Of all the rising health trends in recent years, the new prominence of CBD is perhaps amongst the most surprising. But the movement is not without its critics. Most opposition to CBD is aimed at its origins; the substance is derived from the cannabis plant and therefore comes with its share of concerns and misconceptions.
The most important thing to note about cannabidiol or CBD is that it is a natural substance derived from the cannabis plant - but that its exact composition lacks the elements needed to produce a “high”. This experience comes from another section of the plant: a substance known as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
It’s the THC that contains psychoactive properties which recreational users crave. THC is the product that most people think of when they hear the word “cannabis”. So, by association, people draw the connection when they hear “CBD”.
CBD, on the other hand, is renowned for its health and wellness benefits. Several studies have analyzed everything from the effect of CBD on blood pressure, to its ability to reduce nerves, stress, and anxiety, and even an ability to curb appetites and aid weight loss. We’ll explore these benefits below.
What Are The Benefits Of CBD?
Regular doses of CBD can offer benefits for a range of situations and conditions, including:
CBD has been proven to offer pain relief for several conditions, including multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and chronic nerve pain. This relief occurs because the CBD interacts with the cannabinoid receptors in the body, stimulating the endocannabinoid system. This system plays a crucial role in regulating motor control, emotions, the immune system, and the response to pain. Therefore, CBD can help with how your body perceives and reacts to pain. The anti-inflammatory properties of the substance also play a crucial role in reducing pain from inflammation, which may occur in conditions such as arthritis.
Researchers have also analyzed the link between CBD and tiredness. They have proven connections between the consumption of CBD substances and improved sleep quality, even without extra sleeping aids. CBD can also treat anxiety, insomnia, and sleep conditions such as REM Sleep Behavior Disorder (RBD).
RBD can be dangerous if left untreated. In a healthy person, muscle atonia will set in during REM sleep, which paralyzes the muscles, ensuring that we cannot physically act out the actions we see in our dreams. In the body of someone with RBD, however, muscle atonia does not kick in, which can cause sufferers to put themselves at risk of serious injury during sleep. CBD can help control this, reducing RBD without side effects often seen in other medicated treatments and solutions.
What Are The Downsides Of CBD?
The benefits of CBD are well documented, but many of the downsides come from concerns about the addictive risks of cannabis. Alongside this comes concerns about the risks and likelihood of a potential overdose.
Can You Overdose On CBD
For the most part, CBD is largely considered a safe, non-toxic substance, and lethal overdoses have never been recorded. This is due to the way CBD works. Unlike opioids, it does not significantly inhibit the brainstem - the control center for your heart rate, body temperature, digestion, breathing, and blood pressure. This area of the body contains just a few cannabinoid receptors, which means that even in high concentrations, there are too few receptors to cause significant damage. So, an overdose in the traditional sense is almost impossible.
As with overindulgence of any substance, however, there can be consequences if you take too much CBD in one go. Some of the most common side effects can include:
● Dry mouth is caused when CBD activates the cannabinoid receptors located in the mouth, decreasing the secretion of saliva and resulting in your mouth feeling dry.
● Loose bowel movements or diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea - all of these can cause dehydration if left untreated.
● Changes in appetite, whether an increase or a decrease.
● Light-headedness, drowsiness, or dizziness caused by CBD reducing blood pressure and relaxing the walls of the blood vessels.
Most of these unwanted side effects will be negated by reducing your dose or pausing your consumption for a short period. So take it slow when you start using CBD and avoid making massive jumps up in your dosage at once. Doing so will help you experience all the benefits of CBD and none of the downsides.