In recent years, CBD has become widely known for its medicinal benefits. The chemical is now being used to help treat conditions ranging from anxiety, to chronic pain, and even cancer. But what exactly does CBD do, and how can we benefit from using it?
In this article, we are going to cover;
- What CBD is
- The 5 benefits of CBD
- What does CBD feel like?
- Its potential side effects
- And how it can be taken
Ready to find out what does CBD feel like?
What Is CBD?
CBD (or Cannabidiol, to use its proper name), is a type of cannabinoid. Cannabinoids are natural compounds found in cannabis and hemp, and CBD is probably the best-known type. This is predominantly due to its ever-increasing usage within medicinal products.
Unlike psychoactive compounds such as THC, CBD doesn’t cause altered states of pleasure, euphoria or heightened sensory experience. In other words, it doesn’t give you a high.
Despite this, many users believe that it helps them relax. It’s widely understood that this is due to the effects the substance has on your endocannabinoid system (a system within the body that is thought to regulate and provide balance to many important bodily functions).
Also known as ECS, this system consists of endocannabinoids (naturally produced substances similar to cannabinoids), cannabinoid receptors that interact with these endocannabinoids, and enzymes that help synthesize and break them down.
Supposedly, CBD changes the activity of enzymes in the ECS, thereby enhancing the natural effects of the body’s endocannabinoids. You can find out more about the science behind CBD’s effects on the body here. For now, let’s dive into the benefits of the compound.
What Are The Benefits of CBD?
There are a number of benefits people attach to the cannabis compound. Some of these relate to physical health; however, many people are also convinced of the positive effects CBD can have on mental well-being.
Let’s take a look through some of the major benefits of the cannabinoid.
1. Pain Relief
CBD can help reduce chronic pain by interacting with the body’s neurotransmitters and reducing inflammation. Scientific studies have shown that the symptoms of back pain, nerve pain, arthritis and other issues can be eased by a combination of CBD and THC.
Given its connection to various other health problems, pain management is one of the most widely used applications of CBD. However, it’s possible that the drug’s anti-inflammatory properties are contributing more than any ability to combat pain. Clinical trials are ongoing.
2. Reduced Anxiety
Scientists believe that CBD can affect the way our brain’s receptors respond to serotonin, which is the key hormone when it comes to stabilising our moods, feelings, and happiness levels.
By impacting serotonin in the body, the chemical can have a number of positive effects which relate closely to anxiety. These include:
- decreased physiological effects of anxiety, like increased heart rate or breathlessness
- improved symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- healthier sleep patterns and reduced experience of insomnia
CBD’s health benefits were first made widely public by a 2013 CNN documentary entitled Weed. Centring on a young girl named Charlotte, the film highlights medical marijuana’s remedial properties by showing how the use of CBD oil almost completely eliminated the child’s previously life-threatening epileptic fits.
Further data from the New England Journal of Medicine found that purified CBD reduced seizures by an average of 40%.
4. Neuroprotective Effects
Research into whether CBD can be used for neuroprotective purposes is ongoing. However, many scientists are positive about this use of CBD, highlighting how no other drugs exist that have similar neuroprotective properties.
It’s thought that CBD could help people with neurodegenerative disorders (diseases that cause the brain and nerves to deteriorate over time). Some of the conditions that CBD oil could be useful in treating include:
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
CBD oil may also help reduce the inflammation that often worsens neurodegenerative symptoms.
However, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of CBD oil for neurodegenerative diseases. It should go without saying that medical experts should always be consulted in cases where this form of treatment is considered.
5. Cancer Treatment
Certain cancer-related symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and physical pain, can be reduced by using CBD.
One study found that an extract containing a combination of CBD and THC caused patients to experience a significant reduction of pain, while cannabis-based products like Sativex also produced positive results.
Research into whether CBD can effectively prevent cancer cell growth is still in its early stages, so the chemical is predominantly used to manage symptoms and negative the risks of inflammation. That being said, many scientists are positive about the potential CBD has when it comes to fighting cancer.
Clearly, not all cases of cancer are the same. While this form of treatment may be helpful for some, it can harm others. It’s of paramount importance that medical professionals are consulted fully.
What does CBD Feel Like?
Okay, so we’ve been through the various uses and potential health benefits that cannabidiol can provide. But how does this increasingly popular cannabis compound actually make you feel?
Some people may assume that CBD produces the same effects as marijuana, seeing as they can be found in the same plant. However, that isn’t the case.
As we mentioned before, CBD is not a psychoactive substance. While it can be used alongside psychoactive compounds like THC in the treatment of certain physical pains, it is nonintoxicating, and it won’t cause those who take it to feel a high.
However, it’s still possible that using high concentrations of CBD, or taking more than you’re recommended, can cause certain uplifting effects. The impact of strong CBD oil varies depending on the individual, so it’s hard to pinpoint an exact dose that could make subjects feel this way.
There are a number of factors that play a role in how CBD affects the body and mind; these include the dosage taken, the strain of hemp used in the product, how, or where it is grown, its extraction method and additional ingredients, as well as the circumstances in which you take it.
So given that CBD can produce different effects amongst different individuals, it’s highly likely that it can go also have some downsides, right? Let’s take a quick look at some of the potential side effects cannabidiol can cause.
Are There Any Side Effects To Look Out For?
Before elaborating on this issue, it’s important to say that CBD oil usually doesn’t have any major risks for users. That being said, side effects are possible. Here are a few things that users may experience:
- reduced appetite
- low blood pressure
- withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability and insomnia
Often, experiences of these side effects will come down to issues of purity and dosage, which should always be taken into consideration; according to a recent study, more than a quarter of products bought online contained less CBD than advertised.
One other concern regarding CBD is that it can interact with and alter the effects of other medications you may be taking, such as blood thinners.
We don’t yet fully understand all of the potential risks and side effects associated with CBD. Scientists will continue to study the compound, and in the coming years, our knowledge about the chemical will only increase.
For that reason, it’s absolutely crucial that you speak to medical experts and consider any potential risks before trying out CBD oil or other cannabidiol products.
How Can CBD Be Taken?
Try not to be scared off by that list of potential side effects — most people have a perfectly normal or pleasant experience with CBD.
If you’re finding yourself more and more convinced of the benefits of the cannabis compound, you might be wondering how to source it, and what forms it comes in. Let’s look at the main types of CBD products on the market.
- Oil – the most popular CBD product, usually stored in a tincture
- Edibles – a discreet way to try CBD, through sweets, truffles or mints containing the chemical
- Topicals – applied directly to the skin through creams or lotions
- Vaping and smoking – CBD can also be taken using a vaporizer, or by smoking a joint containing high-CBD cannabis flower
It’s important to note that these different methods all have their positives and negatives. Topicals for instance, can cause skin irritation or rashes, while vaping or smoking can expose you to carcinogens. For more on how CBD can be taken, check out this article.
Is CBD Worth Trying?
So, we’ve been through the various benefits of CBD, citing its modern medical uses and potential risks, as well as guiding you through the most popular ways to try it.
If you’re nervous about taking CBD, that’s completely understandable. It’s not for everyone! However, it’s worth remembering that this natural compound does not cause a high, and it’s highly likely your mental and physical state won’t be altered in a negative or confusing way.
Ultimately though, the decision is yours to make. Cannabidiol has limited risks or side effects, but for the moment, it’s best to be cautious. Scientific research is still in its fairly early stages, so keep your eyes peeled for new findings, and try to keep an open mind.