With the legalization of cannabis now in effect, many Canadians are turning to this natural plant for its numerous health benefits. For those trying to avoid pharmaceutical drugs and invasive medical treatments, CBD oil may be the perfect solution. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD is just one of more than a hundred compounds found in cannabis. Until recently, THC or tetrahydrocannabinol was the best-known ingredient in marijuana. It produces mind-altering effects, giving users that ‘high’ when smoked or ingested. CBD, however, is different. It is not psychoactive. But, it does appear to trigger significant changes in the body — with research showing it has a number of therapeutic benefits.
Is CBD Legal?
Although pot was officially legalized in Canada on October 17, 2018, legislation only covers fresh and dried cannabis. Concentrates and extracts like CBD oil are still illegal — unless you have a prescription for medical marijuana. According to a CBC News investigation, many cannabis retailers claim CBD oil is legal even though it is not. This is creating a problem for licensed pot producers who are trying to provide marijuana safely within Canada’s new legal framework. For those who believe their ailments may be cured by CBD, it’s important to consult a physician and receive a medical marijuana prescription first.
What are the Health Benefits of CBD Oil?
Hemp contains most of the CBD that people use medicinally. Although the Canadian Cancer Society has not officially endorsed hemp oil as a form of treatment, this natural substance has been known to reduce the side effects of cancer. It has the ability to protect the body’s immune system, stimulate appetite and reduce inflammation. According to a 2006 study in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, researchers found that cannabidiol inhibited the growth of different breast tumour cells and showed to be significantly less potent on non-cancerous cells.
Lessens Anxiety Disorders
Although THC may be problematic for those with anxiety disorders, CBD may actually be beneficial. Because CBD is not a mind-altering component, it may help reduce paranoia and feelings of nervousness. One study found cannabidiol may reduce anxiety in people with the following conditions:
There has been some criticism that cannabis can become a gateway drug to harder substances. One Winnipeg doctor, however, says there’s no evidence this is true. Dr. Paul Daenick is a pain management specialist with CancerCare Manitoba. He believes medical marijuana can be beneficial, especially for those suffering from anxiety.
Boosts Immune System
Your immune system plays an important role in that it protects your body from harmful infections. It creates, stores and distributes white blood cells, crucial in fighting off bacteria and viruses. CBD oils are a natural way to influence your body’s immunity response. Cannabidiol is an immunomodulator, which means it can help regulate function and combat disease.
Treats Autoimmune Disorders
Targeted cannabinoids are often used to treat certain autoimmune disorders such as Parkinson’s, lupus, arthritis and multiple sclerosis. These illnesses are caused by an overactive immune system. CBD oil makes the system less sensitive so the disease will stop attacking the body’s own tissues. Cannabidiol can also reduce inflammation and provide increased comfort for painful symptoms.
CBD oil can help diabetics with insulin resistance. Resistance occurs when the body rejects insulin, which is used to regulate blood sugar. The cells therefore cannot absorb glucose (sugar), making the body weak. Ultimately, glucose builds up in the bloodstream, triggering high blood sugar levels. CBD’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties can treat insulin resistance, helping the body manage diabetic conditions.
Natural Remedy for Pain & Inflammation
Some researchers believe CBD interacts with receptors in your brain and immune system, helping to relieve chronic pain. Receptors are tiny proteins attached to your cells. They receive chemical signals from various stimuli and help the cells react. Cannabidiol creates anti-inflammatory and painkilling responses, which can be helpful for those suffering from back pain, hip discomfort or rheumatoid arthritis.
Treatment for HIV/AIDS
In Canada, there have been nearly 85,000 reported cases of HIV since 1985. This deadly virus suppresses the immune system, causing issues with the eyes, lungs and digestive tracts. CBD has shown to increase the number of T-cells, which are an integral part of immune system. It can also reduce the side effects of HIV by reducing nausea, improving appetite and alleviating pain. This natural product can also promote better sleep, which is an essential component of the healing process. Some researchers believe cannabinoids may ultimately stop the progression of HIV to AIDS.
CBD has been gaining nationwide recognition for its healing effects on epilepsy. Due to its non-psychoactive properties, it is an especially popular treatment for children who are suffering from seizures. A seizure is triggered by uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain. This produces physical convulsions, making the person shake uncontrollably. Although seizures are not deadly, they are extremely disruptive to a person’s ability to lead a normal life. CBD can stop or dramatically reduce the instances of seizures. Cannabinoids may prevent the neuron damage responsible for triggering these terrifying attacks.
Brain Injuries & Concussions
Cannabidiol is helpful in reducing the swelling and pain that often comes with brain injuries and concussions. Reducing inflammation is key in that inflammation decreases blood supply and oxygen to tissues in the brain. This can disrupt the healing process and cause more damage than the initial injury itself. CBD is also helpful in treating insomnia, which is crucial for healing. Because cannabidiol is non-addictive, it is a safer option than the opioids and other harsh painkillers typically prescribed to brain injury patients.
CBD oil is a safe and natural alternative in treating many common health disorders. Those suffering from anxiety, depression, cancer and heart disease can especially benefit from its powerful healing properties. Cannabidiol is already helping many Canadians find relief.
Because research on CBD is ongoing, there’s no doubt even more therapeutic uses will be discovered in the years ahead.