Benefits of using CBD

What are the Benefits of using CBD, and what are the risks?

How Does CBD work?

CBD is just one of many cannabinoids found in the Cannabis sativa plant, and Cannabis sativa has been cultivated for centuries by human beings. We’ve been farming it for so long that modern science has a hard time identifying the “parent plant” that C. sativa originated from. What we do know is that at some point in our history with Cannabis, human beings figured out that it made fantastic fibers which we could use for rope and textiles and, another for its recreational, and um… “chill out” purposes. Although CBD can be extracted from both plants, Soulsome only uses raw hemp flowers for cold-press extraction of the raw CBD oils we create. Let’s take a gander at the benefits of using CBD oil as well as some of the risks.

Thousands of years ago, our forefathers started breeding two strains of the Cannabis sativa plant, one for the strong fibers which became what we know as modern-day Hemp and another for medicinal and recreational use–which we commonly call marijuana. CBD, which can be extracted from both plant varieties, is just one of the hundreds of cannabinoids found in C. sativa. Soulsome uses only the hemp variety of the C. sativa plant because this plant contains the lowest amount of the cannabinoid THC (the federal definition is less than 0.3%)

Cannabinoids affect the body and the mind because they interact with cannabinoid receptors in the brain, forming part of our natural endocannabinoid system. The human body typically has two endocannabinoid receptors of interest here–the CB1 and the CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are found throughout the body and the brain; they are helpful in regulating pain, are factors in emotion, mood, appetite, memory, and even physical movements. CB2 receptors are part of our immune system and play an essential role in regulating inflammation and pain response. It has been found that CBD can stimulate these cannabinoid receptors so that the body starts to produce its own form of cannabinoids, commonly called endocannabinoids.

Why do we use CBD?

From the earliest time, Cannabis has been recognized for its medicinal qualities. However, science has recently taken a much deeper dive into how the various cannabinoids work together in the so-called “Entourage Effect” to help the body manage various conditions. A recent study from 2018 listed several reasons why people took CBD, among them were the following:

Now you might be thinking, that’s quite a lot! Is CBD a panacea, cure-all kind of medicine for almost every condition? The short answer is definitely not. We do know that CBD has a range of benefits we are only starting to understand. More research into CBD and its effects is definitely indicated here, and modern science is bellying up to take a crack at extending our knowledge of this little-understood compound. Let’s take a quick look at some of the things we do already know about the benefits of CBD with specific conditions.

CBD and Anxiety.

Doctors have long known that Cannabis and anxiety are not the best of friends. The psychoactive cannabinoid THC has been know to trigger feelings of anxiety and paranoia in individuals. Chronic anxiety is not well managed by THC-heavy cannabis use, it seems. However, research is starting to indicate that CBD has an entirely different effect on anxiety.

The benefit of taking CBD for anxiety was recently studied in anxious mice where it was shown to be effective in reducing their anxious state. In a recent human trial of people with social phobias (social anxiety disorder) subjects were given CBD and a placebo before a public speaking exercise, demonstrating that the placebo group had higher levels of anxiety during the task than the test group who had reduced levels of anxiety. More research will be needed before we can conclusively say that one of the benefits of CBD is that it helps to reduce anxiety, although a small body of evidence for this seems to be growing. Of interest for those of us who suffer from anxiety was a 2015 study that seemed to indicate that anxious behaviors could see some benefit from CBD use, especially for conditions like:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • General anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Suppose you suffer from any of these conditions. In that case, it might be worthwhile discussing CBD use with your healthcare or mental health professional to gain a clearer understanding if there are any benefits of CBD use for your specific situation. 

Benefits of CBD for Cancer Patients.

One of the earliest pieces of anecdotal evidence of the benefits of CBD came from cancer treatment patients, many of whom claimed that Cannabis had helped them manage the terrible side effects of chemotherapy. We now understand that debilitating nausea, upset stomach, and vomiting associated with the side effects of chemotherapy may, in some ways, benefit from CBD use. In addition, there is more good news; a 2012 study may have found evidence that cannabidiol could potentially be used as an anti-cancer drug itself (for some types of cancer at least). 

