Such a lot has been written about Cannabidiol (CBD oil) recently, and it seems to have been recommended as a remedy for a huge range of ailments and disorders. What exactly is CBD, and why has it suddenly become so popular?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, one of the active ingredients of plants in the cannabis family. But the CBD used in cosmetics and home remedies is actually derived from the hemp plant (a cousin of marijuana) and does not cause a “high.” Until fairly recently the legal status of CBD was unclear in many parts of the world, but nowadays it is accepted in most European countries as a legitimate ingredient of cosmetics and supplements.
So, you can use CBD without getting arrested. But why should you?
There is still a lot of research to be done into the medical uses of CBD, but some of its benefits are now widely accepted. In particular, parents of children with a distressing type of epilepsy have testified to its effectiveness in reducing the number of seizures they had to suffer. Check out the web – there are plenty of videos to be found online demonstrating the startling results of CBD for these children.
For other health conditions, the research evidence is less clear-cut, but there has been no shortage of personal testimony about the benefits CBD has brought to people with a wide range of conditions. Often, they have turned to CBD as a final resort after years of suffering from complaints which conventional medicine seemed unable to help.
It seems that many people have found that CBD can help them with problems that seemed to be permanent.
One example is insomnia. There have been studies suggesting that CBD oil can help both with falling asleep and sleeping for longer.
CBD is also used by people suffering from anxiety. Again, there are studies suggesting that it may be effective for a number of types of anxiety, such as
- obsessive-compulsive disorder
- generalized anxiety disorder
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- panic disorder
- social anxiety disorder
Some people suffering from these hard-to-treat conditions report that CBD brings gentle relief without the side effects of normal anxiety medication.
There’s also reason to believe that CBD can help with chronic pain, such as back pain, which may go on for years and become resistant to drugs. Some researchers are working on the theory that CBD reacts with receptors in the brain. These receptors are tiny proteins attached to your cells which receive chemical signals and respond in various ways, which can involve pain. CBD can create anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects that help with pain management. There have been studies showing that CBD can help with chronic pain such as
- cancer pain
- neuropathic pain
without the side-effects associated with pain-killing drugs such as opioids.
As well as being taken internally, CBD can be applied to the skin as a gel, ointment or massage oil. There is some promising research evidence for this too. The gel worked on rats with swollen joints! – and they hadn’t read the publicity.
So, there are plenty of reasons to think that CBD oil is at least worth a try for anxiety, insomnia, pain and inflammation, even when conventional medicine is not working. However, because CBD products are sold as supplements rather than drugs, it’s important to check that the source is reliable – some products contain very low concentrations of CBD and may also include contaminants. Choose with care.