CBD As A Holistic Healing Tool
As a Holistic Health & Nutrition Coach, I believe in the power of healing from within, and that we have a ton of natural remedies right in front of us, thanks to Mother Earth. Optimizing our health and wellbeing can be done in many ways; eating clean foods, moving our bodies, and even plant-based herbal medicine. With the health and wellness industry constantly evolving, we are now welcoming more options for natural healing than ever before. Recently, CBD, or cannabidiol, has become a hot topic for discussion. No, it’s not “weed”, and yes, it has been proven to have healing properties. If you’re wondering what all the buzz is about - continue reading below!
WHAT IS CBD?
Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, it is one of the 104 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids and it’s found in the cannabis or marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, and causes the sensation of getting high that’s often associated with marijuana. However, unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive - meaning it won’t alter your state of being, or get you “high”.
The human body contains a specialized system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is involved in regulating a variety of functions including sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. The body produces endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system. Studies have shown that CBD may help reduce chronic pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters. This makes CBD a natural alternative for folks seeking pain relief due to arthritis, chronic pain, and even anxiety.
CBD FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION
Anxiety and depression are common mental health disorders, and the number of people affected is growing by the day. Many people feel a sense of guilt or even shame when it comes to experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression, which means the numbers may actually be higher than we know due to low reporting. Anxiety and depression are usually treated with pharmaceutical drugs, which can cause a number of side effects including drowsiness, agitation, insomnia, sexual dysfunction and headache. What’s more, medications like benzodiazepines can be addictive and may lead to substance abuse. CBD’s natural ability to act on the brain’s serotonin receptors, the neurotransmitters that regulate mood and social behavior, makes it a promising treatment alternative for those suffering from anxiety and depression.
CBD FOR PAIN RELIEF
A study on rats posted in the European Journal of Pain, showed that topical CBD helped lower arthritis-related pain and inflammation. The CBD oil was applied to rats who had developed arthritis, and after a few days, the inflammation and symptoms associated with arthritis, had subsided significantly. Similarly to the way CBD works with anxiety and depression, it does the same for the brain’s neurotransmitters that act as pain receptors, while also diminishing inflammation in joints.
CBD can also be ingested in liquid form, and has been found to relieve other chronic pains as well. For example, research published in Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management indicates that cannabinoids have been helpful with easing pain for individuals diagnosed with conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and cancer. Other studies have reported positive effects for individuals taking CBD to ease their fibromyalgia pain, many of whom only experienced mild side effects from this chemical compound, such as dry mouth, drowsiness, and dizziness - a much better trade-off than some of the side effects associated with pharmaceutical prescriptions.
IS IT SAFE?
So, is it safe? One of the main concerns of folks looking for an alternative treatment is whether or not there will be any additional, potential and side effects. According to some top health experts and agencies, the answer is yes - it is safe to use!
For instance, Medscape shares that while cannabinoid medicine is still in its early stages, “unlike marijuana and THC, the risks associated with CBD are extremely low, with not a single case report of CBD overdose in the literature.”
The National Institute on Drug Abuse agrees, and states that, “CBD appears to be a safe drug with no addictive effects.”
In the future, it is likely that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will also begin to regulate CBD products, providing an additional safety net - yay! The FDA has indicated that “increasing public interest” in CBD has recently increased the importance of establishing regulatory procedures, and bumped it further up on their list of things to do.
WHAT ARE YOUR CBD OPTIONS?
Consumer Health Digest (CHD) researched products on the web and, according to this guide, the three most important terms to know before purchasing your CBD oil are CBD volume, hemp oil volume, and CBD concentration. The second and third items are the most critical, according to CHD, because they indicate the oil’s potency.
For those looking to CBD as a natural alternative, there are plenty of options when it comes to taking CBD:
CBD oil, which is the “more potent version and delivery system of CBD”
CBD oil topical solutions, enabling the user to use it on a more targeted area
CBD oil tinctures, which are alcohol-based cannabis extracts that can be ingested orally, and the most popular CBD oil choice
CBD dietary supplements, or capsules containing CBD oil in in a powdered form
The CBD solution that’s right for you will likely depend on the location and severity of the pain you’re wanting to treat. If you want to target a specific area, an oil or oil topical may be the best. However, if the pain is all over, then a tincture or dietary supplement may provide more relief.
Also, if you’re new to using CBD oil, it’s recommended that you start small, with a dose of only 10 milligrams per day to establish a safe, effective and comfortable amount for you.
If you’re considering a new, or alternative treatment option, it’s important to consult with your doctor or specialty care physician first. Remember that CBD, along with its holistic healing properties, is still very new, and research is still in its infancy.
That said, it is all-natural, meaning that there should be absolutely no harm done if you do decide to give it a try. After all, what do you have to lose? Who knows, it might even work as a sort of placebo effect.
For those interested in treating pain, anxiety and/or depression with CBD, this article offers a list of the top oils for each kind of treatment!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on CBD, have you tried it yet? Let me know in the comments below!