The popularity of cannabis oil is on the rise with no signs of slowing down. There are constantly new cannabis oil products available and consumers are happily snapping them up at a marijuana dispensary near them. As with any popular trend though, it can be hard to sort through the copious amount of marketing material. Some claim that cannabis oil can do everything, from improving your sex life to curing cancer. It can be confusing to figure out what does cannabis oil actually do.
Of course, research is still limited. Although cannabis oil might not be the miracle elixir that some people claim it is, it does indeed cause reactions to take place in the body. We now understand that some of these reactions certainly have the potential to offer benefits if approached mindfully.
We prepared a comprehensive overview of cannabis oil. This guide will explain what cannabis oil actually does, what it doesn’t do, and what it might be able to do in the future.
1. What is cannabis oil?
Before discussing what does cannabis oil do (and cannot do), it is important to understand what cannabis oil actually is. A concentrated liquid extracted from the marijuana plant, cannabis oil is similar to other herbal extracts and, like other plant derivatives, the chemicals it contains depend on how the extract is made and what chemicals were in the plant to begin with.
The cannabis plant itself in fact produces thousands of compounds, but the most prominent belong to a class called cannabinoids, and CDB is one of those. Unlike THC, the other well-known member of the cannabinoid family, CBD isn’t known to cause psychoactive effects. That means you can get the benefits from CBD oil without necessarily getting high.
2. How does cannabis oil work?
Cannabis oil works by interacting with some of the human body’s receptors. We all have many different kinds of receptors, which are protein-based chemical structures that are attached to the cells and receive signals from different stimuli. Cannabis oil is believed to interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are found primarily in the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system, respectively.
Although the exact specifications around how this interaction takes place is not fully understood, it is thought that it likely alters serotine signals. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which plays an important role in mental health and that is the reason why cannabis oil is thought to have many of the beneficial outcomes detailed below.
3. Cannabis oil offers pain relief
Many people who used to rely on prescription or over-the-counter-drugs for everything from mild stiffness to chronic pain have made the switch to cannabis oil, claiming it offers the same relief and is a more natural alternative. Although there is still plenty of research to be done, studies have found that CBD significantly reduced chronic inflammation and pain in some mice and rats.
This has opened up the discussion for whether or not cannabis oil could prove to be a revolutionary new treatment for chronic pain.
4. Cannabis oil helps with quitting smoking
There is also some exciting new evidence to suggest that cannabis oil has the potential to help people quit smoking. A recent study published in Addictive Behaviors found that smokers who used inhalers containing CBD smoked fewer cigarettes than usual and had no further cravings for nicotine.
Researchers also made note of the fact that cannabis oil seems to reduce symptoms like anxiety and pain, often associated with substance abuse disorders and withdrawal symptoms.
5. Cannabis oil can treat epilepsy and other neurological disorders
Cannabis oil has now been approved to treat two rare conditions characterized by epileptic seizures, including Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), a condition that appears between the ages of 3 and 5 years and involves different kinds of seizures and Dravet syndrome (DS), a rare genetic condition that appears in the first year of life and involves frequent, fever-related seizures.
Additionally, there are findings to suggest that cannabis oil could treat other complications often associated with epilepsy, including neurodegeneration, neuronal injury, and psychiatric diseases.
6. Cannabis oil can be used to treat anxiety disorder
According to new research, cannabis oil may reduce anxiety-related behaviors in people with conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, general anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. For generalized anxiety disorder, the National Institute on Drug Abuse says that CBD has been shown to reduce stress in animals such as rats.
Study subjects were observed as having lower behavioral signs of anxiety and their physiological symptoms of anxiety, such as increased heart rate, also improved.
7. Cannabis oil could be used to treat type 1 diabetes
Resulting from an inflammation that occurs when the immune system attacks cells in the pancreas, type 1 diabetes could also be treated by the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabis oil. Shown to ease inflammation in the pancreas, this research appears to be the first step in finding a CBD-based treatment for type 1 diabetes.