CBD oil seems to be everywhere you turn lately. There are so many options and so much information, it can be overwhelming. We’re taking a deep dive into the health benefits of CBD oilfor women, how to find a safe and ethically sourced brand of CBD oil, and we’ve even got a DIY on how to make your own.
Before getting into the benefits of CBD oil, we want to put your questions at ease as to the legality of using CBD oil for medicinal purposes. We are not lawyers and unfortunately, there is no simple “yes” or “no” answer to this question. If you are unsure if CBD oil is legal in your State, you can check your state laws regarding Cannabis on NORML for more information.
With legalizations of medicinal marijuana in many states, it makes sense that people are interested in it and the benefits of its more attainable cousin, CBD oil. CBD or Cannabidiol oil is an oil extracted from the cannabis plant.
What is Cannabis?
For millennia, the cannabis plant was valued for its use for fiber and rope, as food and medicine, and for its psychoactive properties for religious and recreational use (source).
The human body has an endocannabinoid system (ECS). This widespread neuro-modulatory system plays important roles in central nervous system development, synaptic plasticity, and the response to endogenous and environmental assaults. CBD oil is loaded with cannabinoids that bind to specialized receptors in the brain.
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that occur naturally in the resin or sap of the Cannabis sativa plant, the most commonly known being marijuana. These chemicals have a drug-like effect on the human central nervous system and immune system. Cannabinoids are the substances that lead to altered mood, pain relief, and other temporary changes in the body when you use CBD oil.
The best-known cannabinoid is THC which produces the “high” people get when smoking marijuana. CBD oil derived from medical marijuana (the only type of marijuana you should use for medicinal purposes) will contain higher levels of THC.
This means you will get a high from using it.
It also means you won’t pass a drug test.
Cannabidiol or CBD is another cannabinoid but it doesn’t produce the “high” of THC. It binds to the same receptors as THC, but when derived from the hemp plant, it contains much lower levels of THC. That eliminates the “high”.
CBD oil is currently being researched to determine whether or not it’s a viable treatment for a number of conditions women struggle with and early results are positive. CBD oil is already being used to treat certain types of epilepsy and to curb the side effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients (source).
The Health Benefits of CBD Oil for Women
Now, in the interest of clarity, we are talking about hemp oil, not an oil made from marijuana purchased for recreational use.
Any time you are planning to use something for medicinal purposes, talk to your doctor or alternative healthcare professional first. This is especially true if you are taking pain meds or medications for anxiety or depression.
With the renewed interest, the list of conditions CBD oil use is being touted for is growing and research into its use is on the rise.
Some of the leading conditions CBD oil is used for are:
CBD Oil for Pain Relief
Pain relief is one of the more popular benefits of CBD oil. It has been found to contain properties that are analgesic or pain-relieving in nature (source).
Women suffering from chronic pain such as fibromyalgia or certain types of neuropathy such as post-chemotherapy neuropathy, and even multiple sclerosis have shown improvement in their pain levels with CBD oil.
Another one of the benefits of CBD oil for pain is that it can help with period cramps (source).
CBD Oil for Anxiety and Depression
Several studies have supported claims that CBD oil can reduce stress and anxiety. CBD oil for anxiety and depression, where legal, is now often used by alternative medicine practitioners for patients with OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), PTSD, and social anxiety.
Because CBD activates receptors in the brain that produce higher levels of dopamine, it’s effective for relaxing the mind and body, so anxiety levels are reduced.
There’s also growing research in improved sleep with CBD oil, which can be of great benefit to overall mental health – especially in moms with young children.
CBD Oil for Cancer
The jury is still out as to any actual benefits of CBD oil and cancer. However, even the American Cancer Society has noted that CBD oil can help with some of the nastier side effects of chemotherapy and further research is needed to determine whether or not it can actually slow the growth of tumors (source).
It has been effective in slowing cancer growth in mice.
Researchers in Europe discovered that the endocannabinoid system plays a vital role in fighting melanoma. A study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology revealed endocannabinoids facilitate apoptotic cell death in cancer cells (source).
CBD Oil for Cardiovascular Health
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the US, and the numbers of women affected by heart disease are growing at an alarming rate.
While a healthy diet and exercise are the best places to start when combating heart disease, CBD oil has shown promise in addressing some of the causes of heart disease (source). It reduces blockage in arteries, lowers cholesterol, reduces the stress response in heart attacks, and reduces blood pressure.
CBD Oil for Inflammation
Inflammation wreaks havoc on the body. When we think of inflammation, we naturally think of conditions such as arthritis and joint disorders, but inflammation is also one of the precursors to heart disease. One of the benefits of CBD oil is its anti-inflammatory properties.
Other causes of inflammation in the body are stress, the standard American diet (heavy on sugar and grains), and long term exposure to environmental toxins. Autoimmune diseases are nearly always linked to inflammation. Research into the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD oil is widely published and promising for people who suffer from asthma, multiple sclerosis, Hashimoto’s disease, lupus, and even celiac disease.