Cannabidiol is a well-known natural treatment for a variety of diseases.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of over 100 chemical components known as cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant, Cannabis sativa.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the major psychoactive cannabinoid present in cannabis, which generates the high feeling that is often associated with cannabis. CBD, on the other hand, is not psychotropic like THC.
Because of this, CBD is an enticing choice for individuals seeking relief from pain and other ailments without the mind-altering effects of cannabis or the additional negative effects associated with other prescription medicines.
CBD oil is created by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant and diluting it with a carrier oil such as coconut or hemp seed oil. CBD may be available in a range of goods, including nutritional supplements, bath soaks, beverages, and food, both online and in shops.
It’s gaining traction in the health and wellness sector, with some scientific studies indicating that it may help with symptoms of illnesses including chronic pain and anxiety. Is it, however, the best option for you?
This article discusses the six evidence-based health advantages of CBD, as well as possible negative effects and safety issues associated with CBD products.
Heads up: Is CBD legal?
CBD products produced from hemp (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are allowed on the federal level, but remain banned under several state laws.
CBD products produced from cannabis are banned at the federal level, but are lawful in several states.
Check the laws of your state, as well as the rules of every country you visit. Also, take in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved and may be labeled incorrectly.
1. May relieve pain
Since 2900 B.C., cannabis has been used to relieve pain.
Scientists have recently found that specific components of cannabis, particularly CBD, are responsible for its pain-relieving properties.
The endocannabinoid system is a specialized system in the human body that regulates a number of processes such as sleep, hunger, pain sensation, and immune system response.
Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters produced by the body that connect to cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system.
CBD may help alleviate chronic pain by influencing endocannabinoid receptor function, decreasing inflammation, and interacting with neurotransmitters, according to research.
Some evidence shows that when taken alone, CBD may be useful for specific forms of pain, such as nerve pain and back pain. It seems to be most effective when coupled with THC.
Several human investigations have demonstrated that combining CBD and THC is useful in alleviating pain associated with MS and arthritis.
Sativex (nabiximols), an oral spray containing a 1:1 mixture of THC and CBD, is licensed in numerous countries to alleviate pain associated with MS.
A research including 47 persons with MS looked at the effects of using Sativex for a month. The participants’ discomfort, walking abilities, and muscular spasms all improved.
Nonetheless, since the research lacked a control group, placebo effects cannot be ruled out.
According to one review, Sativex may help those with MS-related neuropathic pain and persistent severe neuropathic pain. The study also discovered that Sativex may aid in the relief of worry and stress, both of which are key contributors to chronic pain.
Furthermore, some studies shows that CBD may help with the symptoms of rheumatic disorders like fibromyalgia.
A survey of 2,701 patients with fibromyalgia indicated that those who took CBD for pain treatment reported a small to major improvement in symptoms.
Furthermore, preclinical data from rat research suggests that CBD may be effective for arthritic pain and inflammation, but human trials are limited.
Although experts are cautiously hopeful that CBD may be useful in the treatment of certain forms of pain, particularly when paired with THC, further high-quality trials are required to establish its efficacy in pain management.
2. Could reduce symptoms related to some mental health disorders
Anxiety disorders and other mental health illnesses may have serious consequences for one’s general health and well-being.
Pharmaceutical medications are often used to treat mental health illnesses, and they may have a variety of adverse effects, including sleepiness, agitation, sleeplessness, sexual dysfunction, and headaches.
Furthermore, certain drugs, such as benzodiazepines, have the potential for addiction and may lead to substance use disorder.
CBD oil has showed potential as a therapy for several mental health issues, such as anxiety disorders, which has piqued the curiosity of many individuals who suffer from these diseases.
In a Brazilian research, 57 males were given either oral CBD or a placebo 90 minutes before a simulated public speaking exam. A 300-mg dosage of CBD was determined to be the most efficient at considerably lowering anxiety during the test by the researchers.
Those who received a placebo, a 150-mg dosage of CBD, or a 600-mg dose of CBD saw little to no impact.
CBD oil has been shown to be effective in treating sleeplessness and anxiety in children suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a kind of anxiety condition.
A tiny 2019 research also found that CBD was beneficial for lowering PTSD-related symptoms in adults, including nightmares.
Several additional research have shown that CBD may be beneficial for those suffering from social anxiety and other anxiety-related diseases.
Despite the fact that some individuals report that CBD alleviates depression symptoms, human proof of CBD’s putative antidepressant powers is presently lacking.
Several studies, however, show that it may help lessen depressive symptoms in people with cannabis use problems.
CBD is now being studied for its impact on anxiety and depression symptoms.
In fact, a research examining the potential efficacy of 150–300 mg of CBD per day for 12 weeks on anxiety and depression symptoms in adults with bipolar illness is scheduled to be finished in April 2022.
3. May alleviate certain cancer-related symptoms
CBD may help alleviate certain cancer-related symptoms and side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, and pain, associated with cancer therapy.
An prior research examined the effects of CBD and THC in 177 persons suffering from cancer-related pain who had not found relief from pain medication.
When compared to individuals who got simply THC extract, those who received an extract combining both components saw a considerable reduction in discomfort.
A analysis of five trials revealed some evidence that Sativex may benefit some persons with cancer-related discomfort.
However, research on the benefits of cannabis and cannabinoids like CBD on cancer-related nausea, discomfort, and reduced appetite has shown conflicting results.
Although CBD may be beneficial for certain cancer patients, additional study is required to establish if CBD should be used more often in cancer symptom treatment.
If you have cancer and want to use CBD or other cannabis-derived products, you should talk to your doctor first. These products may not be suitable, safe, or effective for all cancer patients.
4. May have neuroprotective properties
CBD’s potential to work on the endocannabinoid system and other brain-signaling systems, according to researchers, may give advantages for persons suffering from neurological illnesses.
