You lie awake at night and count sheep, get a snack, drink water, watch the news, lie awake in the dark, get up to use the restroom, and repeat. If you suffer from a sleep disorder, you aren’t the only one. In fact, Consumer Reports conducted a survey that shows that 27% of Americans cite difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep most nights. That is over 40,000,000 people. What if you were offered a solution that had no risk of dependency, would not make you tired and groggy during the day and would help you achieve a full night’s rest? Would you be willing to try it? What if that same treatment not only helped your sleep issues, but also a host of other problems, like chronic pain, depression, and other mental health disorders? Would you try it then?
Chances are, you’ve heard about CBD oil, and that it can provide relief for a wide variety of issues. The internet has caught fire with personal anecdotes and stories about its life-changing properties. Holistic practitioners, doctors, and health advocates are all touting the benefits of this miracle drug. The media has covered stories about how CBD oil has helped veterans with PTSD, and cancer patients suffering from chronic pain. Additionally, the FDA recently approved the first medication that contains CBD, a drug (that doctors can prescribe and insurance will cover) that will treat children suffering from rare seizure disorders. While all of these benefits look amazing on paper, it’s more important to understand how CBD oil can benefit you. This miracle drug goes well beyond these extreme treatments and has benefits that apply to the daily health of thousands, and that includes you. If you suffer from chronic pain, anxiety, sleep disorders, or a mental disorder, CBD oil may provide the relief that you need.
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Before we get into how CBD oil can benefit you, let’s explore CBD oil. CBD oil is derived from the cannabis plant, and once critics hear that, the conversation usually stops. It shouldn’t, because this is important – CBD oil is not psychoactive. In fact, CBD oil can even counteract the psychoactive effects of it’s counterpart, THC. THC is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis, and what is usually used to obtain a “high.” CBD and THC may come from the same plant, but different strains of cannabis can have varying levels of both CBD and THC. In the United States, THC dominant strains were prevalent, until researchers discovered the strong therapeutic benefit of CBD oil. According to Project CBD, it wasn’t until 2009 when researchers in California were able to isolate and cultivate CBD dominant strains of cannabis. These CBD dominant strains have proven to have significant therapeutic benefits, without giving the user a “high.” Thus, CBD oil is very different than the THC heavy cannabis strains used for recreational purposes. CBD is a natural remedy, one that lacks many of the side effects that are commonly attributed to the use of traditional pharmaceuticals. Also, while there are many clinical trials to evaluate the efficiency of CBD oils in the treatment of various conditions, you are currently able to purchase it over the counter. This means that you, as the consumer, don’t have to wait until the clinical trials are completed before you experience the health benefits that you can experience with CBD oil.
Use of CBD Oil for Chronic Pain
One of the first documented uses of cannabis was in China, 2900 B.C. An ancient Chinese encyclopedia recommended that cannabis be used to alleviate constipation, rheumatic pain, female reproductive issues, malaria, and was also used as an anesthetic for surgical procedures (when paired with wine). It’s interesting to note that the Chinese used a form of the cannabis plant that was very low in THC. Today we see more and more research surrounding the treatment of pain using CBD oil. In New Castle, PA the local paper recently published an article about the benefits for users. Shannon Prusaitis recounted how her husband benefited from using CBD oil during his last year and a half of life. Shannon’s husband eventually passed away from stage 4 bone cancer, but she had this to say about his CBD oil therapy: “It was worth it to see him able to relax. Jimmy, my husband, never felt comfortable with the pills and patches that blurred his vision and affected his speech. These strong drugs make you like a zombie. He said he didn’t want to feel dopey. He wanted to be in control. He hated it when he did not feel like himself.” While there are numerous accounts of cancer patients benefiting from pain relief, there’s also beneficial for those that experience other types of chronic pain. Healthline indicates that CBD oil has anti-inflammatory effects and was especially beneficial for those suffering from multiple sclerosis. A new movement among athletes is to use CBD oil to combat pain and inflammation while being able to avoid the use of opioids. This helps reduce the risk of opioid addiction. Inflammation can cause problems beyond chronic pain, and a powerful anti-inflammatory can have far-reaching health benefits. While there is still significant research to be done to fully understand the efficacy of CBD oil for pain relief, there is little doubt that users are happy with the results.
Use of CBD Oil for Anxiety
In a recent interview for the Huffington Post, Virginia Thornley (a board-certified neurologist based in Sarasota, Florida) indicated that CBD oils are very similar to anti-anxiety or anti-depressants and have no psychoactive properties, and also help with post-traumatic stress disorder. As one veteran shared, off the record: “I have been struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder since my deployment. To treat it, I had a handful of medications I had to take every day. I started out in the morning with my anti-depressant and ADHD medication, later in the day I’d take my anxiety medication (so it wouldn’t tire me out), and at bedtime, I’d take pills to help me sleep. Over time, I needed more and more medication to get me through the day. With CBD oil I was able to wean off of my other medications, and finally resume a normal life.” The results that this veteran shared with us are the best case scenario, but even so, CBD oil has made a significant difference in the lives of those that suffer from severe anxiety disorders. Virginia Thornley, our Florida based neurologist, reviews scientific articles on cannabis. In one study she reviewed, anxious mice would engage in the repetitive behavior of burying a marble. It was also shown that there was significantly less burying of the marble by mice that had been treated with cannabis. This indicates that the therapeutic benefit experienced by users is not merely coincidental, but also has a clinical significance. As CBD oil gains in popularity, more and more research is being done to explore the benefits. In one clinical study, they were able to determine that use of a CBD dose (over a placebo) helped those suffering from anxiety related to public speaking. Those that had taken the CBD oil reported much lower levels of stress and anxiety. There is astounding potential here to naturally treat patients with general anxiety, post-traumatic stress, as well as anxiety related to specific incidents.
