Cannabidiol (CBD oil) is fast becoming a popular alternative to traditional medical cannabis, thanks to its similar effectiveness and lack of psychoactive effects. It’s one of the 500 chemical compounds found in cannabis, and one of the 104 cannabinoid compounds, of which the psychoactive chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the best known.
Previously, the conversation around medical cannabis had centered around THC-derived treatments. However, while THC has been proven to have a wide range of benefits, the main drawback was its psychoactive effects, which carried a significant risk of abuse and psychological dependence when used in an uncontrolled manner.
CBD, unlike THC, does not have a strong psychoactive effect, making it more appealing than THC-derived treatments and traditional opioid-derived medication. Here are just some of the areas where CBD has shown plenty of promise.
1.) Pain control
Cannabis has been used for pain control as early as 2900 B.C.E. and was likely used for this application before recorded history. Cannabis contains a number of compounds that can block pain, among them THC and CBD. CBD’s lack of psychoactive effects has made it appealing as a treatment for chronic pain, as it’s often important for patients to remain lucid if they want to live a better quality of life.
The lack of addictive properties is especially promising in this same application, as many opioids commonly used for pain control carry a significant risk of abuse. The rise of cases of deaths due to prescribed opioid abuse has even led policymakers to declare a so-called “opioid crisis”. CBD has been identified as a possible way to solve or at least reduce the individual and societal effects of opioid abuse.
2.) Alleviating symptoms of anxiety and depression
Common medications used for attenuating effects of severe anxiety and depression are notorious for their side effects. Impotence, dulled cognition, irritability, and drowsiness are often cited as common issues with a wide range of common treatments for these disorders.
Other classes of medication used such as benzodiazepines have also been shown to have a relatively high risk of abuse, which makes them less desirable for these types of applications.
Studies on CBD as an anxiety treatment has shown users had significantly less anxiety, cognitive impairment and were far more comfortable compared to control groups, implying a similar performance to standard medication with a possibly reduced risk of abuse. Given how often these medications have to be taken, any alternative that shows a reduced potential for abuse is likely going to be the preferred option.
3.) Hypertension medication
Hypertension is an increasingly common lifestyle disease that can increase one’s risk of cardiovascular diseases. Current classes of medication carry with them a range of dangerous side effects, such as a risk of internal bleeding and sexual dysfunction.
Multiple studies indicate that CBD can be an effective treatment for elevated resting blood pressure. The same mechanisms that are responsible for it being such an effective anxiety medication seem to also make it exceptional for reducing blood pressure in other cases
4.) Better sleep quality
The evidence seems to indicate that using CBD oil can help alleviate insomnia and improve the quality of sleep, helping users wake up feeling more refreshed. This enables a better quality of life by allowing patients to be more productive and less anxious when interacting with others.
Traditional treatments may induce sleep, but patients often report that these produce a low-quality type of sleep where they wake up with reduced cognition during their waking hours. Many classes of sleep medication are also notorious for their risk of abuse. CBD oil is already being prescribed by doctors to enable better quality sleep without the side effects or regular medication.