A frequent natural treatment for many common ills is cannabidiol. It is one of more than 100 chemical substances known as cannabinoids that are present in the cannabis plant, Cannabis sativa, and is more popularly known as CBD (1Trusted Source).
The primary psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is responsible for the high that is frequently associated with cannabis use. CBD is non psychotropic, in contrast to THC. Due to this characteristic, CBD is a desirable alternative for those seeking pain treatment and other ailments without the psychoactive effects of cannabis or other negative side effects associated with some prescription medications.
CBD from the cannabis plant is extracted to make CBD oil, which is then diluted with a carrier oil like coconut oil or hemp seed oil. Dietary supplements, bath soaks, drinks, and food are just a few of the items you can buy online and in stores that contain CBD. With some scientific studies suggesting that it may lessen the symptoms of illnesses like chronic pain and anxiety, it is continuing to gain popularity in the health and wellness sector. However, is it the best option for you?
In addition to possible negative effects and safety issues with CBD products, this article discusses 6 research-backed health benefits of CBD.
1. Could ease pain
As far back as 2900 B.C., cannabis was used to relieve pain. (2 Trusted Source) More recently, scientists have learned that CBD, among other cannabis constituents, is what gives cannabis its pain-relieving properties.
The endocannabinoid system, a unique system found in humans, regulates a number of bodily processes, including sleep, hunger, pain perception, and immunological response (3Trusted Source).
Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that your body makes that attach to cannabinoid receptors in your neurological system.
According to studies, CBD may lessen chronic pain by influencing the activity of endocannabinoid receptors, lowering inflammation, and interacting with neurotransmitters (4Trusted Source).
According to several studies, using CBD alone may be helpful for treating some forms of pain, such as back and nerve pain. But it seems to work best when paired with THC (5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source). A combination of CBD and THC is useful in alleviating pain associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) and arthritis, according to several human studies.
Multiple nations have approved the use of Sativex (nabiximols), an oral spray that contains a 1:1 ratio of THC and CBD, to treat MS-related discomfort.
47 MS patients participated in a study that looked at the effects of taking Sativex for a month. The participants’ discomfort, walking abilities, and muscle spasms all improved (7Trusted Source).
One review found that Sativex may help people with chronic, severe neuropathic pain and neuropathic pain associated with MS. Sativex may lessen worry and stress, which are two significant causes of chronic pain, according to the review (8Trusted Source). Additionally, some studies indicates that CBD may help with fibromyalgia symptoms and other rheumatic illness symptoms. Those who took CBD for pain treatment generally reported mild to considerable improvements in symptoms, according to a study that included survey data from 2,701 fibromyalgia sufferers (9Trusted Source).
And although there aren’t enough human research, preclinical evidence from studies on rodents suggests that CBD may reduce pain and inflammation associated with arthritis (10Trusted Source).
More reputable studies are required to determine CBD’s effectiveness in pain management, despite the fact that experts are cautiously optimistic that it may be helpful in the treatment of various forms of pain, especially when paired with THC.
2. Might lessen signs and symptoms of some mental health conditions
The general health and wellbeing can be severely impacted by anxiety disorders and other mental health issues.
Pharmaceutical pharmaceuticals are frequently used to treat mental health illnesses, but these medications have a range of side effects, including sleepiness, agitation, sleeplessness, sexual dysfunction, and headaches (11Trusted Source).
Additionally, drugs like benzodiazepines carry the risk of addiction and can result in substance use disorders.
Many people who deal with these diseases are interested in this natural method because CBD oil has shown potential as a treatment for various mental health disorders, such as anxiety disorders.
90 minutes prior to taking a simulated public speaking test, 57 males in a Brazilian study were given either oral CBD or a placebo. The researchers discovered that a dose of 300 mg of CBD considerably reduced anxiety during the test (12Trusted Source).
People who took the placebo, 150 mg of CBD, or 600 mg of CBD reported little to no impact (12Trusted Source).
In children with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a kind of anxiety condition, CBD oil has been used to successfully treat anxiety and insomnia (13Trusted Source).
In a small 2019 trial, CBD was also beneficial in lowering the symptoms of PTSD in adults, including nightmares (14Trusted Source).
According to several previous research, CBD may be helpful for people with social anxiety disorder and other anxiety-related conditions (15Trusted Source).
Despite the fact that some people report that CBD alleviates depression-related symptoms, there is currently little human data to support CBD’s possible antidepressant properties (15Trusted Source).
However, the outcomes of numerous studies imply that it might assist in lowering depressed symptoms in people with cannabis use problems (15Trusted Source).
Ongoing studies are looking into how CBD affects the signs of anxiety and sadness.
In fact, a study examining the potential impact of 150–300 mg of CBD per day for 12 weeks on the symptoms of anxiety and despair in patients with bipolar disorder is anticipated to be finished in April 2022. (15Trusted Source).
Cancer-related symptoms and treatment-related adverse effects like nausea, vomiting, and pain may be lessened with CBD.
In 177 patients with cancer-related pain who did not find relief from painkillers, a previous study examined the effects of CBD and THC.
