The Use of CBD as an Alternative Medicine

More states in the US have now legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Most people are turning to alternative forms of medicines to treat various medical conditions. The use of marijuana for medical purposes is mainly due to CBD content. This chemical compound has active elements that can positively impact your overall health. To understand some of its benefits as well as possible side effects below is a review of CBD.

What is CBD?

It is a non-psychoactive compound that’s found in the cannabis plant. CBD is a natural remedy that interacts with the endocannabinoid system, providing a wide range of health benefits. Its medical appeal comes from the fact that it has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory. CBD has uses protective and healing mechanisms to ease pain, improve immunity, fight damaging radicals, and heal the body.

Uses of CBD

Of all the compounds which are found in the cannabis plant, CBD is the most popular. It has numerous health benefits. CBD can be used to treat common ailments as well as complex chronic diseases. Some of its uses include treating:

  • Insomnia
  • Glaucoma
  • Acne
  • Epilepsy
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis
  • Depression and chronic anxiety
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases
  • Obesity

Benefits of CBD

There are multiple ongoing research regarding the effectiveness of CBD. This is because it has the potential of treating a wide range of health-related issues. CBD can be used to treat common ailments, mental health issues, and other complex medical conditions. Potential health benefits of CBD are:

Reducing Inflammation

Cannabis is a plant that constantly receives praises thanks to its ability to minimize inflammations. Well, this credit should go to CBD. This compound contains anti-inflammatory elements which are responsible for this. The anti-inflammatory work with the endocannabinoid system, creating a positive response. This is a protective mechanism which reduces the severity of nerve inflammation. This is a neuroprotective feature and it’s one of the main reasons as to why CBD is used to treat neurological issues.

Treating Anxiety and Depression

Depression and anxiety are among the most prevalent mental issues at the moment. They usually have serious health impacts on the wellbeing and general health of the patient.  Although the treatment of these two conditions usually involves the use of pharmaceutical drugs, patients normally end up with additional health problems. Clinical drugs which are effective in treating depression and anxiety can lead to suicidal thoughts, sexual dysfunction, migraines, agitation, and drowsiness. Besides that, some of the drugs can cause addiction and dependability.

However, CBD has the ability to reduce the symptoms of these diseases without causing additional side effects. A research study that was done on a group of patients with anxiety and depression indicates positive effects. Patients ended up experiencing an improvement in cognitive functions, less anxiety, improved moods, and better speech performance.

Reducing Epileptic Seizures

Of all the CBD studies, one important study is the one that highlights its epileptic benefits. As a matter of fact, this compound has been approved to treat epilepsy in children. It has therapeutic effects and reduces the frequency of epileptic episodes. In June 2018, the Food and Drug Administration in the US approved the use of Epidiolex, a type of drug that’s made with CBD compound to treat two types of epilepsy. Epidiolex is now one of the drugs that are administered to patients with complex types of epilepsy such as the Dravet Syndrome and the Lennox Gastatut Syndrome. This anti-seizure drug which contains CBD slows down excitatory nerve activity which leads to epileptic seizures.

Cancer Treatment

Although CBD cannot cure cancer, it can alleviate its symptoms. This compound has elements which are lower the severity of cancer symptoms. Besides that, it’s powerful enough to minimize the harsh side effects of cancer treatment. Studies show that CBD is effective in reducing side effects such as vomiting and nausea which chemotherapy usually triggers.  As much as chemotherapy drugs are good, sometimes they cause serious side effects which leave patients weak. However, CBD is a great alternative treatment because apart from providing pain relief, it also has minimal and mild side effects.

Sparking Weight Loss

CBD can improve a wide range of health issues including aiding weight loss. Preliminary reports from research studies show that it interacts with both CB1 and CB2 receptors which have a direct impact on weight. The receptors which are found in the brain and the lymphoid tissue trigger weight loss by altering food intake and the rate of metabolism.

Apart from that, this compound may also promote weight loss by “browning” the fat cells. Typically, these two types of fats in the body i.e. the brown and white fat. The latter is usually the predominant one. It’s responsible for storing as well as supplying the body with energy. Besides that, it cushions and insulates the body and the organs. White fat is also associated with serious illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.

Brown fat, on the other hand, aids the generation of heat that burns excess calories. As a matter of fact, people who have healthy weight usually have a higher level of brown fat content. Meanwhile, obese and overweight people have more white fat. To lose weight, the body has to convert white fat into brown fat. There are many ways of doing this and it includes reducing your calorie intake, sleep for enough hours, and exercising among others. However, research studies show that CBD can also enhance this process. A test-tube study indicates that CBD has the ability to “brown” white fat cells in the body.

