Living with a chronic condition is incredibly taxing. Not only do the condition’s symptoms take its toll, but also having to undergo regular treatments and simply living with it can feel isolating, discouraging, and futile.
When it comes to chronic conditions, some are hard to diagnose. And even after they have been diagnosed, the primary option that one has is just to manage it. But medication can’t manage everything.
People often describe living with a chronic illness as frustrating. And it’s frustrating for many reasons: there’s no cure, you can’t really escape it, and not everyone is understanding.
And the process of handling chronic conditions can last a lifetime. Though the term ‘chronic’ can refer to an illness lasting a couple of months to a few years, others can stay with you for the rest of your life.
The prescribed medications that are given to people with chronic conditions also often have dangerous side effects. Many times, this can make living with the condition just as difficult, if not more.
And even with research constantly striving to find cures, there isn’t usually much hope of something being discovered within the next few years, let alone a few months – at the most, what researchers find is just a better way of managing.
But many people with chronic conditions have begun turning to a treatment that addresses many of their symptoms and is relatively safe – CBD.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound that has recently been celebrated for its progress in dealing with everything from depression to neurodegenerative conditions. Although CBD is not a cure, overwhelming anecdotal evidence has praised its effects.
CBD has grown exceptionally popular, because of research into its ability to combat epilepsy, cancer, Huntington’s, and Alzheimer’s (just to name a few).
However, many people are skeptical about CBD’s usage. This may be somewhat justified due to the fact that not much research has been done on its use and effects, but many people also simply mistake CBD for a related chemical compound known as THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol.
Because CBD is a main component of marijuana, many people think of it as an illegal drug. But CBD is not responsible for the high-feeling that comes with marijuana usage. The primary psychoactive component of marijuana is THC.
But since CBD’s use in treating symptoms of illnesses is growing, how can CBD help manage chronic conditions? Here are seven ways:
One of CBD’s primary uses is to treat pain. Specifically, pain caused by cancer, neuropathic pain, and inflammation-induced pain is the primary type of pain that has been shown to be alleviated by CBD use.
Depending on the cause of the pain, CBD’s effects can vary. For example, CBD is effective in reducing inflammation, and therefore reducing pain caused by inflammation. However, CBD has also been found to be less effective in migraines. While CBD provides some migraine relief, its effects are limited.
As such, if you’re looking to treat a chronic pain condition, CBD has a lot of potentials to help, but it may vary depending on the cause of your pain.
Although CBD is mainly associated with being able to help you relax, depending on the dose, it can actually sharpen your focus. According to CBD Kyro, small doses of CBD in the morning have been shown to increase both focus and concentration.
These findings, however, are primarily anecdotal. However, it seems likely that this is true because there are established relationships between the CBD and the brain. For example, CBD is being considered for Alzheimer’s treatments.
CBD is incredibly effective in treating anxiety. This is primarily because CBD assists in hormonal balance.
When CBD enters the body, it influences the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which regulates hormones. As such, the ECS is responsible for many bodily functions, including your mood. According to Healthcare Weekly, CBD encourages serotonin production, a bodily chemical that influences our feeling of happiness.
Similar to its effects on anxiety, CBD can also be used to address depression through the same mechanisms.
These effects have been demonstrated in both people and animals. CBD is actually used by some pet owners to treat mood behavior in their pets.
Currently, more research is still being called for to further understand CBD’s relationship with depression. But for now, much anecdotal evidence has spoken on its behalf, and this has been enough for many people to start treating their depression with CBD.
One of CBD’s most acclaimed uses is for epilepsy. Specifically, CBD has been shown to reduce the frequency of seizures. Although CBD generally hasn’t been approved for ‘medical’ use, in 2018, a CBD-derived drug, Epidiolex, was approved by the FDA.
Like many other CBD products, Epidiolex does not contain THC. It is a purified form of CBD.
With Epidiolex being approved, it seems that many more CBD-based drugs might, later on, be developed and approved for medical use.
6. Few Side Effects
CBD has a huge advantage over many other treatments for chronic conditions. This is that it has only a few side effects, and these side effects are only mild and temporary. If side effects do occur, they primarily consist of nausea, diarrhea, and fatigue.
Compared to the side effects of many prescription drugs, CBD’s side effects are not severe.
There is also almost no chance of overdosing on CBD. Studies have shown that overdosing on CBD is almost entirely unrealistic. This is because, the amount of CBD that would have to be ingested is very high, and that amount would have to be taken during a very short time span.
7. Influence on Cognition
With research being conducted on CBD’s effects on neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s, it’s been established that CBD can influence cognition. But how extensive is CBD’s influence? This hasn’t been fully confirmed.
According to Daily CBD Mag, CBD is also being considered as a treatment for autism. While this is not as prevalent of use, a few studies and some anecdotal evidence have shown that CBD might be able to treat challenging behavior.
CBD has a wide range of use. Its potential to treat many chronic conditions is promising, but currently, more research is needed to confirm its effectiveness.
Despite some skepticism and CBD’s relative lack of formal scientific research, many people attest to its use. And it seems that it may be safe enough, such that the potential benefits are worth it.
Ultimately, the CBD isn’t well regulated, even though it is legal. This can be one of the more dangerous sides of CBD. But with proper attentiveness, any risks associated with using CBD can be reduced.