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By now I expect you’ve all heard about CBD (Cannabidiol). I’ve briefly touched on CBD oil before, but I’ve never actually gone into much detail on the various benefits. And, believe me, there are quite a few!
What is CBD?
I’ll keep this brief as it’s quite easy to become pulled in by what exactly CBD is. In short, it’s one of around 113 cannabinoid compounds found within the cannabis plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which produces the psychoactive effect gained from smoking weed, CBD has a milder effect. It won’t get you high by any means, but for most, it produces a calming, stress-relieving reaction. There’s also evidence to suggest that in specific doses and strains it can also help with concentration and energy levels! Who knew!?
5 Health Benefits of CBD you might not know.
One. CBD can help you sleep.
The main reason I first started using CBD was for crippling anxiety, depression, and even grief. All of these things kept me awake at night to the point where I would go days without a decent night’s sleep. Alongside the use of prescription medication and advice from my consultant, I started taking CBD drops throughout the day. Since then I’ve even migrated to vaping (as a replacement for a pretty intense smoking addiction) and eatables. My sleep has improved tenfold. Although I may not always sleep through the night, I do get a more restful sleep and even feel the urge to fall asleep wherein before it was absent.
But I’m just one positive case with an opinion. What does the science say?
CBD for sleep is a very common thing nowadays. In an effort to step away from traditional and sometimes addictive medications, CBD has natural calming abilities. According to the CBD guide, the endocannabinoid system helps to regulate our sleep-wake cycle. That combined with the relaxing properties can aid our minds and bodies over to a restful night’s sleep.
*It should also be noted that although CBD has proven helpful to those with certain sleep disorders, there are a vast variety of them. It’s therefore unfair to assume that CBD is a cure all for not only sleep disorders, but any disorders. Much like traditional medicine and prescription medication, there is no one size fits all. Please be mindful of that if trying CBD for any aliments including your sleep cycle.
Two. You can use CBD on your pets.
When we get sick it’s one thing. But when our pets get sick it can be a whole different ball game. Vet treatment can be expensive but necessary as our animals become sick and old. What’s more, watching a pet go through an illness can be heart-wrenching.
Although it may not be a cure-all, CBD has many health benefits for us and our animal companions. Much like in humans, CBD acts as a painkiller and natural anti-inflammatory. Not only this, but it is often used as an antiemetic in chemo patients and an anti-convulsant by those who suffer seizures.
It can take some time to find the right CBD for your pet. Some might have little effect, while others might be too strong. If planning on using CBD for your pet it’s best to consult a vet before choosing in regards to dosage and brands. Although CBD can be used for most animals, there may be some creatures that don’t react well.
Three. It’s used in skincare, hair care and more!
Acne, sensitive skin, and blemishes can all be treated using CBD. My partner has used CBD cream specifically to treat acne and reduce the dark circles beneath his eyes. Although CBD isn’t a miracle worker (and therefore can’t help my partner appear any less tired) it has helped treat ingrown hairs and spots around his jawline. This is due in part to the fact that CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory. Acne is a known inflammatory condition, so by applying CBD you’re treating both the inflammation and soothing the skin at the same time.
What’s more is that there’s evidence suggesting CBD also has anti-aging properties. Due to its natural antioxidants, it can help lessen the signs of aging by reducing wrinkles and blemishes.
“As for our hair? Well, although the research is still in its infancy, there has been evidence to suggest many benefits for our hair.“
CBD is full of nutrients such as Vitamin E, Potassium, fatty acids, Vitamin C, and even some omega compounds. Therefore it has every opportunity to provide the body with what it needs to strengthen and grow hair and improve scalp health.
Lately I’ve been using CBD skin care by SKIN. Not only does it smell good, but I’ve also found that it soothes any inflammation I might be experiencing from spots and blemishes. The lip balm came in specifically helpful on my wedding day to help hydrate my lips without removing my lipstick. It’s also been a God-send during my morning runs.
Four. CBD can be used as a natural pain relief and anti-inflammatory.
Thinking back on my own experience, my grandfather used CBD drops to help manage end of life pain and anxiety. In some respect, it also could have acted as an antiemetic (preventing sickness or nausea). Since then I’ve come across many people within the chronic pain and mental health community who use CBD as a way to manage symptoms. This includes things such as arthritis, IBS and even migraines.
A review held in 2018 by a variety of health professions found that CBD was effective in pain management. The review looked at studies conducted between 1975 and 2018 and examined things such as cancer, fibromyalgia, and even neuropathic pain.
There are many more studies like this available on the web for you to do your own research. But personally I don’t need to read anymore. If the side effects are few and benefits are plenty, then perhaps CBD is the way forward?
Five. Notoriously, CBD has been used to help people cope with mental illness.
I began my CBD journey primarily for anxiety and crippling depression. At the time I was grieving the loss of my grandparents, had just left my dream job, and I was neck-deep in a relapse. But none of my stress and anxiety was new, it just happened to take a new form. I argue that I was born under a star-sign with perpetual ‘jitters‘, others would argue I’m a product of my environment and circumstances. Either way, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I’m now stuck with a brain that can’t calm down, which ultimately means my body can’t calm down.
It was manageable as a child, but as I grew it grew and so did the variety of things I found to worry about. The more I grew up, the worse it became, and soon the anxiety was a constant struggle that I had to overcome. Each morning I woke up I had to be able to climb that mountain. I had to make phone calls and answer the phones at work despite the fact it made me sick to my stomach, I had to cope with exams and coursework despite spending most of the night thinking about them; I had to learn to live.
Eventually, it wasn’t just anxiety because of phone calls or in social situations, it was just because of life. I poured more and more from my cup, never stopping to refill it. By December 2018 I’d become so overwhelmed, underweight, in pain, and generally uncomfortable that I just couldn’t take it anymore. My stomach was filled with heavy knots, my food wasn’t digesting properly, my heart pounded so hard that it caused chest pains, and I was constantly light-headed and afraid of everything. Any manner of confrontation or innocent conversation, and I just wanted to run and hide.
“I’d tried the therapy, I’d taken the pills but I just couldn’t calm down.”
CBD was especially helpful when it came to my relationship with food, one of my biggest challenges. It’s been such a big part of my treatment and recovery alongside prescription medication and CBT. And although changes can take time to appear, the benefits are clearly there.
Some of the notable changes I’ve experienced include;
- Lowered levels of general anxiety and anxiety around mealtimes.
- My body has slowly begun to regain correct hunger signals since I began using CBD. Before my hunger was all over the place or non-existent. Now my signals are becoming more consistent and controllable.
- Reduction in irritability.
What’s your opinion on CBD? Have you used it or are you still on the fence?
Learning about CBD and its benefits on the human body has sparked my interest in other holistic, natural medicines such as reflexology, and homeopathy. If you’ve experienced either of these treatments or other alternative medicines, I would love to hear from you!