Cannabidiol is a popular natural remedy used for many common ailments. Better known as CBD, it is one of over 100 chemical compounds known as cannabis or marijuana, Cannabis sativa. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in marijuana and causes the "high" feeling often associated with marijuana. However, unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. This quality makes CBD an attractive option for those seeking relief from pain and other symptoms without the effects of marijuana or certain pharmaceutical drugs. CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the hemp plant and then diluting it with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or hemp seed oil. It's gaining momentum in the health and wellness world, with some scientific studies confirming that it can relieve symptoms of ailments such as chronic pain and anxiety.
1. can relieve pain
Marijuana has been used to treat pain since as far back as 2900 BC.
Recently, scientists have discovered that certain components of marijuana, including CBD, are responsible for its pain-relieving effects.The human body contains a specialized system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is involved in regulating various functions, including sleep, appetite, pain, and immune system response. The body produces endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system. Studies have shown that CBD can help reduce chronic pain by affecting endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation, and interacting with neurotransmitters.
For example, one rat study showed that CBD injections reduced the pain response after a surgical incision, while another rat study showed that oral CBD treatment significantly reduced pain and inflammation in the sciatic nerve. Several human studies have shown that a combination of CBD and THC is effective in treating pain associated with multiple sclerosis and arthritis. An oral spray called Sativex, which is a combination of THC and CBD, is approved in several countries to treat pain associated with multiple sclerosis. One study on 47 people with multiple sclerosis examined the effects of taking Sativex for a month. Participants experienced improvements in pain, walking and muscle spasms. However, the study did not include any control group and placebo effects cannot be ruled out. Another study found that Sativex significantly improved pain during movement, pain at rest, and sleep quality in 58 people with rheumatoid arthritis (8Trusted Source).
2. can reduce anxiety and depression
Anxiety and depression are common mental health disorders that can have devastating effects on health and well-being. According to the World Health Organization, depression is the largest contributor to disability worldwide, while anxiety disorders rank sixth. Anxiety and depression are usually treated with pharmaceutical drugs, which can cause a number of side effects, including drowsiness, agitation, insomnia, sexual dysfunction and headaches. Furthermore, drugs such as benzodiazepines can be addictive and can lead to substance abuse. CBD oil has shown promise as a treatment for both depression and anxiety, leading many living with these disorders to become interested in this natural approach. In one Brazilian study, 57 men were given either oral CBD or a placebo for 90 minutes before taking a simulated public speaking test. Researchers found that a 300-mg dose of CBD was most effective at significantly reducing anxiety during the test. Placebo, 150-mg doses of CBD and 600-mg doses of CBD had little or no effect on anxiety.
CBD oil has even been used to safely treat insomnia and anxiety in children with post-traumatic stress disorder. CBD has also shown antidepressant effects in several animal studies. These characteristics are related to CBD's ability to act on brain receptors for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and social behavior.
3. may alleviate symptoms associated with cancer
CBD can help reduce cancer-related symptoms and side effects associated with cancer treatment, such as nausea, vomiting, and pain. One study looked at the effects of CBD and THC in 177 people with cancer-related pain who were not getting relief from pain medication. Those treated with an extract containing both compounds experienced a significant reduction in pain compared to those who received only the THC extract. CBD can also help reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, which are some of the most common side effects associated with chemotherapy for people with cancer. While there are medications to help treat these distressing symptoms, they are sometimes ineffective, leading some people to seek alternatives.
A study of 16 people undergoing chemotherapy found that a one-to-one combination of CBD and THC administered as an oral spray reduced chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting better than standard treatment alone. Some test tube and animal studies have even shown that CBD may have anti-cancer properties. For example, one test-tube study showed that concentrations of CBD induced cell death in human breast cancer cells. Another study showed that CBD inhibited the spread of aggressive breast cancer cells in mice. However, these are test tube and animal studies, so they can only suggest what might work in humans. More human studies are needed before conclusions can be drawn.
