Does CBD Oil work? What are the properties of hemp oil and CBD? And is it effective as a natural remedy?
If you are at this stage of your research, chances are you have at least a preliminary idea about what CBD oil is. Unlike its well-known cousin, THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol, CBD itself does not have any psychoactive effects but has been linked to its more healing, potentially medicinal, properties.
This is appealing to many people for a variety of different reasons.
Scientific exploration into the exact medicinal properties of hemp oil and CBD is still quite young. So too are the regulations surrounding product control.
A choir of voices have joined the ‘Is CBD effective’ discussion – some scientific and some popular beliefs – creating a confusing terrain of intertwined facts, beliefs, popular opinions, and even stigma.
So what are the facts? What do we know, what does the general public believe, and most importantly, will it work for you?
Does CBD Oil work?
To start, then, it seems appropriate to have an understanding of the properties of hemp oil and CBD, and to know what CBD oil does before determining if it will work.
At the most fundamental level, CBD, when ingested or topically applied, interacts with our endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is involved in regulating several functions within the body including sleep, appetite, pain, and immune system responses.
And how exactly does it interact with the ECS?
The body produces endocannabinoids within the ECS, which are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system. CBD impacts endocannabinoid receptor activity, and the effect of this impact is the heart and soul of the discussion.
CBD: What Does Science Say?
CBD’s impact on endocannabinoid receptor activity has become a topic of current scientific discourse and research fueled by recent legalization in many Western countries. This has been compounded by a changing view of THC as well. So what has science been able to say about this product for certain?
CBD has anti-inflammatory properties. Studies into its anti-inflammatory properties have been very promising, and have a strong scientific backing. By impacting endocannabinoid receptors and reducing inflammation, these products may help reduce chronic pain suffered from neurological disorders like Parkinson’s Disease or Multiple Sclerosis, but more conclusive research is needed.
CBD can help reduce seizure severity and frequency in certain types of epilepsy. In 2018 the FDA approved a prescription form of CBD to treat two forms of epilepsy – Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome. Although prescribed CBD has become FDA approved in the USA, it is still unclear exactly how it works. It is known to have a range of biochemical effects on nerve cells in the brain, and this may help with the severity and frequency of certain types of seizures.
CBD has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression. Very fundamentally, in scientific studies, CBD has demonstrated promise in calming anxiety and supporting the hippocampus (a key player in healthy emotions and memory). This can help with feelings of isolation, PTSD, and even autism.
CBD has been shown to be a complementary therapy for cancer treatment. As already explained, it’s anti-inflammatory properties have shown promise helping alleviate pain. But besides this, it may stimulate appetite and curb nausea, two debilitating side effects of cancer treatment. However, early research suggests that these effects might have more to do with THC, so conclusive findings are still a long way off.
Why is CBD So Popular?
As scientific studies increase, along with the regulations, the facts are finally emerging. Popular perceptions are slowly finding validation or being proved false. However, popular claims will continue to form a large basis of perception until scientific research can catch up with its cultural popularity.
Why has it captured our collective popular consciousness? Maybe because it offers potential relief from the modern condition of anxiety, restlessness, lack of focus and creativity, and persistent aches and pains.
Many people self medicate and make claims, but as these products are so new to the world of regulation, these could be wildly inaccurate. And while the results are promising, they are not extensive enough to verify or deny many claims. Which is why it’s so easy for companies to grasp onto these few studies and run headlong into fields of tenuous truths and potentially presumptuous conclusions.
Will CBD work for you?
So does it work? Given everything we’ve considered, it is more accurate to ask if it will work for you, and your specific needs as an individual? Even then the answer is not as cut and dry as we might like. In fact, there are certain factors to keep in mind before you buy or try:
- What condition are you trying to treat?
- Are you taking other medications?
- Is there research about what you would like to take it for?
- Where do you source your products and is it reputable?
- How do you intend to take CBD oil and is this the best way to take it for your needs?
So before you try, remember to be a conscious consumer.
Before using it to treat a medical condition, speak to your doctor to determine whether it is the right option for you, especially if you’re taking other medications. It may interact with many over-the-counter or prescription drugs and supplements in ways that are not fully understood.
Remember that quality is a very important factor to consider before buying, and it is always worth researching companies. Most importantly, take any pseudo or non-scientific claims about what it can do with a pinch of salt. CBD offers a brand new world of possibilities, but before concrete scientific evidence is available, we must all take responsibility for our own journey.