What Are The Benefits of CBD?
Are you curious about Flexpower Soothe, but have questions about CBD oil, and its effectiveness in treating pain, anxiety, and skin conditions? We have answers.
By Eric Alt | Created: 08/25/2020 | Updated: 09/17/2021 | 5 min read
It’s OK to have some questions about CBD. Its effects may not be felt immediately in most people, its biological origins in the marijuana plant may seem off-putting, and with so many products touting its benefits springing up seemingly overnight, you may be a little skeptical.
The truth is, CBD is neither a miracle cure nor a placebo. Like a lot of things, the reality is somewhere in the middle. it also has a much longer history than you may realize.
To answer your questions and help you see CBD in a whole new light, here’s some background on its discovery and uses, as well as some tangible benefits.
Where It Came From
The use of hemp and marijuana date back centuries – there is evidence of hemp fibers being made to make rope dating back to the very earliest first steps of civilization. Chinese Emperor Shen Neng was believed to have used a marijuana-infused tea to treat gout and rheumatism as far back as 2737 B.C. – in fact, his use of early farming implements and medicinal herbs saw him become a figure of myth in Chinese culture called Shennong, which means “Agricultural God.”
During the second century A.D., a Chinese surgeon named Hua T’o was believed to have used cannabis resin mixed with wine as an anesthesia to reduce pain during surgery.
But the extraction of CBD oil, and the eventual discovery of its benefits, really started in Illinois in the 1940s.
Roger Adams, Madison Hunt, and J.H. Clark, researchers at the University of Illinois, published a study in 1940 titled Structure of Cannabidiol, a Product Isolated from the Marihuana Extract of Minnesota Wild Hemp. It’s believed to be the first time CBD oil was isolated, bringing to life the fact that there were active compounds in the cannabis plant that did not contain the psychoactive qualities commonly associated with the plant.
So they found it…they just didn’t know what to do with it.
Enter Walter Loewe, a researcher at the University of Utah College of Medicine, who, in 1946, was the first to test the notion that there was a difference between THC and CBD. Loewe conducted experiments that showed that the former had mind-altering effects, while the latter did not. His tests laid the groundwork for how cannabinoid testing would be conducted for years to come, and they also began to officially document the things that these compounds were capable of.
There wouldn’t be a significant CBD breakthrough again until 1988, however, when the first cannabinoid receptor was discovered in a mouse by researchers Allyn Howlett and William Devane. Howlett and Devane realized that if the body had receptors for cannabinoids, then it must also naturally produce them.
This kickstarted CBD research in a huge way. First, researcher Lisa Matsuda successfully cloned a receptor, allowing for a closer study of how it works. Shortly after, Raphael Mechoulam – nicknamed “the father of cannabis research”- discovered, alongside Devane and Lumir Hanus, two of the major cannabinoids produced naturally by the body – anandamide and 2-AG, confirming their belief that our bodies respond well to CBD because, well, they were designed to.
What It Can Do For You
It should be noted that the use and impact of CBD is still undergoing testing and trials, and although there have been proven benefits, it is not an FDA-approved remedy for any serious medical condition.
That said, a large majority of research points to CBD being not only having a positive effect on some of the following neurological and physical conditions, but it does so without significant side effects.
A 2011 study of people who suffered from SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder) found that CBD could help them overcome the aversion to social interaction, especially in the specific case of public speaking.
According to the report, “the effects of a single dose of CBD, observed in this study in the face of one of the main SAD’s phobic stimuli, is a promising indication of a rapid onset of therapeutic effect in patients with SAD.”
Research conducted by the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health in 2016 showed a measurable reduction in pain intensity when patients (in this particular case, people suffering from non-cancer or neuropathic pain) were treated with CBD.
CBD may offer an option for treating different types of chronic pain. A study from the European Journal of Pain showed CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study demonstrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat. More study in humans is needed in this area to substantiate the claims of CBD proponents about pain control.
INFLAMMATORY SKIN CONDITIONS
Certain cannabinoids have been shown to demonstrate anti-inflammatory, anti-itch, and even some anti-aging properties. Some experts suggest that these effects occur when the drug interacts with the endocannabinoid system found on the skin – giving credence to Mechoulam’s theory that the human body is made to react and respond positively to CBD.
- Structure of Cannabidiol, a Product Isolated from the Marihuana Extract of Minnesota Wild Hemp, by Roger Adams, Madison Hunt, and J.H. Clark, University of Illinois
header image courtesy of Hinterland.co (photographer: Julia Teichmann)