treat epilepsy. Additionally, this combination often works seamlessly to ease chronic pain.
In conclusion, it’s quite clear that cannabis is more than just a recreational drug. It offers endless medical benefits. Some of which are yet to be discovered. And with CBD, people can enjoy the therapeutic qualities of cannabis without getting high.