Indeed, one of the most researched CBD applications is in the treatment of neurological illnesses such as epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. Despite the fact that research in this field is still in its early stages, numerous studies have shown encouraging findings.
Sativex has been found to be a safe and effective treatment for MS-related muscular spasticity.
It decreased spasms in 75% of 276 persons with MS who were suffering medication-resistant muscular stiffness.
In another trial, 214 patients with severe epilepsy were given 0.9–2.3 grams of CBD oil every pound (2–5 grams per kg) of body weight. Their seizures were decreased by 36.5 percent on average.
Another research indicated that CBD oil, when compared to a placebo, dramatically decreased seizure activity in children with Dravet syndrome, a severe pediatric epilepsy illness.
However, some participants in both groups suffered adverse effects to CBD medication, such as seizures, fever, and exhaustion.
CBD has also being studied for its potential efficacy in treating a variety of other neurological illnesses.
Several studies, for example, have shown that CBD medication may enhance quality of life and sleep quality in persons with Parkinson’s disease.
However, the researchers point out that there is presently a scarcity of high-quality data. That is, there is insufficient data to justify the use of CBD in the therapeutic treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
However, the FDA has authorized one CBD medication for the treatment of various epileptic disorders.
The FDA authorized Epidiolex, a prescription cannabidiol medication, in 2018 for the treatment of seizures associated with two severe types of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
Epidiolex was approved by the FDA in 2020 to treat seizures caused by tuberous sclerosis complex, a rare genetic disorder that causes benign tumors to form in the brain and other places of the body.
5. May benefit heart health
Some study has connected CBD to a variety of heart and circulatory system advantages, including the capacity to decrease high blood pressure.
High blood pressure has been related to an increased risk of a variety of health problems, including stroke, heart attack, and metabolic syndrome.
CBD seems to be useful for patients with high blood pressure, according to research.
In a tiny trial, nine healthy males were given 600 mg of CBD oil. When compared to a placebo, the CBD therapy lowered resting blood pressure.
In the same research, the males also underwent stress tests, which are known to raise blood pressure. Surprisingly, a single dosage of CBD caused the males to have a lower blood pressure rise than usual in response to these tests.
Another research, which included 26 healthy males, discovered that taking 600 mg of CBD for 7 days resulted in substantial decreases in blood pressure in the short term when compared to a placebo group. The impact, however, was eliminated after 7 days.
After repeated doses, the CBD group maintained lower blood pressure values in response to stress compared to the placebo group.
The CBD group also showed less arterial stiffness and better blood flow through their arteries following repeated CBD treatment compared to the placebo group, according to the study.
Overall, these results are promising, but additional research into the potential advantages of CBD therapy on heart health is needed.
6. Other potential benefits
CBD has been examined for its function in treating a variety of health conditions in addition to those listed above.
Despite the fact that further research is required, CBD is expected to give the following health benefits:
- Antipsychotic properties. CBD may assist patients with schizophrenia and other mental health issues by lowering psychotic symptoms, according to research.
- Treatment for substance addiction. CBD may be beneficial in treating anxiety and depression in those who are addicted to certain substances, such as heroin.
- Glioblastoma patients may be able to live longer lives. Recent study suggests that combining CBD and THC may help some patients with an aggressive type of cancer called glioblastoma live longer lives, although data is limited.
- Sleeping patterns may improve. Some studies show that CBD may help persons with some sleep problems sleep better, but further study is required.
Potential side effects of CBD products
Despite the fact that CBD is typically well-tolerated and considered harmless, it may induce unpleasant effects in some individuals.
The following are some of the side effects that have been reported in studies:
Appetite and weight fluctuations
In pediatric epilepsy research, further adverse effects such as abnormal liver function test findings, sleepiness, sedation, and pneumonia have been documented. However, these symptoms might be caused by CBD combining with other medicines, such as clobazam.
CBD does, in fact, interact with a variety of drugs, including pain relievers, antidepressants, seizure meds, and diabetic medications. Before experimenting with CBD oil, consult with a healthcare expert to ensure safety and prevent possibly hazardous reactions.
It’s also worth noting that the market is now oversaturated with CBD products, many of which are of poor quality.
CBD is being added to meals, drinks, nutritional supplements, and body care products, and these things are often touted as a means to alleviate stress, pain, and sleep problems.
This is not to say that you should include any of these foods into your diet or health program.
Although some evidence shows that CBD may be beneficial for some areas of health, dose in research trials varies greatly. It is challenging to identify what dosage is best for addressing certain health problems.
Furthermore, many products include a combination of chemicals, not only CBD. Dietary supplements containing CBD and a combination of herbal substances, for example, may not be suitable for everyone, since many herbs have the potential to interact with widely prescribed drugs.
Before using a CBD product, consult with a healthcare practitioner about optimal dose and any other concerns you may have.
If you do decide to utilize a CBD product, be sure it has been evaluated for quality and purity by a third party.
On their websites, NuLeaf Naturals and Bluebird Botanicals provide CBD products that have been tested by certified third-party labs and have batch reports.
The bottom line
CBD oil has been researched for its possible involvement in alleviating the symptoms of a wide range of common health ailments, including anxiety and neurological diseases. Furthermore, it may boost heart health and aid in the relief of some forms of discomfort.
Keep in mind that some of these health advantages are associated with the use of CBD in conjunction with THC, rather than CBD alone.
CBD research into the effects of CBD on certain illnesses is continuing, and there is still much to learn about CBD’s potential benefits.
If you want to take CBD to treat a health problem or improve your general health, consult with a healthcare practitioner first. They can advise you on whether adding a CBD product to your regimen is acceptable and assist you in selecting the optimal product.