Curious about CBD oil health benefits and what all the recent hype is about? Here’s how CBD is being used to treat medical conditions, and how it may help you.
Since opening the San Francisco office of Parsley Health in 2016, I’ve become exposed to the wide world of cannabis. I grew up in the midwest and had adopted conservative views of marijuana use. Despite living in California for almost two years, the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, I was still skeptical of marijuana and CBD oil benefits. I was also hesitant to prescribe CBD to patients due to potential psychoactive effects when combined with THC and because it’s not a regulated substance. But as my patients at Parsley Health kept asking me about CBD, I decided to dig a little deeper into potential CBD oil benefits and was surprised at how promising it may be.
What is CBD?
CBD comes from the Cannabis sativa plant, which is also used to produce hemp and marijuana. It’s extracted from the resin of cannabis buds and flowers and usually diluted with another oil, like MCT.
The major difference between CBD and marijuana is that it does not contain THC, the psychoactive compound that probably comes to mind when you think of marijuana. That means you won’t get high from using CBD.
How does CBD affect the body?
Marijuana and CBD work by acting on the body’s endocannabinoid system. This system’s main job is to maintain homeostasis and help the body adapt to outside stressors.
There are two main types of cannabinoids—endo (produced naturally within the body) and phyto (produced from a plant). CBD is one type of phytocannabinoid. Phytocannabinoids mimic endocannabinoids, so they can act like a supplement, giving you a boost beyond what your body can produce.
Receptors for cannabinoids are found in the digestive, reproductive, nervous, and immune systems. Because cannabinoids interact with almost every system in our bodies, they’re often touted as a cure-all. While they’re not truly able to heal everything, they do regulate neurotransmitter function, inflammation, mitochondrial function, and metabolism.
Who should try CBD oil?
CBD is safe for almost everyone, according to the World Health Organization, but check with your doctor before starting any CBD product, especially if you are pregnant or on any medications. Research has shown several CBD oil benefits, ranging from alleviating social anxiety to improving rheumatoid arthritis. (1,2)
CBD health benefits.
IMPROVES MOOD DISORDERS.
CBD works directly on the brain receptors 5HT1A (serotonin) and GABA (an inhibitory neurotransmitter). Lower levels of these can contribute to anxiety and depression. (3)
Suppresses cytokine production and induces T-regulatory cells to protect the body from attacking itself, which can help autoimmune conditions. (4)
DECREASES CHRONIC PAIN.
Inhibits transmission of neuronal signalling through pain pathways. (5)
AIDS GUT HEALTH.
Helps heal the leaky tight junctions that contribute to intestinal permeability and decreases spasmodic activity common in irritable bowel syndrome. (6)
HELPS TREAT SEIZURES.
May relieve epilepsy in children (7)