10 benefits of CBD to treat unexpected diseases
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Cannabidiol offers many therapeutic benefits which are well-documented by scientific literature, and include pain relief, anti-anxiety, and anticonvulsant properties. But plenty of medicinal properties of CBD go largely unnoticed. While many CBD supporters tend to claim this cannabinoid is a magic formula that cures pretty much everything, in the above cases, scientific evidence is there to back up any anecdotal accounts.
However, we should admit we're still learning about what CBD can exactly do to our bodies; after all, research on its potential properties is still in its infancy, and very few clinical studies have been conducted on humans. After sifting through heaps of scientific reports, here are some of CBD’s most interesting or unexpected health benefits:
You might think antibiotic creams are the only way to treat acne, but scientists claim CBD is a promising therapeutic agent for this dermatological issue. In fact, research has found that CBD inhibits sebum production while exerting an anti-inflammatory action on the sebaceous glands responsible for acne.
CBD cosmetic products like Trompetol Extra Tea Tree could also be a treatment option for conditions like eczema or psoriasis, as some studies have shown that cannabinoids like CBD can inhibit the proliferation of keratinocytes (epidermis's prevalent cells), which means they are able to stop the skin cells build-up that causes the uncomfortable symptoms of both diseases. CBD can also reduce dryness, irritation, and redness, so it could also help to "calm" the skin prone to overreacting due to stress, alcohol, diet, and other factors that can trigger these breakouts.
2- Dandruff and loss of hair
For many of us, our hair is our crowning glory, and we want it to look its best, or simply keep it on our heads! We all lose hair throughout the day, but some people experience a hereditary, hormonal, or stress-induced loss. CBD increases blood circulation and has antioxidant properties, so when it's applied to the scalp as a topical product, it could stimulate damaged hair follicles and promote hair growth. CBD has been shown to reduce high cortisol levels connected to hair loss. On the other hand, cannabidiol also boosts the immune system to help targeting the primary cause of certain types of hair loss.
Dandruff is another common problem affecting up to 50% of adults. And, like scalp itching, it’s often related to sebum production. According to a new study, CBD-infused shampoos, such as Cannabios shampoo and shower gel, “could significantly reduce both the severity and symptoms of scalp inflammation within two weeks, with excellent tolerability and treatment satisfaction with subjects with scalp psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis”, the researchers concluded.
3- Erectile dysfunction
Ayurvedic medicine has been using cannabis for many years in order to improve ejaculatory function and sexual performance. Currently, the plant's influence on sexual enjoyment is a widely researched topic that takes into account the presence of cannabinoid receptors in the brain, and the sexual reproductive organs, such as the testicles. Research has found an important link between endocannabinoid concentrations and sexual arousal, which, in theory, means that CBD use could boost libido.
Another study suggests that CBD anxiolytic actions are responsible for this effect: by calming the user's stress, it also increases their sexual drive, paving the way for more frequent and intense orgasms. Other trials show that CBD, as a vasodilator, helps blood vessels to relax, which makes the blood get to where is needed in a more efficient manner. This, in turn, could solve the problems of erectile dysfunction and lack of stamina during sex.
4- Diarrhea and constipation
The intestine is an ecosystem packed with millions of microorganisms that make up 90% of our body's living cells. Many interactions that take place within the intestinal microbiome can influence all aspects of our health. In fact, scientists often refer to the bowels as our "second brain." Given the endocannabinoid system provides a communication channel between the intestine and the brain, it has close ties with certain digestive disorders.
For example, due to the way CBD interacts with CB1, CB2, and serotonin receptors, it slows down the degradation of the endocannabinoids and regulates the immune and inflammatory responses. All this can help to relieve many digestive problematic symptoms, such as swelling, cramps, diarrhea, and constipation. Research has even proved that CBD could be a potential treatment for serious intestinal inflammatory diseases like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
5- Physical exercise optimization
When trying to be fit, we can get carried away and pull a muscle or suffer other injuries. This is causing more users to turn to CBD looking for the physical support it offers. Cannabidiol’s analgesic properties mean it could potentially help to relieve both acute and chronic pain, allowing athletes (and people who simply like to exercise) to endure high-intensity training and performance. It could also help reduce inflammation, and speed up muscle recovery and injury repair.
Researchers have also found that CBD inhibits anandamide absorption, an endogenous cannabinoid commonly known as the “bliss molecule”. The way in which CBD slows down anandamide breakdown could contribute to the “runner's high” (a euphoric state following intense exercise), which according to modern scientists is caused by anandamide, as opposed to an endorphin avalanche, as previously thought.
6- Tobacco and other substances dependence
Anyone who has tried to quit smoking knows how hard it can be. The problem is that we don't usually compare smoking cigarettes with drug addiction and pharmaceutical substances dependence, since they don't have the same social connotations. Research shows that "CBD has been linked to many neural circuits involved in becoming an addict and the subsequent drug-seeking behaviors, making it an interesting pharmacological candidate for the treatment of substance abuse disorders."
