CBD. Everyone’s talking about it, but is what they’re saying true? CBD is not the same as cannabis. It comes from the same species of plant, but the similarities in terms of its effects end there. CBD does not make you feel high.
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How Does CBD Make You Feel?
In a word, better. Both researchers and practitioners believe that genuine CBD products can interact beneficially with the body’s pain and anxiety centres, improving symptoms people with all manner of physical and mental health problems.
For a long time, medical science ignored the possible therapeutic effects of CBD because of its association with cannabis. Cannabis was an enemy of the medical community and researchers did not investigate the potential beneficial effects of the plant.
In the last couple of decades as attitudes towards marijuana have begun to change, and the science is finally catching up. The discovery of special CBD receptors in the brain and nervous system led many researchers to accept that cannabinoids may have unique, beneficial actions in the body. After that, interest in the subject exploded.
Does CBD Get You High?
The answer is a resounding “no.” Cannabis plants come in two main varieties: THC-containing marijuana and CBD-containing hemp. THC is the chemical which delivers the high; CBD does not.
Cannabis is like many of the other plant species we eat: the genus contains a range of different plants, all with different chemical makeups. Hemp-derived CBD products, for instance, contain little to no THC whatsoever, whereas smoking marijuana does. Growers selectively bred hemp plants to produce a tiny amount of THC (or none at all), and as much CBD as possible.
Can CBD Reduce Pain?
The evidence collected to date suggests that CBD has a strong pain-killing effect in the body. Researcher Ethan B Russo from GW Pharmaceuticals conducted a review in 2008 covering all the researching since the 1980s on the management of difficult-to-treat pain with CBD products.
The motivation of the study was the high rates of chronic and untreatable pain in older adults in Western countries. Researchers from the Department of Internal Medicine and Aging at the S. Orsola-Malpighi University Hospital, Bologna, Italy, found that more than a quarter of elderly patients had chronic pain of a “disabling nature.” S Gibson from the National Ageing Research Institute in Australia found that more than 80 per cent of nursing home residents had chronic, debilitating pain.
Russom’s review article found strong evidence that CBD pain-relief products were both safe and effective and worked by binding to CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain and nervous system.
More recent studies continue to support the findings of earlier work. A 2016 study by researchers at the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy found that CBD could reduce the pain experienced by arthritic rats. Another investigation by the National Cancer Institute in the US suggested that CBD can help alleviate the pain caused by chemotherapy.
We could discuss numerous other studies, but you get the point. When it comes to physical pain, CBD oil has vast potential to relieve symptoms, including when traditional pain killers won’t work. The evidence is mounting the hemp-derived products can help in a variety of chronic pain conditions that traditional medicine can’t touch – and all without the nasty side effects!
Can CBD Reduce Anxiety?
Anxiety has been described as being in a state of psychological pain. It was beneficial for helping us stay out of danger in our evolutionary past, but the modern world can send our anxiety response into overdrive. The constant pressures of work and relationships overactivate the amygdala, causing some people to feel permanently primed for danger.
CBD, however, may reduce this kind of pain too through the same mechanism as with pain relief: binding to your CB1 and CB2 receptors.
The evidence that CBD reduces anxiety is still in the early stages, but what we have so far suggests that it could have therapeutic benefit.
Researchers at the Department of Neurosciences and Behavior, Division of Psychiatry, University of São Paulo conducted a study into the neurological basis of the anti-anxiety effects of cannabidiol. Their research found that there were genuine biological mechanisms which could explain why CBD might induce feelings of calm and contentment in those who suffer from chronic anxiety conditions.
The National Drug Institute also found similar evidence. It points to the anti-anxiety effects of CBD in a range of animal model studies and human trials which investigated whether CBD could help people with seasonal-affective disorder. CBD made no difference to the cognitive scores of twelve patients on the regimen, but it did reduce measures of anxiety significantly.
So, in summary, CBD does appear to help people feel better, but we require more extensive studies to confirm early findings.