BENEFITS of CBD

BENEFITS of CBD

7 Benefits and Uses of CBD Oil (Plus Side Effects)

Cannabidiol is a popular natural remedy used for many common ailments.

Better known as CBD, it is one of the 104 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids found in the cannabis or marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa (1Trusted Source).

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, and causes the sensation of getting “high” that’s often associated with marijuana. However, unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive.

This quality makes CBD an appealing option for those who are looking for relief from pain and other symptoms without the mind-altering effects of marijuana or certain pharmaceutical drugs.

CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant, then diluting it with a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed oil.

It’s gaining momentum in the health and wellness world, with some scientific studies confirming it may help treat a variety of ailments like chronic pain and anxiety.

Here are seven health benefits of CBD oil that are backed by scientific evidence.

1. Can Relieve Pain

Marijuana has been used to treat pain as far back as 2900 B.C. (2Trusted Source).

More 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 a variety of functions including sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response (3Trusted Source).

The body produces endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system.

Studies have shown that CBD may help reduce chronic pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters (4Trusted Source).

For example, one study in rats found that CBD injections reduced pain response to surgical incision, while another rat study found that oral CBD treatment significantly reduced sciatic nerve pain and inflammation (5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).

Several human studies have found that a combination of CBD and THC is effective in treating pain related to 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 related to multiple sclerosis.

In a study of 47 people with multiple sclerosis, those treated with Sativex for one month experienced a significant improvement in pain, walking and muscle spasms, compared to the placebo group (7Trusted Source).

Another study found that Sativex significantly improved pain during movement, pain at rest and sleep quality in 58 people with rheumatoid arthritis (8Trusted Source).

SUMMARYCBD, especially in combination with THC, may be effective in reducing pain associated with diseases like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

2. Could Reduce Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression are common mental health disorders that can have devastating impacts on health and well-being.

According to the World Health Organization, depression is the single largest contributor to disability worldwide, while anxiety disorders are ranked sixth (9).

Anxiety and depression are usually treated with pharmaceutical drugs, which can cause a number of side effects including drowsiness, agitation, insomnia, sexual dysfunction and headache (10Trusted Source).

What’s more, medications like benzodiazepines can be addictive and may lead to substance abuse (11Trusted Source).

CBD oil has shown promise as a treatment for both depression and anxiety, leading many who live with these disorders to become interested in this natural approach.

In one study, 24 people with social anxiety disorder received either 600 mg of CBD or a placebo before a public speaking test.

The group that received the CBD had significantly less anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, compared to the placebo group (12Trusted Source).

CBD oil has even been used to safely treat insomnia and anxiety in children with post-traumatic stress disorder (13Trusted Source).

CBD has also shown antidepressant-like effects in several animal studies (14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).

These qualities are linked to CBD’s ability to act on the brain’s receptors for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and social behavior.

SUMMARY Using CBD has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression in both human and animal studies.

3. Can Alleviate Cancer-Related Symptoms

CBD may help reduce symptoms related to cancer and side effects related to cancer treatment, like nausea, vomiting and pain.

One study looked at the effects of CBD and THC in 177 people with cancer-related pain who did not experience relief from pain medication.

Those treated with an extract containing both compounds experienced a significant reduction in pain compared to those who received only THC extract (16Trusted Source).

CBD may also help reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, which are among the most common chemotherapy-related side effects for those with cancer (17Trusted Source).

Though there are drugs that help with 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 via mouth spray reduced chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting better than standard treatment alone (18Trusted Source).

Some test-tube and animal studies have even shown that CBD may have anticancer properties. For example, one test-tube study found that concentrated CBD induced cell death in human breast cancer cells (19Trusted Source).

Another study showed that CBD inhibited the spread of aggressive breast cancer cells in mice (20Trusted Source).

However, these are test-tube and animal studies, so they can only suggest what might work in people. More studies in humans are needed before conclusions can be made.

SUMMARY Though CBD has been shown to help reduce symptoms related to cancer and cancer treatment, and may even have cancer-fighting properties, more research is needed to assess its efficacy and safety.

4. May Reduce Acne

Acne is a common skin condition that affects more than 9% of the population (21Trusted Source).

It is thought to be caused by a number of factors, including genetics, bacteria, underlying inflammation and the overproduction of sebum, an oily secretion made by sebaceous glands in the skin (22Trusted Source, 23).

Based on recent scientific studies, 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 sebaceous gland cells from secreting excessive sebum, exerted anti-inflammatory actions and prevented the activation of “pro-acne” agents like inflammatory cytokines (24Trusted Source).

Another study had similar findings, concluding that CBD may be an efficient and safe way to treat acne, thanks in part to its remarkable anti-inflammatory qualities (25Trusted Source).

Though these results are promising, human studies exploring the effects of CBD on acne are needed.

SUMMARY CBD may have beneficial effects on acne due to its anti-inflammatory qualities and its ability to control the overproduction of sebum from the sebaceous glands.

5. Might Have Neuroprotective Properties

Researchers believe that CBD’s ability to act on the endocannabinoid system and other brain signaling systems may provide benefits for those with neurological disorders.

In fact, one of the most studied uses for CBD is in treating neurological disorders like epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. Though 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 were experiencing muscle spasticity that was resistant to medications (26Trusted Source).

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 reduced by a median of 36.5% (27Trusted Source).

One more study found that CBD oil significantly reduced seizure activity in children with Dravet syndrome, a complex childhood epilepsy disorder, compared to a placebo (28Trusted Source).

However, it’s important to note that some people in both these studies experienced adverse reactions associated with CBD treatment, such as convulsions, fever and diarrhea.

CBD has also been researched for its potential effectiveness in treating several other neurological diseases.

