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If you know about cannabidiol (CBD) but you’re still not exactly sure why you would take it, you’ve come to the right place! There are tons of reasons to take CBD oil but, for the sake of brevity, we’re going to look into the top three: Pain, Anxiety, and Insomnia.
You might be thinking, “What’s the big deal? Tylenol takes care of headaches and Xanax gets me through those awkward Tinder dates. Why would I want to take - let alone buy - some plant-based oil?”
And that’s an understandable question. It seems like a new health craze pops up every other day. There’s “NASA approved” stickers that rid your body of toxins, room spray that’s supposed to keep “psychic vampires” at bay, oxygen shots, colonics, cupping… the list goes on and on. It makes sense that you would (and should) take all these new health fads with a grain of salt.
What makes CBD oil stand out from the rest of these health trends is the growing body of scientific evidence supporting it. I mean, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a CBD-based drug; that’s some pretty convincing proof that CBD has some very real health benefits.
Despite coming from cannabis, CBD has no mind-altering effects like it’s high-inducing cannabinoid cousin, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). While some CBD companies may add THC to their product, most source their isolate from industrial hemp plants which must have a THC content lower than 0.3% to be considered legal – thanks to the 2014 Farm bill.
Since CBD won’t get you high, it’s a popular alternative to traditional big pharma medicines. Even older generations are starting to realize CBD gives them all the beneficial attributes of cannabis without the mind-altering effects of THC.
If you follow the news, I’m sure you’ve heard that the CBD industry is booming and expected to generate over 23.4 billion dollars and half a million jobs by 2022. ArcView Market Research, a leading cannabis industry analyst, projects the cannabis market will hit 57 billion dollars by 2027 and 75 billion dollars by 2030, with North America leading the way.
Not counting the Netherlands, Europe’s been slower to embrace CBD and the cannabis industry. For example, Sweden has only approved two people for medical marijuana use. Despite this, several countries have recently passed legislation which makes it easier to qualify as a cannabis patient. Following the 2016 bill, the numbers of cannabis patients in Germany went from a few hundred to 13,000 over the course of a year.
These figures give us a good idea of the direction, and long-term growth capability of the cannabis industry and one thing is pretty clear: This isn’t any fly-by-night phenomenon; CBD is here to stay.
Look at the all the CBD products currently flooding the market, both online and off. We aren’t talking about the traditional CBD oil tinctures and capsules; we’re talking cosmetics, coffee, booze, bath bombs, lotions… you name it!
So, let’s take a look at the top three reasons to take CBD oil:
One of the most common reasons people take CBD oil is for some much-needed pain relief. Whether it’s a migraine, sore muscles, or chronic pain, CBD oil has helped countless people get back on their feet and enjoy life again.
The problem with treating pain isn’t only that it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause, but traditional pain meds can be addictive. And if you’re alive in 2018, it’s hard to miss the fact that the United States has a serious opioid problem. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed drug overdoses totaled 72,000 in 2017, a 10% increase from the previous year.
In response, this past October Congress approved the “Support for Patients & Community Act.” This act creates more recovery centers, lifts treatment restrictions, and allows for more research into opioid alternatives. Hopefully, this will make people start to consider how CBD can help.
Recently, Brightfield Group teamed up with HelloMD to survey 2,400 members about their experience using CBD, and 42% said they quit taking their pain medications because they felt CBD oil worked better.
Then a University of California, Berkeley study found that out of their 2,000 participants, 97% reduced their prescription opioid usage while using CBD and 81% felt it worked better than traditional treatment options. So, as you can see, taking CBD oil for pain seems to produce some positive results and there’s no reason to rely solely on opioids.
On a lighter note, I have a very recent experience taking CBD for pain after breaking my ankle roller skating. I’d never broken a bone before but, if the pain is any indicator, I was pretty certain it wasn’t a sprain.
To add insult to injury, the orthopedist then asks which one of my children I was skating with when this happened. Well, I don’t have children. And it made me realize at my age most people coming in with roller skating injuries either:
A. have children or,
B. they are children.
Cue mild mid-life crisis.
Then, while waiting for X-rays, the man sitting next to me seemed to think it was the perfect time to discuss his recent foot amputation. Awesome, thanks. Now, not only am I in agonizing pain, but I’m also starting to believe they might need to cut my foot off.
After confirming with the doctor that I was being irrational, she asked if I wanted some painkillers and I, genius that I am, turned them down.
Two hours later and I’m seriously starting to regret this decision.
Luckily, I have a kind friend who brought me some CBD products (topicals and vape oil) and, I’ve got to admit, they made a huge difference. It’s been almost two weeks now, and the swelling in my ankle is completely gone, I’ve reduced my Tylenol/Advil intake to twice daily instead of every five hours, and I can (sort of) get around without crutches.
