The good, the bad, and the misunderstood! Welcome to the world of CBD.
Are you looking into alternative medicine to help with your anxiety or depression? Maybe you need something to help with a chronic illness or to elevate the symptoms of cancer treatment. Or, perhaps, you’re just interested in the benefits of using CBD.
I personally began using CBD oil in May 2019. I’d heard many stories both positive and negative, but nothing had ever swayed me before then. Quite frankly, I was afraid of CBD! My company at the time frequently drug tested and I was the point of contact for such matters. If it were to show up on a drug test, I’d be toast! I, along with so many others, was under the assumption that CBD was an illegal substance. But while THC and CBD are cut from the same cloth, they by no means produce the same effects.
At first, I didn’t feel any different but I persevered and continued to take three drops on my tongue each day. I’m not going to lie, it took me a while to come to terms with the taste, a mixture of earth and plant. After about a month I realized that my anxiety around food had dropped significantly, all without the help of additional anti-anxieties. In fact, I was able to reduce the dose myself from three to just two and, eventually, one. Now I vape CBD and take gummies if and when needed.
But what are the benefits of CBD for mental and physical illness, and why should you give it a try?
What is CBD?
CBD is almost as big a buzzword as self-care and is being used by millions to manage emotional and physical pain. It’s been gaining a wide following in the mental health, chronic illness, and wellness world, and has been proven to produce several health benefits. But what exactly is it?
It’s one of around one hundred and thirteen 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.
What are the benefits of CBD?
Personally, I use CBD for anxiety, joint pain, issues with food, and, on occasion, skin blemishes. In the last few months, I’ve been able to reduce the number of traditional medications that I take. And it’s even worked to support me when I’ve forgotten to take my fluoxetine. I would even go so far as to say that it has helped mellow my emotional pain and grief after the difficult death of my grandparents earlier this year.
But don’t take it from me. The benefits of CBD are all over the internet. All you have to do is google CBD and you’ll come up with an infinite list of scientific explanations as to why you should try it. These are just a few.
“I use CBD capsules to help with my anxiety, but mostly for fibro pain. I haven’t had any for the past 2 weeks and I know it! They definitely do make a huge difference.” From The Meditative Owl.
While it’s not entirely clear why CBD may have an impact on our anxiety symptoms, various studies have proven that the relief is there. Specifically in those that use oral CBD oils, gummies, and even infused drinks. In one study in particular it was reported that CBD had positively impacted the anxiety levels of those about to undergo a public speaking event. Anxiety levels were measured using blood pressure and heart rate monitors, alongside a reliable ‘mood‘ test provided by The Visual Analog Mood Scale.
Researchers were able to determine that those who took 300mg of CBD oil reported less anxiety than those who took the placebo. Additionally, those who took 600mg reported little to no positive impacts.
This is among one of the most interesting and sought-after benefits of using CBD. For many, anti-anxiety medication comes with a list of unwanted side effects. CBD, however, doesn’t.
“I use both oil and topical cream. I’ve noticed that the cream helps with the pain more.” From The Chronically Unimaginable.
I personally know of many people, from all walks of life, who use CBD to manage pain. Whether it’s acute or chronic, CBD has proven to help some of us cope with unwanted symptoms. And the research to back this up is promising.
A study from 2018 assesses how well CBD help to relieve chronic pain. This review in particular looked at studies held between 1975 to March 2018. It examined various types of pain including cancer, neuropathic, fibromyalgia, and other types of chronic pain. Without boring you with all the medical speak, it was found that CBD might be effective at managing both acute and chronic pain. However, due to various limitations, more research is needed to move that ‘might‘ to a ‘definitely.‘
Can help reduce feelings of PTSD.
There are been multiple studies looking into the benefits of using CBD to help manage post-traumatic stress disorder. A small study in 2018 found that out of eleven participants, ten reported reduced symptoms. Of course, it goes much deeper than that. All participants were not only subject to the administration of CBD but also underwent regular psychiatric treatment. But, the main takeaway was that the use of CBD was not only well tolerated, but also helped reduce overall symptoms for ninety percent of those who took part.
Dr. Margaret Rajnic, who is experienced in the use of both medical cannabis and CBD, places great emphasis on the importance of therapy alongside CBD. No matter what mental health condition you’re using CBD for, therapy should also be integrated into any ongoing treatment plans.
These are only some of the benefits of using CBD.
There are so many other widely known benefits of using CBD that I simply couldn’t discuss them all in one blog article. I didn’t want to bore you all! But, if you’d like to discuss or talk about CBD in the comments, I’d love to read them. Maybe you have your own experiences that you’d like to share?
I should note that although CBD can be great when used alone for things such as anxiety or small aches and pains, traditional medication may still be required. This should be discussed and confirmed by your GP or Primary Care Team. Any reduction in medication should be discussed thoroughly with medical practitioners and you SHOULD NOT aim to reduce medication without the go-ahead from your own doctors.