Cultures around the world have used cannabis for thousands of years because of its therapeutic and medicinal properties. However, its generally illegal status has meant research into its possible benefits is still in its infancy. Now that legality is increasing worldwide, benefits are becoming more well known. In addition, multiple agencies are now conducting large-scale clinical studies due to increasing international interest. And we’re starting to learn more about the benefits of CBD.
What is CBD, and what does it do?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is just one of hundreds of naturally produced compounds called cannabinoids contained in the cannabis plant. After producers extract it and make it into CBD oil, it’s sold in various forms. These include tinctures, gummies, and capsules. Through interaction with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) – a complex biological system present in all humans, as well as many other animals – its primary objective is to help the body maintain homeostasis (balance) by regulating multiple cognitive and biological processes.
The ECS plays a vital role in multiple bodily processes related to wellbeing in general. For that reason, CBD has the potential to be beneficial in various ways. Firstly, it increases the body’s production of endocannabinoids, which are directed by the ECS to wherever they’re needed to maintain homeostasis – and, therefore, health in general.
Here are just a few of the benefits of CBD we’ve spotted.
1. Reduces Inflammation and Relaxes Muscles
Although research is currently limited, in addition to general wellbeing, some studies show evidence that CBD potentially has some specific health benefits. Results from one study suggest it is able to relax muscle fibers and block pain receptors. In addition, others suggest that it has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
2. Provides Localized Relief
CBD can also treat inflammation in various forms when applied topically, providing a potential localized treatment for irritated skin, joint and muscle aches and pains, and sunburn. It also inhibits bacterial growth in pores and reduces the production of sebum, which can cause acne.
3. May Relieve Stress and Promote Mental Health
CBD may also have cognitive benefits, with studies suggesting it can relieve symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia in various ways, including improving sleep hygiene and encouraging serotonin production. Additionally, CBD increases the production of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that slows the heart rate and decreases blood pressure, thereby aiding relaxation and sleep regulation.
Our knowledge of the benefits of CBD is increasing.
Although the widespread prohibition of cannabis and its derivatives has slowed research, one thing is now apparent: CBD has huge potential in multiple applications, and, consequently, it’s becoming the focus of an increasing number of studies. To date, evidence suggests that it has many possible health benefits. Thus, while “overnight cure” claims are certainly too good to be true, it seems as though, with advancements in research and technology, the possibilities are extensive.