Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is a chemical compound found in the cannabis sativa plant. CBD engages with neuroreceptors within the endocannabinoid system upon topical application or ingestion through smoking or consumption of edibles. This interaction facilitates intercellular signaling, thereby regulating essential bodily functions such as movement, mood, homeostasis, and immune system activity.
The CBD sector is experiencing significant growth and is expected to reach a conservative estimate of $16 billion in the United States by 2025. CBD extract is incorporated into various products such as cheeseburgers, toothpicks, and breath sprays. A survey conducted by the Brightfield Group, a cannabis market research firm, indicates that over 60 percent of CBD consumers have utilized it for anxiety-related purposes, based on responses from 5,000 individuals.
How To Consume CBD?
CBD can be consumed through various methods, each with its own benefits and considerations. Explore the options below to find the most suitable way for you to incorporate CBD into your routine:
- Oral CBD: Convenient and widely available, oral CBD products such as edibles provide an easy way to ingest CBD. However, it’s important to note that the liver’s metabolism during oral ingestion may affect potency and delay the onset of effects. For oral consumption, it is essential to use an edible dosage calculator to ensure appropriate and safe CBD intake. Using an edible dosage calculator can help individuals determine the right amount of CBD to consume, considering factors such as product potency, thereby promoting responsible and informed use of oral CBD products.
- Sublingual CBD: Placing CBD oil or tinctures under the tongue allows rapid bloodstream absorption. This sublingual administration bypasses liver metabolism, resulting in higher bioavailability and quicker effects than oral consumption.
- Topical CBD: If you are targeting localized symptoms such as skin conditions or arthritis, topical CBD products applied directly to the skin can be beneficial. However, be cautious as some topicals may cause skin irritation due to the skin’s limited permeability compared to mucous membranes.
- Inhalation: Inhaling CBD through smoking dried hemp flower, vaporizing CBD oil, or using CBD concentrates with a vape pen offers fast absorption into the bloodstream. However, it’s essential to be aware that inhalation methods may expose users to potential lung irritants or carcinogens.
Consider your preferences, desired effects, and potential risks when choosing the most suitable method for consuming CBD. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance.
Now that we have covered how to consume CBD, let’s dive into its benefits.
Health Benefits Of CBD
The following are the key health benefits of consuming CBD:
1. Boost Your Mood and Reduce Anxiety
The anxiolytic properties of CBD have contributed to its widespread use to alleviate anxiety and depression. A study published in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry in 2017 examined the anxiety levels of 57 male participants subjected to a simulated public speaking test. The participants were divided into groups, with some receiving a placebo and others receiving varying doses of CBD, namely 150 milligrams, 300 milligrams, or 600 milligrams, before delivering their speeches. Notably, the group administered 300 milligrams of CBD significantly reduced anxiety levels compared to the placebo group. Intriguingly, the participants who received either 150 or 600 milligrams of CBD experienced heightened anxiety during the test when compared to the 300 milligrams group.
Furthermore, a study on mice demonstrated that CBD displayed antidepressant effects similar to those of the pharmaceutical drug imipramine. However, further research involving human trials is necessary to ascertain whether CBD can elicit the same antidepressant response in our physiological systems.
2. Cardiovascular Health and Blood Pressure
Recent research published by the American Society for Clinical Investigation has unveiled the potential benefits of CBD in promoting heart health and lowering high blood pressure. In a study conducted this year, it was observed that CBD oil usage resulted in a reduction of resting systolic blood pressure and stroke volume in individuals exposed to stress. The study’s findings suggested that CBD’s anxiety-regulating properties played a role in decreasing blood pressure, thereby supporting heart health. Additionally, the presence of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in CBD oil may contribute to the prevention of heart-related ailments.
3. Treating Certain Epilepsy Syndromes
CBD has demonstrated efficacy in treating specific types of epilepsy characterized by seizures.
In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved using CBD, marketed as Epidiolex, to address seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome—both rare forms of epilepsy. This approval was based on three rigorously conducted studies that provided substantial evidence supporting the FDA’s decision.
During these trials, 516 patients diagnosed with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome were administered either Epidiolex or a placebo in addition to their prescribed medications. The results indicated that when Epidiolex was used with other medicines, it led to a notable reduction in the frequency of seizures compared to the placebo group.
4. Reduce Symptoms of Cancer Treatment
A growing body of research provides evidence for the effectiveness of CBD oil in alleviating specific symptoms associated with cancer treatment, including nausea and pain. In a recent study, cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy incorporated CBD oil into their regimen and reported a reduction in chemotherapy-induced side effects, precisely the sensation of nausea. Furthermore, most of these patients reported that CBD oil contributed to mitigating the discomfort and pain they experienced.
5. Improved Joint Function
CBD oil possesses unique anti-arthritic properties, contributing to the enhancement of joint function. This attribute holds particular significance for athletes, as it can reduce the likelihood of future arthritis development. CBD oil facilitates a more fluid range of motion by mitigating inflammation and alleviating joint pain.
In 2017, a study conducted on rats investigated the potential of CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties in alleviating pain caused by osteoarthritis. The findings demonstrated that CBD treatment effectively reduced inflammation and prevented joint pain. Consequently, CBD was identified as a safe and therapeutic approach for addressing neuropathic pain associated with osteoarthritis of the joints. Incorporating CBD lotion into an athlete’s training regimen can enable them to persevere through soreness, ultimately aiding in achieving performance goals.
CBD offers promising benefits across various aspects of health and wellness. It can help enhance mood, reduce anxiety, promote cardiovascular health, treat certain epilepsy syndromes, alleviate symptoms of cancer treatment, and improve joint function.
As the body of research on CBD continues to expand, it is essential to consult with healthcare professionals and stay informed about the latest findings. With responsible use and proper guidance, CBD has the potential to offer a natural and effective approach to improving overall well-being and addressing various health concerns.