What Are The Health Benefits Of CBD Oil?

Written by Dr. Ahmed Zayed
Health Benefits Of CBD Oil

Cannabis is most famous for its psychoactive properties that cause users to experience a “high” feeling when they use the plant in food or when they smoke the plant, but the plant has many other uses apart for its psychoactive effects.

While the plant has been used for hundreds of years by people for both recreational and medicinal properties, the first major discovery in the particular plant’s chemical structure was first made in the 1940s.

Even at that time, the particular properties of the plant and how it works to provide the numerous health benefits that it has to offer was still unknown to scientists.

Doctors did recognize the potential health benefits that people can gain from using the plant, but due to the psychoactive properties that the plant causes, they did not implement the plant into their treatment measures.

Today, we know that there are more than 85 different chemicals found in the cannabis plant, and that two particular chemicals are found in abundance in the cannabis plant. These two chemicals are THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, and CBD, or cannabidiol.

THC is the particular chemical compound that recreational cannabis users are after, which causes the psychoactive effects of the plant – or the “high” that recreational users experience.

CBD, on the other hand, does not have any type of psychoactive properties; thus it does not cause the user to experience a “high”. It is also the CBD chemicals found in cannabis plants that is responsible for the numerous health benefits that people experience when they utilize the cannabis plant.

How Does CBD Work In The Human Body?

Cannabidiol System Work

In this article, we are going to focus on the potential health benefits that cannabidiol, one of the primary chemical compounds in cannabis, has in the human body.

Before we can discuss these health benefits, however, we first need to take a quick look at how this particular chemical compound works in the body.

Since the working action of CBD requires an article on its own, we are just going to take a quick overview of the working action.

The human body is very complex, this is something that we can all agree on. Inside the human body, there are several systems that work in harmony with each other to ensure everything works as it is supposed to work.

When we talk about CBD and its working action in the human body, we need to talk about a particular system in the human body as well – the endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system is still relatively new to science and the medical research industry as it was only discovered just before the start of the 20th century. Thus, it is often overlooked when medical experts and reports talk about the various systems that are found in the human body.

This, however, does not mean that the endocannabinoid system is not as important as the others. In fact, this particular system plays a role in many parts and functions of the body, including mood, pain perception, inflammation and more.

Inside the endocannabinoid system, we find numerous cannabinoid receptors that react to the presence of chemicals found in the cannabis plant. It is important to note here that the body naturally produces endocannabinoids as well.

When cannabinoids are obtained from the cannabis plant, two particular types of receptors in the endocannabinoid system reacts to the presence of these chemicals – these two receptors – this includes the CB1, or the Cannabinoid 1, and the CB2, or the Cannabinoid 2, receptors.

While THC stimulates the receptors in the endocannabinoid system directly, CBD rather causes the activation of these receptors indirectly – usually by activating another receptor that, in turn, causes a chain reaction that activates the CB1 or CB2 receptors.

What Are The Health Benefits Of CBD Oil?

Now we have discussed how CBD works in the human body; thus making the understanding of how it can offer multiple health benefits to the human body a little easier to understand.

Since the discovery of the cannabidiol chemicals in the cannabis plant, quite a lot of research has been done on the potential health benefits that the chemical has for the human body.

Today, we turn toward CBD oil to treat many common ailments, as well as several more serious diseases like cancer and autoimmune diseases.

In this article, we hope to shed some light on the specific health benefits that CBD oil can offer a user.

We are not only going to mention each of the health benefits separately but also look at how CBD oil can offer these benefits and also consider some scientific studies that have been done on these particular health benefits to understand how effective CBD oil may be for the particular ailments and diseases discussed.

Hemp CBD Wellness Info

Alzheimer’s Disease And Parkinson’s Disease

One of the most popular uses for CBD oil is to assist with reducing the symptoms caused by Parkinson’s disease , Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

The oil is often also used by people who are suspected of these particular neurodegenerative diseases as a preventative measure due to its protective function on the neurological health of the human body.

