Cannabidiol, also called CBD, has been called a wonder product for several reasons. Over the years, there have been many benefits attributed to it. Some have been heavily backed up by science, while others are from the general experience of many users. Are you wondering just how CBD affects the body? This article will explore CBD, particularly the effects of CBD on the body.
What is CBD, and why is it so special?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound extracted from the Hemp Plant. CBD is a non-psychoactive substance with various therapeutic benefits.
Cannabinoids have various effects on the body thanks to our complex Endocannabinoid system, understanding this system and how these compounds impact on it helps scientists understand the effects and benefits of CBD.
How does CBD work?
Interestingly, the body produces its own cannabinoids. They are called endogenous cannabinoids or Endocannabinoids. Their effects are similar to the cannabinoids derived from the Hemp plant. This is because they influence the same receptors in the Endocannabinoid system.
The Endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a sophisticated mechanism which is a key function in many areas of our body. For example it regulates memory, sleep, alertness, mood, appetite, immune reaction, inflammation, pain, and so on.
There are two types of receptors influenced by CBD - CB1 and CB2. These cannabinoid receptors are cell membrane proteins scattered around the body. We find CB1 receptors more widespread in the central nervous system, particularly the brain. They are also found in the lungs, liver, and kidneys. Meanwhile, CB2 receptors are found mostly on cells of the immune system and those involved in blood cell production (hematopoietic cells).
What are the effects of CBD?
Seeing how widespread the ECS is, the effect of CBD covers many systems and bodily functions. Researchers are still actively trying to understand how CBD and the system works. There is a lot more to unravel, but here are some of the effects of using CBD.
Treats some forms of Epilepsy
Back in 2018, Epidiolex became the first FDA-approved CBD medication. After various clinical studies, it is was shown to be effective in the management of two uncommon and severe forms of seizure disorders, namely Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. These medical conditions are often seen in children around two years and above.
This is perhaps one of the most common uses of CBD. The use of cannabinoids in the management of pain is not a new thing. In fact, it started as far back as 2900 BC. Similarly, CBD has been shown to be effective in pain management. It is especially helpful in managing chronic pain like people living with cancer, multiple sclerosis, or other chronic diseases. Many studies have backed up this claim.
In many countries, Sativex is an oral spray that contains CBD and THC. It is approved in some countries for ensuring optimal pain control in multiple sclerosis. It is, however, not approved in the US or UK as yet. Currently, researchers are paying attention to the use of CBD in managing neuropathic pain.
CBD is deemed a potent solution in the management of mental health problems. The ECS plays a big role in brain function which can significantly impact your mood. WHO reports that depression and anxiety account for the first and sixth-highest contributions to disability, respectively. The typical drug medications for these problems have negative side effects.
Many CBD users report reductions in anxiety and depression. The mood boosting benefits also reach further with many users reporting increases in confidence and happiness.
CB2 receptors are found on immune cells. It supports a healthy response, which promotes healing after tissue damage. It also plays a role in promoting the growth of good gut micro biota. These are good organisms that protect the gut and improves gut problems like inflammatory bowel diseases.
CBD also plays a significant role in sleep and alertness. Many people say CBD helps them sleep better when they take it before bed. This might be because it has stress-relieving properties. It also helps keep people alert during the day when used in the morning.
Is CBD safe, and are there any side effects?
CBD, a natural compound, is generally considered a very safe option for users, with very little reported by way of side effects – read more about CBD side effects here.
There are important considerations, however. CBD affects some enzymes involved in the breakdown of many drugs. CBD use might influence the action of some medications this way. Hence, if you are considering CBD and if you are on regular medications, you should speak with your doctor or pharmacist first.
The FDA also warns against the use of CBD in pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Wrapping Up: What Are the Effects of Cannabidiol (CBD)
Although CBD is a promising potent natural medication, and although nothing of a serious negative nature has yet been discovered about it, despite its use dating back over 1,000 years, there is still a lot more we would like to know about it. Its effects traverse various organs and systems of the body through the ECS. Please consult with your doctor before you use CBD, if you are already taking regular medications.