I want to answer this as honestly as possible without any hype or talk of miraculous cures. Its common knowledge (or should be) that CBDs have been instrumental in helping children with epilepsy, even autism, but I’m not going to stray down that path, at least not in this answer. Let’s be real and see how CBD can benefit all of us, perhaps each in a slightly different manner.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I take CBD, and I run CBDWildfire, so I’m a bit of a CBD zealot. I took a dose just before writing this, and I’m feeling energized.
CBD (cannabinoids) is one of the over 100 chemicals found in Cannabis sativa, more commonly known as Marijuana.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is what all the fuss has been about for so many years. It is this chemical that makes you feel high, and it is this chemical that has been illegal for most of my adult life, and still is in some states.
FACT: CBD contains no psychoactive properties and will not make you feel high. It is mandated by law that only a trace amount (0.03%) of THC is allowed in commercially available CBDs.
CBD SOLUTION: The fact that CBD contains no psychoactive properties makes it ideal for those seeking the health benefits of the plant, without experiencing the high associated with traditional Marijuana.
CBD is interwoven (a part of) the cannabis plant until it is extracted, then diluted with a variety of oils, like peppermint or coconut. The fact is, it’s not so important how it is removed, the question is, does it work? And I’m happy to say, yes it does.
It certainly has for me, and studies show it has been very effective in reducing or eliminating pain, reducing anxiety, curing depression, and helping people get a good night’s sleep, which is when the body does the majority of its healing.
Okay, let’s dive in; these are the health benefits that have been proven to be effective.
Marijuana, Mary Jane, Pot, Weed, a Joint (whatever you want to call it) dates far back in history as a natural remedy for pain according to the US National Library of Medicine
Most of us realize our bodies are complex organisms; one aspect of that complexity is the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates sleep, appetite, pain, and immune systems.
Have you ever heard of neurotransmitters? No, nothing from Sci-Fi, these are a naturally occurring part of our body, just nothing we consciously think about, but very crucial to our well-being. These bind to cannabinoid receptors, all along our central nervous system.
While I’m not a doctor (not even close), I’ve done a bit of research and read up on several studies that say that CBD interacts with endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation and, along with that, pain.
RATS: I have mixed feelings about studies with animals (my Cocker Spaniel is sitting here watching me write), but Rats have proven themselves, so I’ll bite my tongue. Studies with rats (not humans) have shown that injections of CBD reduced pain from surgical incisions. A second study (yes, again with Rats) showed that oral doses of CBD reduced sciatic nerve pain and reduced inflammation.
Okay, back to the land of the living and a human study. My heart goes out to anyone with MS (Multiple sclerosis), but I’m happy to report that CBDs have shown to be effective in reducing inflammation and pain in those suffering from MS and arthritis.
SATIVEX: A spray that combines CBD and THC has proven effective in reducing pain from MS.
What does all of this prove? Simply that we are just now opening our minds to the wonders of CBD. And, if it can help manage pain from MS or arthritis, think what it can do if you simply have a sore ankle from running, or maybe a headache. Sorry, I can’t help but feel amazed at what CBD can do.
This one lays close to my heart since I’ve suffered from depression, and CBD (along with mindfulness) took me out of the darkness, back into the light.
While studies are critical and I’ll list them where and when needed, personal experience is much better and what I’ll relate, at least in part.
Due to some health issues, I was feeling a sense of dread. There was nothing concrete; it wasn’t like I could foresee gloom and doom, it was merely a tickling inside, a warning that “Something, this way comes” from the 1962 novel by Ray Bradbury.
As the night would approach, I indeed felt that something was outside waiting to get me. Reason and logic told me these were sensations of fear-based on my being depressed, but it began to seep into other areas of my life. My work suffered as did my life and relationships. Since I had earlier in life become a certified hypnotherapist, I tried self-hypnosis (similar to meditation if you’re not familiar), trying to breathe in the good, breathe out the bad, focusing my attention on the good things in life. It didn’t help, and my feelings of gloom and doom continued.