Pain Relief

This is one of the most common reasons as to why people are now using CBD. This cannabis compound has the ability to reduce chronic pain. It alters how the endocannabinoid system functions by changing the receptor activity. CBD interacts with the neurotransmitters, reducing inflammation.  It’s for this reason that CBD is an effective remedy for treating arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

Supporting Heart Health

Research links the use of CBD to better heart health. It has the ability to support the circulatory system and the heart by lowering high blood pressure. Multiple studies show that this compound is an effective remedy in stabilizing blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease.

Acne Treatment

Acne is a common skin problem which affects almost 10 percent of the population. It’s caused by hormonal changes, underlying inflammation, high sebum production, bacterial infections, and genetics among others. It can cause serious physical and mental problems if left untreated. However, those affected by acne can now use CBD. It is an effective remedy that has the ability to minimize the overproduction of sebum and smooth skin inflammation.

Treating Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an inherent medical condition. This means that patients have very minimal control over its development. As a result, it’s sometimes put under the class of autoimmune diseases. Because of its nature, CBD can help to moderate its symptoms. This compound has the ability to ease symptoms of Type 1 diabetes by balancing the blood sugar levels and reducing inflammation.

Other Benefits of Using CBD

CBD is a popular cannabis extract which has global fame. Its ability to soothe pain, ease anxiety, promote neurogenesis, and soothe inflammation, etc. are among some of the main reasons as to why it’s used to treat a number of medical problems. Other health benefits of using CBD include:

Anti-tumor effects: CBD has the ability to reduce the spread of tumors. Its anti-tumor properties make it one of the effective remedies to prevent the spread of various types of cancers including lung, breast, colon, brain, and prostate cancers.

Drug abuse treatment: This compound has the ability to remodify different brain circuits. It remodels the circuits which are responsible for drug addiction.

Antipsychotic effects: CBD is non-psychoactive and it has antipsychotic properties. It can help to ease symptoms of schizophrenia as well as other mental disorders which have psychotic effects.

Possible Side Effects of CBD

Using CBD products is good.  However, there are certain instances whereby some people have experienced unwanted side effects. Medical research reports indicate that using products which contain may trigger a number of negative effects and they include:

Low Blood Pressure

CBD oil usually acts as a blood thinner. This means that taking it can significantly lower blood pressure. This is even worse if you are suffering from blood pressure because it can lead to serious health risks which may be fatal.

Interactions with Certain Medications

CBD can also interact with some medications. As a result, it can lead to serious health problems which may even be deadly. According to the FDA, if you are taking medications for blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes, etc. then you should first consult with your doctor before using CBD.

Dehydration and Appetite

Taking CBD Oil has been linked with dehydration. Some people end up with dry mouth and eyes. Besides that, there are also reports which link it to appetite loss. Some people experience minimal food cravings after taking CBD Oil or gummies.

Enhancing Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease

CBD is an effective alternative medication for diseases such as Parkinson’s. However, there are some instances where it can enhance the symptoms of this disease. It may make the patient suffer from more severe symptoms with debilitating health problems.

Weight Gain

One of the benefits of CBD is weight loss. However, there are studies that counter this benefit. There are chances that this cannabis compound can lead to weight gain.  CBD may increase appetite in some people leading to more food cravings. Note that one of the common side effects of using it is the change in appetite.

A study that was conducted in epileptic children showed that they ended up gaining more weight. The 3-month study reveals that children with Dravet syndrome, a form of epilepsy, ended up with more food cravings and constant hunger pangs. The effect of this is that they ended up gaining weight.

General Sickness

Generally, there are some people who end up experiencing general sickness after using CBD Oil or edibles. Gastrointestinal issues are among the common problems which most people suffer from. This often spills over and causes diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, dizziness as well as a variety of other symptoms which are related to digestive problems.

Note: the side effects of using CBD varies from one person to the next. We all have different systems as well as response mechanisms. Additionally, the form of CBD, dosage, age, gender, metabolic rate, as well as the amount of food in your digestive system all play a crucial role in influencing the side effects.

Cautions

There are multiple safety concerns that relate to the use of CBD. First, this compound contains elements which can interact with several medications. Note that a report that was published by the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that nursing moms and pregnant women should avoid using marijuana products. This is because marijuana can result in serious developmental issues in babies. In expectant women, the study shows that CBD has the ability to pass through the placental barrier and expose the fetus to harmful elements.

CBD can also impair cognitive functions. These products are usually not under any legal regulation so some of them may have traces of THC. This may result in long and short-term memory effects, loss of focus, increased heart rate, and decision making. It’s therefore important to ensure that the CBD Oil product you are using is THC-free.

Final Thoughts

CBD is a cannabis compound which has a high potential in treating a number of health issues.  It’s perfect for common everyday ailments such as headaches to serious and chronic problems like diabetes. What makes it great is that it’s natural and produces minimal side effects when used appropriately. However, before using CBD as alternative medicine, consult with your doctor first.

Sources

  • https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cbd-oil-benefits#section9
  • https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/1439.html
  • https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/answers-to-the-top-questions-about-cannabis-extract
  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/is-cbd-safe-and-effective/faq-20446700

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