by: Tammie McKay

Over the course of several decades, cannabis products have gone from being taboo to highly sought-after wellness products. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a plant compound that has an immeasurable amount of health benefits without affecting on the mind or behavior. The stigma surrounding CBD is starting to disappear as people are beginning to see its true potential.

Most of the cannabis-focused products contain CBD, but CBD does not contain the buzz-inducing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Marijuana contains both THC and CBD, and both compounds have different effects on the mind and body. CBD was initially utilized as a treatment for seizure disorders, however, it is now being marketed as a solution to a multitude of additional issues.

Uses and Benefits
Advocates of CBD claim it treats a wide variety of health concerns, ranging from everyday ailments to chronic medical conditions. These issues include:

  • Acne – CBD may have beneficial effects on acne due to its anti-inflammatory qualities and ability to control the overproduction of sebum from the sebaceous glands.
  • Anxiety/Depression – CBD oil has shown promise as a treatment for both depression and anxiety without the side effects caused by pharmaceutical drugs.
  • Chronic Pain – Studies have indicated that CBD may help reduce chronic pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters.
  • Epilepsy – CBD has shown to be effective at reducing the number of seizures in people with a form of epilepsy called Lennox–Gastaut syndrome (LGS).
  • Glaucoma – Studies have demonstrated that CBD can alleviate glaucoma-related symptoms because it lowers the intraocular pressure (IOP) and has neuroprotective actions.
  • Muscle Spasms – Cannabis is helpful in reducing muscle spasms and pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Heart Health – CBD may be a natural and effective benefit for heart health in several ways, including reducing blood pressure and preventing heart damage.

Other studies suggest that CBD may be an effective treatment for diabetes, substance abuse, mental disorders and certain types of cancers, as well as promoting sounder sleep, a reduction in inflammation, combating stress and supporting weight loss.

Side Effects
The cannabinoid receptors in the brain do not act the same way as many other drug receptors, so there may be a lower risk of side effects. However, the cannabinoid receptors are widespread in the body, so CBD affects not only the brain but also many other organs and tissues. People who are particularly sensitive to CBD may experience some adverse side effects. These side effects may include:

  • tachycardia (fast heartbeat)
  • hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • red eyes
  • muscle relaxation
  • decreased digestion
  • changes in appetite
  • fatigue

Although there is little risk of becoming addicted to CBD, people can develop a tolerance and experience symptoms of withdrawal if they stop taking it.

So, is CBD helpful or just hype?
Studies on the potential health benefits of CBD are ongoing, so new therapeutic uses are sure to be discovered.

Though there is much to be learned about the efficacy and safety of CBD, results from recent studies suggest that CBD is a safe, powerful, natural treatment for many health issues and ailments.

Is CBD legal in all 50 states?
The legality depends on the source of the CBD. Industrial hemp-derived CBD is legal in all 50 states, but marijuana-derived CBD is not legal across all states. That said, since the changes in the law are still new, some states might not embrace CBD until more is known about it.