CBD and Illness Recovery
At some point in our lives, we are all likely to get ill or injured. Sometimes we just need to rest at home, but at other times we might have to have surgery or treatment like chemotherapy. CBD might be able to help in some of these cases because of its natural anti-inflammatory qualities. CBD, cannabidiol, is made from cannabis plants. CBD doesn’t have any psychoactive effects, these come from another cannabinoid called THC. CBD is legal in the UK as long as it contains no THC. It’s important to talk to your doctor before taking CBD if you take any other medication.
CBD for Everyday Illnesses
We all know what it’s like to experience a common cold – a sore throat, cough and a runny nose. It’s not pleasant but it generally passes in a few days. Flu can make you feel even worse and maybe even unable to get out of bed for a few days. CBD has the potential to help with some of the symptoms of flu and colds. Various studies, including one in 2017, have found that CBD can help relieve headaches which can be one of the worst symptoms of the flu1. Stomach bugs are another relatively common type of illness, especially if you have young children. CBD has been shown to help relieve nausea because of the way it interacts with the serotonin receptors in our bodies2. Serotonin is a hormone that is responsible for mood and vomiting.
CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in our bodies. This system is involved in lots of different processes in our bodies like sleep, appetite and mood regulation. It naturally produces endocannabinoids and there are receptors for these all over the body including in the brain and the digestive system. This explains why CBD has such a wide range of effects across the whole body.
CBD after Surgery
Recovering from an operation can take days, weeks or even months depending on the type of operation you had. During recovery, you’re likely to be in pain and you may experience mental health problems too. Surgery can be very mentally draining and can leave you at risk of post-traumatic stress disorder or depression. CBD may be able to help you recover mentally from surgery. A study in 2018 found that CBD in conjunction with regular psychiatric care could help people that suffer from PTSD3. The researchers noted that it was particularly effective for people who experience nightmares.
CBD and Chemotherapy
One of the most common treatments for cancer is chemotherapy. The most common side effects of chemotherapy are nausea and sickness. The NHS in the UK sometimes prescribes Nabilone to help with these side effects. They refer to Nabilone as a “manmade form of cannabis”. This review of scientific studies concluded that there was a “compelling need” to investigate the anti-nausea potential of cannabidiol and other treatments that help the endocannabinoid system4.
CBD and Broken Bones
Breaking a bone is very painful and can leave you on crutches or in a plaster cast for a long time. Different studies have investigated how CBD can impact bone density. One study review in 2018 found that CBD helped fractures heal5. Another study in 2015 found that CBD makes bones stronger when they are healing after a break making them harder to break in the future6. This is surprising because normally after you break a bone it is weaker and more liable to be broken again. CBD may be able to help your body heal and protect you from future breaks and fractures.
CBD after a Stroke
A stroke is normally where a blood clot blocks a blood vessel in your brain. This stops the blood that your brain needs from getting to the brain and it can be fatal if not treated quickly. People recover from strokes at different rates and to different extents. In 2010 scientists concluded that “CBD offers new therapeutic possibilities for treating ischemic stroke”7. Ischemic stroke is the type of stroke that affects the brain. Research is still taking place to fully understand how CBD interacts with the brain but there is some suggestion that CBD may have neuroprotective properties which can help with conditions like Parkinson’s and strokes.
Summary: CBD and Illness Recovery
The way cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system in our bodies make them promising for helping with illness recovery. This includes a wide range of things from the common cold and flu to side effects from chemotherapy, broken bones and surgery. There is also early evidence to suggest it may have neuroprotective properties. However, CBD isn’t something should only take when you’re feeling ill. It can be taken every day as a plant-based supplement to keep you feeling the best you can.