By now, we are sure that you must have heard of the latest craze in the health and wellness industry - CBD. Don't let the hype fool you, this is certainly no snake oil. There are myriad benefits to taking CBD in its many forms and this article will help to outline a number of the reasons as to why it has become so popular.
From lotions, to patches, to gummies - the choice of products can often be overwhelming. While this article will focus specifically on softgel CBD capsules, the delivery method is not massively differentiating. People take CBD, in all its forms, for the same reasons.
First, for those who are perhaps less initiated, we will kick off by explaining what CBD is.
What is CBD?
CBD is a versatile compound found within the hemp plant. There are over 100 different compounds contained within the plant and CBD is just one of these.
Crucially, CBD is a non-psychoactive compound. This means that it does not get the user high. This is a common misconception that many have when discussing the potential of CBD.
So, not only does CBD not get you high, but it also packs a glut of health benefits. It can also be manufactured in myriad ways. One of the most common of these delivery methods is softgel CBD capsules.
What are softgel CBD Capsules?
Softgel CBD capsules are a very simple concept. They are just like any other softgel encased health supplement that you may take.
CBD is suspended in liquid form within a gelatin, opacifier and plasticiser casing. They are particular popular compared to hard pressed tablets due to their increased solubility. This means that the CBD takes effect far quicker than with other traditional tablets.
They are very easy to consume, as well as being discreet. Just pop a capsule in your mouth, drink some water and swallow. Easy as that!
What can softgel CBD capsules be used for?
CBD is a wonderfully versatile compound that can be used to tackle a dazzling array of symptoms. From sleep, to headaches, to pain relief, the reasons for people using it are incredibly varied. Let us dip into some of the research and see how CBD may be able to improve your life.
To begin with, sleep is by far and away one of the most popular reasons for electing to take up CBD use. Two thirds of adults in the UK claim to have difficulty getting to sleep. We all know how frustrating it can be to toss and turn all night, particularly when we have to be up and alert the following day. Step forward CBD!
A notable study, often referenced when discussing CBD and its relationship to sleep, was published in 2019 by Shannon, Lewis, Lee and Hughes (CBD in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series). This involved 72 participants, 25 of whom were experiencing insomnia. After taking a CBD capsule every day for just one month, two thirds of these reported a higher quality of sleep.
In 2013, over 8 million cases of anxiety were reported in the UK alone. While this is clearly an incredibly high figure, these are just the cases that were reported. The actual figure likely lies far higher. There is no doubt that the recent pandemic and prolonged period of isolation for many will have exacerbated their mental health.
CBD has huge potential when it comes to combating the inhibiting symptoms associated with anxiety. While it is very difficult to definitively measure anxiety and its symptoms, and more research is of course required, the early signs are incredibly promising.
The National Institute (NIDA) published a study in 2015 (The Biology and Potential Therapeutic Effects of Cannabidiol) that focused on the effects of CBD on anxiety in rats. After being given CBD orally, the subjects displayed fewer behavioural signs of anxiety. In addition to this, the physiological signs also appeared to be reduced.
Chronic pain is something that plagues many of us and can be an exhausting process to manage. Many of the traditional pain relief treatments available today, such as NSAIDs can have horrendous side effects and wreck hundreds of thousands of lives each year. Again, while further research is required, the initial signs for CBD in relation to pain relief are encouraging.
One notable 2018 study conducted by Vučković et al (CBD and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules) reviewed all existing research into CBD and pain, including neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia and cancer pain. They concluded from these studies that not only was CBD effective in relation to pain management, but it also lacked negative side effects.
What are the side effects of CBD?
It is always important to be aware of any potential contraindications when it comes to trying a new supplement or treatment, so if you are taking any existing medication, it is imperative to check with your GP or doctor prior to using CBD.
That said, there are relatively few side effects to be worried about and these are extremely low in their prevalence. The most common side effects include:
- Change in appetite
- Weight change
- Mild nausea
As highlighted throughout the article, CBD is a wonderfully versatile form of health supplement and there are valid reasons why its popularity is soaring. As times move forward, society develops and attitudes are changed, CBD will soon become a staple in many health routines if it isn't already.
One final note to be aware of is that CBD should not be used as a replacement for paracetamol or ibuprofen. CBD works by building up in your endocannabinoid system over time, so the more regularly and consistently you take it, the more effective it will be. Typically, one should try a given CBD product for at least 8 weeks before drawing any conclusions as to its effectiveness.