A particular contributing factor that is thought to have a significant impact on the risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease is the toxicity effect of beta-amyloid on the brain.

A study that was conducted by the University of Naples Federico II in Italy[1] found that the cannabidiol chemical compounds in the cannabis plant have the ability to reduce the toxicity effects that beta-amyloid has on the brain; thus acting as a neuroprotective agent in the human body.

While the study was conducted primarily on laboratory rat subjects, similar effects may be experienced on human subjects.

Another study, conducted by the same university[2], provided more accurate evidence of how cannabidiol is able to assist with a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and also assist with reducing the neurodegeneration that is caused by the disease.

The study provided evidence that cannabidiol reduces the toxicity effects that beta-amyloid has on PC12 cells.

This particular study was conducted on human subjects, unlike the previous study that was conducted on laboratory rats; thus providing proof that the neuroprotective effects of cannabidiol are also applicable to the human subject.

In a study that was conducted by the University of New South Wales[3], evidence was provided that cannabidiol may also have potential benefits when it comes to reducing the development of memory-related problems in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

Anxiety Disorders

Some Form of Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety disorders are unpleasant and can cause numerous symptoms to develop. According to the Anxiety And Depression Association Of America[4], at least 18% of the American population is affected by some form of anxiety disorder.

These disorders are leading to over $42 billion in expenses annually, which accounts for as much as 33% of America’s annual healthcare costs.

Anxiety disorders are usually treated with medication such as Alprazolam, Diazepam, Lorazepam, Oxazepam and Clonazepam[5]. Antidepressants, such as Trazodone, is also sometimes given to patients to treat anxiety disorders.

Some patients are also provided tricyclic antidepressants, beta blockers, monoamine oxidase inhibitors and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Unfortunately, these medication options can cause the development of unpleasant side-effects in many cases.

CBD oil poses as a potential alternative treatment for anxiety disorders to experience a relieve in experienced symptoms without being at risk of developing some of the more severe side-effects that tend to develop when people take prescription medication to treat these symptoms.

A study by the FFCLRP in Brazil[6] produced evidence that cannabidiol has an anxiolytic effect when given to healthy individuals prior to public speaking. The study included several groups of public speakers, with each group consisting of 10 participants.

One group was given a cannabidiol extract, while the other groups were given ipsapirone, benzodiazepine diazepam and the last group were given a placebo.

The cannabidiol and ipsapirone groups were to only to exhibit positive effects when anxiety symptoms were analyzed during the public speaking simulation.

When it comes to anxiety disorders, several studies have also provided evidence that cannabidiol is effective in treating the symptoms caused by the disorders.

A particular study that was conducted in Brazil provided evidence that cannabidiol is effective for relieving the symptoms of anxiety[7] amongst participants that suffered from social anxiety disorder.

Depression

Depression Symptoms Found

While we’re discussing mental disorders, we should also mention the fact that cannabidiol may also be effective in reducing depression symptoms.

Depression affects around 6.7% of all American adults, which accounts for as much as 16.1 million adults in the country, as reported by the National Institute of Mental Health[8]. The condition seems to affect women more than men, and is most common amongst individuals aged between 18 and 25.

A study that was conducted by a university in Spain[9] found that cannabidiol is very effective in acting as a treatment measure for depression.

The study found that cannabidiol affects the 5-HT1A receptor in the human body, which causes an enhancement in the neurotransmission of cortical 5-HT/glutamate. In turn, the chemicals that are extracted from the cannabis plant causes a significant reduction in symptoms caused by depression.

Sleep And Insomnia

Every person needs an adequate amount of sleep to function properly. A sleep deficiency causes many adverse symptoms to develop, and even increases a person’s risk of developing certain diseases.

WebMD[10] reports that one of the most significant short-term dangers of sleep deficiency is the fact that it increases a person’s risk of being involved in a car accident.

