Cannabidiol or CBD is seeing an upward trend in popularity. CBD is found in the cannabis plant but unlike marijuana, it does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive ingredient. CBD can be used as a holistic approach to health and wellness, ranging from pain management to workout recovery.
What is CBD?
There are many forms that CBD can be taken in – edibles, capsules, topical creams, or tinctures and oils. Specifically, the oil is derived by extracting the Cannabidiol properties from the cannabis plant and then diluting it with carrier oil such as coconut oil or hemp seed. To ingest CBD oil, you place a drop under your tongue allowing it to be absorbed into your bloodstream so you can begin to reap the many benefits.
Benefits of CBD
CBD can help manage pain from certain medical conditions, such as arthritis. According to Medical News Today, arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States, affecting more than 50 million people. The two types of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. In both types, arthritis can cause severe joint pain and a decrease in range of motion, amongst other things. When it comes to treating arthritis, the goal is to reduce the amount of pain by reducing inflammation, hence the usual treatment through NSAIDs or anti-inflammatory creams.
On the other hand, a possible alternative is CBD oil. It has been found that CBD oil can reduce inflammation by altering the way pain receptors respond. You could think of it as an army (CBD) blocking a castle (your body’s pain receptors) against an attack (pain).
Similar to how CBD oil interacts with pain receptors, it also interacts with neurotransmitters that play a role in anxiety, depression, and mental health. Though studies are not conclusive that CBD oil can aid in reducing anxiety amongst those who have chronic anxiety disorders, it does prove to be helpful for those with low-level anxiety who need coping mechanisms. It appears that CBD activates the serotonin receptors within the body, which is the neurotransmitter that produces a sense of calmness or a positive and happy mood.
Besides helping to reduce inflammation by altering neurotransmitter interactions, CBD is extremely beneficial post-workout. Exercise tells the body to produce a stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol reduces protein synthesis and prevents the growth of new tissues, thereby causing muscle soreness and potential muscle pain or damage. CBD is an anti-catabolic, which reduces cortisol levels in the body which not only reduces inflammation but promotes protein to synthesize and regenerate muscle.
Side Effects of CBD
Side effects are dependent upon a few factors, which could include the amount of CBD you ingest, your weight, any additional medications you may be taking, and your overall health. Oftentimes the side effects that are reported occur in people who are taking other medication. In some cases, the interaction of the medication and CBD itself can create potentially harmful situations if used long-term, such as liver damage.
If you are a more natural and holistic type of person, turning to CBD oil may be the perfect remedy. With all the potential benefits it could lead to, it’s definitely worth a shot (or a drop!).