I considered seeing a therapist, but my ego got in the way of that one. Indeed I (someone who knew how self-hypnosis worked) didn’t need to see a shrink. Ego is a strong force and can work to our betterment or detriment; in my case (at least at the time), it was a detriment.
Somewhere around this time, I was introduced to CBD by a friend who was a martial artist. He summoned me (and other students) to the dojo, and we dutifully appeared. We were all dressed out in our uniforms, kneeling on the dojo floor, listening to him talk about the benefits of CBD, and how it had changed his life and could do the same for all of us. He was right, though at that moment I felt (but did not say) that he was full of hot air (but my thoughts were not so kind).
After that session and most of us have bought a bottle or two of the oil, we took our first dose, nothing happened, at least not immediately.
About an hour or so later, I sensed new energy, and no, it wasn’t like the “Power Rangers,” where a bolt of electricity hit me. It was much more subtle, but I felt a bit energized, and of course, I had to give credit where credit was due, it must have been the CBD. It must have meant that our Sensei wasn’t full of hot air. Instead, he knew of what he spoke, which boded well for him and the system I was studying.
I don’t want to draw this out. Still, from that day forward, I began taking a few drops of Metabolic Designs daily, combining that with exercise (at the dojo) mindfulness (via self-hypnosis), and my mood became better with each passing day and soon my depression, my feeling of dread became a distant memory.
Do I owe it all to CBD? Well, in my case, CBD was a catalyst, it did make me feel energized, a bit like priming the pump, but I think it was a combination of CBD, workouts, and mindfulness (self-hypnosis, meditation) that took me out of the darkness.
I’ve always had the thought that life is much like walking a path through the forest, the light is dappled, the road is twisting, but if I follow it long enough, it will bring me to the top of the mountain, to the breathtaking vista I’d heard about when I began the journey. It would be up to me, however, to remain in the valley or make the climb toward the light, the peaks, the clear air, and that went on forever. After going through that experience, I’ve become a CBD zealot. Still, I combine that with staying active, positive, and always moving forward, toward my goals, toward the light, toward the happiness I know is waiting for me (and all of us) at the end of the trail.
OMG, did I just say all of that? Yes I did, and I meant every word of it, I’m also happy to note that CBDs have been beneficial to many others, some I know personally, others are part of studies I’ve read about, CBD works with our bodies to help us achieve our potential, being happy, healthy and wise (nix on the smart part).
According to the WHO (World Health Organization), depression is a genuine and debilitating problem and ranks #1 on the list of issues worldwide, followed by anxiety at #6. This is an issue, and if CBD can do even a small part in eliminating these issues, it is well worth looking into.
Another reason to look toward CBDs is the alternative treatments. There are certainly prescription drugs available, but that is not something I wanted to try, I knew the side effects were many:
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Addiction (benzodiazepines has been known to cause addiction in some patients)
Even thinking about the side effects increased both my anxiety and depression, so I was open to other possibilities when CBDs were introduced to me.
FACT: CBD has been used to treat children who have PTSD, reducing or eliminating anxiety and insomnia in many.
FACT: Research has shown that CBD interacts with the brain’s receptors that regulate serotonin, the balance of which is crucial to mood, sleep, and social anxiety.
Since I’m only one person, and the effects of CBD for me, maybe quite different for you, I can only say to keep an open mind, do your research and always check with your doctor or health care professional before beginning any health-related regimen.
I cannot and would not say that CBDs can cure cancer, while that would be wonderful; there are no studies to back up that claim. That said, there is proof that CBDs can help some of the side effects of the treatment of cancer, such as vomiting, nausea, and pain generally associated with chemotherapy.
NOTE: There are prescription meds for these conditions, but they are not valid for everyone causing many to seek alternative treatments like CBD and THC.
STUDY: One study of 16 people undergoing chemotherapy was given a one-to-one dose of CBD and THC regularly. While 16 people are a small group, those involved stated that a CBD, THC mixture administered orally helped alleviate nausea and vomiting
Better than standard treatments alone.
FACT: While no human case studies exist, CBD has been shown to cause cell death in breast cancer samples in lab conditions.
