CBD is a one of the many many inactive compounds found in Marijuana, but believe it or not most CBD used today is derived from hemp seeds rather than Marijuana plants. The compound in Marijuana that gets you “high” is THC. CBD is a close ‘cousin’ to THC in structure and molecular makeup, however there are some very big differences in it’s effects. One of the main differences is no matter how much CBD you consume, you will not get “high” or intoxicated in any way, shape, or form. CBD is completely non-psychoactive and will not cause an individual to fail a drug test. As of late, the connections between CBD and health benefits have been studied and explored. Many interesting findings have been discovered, leading us to believe that CBD has a lot of positive effects that we are yet to fully utilize. Today however, I will focus on just two and explore CBD’s ability to help combat chronic pain as well as anxiety.
CBD for Pain
According to The Washington Post, 50 million adults across the United States suffer from chronic pain, that is 20.4 percent of the U.S. population. Sadly many turn to prescription medication and pharmaceuticals to treat their condition. Some do not adequately relieve the pain. Many have significant side effects both short term and long term that can have extremely negative effects on your health and your quality of life. Luckily people are catching onto this and the number of individuals taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or opiates, is falling dramatically as they realize there are other, healthier, natural alternatives.
CBD has gained a lot of popularity as a natural approach to chronic pain relief in recent years, but it’s use for this purpose dates back much much further. As a matter of fact, the use of CBD for pain relief was recorded in ancient China! According to the research journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, CBD is thought to help with chronic pain due to its ability to reduce inflammation. As an ulterior effect, CBD is also reported to promote better and more sound sleep, combating the sleeping problems often experienced by those battling chronic pain.
We all have two types of cannabinoid receptors within us. Very unimaginatively named cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1), and cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2). CB1 receptors are found mostly in the brain, while CB2 receptors are located all throughout the body. CB2 receptors are believed to have significant effect on our immune system as well as regulation of pain and inflammation. Believe it or not, nearly every type of human disease include a change in CB2 function (even pain-related diseases).
While the research conducted thus far suggests that CBD can bind to CB2 receptors, at this point it seems that most of the benefits derived from CBD occur indirectly through stimulation of non-cannabinoid receptors. One type of these non-cannabinoid receptors are called the Glycine receptors. Glycine receptors are inhibitory receptors in the central nervous system that are heavily involved in our perception of pain. While CBD’s effects on Glycine receptors are still being researched, previous studies have shown that cannabinoids like CBD greatly potentiate these receptors. In other words, CBD increases the chances of good results in the stimulation of these receptors, additionally contributing to CBDs influence on pain management.
CBD has been shown to provide relief for many different types of chronic pain but a few of the most common types are listed and described below. The first type of chronic pain popularly combated with CBD is joint pain like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Both of these sources of chronic pain affect the immune system, leading to joint pain when the immune system incorrectly attacks the wrong cells. CBD acts as an immune suppressant in this sense, reducing inflammation and thereby pain in the problematic joints. Another popular use for CBD is to treat back pain. Back pain is actually the number one cause of disability in the United States, and is most commonly treated with opiates. While research on the effects of CBD on back problems is limited, a study conducted on mice with degenerative disk disease found that those subjected to regular high doses of CBD had far less spinal damage than the control group. The other most common use for CBD is to treat muscle pain and spasms. Everyone gets these from time to time, especially after a strenuous workout or aggressive exercise. However these conditions are chronic for individuals with epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, or multiple sclerosis. As is the case with all CBD effects, research is still in very early stages. That being said, the results thus far are very exciting and we at CBD Informative believe that there is a serious correlation between CBD and reduction in pain perception, as well as chronic muscle spasms.
CBD for Anxiety
Anxiety has been a long misunderstood, and for a long time ignored medical condition. It is an extremely complex disorder that can for some people at some times be paralyzing and/or debilitating. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, over 19% of adults in in the United States are affected by anxiety disorders. Additionally, it is estimated that over 30% of adults in America have experienced an anxiety disorder at one time or another in their life. If you have more questions about anxiety disorders I highly recommend the book When Panic Attacks by David D. Burns.
There are many many tips, strategies, medications, and treatments to manage anxiety, however they are not always effective or practical (most people cannot/do not want to pop a Xanax every time they feel anxiety during the day). Other tips include altering the diet towards healthier foods, cutting out caffeine, exercising regularly, getting enough quality sleep, etc. That being said, these strategies are not always enough to neutralize the effects of anxiety. Additionally everyone is different in both how their anxiety affects them as well as what works to help combat it. Essentially what may work for one individual may not be effective at all for another person suffering from anxiety.
For years cannabis oil has been used to treat anxiety and depression. The study of CBD specifically and its effects on anxiety and depression are relatively new. That being said, it is one of the most interesting and most well funded areas of CBD research. A small case study in 2011 found that individuals who took a concentrated dose of CBD experienced significantly less social anxiety symptoms in a social setting as compared to their counterparts who took a placebo. If our research trend continues the way it has for the past several years, we could be very close to impressive breakthroughs proving what some individuals using CBD to treat their anxiety have known for years. Believe it or not, this claim is actually backed up by internet search trends. Over the past five years searches for “CBD oil for anxiety” have increased dramatically. While by no means is this scientific backing for CBD’s effectiveness, a growing segment of those affected by anxiety disorders are choosing CBD to help lead a normal, anxiety free life.