This hot new ingredient is cropping up everywhere — with products ranging from CBD salve, CBD tea, CBD gum, and even CBD massage oil.
But should you believe the hype? We give you the facts about CBD and its vast array of benefits.
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What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in hemp plants. CBD is non-psychoactive and was recently legalized for use as a nutritional supplement in the United States.
The market has since exploded with interest in this ingredient, which possesses an impressive array of potential health benefits.
According to the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, the most common uses of CBD are in the treatment of symptoms related to anxiety, depression, nausea, vomiting, arthritis, chronic pain, inflammation, epilepsy and seizures.
What are the health benefits of CBD?
CBD is good for chronic pain and inflammation
According to a 2012 study published by the Journal of Experimental Medicine, CBD may represent a significant step forward in the treatment of chronic pain, especially in those suffering from MS (multiple sclerosis). This is because CBD inhibits neuronal transmission in pain pathways, meaning it eases your body’s response to pain.
Studies have also shown that CBD has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in vitro, and may even help keep the neurodegeneration associated with Alzheimer’s disease at bay.
CBD may be useful in treating anxiety and depression
CBD represents a whole new approach to mental health challenges, from mild anxiety all the way up to crippling depression.
In a 2011 study 24 people who had never tried CBD were studied in a public speaking test. An hour and a half before the test started, people were given either CBD or a placebo. Those who received the placebo demonstrated high levels of anxiety, stress, and cognitive impairment, while those who received CBD saw all of those symptoms significantly reduced.
According to research published in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry, people suffering from social anxiety disorder strongly benefit from CBD. The researchers suggest that CBD may also be an effective treatment for PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), obsessive-compulsive disorder, and panic disorder.
CBD is good for treating nausea
In this 2012 study the British Journal of Pharmacology proved that CBD helps to mitigate nausea and vomiting. The effects are often quite dramatic, leading to long-lasting and sustained relief.
Those undergoing chemotherapy may also benefit from CBD to help ease the side effects of their treatment.
CBD is good for epilepsy and seizures
In 2014, Stanford University conducted a survey that demonstrated dramatic results in children affected by seizures.
Before using CBD, 63% of the children had been treated with anti-epileptic pharmaceutical medication. 84% of the children saw a reduction in their seizure frequency while taking CBD. 11% completely stopped seizing, while 42% saw massive benefits (a reduction in seizure frequency of over 80%).
Although side effects include drowsiness and fatigue, there were other reported benefits in terms of improved mood, alertness, and deeper sleep.
Will I get high from CBD?
CBD should not be confused with THC, short for tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant.
Taking a pure form of CBD such as a CBD isolate, or broad-spectrum CBD where THC has been entirely eliminated, will not get you high.
How long does CBD stay in your system?
Generally CBD can stay in your system for up to 5 days, but many factors can either prolong or shorten this timeframe.
These factors include dosage, frequency of consumption, body weight, taking it on an empty stomach, and also the form of CBD being consumed.
CBD oils, for example, tend to act quickly and remain in the system for longer.
What does CBD feel like?
The feeling of taking CBD is rather subtle. If you are taking a pure form of CBD it should have a strictly physiological and often imperceptible effect.
Some people claim to feel more calm, more focused, more relaxed, and report a reduction in pain — but this is entirely dependent on the individual.
The bottom line
CBD hosts a very impressive array of science-backed benefits. Depending on your specific needs, CBD may be suitable for you.
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