Every so often there comes a new ‘next big thing’ in health and supplements. One week its collagen, the next it is seaweed, however, some medications are more controversial than others. CBD for instance has been getting a lot of attention recently for a wide variety of reasons. For the uninitiated CBD stands for ‘cannabidiol’, it is a chemical compound (one of over 100) that is found in the cannabis family, including hemp and marijuana.
Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is also a compound found in Cannabis, CBD doesn’t produce a ‘high’ and it is has been a gaining positive reputation as a treatment for a number of problems including stress and immune function while having positive benefits to some people dealing with pain control and sleep issues.
I first heard about it when a friend of mine was taking it in capsules form, from Swiss manufacturer Cibdol (it is also available in a range of capsules, topical agents, and crystals). She finds it helps her to sleep, something that she had been having trouble with on a regular basis since starting the menopause.
Obviously CBD is still fairly new and so there is still lots of testing to be done on it before any health claims can be legally given, but from anecdotal evidence, there does seem to be a case for further investigation.
With this in mind, I thought it could be a good idea to put together a quick ‘Top 4 Health benefits of CBD’.
1: A Healthy Heart?
Scientists are still getting to grips with understanding the full relationship CBD has with many ailments. One of these is cardiovascular disease (CVD). In small studies, it has found that “acute administration of CBD reduces resting Blood Pressure and the Blood Pressure increase to stress in humans”. This could be good news for many patients especially as many alternative medicines can have unwanted side effects
2: Focusing the mind
I’m not sure about you, but the one thing I wasn’t very good at after smoking a joint was focusing, however, CBD’s chemical structure does not allow it to bind to CB1 receptors, which in plain English means that it doesn’t make you feel stoned. In fact, according to research CBD can actually promote wakefulness during daylight hours
3: Weight Loss
Possibly the most controversial claims regarding CBD are about its use as a dietary and metabolic stabiliser. Recent research suggested that CBD could be a promising supplement in order to prevent severe obesity. This is down to some very technical reasons involving ‘white’ fat and ‘brown fat’ that I don’t properly understand if I’m honest. Again more research is being undertaken at the moment, but according to the American Journal of Pathology, there is “tremendous therapeutic potential” of CBD in the treatment of metabolic disorders. So watch this space
4: Sweet Dreams
Studies have shown CBD’s potential for helping to realign bad sleep patterns. This is in part due to medicating various processes in your body. By enabling us to function properly and regain a normal cycle of alertness in the day CBD can, as a result, help us to sleep better at night too. We all know about the benefits health-wise a decent night’s sleep can give you and the type of sleep is hugely important too. Oh, and one last thing. If you ever get to go on a long haul flight again it is thought to also help with jetlag.
Overall, while science is still understanding and quantifying the true benefits of CBD in its many forms, many people are already benefiting from its use and as more research is done on its varied potential health benefits this seems certain to continue.