Whatever type of pain you may be experiencing, there’s a whole slew of scientific and anecdotal evidence supporting CBD. Rather than suffering or settling for dangerous opioids, consider giving CBD oil a try… what have you got to lose?
Going back to my ankle experience, I could have used some CBD oil when I was stuck - with a numb, blue foot - listening to this man’s amputation tales. An active imagination is great, but not when you combine it with severe anxiety.
I mean, would you tell that nervous passenger in the seat next to you about the time your plane almost crashed?
Maybe you would, but you shouldn’t.
What you could do is offer them some CBD oil - along with a few gin and tonics, of course.
That’s right, CBD oil is great at reducing anxiety - and research shows it may even help other mood disorders like depression and ADHD. Doctors may treat anxiety with benzodiazepines like Xanax and Valium, for example. Unfortunately, this whole class of drugs is addictive and comes with a laundry list of negative side effects.
Another potential treatment option (for both anxiety and depression) are SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) which aren’t addictive but are linked to suicide and even murder if taken incorrectly.
Addiction, unpleasant side effects, suicide, and murder? Don’t get me wrong, I do love a good horror film, but I’m not trying to star in a real-life one. Also, if I’m already anxious enough to seek treatment, why would I want to experience any of those things? Seems a bit counter-intuitive if you ask me.
That being said, with something as personal as mental health, it’s important to listen to your body, mind, and doctor when it comes to determining what works for you. Certain conditions and severities of conditions may need prescription medication, and it would be foolish to think CBD oil could replace this. But if your doctor approves and you decide to try using CBD oil for anxiety, it could be just the thing you need to calm your nerves!
Along with pain and anxiety relief, many people find taking CBD oil helps them catch up on some much-needed sleep. If you toss and turn every night, you’re not alone: an estimated 60 million Americans suffer annually from sleep disorders.
Sleep is as important to our health as eating and drinking, yet all too often our fast-paced, high-stress lifestyles mean that a good night’s rest gets placed on the back burner. On top of that, many medical professionals are still somewhat stymied when it comes to helping sleep-deprived patients. And it’s not uncommon for people to go years self-medicating before seeking professional health.
Even when you can’t take it anymore and turn to your doctor, analysis of sleep studies found that when comparing placebos to prescriptions, improvement in sleep is so minimal it’s not even relevant. On top of the ineffectiveness from prescription sleep pills, they associate with higher rates of death, infection, depression, and cancer.
Well, great! I mean, it’s not like literally everything else doesn’t already give you cancer. But why add to the never-ending list of carcinogens when you can use CBD oil to help you sleep? Unlike other all-natural sleep aids like melatonin and valerian, CBD works with your body’s natural cycle instead of tricking your mind into feeling tired.
A recent 2017 review of CBD sleep studies supports the extract’s great potential to ease insomnia. Though the authors admit that more research is still needed – an oft-repeated phrase in the CBD world – don’t let that deter you! CBD knowledge is still in its infancy, and there’s a whole wealth of information out there we have yet to discover.
And, not to bring up my ankle again but… have you ever tried sleeping with a cast? Let’s just say you’re aren’t missing out on anything if you haven’t.
So on top of dealing with the pain of a broken ankle, I also couldn’t sleep. You get a bit antsy, to say the least, when the extent of your daily physical activity becomes reduced to changing channels on the television or telling Netflix, “Yes, I am still watching this show. Quit making me feel bad.”
But, thanks again to my lovely friend, I noticed a huge improvement in my sleep cycle. After a few days of taking CBD oil, I was able to fall asleep and wake up rested. Actually, writing about it now makes me realize that I haven’t slept that well in a long time.
Who knew the answer to a good night’s rest could be something as simple as all-natural CBD oil?
Of course, pain, anxiety, and sleep aren’t the only reasons people take CBD oil. It’s also found to be effective for addressing inflammation, epilepsy, nausea, skin conditions, and addiction; it’s pretty difficult to find a condition it doesn’t help. Oh, and let’s not forget it can help your pets, too!
While available studies are promising, there still needs to be a lot more research done to understand CBD’s full potential. Because of cannabis’ current Schedule I classification, it makes it difficult for researchers at the moment. Hopefully, future legislation will work in CBD’s favor and open the door for more in-depth research.
Despite these temporary bureaucratic hurdles, CBD’s success continues to grow as more and more people experience its therapeutic benefits. The general public is finally beginning to embrace the beneficial attributes of cannabis products. So if you’re at all curious, give CBD a try and experience it for yourself.
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