Use of CBD products has skyrocketed in recent years. Many users take it to manage conditions such as stress, anxiety and chronic pain. Is CBD just a trend, or does it really have the health benefits people claim?
Overview of CBD: What is it?
CBD is short for Cannabidiol. It is one of the cannabinoids extracted from hemp. CBD extracted from hemp contains little to no THC (the cannabinoid that is more concentrated in marijuana, causing users to experience a high), meaning you cannot get high from using CBD products.
CBD isolate products contain only CBD, extracted from hemp and purified. Full-spectrum CBD products, on the other hand, contain CBD and other components found in hemp such as other cannabinoids, terpenes, flavonoids and trace amounts of THC.
A variety of CBD products are on the market. It can be taken in oil form, as a gummy, in capsules, or baked into edibles, such as chocolate.
Our bodies have an endocannabinoid system where cannabinoids such as CBD are able to bind to receptors in our brains, allowing our body to more effectively use its own endocannabinoids. This produces helpful effects in conditions such as pain or stress.
If you are experiencing pain, such as chronic back pain, or you’re dealing with stress, how can CBD oil help?
CBD for Stress and Anxiety
According to a recent survey, stress and anxiety relief, along with relaxation, are the top reported uses of CBD in American adults. Is it able to help with these symptoms?
The body of research on the effects of CBD is still small, but growing. While most research on cannabinoids has been focused on the effects of THC, recent research studies that focus on CBD can give us an insight into how it can help alleviate stress and symptoms of anxiety.
A 2015 study examined previous studies on CBD and anxiety. Though it concluded that more research needs to be done, researchers determined that CBD is a promising treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and panic disorder.
For people who have found little benefit in other treatment methods, CBD may be a safe alternative or supplement to their current treatment plans. However, these individuals should consult their doctor before adding CBD to their regimen.
You don’t need to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, however, to be able to benefit from the use of CBD to manage stress and anxiety.
One study published in 2019 followed 72 adults who reported concerns with anxiety and poor sleep. Through the usage of CBD, 79.2% of patients reported less anxiety and 66.7% reported better sleep.
In the study, all but three people tolerated the CBD well. This indicates that CBD is able to provide stress and anxiety management will little risk of side effects.
CBD for Pain Relief
Using CBD for chronic back pain, as well as for other types of pain, is another common reason people turn to the cannabinoid for relief. How is CBD helpful for managing pain?
As with studies on CBD and stress, studies on CBD and pain are still few but growing. More research needs to be done, but the current research is promising.
One indicator that CBD can be used to treat pain is that is has been shown to reduce inflammation in the brain and nervous system. Due to this effect, people experiencing pain may be able to find relief through the use of CBD.
In a study conducted on rats with arthritis, the rats were given a topical CBD gel for four consecutive days. After the application of CBD, the rats started showing fewer signs of swelling and pain. The study concluded that CBD could have therapeutic potential in the treatment of arthritis.
A research study examined several other studies that discussed the effects of cannabis and cannabinoids (including CBD) on different types of pain. It concluded that cannabinoids were able to improve the symptoms of people experiencing chronic pain, multiple sclerosis and other conditions.
As the body of research grows, the indication that CBD is effective in treating pain grows as well. Many people who turn to CBD for pain relief may find that it offers a similar degree of relief as pain medications without many of the negative side effects.
When using CBD for chronic back pain, stress or other conditions, it is best to practice regular dosing. Taking it daily, rather than only when symptoms are acute, is the most effective way to treat these conditions.
There is still some uncertainty about specific dosing for CBD, so it may take some experimentation to find the dosing that is right for you. It is best to start at a lower dosage and make adjustments as necessary.
If you have a medical condition or are on medication, it is best to consult with your doctor before using CBD. While many people are able to tolerate CBD well, potential drug and food interactions and possible side effects are still being studied.
If you’re experiencing pain and stress, CBD may be an effective option to help you manage these conditions and start feeling better.