There are some ailments—a broken leg, maybe, or strep throat, or basic dry skin—which are fairly simple to diagnose and treat. If you spot it, you got it, as they say. But there are others (oh, how there are others!) for which the search for either an effective treatment or, even better, a cure, takes the needy down some very strange highways and byways and into some dubious territory.
So, when scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) began to report on the links between reputable CBD products and improvements in everything from chronic pain to inflammation, it’s not surprising that potential CBD product users were as surprised as they were thrilled. So simple! And, although human CBD usage does still fall within a legal gray area, clearly the government is sure it’s a winner: they’ve actually patented cannabinoids, claiming that:
“Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety [sic] of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia. Non-psychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention.”
Further, only recently did the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) vote to recommend approval of the first prescription cannabidiol medicine, to treat rare and severe forms of epilepsy. And, according to a 2013 review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, studies have found CBD to possess the following medical properties:
High spirits for CBD products
Probably the best-known health benefit CBD products impart is relief from anxiety and depression. Scientists believe (and many studies support these theories) that CBD works with a receptor in our brains, known as CB1, to alter serotonin signals.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because that’s exactly what selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) like Zoloft and Prozac do. In fact, early research shows that CBD products may also treat other anxiety-related conditions, like social anxiety disorder (SAD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and even anxiety-linked insomnia.
And now, scientists in the field have identified a new, helpful aspect of CBD products, destined to be of service both in the medical and the wellness fields: terpenes!
Let’s face it: we’re all familiar with the signature scent of cannabis (there’s a reason they used to call it “skunk,” after all), and terpenes are the elements in the cannabis plant that give it its distinctive smell.
Put more nicely, terpenes are “the essential oils of weed, and…research suggests that the terpenes in cannabis may work synergistically with cannabinoids to enhance medicinal effects,” Allure declared recently. In other words, terpenes may be the aromatherapy gateway to the playing field that is complementary physical and mental pain relief.
CBD products and beauty—effects that go at least skin deep
The acknowledged uses of CBD oil don’t stop with its medical benefits. Recently, the New York Times reported on its efficacy in the beauty and wellness space as well, citing CBD products as winners in treating everything from acne to inflammation and even muscle soreness.
Because the oil is naturally rich in fatty acids and emollients (think avocado or almond oil), it works to hydrate and smooth skin. And, according to Dr. Shereene Idriss of Union Square Laser Dermatology in an interview on the topic with beauty bible Elle: “When applied topically, [CBD products] can help reduce oil production and therefore [have] been shown to have some anti-acne and anti-inflammatory characteristics.”
But, how does it work?
A 2014 study found that CBD can help to suppress acne breakouts by regulating the oil production of sebaceous glands. This means that it could be an effective, non-steroidal treatment for the problem—which is great news for sufferers hoping to avoid retinoids like Accutane and spironolactone, as these often make skin look worse before it looks better.
CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects have long been regarded as helpful in the medical arena. In fact, Whoopi Goldberg calls CBD For Life Rub “…just amazing” and one of her favorite things, because “anything that relieves leg- and foot-ache is great for me.”
However, these same benefits also serve the wellness and beauty space. For example, Jeanette Jacknin, a board-certified dermatologist, recently told New York magazine that CBD products can help the skin look more radiant and youthful,” and referenced a study suggesting that CBD could slow down the visible signs of aging in mice.
For humans, she specifically likes Pure CBD Eye Serum which, because it’s rich in moisturizing aloe leaf and cucumber extract as well as CBD isolate, reduces puffiness and under-eye circles.
The short version:
CBD + you = great skin, great mind, great mood!
More research is needed in order to quantify and regulate how much CBD is necessary to reap all the great health and beauty benefits (and more!) listed here. Even so, one thing is for sure—as savvy consumers move away from prescription painkillers and drugs that simply mask health symptoms, and toward natural solutions that actually promote good health from the inside out, CBD products are emerging as leaders in the field.
Take note, however—especially because the field is so big, new, and un-sheriffed, it’s important to shop for reputable products, only from legitimate companies with a proven track record and respectable fans—preferably within the dermatology industry. When in doubt, check them out!
And with everyone from Big Pharma, to the FDA and the US government itself getting in on the action, it’s a pretty fair bet that CBD products are here to stay. And that can only mean one thing: the future is about to get as bright as you are sure to feel.
Do you still have questions about how CBD products work? Ask us in the comments! And please share any success stories you have—we love to hear them. If you’re ready to try one of our CBD-infused products, click on over to our shop and see what you like best.