An inadequate amount of sleep also leads to a higher risk of developing many serious health conditions, including heart disease, heart failure, high blood pressure and diabetes. Sleep deprivation has also been linked to a higher risk of strokes and heart attacks.

Cannabidiol has been proven to be effective in improving sleep and treating insomnia effectively. A study conducted by the University of Colorado School of Medicine[11] provided evidence that insomnia can be treated with cannabidiol without the risk of any serious side-effects.

This natural treatment option causes a faster onset of sleep, a deeper and higher-quality sleep, and a longer period of sleep.

Increases Appetite

Increases Appetite

Even though obesity is a particular condition that has caused a public health concern to develop in the United States and many parts of the world, many people suffer from a loss of appetite. A loss of appetite can be caused by numerous factors, including some health concerns.

When a person does not have a healthy appetite, they are less like to eat and more likely to lose weight unexpectedly, which may lead to the development of anorexia symptoms.

The National Cancer Institute[12] reports that cannabidiol can be utilized as a treatment for various conditions that causes a loss of appetite.

Particular conditions that are often treated with cannabidiol includes cachexia, early satiety and anorexia. Many cancer patients also experience a reduced appetite, which can be treated successfully with the use of cannabidiol.

Cancer

Cancer is a deadly disease that causes the death of millions. Cancer can affect any part of the body and is caused by malfunctioning cells, which grow and divide rapidly in an uncontrolled manner.

The disease can be treated successfully in some cases, especially with the most recent advancements in cancer treatment, but still costs the lives of many people each and every year.

There is also a particular problem with cancer treatments – they cause the development of side-effects that are very much unpleasant.

Cannabis has been used in the treatment of cancer, as well as in the reduction of the symptoms caused by the existing medicine and treatment options that are used to treat cancer.

Most recently, scientists have also discovered that cannabidiol can be utilized in addition to the existing treatment options, which may include chemotherapy, drugs and radiotherapy, to enhance the effectiveness of the treatment and speed up recovery from the disease.

Quite a lot of research has been done on the effects that cannabidiol has on cancer cells, as well as the symptoms produced by current conventional treatment measures.

A study by the North-West University in South Africa[13] found that cannabidiol inhibits the growth of cancerous cells. The study was performed amongst a group of women who had cervical cancer.

It was also found that cannabidiol has the potential to cause the death of cancerous cells; thus not only preventing the cancer to become more serious, but also possessing the ability to kill off cancer.

A study published on the ASPET Molecular Pharmacology Journal[14] explains that their findings provided evidence that cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis, has the ability to kill cancerous cells in patients with Leukemia.

The study was conducted on human subjects. They also found that tumor burden, which refers to a variety of settings, including the symptoms that the tumor causes in the affected patient, was significantly reduced after the patient is treated with cannabidiol.

In 2016, a study that was published on Taylor & Fancis Online[15] reported their findings of how cannabidiol oil can be utilized in combination with existing conventional treatment options to assist in the treatment of both prostate cancer and breast cancer.

hey continue to report that cannabidiol seems to inhibit the multiplication of cancerous cells within the breasts and prostate, as well as, help reduce the risk of spreading to other parts of the body.

Pain And Inflammation

Acute Or Chronic Pain

This is another very popular use for cannabidiol oil. Pain affects millions of people on a daily basis, and can be acute or chronic. Acute pain is not as troublesome as chronic pain, but can still pose as a disabling condition that needs treatment.

Pain can also be caused by numerous factors, such as disease and injury.

Cannabidiol has been tested on patients with both acute and chronic pain, and, while it seems to be effective in treating both types of both, a lot of interest has been gained on the potential benefits that cannabidiol has for patients who are experiencing chronic pain. Inflammation is also a factor that contributes toward pain symptoms.
Cannabidiol has also been shown to reduce inflammation in the body.

The University of London[16] found that cannabidiol extracts have the ability to act as analgesics after being administered. Thus, the compound is able to reduce pain symptoms – they found the results to be quite significant.
In addition to these findings, they were also able to provide evidence of the powerful anti-inflammatory effects that the cannabidiol compounds found in the cannabis plant expresses in the human body.

