There are many popular remedies that are used to augment one's health and manage pain. However, one popular form of treatment that many are gravitating towards to today is cannabidiol.
Cannabidiol, most commonly known as CBD, is a chemical compound that can be found in a marijuana plant. The main compound found in marijuana that produces the "high" effect, is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, the difference with cannabidiol is that there is no psychoactive effects. This is what makes it an attractive option for many who seek pain relief without any of the potential neurological effects of certain pharmaceutical drugs and conventional marijuana.
CBD can also be extracted in oil form by extracting the compound out of the plant directly, and then diluting it in another oil (commonly hemp seed or coconut). In both the wellness and health sectors, cannabidiol is gaining momentum to treat a litany of conditions and provide relief from pain. Here are the many ways that this compound can positively impact one's life.
One of the most popular reasons that cannabidiol is used is to properly manage and control pain. Scientific evidence has proven that pain relieving effects derive from the cannabidiol itself. The human body already has a localized self-regulating system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). In this system, a variety of important functions such as immune system response, appetite, sleep and pain are regulated. We produce neurotransmitters that help bind to cannabinoid receptors in our nervous systems.
Thanks to a number of studies, it has been shown that cannabidiol can help with chronic pain by altering the impact of endocannabinoid receptors. This compound can also interact directly with neurotransmitters while reducing inflammation. All of these functions can help tremendously with pain management, especially in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
CBD and Exercise
Another area where cannabidiol can help tremendously is in the field of exercise. Many athletes are being increasingly attracted toward this compound for some of the properties it contains that can help augment any exercise or workout.
One of the most popular attributes of cannabidiol is its anti-inflammatory properties. Athletes commonly suffer from inflammation, and this can impair recovery time from the gym. This is why athletes have certain practices they adhere to, such as bathing in ice baths and eating foods high in antioxidants to aid the process. However, this cycle of recovering from inflammation can be accelerated.
Fortunately, there is a positive relationship between CBD and exercise, and cannabidiol has shown to help with the problem of inflammation. Cannabidiol has been shown to lower inflammation resulting from exercise and help athletes to recover quickly. This is because cannabidiol is able to penetrate into the tissues that are injured from a workout directly.
Maintaining an exercise regimen can be difficult for some due to the setbacks that can take place in the recovery period, but the results of using cannabidiol have been very encouraging.
CBD Joint Pain
There has also been a link to cannabidiol helping with joint pain attributed to inflammatory diseases such as arthritis. Unfortunately, there are approximately 54 million people across the entire country who suffer with some sort of disease that causes joint pain, according to the Arthritis Foundation. This arthritis can predispose to chronic stiffness, pain and decreased joint movement which can exacerbate over time.
A study that was published in 2017 in the journal Pain analyzed the potential impact that cannabidiol could have on joint neuropathy and osteoarthritis. Based on the findings, it was confirmed that cannabidiol reduced inflammation of the joints and protected the nerves. CBD joint pain affects thousands of people, but the anti-inflammatory and pain control attributes of cannabidiol has made the compound's popularity increase dramatically.
Other CBD Uses
There are many CBD uses that span across a litany of conditions. These conditions include those that can affect people mentally. Research has suggested that cannabidiol is effective in reducing anxiety disorders. Other studies have also successfully linked cannabidiol to reducing symptoms that are commonly associated with depression. This is especially important for those who are diagnosed with arthritis, because depression is a common, unfortunate complication of the diagnosis. According to the Arthritis Foundation, it was said that the rates of depression of those that were diagnosed with arthritis can be double or triple the amount of those in the general population.
In several animal studies, cannabidiol has also displayed antidepressant like effects. While standard classes of medications such as benzodiazepines are diagnosed for cases of anxiety, they can also lead to abuse, insomnia, agitation and other undesirable side effects due to its potency.
Another condition that affects a lot of Americans is cancer. For those who chose to take cannabidiol, side effects that can be induced from chemotherapy such as nausea and vomiting can be reduced. Another common problem with cancer is pain, but those who are treated with the compound can experience a reduction in pain and discomfort. There are drugs that are catered specifically to combat these side effects, but there are often complaints of those same medications not providing adequate relief. This can lead to those affected by cancer to seek an alternative, and cannabidiol is emerging as a palatable option.
It is clear that there are positive physical and neurological effects of taking cannabidiol. However, taking the compound may also have therapeutic cosmetic effects. Acne is a skin condition that affects nearly a tenth of the entire population. A number of factors including inflammation, bacteria, genetics and overstimulation of specific hormones can cause undesirable marks and blemishes on one's face and body.
However, recent studies have shown that cannabidiol can assist with acne due to the highly renowned anti-inflammatory properties that it contains. It also has the capacity to reduce an oily secretion created by glands in the skin called sebum. While there are more human studies needed to fully explore the potential positive effects of cannabidiol on cancer, the early results have been promising.
For those suffering from certain cardiovascular issues such as elevated blood pressure, cannabidiol could potentially serve as an effective treatment. High blood pressure can predispose to adverse cardiac events such as heart attacks, strokes or potentially worse.
One study showcased 10 healthy men taking cannabidiol and having decreased blood pressure when resting. In this same study, they were also given stress tests that normally increase blood pressure, and the dose led to a smaller blood pressure increase than normal. While there are still studies being done, it is being suggested by many researchers that it is the anxiety and stress-reducing properties present in the compound that leads to the positive blood pressure effects.
There are a series of other potential benefits present in cannabidiol, which include treating substance abuse, anti-tumor effects and reducing the chances of getting diabetes.
Does Cannabidiol Have Side Effects?
With all of these positive attributes, many wonder if this compound contains certain side effects to be wary of. In some people, there can be certain adverse effects such as fatigue, diarrhea and appetite changes. It has also been known to interact with certain medications. That is why it is incredibly important to contact your primary care physician to see if taking cannabidiol would be right for you.
Is It legal?
There is also concern as to whether or not cannabidiol is legal to use. This question can be difficult to answer due to the technicalities of what comprises the compound. Eleven states in the United States have legalized the use of recreational marijuana, but that version is still illegal under federal law and is classified as a schedule 1 drug through the Drug Enforcement Administration. Marijuana itself is classified as any plant that has more than 0.3% of the potentially mind-altering ingredient known as THC.
If the version you are using is purified and comes from hemp plants, it is legal. However, it is illegal to use it if it comes from a marijuana plant. Marijuana plants themselves are strictly prohibited by the DEA and being caught using this form of the cannabidiol can result in legal trouble.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, there are many positive effects of using cannabidiol, and despite some of the potential side effects, it has proven to do a lot of good in those who want to augment their exercise regimen, control their pain and treat other conditions. Consult with your physician to see if taking it can benefit you, and always know if what you are taking is allowed under the law.
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