Cannabidiol, aka CBD, is one of the hottest things out there at the moment. CBD is nearly as popular now as Bitcoin was a year ago. It’s trendy, it’s healthy and everybody’s talking about it. You can find CBD in almost everything nowadays, from wellness products like lip balm to soft drinks and electronic cigarettes.
Related: What is CBG? – Cannabinoid Science
And you might be wondering: Should you be using CBD for wellness? Is it an effective ingredient or is it just a manufactured hype cleverly used to increase the products’ prices?
CBD – The breakthrough ingredient for the wellness industry
If you’re wondering whether or not CBD could be used as an alternative means of treatment for certain medical conditions, you’ve stumbled over the wrong article. You can learn more about the effects of CBD on the human body here.
In this article, we’re going to debate whether you should include CBD-infused products in your wellness routine or not. And we’re going to examine why people use CBD nowadays, and if they should be doing it or not.
1. CBD for weight loss
CBD is used for weight loss. Are you surprised? Well, you shouldn’t be. According to a Market Research report published in February 2019, the weight loss industry is worth $72 billion in the U.S. alone. So it’s only natural for the industry leaders to keep up with the trends and come up with new products that will ‘help you lose weight while sleeping’ or ‘help you lose 14 pounds in 7 days’. And since CBD is now trending, CBD-infused weight loss supplements are hitting the shelves.
But is CBD really helpful for those who want to shed some fat? Well, there is some evidence suggesting that it is.
CBD works by interacting with the mammal endocannabinoid system, which you can read more about here, and an animal study published in 2012 suggests that, by interacting with the cannabinoid receptors, CBD reduces the appetite of rats.
Another study, this one presented in 2016, helps back up the weight loss claim. According to this study, CBD helps white fat cells convert into brown fat cells and stimulates the body to break down fats more efficiently.
Furthermore, a study published in 2018 helps explain the previous phenomenon. Brown fat cells act differently than white fat cells within the body. Brown fat cells are an active form of fat, and they burn off energy as heat. Simply put, the brown fat cells actually burn calories instead of storing them.
Since calorie loss is essential for weight loss, CBD might help you get leaner by burning fat.
However, all these studies are nothing more than promising suggestions at this time. Some of them, like the one focusing on rats, are anecdotal at best. Just like every other miracle herb, supplement or drug out there, CBD does not replace a healthy diet and regular exercise.
2. CBD for weight gain
Wait, what? You just read about CBD and weight loss and now you’re reading about CBD and weight gain? How is that even possible? Doesn’t one contradict the other?
Well, of course, it does. I’m just here to explain how CBD is used and to present enough information for you to be able to reach your own conclusions regarding its effectiveness.
Although some studies suggest that CBD might have a beneficial effect on weight loss, others suggest that it may actually cause weight gain.
CBD-based medicine is now approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of pediatric epilepsy, infantile spasms and the Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. But every new drug that enters the market has to be closely supervised in order to detect any significant side effects.
One such study, presented in 2015, showed that 30 percent of the parents who used CBD as a treatment on their children reported that CBD oil significantly increased their children’s appetite.
Additionally, a 2018 cross-sectional study found that 6.35 percent of those who regularly use CBD experienced increased hunger as a side effect.
Here’s the deal. CBD research is still in its infancy, and it’s inconclusive. The fact that some studies indicate that CBD encourages weight loss while others indicate that it promotes weight gain shouldn’t be surprising since there are still plenty of things the scientific community still doesn’t know about the endocannabinoid system.
Whether you want to gain weight or lose it, the best course of action would be to consult a nutritionist.
3. CBD for skin care
There are a lot of skin creams, salves, lip balms and gels that include CBD in their formulas. Now, each product is marketed differently, but the general idea is that CBD-infused topicals are somehow superior to their regular counterparts.
The skin is the largest organ in the human body, and, despite the fact that it acts as a barrier between your body and the world, it has a good absorptive capacity.
