What are CBD oils?
CBD (Cannabidiol) oils are formulated by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant. The concentrates are then diluted in carrier oils such as hemp seed oil and coconut oil.
These oils are generally known for their therapeutic benefits, despite the possibility of trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – a psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant that’s commonly sought after by recreational users.
So far, a number of anecdotal evidence suggests CBD has a variety of medicinal benefits. From chronic pain to anxiety, epilepsy, cancer symptoms and more, CBD has been said to grant relief in a number of medical conditions.
However, despite anecdotal evidence and patient testimonies, the compound lacks any scientific, clinical studies backing its medicinal claims. As a result, some still doubt the claimed effects. The fact remains, though, that CBD oil has proven effective in a number of medical cases.
How do CBD oils work?
The endocannabinoid system is a neurotransmitter network that regulates bodily functions in order to maintain balance in its internal environment. This system usually interacts with human made cannabinoids – endocannabinoids. The molecular structure of CBD is similar to those of the endocannabinoids which interact with CB2 receptors (Cannabis Receptor 2). This similarity in structure allows CBD to then interact with those CB2 receptors once introduced to the human body, thereby influencing bodily functions such as appetite and immune system functions.
Medical evidence of their efficacy
In today’s medical world, CBD – and CBD oils – are utilized in treatment of terminal and chronic diseases, including chronic pain and cancer. Although many studies have proven CBD beneficial to patients who suffer from a wide variety of ailments, there are still many who doubt its efficacy.
According to a number of studies, CBD is effective in the treatment of a wide array of medical conditions, including:
Pain and Inflammatory Conditions
CBD oils have proven effective in treating a variety of pain and inflammatory conditions.
- In a study published by the Journal of Experimental Medicine, CBD was shown to eliminate the pain and chronic inflammation in rats and mice.
- In a number of human studies, a combination of CBD and THC was found to be effective in treating pain related to arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
- A study published on the website of the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) suggested that cannabinoids – particularly CBD – were effective in the treatment of inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting the a3 glycine receptors.
- CBD also proves effective at suppressing cytokine. It induces T-regulatory cells which help autoimmune conditions.
Mental health disorders
Patients who suffer from mental health disorders are often advised to stay away from cannabis. However, CBD oils – and CBD preparations – have proven efficient in handling mental health disorders.
- A review from Neurotherapeutics found that CBD could potentially aid in reducing anxiety in patients with related disorders
- CBD has also proven safe and effective in treating children who suffer from insomnia and PTSD.
CBD interacts directly with brain receptors serotonin and GABA. Lower levels of these hormones can contribute to feelings of anxiety and depression in patients. By interacting with these receptors, they are able to maintain an internal balance.
CBD oils are loaded with antioxidants. These antioxidants help neutralize oxidants and free radicals – which contribute to numerous diseases – within the human body. This neutralization aids in keeping the internal environment balanced.
- Studies have shown that CBD oils have neuroprotective qualities due to the antioxidants they contain.
- In two studies published in the NCBI, CBD reportedly improved the quality of life and sleep in patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
- Although research is limited at this time, CBD has shown promise in the treatment of inflammation associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
CBD oils are beneficial to the treatment of a number of medical ailments including chronic pain and mental health disorders. Most of the lingering doubt against the compound is due to its association with the cannabis plant, which has been frowned upon for a large part of modern history. This fact, combined with the lack of clinical studies backing up the compound’s medicinal claims, further increase doubts about the efficacy of CBD as a legitimate, alternative medicine.
However, numerous studies serve as anecdotal evidence proving that CBD and its oils are effective and invaluable in the treatment of a wide array of ailments. Currently, clinical trials are underway (thanks to the current wave of cannabis legalisation), geared at unveiling more benefits of CBD oils. Perhaps if the results of such studies are similar to the available research findings so far, the cannabis plant will be viewed as an actual medicinal product.