In order to appreciate the benefits of CBD we must begin by understanding the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in regulating a variety of bodily functions including sleep, appetite, pain, and immune system response. Our bodies produce endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in our nervous system. Studies have shown that cannabinoids, including CBD and THC, can offer a host of health benefits by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity and interacting with neurotransmitters. THC is psychoactive and is responsible for the feeling of being “high” typically associated with marijuana, whereas CBD is non-psychoactive and therefore offers a host of health benefits without impairing one’s ability to function in any way.
It’s important to recognize that many of the benefits associated with CBD are in the early stages of discovery, as hemp’s categorization as a banned substance prior to the 2018 US Farm Bill limited access and exposure to this natural remedy. With that said, existing research has shown that CBD offers solid potential to meaningfully improve health and wellness in a number of areas.
Reducing Game Day Anxiety
CBD oil appears to offer strong benefits when it comes to reducing anxiety, which can offer a critical advantage when preparing for sport and competition, as well as in everyday life. Several clinical trials and research studies have explored the potential of CBD oil as a treatment for anxiety and a 2015 report in Neurotherapeutics indicated that CBD oil can provide benefits for generalized anxiety disorder, as well as obsessive compulsiveness, social anxiety, and post-traumatic stress. With greater access and usage among the general population researchers will have more data which will lead to a greater understanding of the potential uses of CBD in addressing anxiety.
Many people are surprised to learn that the health benefits associated with the cannabis plant date back several millennia. The use of cannabis for pain can be traced back to ancient Chinese texts, dating to 2900 B.C. and since that time many civilizations have used cannabis for a variety of conditions, from joint pain and muscle spasms to conditions such as gout and malaria. CBD oil represents a modern iteration of this treatment, allowing pain relief without the psychoactive side effects that come from using the entire plant. Studies have shown that CBD may help reduce chronic pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity and it is currently being studied for treatment of pain associated with arthritis, multiple sclerosis and various forms of cancer.
One of the most promising uses of CBD is to reduce inflammation. Recent studies have shown positive results in this area, with one study finding that CBD injections reduced pain response to surgical incision, while another study found that oral CBD treatment significantly reduced sciatic nerve pain and inflammation. Given the effects of inflammation in preventing physical movement and activity, these potential benefits could be a huge boon for athletes of all sorts, enabling increased movement and mobility.
Improving Heart Health
Research has shown that CBD can improve overall heart health by lower high blood pressure, which is significant as high blood pressure increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Some research points to these benefits accruing from the ability of CBD oil to reduce anxiety and stress as described above, while research in animals has shown that CBD oil has the potential to reduce cell death and inflammation from heart disease.