CBD for Mind, Body, and Soul: Understanding the Health Benefits of CBD
25 July 2019. 5 mins read.
The growing popularity of CBD products is difficult to ignore. These days, it seems as if every sector of the market, from beauty to food and beverage, all offer items infused with the trendy element. With so many CBD products on offer, the questions that quickly arise are “What even is CBD? And are there any real benefits to it?” Surprisingly, health and wellness may very well be the sector where CBD shines brightest due to its many health benefits. CBD is commonly used as an anxiety relief tool, to alleviate insomnia, as an anti-inflammatory, and an over-all wellness supplement due to its variety of health benefits.
CBD vs THC
First things first, though — what is CBD? CBD is short for cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive compound of the cannabis plant. In contrast, THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis. This means that ingesting CBD or applying it topically will not make the user high, as it is void of THC. This is the way CBD users are able to reap many of the benefits of the plant infusion without actually having to undergo the high usually associated with cannabis products. The simplest explanation of what CBD is is that it is merely part of the cannabis plant.
CBD is also offered in many different forms of infusions. The most popular form of ingesting and topically applying CBD is via CBD oil. In this instance, the compound is extracted and combined with a carrier oil to preserve the extract and add more stability. However, there is also water-soluble CBD and CBD isolate available on the market. A differentiating factor between the variety of forms of CBD is how they are extracted, how they are packaged, and if they have been chemically altered to a powdered isolate form. The different types of CBD aid in combining it with a variety of products, and from there consumers are able to use CBD in their preferred method. Whether that is by ingesting oil directly or infusing the oil in foods, applying lotions to affected areas, or consuming the CBD oil in pill-form, all of these options provide a range of health benefits.
CBD for Physical Pain Relief
Due to its natural origin, when CBD is extracted and infused into other products, it is able to lend its natural healing elements to the product itself. One of the most common ways to incorporate CBD into a wellness routine is for pain relief as an anti-inflammatory. The CBD compound works to naturally relax muscles and reduce inflammation in the joints. For this reason, many athletes rely on CBD as a recovery aid after trainings that take a toll on their bodies. Many medical patients with painful body ailments also incorporate CBD for this very same reason. Reducing inflammation results in less joint pain, fewer muscle aches, and an overall physically relaxed feeling in the body. It is becoming a more common practice for some medical professionals to prescribe CBD products to their patients as a holistic alternative for relieving physical pain. For use as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever, CBD products that are either ingestible or that can be applied topically are both helpful.
Mental Health Wellness
Aside from helping in a variety of physical pain alleviations, another area where CBD may be helpful is in the realm of mental health wellness. CBD products are often used for the mental health benefit of anti-anxiety and stress relief. Due to its calming nature and having a nearly identical chemical makeup as a cannabis plant containing THC, except being void of psychoactive compounds, CBD is helpful in calming the mind. Users who rely on CBD as a mental health supplement report mental clarity, experiencing less anxiety, lowered levels of stress, and an improved mental state. With this improvement in their mental state, the side effects of anxiety and stress are lessened both instantly and over time with continual use.
The improved mental state mentioned above, paired with the physical result of a relaxed body from CBD we first spoke about, combine with one another to help combat insomnia. A clear mind and relaxed body are the perfect pair to aid in unwinding and helping users settle in to a state that can help them fall asleep quicker and easier. Often times, pharmaceuticals can come with the possibility of many side effects without the guarantee of successfully treating insomnia. These side effects can also be incredibly damaging long term. Pharmaceuticals also require a prescription and can be pricey. For those reasons, many people suffering from insomnia have turned to CBD products to reap the benefits of it being a potential sleep aid without the slew of possible side effects and as a more cost effective option. There is also no evidence that long term use of naturally-derived CBD products can be damaging to humans. People are able to experience similar benefits of a prescribed medication with much lower risk and money involved.
Increased Awareness Resulting in More Research
With improved physical and mental states being a health benefit of CBD use, it is no wonder that folks turn to the substance for general well-being. We all know how getting more quality sleep and having a sound mind improves other aspects of our lives. The rippling effects of improved well-being are why so many rely on CBD for general wellness and health benefits. As the market continues to expand and more research is conducted, CBD will continue to be incorporated into new products and usage. We will be able to unlock even more health benefits of the compound with this research. As the market grows, more products will be available for use to the public and the opportunity for more people to experience the health benefits of CBD will be available for everyone to try. There are even claims made that CBD can be useful in combatting diseases such as Alzheimers and several different forms of cancer, but more research is needed to confirm these claims. With such a promising future for this plant compound in sight, it is only a matter of time before everyone can see a health benefit for themselves by using CBD in some way.