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Marijuana is big news nowadays. With the publicity has come a growing interest in cannabidiol, or CBD, oil. While research into CBD oil is still in the preliminary stages, there are some exciting findings that show its potential to improve a range of health conditions. In this article, we highlight 10 ways that CBD oil can make you a healthier human being.
CBD Oil Benefit #1: Stress Reduction
Statistics reveal that 6 in 10 people in the United States suffer from stress and anxiety daily. The vast majority of them rely on drugs to help them to cope. CBD oil offers the promise of a healthy, side-effect free alternative.
A recent study showed that CBD oil can reduce the symptoms of social anxiety disorder (SAD). Researchers found that the oil acted on the limbic and para-limbic areas of the brain to calm the person down.
Other research has revealed that CBD oil lowers the body’s release of the stress hormone cortisol. A 1993 study out of Brazil gave dosages of 300 mg and 600 mg of CBD oil in a double-blind fashion over a period of two weeks. Plasma cortisol levels were decreased significantly after CBD oil, with the higher level of administration, have a greater effect. In the same study, CBD oil was seen to also produce a sedative effect.
CBD Oil Benefit #2: Fights Diabetes
The group of metabolic disorders known as diabetes affects nearly half a billion people, killing some 5 million annually. Type 2 diabetes results from improper insulin production and resistance. The out of control rate of sugar consumption in society is a key contributing factor.
A research paper from the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis (AAMC) listed the following benefits of CBD oil for people with Type 2 diabetes . . .
- Stabilizes blood pressure
- Arterial anti-inflammatory properties
- Prevents nerve inflammation
- Vasodilation which keeps the blood vessels from constricting, helping to improve circulation
- Helps to lower blood pressure
- Helps to reduce effects of diabetic restless leg syndrome (RLS)
CBD oil has also been seen to improve insulin sensitivity. A 2013 study that was published in the American Journal of Medicine showed that CBD oil derived from marijuana lowered levels of fasting insulin.
CBD Oil Benefit #3: Helps Overcome Cigarette Addiction
Recent research has found that CBD oil has great potential in helping people to quit the smoking habit. In one study, twenty-four smokers were divided into two groups. The first group were given inhalers containing CBD while the other group were given a placebo substance. The participants were told to use the inhaler whenever they had a craving for a cigarette. The study was conducted over a period of seven days.
It was found that the researchers had a 40% reduction in cigarette consumption while the placebo group showed no difference.
CBD Oil Benefit #4: Appetite Control
A number of studies have linked the endocannabinoid system, which keeps the body in a state of homeostasis, to appetite control. CBD has been shown to control the appetite by keeping the endocannabinoid system in balance. This prevents the overstimulation of such hormones as Grehlin and Leptin which may cause us to either over or undereat.
CBD Oil Benefit #5: Weight Loss
CBD Oil has been seen to have potential as a weight loss aid due to the following effects . . .
- CBD oils promote the reduction of protein suppression involved in lipogenesis (fat cell production).
- CBD oil stimulates protein and genes to enhance the breakdown of fat cells.
- CBD oil increases the activity and number of mitochondria which help in the calorie burning process.
Preliminary research also shows promise in the conversion of ‘white fat’ into ‘brown fat’. Brown fat has a greater calorie-burning capacity.
CBD Oil Benefit #6: Combats Cancer
There has been some promising research into the potential of CBD oil to fight cancer. However, it should be noted that, thus far, studies have been conducted on non-human subjects. This research shows that CBD may be able to . . .
- Enhance the anti-cancer effects of radiation.
- Inhibit the vascular endothelial growth factor pathway in gliomas.
- Inhibit MDA-MDB-231 breast cancer cell migration.
- Reduces the ability of some tumour cells to reproduce
The United States National Cancer Institute (NCI) has stated that CBD oil has the potential to alleviate cancer symptoms and to enhance treatment but has not, as of it, officially endorsed its use.
CBD Oil Benefit #7: Acne Treatment
CBD oil has been seen to have a general anti-inflammatory effect on the body. This is good news for people who suffer from acne. The oil appears to prevent the build-up of sebum in the sebaceous glands. Overproduction of sebum is responsible for acne.
In a 2014 human trial, the researchers concluded that ‘due to the combined lipostatic, antiproliferative, and anti-inflammatory effects, CBD has potential as a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of acne vulgaris’.
