CBD is a hot thing right now. It’s the newest way to be “cool” and everyone and their mother are getting in on the game.
I’ve written a lot of posts about CBD recently, because it makes such a hug impact in my life. I want to tell you what CBD is vs. what it isn’t.
There is a lot of misinformation out there and a lot of claims people make about CBD being this cure all for everything. That’s not the case.
What is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. [x]
CBD or cannabidiol is a derivative from the hemp plant, which is NOT marijuana. Hemp is actually a very versatile and useful product.
A variety of Cannabis sativa L, hemp is a dioecious plant, which means it can be separated into male and female plants. These plants have served a wide variety of purposes for more than 10,000 years: for fiber (from the plant’s stems), protein (from seeds), and oils and smokable portions (from the leaves and flowers). Hemp fibers can be used to make items including paper, clothing, furnishing fabric, rope, and building materials. [x]
So if you’re worried about anything to do with marijuana, you’re safe.
What CBD Is
CBD is a lot of things, but there are a few things that have been studied that we can prove are the natural side effects. However, there are a lot of things that CBD isn’t as well.
A Way to Help You Calm Down
What CBD is, is a great way to calm yourself down. CBD interacts with the brain by potentially altering serotonin signals. Anyone with a mental health issue might know what serotonin is, it’s the happy hormone. Low serotonin can cause issues of depression and anxiety. Adding CBD to your life can potentially help you with these problems, however there aren’t enough studies out there to be definitive about it.
CBD is thought to interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are mostly found in the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system, respectively.
The exact way CBD affects CB1 receptors in the brain isn’t fully understood. However, it may alter serotonin signals.
Serotonin, a neurotransmitter, plays an important role in your mental health. Low serotonin levels are commonly associated with people who have depression. In some cases, not having enough serotonin may also cause anxiety. [x]
Because it’s thought that CBD interacts with serotonin production, it can be a non-prescription drug way of “fixing” that problem. However, I highly suggest you don’t start using CBD without consulting you doctor before hand. I can’t write a post about CBD without mentioning that.
You may be tempted to give it a try before talking to your doctor, but you never know what might interact with it. You don’t know how your body is going to respond either.
But, CBD does have a calming effect on the body. I definitely have experienced this in my own use of the products. It helps me when I’m getting more anxious but not always effective enough to work for a full blow panic attack.
A Way to Help You Focus
One of the biggest side effects of continual use of CBD is it’s ability to help you focus.
When you’ve had CBD in your system for a while, it not only keeps you calm normally, but it can keep you calm under pressure or in new situations.
I write about this in my post How CBD Changed My Life. I went through an “oh shit” moment in my life and because I had been using CBD for a while I was able to get through the problem without freaking out. My anxiety makes moments like that so much worse. I tend to freak out, be rash, and react badly.
However, with CBD I was able to focus on the problem and get things done without the rash decisions and bad reactions.
What CBD does is make it easier for you to focus. There are even strains of CBD vape carts that specify they’re for focusing and creativity. I’ve tried one of those before in my My Experience With CBD Oil: Is it Worth It? post. But, they’ve recently changed their cartridges to go from 250mg to 850mg, so I’m excited to give that a try.
A Way to Manage SOME Pain
What CBD is, is a way to manage some pain. CBD has anecdotal evidence that it helps with pain management. I know that my previous boss had a pain issue that he tried everything for and was getting nowhere with. Then he tried CBD oil and it was the first thing to actually do something about it.
I have no experience with this as I don’t like with any kind of chronic pain (it’s mostly mental pain) so I can’t give you any first hand anecdotes about it.
One thing it can be beneficial for is arthritic diseases. Arthritis is mainly an inflammation issue and CBD is an anti-inflammatory substance. So it makes sense that that would work out.
Some studies on animals suggest that CBD could help to treat arthritis and relieve the associated inflammatory pain:
- A 2011 study found that CBD helped to reduce inflammatory pain in rats by affecting the way that pain receptors respond to stimuli.
- A 2014 review of the existing body of research on animals concluded that CBD may be an effective treatment for OA.
- A 2016 study found that the topical application of CBD had the potential to relieve pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.
- A 2017 study found that CBD might be a safe and useful treatment for OA joint pain. [x]
You can find anecdotes from people all over the internet about CBD oil and it’s use as pain management treatment.
A Way to Add Antioxidants to Skin Care
As we’ve already discussed, what CBD is, is an anti-inflammatory substance. It also is chock full of antioxidants, and that’s great for your skin!
Companies have been capitalizing on this from the start, with various CBD skin care options popping up all over. You know once they’ve taken a spot in a mall kiosk that it’s made it everywhere.
I haven’t tried any CBD skin care, but I’ve been wanting to give it a go for a while. I might try out some reputable brands and give a review on that on a later date.
CBD may play a role in hydrating the skin and have anti-inflammatory effects, so using a product that contains CBD might help with treating dry skin or certain inflammatory skin disorders.
“However, more studies are needed to see if CBD or other chemical agents found in the cannabis plant directly improve skin quality and have other health benefits,” Dr. Gharavi says. [x]
And because of it’s anti-inflammatory benefits it might be useful for those with inflammation based conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
I have eczema and it can be a pain in my ass. I’m always looking for a way to quell my skin because if I don’t do what it wants and use the product it likes, it gets very red and very angry at me. I know CBD is a bit on the expensive side, especially if it’s in a lotion, but I’m always willing to try new things.
However, I am a bit worried because I do have an allergy to pollen, and I can’t use most natural products because of their connection to said pollen. I usually have an allergic reaction.
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