What Are 5 Unexpected Uses of CBD Oil?
With around a quarter of a million people in the UK now using cannabidiol (CBD) oil, the legal cannabinoid has rapidly become a phenomenon. CBD is one of around 80 chemical cannabinoids found in cannabis sativa plants, with the extracted oil being used in various CBD-based products, including creams, edibles, and tinctures. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component in cannabis, CBD doesn’t get you high in the same sense. Instead, it responds to the receptors in our nervous system which cause reactions in relation to things like pain, emotions, and our immune systems.
As a result, CBD oil products are being produced for all manner of health and beauty purposes, like reducing pain, helping with anxiety, and treating acne and insomnia. For frequent consumers, the above uses for CBD oil will come as no surprise. But, as is often the case, the things we use every day have even more functions .than we first realised, and CBD oil definitely fits into this bracket.
Reduce post-workout inflammation
That feeling of soreness in our muscles that renders you barely able to walk—let alone sit down—without being in pain? Gym-goers have all been there the day after a workout. While muscle soreness is part and parcel of working out, it can make the next day or two close to unbearable, and can even put you off returning to the gym altogether.
Fortunately, CBD oil can go some way to reducing workout-induced muscle inflammation, due to its impact on endocannabinoid receptor activity, with many consumers finding that rubbing cream into the affected area alleviates workout-related pain.
Help with addiction
Smoking is notoriously hard to quit, but it turns out that properties in CBD oil can make the process a lot easier. Studies have discovered that nicotine, the addictive substance in cigarettes, reacts massively with our endocannabinoid systems. However, taking CBD oil can work to chemically reduce any cravings. Indeed, one study found that those who took CBD reduced the number of cigarettes they smoked by 40%, while a group given placebo CBD reported no change in their smoking habits.
CBD has also been found to be effective at treating heroin addiction, with a study in the American Journal of Psychiatry discovering that the chemical led to a two to three-fold reduction in cravings among addicts. It also helped to reduce their anxiety and pain, which researchers believe can prevent people from becoming addicted in the first place.
Provide anti-ageing benefits
Due to our skin glands producing less oil from our thirties onwards, ageing dries the skin, which is what causes the presence of wrinkles and fine lines as we age. The desire to hide these perfectly natural signs of getting older has led to the anti-ageing market being worth around £42 billion. While moisturisers made from ingredients like proteins, waxes, and urea remain popular, more people are looking towards CBD anti-ageing products instead. The CBD skincare market is now worth over £516 million, with a predicted compound annual growth rate of 33% through 2027.
And CBD really can keep our skin looking young. Researchers believe this is down to a connection between our endocannabinoid systems and oil secretion in our skin glands. They have found that CB2 receptors in our central nervous system can be stimulated to produce more lipids, which in turn increases oil secretion in our skin cells, thus slowing the ageing process. This effect is bolstered by the fact that CBD is also a strong antioxidant, which can help protect our skin against the free radicals we are constantly exposed to in the air.
Improve focus and memory
Unlike THC, which is known to be inhibitive to cognition and memory, CBD can actually have the opposite effect. Research has found that CBD promotes neurogenesis—in other words, the growth and development of the neurons that transmit information throughout our bodies. This, in turn, can help reduce the deterioration of brain cognition and function, and bolster focus and memory.
In fact, CBD is being increasingly used to treat different dementia-related conditions. For example, research has found that the cannabinoid can reduce or remove brain cell decline, oxygen buildup in the brain, and diminish the impact of inflammation, all of which can help reduce the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. CBD has also been found to be useful in the treatment of diseases like Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and both Vascular and Frontotemporal dementia.
Reduce pet anxiety
While it’s common knowledge that CBD can reduce anxiety in humans, CBD can also have a calming effect on our furry friends. Like their owners, our pets, unfortunately, experience anxiety too, something which can be triggered by all manner of reasons, from moving home to being separated from their owners, and can be identified by actions like hiding away and shaking. While different types of medication and treatment from animal behaviourists are common remedies, more pet owners are turning to CBD to relieve symptoms of anxiety, and by 2023, 7% of CBD sales are expected to come from the pet-related products.
While most evidence about CBD’s effect on anxiety is purely anecdotal, researchers are increasingly looking into how animals react to CBD, and the signs are positive. A 2018 study found that CBD can increase comfort in dogs with osteoarthritis, while research from 2019 shows that it could reduce the number of seizures experienced by epileptic dogs. Such findings show that the cannabinoid certainly has a beneficial effect on animals, and a 2017 World Health Organization report declared it safe for animal use. That said, pet owners should carefully check the ingredients of any products before administering them due to the CBD market’s lack of regulation.