CBD is being used for a huge number of different conditions these days; it seems as if everyone is either smoking some CBD-intense weed or taking CBD oils.
However, what is CBD actually being used to treat? As it is available as a food supplement throughout the western world (as well as being officially prescribed by the federal government for a couple conditions) most people can actually buy it without any kind of doctor’s prescription.
What conditions are people treating? Are there any conditions that we know CBD will absolutely help treat?
Let’s take a look at 5 popular conditions that CBD is incredibly effective at treating.
#5 Neuropathic Pain
Pain is such a general term that it can be difficult to understand people when they say that they take CBD for pain.
There’s the basic kind of pain you experience from physical injuries, like a cut or a bruise; there’s the emotional, even harder to identify emotional pain from heartbreak, loss or other tragedy, and then there’s neuropathic pain – something altogether much worse.
Neuropathic pain means that the sufferer is experiencing pain as a result of damaged neurons or other parts of the nervous system.
We feel pain as a method of our body telling us that we have become injured – you take an injury, your central nervous system carries a warning signal for as long as the injury exists to tell you “Hey, be careful! You’ve done something stupid!”
However, sometimes this nervous system can become damaged for one reason or another; sending out the pain signals to your brain without any logical reason, just causing pain with no purpose.
That’s neuropathic pain.
CBD is able to help treat neuropathic pain due to its interaction with the CB1 and CB2 receptors. One of the main effects that CBD creates in your body is increased cellular regeneration as a result of cell death. This is helpful for skin conditions that cause irritation due to problematic skin cells.
As Neuropathic pain is caused by damaged neurons within the central nervous system, CBD is able to help trigger the repair and recycling of these damaged neuron cells.
A study conducted by Elizabeth Rahn and Andrea Hohmann found that both cannabis and just the CBD extracts resulted in a significant improvement in quality of life, as the pain was able to be treated. Not only does CBD itself help treat pain, but it is also able to essentially turn off and fix the damaged central nervous system.
Anxiety as a medical condition is far more than just the regular anxiety you might feel from everyday stressful situations. Though most people feel anxiety as a result of dealing with the world around them or specific social situations, people with anxiety struggle with this essentially every day of their life.
Though there are many different types of anxiety, all of them cause the feeling of stress and panic, forcing the sufferer to live an impaired life and not be able to cope with seemingly normal things.
Most common treatments for anxiety involve the use of anxiolytic drugs, which are designed to hopefully stop you from following the negative chain of thoughts that anxiety causes through healthy release of positive brain chemicals, like serotonin.
However, these pills often come with side effects, as well as the risk of addiction.
CBD has the ability to help treat Anxiety due to its demonstrated ability to essentially mimic most common anxiolytic drugs. In a seminal study by Blessing et al. for the Journal of Neurotherapeutics, researchers discovered that CBD helped patients with anxiety both feel better about themselves and better able to control their condition.
Patients reported a massively decreased level of anxiety, as well as a complete lack of side effects, especially when compared to the previous medications they were used to taking.
Interestingly, CBD was only found to positively affect anxiety when the dose was extremely high; this might explain some of those CBD users who seem to be nearly always toking from their vape pens.
Anxiety is a condition that is often undiagnosed and mistreated, so it’s fantastic that there exists an option that doesn’t present side effects, addiction or the risk of it not working properly.
#3 Heart Conditions
Heart issues are an extremely common affliction among mankind – according to the Heart UK, 30% of all deaths globally are a result of Coronary Heart Disease. This astronomically high figure is because the majority of time when someone dies of “old age”, they are actually dying of Coronary Heart Disease, which is a general term to describe a number of different heart problems.
All this means that heart health is incredibly important, so everyone should be concerned with keeping their hearts as healthy as possible. Though exercise, proper diet and plenty of outdoor activities are important for heart health, some people need a little something extra.
CBD has been demonstrated to help improve heart health in two major ways; by helping control your blood pressure and by improving your vascular strength.
Your blood pressure is obviously something everyone is eminently concerned with – it gets checked by your doctor nearly every time you visit.
In a study conducted by Jadoon et al., researchers found that CBD has a noticeable effect on blood pressure on test subjects. It caused a reduction in blood pressure similar to when taking regular blood pressure medication.
This effect on your blood pressure means that people with high blood pressure are able to take CBD to help cope with it, instead of taking a myriad of other drugs with a variety of different side effects. When combined with increased vascular strength and resilience, this makes CBD an excellent tool to help improve your heart health.
Vascular strength might sound like something strange, but a study by Stanley et al. for the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that the strength and resilience of your circulatory system was a huge factor in keeping your heart healthy, as well as the fact that CBD could affect it positively.
The researchers found that CBD caused vasorelaxation to occur throughout the circulatory system, which meant that the arterial walls that carried blood all around your body are able to be relaxed and cope with varying pressures of blood flow. This keeps them flexible and causes a reduced strain on the heart.
Epilepsy is one of those conditions that everyone is familiar with – whether through the countless epilepsy warnings posted on film and television, or just because it is considered a parent’s absolute worst nightmare, epilepsy is something almost anyone can recognize.
Characterized by seizures varying in intensity, epilepsy is dangerous simply because it can cause you to lose control of your motor functions and do damage to yourself. Epilepsy is especially dangerous for children, as they don’t understand how to protect themselves.
However, thanks to the remarkable case of one girl named Charlotte Figi, CBD was explored as an option to help treat epilepsy.
Suffering from a rare, extreme form of epilepsy, Dravet Syndrome, Charlotte was suffering hugely until her parents finally tried CBD oil.
The exact mechanisms of how CBD helps fight epilepsy are still somewhat unknown – we do know it is to do with CBD’s ability to affect cellular regeneration, as well as control the rate of Lewy bodies within the brain that can cause these conditions, but aside from that, we aren’t sure. What we do know, however, is that it works.
Epilepsy is now an extremely common condition being treated through CBD, because the US federal government just passed landmark legislation legalizing the use of CBD medication to treat two forms of extreme epilepsy.
Not only is it legalized, but it is officially legalized throughout the country, meaning that people will be able to access it throughout all 50 United States.
If you see people vaping CBD during the day, they might just be treating their epilepsy.
Inflammation is another one of those terms that seems too broad to be able to refer to anything specific. Inflammation is the name we give to one of your body’s protective response reactions, similar in a way to the fever response.
When you get an injury or perform some kind of strenuous activity that your body wasn’t prepared for, your body swells the area around it so as to both provide a cushion for the area to prevent further injury, and to make sure you keep your hands off of it.
This inflammation is a good thing for our bodies, but it can have some significant drawbacks; especially when the body is inflaming an area it’s not supposed to.
This is especially relevant for those with a few different skin conditions, like psoriasis or eczema, as with those conditions the body unnecessarily inflames an area based on it misunderstanding external stimuli.
In the same way that people allergic to certain foods suffer a reaction from the body that it shouldn’t suffer normally, with skin conditions like these the body simply reacts incorrectly and inflames the area.
This is also important for those with arthritis, as that condition is essentially nothing but unnecessary inflammation of the joints. CBD is able to help treat inflammation due to its interaction with the CB2 receptor – this receptor in the endocannabinoid system is the primary receptor responsible for creating the inflammation response in the first place.
Through careful stimulation of the CB2 receptor, CBD is able to essentially turn off the body’s inflammation response and tell it to calm down.
This might sound simple, but it’s actually one of the most common reasons people take CBD – to treat chronic inflammation that your body inflicts upon you for no reason.
Inflammation, as well as all the other conditions on this list, is able to be treated effectively and easily using CBD, leading to it being one of the most common reasons that people use CBD at all.
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