The CBD industry is going from strength to strength:
Its current estimated worth in the US alone is $7 billion – a figure that’s projected to double by 2025. Similar trends are being seen in worldwide markets, and as awareness of the medical and therapeutic applications of CBD grows, more and more people are incorporating it into their lives. But before we get into the benefits, let’s take a quick look at what CBD actually is.
To put it simply, all species of the cannabis plant produce cannabinoids. There are at least 113 of these compounds, with the two most-studied being CBD and THC. When you smoke weed, the THC in the plant gets you high, which is why THC and cannabis containing THC is illegal in the UK and much of the world. CBD doesn’t get you high, and has no common side effects. It’s also completely legal in the UK and US!
When ingested by humans, cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system, a complex cell-signalling system that produces its own endocannabinoids. These are molecules occurring naturally within the body that moderate functions such as:
- Chronic pain management
- Immune system
- Cardiovascular function
- Bone and muscle growth
The endocannabinoid system is always working within the body, but consuming cannabinoids affects how it does its job. THC produces a psychoactive effect: CBD doesn’t. Exactly how CBD affects the endocannabinoid system is still uncertain, but many believe that it works by preventing endocannabinoids from being broken down by enzymes, so they’re around for longer to help your body regulate all of those functions.
Better sleep, better mood, better life. So, now that we’ve got the science out of the way…
What are the benefits of CBD?
Relief from anxiety, depression and pain.
Its main uses are for relief from anxiety, depression and pain and various other medical benefits. The World Health Organization cites depression as the single largest contributor to disability worldwide, with anxiety following closely behind. CBD – commonly consumed as an oil – has been shown to alleviate the effects of both conditions in tests on animals and humans. Public speaking experiments have suggested that people feel more comfortable socialising and experience less cognitive impairment after taking CBD, and sleep quality has also been reported to improve.
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Pain relief is also a benefit of CBD use, with externally applied solutions like gels and sprays being used by growing amounts of athletes, as well as everyday consumers and patients with chronic pain or serious illness. More specific applications include in patients with epilepsy, where seizure frequency and severity have shown to reduce after taking CBD.
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