The increased popularity of cannabidiol (CBD) as an alternative to medical marijuana treatment is a relatively recent phenomenon, and there hasn’t been enough time for a large body of research on the chemical to accumulate. However, it has been at least suggested to be beneficial to multiple types of ailments.
All of these points should be taken with a grain of salt and the reader is encouraged to do their own research on the topic if they are considering CBD treatment.
1. It Can Reduce Anxiety and Depression
The benefits of medical marijuana against anxiety and depression have been touted by doctors and potheads alike for quite a while now. CBD has anxiolytic properties that can be extremely beneficial to those with these disorders.
For those familiar with marijuana, CBD is the chemical responsible for the relaxing “body high” of Indica strains. THC is responsible for the “head high” that Sativa strains give you.
It’s also non-addictive in the sense that the user cannot develop a physical dependence on the drug, unlike the benzodiazepines that are often prescribed for anxiety treatment.
2. It Helps Treat Neurological Disorders
The FDA has recently approved the use of CBD in the treatment of certain seizure disorders. In general, CBD may have neuroprotective properties. It has been shown to benefit those with multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other nerve problems such as sciatic pain.
3. It Doesn’t Get You High
CBD offers many of the benefits of marijuana without the psychoactive effects. This is because THC is the only psychoactive chemical present in the cannabis plant.
However, THC has its own health benefits, so those who only use CBD products do miss out on those.
For many people, the trade-off is totally worth it. Medical and recreational marijuana can be extremely potent and the “high” can give some people panic attacks or a general feeling of discomfort. Plenty of people simply don’t want to take something that changes the way that they think.
This is also the reason that CBD is legal in states that do not have legalized marijuana.
4. It Helps People Quit Smoking and Other Drugs
In one study, people who were trying to quit smoking were given CBD inhalers and those who used them tended to smoke fewer cigarettes. Also, the positive effects of CBD on anxiety, mood disorders, pain and insomnia (all common symptoms of drug withdrawal) may make it useful for addiction treatment in general.
It wouldn’t be surprising if CBD vape liquids become a widespread substitute for smoking, just as nicotine-containing vape juices are today.
5. It’s Good For Your Heart
CBD has been shown to lower blood pressure. It is hypothesized that this is because of the anxiolytic and stress-reducing properties of the drug. It also has the effects of an antioxidant, which can reduce cell death and inflammation due to heart disease.
Some studies have also shown that regular cannabis users have higher blood levels of good cholesterol and lower levels of bad cholesterol.
6. It Might Prevent Cancer
The anti-carcinogenic effects of marijuana have been studied for a while now. CBD has been shown to prevent the spread of several different types of cancers — brain, colon, breast, prostate, and lung — in animals. It is also useful for treating the side effects of cancer treatments.
It should be noted that the only FDA-approved use of CBD is in the aforementioned seizure treatment. It has been suggested to have adverse side effects such as worsening mental health, liver problems, reduced appetite, and infections.
Pregnant women should not take CBD. Marijuana use during pregnancy has been linked to birth defects. Though CBD and marijuana aren’t the same thing, it certainly isn’t worth the risk given the information we have.