CBD oil – or otherwise known as cannabidiol oil – is increasingly used by those suffering from a variety of issues. This rise in popularity is due to an increase in awareness of the benefits of CBD products. This is clear to see through the surge in CBD market, which is worth a staggering £300m and is expected to reach £1bn by 2025. But what exactly are the health benefits of CBD and are they true? We debunk them for you in this post.
How does CBD benefit your health?
Many manufacturers of CBD products claim that CBD has several different health benefits – most notably, treating epilepsy. However, there are very few well-conducted trials that involve the use of CBD alone to back up these claims – most trials often use marijuana, a combination of CBD and THC (making it illegal) or only involve animal patients. The only case where it has been proven that CBD can help is to treat two rare and severe forms of epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome.
Other possible health benefits of CBD, which need further investigating, include:
1. Acne relief
CBD offers benefits for acne management, as it helps to lower the production of sebum that leads to acne forming. This is said to happen due to the anti-inflammatory effects CBD has on the body.
A human study found that the oil prevented activity in sebaceous glands which are responsible for producing sebum, a natural oily substance that hydrates the skin – it is too much of this that can lead to acne occurring.
It’s worth noting that before you consider CBD for acne treatment, it is worth speaking to your dermatologist or a healthcare professional.
2. Mental health
According to Mind, the mental health charity, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week in England. To reduce the number of mental health problems in the UK, it has been suggested that taking CBD can help individuals feel calmer and more ‘in control’.
Even though cannabis use can increase anxiety and paranoia in the user, thanks to the key ingredient THC, a review has suggested that CBD may be useful to help reduce anxiety in people with certain mental health disorders, despite coming from the same plant. According to the review, CBD may have the ability to reduce anxiety-related behaviours in people with conditions such as:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
3. Provides relief from chronic pain
Many people tend to use prescription or over-the-counter drugs to relieve pain, but today people are opting for more natural alternatives, such as herbs, at home remedies and CBD.
In a 2012 study, CBD significantly reduced chronic inflammation and pain in some mice and rats, suggesting that the non-psychoactive compounds in the cannabis plant (like CBD) could provide a new remedy for chronic pain relief. This could be for any kind of chronic pain, such as:
- Arthritis pain
- Inflammatory pain
- Muscle-spasticity in multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Nerve-related pain
4. Alleviates cancer symptoms
Some researchers have found that CBD may be an ingredient that can combat cancer. Authors of a review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found evidence that CBD significantly helped to prevent the spread of cancer. It also found that CBD can help to suppress the growth of cancer cells and promote their destruction too.
In addition, the use of CBD alongside cancer treatment has also been said to ease the feeling of nausea and vomiting associated with treatment symptoms. However, more research into its potential accompaniment to standard treatments needs to be carried out to come to a clear conclusion.
5. Sleeping issues
Sleeping issues, such as insomnia, can be caused a number of reasons, such as mental health disorders, medication, physical conditions, caffeine or environmental factors. If your insomnia is caused by external factors or related conditions, CBD may be able to help by treating the causes of sleeplessness.
However, just like most of the health benefits of CBD, research is still ongoing, and nothing has been proven just yet. However, a 2019 study looked into whether CBD could help improve sleep and/or reduce anxiety – the study found that in the first month, 79.2% reported lower anxiety levels and 66.7% reported better sleep.
The side effects of CBD
Despite being perfectly safe for use and legal in the UK, there are some CBD side effects you should be aware of. Although, side effects are relatively uncommon, they include:
- Increased anxiety
- Changes in appetite
- Mood swings (such as irritability)
- Nausea / vomiting
- Dry mouth
IT’s worth noting that before you begin taking any supplements or medication of any kind, you should speak to your doctor – including CBD. A doctor is best equipped and experienced to tell you whether it’s a good idea.
For more information on CBD, make sure you read our comprehensive guide to CBD.
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