The CBD boom has brought with it so many wild claims that it seems like it can do anything!
At the same time, the only conditions that CBD has been through the full battery of clinical trials to treat are severe epilepsy and (in combination with THC) muscle spasms from multiple sclerosis. So where do all those other claims come from?
Well, research on CBD has been going on since the 1970s; but since it’s lacked the backing of a major drug company or government agency, it hasn’t been organized enough to meet the regulatory protocol in Western nations.
Still, knowledge of CBD’s effects has been growing rapidly, along with understanding of the endocannabinoid system and its many functions for human health. Research has also supported the strong safety profile of CBD as a non-addictive, non-intoxicating product of the Cannabis sativa plant.
So if you aren’t suffering from epilepsy or MS but just from creeping anxiety and stress, there are several ways that CBD might help you with enough clinical evidence to at least make it worth a shot.
#1 Lowering Stress
Folk wisdom has always said that stress makes you old before your time, and now science backs it up. Stress actually seems to age you on the cellular level.
While CBD can’t meet your deadlines or make your kids behave, it can help with your inner state. Multiple studies indicate that CBD calms anxiety, both chronic and situational. It’s one of the main reasons it’s become so popular, providing some of the relaxing qualities without zonking you out the way THC does.
# 2 Improving Sleep
CBD is not a sedative in the traditional sense of depressing your central nervous system, which is why people can take it during the day and function fine. But some research indicates that CBD can help insomnia, and does it without disrupting the normal sleep-wake cycle. That suggests that it doesn’t just knock you out, but helps deliver quality sleep.
Poor sleep can really wear down your system. The disease risks of sleep deprivation include heart disease, diabetes, anxiety, and depression. So it’s not surprising that people with abnormal sleep have a tendency to die earlier. Unfortunately, taking sleep medicines also seems to raise the mortality risk.
# 3 Enabling Exercise
You’ve probably heard the drill: you want to stay young, you’ve got to get up and keep moving. Unfortunately, as we get older the aches and pains get more frequent, especially in the joints. This starts a vicious cycle: when you’re aching you don’t want to exercise, but not exercising will lead to more aches in the long run.
There’s a reason, though, why CBD is so popular with athletes. Early research supports it as a treatment for arthritis pain, and it may even help speed the healing of spinal damage. You still need to be careful with exercise as you get older, of course, but pain management can help you stay active.
# 4 Keeping the Blood Moving
CBD has lately attracted scientific interest for potential cardiovascular health, due to its effects on blood circulation. It relaxes and expands the vessels, assisting with blood pressure levels – high blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Poor cardiovascular health can also indirectly age you faster. Insufficient blood supply to your muscles and tendons encourages them to deteriorate. Your skin also needs blood to stay young, which is why smokers tend to age prematurely – tobacco smoking shrinks your vessels.
# 5 Reducing Unhealthy Cravings
One of the interesting differences between CBD and its better-known THC cousin, is that they have opposite effects on appetite. THC is well known for giving people the munchies, but research subjects on CBD generally eat less.
This appears to extend to other sorts of cravings as well. The endocannabinoid system is involved in the reward mechanism that helps you remember how pleasurable it was to imbibe something, and increases your sensitivity to anything that might remind you of it. THC appears to heighten this reward system, while CBD interferes with it. That’s made CBD a target of research for drug addiction.
Even if you aren’t an addict, a lot of us crave things that accelerate aging in the long run – smoking, drinking, or plain ol’ sugar. CBD might be worth trying to wean yourself off your vice. I should caution that if you do have a serious addiction, or any other serious health problem for that matter, you should consult a physician before trying to self-treat with CBD.
It’s a good idea to do that anyway, because of potential interactions with other drugs you might be taking. But there’s certainly enough evidence to believe that CBD can be one component of a healthy old age.
Before you purchase CBD products you need to do some research. In Canada the only legal way to purchase CBD varies by province. The links below will get you to a legal source in Canada by province.
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Prince Edward Island
- Nova Scotia
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
In the United States, you should always be Just be sure you’re buying from a reputable company that uses US locally grown hemp.
Hemp naturally remediates the soil within which it is grown! That means it pulls nutrients but also heavy metals and toxins from the soil.
It is important to look for companies that conduct and disclose the third-party lab testing which would show the makeup of their extracts. Also look for THC-free hemp-derived products as they can ship across state lines – like CBDMD.
Written By David Freudenberg with Canadian content provided by Can Can Buzz Editorial Team