Many people know cannabis as a highly regulated substance in many countries. However, the compounds found in it have proven to have potential health benefits for users. One example is CBD, which we’ll discuss in detail below. We’ll talk about its benefits and potential side effects you should know about. Read on!
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What is CBD?
CBD — or cannabidiol — is one of the 100 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Unlike other cannabinoids, CBD doesn’t make you “high,” unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is more popular for people who seek the euphoric feeling associated with cannabis compounds.
Like other cannabinoids, however, CBD affects the body’s own endocannabinoids. For instance, CBD can increase anandamide levels in the body. This compound is associated with regulating pain. Moreover, CBD can limit inflammation of the nervous system and the brain. This can help you if you experience insomnia and other immune system conditions.
Benefits of CBD for Pain Relief
As mentioned, CBD helps the body’s pain regulation. To be specific, people use CBD for relieving:
Neuropathic pain arises from nerve damage. This is common among people who have multiple sclerosis (MS), herniated discs, and infections. According to a 2017 review, CBD has some positive effects on people suffering from neuropathy. However, more research is necessary to 100% prove CBD’s role in relieving neuropathic pain.
MS is an autoimmune condition affecting the entire body through the brain and nerves. Its common symptoms include muscle spasms, which can be strong enough to cause constant pain in some patients.
Short-term CBD oil use has been proven to reduce the levels of muscle spasms among MS patients. The results of the studies are modest. However, many people have reported instances of symptom reduction.
Studies also suggest that the use of topical CBD can help with arthritis pain. Researchers have noted a significant drop in inflammation among people experiencing arthritis without any additional side effects.
As with neuropathic pain, more research is required to definitively prove the effectiveness of CBD for managing arthritis pain. However, the available results have so far been encouraging.
CBD has been reported to be an effective treatment for chronic pain among adults. This comes from the same research conducted for arthritis and neuropathic pain.
Moreover, patients who have used CBD for their chronic pain have shown little to no signs of building tolerance to the effects of the compound. As a result, they don’t have to increase their dosage over time.
All available data point to a positive conclusion for patients suffering from pain: CBD can offer helpful new treatments to help them manage their conditions.
Potential Side Effects
While its benefits seem great and it’s generally considered safe, CBD also has potential downsides. The side effects noted in various studies include:
- Appetite and weight changes
Too much CBD can also cause abnormal liver function, sedation, drowsiness, and pneumonia — these were reported among childhood epilepsy patients. However, such side effects could also be caused by the compound interacting with other medications.
Speaking of medication interaction, know that CBD interacts with various pain medications, antidepressants, seizure medications, and diabetes medications. If you’re planning to use CBD, consult a healthcare professional to know whether it may have interactions with your current medications that can cause adverse results.
Where to Find CBD
CBD is often added to foods, dietary supplements, beverages, and body care products. They’re often marketed as a way to fight stress, sleep issues, and pain. They’re available in physical stores and online shops.
One caveat you should remember is that CBD products may contain a blend of ingredients. For instance, a CBD dietary product may contain a blend of other herbal ingredients, which may not be safe for everyone.