CBD is short for cannabidiol—one of the two chemicals in cannabis that provide the most health benefits. The other chemical, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), produces the “high” effect that cannabis is known for.
While strains of cannabis can have different levels of both THC and CBD, CBD products don’t contain THC. This means they can offer the health benefits of cannabis without the traditional “high” or other side effects.
CBD vs Cannabis
Despite the differences, there may still be confusion between products labeled CBD and products containing cannabis. While it is an essential component of cannabis, CBD alone doesn’t have any psychoactive effects. This means it doesn’t create a “high” feeling. According to the World Health Organization, CBD has no negative health effects or effects that might lead to abuse or dependence.
This makes it appealing to those who want the relief from pain or stress that cannabis offers without the mind-altering effects of THC. CBD products are made by extracting the compound from the cannabis plant and then diluting it with another oil, like coconut or hemp seed. It can then be formulated and sold as oils, tinctures, capsules, gummies, and sprays.
1. Relieving Pain
Studies show that certain components of cannabis—including CBD—are primarily responsible for the pain-relieving effects. It can reduce pain, inflammation, and the symptoms of chronic conditions by interacting with neurotransmitters in the brain.
It can be effective in treating conditions like:
- Back pain
- Muscle pain
- Multiple sclerosis
- Tension headaches
- Pain from chemotherapy
- Neuropathic pain
2. Relieving Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression
While conditions like anxiety and depression are often treated with pharmaceutical drugs, CBD may help relieve some of the symptoms without the side effects.
CBD oil has shown promise in treating both depression and anxiety. This effect is linked to how it stimulates the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood.
3. Reducing Inflammation
It also plays a role in calming inflammation throughout the body. This can relieve disorders like arthritis or Crohn’s disease. Relieving inflammation can also help improve overall health, regulating digestion and other bodily functions.
It may also improve skin conditions like acne. The anti-inflammatory effects of CBD oil may help treat acne and reduce sebum production.
4. Improving Heart Health
CBD may have benefits for the heart, including lowering high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to several health conditions, including stroke and heart attack.
Regular doses of this cannabinoid can reduce resting blood pressure and limit the increase in blood pressure while under stress. This effect may be due to the stress and anxiety-reducing properties of CBD, as well as its anti-inflammatory effects.
CBD is Pain Management
While cannabis can lead to some side effects in users—like anxiety, paranoia, dry mouth, and fatigue—CBD doesn’t pose a significant risk of side effects.
The limited side effects and the lack of a psychoactive high make CBD a compelling choice for many people looking for relief from certain conditions. In addition to other forms of treatment, it has potential for pain management, relief from neurological conditions, and overall health benefits. If you’re considering trying it, talk to your doctor to determine the right starting dosage and your MMD cannabis experts to guide your product selection.