As much of the controversy over CBD is settling, more and more people are interested in seeing if CBD can help them. However, many are left wondering if CBD is right for their medical condition.
I see this question a lot on the web, and it usually gets answered with “CBD helps with everything man, you should totally take it!” While this response has good intentions, it ends up making the person more nervous because they wonder how a “supplement” can help with diseases left and right.
CBD does, in fact, have medical uses out the wazoo and isn’t just a snake oil scam. In this article, we’ll cover how it accomplishes this by boosting health on a cellular level. Why it’s different than marijuana, and how to pick the best version of CBD. We’ll also look at the four medical conditions where, in my opinion, CBD works best. Last, we’ll go over how much CBD you should take for different medical conditions.
Table of Contents:
- Your Guide To CBD
- How CBD Works
- Breaking Down Hemp Vs Marijuana
- Cancer Treatment
- How Much CBD Should I Take?
Your Guide To CBD
Derived from the flowers and stalks of cannabis plants CBD products contain two diverse classes of chemical compounds: cannabinoids and terpenes. These compounds produce notable and fascinating effects on the body when ingested.
The effects of taking CBD result in improvements in both mental health and physical health. However, the fascinating part about CBD isn’t that it can help with so many medical conditions. Instead, it’s how it naturally works within the body to promote better health that’s truly incredible to see.
In fact, by studying the cannabinoids in cannabis plants, we discovered that within ourselves and many other organisms is a regulatory system vital to promoting health and homeostasis. We call it the endocannabinoid system (ECS) because it utilizes its own self-created endocannabinoids to activate receptor sites found on cells. Endocannabinoids are really just specialized neurotransmitters.
What’s Homeostasis? — It’s how our bodies and internal functions maintain stability despite all the immense stress we experience in our environment. Lots of things cause stress on the body: diseases, temperature, calories, anxiety, etc. By promoting homeostasis, the ECS regulates and repairs pretty much every physiological and cognitive function in the body on a cellular level.
Endocannabinoids activate several types of cannabinoid receptors found within the ECS — CB1 and CB2 receptors being the two main ones. As well, they activate non-cannabinoid receptors found outside the ECS such as serotonin 5-HT1A and TRPV (vanilloid) receptors.
Both CB1 and CB2 receptors are scattered throughout all parts of the body, however, CB1 receptors are located heavily in the brain, while CB2 receptors are found in high volumes in the nervous and immune systems.
How CBD Works
CBD products boost levels of endocannabinoids that mainly activate CB2 receptors — making it particularly excellent at targeting immunity-related issues. As well, by boosting their numbers, CBD products also help endocannabinoids activate certain receptors outside the ECS that also play a vital role in regulation and health. For example, by attaching to serotonin receptors, a sense of calm is released through the body quelling anxiety — this sense of calm is not euphoric or tangible per se; in essence, you feel normal and balanced.
Last, since the cannabinoids in cannabis plants share a close structure to the cannabinoids our body creates, plant cannabinoids can directly activate many of the same receptors that endocannabinoids do.
Breaking Down Hemp vs Marijuana
- Both hemp and marijuana belong to the genus: Cannabis.
- Within all cannabis plants are cannabinoids and terpenes which all have unique properties that benefit health in some manner. For example, terpenes make it easier for cannabinoids to pass the blood-brain barrier.
- Marijuana has a few extra cannabinoids in very high amounts compared to hemp, and these cannabinoids have psychoactive properties.
- Once in particular, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) binds stronger to CB1 receptors than endocannabinoids do. This produces euphoric effects or a high when ingested.
- Hemp varieties, on the other hand, only contain trace amounts of these cannabinoids and with conventional farming practices, they are completely removed.
- While named after a single cannabinoid, cannabidiol, the majority of CBD oil contains all 100+ phytocannabinoids and 200+ terpenes found in hemp. Regardless if they are plant-based or our own, cannabinoids (and terpenes) promote each other in several beneficial ways.
- Both hemp and marijuana belong to the genus: Cannabis.
- We call this CBD product Full Spectrum, and it’s the CBD version we want!
As of this year alone, at least 40 million Americans will suffer from an anxiety disorder. This rate is only increasing by the year, and yet we still are not doing a great job at addressing the condition. CBD might change that, however.
One of the big issue those with anxiety face is the lack of an easy to take and safe medication. Conventional anxiety meds are often prescription only and can have nasty side effects — some are even addicting. Perhaps worst of all is often they don’t work for a many, and this makes people scared to take them. This only adds to the unfortunate fact that many of us hide our anxiety and mental health issues.
This often results in self-medicating with ill-advised drugs and alcohol. However, many find that CBD does way more for their anxiety — all without damaging their insides.