Compared to individuals who received simply THC extract, those who received an extract that had both chemicals had significantly less pain (16Trusted Source).
Sativex may in some cases benefit people with cancer-related pain relief, according to an assessment of five trials (17Trusted Source).
The results of studies looking at how cannabis and cannabinoids like CBD affect cancer-related nausea, pain, and decreased appetite have been contradictory (18Trusted Source).
Even though CBD may benefit certain cancer patients, additional research is required to decide whether CBD should be taken more frequently to manage cancer symptoms.
It’s crucial to speak with your medical team if you have cancer and are considering utilising CBD or other cannabis-derived products. For some cancer patients, these goods might not be secure, suitable, or efficient.
4. Might possess neuroprotective qualities
The capacity of CBD to influence the endocannabinoid system and other brain-signaling systems, according to researchers, may aid those who suffer from neurological illnesses.
In fact, treating neurological conditions like MS and epilepsy is one of the CBD uses that has received the most research. Several studies have produced encouraging findings, despite the fact that this field of study is still relatively new.
People with MS can lessen their muscle stiffness safely and effectively by using Sativex.
In 276 MS patients who had muscle spasticity that was resistant to treatment, it decreased spasms in 75% of cases (19Trusted Source).
In a different study, 214 individuals with severe epilepsy received doses of 0.9–2.3 grammes of CBD oil per pound (2–5 grammes per kilogramme) of body weight. Their median reduction in seizure frequency was 36.5 percent (20Trusted Source). Another study discovered that CBD oil dramatically decreased seizure activity when compared to a placebo in kids with Dravet syndrome, a complicated paediatric epilepsy illness (21Trusted Source).
Nevertheless, some participants in each of these studies had negative effects from CBD administration, including seizures, fever, and exhaustion.
Research has also been done on CBD’s potential efficacy in treating various other neurological conditions.
However, scientists point out that there isn’t currently enough high-quality data. That means there isn’t enough data to justify the clinical usage of CBD to treat Parkinson’s disease (22Trusted Source). However, the FDA has authorised the use of one CBD product in the management of a number of epileptic disorders. The FDA approved Epidiolex, a prescription cannabidiol product, for use in 2018 to treat seizures linked to Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two severe forms of epilepsy.
For the treatment of seizures brought on by tuberous sclerosis complex, a rare genetic disorder that causes benign tumours to develop in the brain and other parts of the body, the FDA approved Epidiolex in 2020. (23Trusted Source).
5. Might improve heart health
According to some research, CBD provides a number of advantages for the heart and circulatory system, including the capacity to reduce excessive blood pressure.
Stroke, heart attack, and metabolic syndrome are among the health disorders that high blood pressure is associated with higher risks of developing (24Trusted Source).
According to studies, CBD may help persons with high blood pressure.
Nine healthy men were given 600 mg of CBD oil as part of a small study. Compared to a placebo, the CBD treatment decreased resting blood pressure (25Trusted Source). The males participated in stress tests, which often raise blood pressure, as part of the same study. Interestingly, the men’s blood pressure increased less than usual in response to these tests after taking a single dose of CBD (25Trusted Source).
Another trial with 26 healthy men found that therapy with 600 mg of CBD daily for seven days significantly lowered blood pressure in comparison to a control group. But after seven days, the impact was gone (26Trusted Source).
After repeated dosages over time, the CBD group’s blood pressure levels in reaction to stress remained lower than those of the placebo group.
Additionally, compared to the placebo group, the CBD group had decreased arterial stiffness and better blood flow through their arteries, according to the study’s findings (26Trusted Source).
Overall, these results are encouraging, but further research is required to fully understand the potential advantages of CBD therapy for heart health.
6. Additional positive aspects
Other than the conditions mentioned above, CBD has also been investigated for its potential to cure a variety of other health conditions.
The following health advantages of CBD are anticipated, while additional research is required:
effects of antipsychotics. According to studies, CBD may lessen the symptoms of psychosis in patients with schizophrenia and other mental health issues (27Trusted Source).
treatment for drug misuse. People who are dependent on certain narcotics, such as heroin, may find relief from anxiety and sadness with CBD (28Trusted Source, 29Trusted Source).
glioblastoma patients’ lives may be prolonged. Recent research suggests that glioblastoma, an aggressive form of cancer, may benefit from treatment with a CBD and THC combination, although there is a dearth of data to support this (30Trusted Source).
Potentially better sleep. More research is required, although some studies suggest that CBD may help persons with specific sleep disorders sleep better (31Trusted Source, 32Trusted Source).
Numerous common health ailments, such as anxiety and neurological diseases, have been researched in relation to the potential benefits of CBD oil in reducing their symptoms. Additionally, it might improve heart health and lessen some types of discomfort. Keep in mind that some of these health advantages are linked to using CBD and THC together rather than CBD alone.
There is still much to learn about the possible applications of CBD, and research into how CBD affects particular illnesses is ongoing.
Consult a medical practitioner first if you’re considering using CBD to treat a condition or improve general health. They can advise you on whether including a CBD product into your regimen is appropriate and assist you in selecting the optimal option.