CBD (also known as cannabidiol) has undergone a dramatic shift in public perception over the last few years. Its rising acceptance and the supporting scientific evidence behind CBD make it a viable and safe alternative for many people looking to improve their health and well-being. In fact, there is new research showcasing the important role that CBD can play in preventative health. This quick article will explore the beneficial effects of taking CBD for preventative health and more specifically maintaining healthy bones, skin, brain and heart function, and more while aging.
What is preventative health?
Preventative health is a long-term approach to enhancing or maintaining the quality of your health, and with that – the quality of your life. Preventative health focuses on making sure that your body can continue to function at the highest level in the future. Medical professionals1 often suggest taking different steps to protect your health and detecting the early signs of issues that might endanger your health. You can be proactive about your health by improving your diet, being physically active on a daily level, supplementing with vitamins and minerals, and much more. This is where CBD can play an important role in supplementing your other approaches to preventative health.
The benefits of CBD for preventative health
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring compound found in hemp plants. It is safe, non-toxic, non-addictive substance, and does not get you high or intoxicated. (THC is the chemical that is often associated with the intoxicating effects, not CBD).
CBD products have gotten popular recently as a way to address many health issues such as sleep, pain, inflammation, and more. But CBD products can also be used as a preventative measure for many health issues.
Before diving into the specific preventative health benefits of CBD, it is important to talk about how CBD works for the body. Research2 shows that humans, and all animals, have a natural endocannabinoid system that produces chemicals similar to CBD. These chemicals called cannabinoids interact with receptors throughout the brain and body to signal how the body should react to stimuli. This system plays a crucial role in regulating mood, sleep, pain, inflammation, hunger, and more.
As you can see, CBD can help control a wide range of functions throughout the body. But, the effects of CBD aren’t limited to maintaining proper function at the moment, it can also help your body become more proactive in preventing future harm or illness.
CBD has been shown through multiple scientific studies to help with long-term bone health. A scientific review3 found that the endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in the regulation of bone metabolism, controlling everything from how much fat is being stored within the bones, how many new bone cells are produced, and the rate at which older bone cells are being broken down. Plus, a study published in 20094 found that endocannabinoid receptors help slow down the bone decay that happens throughout the normal aging process. Based on this evidence CBD has been cited as a strong option for helping to prevent common bone injuries and other common bone diseases associated with aging.
There are many people who have begun to replace their usual skincare products with CBD products, in hopes to preserve their healthy and youthful skin for longer. Thankfully, there is growing research5 behind the claims that these users are making for skin health. CBD helps enhance their skin health by protecting it against acne breakouts, eczema or psoriasis flare-ups, signs of aging signs, and more.
Research6 shows that CBD’s anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant abilities can help reduce inflammation within your skin and pores that could lead to acne, thus preventing potential skin issues and breakouts. Research published in The Journal of Dermatological Science7 concluded that cannabinoids (such as CBD) can play an important role in supporting potential remedies for psoriasis.
Plus, CBD is also great for sensitive skin, as it is non-abrasive and research8 shows it can be used for reducing the occurrence of wrinkles, dark spots, and fine lines as a result of the normal aging process. When it comes to protecting the look and health of your skin it is definitely worth considering adding a CBD cream or lotion to your normal skincare routine.
Cardiovascular & Heart Health
There are many factors that can cause a decline in our cardiovascular health, exposing us to a greater risk of heart disease and heart attack. Fortunately, CBD has been shown to enhance our heart health and play a role in reducing potential risk factors. A study published in 20179 demonstrated that CBD could efficiently reduce blood pressure. This study also showed that CBD can alter the way that the body responds to stress, a factor which can often cause elevated blood pressure and is a major contributing factor of heart disease and heart attack. This means that by taking CBD, we could be able to maintain healthy blood pressure levels and reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attacks.
Research10 has also identified that CBD can be beneficial in enhancing blood flow, inducing vasorelaxation, influencing the survival and death of the white blood cells, and the migration of white blood cells throughout the body. Although more research is required to fully understand how CBD can play a role in preventative heart health, these studies show the positive implications that taking CBD could have on cardiovascular health.
Some of the most researched effects of CBD are focused on mental health. There are dozens of studies11 focusing on using CBD for anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder, and much more. But did you know that research is showing that CBD can play a role in preventing some of these mental health conditions issues in the first place?
Earlier in this article, we mentioned that CBD is able to help reduce stress, which can also play a significant role in mental health. In addition to stress, anxiety and other mental health symptoms are often worsened by the poor quality of sleep. Luckily, CBD has been shown in clinical research12 to help people fall asleep easier and get a higher quality of sleep. Getting the proper amount of sleep can play a small role in breaking the cycle of many mental health conditions. Another research paper published in the Permanente Journal13 also supported that CBD could efficiently reduce your anxiety and improve your sleep quality.
The potential of using CBD for preventative mental health is so intriguing that Dr. Bhattacharyya14, a neuroscientist at King’s College London, is conducting a study to test if CBD can reduce the rate of young people developing psychosis.
There is a lot of research15 focused on how CBD can play a role in supporting numerous neurological disorders such as fibromyalgia, concussions, Parkinson’s disease, and more. Unfortunately, much of this research is still in the early stages, so the evidence is limited. But the good news is as more research is released the supporting evidence for using CBD to enhance our brain health and prevent common neurological issues continues to increase.
In one study16, researchers found that CBD helps to enhance the brain’s neuroplasticity and neurogenesis, and promotes healthy brain cells. Another study17 also demonstrated that due to the powerful anti-oxidant abilities of CBD, it is able to reduce oxidative stress in the brain, which contributes to the cognitive decline that associated with the normal aging process.
Final Thoughts On Taking CBD For Preventing Health Issues
As you can see, the existing evidence shows great promise for helping prevent the decline of many health conditions. But, that doesn’t mean CBD is a magic solution that will keep you healthy forever. More research is still needed to fully understand the potential of CBD as preventative medicine for specific conditions. In the meantime, as additional research is conducted on the preventative effects of CBD, it good to know that it has been shown to be safe, non-toxic, and non-intoxicating. So, adding CBD products such as CBD oil, CBD gummies, or CBD creams to your daily routine might be a good start to improve your long-term health and could help to prevent dangerous health conditions in the future.