Cannabis advocacy, acceptance, and legalization is sweeping the nation. New studies and breakthroughs on the medicinal effects of this plant are popping up daily. While eyes are still directed towards THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid of marijuana that has been stigmatized for a century, many of these studies are utilizing the lesser known substance which has shown to make up the lion’s share of benefits. That cannabinoid is called CBD. In the era of Western Medicine epidemics, namely the opioid and amphetamine crisis’s, CBD time and again has proved to be the natural solution in treating Depression, Anxiety, and Pain. Here we will discuss what CBD is and how CBD Oil can treat these symptoms.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is the 2nd most abundant cannabinoid in Cannabis and the most abundant in Hemp. When consumed, CBD attaches itself to your CB1 and CB2 receptors inside your body. These receptors directly effect your endocannabinoid system, which works in unison with your Central Nervous System. Once connected, CBD helps to unlock the beneficial potential of all the other Cannabinoids and regulates your endocannabinoid system, thus bringing your body back to stasis.
Although you can derive CBD from Hemp, studies have found that only full-spectrum CBD is effective with treating symptoms of depression, anxiety, and pain. Full-Spectrum CBD is derived from Cannabis that has at least trace amounts of the other major cannabinoids, like THC, CBN, CBC, etc. Consuming a full-spectrum CBD product induces what scientists coined as the “entourage effect”, which provides strong beneficial effects based on the combination of all the cannabinoids and terpenes inside the product.
Think of it like the show Captain Planet. Alone, each planet-eer had a specific power that they wielded. But, when they combined their powers, they were able to summon Captain Planet, who had a plethora of abilities and was a force to be reckoned with.
CBD for Depression
One of those amazing abilities is CBD’s efficacy to treat depression. Researchers have found that CBD has anti-depression and anti-anxiolytic properties without the side-effects of modern anti-depressant medication. Multiple studies have shown that many depression cases have abnormalities with their CB1 Receptors. When CBD was introduced, the abnormality greatly diminished or was nullified during it’s lifespan. One conclusion from NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) noted:
CBD induces antidepressant-like effects comparable to those of imipramine [the control medication used for anti-depression].
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) depression affects more than 350 million people around the globe. Now, more than ever, we need to introduce CBD as a mainstream anti-depressant to fight this war inside our head.
CBD for Anxiety
Anxiety affects everyone. For most, some experiences like public speaking or starting a new venture can be overwhelming; inducing feelings that range from nervousness and knots in your stomach to shortness of breath and headaches. However, there are people who experience panic attacks and have illnesses like Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), which can inundate those individuals for long periods of time.
Along with treating the symptoms of depression, CBD also provides anti-anxiety effects. This is done through the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor. When CBD is consumed, this cannabinoid boosts these receptor’s transmission rate, thereby reducing the levels of anxiety. Moreover, it has been shown in a study that CBD enhances the transmission of 5-HT1A faster than SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors).
Research has also found that CBD affects the Hippocampus in our brain, which has a major role in a multitude of brain functions like cognition and memory formation. Scientists have noticed the relationship between a smaller hippocampus and anxiety/depression rates. Thus, they have used SSRI’s to promote neurogenesis (regeneration of neurons) inside this part of the brain to curve those symptoms. It has now been found that CBD produces those same benefits, without the detrimental side-effects that SSRI’s can cause.
To date, CBD has shown to be highly effective with treating:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Since CBD has been found to alleviate these symptoms, studies are showing a massive drop in western anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication when patients start taking CBD Products.
CBD for Pain Management
Full-Spectrum CBD provides beneficial effects for people experiencing minor aches and pains to seriously painful diseases through working with the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system parallels and interacts in many ways with the other major endogenous pain control systems in the body (Endorphin/Enkephalin, Vanilloid/Transient Receptor Potential (TRPV), and Inflammatory. With these connections, activating the CB receptors by consuming products containing CBD and THC, has shown to reduce pain levels, acted as an anti-inflammatory, and even heavily reduced nerve pain caused from diseases like MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and CNP (Central Nerve Pain). A study in 2014 noted:
“The endocannabinoid system has been elucidated over the last several years, demonstrating a significant interface with pain homeostasis. Exogenous (plant-based) cannabinoids have been demonstrated to be effective in a range of experimental neuropathic pain models, and there is mounting evidence for therapeutic use in human neuropathic pain conditions.”
That’s not all. Along with reducing nausea and vomiting, researchers have found that CBD can also alleviate nerve pain caused by chemotherapy.
Another fascinating facet found from Full Spectrum CBD products is their ability to relieve Pain and Inflammation without the major addictive effects opiates and other pain-relieving drugs have. In states that have legalized Cannabis either medically or recreationally, their rate of opioid use has significantly dropped. This 2014 study nails it right on the head by stating:
“THC/CBD was effective, with no evidence of tolerance, in these select patients with CNP and MS who completed approximately 2 years of treatment.”
Our society has been plagued with opioids and amphetamines. Their side effects and addictive nature have caused a catastrophic epidemic around the world. We have all read, seen, and/or experienced the beneficial effects CBD provides in alleviating depression, anxiety, and pain. Full Spectrum CBD has proven on many accounts to not only provide benefits that far surpass these western medications but has also played a major role in reducing the addiction rate of these harmful drugs. It is time for CBD products to go mainstream.