Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a trendy new health supplement that has been growing in popularity in recent years. The main reason behind its growth is because of new scientific research and medical trials that have uncovered several beneficial applications. It can help promote general health and wellness and has been found to help people with a variety of health issues and diseases.
However, the supplement industry is riddled with snake-oil sales pitches about miracle drugs that are completely natural and can cure anything and everything. If you are skeptical about CBD, it’s only natural. Here are nine real benefits that CBD provides that have been proven by scientific trials.
1. It Makes You Feel Better
An estimated one in five adults in the United States suffers from some kind of mental health issue. At the low end, there are issues of stress, then anxiety and depression. At the high end, you have severe issues like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that count as a disability.
In several clinical trials, CBD was found to help improve the mental health of test patients that received it. In one trial, it reduced the amount of situational anxiety people had for public speaking. It has shown antidepressant effects as well and even has been used to help children with PTSD.
2. It Relieves Pain
The other big benefit of CBD is its ability to relieve pain and reduce inflammation, which can be a major contributing factor for many instances of pain and chronic pain disorders. It can be used for regular everyday pain, such as when you suffer a minor injury or are recovering from surgery.
More importantly, it has also been found to help reduce pain in people with chronic conditions. One notable trial found that CBD was able to reduce pain at movement and at rest for people with rheumatoid arthritis.
3. It Helps You Sleep Better
Sleep disorders are another common health issue that people have. In fact, there is usually a common link between people who have chronic mental health or pain issues and sleep disorders like insomnia. It can be a vicious cycle, where not getting enough sleep has been found to worsen your mental health, and being anxious or depressed can make it harder to sleep. Thankfully, CBD has been found to help improve the quality of sleep even for people with health conditions, from PTSD to Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis.
4. It Helps You Recover From Exercise
People who exercise regularly are likely familiar with the aching and soreness that comes after you cool down. This is because of the inflammation and damage done to your muscles and joints, which is common to any workout. That’s why exercise enthusiasts take things like protein shakes or supplements, to help rebuild and repair their muscles. Getting CBD can also help as a supplement for workout recovery. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and is loaded with omega fatty acids to help promote the growth of healthy new muscle.
5. It Improves Your Skin’s Health
The combination of reducing inflammation, omega fatty acids, and antioxidants in CBD also make it a very useful supplement to improve your skin’s health. Inflammation is a common cause or trigger for a variety of skin conditions, from acne to eczema. CBD has been found to help with both.
The antioxidants and omega fatty acids are also making CBD an increasingly popular ingredient in skincare products, to help with wrinkles, signs of aging, and skin damage. You can already find creams, balms, and lotions with CBD as an active ingredient as a result.
6. It Lowers Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a common health issue in a large portion of the population, and it can lead to more serious conditions like heart disease. It also puts you at a higher risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
There was a study with human male participants, who were given either CBD or a placebo. The results found that the men who received CBD had a reduced resting blood pressure compared to the placebo. It also found that men who were given CBD had a lower increase in blood pressure when performing stress tests, compared to those given the placebo.
7. It Can Help with Diabetes
There are two ways that CBD has shown the potential to help people who have diabetes, or who are at risk of getting it. First, one trial using mice found that CBD was able to reduce the development of diabetes by 56%. Another trial found that CBD was able to reduce oxidative stress and heart damage that is commonly caused by diabetes.
It is not fully clear why CBD is able to help in these ways. It is believed that it reduces damage caused by diabetes because of its anti-inflammatory properties since that is an issue for your heart and pancreas when you are diabetic. It may also have something to do with how CBD affects the production of certain hormones and neurotransmitters through the endocannabinoid system in the human body.
8. It Reduces Nausea
One of the first uses for all cannabis, including CBD, was to help cancer patients maintain their appetite and fight nausea that is common to the disease. It is also a common side effect of radiation treatments. Being able to have an appetite to eat regularly and fight off nausea and vomiting is very important for patients to recover to full health after treatments.
9. It Boosts Your Immune System
One exciting potential use for CBD is its ability to boost your immune system. As mentioned earlier, CBD interacts heavily with the endocannabinoid system, which regulates many important functions in our bodies. One such function is our immune system. There appears to be a few ways that CBD and your ECS is able to improve your immune system response:
- Increase the activity of white blood cells that kill potential diseases in your system
- Reduce inflammatory response in your lungs when exposed to irritants
- Maintains the healthy bacteria in your stomach that can fight diseases that enter your system through ingestion
- Reduces sleep issues and anxiety levels, both of which have been found to suppress your immune system
For many of these benefits listed above, it is not yet fully known how CBD interacts with our bodies, or why it is able to help improve our health and wellness in those ways. There is still a need for more in-depth and large-scale clinical trials on human test subjects. There are some that are already underway, but it will be a short while until we know the first results.
In the meantime, you should treat CBD as a supplement that can help your overall health in small ways. Just don’t treat it like a miracle drug, and be skeptical of any claims that it can have dramatic results or help with any condition not mentioned here.