STUDY: In a test with mice, CBD inhibited the aggressive spread of breast cancer cells.
As mentioned earlier, there are no current studies with humans that show CBD can cure or slow the spread of cancer — stating that it can not only be unethical but unfounded.
As data accumulates over time, it may be found that CBD can be used to prevent or fight cancer, but those are best left for future researchers to explore and document.
No one likes acne; it’s not fun, it looks terrible, it’s painful and makes you feel self-conscious (at least it did for me). Millions of people suffer from it, and there is no clear explanation of why some have it, and some don’t. It’s likely part genetics, then throw in bacteria, inflammation, and too much sebum (that oily residue on your nose) and up pops acne (no pun intended on the “pop”).
It’s proven that CBD helps inflammation and pain so that we can cross two off the list. CBD has also been shown to (in some cases) reduce the production of sebum, so that’s three. There is no indication that CBD is going to take care of the bacteria, but keeping your skin clean is always a good idea. Thus, a clean and healthy lifestyle, washing your face regularly, staying hydrated, and adding in CBD just might keep you beaming and acne-free.
The bottom line, no one can make promises that using CBDs will keep your face clear, but indicators are good. CBDs are anti-inflammatory and have reduced the production of sebum in laboratory conditions, so it looks like using CBD is once again a brilliant decision.
While I’ve experienced anxiety and depression, thankfully, my brain works pretty well on most days. For those (especially children) who have an issue with epilepsy or Muscular Sclerosis, if CBD can offer any relief at all, that’s a plus sign. Since CBD has shown to be effective in treating both Epilepsy and Muscular Sclerosis, more studies have been conducted in this area than in most.
FACT: Researchers believe that CBDs may be useful since they interact with the endocannabinoid system, and other signals that flow to and from the brain is the primary reason CBDs may help brain disorders.
FACT: Sativex, which is an oral spray rich in CBD, has been shown effective in helping those with multiple sclerosis.
STUDY: A study concerning epilepsy showed that a median of 36.5% reduced seizures. The study was conducted with 214 subjects.
These studies, while helpful continue and definitive results have yet to be determined. It should also be noted that in some, CBDs were ineffective, even causing convulsions, fever, and fatigue.
STUDY: A study concerning Parkinson’s disease showed that CBD improved the quality of life and sleep.
STUDY: A study using mice who were predisposed to Alzheimer’s disease showed that CBD slowed the progression of cognitive decline.
Without a doubt, CBDs can play a role in preventing, curing, or helping multiple health issues, and anyone experiencing these issues should first discuss CBDs with their doctor, then consider implementing them with doctor approval.
Anything and everything we can do to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system should be part of our lives. This includes exercise and proper nutrition, but CBDs can also play a role.
While human studies continue, it has been shown that CBD can reduce high blood pressure and that is a reliable indicator that all of us should take a close look at CBDs to lower stress (which can be a killer), lower high blood pressure and help our cardiovascular system to operate at peak efficiency..
As in anything mentioned in this post, ALWAYS check with your doctor or health care professional before beginning any new supplement or exercise regimen.
FACT: High blood pressure has been linked to heart attacks, stroke, and metabolic syndrome.
STUDY: A 600mg dose of CBD was given to a small control group. It was found that those taking CBD (as compared to a placebo) experienced lower resting blood pressure.
FACT: Research has shown that CBDs which have the ability to control stress and anxiety is linked to its ability to control blood pressure.
While studies continue and new health benefits are being researched even as this is written, animal studies show that CBDs may be useful in treating:
- Substance abuse
- Mental disorders
- Certain types of tumors and cancer
When I say always check with your doctor, I say that for several reasons. First, I’m not a doctor, second, studies are continuing, and new data is accumulating weekly. Third, while CBD is generally widely tolerated by the vast majority, some people have reported:
- Swings in appetite
- Weight change
For myself, I’m a CBD zealot, it has not only been useful in my life, but it has also given me new opportunities in business, so I may be (read, I am) biased. You, of course, should always make your own decisions and do your due diligence.
If you’d like to learn more about CBDs, we are continually updating our site.
Here’s to your health and longevity.