I love natural remedies that have multiple purposes, such as turmeric and coconut oil. CBD oil (cannabidiol oil) is also a good example of this. This oil is already becoming more popular and there are good reasons for this, one of which is the oil price (aliejaus kaina). Slowly, CBD oil shakes off the stigma of cannabis oil and people discover how beneficial this oil can be. Science is also interesting and this helps to increase the popularity and ‘accessibility’ of CBD. People trust the drug more and more and it is also safe for the majority of people to use.
CBD Oil – What exactly is it?
As with turmeric and apple cider vinegar, there is a bit of an aura of all-rounder around CBD oil. Anecdotal evidence certainly gives that impression. But when something is portrayed as a panacea, it is wise to be a bit critical and look a little deeper. Not to debunk people’s amazing experiences, but to clarify how exactly CBD oil works and what it does in your body. With that information, you can then determine fairly well whether this oil could also be something for you.
CBD stands for cannabidiol. This is a substance that occurs naturally in hemp plants or in cannabis. Cannabidiol is hidden in small vesicles (trichomes) that grow on hemp flowers. By soaking the flowers in alcohol for a while and then evaporating that alcohol, a sticky substance remains that contains almost only CBD. This then forms the basis for the CBD oil as you can buy it. CBD oil is therefore something different than cannabis oil.
CBD and the Endocannabinoid System
The cannabis plant contains a group of substances called cannabinoids. This substance is also found in the human body and has an effect on our endocannabinoid system (nice word for gallows!). This is a part of our autonomic nervous system that is responsible, among other things, for maintaining a stable physiological state in the body. This system is involved in many different systems in our body, for example, passing on pain stimuli, regulating the immune system, and digestion.
Because the substances from CBD are the body’s own, they are well absorbed into the body. It is important that the endocannabinoid system is in balance. A good balance means that signals are passed on well and the system does its job. An imbalance can have unpleasant consequences for health. It can cause pain stimuli to be passed on less well, the immune system becomes weaker, or, for example, sleeping no longer goes so well. It is therefore important that this system is well-balanced so that all signals and functions work optimally. The use of CBD can bring and keep this system back in balance. And that effect is what people can experience when they use CBD oil.
Cannabidiol (CBD) Health Benefits & Uses in Pain, Inflammation, Epilepsy, and More
CBD is therefore a very good remedy that you can use for various complaints. Below you will find 11 applications with both anecdotal and scientific evidence.
1. Chronic Pain Relief
People dealing with chronic pain from fibromyalgia, for example, can experience relief with CBD. Regularly taking CBD drops can provide pain relief and in some cases even prevent further deterioration. In fact, in Canada, it is a permitted drug in the treatment of multiple sclerosis and cancer.
What is so nice about CBD oil is that there is no dependence or habituation. It is therefore safe for long-term use and for those who prefer not to use heavy painkillers.
2. Nausea, Vomiting, and Appetite
Something that is very close to my heart is the use of CBD oil in cancer patients. Unfortunately, not much was known about it (although already quite a lot was researched, but just not yet widely shared) when my mother was ill. In the meantime, a lot has changed and I am very happy with that. In people who become nauseous and vomit due to chemotherapy, cannabinoids may provide relief. A decrease in nausea and an increase in appetite were also recorded in patients who had metastatic liver and colon cancer. Ordinary anti-nausea medication turned out to be much less effective.
Preventing nausea after breast surgery with dronabinol (a substance from the cannabis plant) also appears to be just as effective as regular medicine.
Incidentally, cannabis oil is not only used in cancer patients. Also in elderly people who lose their appetite, dronabinol appears to be effective in rekindling that appetite.
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3. Reduces Anxiety Disorder and Depression
About 9% of young adults (18 to 35 years) and 6% of the population who are older than that have a high risk of anxiety disorder or depression. This percentage has increased particularly among young adults. This percentage may increase a little further since these numbers come from 2020 and we are now two years and several drastic circumstances further.
CBD can also offer a solution here because it has been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety disorders due to PTSD (5), social anxiety disorders (6), and OCD. But it is also a popular tool that is used when there is stress before an exam, a performance, or a difficult conversation (anecdotal).
While there’s more to it when you’re struggling with anxiety disorders or depression, CBD can help because it stimulates signaling for serotonin in the brain. This process can be disrupted when one is depressed or has anxiety disorders.
4. Reduces Inflammation and Oxidative Stress
Chronic inflammation is at the root of many Western disorders and in many cases can be traced back to an unhealthy diet, poor sleep, excessive exercise, and too much stress. Although you can already gain a lot with diet and lifestyle adjustments to nip chronic inflammation in the bud, stop it or keep it under control, CBD oil can give just that little bit extra in that area (7).
An unhealthy lifestyle does not have to lead directly to chronic inflammation, but in many cases, you will have to deal with oxidative stress. This is when there are too many free radicals in the body and there are too few antioxidants to drain them. An excess of free radicals can eventually lead to chronic inflammation, but before that happens, you can already have a range of annoying health problems. CBD oil is a powerful antioxidant and can therefore help your body to drain free radicals faster. Again in combination with an adapted diet and better management of stress and sleep.
5. CBD oil for lung diseases
The other day I spoke to someone who bought her monthly dose of CBD oil. I asked what she did with it and she told me that she has COPD and since she uses CBD oil, the symptoms are many times less and she hardly needs to use extra medication. The pictures of the lungs still showed damage, so she was not cured. But CBD oil helped her to cope better with this condition. What a story! I dove a little further into it at home, and what turns out? CBD is anti-inflammatory, as I explained above, and can also help with inflammation in the lungs which is characteristic of COPD. This makes breathing slightly better. Unfortunately, the studies on this are still very thin and have mainly focused on THC – the hallucinatory niece of CBD.
I also wanted to mention it here, because there is a lot of anecdotal evidence of people who take CBD oil and experience relief from COPD and other respiratory diseases.
Are there any side effects of CBD oil?
First of all, pay attention to whether you have good-quality CBD oil in your hands. Many side effects of CBD oil that you can find online, appear to be (partly) traced back to poor-quality CBD oil or CBD with THC. The most common side effects you hear about are:
CBD oil can also increase the concentration of some medications. If you are already taking medication, talk to your doctor before you start with CBD oil.