4. can reduce acne
Acne is a common skin condition that affects over 9% of the population. It is believed to be caused by a number of factors, including genetics, bacteria, inflammation and overproduction of sebum, an oily secretion produced by the sebaceous glands in the skin. Based on recent scientific research, CBD oil may help treat acne due to its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to reduce sebum production. One test-tube study found that CBD oil prevented excessive sebum production by sebaceous gland cells, exerted anti-inflammatory effects, and prevented the activation of "pro-acne" factors such as inflammatory cytokines. Another study showed similar results, concluding that CBD may be an effective and safe treatment for acne, thanks in part to its remarkable anti-inflammatory properties. While these results are promising, human studies examining the effects of CBD on acne are needed.
5. may have neuroprotective properties
Researchers believe that CBD's ability to act on the endocannabinoid system and other brain signaling systems may benefit people with neurological disorders. In fact, one of the most studied uses of CBD is to treat neurological disorders such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. While research in this area is still relatively new, several studies have shown promising results. Sativex, an oral spray consisting of CBD and THC, has been proven to be a safe and effective way to reduce muscle spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis. One study found that Sativex reduced spasms in 75% of 276 people with multiple sclerosis who had muscle spasticity that was resistant to medication. Another study gave 214 people with severe epilepsy 0.9-2.3 grams of CBD oil per pound (2-5 g/kg) of body weight. Their seizures were reduced by a median of 36.5%. Yet another study found that CBD oil significantly reduced seizure activity in children with Dravet syndrome, a complex childhood epilepsy disorder, compared to placebo. However, it should be noted that some people in both of these studies experienced side effects associated with CBD treatment, such as seizures, fever, and fatigue.
CBD has also been studied for its potential effectiveness in treating several other neurological conditions. For example, several studies have shown that CBD treatment improved the quality of life and sleep of people with Parkinson's disease. In addition, animal and test-tube studies have shown that CBD can reduce inflammation and help prevent the neurodegeneration associated with Alzheimer's disease. In one long-term study, researchers gave CBD to mice genetically predisposed to Alzheimer's disease, finding that it helped prevent cognitive decline.
6. may be beneficial for heart health
Recent studies have linked CBD to several cardiovascular benefits, including the ability to lower high blood pressure. High blood pressure is associated with a higher risk of a number of health conditions, including stroke, heart attack, and metabolic syndrome. Research suggests that CBD may be able to help with high blood pressure. One recent study treated nine healthy men with a single dose of 600 mg of CBD oil and found that it lowered resting blood pressure compared to a placebo. In the same study, men were also given stress tests, which normally raise blood pressure. Interestingly, a single dose of CBD led the men to experience a smaller increase in blood pressure than normal in response to these tests.
Researchers suggest that CBD's stress- and anxiety-reducing properties are responsible for its ability to lower blood pressure. In addition, several animal studies have shown that CBD can help reduce inflammation and cell death associated with heart disease through its powerful antioxidant and stress-reducing properties. For example, one study showed that CBD treatment reduced oxidative stress and prevented heart damage in diabetic mice with heart disease.
7 Some other potential benefits
CBD has been studied for its role in treating a number of health issues other than those mentioned above.
Although more research is needed, CBD is believed to provide the following health benefits:
Although CBD is generally well tolerated and considered safe, it can cause side effects in some people.
Side effects noted in studies include:
This is especially important if you are taking medications or supplements that contain a "grapefruit warning". Both grapefruit and CBD interfere with cytochromes P450 (CYPs), a group of enzymes important for drug metabolism. One study in mice showed that CBD-rich hemp extracts could potentially cause liver toxicity. However, some mice in this study were fed extremely high doses of the extract.
CBD oil has been studied for its potential role in alleviating symptoms of many common health problems, including anxiety, depression, acne, and heart disease. For those with cancer, it may even provide a natural alternative for pain relief and symptom relief.
Research into the potential health benefits of CBD oil is ongoing, so new therapeutic uses for this natural remedy are sure to be discovered. While there is much to learn about the efficacy and safety of CBD, the results of recent studies suggest that CBD can provide a safe, potent, and natural treatment for many health problems. If you're interested in trying CBD, you can buy a number of products online, including gummies, oils, and lotions.
Hemp-based CBD products (with less than 0.3% THC) are legal at the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal at the federal level, but are legal under some state laws. Check your state's laws and those that apply in each place you travel to. Remember that over-the-counter CBD products are not FDA approved and may not be accurately labeled.