Is CBD Good for Inflammation? (Plus 3 More Chronic Conditions Cannabidiol Can Treat)
With as much valid research that emerges around CBD’s health benefits, just as many half-truths and untruths float to the surface. And for casual consumers, it might be difficult to filter out the fabrications from the bonafide, research-backed benefits.
Here are a few examples of commonly asked questions – along with corresponding studies and warnings – concerning CBD. Is CBD good for inflammation? Can it help with anxiety and depression? And are the stories about CBD reducing seizures legitimate?
Does CBD Help With Inflammation in the Body?
In short, yes. According to a study on the antioxidative and anti-Inflammatory properties of cannabidiol (CBD) performed by the Medical University of Bialystok in Poland, CBD indirectly reduces inflammation by lowering levels of cytokines. Increased levels of cytokines have been known to increase inflammation. Naturally, when taken away, lower levels of cytokines can improve conditions like arthritis.
Additionally, this same study found that when the CB2 endocannabinoid receptor is activated – a process that occurs naturally in the body and can be facilitated through the taking of CBD supplements – inflammation can also be reduced.
Finally, a brief warning. Enzymes in the liver are responsible for breaking down drugs and natural substances in the body and purifying your blood. These enzymes can only do so much at a time, however, and combining CBD with other anti-inflammatory medications can slow down this purification process.
This is all to say that talking with your doctor is usually a good idea before beginning a mixture of CBD in addition to other medications.
Does CBD Help With Anxiety and Depression?
For those of us who have the misfortune of anxiety and/or depression disorders, we understand that it’s not as simple as being afraid, paranoid, or sad. The effects are chemical in nature, and they aren’t cured by our father gently patting us on the back and saying, “Buck up, pal.”
We also know that medication for anxiety or depression usually comes with a hefty and intimidating line of side effects, like mood swings, sleeplessness, and sexual dysfunction (not to mention the cost of medication).
Thankfully, CBD has been shown to help manage symptoms of anxiety and depression. The key is serotonin receptors. For most individuals struggling with chronic anxiety or depression, serotonin levels in the body are low. Of course, that is an oversimplified explanation of a complicated problem, but the point is that CBD positively interacts with serotonin receptors in the brain, acting as an antidepressant and antianxiety compound.
Does CBD Help With Seizures?
Of all the benefits of CBD, it’s treatment of seizures is by far the most documented. A placebo-controlled trial showed that children with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, rare and difficult to treat forms of epilepsy, experienced half the amount of seizures when taking CBD than those in the placebo group.
This finding, along with many other studies, led to the manufacturing of a drug called Epidiolex, which is the only FDA approved medication derived from CBD.
Without a doubt, CBD has its place in healthcare, and it’s potential applications range from inflammation to chronic pain to mental health to seizures. If you are considering adding CBD to your daily routine – especially if you are on other medications or considering going off current medications – make sure to talk with your doctor. CBD has the potential to help, but the transition to cannabidiol should be done safely and with the oversight of qualified medical professionals.