The anxiolytic, antidepressant, and pain-relieving properties of CBD are also believed to be beneficial for those trying to quit their addiction to opioids, which are highly addictive pain medications that have created a real health crisis in the U.S. Since the year 2000, nearly 400,000 Americans have died from opioid-related causes, slightly less than the number of soldiers killed in World War II. And while more research is needed, especially on whether cannabidiol can help in quitting smoking, some studies show promising results. For example, in a 2013 study, the smokers who used a CBD inhaler reduced the number of cigarettes they smoked each day by 40%.
7. Sexually transmitted diseases
Yes, you read that right. CBD has been linked to the effective treatment of several STDs, including herpes and chlamydia. This is probably good news, as studies show that people who use marijuana have more sex than the average person. Also, for the first time, researchers at the University of Queensland, Australia, have discovered how CBD can provide a solution for antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
These bacteria have an outer membrane that provides them with an additional line of defense, hindering the penetration of the antibiotic, including those responsible for gonorrhea, MRSA (methicillin-resistant staph aureus infections), and meningitis. These findings could lead to the creation of the first antibiotics for resistant bacteria in 60 years, mainly to treat conditions such as gonorrhea, which annually infects about 100 million people worldwide.
8- Athlete's foot and toenails fungal infections
Toenail fungal infections are painful, visually unpleasant, and dangerous if left untreated. They're also much more common than you might think, which is understandable, since it’s an unusual topic of conversation. Thanks to its antifungal and analgesic actions, CBD could play an important role in the prevention and treatment of conditions such as athlete's foot and fungal infections.
CBD and CBD oil can also help to alleviate the pain around the infected nail. The fungus can erode the nail surface, causing it to disintegrate and fall off, and revealing the skin underneath. This can be very painful, but cannabidiol's anti-inflammatory properties could help alleviate the discomfort, and improve the patient mobility during their recovery.
There are many types of stuttering, ranging from mildest to most severe, but they usually involve distress, anxiety, and low self-esteem, along with the repetition of jerky sounds, manifested by the physical tension experienced by the individual when flexing the speech muscles. CBD offers a host of benefits in this regard, as it calms and relaxes the muscles, helping to eliminate the spastic nature of speech-related obstacles; something that can also be very effective for people who suffer from anxiety or are afraid to speak in public.
Studies have also shown that CBD can help reduce the recurrence and intensity of the spasms experimented by a person while stuttering. Records show that patients with Tourette's syndrome (a nervous system disorder that causes a person to make involuntary sounds and movements) experienced an 80% reduction in their spasms.
10- Snoring and sleep apnea
Snoring is caused by many factors, like allergies, chronic nasal congestion, alcohol consumption, excess weight, etc., but the two main causes are: rapid eye movement sleep (REM), and a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Many people experience a combination of REM and OSA, resulting in heavy snoring and repetitive breathing cessation while sleeping. A study published in the journal FEBS Letters found that CBD extract could increase wakefulness and reduce rapid eye movement (REM) during sleep.
Other studies suggest that CBD can provide a sense of calm, help with muscle relaxation, reduce acute pain, and have anti-inflammatory effects, all of which allow for a better sleep at night. And, believe it or not, CBD can also help with nightmares, since it somehow affects REM sleep, and often stops the mind from racing and causing bad dreams. For some people, it can even eliminate dreams entirely.
CBD side effects
Finally, we must remember that CBD is generally well tolerated, even in doses of up to 6,000mg. But users have reported side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, changes in appetite and weight, fatigue, and sedation. According to the World Health Organization, these side effects could be the result of drug interactions, and claims that "CBD is safe to use." However, we need further large-scale clinical trials to be able to determine the true potential of cannabidiol treatments for these conditions. This emphasizes the importance of both consulting a doctor before taking CBD, and buying only good quality CBD from a trusted supplier, like those from the Alchimiaweb's catalogue.
References and bibliography:
(1) The role of inflammation in the pathology of acne. Emil A Tanghetti.
(2) Effect of cannabidiol on plasma prolactin, growth hormone and cortisol in human volunteers. A W Zuardi, F S Guimarães, A C Moreira.
(3) Circulating endocannabinoid concentrations and sexual arousal in women. Carolin Klein, Matthew N. Hill, Sabrina C.H. Chang, Cecilia J. Hillard, and Boris B. Gorzalka.
(4) The role of the endocannabinoid system in the brain-gut axis. Keith A. Sharkey and John W. Wiley.
(5) A runner’s high depends on cannabinoid receptors in mice. Johannes Fuss, Jörg Steinle, Laura Bindila, Matthias K. Auer, Hartmut Kirchherr, Beat Lutz.
(6) Cannabidiol reduces cigarette consumption in tobacco smokers. Celia J A Morgan, Ravi K Das, Alyssa Joye, H Valerie Curran, Sunjeev K Kamboj.
(7) The antimicrobial potential of cannabidiol. Mark A. T. Blaskovich, Angela M. Kavanagh, Alysha G. Elliott, Bing Zhang.
(9) Treatment of Tourette syndrome with cannabinoids. Kirsten R Müller-Vahl.
(10) Cannabidiol, a constituent of Cannabis sativa, modulates sleep in rats. Eric Murillo-Rodríguez, Diana Millán-Aldaco, Marcela Palomero-Rivero, Raphael Mechoulam.
(11) CANNABIDIOL (CBD) Pre-Review Report Agenda Item 5.2. Expert Committee on Drug Dependence.