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What Is Cannabidiol? The Benefits Of CBD

by Landmark Recovery

July 30, 2019
A woman walking through a field of flowers thinking about an IOP program

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the main components in marijuana, it has become more popular in recent years as it has started to be used as a treatment method for many problems, most notably epilepsy.

There are a number of observed benefits of using CBD to treat certain physical and mental disorders, however, there is some sentiment among CBD providers that it is an end-all cure to a number of different chronic illnesses. It is important to understand that CBD is still being researched and the full details and effects of the substance need to be found before these types of claims can be made.

As marijuana becomes more and more widespread, it is important to understand more about not only cannabidiol but medical and recreational marijuana as well. However, let’s get started with the matter at hand. Learning more about cannabidiol, especially with how quickly it is becoming popular, is a great way to learn if it can help you.

What Is Cannabidiol?

Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, has become more popular in the United States recently. CBD is one of the most prevalent of the active ingredients in marijuana. The other main ingredient being THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive portion of marijuana. CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana.

CBD is usually taken as an oil but is also sold as an extract, a vaporized liquid, and an oil-based capsule. Food and drinks can also be infused with CBD to give someone the same effects in a less conventional way.

Cannabidiol is obtainable in most parts of the United States. However, it’s exact legal status is somewhat in the air. All 50 states have laws that have legalized CBD with varying degrees of restriction. Meanwhile, the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, but often doesn’t enforce it harshly.


In 2018, Epidiolex became the first drug comprised of CBD to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

This approval serves as a reminder that advancing sound development programs that properly evaluate active ingredients contained in marijuana can lead to important medical therapies. And, the FDA is committed to this kind of careful scientific research and drug development,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. after the approval was given.

The medication was approved to treat Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, two types of epilepsy. Dravet syndrome is a rare genetic condition that appears during the first year of life with frequent fever-related seizures. Meanwhile, Lennox-Gastuat syndrome begins in childhood and is characterized by multiple types of seizures.

CBD As Treatment

Cannabidiol is being used to help a number of different physical, mental, and emotional ailments. For example, the top conditions that CBD is used to treat include anxiety, insomnia, joint pain and inflammation, depression, and more.

While CBD does have known therapeutic effects that can improve certain problems such as anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. Many CBD products and CBD-infused products advertise themselves as a miracle treatment for a plethora of diseases. No current evidence supports these claims.

Epilepsy and Seizures

One of the most effective, and highly publicized, treatment purposes of cannabidiol is to help with epilepsy and seizures. According to the Journal of Epilepsy Research, the lack of psychoactive effects present in CBD has led to the increasing use of CBD-enriched extracts as a potential treatment option for epilepsy, especially in children.

In a sizable number of cases observed, there was an improvement in seizure control that was often associated with additional benefits on sleep and behavior. Specific cannabidiol has been shown to reduce seizures in adults and children with various conditions that are linked to seizures.

As mentioned above, Epidiolex is the fits FDA-approved cannabinoid medicine available in the United States. It is an oral solution taken twice a day.

Other Health-Related Issues

There is insufficient evidence of whether CBD is effective in helping or reducing symptoms related to

  • Bipolar disorder — According to government information, early reports show that CBD does not improve manic episodes in people with bipolar disorder.
  • Crohn’s disease — Early research shows that taking cannabidiol does not reduce the activity of Crohn’s disease in adults.
  • Diabetes — Early research shows that CBD does not improve blood glucose and blood insulin levels in adults with type 2 diabetes.
  • Parkinson’s Disease — Early research shows that taking cannabidiol daily for four weeks improves psychotic symptoms in people with Parkinson’s disease and psychosis.
  • Social Anxiety Disorder — Some research suggests that taking cannabidiol daily does not improve anxiety in people with social anxiety. However, taking the substance at higher doses may improve anxiety associated with public speaking.
  • Quitting Smoking — Research suggests that inhaling CBD with an inhaler for one week might reduce the number of cigarettes smoked by about 40 percent compared to baseline.

Obviously, research associated with cannabidiol is still in the very early stages and more information needs to be found on the efficacy of the substance.

Is CBD Safe?

While CBD is generally considered safe, there are a number of side effects associated with using the substance.

According to the National Institute of Health, CBD supplements in pill form have been used safely for daily doses lasting up to six months.

It should be noted that CBD can interfere with the way other medications interact with the body. According to Harvard Health, they can decrease or slow the way some medications are broken in the body. For example, some blood thinners and other medications like antidepressants and heartburn drugs may increase in the body due to the use of CBD.

If you are looking at taking CBD, you should consult with a doctor first. Once you get the green light, it is best to start with a small dose and work your way up if you need to.