So, whenever you apply CBD cream on your body, it’s safe to assume that all that CBD ends up in your bloodstream and reaches your endocannabinoid system. Or, at least that it will reach the CB1 or CB2 receptors in your skin. Right?
Well, not really. Transdermal drug delivery is more complicated than you’d think. The active substance (in this case, CBD) has to pass through the outer skin layers which have a poor permeability (they stop germs from crossing, which are nanosized).
Then, the substance has to pass through the inner layers, which are slightly more permeable but stick close to one another — so close, in fact, that only the teeniest tiniest molecules could get through.
This barrier is so effective that approximately 90 percent of all transdermal drugs fail to pass through it. That’s 90 percent of all creams ever created, including medical creams that have been around for decades.
But there’s a catch. Cannabinoids are highly lipophilic, so they could pass through the skin layers and reach their designated targets if they’re small enough. And many skin care companies claim that the CBD molecules in their recipes are so small that they can do just that.
So, how could CBD help once it penetrates your skin?
Well, most creams claim that CBD helps with acne. A 2014 study suggested that CBD could be helpful as an acne treatment, but the study had no control, so it doesn’t provide a definitive answer.
Some creams claim that CBD reduces age lines and wrinkles. This assumption appeared because CBD has both an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant effect, but there is no evidence indicating CBD reduces age lines or wrinkles.
Here’s the deal. Unless the skin cream has been specifically formulated to contain nano-sized CBD, a process that’s costly, your CBD skin cream might only be effective because of its other ingredients. On the bright side, applying skin cream will definitely hydrate your skin, which is still a plus.
4. CBD for athletic performance
You shouldn’t be surprised to learn that athletes around the world use CBD to improve their athletic performances. Competitive athletes use everything they can get their hands on to upgrade themselves.
And it gets better. As of January 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) no longer includes CBD in its list of prohibited substances — whether used in or out of competitions. So athletes can now use CBD without risking suspension.
You might be wondering how CBD could improve your athletic performance. Well, CBD is an effective anti-inflammatory substance, so it can shorten your post-workout recovery time. Being an anti-inflammatory substance, CBD can be a healthier alternative to the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) athletes have used for years, and even to opioid medication that might get an athlete disqualified.
Moreover, CBD helps with sleep, so it can improve your body’s ability to grow muscle and improve reflexes.
Athletes turn to CBD because it also has a relaxing effect. Having the right state of mind when you enter a competition might give you an advantage over your competitors.
Last but not least, CBD can also be helpful for those who want to gain or lose mass (see above), so that may come in handy for athletes as well.
5. CBD for sex
Lately, people have also been using CBD to spice up their sex life. The link between cannabis and sex has long since been established, but CBD seems to be catching up.
In a private study done by Remedy Review, male respondents claimed that they lasted longer in bed by an average of 31 percent, and female respondents claimed that they finished faster by an average of 33 percent.
In addition, 76 percent of the female and 72 percent of the male participants claimed that they experienced stronger orgasms after using CBD.
CBD might improve your sex life because it relaxes your mind and allows you to feel less anxious in the heat of the moment. 77 percent of the respondents claimed that CBD was the nudge they needed to try something new in the bedroom.
This data study has no control and it wasn’t published in an international paper, so it has no real scientific value. Moreover, the study used self-reported data to make these statistics, which is usually not accurate.
However, the study suggests that CBD might be a healthy way of banishing any bedroom concerns one might have before getting down to business, which might serve as a starting point for real scientists in the future.
Using CBD for wellness – Final thoughts
CBD is the latest trend, and many companies are trying to make the most out of it. But the truth is, most of the CBD-infused products you can buy are not as effective as they’re advertised.
Sure, CBD is an awesome substance that offers many health benefits. It’s simply difficult to experience those benefits by applying lip balm or putting on face cream.
If you really want to experience all that CBD has to offer, use reliable products such as oils, capsules, or edibles.