From workplace stress to public speaking to chronic anxiety, studies show that CBD tackles anxiety at the source. It reduces hypersensitivity and realigns us by balancing our response to fear, stress, etc. without dampening our emotions. Next time, take a shot of CBD oil for anxiety before you try that shot of alcohol.
Relieves Pain and Inflammation
25.3 million American adults struggle with pain daily. This is having devastating effects on our health, and in ways, you might be surprised to hear.
Chronic pain makes physical changes in the brain. Your brain will start misinterpreting more pain signals — making the pain worse than what it is or creating pain out of nowhere. This, in turn, put more stress on the body making us susceptible to anxiety and depression.
Like anxiety, CBD is able to target pain at its source, regardless of its nature: nociceptive pain (inflammatory), neuropathic pain (nerve damage), or chronic pain.
- Cannabinoids reduce nociceptive pain by inhibiting cytokines production after the foreign threat has been removed — this helps to turn off the inflammatory process which prevents chronic inflammation.
- Neuropathic pain is due to a damaged nerve that manipulates pain signals — this can result in either numbness of the area or excruciating pain. Cannabinoids target pain signals at multiple locations, correcting them before the brain interprets them.
- Remember that chronic pain is both a physical and mental disease, because of this taking a pain med like Ibuprofen isn’t enough. As you read above, CBD not only helps with pain but improves anxiety and depression — both are hallmarks of chronic pain.
It’s difficult to not go a day without being asked, “does cannabis cure cancer?” While, a perfectly good question, the answer is and isn’t what most want to hear.
Yes, there are certain cannabinoids in cannabis plants have anticancer properties. Cannabinoids like THC can starve and even kill cancer cells by inhibiting Orphan G protein-coupled receptors that help cancer cells growth. However, this has only been seen with cancer cells in Petri dishes.
It’s not currently known if cannabinoids still have those anticancer properties when in the body. But hey, mustard gas led to our current most effective cancer treatment, so cannabinoids have a real chance. So while they may have direct anticancer properties, I want to stick to what we know for sure about CBD and cancer.
What we know for sure is CBD is an excellent medication to pair with conventional cancer treatments. Conventional cancer treatments are great at killing cancer cells, but they also kill good cells in the process. This can lead to serious side effects — leaving the cancer patient in a state of pain and weakness.
By reducing both pain and nausea, CBD can help cancer patients get mobile again and encourage a healthy appetite. By treating just these two side effects, CBD can help cancer patients get the strength they need to overcome their cancer. But those two side effects only scratch the surface of how CBD can help.
Treating drug-resistant forms of epilepsy is what blew CBD’s popularity up. For decades people were using marijuana to significantly control their epilepsy — regardless of the type of epilepsy. This statement is incredible if you’re familiar with different forms of epilepsy.
Life-threatening forms of epilepsy, like Dravet Syndrome, are poorly controlled by conventional anticonvulsants, yet marijuana has little issues controlling them. Many adults say marijuana saved their lives because of this, but what about kids who are suffering? Should we be getting them high so we can better manage their seizures? At one time this was a real question, but as it turns out, with CBD we probably don’t need to.
I should note that while many find CBD oil is enough to control all forms of epilepsy, there is strong evidence that THC has significant anticonvulsant properties.
However, this is still wonderful for children and pets who struggle with epilepsy, as THC can damage their brains for different reasons. In fact, CBD oil has such a pronounced effect on epilepsy, that many states first legalized its use for epilepsy and only for epilepsy.
Even the DEA, who has mostly been unsuccessful in barring CBD, has acknowledged they understand why parents give their children with these rare forms of epilepsy CBD.
How Much CBD Should I Take?
How much CBD you take will depend on your weight, medical condition, and unique body chemistry. However, most people do well with 15-30 mg once or twice a day.
The large majority of CBD capsules carry a 15 mg dose as it appears to be the sweet spot — this dosage works equally well for the medical conditions we talked about above. If 15 mg dosages/intervals are too large, then tinctures are your best bet as you can make small 1 mg changes.
You really can’t take too much CBD, and when taking higher doses, all you really need to worry about is sleepiness. As well, you may want to avoid high doses if you’re on a prescription drug metabolized in the liver.
All in all, most people will want to use a CBD calculator *linked above*, find their medium dose, and start there once a day. CBD may take one to two weeks for full effects — others will reap the full benefits right away. It all depends on the state of your endocannabinoid system and how deficient it is.
Remember, you want to look for full spectrum hemp CBD — this is the most important thing to look for when buying CBD. I suggest you to buy from Vitaleaf Naturals.