Cannabidiol became popular after scientific evidence supported that it reduces seizures for individuals with epilepsy.
Commonly referred to as CBD, this natural supplement is used to ease or eliminate the presenting symptoms of many health conditions. Unlike its close cousin, THC, you won’t feel ‘high’ after consumption.
With CBD, you can reap the benefits with minimal psychoactive effects. Because of its wide range of applications, people often wonder when and why they should use CBD. The list is endless, but we will touch on a few of the more popular reasons.
CBD Boasts Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Kristina Risola, Cannabis Health Coach, told Public Goods that the three primary reasons for using CBD are anti-inflammatory purposes, mental health and seizures associated with epilepsy.
The latter is how CBD initially made its big entrance into the world, following FDA approval for that specific condition.
CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties are renowned for reducing pain from chronic conditions and even muscle soreness after exercise. Its effectiveness against inflammation is another one of the reasons you should consider embarking on your first CBD journey.
This effect is different from Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs,) such as Aspirin and Motrin, because you don’t need to worry about kidney damage or long-term side effects — assuming you aren’t overindulging. Upward of 15% of NSAID users exceed the maximum daily dose, increasing the risk of organ damage, kidney failure, or death.
Mental Illnesses Respond Well to CBD
If you are battling anxiety, PTSD or opioid use disorder, you will likely find comfort in the effects of CBD. It has remarkable applicability for mental health, especially because you’ll remain clear-headed and focused.
Risola explained that when CBD is used to treat panic disorders or PTSD, it is helpful for when your fight or flight response goes into overdrive. CBD can help you manage your anxiety without the use of prescription medications that often lead to physical dependence. Researchers are also trying to prove that CBD can change the way your brain’s receptors will respond to serotonin — a ‘feel-good’ chemical often linked to mental health.
Older studies have shown that CBD:
- Alleviates anxiety by decreasing stress
- Treats insomnia by promoting healthier sleep
- Slows down increased heart rates
- Reduces day-to-day stress
On the other hand, THC can have adverse effects on users, causing them more anxiety or paranoia. This drawback is one of the many reasons users prefer CBD. Bear in mind, however, that the substance is still considered psychoactive.
“People often think CBD isn’t psychoactive,” Risola noted. “The fact that it treats certain mental health disorders shows you just how psychoactive it is. However, it is non-impairing. You’ll feel normal — finding that sweet spot of homeostasis.”
CBD can effectively regulate mood in people with bipolar disorder. It can balance their mood when they’re experiencing mania and raise their spirits in the midst of a depressive episode. Again, homeostasis. If you’re medication-resistant or seeking natural remedy for mental health issues, CBD can prove beneficial.
To add, the anti-addictive properties of this super plant are perfect for those experiencing chronic pain, avoiding the potential addiction to prescription pills.
The Best Form of CBD Varies
You may be wondering what form of CBD will best meet your needs. The answer is, it’s entirely individualized. Due to the immediate onset, CBD flower or vaporizers are typically favorable to people battling mental illness.
Vaping or Smoking CBD Flower
CBD flower is a term people use when referring to the buds, or flowers, on the female flowers of the hemp plant. Hemp plants are specially bred to contain less than 0.3% THC, the legal percentage allowed in CBD products.
When using CBD flower for medicinal purposes, you can roll it up into a joint or smoke it out of a bowl. There is a striking resemblance between the appearance of CBD flower and marijuana.
If you are enduring a panic attack, you will feel calmness and relaxation with each inhalation of CBD.
If a person opts to smoke or vape, they generally need to re-dose every two or three hours. Inhalants kick in more rapidly and wear off faster.
Topicals, such as lotions or balms, are specifically made for treating localized pain. If your pain is limited to one area, you may prefer CBD topicals. The duration of effect varies from person to person. Nonetheless, the relief generally lasts for six hours.
Transdermal patches are a form of topical that adhere onto one of your veins. They surpass the skin and muscle barrier, entering the bloodstream. Depending on the brand and product, they can last for 24-72 hours. If you need topicals for muscle spasms or sporadic soreness, you may fare better with topical creams.
If you suffer from chronic pain, you might enjoy the longer-lasting decrease in pain from transdermal patches.
Tinctures and Oils
Tinctures are not the same as oils. Tinctures are alcohol-based and administered sublingually. The mucous membranes beneath your tongue absorb the medication rapidly. You will feel the effects in 15-30 minutes, although the time varies slightly if you have an empty stomach versus a full one.
Whether you’ve eaten or not, tinctures take effect quicker than oils. Nonetheless, you will need to take more throughout the day. Oils are often considered an oral form of CBD, similar to edibles or capsules.
Oils can be taken sublingually, but the majority of the CBD will be swallowed, rather than absorbed in your mouth’s mucous membranes.
Risola prefers oral forms of CBD for her patients. Oral CBD includes edibles, oils (not to be confused with tinctures) and capsules. The relief lasts longer, she said, and people tend to remember to take their medication when it’s only dosed twice per day.
Tinctures kick in faster than oils, however, CBD oil provides longer-lasting relief, making the choice individualized. Is a fast onset more helpful for your condition or a longer lasting effect?
If you need relief for a longer duration of time rather than the rapid onset and faster wear-off, you should try oils instead of tinctures.
When Should You Use CBD?
In short, you should take advantage of CBD when the benefits outweigh the risks.
Risola said that CBD is non-toxic and we consider it to be safe, but it still needs to be used with caution and proper judgment.
We consulted with two CBD experts who agreed that 90% of the time the benefits are greater than the potential risks.
Ryan Andoos, co-owner of Route 27 Hempyard, told us there’s research still in the early stages. Studies are trying to discover if people who consume CBD in large, consistent quantities will cause damage to their liver.
Andoos casually said, “I guess too much of anything isn’t a good thing, right?”
CBD, like any medication or supplement, should be used in moderation. It’s wise to err on the side of caution. You can use the advisable dosing methods of CBD when you need it for medicinal reasons, including the desire to relax.
But before you indulge in CBD, consult with your primary care physician. Your doctor will know if it will negatively react with any of your pre-existing medications. Once you have the go-ahead, you can use CBD and experience its glory firsthand.
Every person’s brain and body chemistry is different, so individuals will react uniquely to CBD. It is tolerated well by the large majority of users.
If you suffer from chronic pain, Parkinson’s or epilepsy, you should use CBD several times every day, assuring it stays in your system. For mental illness, you may prefer to dose as needed — the choice is yours.
CBD is a cleaner option in comparison to pharmaceuticals. If you are looking to remove prescription drugs from your life, CBD possesses a wealth of benefits that can replace the need for modern medication.
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