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Cannabidiol (CBD) oil comes from the Cannabis plant and has become a popular alternative therapy for various conditions over the past few years. People have said that using CBD oil helps them reduce pain, anxiety, and sleep disorders.

Due to the prohibition of cannabis and associated research restrictions, there is limited evidence from human studies to support the benefits of CBD oil. However, with the legalization of cannabis in some regions worldwide, research in this area is gaining momentum.

CBD is just one of many different molecules unique to the Cannabis plant. CBD oil generally contains low levels of the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the compound that produces the ‘high.’

People have reported using CBD oil for various medical conditions without experiencing the intoxicating effects of THC. Generally, most people tolerate CBD well and experience minimal serious side effects.

Unlike THC, CBD does not bind readily to cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are key components of the human endocannabinoid system, which plays a crucial role in the central nervous system.

Endocannabinoids are signaling molecules that can help regulate various processes, such as pain, memory, mood, immunity, and stress.

CBD does, however, interact with other receptors, such as serotonin and opioid receptors. It might also boost levels of naturally occurring endocannabinoids, which may explain its seemingly broad range of uses.

Keep reading to learn about some of the possible benefits of using CBD oil.

1. Epilepsy

The first CBD-based medication that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved was Epidiolex. Doctors prescribe Epidiolex to those who experience seizures due to Lennox-Gastrault or Dravet syndrome, which are rare types of epilepsy.

Epidiolex underwent rigorous human studies before the FDA approved it as a treatment for these two conditions.

According to an article in Molecules, scientists do not know precisely how CBD helps control seizures. One theory suggests that CBD influences a receptor involved in seizure activity called transient receptor potential vanilloid.

A review of completed and ongoing clinical trials indicated that adding CBD to common antiepileptic drugs may be appropriate in treatment-resistant epilepsy in infants, children, and teenagers.

2. Pain and Inflammation

The first CBD-based medication that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved was Epidiolex. Doctors prescribe Epidiolex to those who experience seizures due to Lennox-Gastrault or Dravet syndrome, which are rare types of epilepsy.

Epidiolex underwent rigorous human studies before the FDA approved it as a treatment for these two conditions.

According to an article in Molecules, scientists do not know precisely how CBD helps control seizures. One theory suggests that CBD influences a receptor involved in seizure activity called transient receptor potential vanilloid.

A review of completed and ongoing clinical trials indicated that adding CBD to common antiepileptic drugs may be appropriate in treatment-resistant epilepsy in infants, children, and teenagers.

3. Depression and Anxiety

Many animal studies testing the effects of CBD for mood disorders showed promising results. An earlier article in Neuropsychopharmacology outlined a study on humans where researchers demonstrated that CBD could help reduce anxiety caused by public speaking.

The participants took CBD before a public-speaking event, and they reported feeling less anxiety and discomfort. Researchers suggest that CBD may help relieve anxiety associated with the anticipation of a fearful event.

The participants also had lower negative self-evaluation during public speaking. Researchers suggest that serotonin receptors may play a role in the effects of CBD on anxiety.

There are not many human studies on the effectiveness of CBD for depression, so further research is required before using it for this purpose.

4. Addiction Management and Treatment

Some experts suggest that CBD oil may help people with addiction by reducing activation of the amygdala, a brain area involved in addiction.

Cravings for drugs generally occur by exposure to a particular cue. So, reducing the craving during cues can help people abstain from heroin.

A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry explored CBD’s effect on cue-inducing craving and anxiety in people with heroin use disorder. The researchers demonstrated that compared with placebo, those who took CBD had lower cravings and anxiety. These results look promising but still require further investigation.

5. Inflammatory Skin Conditions

In some studies, certain cannabinoids demonstrate anti-inflammatory, anti-itch, anti-aging, and anti-cancerous properties.

Some experts suggest that these effects occur when the drug interacts with the endocannabinoid system found on the skin. Some skin conditions that may improve with CBD treatment include:

  • acne
  • atopic dermatitis
  • psoriasis
  • skin cancer
  • itchy skin
  • pain

Cell studies demonstrated that CBD helped prevent some of the functions of the sebaceous glands that contribute to acne. Researchers still need to confirm these results in human studies before doctors can recommend their use.

6. Neuroprotection

An article in Molecules indicated that animal studies have shown that CBD might offer neuroprotective activity in several neurodegenerative diseases, including:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Researchers suggest that the neuroprotective effects occur from the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of CBD. In some countries, doctors can prescribe Sativex, a drug that contains THC and CBD, to relieve spasticity in people with MS. Scientists are still unsure how it works.

7. Relief from Chemotherapy Side Effects

An article in the British Journal of Pharmacology states that the effect of CBD on nausea and vomiting in animals may be linked to its interaction with the serotonin receptors. However, the article concludes that THC appears to have a greater ability to reduce nausea and vomiting than CBD.

In one human study, people with nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy experienced relief when taking Sativex, but it is unclear how much of a contribution the CBD provided. Further review is still necessary to understand the role of CBD in relieving nausea and vomiting.

Summary

Some people use CBD oil and other CBD-based products for different reasons, including reducing pain, controlling anxiety, and managing seizures. Although studies report few side effects with CBD use, its effectiveness for various medical conditions requires further research.

Some people also use CBD oil for medical conditions that researchers have not rigorously studied yet. People who use CBD oil should speak with a doctor to ensure the drug is safe and whether CBD is more effective than other conventional medications.

Is CBD Legal? Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level but are still illegal under some state laws. Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on a federal level but are legal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved and may be inaccurately labeled.

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