Less than a decade ago, recreational use of cannabis was looked down upon—a mother of two living in the suburbs would never dare to admit she was “using” the previously demonized plant—but now, with a growing list of states moving towards legalization, most Americans aren’t afraid to publicize their everyday use of cannabis products.
These days, the majority of users aren’t getting stoned. Instead, they’re consuming cannabis products high in cannabidiol, CBD, the non-psychoactive compound, and sharing their experience via Instagram stories, TikTok dances, and blog posts.
In the recent years since marijuana legalization, CBD has proved to be the star of the show, making its way onto the shelves of health food stores in all different forms: biodynamic coffees, sparkly drinks, gummies, tinctures, topicals, and pet treats. Taming your anxiety-ridden pet and caffeine-induced jitters has never been easier —or healthier.
Many people suffering from increasingly common issues like anxiety and acne are opting to pick up their medication at their health food store’s supplements section rather than the pharmacy counter – because 1. they’re working and 2. no unwanted side effects.
Yet, despite federal restrictions on cannabis hindering in-depth studies of CBD, research done outside the US promises success in treating anxiety, pain, gastrointestinal disorders, and more.
Perhaps, the compound is best known for its success in treating seizure disorder, where it first grew medicinal momentum. In 2013, Charlotte Figi suffered from epilepsy, having more than 300 grand mal seizures per week. Her family treated Charlotte with oral CBD application and saw tremendous improvements to only 2 to 3 seizures per month.
Since then, CBD praises have expanded to a wide array of medical issues. The naturally occurring substance has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, crucial for any disease or illness symptoms.
Though CBD’s biggest misconception is that it gets you high, while the truth is, its fellow cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the true psychoactive compound. CBD has no psychoactive effect.
CBD can either be derived from marijuana or hemp – and it works the same regardless. Marijuana is the THC-rich plant, while the hemp plant is sans THC. The fact is, while CBD from hemp is legal at the federal level, there is still no product approved by the FDA. Nonetheless, cannabis consumers and CBD devotees everywhere don’t mind. And the number of advocates is only growing – and here are reasons why:
Top CBD Uses
In a double-blind study, 24 smokers were randomly given an inhaler of CBD oil or a placebo. The participants were asked to take a puff every time they had the urge to smoke a cigarette. After the week was over, those who were inhaling CBD saw a nearly 40 percent drop in their cigarette intake, while those with the placebo inhalers saw no change. Not only did the inhaler decrease the number of cigarettes smoked, but also stabilized their nicotine cravings.
This study suggests that CBD can be helpful in quitting tobacco and the withdrawal processes.
Acne and Skincare
The Journal of Clinical Investigation and the National Institute of Health published a study that found CBD as a viable treatment for acne. The researchers used CBD derived from cannabis and found that topical use of the compound on human sebocytes was beneficial in acting as an anti-inflammatory agent, balancing sebum production, and inhibiting lipid synthesis.
Today, an array of skincare products are infused with CBD helping calm angry, irritated skin and reduce and heal breakouts. Similar to how CBD works internally to calm the mind and body, topical use of the compound will calm skin.
One of the most popular CBD uses is menstrual pain relief.Interestingly enough, Whoopi Goldberg was one of the first celebrities, nay, people to come out with her own line of CBD products that work to manage period pain. While Whoopi & Maya’s medical cannabis line is no longer operating, there are tons of companies offering bath bombs, lotions, and edibles that help to soothe cramps, back pain, headaches, and nausea that comes with menstrual cycles.
Research investigating CBD as a potential treatment for anxiety disorders found that existing preclinical evidence strongly supported CBD as a viable treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress panic disorder.
CBD, known for its anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory effects when taken internally, fosters a stable mental environment and feelings of calm – and is the main reason customers are seeking out the compound. This effect is believed to occur because of CBD’s action on the endocannabinoid system – our internal cannabis system that is involved in nearly everything we do, including eating, sleeping, sex, and exercising.
In the first study that examined CBD’s oral effects on adults with PTSD, patients were given a flexible dosing regimen of CBD. In conjunction with psychiatric care, the study found that of the 11 patients, 91 percent experienced a reduction in PTSD symptom severity at the end of the 8 weeks. In addition to symptom reduction, CBD also had a powerful effect on those patients who experienced frequent nightmares.
It’s not news that one of the most sought-after benefits of CBD is calming anxiety; there are tinctures, gummies, chocolates, and bubbly drinks, all promoting a “chiller” effect.
Fibromyalgia and Muscle Pain
Popular treatments for fibromyalgia are opioid pain medications, corticosteroids, and anti-inflammatories. With some of these medications being addictive, it’s no wonder that people struggling with fibromyalgia seek out something that will get to the root – without the side effects and risk for addiction.
In 2011, a study found promising results on CBD treatment for fibromyalgia. Out of the 56 participants, those who used CBD to treat their condition saw a significant reduction in pain and symptoms, while those who used traditional methods saw little improvement.
It’s no wonder that one of the top sought-after benefits of CBD has to do with muscle pain and body aches. There are plenty of topicals containing CBD on the market that address these issues successfully.
In a 2012 study published in the journal Translational Psychiatry, researchers compared the effects of antipsychotic Amisulpride and CBD between 42 schizophrenia patients. While both treatments were found effective, CBD outshines the pharmaceutical.
Up there as one of the most favorite CBD uses, CBD products are used to help with insomnia, and they don’t come with risk for addiction, tolerance build-up, or that intense feeling of next-day grogginess.
As we already learned, CBD plays a vital role in our endocannabinoid system, which helps maintain certain body functions like regulating circadian rhythms. In a study published in the Permanente Journal, participants suffering from anxiety and poor sleep were given 25 mg of CBD via capsule. Those with predominantly sleep complaints were instructed to take their dose at night. At the end of the first months, sleep and anxiety scores improved 66 percent in participants.
CBD is all the rage right now and ever after. As we move into a more holistic and nature-based way of living, alternative plant medicines will be at the forefront.