CBD seems to have exploded into our lives recently; with it popping up in health food shops and being showcased by models across Instagram. However, our recent CBD Explained survey showed us that lots of us still do not understand the range of benefits that CBD provides. This post is a whistle-stop tour of what CBD oil is and some of its superpower-like benefits.
First Things First; What is CBD Oil?
CBD (short for Cannabinoid) oil is a naturally occurring chemical compound extracted primarily from the hemp plant. It can be consumed in several ways; dropped under the tongue in oil and tincture form, eaten in food, imbibed as part of a drink or inhaled as a vape extract.
But Isn’t CBD A Drug?
The short answer is no. There is some confusion around CBD’s legality because it can also be extracted from the marijuana plant. In terms of family trees, marijuana and hemp are cousins. Both derive from the Cannabis sativa plant. The important difference between the two is the levels of THC they contain. THC (short for Tetrahydrocannabinol) is a naturally occurring chemical compound and produces the psychoactive “high” experienced when consumed. Marijuana has high levels of THC, whilst hemp has low THC content (0.3% or less). So, CBD extracted from hemp (and with no added components) has no ability to intoxicate you.
Superpower #1: CBD + ECS = Pain Relief!
Before we jump into CBD’s benefits let’s explain how the body utilises it. The human body has the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS regulates many bodily functions. When your body’s ECS is balanced it creates its own endocannabinoids that bind to our ECS receptors to keep our bodies in check. When stress or inflammation increases, the body shuts down its production of endocannabinoids. This is where CBD steps in. CBD oil stimulates the body’s ECS receptors, and helps to restore its natural balance
Superpower #2: CBD The Chemotherapy Complications Combatant
Although research is very limited and mostly includes animal and test-tube studies, there are several accounts of patients using CBD oil to alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy, such as nausea, vomiting and neuropathic pain. There is also some research which promotes the notion that CBD oil boosts appetite and prevents weight loss whilst patients undergo chemotherapy.
Superpower #3: CBD Reduces Anxiety and Depression
CBD oil is thought to increase serotonin levels and improve mental health. As such, CBD is known to promote a sense of calm, reduces irritability and elevate mood. As well as tackling anxiety and depression, CBD oil can also help to reduce hallucinations associated with schizophrenia.
Superpower #4: CBD Can Assist With Epilepsy
Approximately 30% of people with epilepsy are resistant to pharmaceutical treatments. CBD may be of significant use to some in this context. The anticonvulsant properties of CBD oil act on ECS receptors in the brain to reduce seizure frequency and intensity.
Superpower #5: Reduction of Inflammation In The Digestive System
By stimulating ECS receptors connected to the digestive tract, CBD oil appears to increase movement in the lower intestine and balance the stomach acid Ph and balance stomach acid which can improve digestion, reduce nausea and eliminate constipation.
Superpower #6: CBD As A Beauty Treatment
The value of incorporating CBD as part of a beauty regime comes from its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant qualities. Research suggests CBD triggers an increase in the production of Anandamide, which enhances the body’s ability to fight inflammation. In this context, CBD is useful to reduce the swelling and flare ups which are associated with Eczema, Psoriasis and other related dry skin conditions. CBD also has a soothing quality which helps to alleviate the painfulness which comes from the scratching and skin-breaking which often comes with Eczema.
The 1998 National Institute of Mental Health Study found that CBD has anti-oxidant properties which were more powerful than those found in Vitamins A, C and E. As an anti-oxidant, it tackles free radicals and creates homeostasis within skin cells, which promotes faster self-healing and repair along with the prevention of collagen loss. As such, fine lines and wrinkles are tackled at a cellular level. Research also suggests that CBD may also aid in balancing and controlling sebum production in the skin, which serves to reduce oil and grease.
As well as being rich vitamins A, D and E, CBD is also containshigh levels of fatty acids, Omegas 3, 6 and 9, which enable the retention of water in the skin.
Like many other beauty products, CBD compliments other skin care products. It is often combined with vitamins and minerals in order to boost its rejuvenating effects.
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