I love remedies that have many uses like emu oil and cannabidiol oil (or CBD or hemp oil) is gaining popularity for this reason. This oil extracted from the hemp plant has come under a lot of legal and moral questions. Opinions may differ but what can’t be ignored is the incredible healing power CBD oil seems to possess and how versatile it is as a supplement and natural remedy.
CBD Hemp Oil: What Is It & What Does It Do?
CBD oil claims many benefits that seem to include every imaginable ailment. It’s a good idea to look a little deeper whenever something seems to be a cure-all… so I dug in.
The medical use of marijuana has brought some attention to the subject of using cannabis-derived products for health, but it’s important to understand how CBD oil differs. We’ll get into this more in a bit, but the key difference lies in the parts of the plant being used to make the product. For example, CBD oil is also different from hemp seed oil, since it is extracted not from the seed but from the flowers, leaves, and stalks of hemp.
Surprisingly, research shows that CBD products are actually helpful at reducing many ailments. Such diverse ailments that they seem to be unrelated, in fact… but they are not. Emerging research shows that each of these ailments may be related to dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system, or ECS for short.
Haven’t heard of it? You’re not alone! It’s not as familiar to us as the cardiovascular or immune system, but is a critical component of the human body.
Cannabidiol (CBD) Benefits & Uses for Pain, Inflammation, Epilepsy & More
CBD oil is a great remedy for a lot of different ailments. Here are some of the amazing uses people (and medical research) report for CBD oil:
1. Relief for Chronic Pain
Those suffering from chronic pain from diseases like fibromyalgia are finding relief with CBD. Taking CBD can offer pain relief and can even prevent nervous system degeneration. In fact, it has been approved in Canada for multiple sclerosis and cancer pain.
What’s really amazing is that CBD doesn’t cause dependence or tolerance, so it’s a great choice for those trying to stay away from opioids.
Other Remedies to Consider: Not into CBD? Research also shows that turmeric consumption and heat therapy (like sauna use) may be helpful as well.
2. Calms Childhood Epilepsy
CBD has anti-seizure properties that have been shown to successfully treat drug-resistant children who have neurological disorders like epilepsy (with no side effects!). In one study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, CBD decreased frequency of seizures by 23 percentage points more than those taking a placebo.
While I much prefer a natural remedy as a first course of action, but even the Food and Drug Administration seems to agree that cannabis-derived drugs may have something to offer. In April 2018 FDA advisers cleared the very first cannabis-derived drug for approval, one that promises to help control seizures.
Childhood epilepsy is a serious condition and it is important to work with a qualified practitioner with a specialty in this area.
3. Reduces Anxiety and Depression
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, depression affects 6% and anxiety affects 18% of the U.S. population each year. Research shows that CBD oil can help with both.
CBD has been shown to reduce levels of stress and anxiety in those suffering from conditions such as PTSD, social anxiety disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder. CBD even reduced the stress and discomfort surrounding public speaking.
Though some believe a B12 deficiency is to blame, CBD has been shown to reduce depression by enhancing both serotonergic and glutamate cortical signaling (both are lacking in those with depression).
Other Remedies to Consider: Dr Kelly Brogan provides a lot of helpful information for anxiety and depression in this podcast episode. Vitamin B12 is also linked to mental health and it may be helpful to work with someone experienced in optimizing levels of B12.
4. Fights Multi-Drug Resistant Bacteria
Researchers discovered that cannabinoids (including CBD) have an unusual ability to destroy bacteria (especially drug-resistant strains). More research is needed to find out how and why it works.
A 2011 study found that CBD can also slow the progression of tuberculosis in rats. Researchers concluded that CBD likely does this by inhibiting T-cell proliferation, rather than possessing antibacterial properties.
Whatever the mechanism is for destroying bacteria, CBD seems to be a potent weapon against the antibiotic resistant “superbugs” that are becoming more and more of a problem today.
Other Remedies to Consider: Don’t want to try cannabidiol? There is also research on using garlic, honey and oregano oil for drug resistant strains, but work with a practitioner experienced in infectious disease.
5. Reduces Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is a huge problem in our society that contributes to many non-infectious diseases including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, autoimmune disease, and more, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.
Diet and lifestyle play a huge part in chronic inflammation but when folks are already eating a healthy, nutrient-dense diet and optimizing their lifestyle, like getting enough sleep and and exercise, CBD oil can help. Research also shows that CBD oil can reduce chronic inflammation that leads to disease.
Other Remedies to Consider: Research agrees that it is important to address gut health to manage inflammation. Removing refined sugar from the diet has also been shown to reduce inflammation in as little as a week.
6. Promotes Healthy Weight
Cannabidiol can help maintain healthy blood sugar, stimulates genes and proteins that helps break down fat, and increase mitochondria that helps burn calories.
CBD also encourages the body to convert white fat to brown fat. White fat is the kind of fat we typically think of when we think about body fat. Brown fat is fat that is in small deposits that behaves differently than white fat. Brown fat is said to improve health by enhancing the bodies ability to burn white fat, create heat, and even regulate blood sugar.
7. Improves Skin Conditions
CBD oil can be used topically to treat skin conditions. Studies show CBD oil has a high potential for treating skin conditions like eczema by encouraging abnormal cell death. It can also help regulate the skin’s oil production, reducing acne. CBD also contains many nutrients like vitamin E that help improve and protect the skin.
Other Remedies to Consider: Diet is vitally important for skin health. Many people find that removing foods like sugar, dairy or grains (if sensitive) improves skin. I also personally use CBD Salve that has made a huge difference for my acne prone skin.
8. Fights Cancer
CBD oil’s role in cancer treatment still needs more research, but what is available is looking promising. According to the American Cancer Society, CBD oil can slow growth and spread of some kinds of cancer (in animals). Because it fights oxidative stress and inflammation (and both are linked to cancer) it makes sense that CBD oil could help fight cancer cells.
How to Use CBD Oil
CBD oil is most often used internally (through ingestion). Because CBD oil is a relatively new supplement, exact dosing isn’t well established. While more long-term studies are needed, there is no established CBD “overdose” and there are very few if any side effects at any dosage.
When trying to find the right dosage, consider these things:
- Start by purchasing a high quality oil from a reputable company. A higher quality oil will be more bioavailable, so a lower dose can be enough.
- Begin with the recommended dosage on the bottle (especially if using preventatively).
- Some notice a change immediately, while others don’t notice any improvement for several weeks. If after several weeks there is still no change, increase the dosage.
- As with most herbal supplements, a small dosage 3-4 times a day is usually more therapeutic than one large dose.
Important note: Though CBD oil on its own is very safe, it may interact with medications, particularly opioids. Speak with your doctor if you’re concerned about interactions or are unsure about using hemp oil for your conditions.
CBD: What I’ve Tried (& What I Will)
There are lots of benefits to using CBD oil as a supplement. A healthy diet and lifestyle should always be the first step to improved health, but CBD oil can help build on that foundation.
I have tried CBD oil supplements before and did notice a calming effect almost immediately. Since I have the MAO-A gene and am very type A, I’ve always struggled with sleep and getting my brain to turn off. I found CBD oil very helpful for this. I’ve also used it to reduce inflammation after injuries with good results.
- I don’t use CBD oil all the time but keep it around for injuries or nights when it’s difficult to sleep. It is important to use pure CBD oil from a reputable company. Personally, I like this brand.
For more on CBD oil for health, check out CannaBliss’s website or give Josh a call.