Use of CBD Oil for Sleep Disorders
CBD oil is an ideal treatment for sleep disorders. Not only have we already established that it can alleviate anxiety, but it also has less risk of dependency (including prescription medication and some over-the-counter options!) Many doctors are quick to prescribe pharmaceuticals to alleviate sleep disorders, but not only are these habit-forming, they can also have negative side effects. Here’s the reality, many sleep disorders don’t stem from an actual medical sleep disorder but from something else. This can be stress, anxiety, PTSD, chronic pain, or even restless leg syndrome. Dr. Allan Frankel (of the Greenbridge medical practice in Santa Monica, California) states that restless leg syndrome is difficult to treat with traditional medications. However, when he started using CBD oils with his RLS patients, he saw a marked improvement. In his words, “I have seen five patients with RLS. Three of the patients have had nearly complete cessation of their symptoms and the [other] two had marked improvement.” Unlike traditional medications for RLS, CBD oil does not need to be increased over time, providing a healthier alternative for relief. For more traditional sleep issues, it should be noted that CBD oil, in and of itself, will activate the same sensors in the brain as caffeine. In small doses, in the short term, it can be stimulating – but in practice, users are reporting a better night’s sleep. While there is still much research to be done, advocates of CBD oil believe this is due to treating the underlying cause of the sleep disorder. For best results, we recommend taking your CBD oil a couple of hours before bedtime. This will help ensure a good night’s rest.
Use of CBD Oil for Mental Disorders
Mental health is always a delicate subject, but especially when discussing medications and long-term health. More researchers are focusing their studies on how CBD oil can help treat or prevent mental health disorders. We see this in how CBD oil affects the endocannabinoid system in different ways, affecting different mental health disorders. For instance, those suffering from severe depression can have 30% increased inflammation of the brain. We know that CBD oil can reduce inflammation, and in many cases, can alleviate depression. Alzheimer’s is another area where we see evidence that with CBD oil therapy there is hope that memory and quality of life can be preserved for some time longer. Medical Marijuana, Inc published these results by Karl and Group:
“Karl and Group discovered that CBD shows promise for therapeutic application for Alzheimer’s. In vivo studies show that CBD has the ability to reduce reactive gliosis and the neuroinflammatory response, which has been linked to a significant portion of the neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s and the disease’s progression. Findings also indicate that CBD promotes neurogenesis, or the growth and development of neurons, to in turn reduce the deterioration of cognitive functions.”
While these results aren’t quite conclusive, they provide hope and promise for the 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s. There is also hope for schizophrenia patients. Published in December 2017 the results of a multi-centered, randomized clinical trial showed significant improvement for patients using CBD oil after six weeks. The patients were no longer categorized as severely unwell, had a lower level of psychotic symptoms, and generally tolerated CBD oil well. As this would be a new class of treatment for the disorder, there is renewed hope for sufferers. Mental health issues, in general, can be devastating for whole families, not just those suffering from the illness. By providing a natural, gentle remedy, it allows not only the patient to heal but also the family as a whole. The improved quality of life for the patients is a ripple effect, improving quality of life and improved relationships for those in their inner circle as well.
Clinical Trials for CBD Oil
Over the years researchers have had difficulty in conducting clinical trials with cannabidiol (CBD) because it is still considered a class 1 drug. However, with the overwhelming popularity of CBD oil, and the red tape restrictions being reduced, researchers have finally been able to quantify what was previously anecdotal evidence. In the United States, there are currently 33 clinical studies (at the time of this writing) that are accepting new patients, inviting new patients, not yet accepting patients, or active. The studies include treatment for anxiety disorders, alcohol use disorder comorbid with PTSD, treatment for cannabis use disorder, tremors in Parkinson’s disease, as well as studies to see the results of long-term exposure to cannabis. There are even some researchers that are calling for clinical studies to be done to examine the effects of CBD oil on autism. Pre-clinical trials have shown that CBD oil has a therapeutic benefit to autistic-like social deficits in mice. This is just a precursor for more advanced research for the use of CBD oil in people with autism. As more research is done on the benefit of CBD oil, we are discovering more and more uses for it. Additionally, as the therapeutic benefit of CBD oil is revealed, researchers are discovering that CBD can reduce the negative side effects of THC, and when combined there are even more therapeutic uses.
CBD oil is more mainstream than ever. People are using CBD oil over traditional pharmaceutical therapies because they want to heal their bodies from the inside out, not become dependent on big pharma. The treatments for chronic illnesses (like depression, pain, anxiety, mental illness) all require long-term prescription medication, most of which has to be increased over time. By choosing high-quality CBD oil, many patients are experiencing unprecedented relief. When using therapeutic grade CBD oils, clients are experiencing increased quality of life, and you really can’t put a price on that. There are a lot of options out there: vaping liquids, edibles, tinctures, oils, capsules, creams and lotions, and even pet-friendly applications. Anxiety, stress, mental health disorders, sleep disorders, and more are improved with daily use of CBD oils. Why not try it today and see what CBD oil can do for you?
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