15 Nov What CBD Can Do For You – Part III
What CBD Can Do For You, Part III
This is the third installment of a multi-series report by Swiss Relief CBD on the purported positive health and therapeutic benefits of CBD, or cannabidiol. Our intent is to inform and educate the public on the many potential therapeutic and physiological effects of CBD as science and experience begin to elucidate them. So far, we’ve covered the interaction between CBD and the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body, and some of the many properties of CBD such as anti-anxiety, anti-depression, antioxidant, and pain management.
In this report, we will uncover other potential benefits of CBD including its ability to enhance sleep and its anti-inflammatory properties.
Although much of the research regarding these benefits is in its infancy stage, the results are promising. The fact that CBD has a good safety profile is well-tolerated in humans even at high doses, and is not toxic makes it an alternative treatment worth exploring and trying, especially when modern medicine has failed to deliver and continues to disappoint.
CBD & Enhanced Sleep
We all need sleep. For some people, sleep is a serious problem. Getting enough sleep, staying asleep, and waking up feeling refreshed are things many people do not experience on a regular basis. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, insomnia, or the inability to fall asleep and stay asleep, is the number one sleep disorder in the U.S. affecting nearly 40 million Americans each year (over 12% of the population).1 A study by the medical journal Medicines claims that 50% of adults have difficulty sleeping, and significant numbers of those are dissatisfied with the effectiveness and potential side effects of prescription sleep aids.2
Factors that can cause insomnia include mental and emotional disorders, preexisting medical conditions, social or environmental changes, and bad habits (i.e. drinking too much caffeine at night). 3
Lack of sleep and drowsiness are not the only problems associated with sufferers of insomnia: low energy, increased anxiety and irritability, and decreased cognitive function are all side effects of insomnia.4 For those of us who have no problem getting to sleep at night, we ought not to take it for granted. Not sleeping well is a problem for many people, and finding a solution is pertinent to healthy living and an optimally functioning society.
For those who suffer from insomnia, we have some good news for you—CBD is proving over and over again to be a natural supplement that can enhance and induce a good night’s sleep. Not only induce a good night’s sleep but wake up the next morning feeling refreshed and alert. How do I know? Let’s look at the science.
In a study with insomniac patients, researchers wanted to compare the effects of CBD to a placebo and nitrazepam, an anticonvulsant and hypnotic. (You do not even want to know how toxic nitrazepam is with long-term use.) The study found that the duration of sleep for those administered high-doses of CBD (160mg) was significantly longer than the other groups tested.5 The same researchers from that study conducted a separate one which combined CBD with antiepileptic drugs and found that half of the patients treated with CBD showed remarkable improvement as compared to one patient who showed improvement with a placebo. 6
Another study published in the journal Medicines observed 409 insomniac sufferers and found that CBD worked significantly better than THC to alleviate insomnia in those tested.7 As previously discussed, THC and other sleep medications have many unwanted side effects including high toxicity and inconsistent efficacy. This study in Medicines furthers that point in saying, “In comparison to conventional prescription pharmaceutical sleep aids, CBD is generally believed to be much safer and is often described as non-psychoactive.” 8not cause that high effect and is thus considered non-psychoactive.
Brightfield Group and HelloMD, the nation’s leading online medical cannabis resource for patients, experts, and retailers, paired up to conduct a study with over 2,400 medical cannabis users from the U.S. and abroad specifically to gain insight into the use of CBD. The study found that the primary reasons people used CBD products were to treat or relieve anxiety, insomnia, joint pain/inflammation, and depression, with anxiety and insomnia in the top two positions.9 Not only that, more than 4 out of 5 respondents who use CBD reported that CBD worked either extremely effectively or very effectively for various conditions that they used CBD for including insomnia, anxiety, depression, menstrual cramps, and ADHD.10
Studies on the benefits of CBD grow every day, and we patiently await more extensive research on the plethora of therapeutic and health benefits preliminarily identified and associated with the CBD compound. The anecdotal stories are countless and should account for something to the effectiveness of CBD. Will your CBD success story be added the repertoire?
CBD and Anti-Inflammation
Before discussing the evidence of CBD as being an anti-inflammatory agent, it is important to establish what inflammation is, what causes it to occur, and the problems that may arise with long-term or chronic inflammation.
According to Medical News Today, inflammation is one of the body’s natural defense mechanisms that is triggered by the immune system when injury, irritants, or disease is detected in the body. 11Essentially, it is a biological and immune system response to bodily harm or injury and is a good sign that the body is functioning properly and trying to heal itself. When inflammation persists, this is a sign of a chronic, intractable problem in the body that can lead to long-term discomfort, pain, or immobility.
As already established in previous blogs, the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is active and spread throughout the body’s central nervous system and immune system. This is a partial explanation as to why cannabinoids, like CBD, work with our body’s natural system to promote health, homeostasis, and in this case, reducing inflammation.
A study published by the AAPS Journal conducted a review of the effects of cannabinoids on inflammation. They found that “CBD reduces joint inflammation in collagen-induced arthritis in mice and carrageenan paw edema in rats.”12 Carrageenan paw edema is a method used to test new NSAIDS agents (anti-inflammatory and non-steroidal drugs) where inflammation is induced from an injection of a red seaweed (carrageenan) into the paw of a rat.13 The efficacy of the new agent (in this case, cannabidiol a.k.a CBD) is determined based on the amount of time it takes to reduce the inflammation in the injected site. All that to say CBD passed the test.
The study goes on: “In addition, oral administration of CBD (2.5–20 mg/kg) reduces neuropathic (sciatic nerve constriction) and inflammatory… pain in rats.”14 Not only did the CBD reduce inflammation, but it also curbed pain caused by inflammation and neuropathic nerve damage. For patients with arthritis or multiple sclerosis, this is good news. Another study conducted in humans found that,
“THC and CBD have been administered as an oral mucosal spray to 58 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (23). Treated patients had a significant reduction in pain and improvement in sleep compared to patients given a placebo.”15
Here, again, we see the potential of CBD to improve sleep patterns in patients that suffer from chronic pain and inflammation-induced pain. Alleviating pain, inflammation, and insomnia all in one — now that’s worth getting excited over!
Another study sought to understand the interaction between cannabidiol (CBD) and the central nervous system in relation to intestinal inflammation. Without bogging us down with the scientific explanation of how CBD can fight inflammation in intestines (it has to do with CBD’s ability to control the release of certain chemicals or proteins in the body that can cause inflamed bowels), the study concluded that, “Our results, therefore, indicate that CBD indeed unravels a new therapeutic strategy to treat inflammatory bowel diseases.” CBD was proven in this study, conducted in both humans and mice, to reduce the severity of intestinal inflammation.16
It is difficult to refute the growing evidence of CBD’s ability to work with our body’s endocannabinoid system, which influences the central nervous and immune system, to reduce troublesome and painful inflammation in the body.
In Conclusion, For Now…
The mounting evidence surrounding the power of the hemp-derived compound CBD is becoming difficult to brush off or deny. CBD is showing in study after study to produce benefits in the human body to improve the quality of life through its synthesis with the endocannabinoid system. From being an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and pain reducing agent, or helping social-emotional disorders like anxiety, depression, or insomnia, CBD is blowing up your medicine cabinet—and for good reason. We are only beginning to scratch the surface of what CBD can do for you to bring balance, equilibrium, and homeostat to your mind, body, and life.