CBD Oil Benefit #8: Relieves Pain
The ability of CBD to bring relief from pain has been noted anecdotally for decades. However, there have only been a handful of studies to quantify this ability and most of them have been done on rodents. To complicate things further, much of the research has involved a combination of CBD and THC, the compound in marijuana that has a psychotic effect.
The research indicates that the most likely cause of CBD’s ability to relieve pain is its effect on a pain receptor in the brain known as TRPV1. This receptor causes the burning type of pain that you get from nerve damage. CD appears to de-sensitize this receptor.
A 2008 meta-study, after considering two major clinical trials, neither of which involved humans, concluded that CBD oil is a promising pain reliever that is non-addictive and carries only minor side effects.
A 2016 study focused on the ability of CBD to relieve arthritic pain, concluding that it was effective at reducing inflammation and associated pain.
CBD Oil Benefit #9: Prevents Seizures
CBD shows potential as a cure for epilepsy as it appears to be able to reduce the number of seizures in people who have epilepsy. In a 2016 study, 214 people with epilepsy were given oral dosages of between 2 mg and 5 mg of CBD oil daily in addition to their usual epilepsy medication. Over a period of 12 weeks, it was recorded that participants had a reduced rate of seizures of 36.5%.
CBD Oil Benefit #10: Improves Asthma Symptoms
Early research shows that CBD oil has the potential to bring relief to asthma sufferers. This is primarily due to the anti-inflammatory properties of the oil which help to reverse the inflammation of the air passageway which leads to the narrowing of the lungs that causes an asthma attack.
CBD oil is a safe, natural and non-addictive alternative to the medications that are being prescribed to treat the conditions that we have mentioned in this article. Although more research is needed to solidify its place as a legitimate treatment, the research and anecdotal evidence to date looks very promising.
Any athlete who's serious about making an improvement is constantly on the lookout for the latest training aid that can make them stronger, faster and able to recover better. One that is garnering a lot of attention as of late is cannabidiol (CBD) oil. In this article, we’ll get up and close with CBD oil so you can determine whether it deserves to be part of your training and recovery arsenal.
What is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol is a compound found in cannabis. Its the second largest extract from the plant, second to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It is THC which is the psychoactive ingredient of cannabis that gets people high.
CBD oil is a completely legal substance. Since 2017, it has been an authorized athletic substance by the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA). It does contain a trace amount of THC, but this is so low that it does not affect the oil’s legal status or its classification as an allowable athletic supplement.
CBD oil contains more than CBD. It also has terpenes, flavonoids, a trace amount of THC and other compounds with the acronyms CBD, CBDA, CBN and CBC. The oil can be derived from the hemp plant as well as the marijuana plant.
A number of preliminary studies have focused on the benefits of CBD for general and athletic use. However, research into this area is still in its infancy and, until more conclusive studies emerge, we can only speculate and make assumptions.
How CBD Affects the Body?
The body is comprised of a whole raft of intertwined systems. One that you may not have heard of before is the Endo-cannabinoid system. Its key function is to regulate chemical processes in the body and maintain the body’s homeostasis. When you take CBD oil it acts synergistically along with this system to allow it to work more effectively.
CBD is not that easily absorbed by the body. For that reason, researchers recommend taking it along with either black pepper or turmeric both of which have the added benefit of speeding up the metabolism.
Are There Any Side Effects of CDB Oil Use?
The vast majority of studies on CBD oil report that the side effects, if any, are minor and greatly outweighed by the potential benefits. It should be noted, however, that many of these studies have been conducted on animals and not on humans. More human trials are needed to provide a conclusive statement on the matter.
The minor side effects that have been noted thus far are the following . . .
- Interaction with certain pharmaceuticals – CBD has been seen to inhibit the activity of liver enzymes known as cytochrome P450. These are the very enzymes which metabolize many of the pharmaceutical drugs that are prescribed. However, the effect is minor, being about the same as eating a piece of grapefruit.
- Dry mouth – this seems to be caused by the endocannabinoid’s involvement in saliva secretion. It means that you will get thirsty, prompting you to drink more water (not a bad thing!).
- Reduced blood pressure – a small drop in blood pressure has been noted at high dosages of CBD oil. It is often associated with a sensation of lightheadedness. People who are on blood pressure meds should consult their doctor before using CBD oil.
Let’s consider the top 5 reputed benefits for athletes of CDB Oil.
