Nowadays, you wouldn’t have to look very far to find advertisements for products containing hemp seed extract, or CBD oil. But how is this popular new solution made, and does it deliver on its promises to ease pain? Let’s explore what the compound consists of and how it may aid in pain management, below.
What is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol, better known by the acronym “CBD,” is one of 104 chemical compounds derived from the hemp or cannabis plants. Typically, CBD is extracted from industrial hemp, then added to a carrier oil to form “CBD oil.” Because there are a number of different processes used to produce CBD oil, it can be found in varying strengths. As such, it’s advisable to consult with your physician before use.
Does It Help with Pain?
According to research published in 2017, adults suffering from chronic pain experienced “a clinically significant reduction in pain symptoms” when treated with CBD. In a separate study, CBD was proven to reduce pain and inflammation. Although the findings are fairly recent, experts believe cannabis has been used as a pain reliever for thousands of years.
The pain-relieving effect is believed to work as follows: The body has a system referred to the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, which regulates functions such as pain and immune system responses. It produces endocannabinoids, neurotransmitters which bind to the nervous system’s cannabinoid receptors. Research demonstrates that CBD may influence endocannabinoid receptor activity, thereby alleviating inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters.
For example, CBD has been shown to minimize pain from surgical incisions, alleviate sciatic nerve pain, and reduce inflammation. It has also been used to treat symptoms of multiple sclerosis and arthritis.
What Are Its Additional Benefits?
Despite having been used for millennia, the research surrounding the potential benefits of the powerful plant derivative is ongoing. Possible applications may include treatment for anxiety, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy and seizures, and smoking cessation. Additionally, it is suspected CBD oil may hold promise for treating drug withdrawal, and in the future, conditions such as acne, diabetes, and cancer.
Currently, the legality of CBD oil varies by state, but the FDA has already approved CBD as a treatment for certain types of epilepsy. Thus, it’s possible that the compound could have a significant impact on treatment plans for chronic conditions in the future.
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