7 Ways CBD Can Be Used as Preventative Medicine
Making use of cannabinoids for holistic health and preventative medicine is so powerful because CBD and other cannabinoids interact with the part of the biological matrix where body and brain meet.
Because CBD and other cannabinoids are so similar to the chemicals created by our own bodies, they are integrated better than many synthetic drugs.
“With complex actions in our immune system, nervous system, and virtually all of the body’s organs, the endocannabinoids are literally a bridge between body and mind. By understanding this system, we begin to see a mechanism that could connect brain activity and states of physical health and disease.”Bradley E. Alger, a leading scientist in the study of endocannabinoids with a PhD from Harvard in experimental psychology.
Anti-inflammatory as Preventative Medicine
Inflammation is known to be involved in a broad spectrum of diseases. In fact, many doctors believe that chronic inflammation is the underlying cause of many chronic diseases and medical conditions, including pain.
Cannabinoids have been proven to have an anti-inflammatory effect in numerous studies. Because CBD engages with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) supporting the reduction of inflammation, it's therapeutic potential is far-reaching.
Reduced Risk of Obesity as Preventative Medicine
In people with obesity, CB1 receptors become more widespread, especially in fatty tissue. There is some evidence that CBD can help a person lose weight or help prevent metabolic disorders.
Here are the potential effects being studied:
Reduces appetite: Many proponents say that the compound can help a person lose weight by reducing their appetite.
Turns bad fat into good fat: Proponents of CBD for weight loss also claim that it can convert white, or “bad,” fat into brown fat, which may help the body burn calories.
Burns fat: Another claim is that CBD melts away fat in the body by breaking down the fat and helping eliminate it from the body as waste.
As a loss of calories is vital for weight loss, CBD may help burn fat if it turns white fat to brown fat in the body.
Reduces the risk of metabolic disorders: The overactivation of the CB receptors in the body may be partly responsible for this. Overactivation of the CB1 receptors in the fat tissue throughout the body could contribute to obesity and metabolic risks.
CBD helps block off the CB1 receptors, meaning that it might reduce the risk of obesity.
Neuroprotection & Brain Health
CBD shows exciting promise in the search for stroke and serious brain injury treatment. Preliminary studies show that it reduces brain cell degeneration and death, which are common effects post-stroke, and post-traumatic brain injury.
As the brain ages, the creation of new neurons slows down significantly. In order to maintain brain health and prevent degenerative diseases, new cells need to be continuously created. A 2008 study showed that low doses of CBD- and THC-like cannabinoids encouraged the creation of new nerve cells in animal models, even in aging brains. CBD also helps prevent other nerve-related diseases like neuropathy and Alzheimer’s disease.
Preventative Medicine for the Skin
CBD helps protect and heal the skin in numerous ways. The skin has the highest amount and concentration of CB2 receptors in the body. When applied topically as an infused lotion, serum, oil, or salve, the antioxidants in CBD (a more powerful antioxidant than vitamins E and C) can repair damage from free radicals like UV rays and environmental pollutants.
Research has firmly established that acne is an inflammatory condition. Although multiple factors trigger acne, we know that anything you apply to skin that can reduce inflammation and help soothe skin (that's where CBD comes in) is likely to visibly reduce breakouts, especially acne-related redness. We recommend our Anti-Aging Products to help clear up skin issues.
Numerous studies have shown that CBD oil has anti-inflammatory benefits when applied to skin. This makes CBD a suitable ingredient for acne-prone skin, while its calming benefits help reactive skin look and feel better.
Research also shows that CBD has the potential to decrease excess sebum (oil) production, possibly due to its balancing effect on the flow of skin’s oil.
CBD has been shown to dramatically reduce—or even eliminate—severe epileptic seizures in children who were previously considered untreatable with the standard medications. National news showed anecdotal cases of parents watching their children suffer through multiple seizures per day. Yet the number of seizures dwindled to a handful—or even disappeared completely after CBD oil therapy.
The FDA has approved the first CBD-based drug for intractable forms of epilepsy—Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome—in patients two years of age and older. This is a major breakthrough for the entire industry and augurs well for legal use of CBD and medical marijuana for multiple other conditions.
CBD as a Preventative Medicine for Anxiety & Stress
A study performed in 2010 showed that CBD helps to reduce anxiety in people with social anxiety disorder, or SAD. This study found that CBD not only helped reduce current anxiety, but it also changed the initial brain reaction to said anxiety. Brain scans showed changes in blood flow patterns in regions of the brain associated with stress and anxiety.
Similarly, a 2011 study found that CBD reduced social anxiety specifically induced by public speaking.
A 2014 research study found that appropriately dosed CBD oil had antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects. This study was performed on animal models with a variety of experiments, such as the forced swimming test (FST), elevated plus maze (EPM), and Vogel conflict test (VCT).
In 2015, an analysis showed that CBD continued to reduce stress and social anxiety. The study referred to CBD as, “a potential treatment for anxiety disorders.” These disorders might include SAD, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and generalized anxiety disorder.
And finally, this 2016 research studied the effectiveness of CBD specifically on PTSD and insomnia. What they found was that CBD significantly reduced PTSD induced anxiety and aided in a healthy sleep pattern.
Pain Management & Prevention
Even before CBD was fully understood, many people used it as a supplement to help alleviate daily struggles with pain.
Pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties are arguably the most popular health benefits of using CBD. After ingestion, CBD is able to inhibit neuronal communication through the pain pathways, thereby reducing the experience of pain. It has been shown to reduce chronic inflammation in rodents without causing dependency issues or the serious side effects often associated with other opioid pain medications. CBD, with some tetrahydrocannabinol, has shown efficacy against the chronic pain in rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and more.
CBD has been shown in many studies to have an anti-anxiety effect, a neuroprotective effect, an anti-inflammatory benefit and an anti-seizure effect. These effects alone or in combination hold great promise for the development of future, specific treatments for an enormous range of conditions and risks, as well as the prevention of disease.
– CBD: A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Cannabis by Leonard Leinow & Juliana Birnbaum
– Cannabis and CBD for Health and Wellness by Aliza Sherman and Dr. Junella Chin
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