The real breakthrough with CBD and cancer seems to be associated with how CBD promotes the destruction of cancer cells and how it inhibits their growth. We don’t know enough about this yet, but these findings do bode well for the future of cancer research and treatment. On study from 2018, even suggested adding CBD to the cancer-fighting battery of drugs and treatments typically aimed at cancers because of these remarkable abilities to hinder the growth of cancer cells. Combining the benefits of CBD in preventing the growth of cancer cells, improving the efficacy of chemotherapy treatments, reducing the debilitating side-effects of chemotherapy, and reducing anxiety levels seems to be a winning combination for the treatment of cancer. In a recent New England Journal of Medicine survey more than 75% of the medical professionals surveyed strongly supported their patients being given access to Medical Cannabis. This speaks volumes about the support for and understanding of-, this particular intervention from the medical establishment.

The Benefits of CBD for Skin Conditions. 

CBD Oil has been associated with improvements in overall skin health, and there may be real benefits of CBD use for skin conditions, particularly in establishing a balance in sebum production. The overproduction of sebum has been associated with some pervasive skin conditions, and CBD has been shown to regulate this. One example is acne, a condition caused by over-productive and inflamed sebaceous glands. Research from 2014 has indicated that CBD can reduce the hyperactive sebum output which contributes to acne. Again, the remarkable anti-inflammatory effect of CBD, one of the principal benefits of CBD use, is a substantial contributing factor here.

Soulsome’s cold-pressed CBD oil has a unique advantage when it comes to the benefits of CBD, especially for the condition of skin and hair. Where most CBD oils are blended with an MCT oil (medium-chain triglyceride oil) as their carrier oil–a way of diluting the potent CBD oil to a usable human-friendly dose. At Soulsome, we blend our CBD oil with virgin, organic hemp seed oil, a more nutritious oil than MCT as Hemp oil is packed with omega 3s, 6s, and 9s, as well as a host of B vitamins and micronutrients, which are great for supplementing the health of your skin and hair.

Now that You’ve seen some of the benefits of CBD, let’s have a look at some of the risks and side effects associate with CBD.

The Risks with CBD.

Few things in life are without risk, and CBD is no exception. The main concern for folks keen to try CBD is its possible interactions with medication that you may already be taking. Prospective CBD users need to understand that the CBD industry is still in its infancy and remains largely unregulated at the time of writing this. The vast majority of CBD products have not received FDA approval which means they have not received the rigorous scientific testing the FDA typically gives a product before safeguarding it with their seal of approval for general consumption by the public.

Soulsome acknowledges this and, although we have our own rigorous internal regulations to comply with, we urge anyone considering CBD use to first consult with a trusted healthcare practitioner. This really should be the first step in your journey. We feel it is a very necessary step to ensure that CBD does not have an adverse interaction with the medication you are currently taking and that CBD is the appropriate choice for you.

Some of the risks you may be exposed to from CBD use include potential dangerous interactions with alcohol or other drugs, variations in physical and mental alertness, mood changes–which may include unusual levels of irritability, gastrointestinal issues not limited to a change in, or loss of appetite. Generally speaking, most people may take CBD without experiencing adverse side effects, especially if you are monitoring your dose carefully and are taking CBD responsibly–as directed by your healthcare practitioner. However, some side effects have been known to occur, and it is worth keeping an eye out for any of the following to be sure that CBD is not having an adverse effect on you: Dizziness, dry mouth, loose stools, vomiting, and/or an upset stomach, fatigue, and nervousness are amongst the most common side effects and, should you experience any of these it would be wise to report them to your doctor.

One special risk worth singling out is the consumption of CBD during pregnancy. Given the delicate nature of pregnancy and fetal development, CBD use is not advised during pregnancy as at least one study has associated its use with neurobehavioral and cognitive impairments. If you are pregnant and using or considering CBD use, please consult with your healthcare practitioner. CBD use may directly affect your pregnancy or your baby. The FDA has gone so far as to advise pregnant women to avoid using CBD during their pregnancy or while they are breastfeeding

The key to balancing the benefits of CBD with its risks is to consult with a healthcare professional first. A holistic approach to your health, any drugs you may already be taking, and how CBD could affect you is essential to your understanding of CBD and whether it is the right choice for you. Your doctor should be able to offer you balanced, expert advice concerning the benefits of CBD for your specific case. 

Disclaimer

The information contained in this post is for general information purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please consult your healthcare practitioner to make sure that CBD oil is the right choice for you.

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