There are a number of ways in which you can take CBD such as oil, vaporizer liquid, foods, drinks, and more. All of these are effective delivery methods that can produce the expected results.

Some of the most common side effects of cannabidiol include dry mouth, nausea, fatigue, and irritability. A significant safety concern with CBD is that it is primarily marketed and sold as a supplement, but not as a medication. Because of this, the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate the safety or purity of dietary supplements.

Because of this, there are still some concerns and worries about how safe cannabidiol is. The FDA has acknowledged the need for additional research into CBD products and will continue to look at how they can affect the body and mind.

“We recognize that there is significant public interest in these products, for therapeutic purposes and otherwise. At the same time, there are many unanswered questions about the science, safety, and quality of many of these products,” they said.

The FDA has said that they recognize the potential benefits of CBD, there are still questions regarding the safety of the products.

Does CBD Get You High?

While CBD is a component of marijuana, it does not cause a “high”. It does not have the psychoactive properties that are commonly associated with marijuana According to the World Health Organization CBD does not show effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.

“To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

Medical Marijuana vs. Cannabidiol

While CBD is just one component of the marijuana plant and it is extracted to be used alone, medical marijuana refers to the whole, unprocessed marijuana plant to treat symptoms of illness and other conditions. With that said, the Food and Drug Administration has not recognized or approved marijuana as a form of medicine.

Medical marijuana generally refers to the use of marijuana as a whole, including the psychoactive component of the drug, THC. While THC can lead to increased symptoms of anxiety and other problems, it can also be used as a form of medicine to help increase appetite and reduce nausea.

Medical marijuana is still considered a controversial subject among doctors, policymakers, scientists, and researchers. The most common use of medical marijuana is for pain control. While marijuana isn’t strong enough for severe, post-surgical pain, it can help with chronic pain that impacts many across the nation.

As of July 2019, marijuana is legal for medical purposes in 33 states, with many states making the transition each year. It is only a matter of time before the entire country has a medical marijuana law in place.

With that said, some states have already made the jump to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. While this is still fairly new and only a handful of states have done this, it could be a sign of things to come. If this is the case, it is important to learn more about recreational marijuana and the potential dangers that surround the substance.

Recreational Marijuana

As more and more states across the nation begin to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes, the push for recreational marijuana continues on as well. Marijuana is the most-used illicit drug in the country.

Marijuana leads to a number of different symptoms and effects including relaxation, a false sense of time, anxiety, panic attacks, loss of coordination, trouble thinking, and more. Some other physical signs of marijuana use include red bloodshot eyes, giggling, trouble walking, and more.

Marijuana Addiction

Unfortunately, something that is often overlooked when it comes to marijuana use is dependence and addiction. Many believe that it isn’t possible to get addicted to marijuana but this is untrue. Chronic marijuana smokers can develop something called marijuana use disorder which can take the form of addiction in severe cases. Research suggests that 30 percent of those who use marijuana may have some degree of marijuana use disorder.

Marijuana use disorder can develop into an addiction when the person cannot stop using the drug even though it has begun to interfere with different aspects of his or her life. Studies suggest that nine percent of people who use marijuana will become dependent on it, rising to about 17 percent for those who start using in their teens or early adulthood.

For those dealing with marijuana addiction, they may be more at risk of other types of drug use. If your loved one is dealing with some sort of substance use disorder, drug and alcohol treatment is always an option.

Next Steps

While CBD may be an effective product to help people deal with physical and mental health problems such as epilepsy, seizures, anxiety, and more, there is more information and evidence that needs to be gathered on exactly how effective it is. Moreover, there are a number of side effects and concerns associated with CBD products. As previously mentioned, CBD is one of the main active ingredients in marijuana. As various forms and byproducts of marijuana become more and more available, it is important to learn more about the potential dangers of the plant and the potential for addiction that comes with using recreational marijuana.

While cannabidiol does not have an addictive nature, marijuana in general While not incredibly common, some who use marijuana can become dependent upon the substance. At times, this can lead to issues with other substances and it can eventually snowball into more serious problems. If this is the case for you or your loved one, Landmark Recovery is here to help. We offer a wide range of personalized treatment options that can help patients achieve long-term sobriety. If you are interested in how Landmark can help, please reach out to our Indiana treatment center today!

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About the Author

Landmark Recovery

Landmark Recovery

Landmark Recovery was founded with a determination to make addiction treatment accessible for all. Through our integrated treatment programs, we've helped thousands of people choose recovery over addiction and get back to life on their own terms. We're on a mission to save one million lives over the next century. We encourage all those struggling with substance use to seek professional help.