We should also mention the findings of a study that was conducted by the National Institutes of Health[17].

After conducting research on how cannabidiol is able to alleviate pain and act upon inflammation, the team of researchers behind the study found that cannabidiol increase the efficiency of the glycine receptors in the human body.

In turn, this then causes a reduction in pain through the body.

It also seems like cannabidiol can be combined with certain types of painkillers to increase their potential effects on alleviating pain and inflammation.

The Temple University[18] in Pennslvania found that cannabidiol can be combined with opiods in order to increase their effectiveness in relieving pain amongst patients who experience chronic pain symptoms.

Autoimmune Diseases

Since we’re on the subject of pain and inflammation, we also need to consider the fact that cannabidiol is not only good for reducing inflammation and alleviating pain, but can also act as a potential treatment option for certain autoimmune diseases.

Several studies have been performed to identify the effects of cannabidiol on the particular inflammatory proteins that are involved with some autoimmune diseases.

  • The Hebrew University Medical Faculty[19] in Israel found the effects of cannabidiol to exhibit therapeutic effects in the human body that are at a pharmacological level.
  • A study that was conducted in Italy found that cannabidiol has effects on the proteins that are involved in inflammatory responses[20], but the particular activity of cannabidiol on these proteins seem to rely on the dose of cannabidiol administered to the patient.

The particular proteins that were examined during this study included IL-12 and IL-10. The studies found that cannabidiol mostly causes the production of IL-10 proteins to reduce and production of IL-12 to increase.

Epilepsy

Treat Epilepsy

Finally, we cannot call this a complete article on the benefits of cannabidiol for the human body without looking at one of its very first uses – to treat epilepsy.

Yes, when cannabidiol was isolated and little was still known about the activities of this chemical compound in the human body, it was first discovered that the plant-based chemical held numerous advantages for people suffering from epilepsy.

A survey by Stanford University[21] found that at, amongst a group of parents who administered CBD oil to their children, a total of 84% was able to observe an improvement in symptoms related to epilepsy in their children.

Since resistance to drugs used to treat epilepsy is a relatively common problem amongst people who experience the symptoms of the condition, it is also essential to look at how cannabidiol can act as an alternative option.

In particular, a study by the American Epilepsy Society[22] tested the effects of cannabidiol on epilepsy amongst a group of patients who were resistant to the conventional treatment options for the condition.

The study included a number of young adults, as well as several children. Out of all participants, 39% were able to experience a 50% or better improvement in their epilepsy symptoms.

This mostly included less frequent seizures. The other participants were able to at least experience smaller improvements in the symptoms they experienced due to epilepsy.

Conclusion

The cannabis plant has been smoked by recreational users for quite a long time. Recreational users use this plant to achieve a “high” feeling, but this isn’t the only use for the cannabis plant.

The plant has numerous health benefits to offer a user, with the cannabidiol, or CBD, chemicals found in the plant to be thanked for the majority of the health benefits that people can experience when they use the plant.

In recent years, CBD chemicals have been extracted from the cannabis plant and are now being sold as oil that does not contain any THC content, which means the extract can be used for its potential health benefits without experiencing any psychoactive effects at all.

Image Credits
Feature Image: Shutterstock.com
In-Post Image: Shutterstock.com, thehempoilbenefits.com & cannabisforwomen.org
Author

Contributor : Dr. Ahmed Zayed (Consumer Health Digest)

This Article Has Been Published on August 10, 2017 and Last Modified on August 11, 2018

Dr. Ahmed Zayed Helmy holds a baccalaureate of Medicine and Surgery. He has completed his degree in 2011 at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed believes in providing knowledgeable information to readers. Other than his passion for writing, currently he is working as a Plastic surgeon and is doing his masters at Ain Shams University. You can connect with him on Linkedin.

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