CBD Oil Benefit #1: Stress Reduction
When we work out or perform on the field or court, we place our body under stress. One of its responses is for the adrenal glands to produce more of the hormone cortisol. Known as the stress hormone, cortisol may lead to an increase in heart rate, dry mouth and upset stomach.
A study out of the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil showed that SBD supplementation may lower the body’s exercise-induced release of the cortisol hormone. CBD was also seen in this study to have a sedative effect. This decreased stress effect can help an athlete to control their energy. While they may still have butterflies in their stomach before stepping up to the plate, it appears that CBD oil can help to get those butterflies flying in formation!
CBD Oil Benefit #2: Fights Inflammation
Physical activity leads to inflammation and the more you do it, the more likely you are to suffer from inflamed joints and muscles. In fact, inflammation is one of the most common side effects that athletes face. Preliminary studies on CBD indicate that may have promising results in combatting exercise-induced inflammation.
A US National Institute of Health study reported that CBD oil had ‘significant’ anti-inflammatory properties. The author of the study, Dr D.C., Hammell stated that ‘we report that administration of cannabidiol (CBD), a major non-psycho-active component of marijuana, and its modified derivatives, significantly suppress chronic inflammation and neuropathic pain without causing apparent analgesic tolerance in rodents.’
A second study, again conducted with rodents, showed that CBD oil was able to reduce the severity of arthritis induced inflammation. In this case, the CBD oil was applied topically. There were no side effects reported.
Although no studies have yet been done on humans, many athletes have already been using CBD oil to effectively reduce their post-training and competition inflammation.
CBD Oil Benefit #3: Pain Relief
Pain is a constant companion for the serious athlete. At best, it brings about post-workout discomfort while, at worst, it can put a stop to your entire training program. There is a whole host of pain-relieving treatments on the market to help with exercise-induced pain but many of them carry unwanted side effects. CBD promises to produce the benefit of pain relief without the negative of harmful side effects.
A 2008 meta-study focused on the effect of CBD oil as a reliever of chronic pain. The study primarily looked at two studies, one conducted in the 1980s and the other in 2007. The meta study’s authors summed up their findings by stating that CBD oil was an effective overall pain manager that did not carry any serious side effects. As a side benefit, they noted, that CBD also showed promise as an effective treatment for insomnia.
A more recent study from 2016 investigated the effect of CBD oil on arthritic pain. This was another study that was done on rodents. Various dosages of CBD oil, ranging between 0.6 and 62.3 milligrams per day, were administered, with a mid-range between those two extremes producing reduced inflammation and associated pain.
CBD Oil Benefit #4: Fat Loss
CBD Oil shows exciting potential as an agent for weight loss. It does this primarily by acting as an appetite stimulant. Interestingly, this is the opposite effect to THC, which causes people to want to eat more, leading to the well-known marijuana munchies. It appears that the compounds within CBD act to stimulate the proteins that lead to oxidation and breakdown of stored energy in the body.
CBD oil is also believed to speed up the metabolism by stimulating the body to increase the number of cellular mitochondria, which leads to enhanced caloric burn.
There is also exciting research into the conversion of white adipose tissue into brown adipose tissue. This ‘brown fat’ burns more calories, leading to enhanced fat burn. It is believed that CBD oil leads to more conversion of white fat into brown fat.
CBD oil has been shown to potentially improve insulin sensitivity. High insulin levels lead to an endless cycle of weight gain that makes it almost impossible for an athlete to get lean. According to a 2013 study that was published in the American Journal of Medicine, the CBD oil in marijuana was associated with lower levels of fasting insulin and smaller waist circumference.
CBD Oil Benefit #5: Combats Catabolism
All athletes want to be in an anabolic, muscle promoting state. CBD oil can help them stay that way thanks to its anti-catabolic properties. We’ve already mentioned that CBD oil has been shown to slow down the release of the stress-inducing hormone cortisol. Well, another effect of cortisol is that it breaks down muscle tissue. Its catabolic effect is most pronounced in an environment of ill-health. That means that an athlete who gets the flu is in danger of losing hard-earned muscle mass. CBD oil, with its anti-catabolic effect, can counter that muscle loss.
There has been some promising research on the potential athletic benefits of CBD oil over the past decade. While more study is needed to confirm these effects, that hasn’t stopped many athletes from adding this compound to their supplementation regimen. They are taking it for its reported anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, appetite suppressing, anti-catabolic and stress-reducing effects. Based on the available evidence and with its lack of serious side effects, we have no problem in endorsing the use of CBD as an athletic training aid.