July 16, 2021 4 min read
Since President Trump passed the 2018 Farm Bill legalizing industrial hemp cultivation, cannabidiol (CBD) has risen in popularity with more and more people realizing the health benefits of this naturally-produced cannabis compound. You can find CBD in everything from coffee and acai bowls to gummies, face creams, and bath bombs. Many health claims are thrown around, but what is CBD good for? We’ll give you all the details with scientific research to back it up.
CBD is used by people from all walks of life, not just stoners or medical marijuana patients. This is because hemp-derived CBD is completely legal at the federal level and does not produce any psychoactive effects. Yes, you will not get high from CBD. The main health benefits include treatment for epilepsy, anxiety, stress, depression, insomnia, pain, and inflammation. Some people also use CBD for hair growth and hydration, though there are no studies to support these claims. Taking CBD for its health benefits rose in popularity after the story of a young girl named Charlotte Figi made national headlines. Charlotte suffers from Dravet syndrome, which causes severe seizures that are only eased by using high doses of CBD oil. The most well-known high CBD strain, Charlotte’s web, is named in her honor. Since Charlotte’s story, many people have found CBD to help treat and manage a long list of ailments.
If you’re wondering “does CBD really work for anxiety?” then you’re not alone. With so many claims, many people make CBD look like a miracle drug that does it all, however it’s clear that CBD does in fact help ease anxiety and stress. Two studies on people with social anxiety disorder found that their symptoms were reduced after taking CBD and that they felt less discomfort when speaking publicly. A recent study from 2019 looked at the effects of CBD on people with PTSD. 91% of the 11 participants had significantly lower severity of their PTSD symptoms and even had less nightmares. Finally, a larger study of 72 adults who suffer from anxiety and sleep disorders were treated with between 25 mg to 75 mg of CBD per day depending on the severity of their disorder. Nearly 80% had improved anxiety levels and roughly 70% reported to have better sleep within the first month.
Having a poor night’s rest affects your body and mind throughout the entire day and will improve your overall wellness. As many as 70% of Americans report that they do not sleep as many hours as they should for their bodies to run at peak performance. This can lead to tiredness throughout the day, the inability to concentrate, and differences in mood. Many people suffering from insomnia and other sleep disorders prefer to use CBD for sleep versus strong and sometimes addictive prescription medications. CBD reacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which regulates your natural sleep cycles. While more research on using CBD for sleep disorders are still needed, there are many studies that back up the claim that CBD can be used to treat insomnia. People with insomnia often have high cortisol levels at night, which is when the body should be producing the lowest levels of the stress hormone. One study found that a 300 mg to 600 mg dose of CBD oil lowered these levels significantly, working as a mild sedative and allowing them to fall asleep easier. This is probably also the reason CBD works well for stress and anxiety management.
Any type of pain can be a nuisance, but if it persists, it can also disrupt your daily life, wellbeing, and overall mood. For localized pain such as arthritis, back aches, muscle pain, and joint pain, CBD cream, CBD lotions, and CBD gels work best to target problem areas. Chronic pain such as that associated with cancer treatment responds best to high doses of THC-CBD oil or tinctures taken orally. CBD can be a great natural alternative to addictive opioids and other prescription pain medications that often cause severe side effects. The chemical compound works with the endocannabinoid system in the brain to produce pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects. A study on rats with arthritis found that low doses of CBD gel applied to the joints for 4 days showed no difference, while higher doses of CBD reduced the swelling and pain. One of the largest CBD studies looked at all published research between 1975 and 2018 and came to the consensus that CBD has no side effects and is effective for pain management, especially for cancer pain, neuropathic pain, and fibromyalgia.
Just like their human companions, dogs, cats and other pets suffer from stress, anxiety, and pain too. Some of the most common causes of anxiety are moving homes, the arrival of new pets, loud noises like fireworks, visiting the vet, and past trauma. Taking a CBD supplement can significantly improve the life of your pets, especially older animals, those who have recently undergone surgery, and pets with cancer, PTSD, or severe anxiety. Before treating a pet, speak with your veterinarian and be sure to only give the recommended dose for your pet’s species and size. CBD for dogs and cats may be just what your pet needs to find relief.
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