For example, several studies have shown that treatment with CBD improved quality of life and sleep quality for people with Parkinson’s disease (29Trusted Source, 30Trusted Source).

Additionally, animal and test-tube studies have shown that CBD may decrease inflammation and help prevent the neurodegeneration associated with Alzheimer’s disease (31Trusted Source).

In one long-term study, researchers gave CBD to mice genetically predisposed to Alzheimer’s disease, finding that it helped prevent cognitive decline (32Trusted Source).

SUMMARY Though research is limited at this time, CBD has been shown to effectively treat symptoms related to epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease. CBD was also shown to reduce the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in test-tube and animal studies.

6. Could Benefit Heart Health

Recent research has linked CBD with several benefits for the heart and circulatory system, including the ability to lower high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is linked to higher risks of a number of health conditions, including stroke, heart attack and metabolic syndrome (33Trusted Source).

Studies indicate that CBD may be a natural and effective treatment for high blood pressure.

One recent study treated 10 healthy men with one dose of 600 mg of CBD oil and found it reduced resting blood pressure, compared to a placebo.

The same study also gave the men stress tests that normally increase blood pressure. Interestingly, the single dose of CBD led the men to experience a smaller blood pressure increase than normal in response to these tests (34Trusted Source).

Researchers have suggested that the stress- and anxiety-reducing properties of CBD are responsible for its ability to help lower blood pressure.

Additionally, several animal studies have demonstrated that CBD may help reduce the inflammation and cell death associated with heart disease due to its powerful antioxidant and stress-reducing properties.

For example, one study found that treatment with CBD reduced oxidative stress and prevented heart damage in diabetic mice with heart disease (35Trusted Source).

SUMMARY Though more human studies are needed, CBD may benefit heart health in several ways, including by reducing blood pressure and preventing heart damage.

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7. Several Other Potential Benefits

CBD has been studied for its role in treating a number of health issues other than those outlined above.

Though more studies are needed, CBD is thought to provide the following health benefits:

  • Antipsychotic effects: Studies suggest that CBD may help people with schizophrenia and other mental disorders by reducing psychotic symptoms (36Trusted Source).
  • Substance abuse treatment: CBD has been shown to modify circuits in the brain related to drug addiction. In rats, CBD has been shown to reduce morphine dependence and heroin-seeking behavior (37Trusted Source).
  • Anti-tumor effects: In test-tube and animal studies, CBD has demonstrated anti-tumor effects. In animals, it has been shown to prevent the spread of breast, prostate, brain, colon and lung cancer (38Trusted Source).
  • Diabetes prevention: In diabetic mice, treatment with CBD reduced the incidence of diabetes by 56% and significantly reduced inflammation (39Trusted Source).

SUMMARYSome studies suggest that CBD may be an effective treatment for diabetes, substance abuse, mental disorders and certain types of cancers. However, more research in humans is needed.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Though CBD is generally well tolerated and considered safe, it may cause adverse reactions in some people.

Side effects noted in studies include (40Trusted Source):

  • Diarrhea
  • Changes in appetite
  • Fatigue

CBD is also known to interact with several medications. Before you start using CBD oil, discuss it with your doctor to ensure your safety and avoid potentially harmful interactions (41Trusted Source).

SUMMARYAlthough CBD is generally considered safe, it can cause adverse reactions like diarrhea and fatigue in some people. It may also interfere with certain medications.

The Bottom Line

CBD oil has been studied for its potential role in treating many common health issues, including anxiety, depression, acne and heart disease.

For those with cancer, it may even provide a natural alternative for pain and symptom relief.

Research on the potential health benefits of CBD oil is ongoing, so new therapeutic uses for this natural remedy are sure to be discovered.

Though there is much to be learned about the efficacy and safety of CBD, results from recent studies suggest that CBD may provide a safe, powerful natural treatment for many health issues.

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Written by: Jillian Kubala, MS, RD
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/CBD-oil-benefits
Source: Healthline

What Are The Medical Benefits Of CBD?

Cannabidiol (CBD) can be helpful for treating many different conditions.

Marijuana contains two major chemical compounds responsible for its effects: THC and CBD. THC is the most well-known and causes euphoria and relaxation, otherwise known as the high. CBD, on the other hand, is non-psychoactive.

CBD is promising because it offers many health benefits without any psychoactive side effects. Patients with conditions ranging from epilepsy, to anxiety, to Parkinson’s disease may be prescribed CBD to treat their illnesses.

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of CBD for different medical conditions.

1. Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders can take many forms, ranging from social anxiety to PTSD. Each type of anxiety can have a serious impact on the lives of sufferers.

Anxiety relief is one of the most commonly sought-after effects of marijuana. Many of marijuana’s anti-anxiety effects are linked to CBD. CBD has been found to decrease anxious feelings in a number of scientific studies.

A 2015 review concluded that CBD is a promising treatment for numerous forms of anxiety, including OCD, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD, and social anxiety disorder.

Besides evidence from studies, many anecdotal reports support the benefits of CBD for treating anxiety.

2. Depression

Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders. Depression can cause major changes to mood, thoughts and behaviour.

There is growing evidence that CBD can help treat depression. Animal studies have found that CBD can act as an antidepressant by acting on serotonin pathways in the brain.

A 2016 study also found that CBD can specifically reduce anhedonia, a symptom of depression that makes people unable to feel joy or happiness.

Studies have found that changes in the endocannabinoid system may be involved in depression. CBD activates the endocannabinoid system by increasing levels of naturally-occurring cannabinoids, such as anandamide.

3. Nausea

Nausea is an uncomfortable sensation that can be caused by many factors including chemotherapy, exposure to bacteria and viruses, and early pregnancy.

Marijuana has been used as an anti-nausea treatment for centuries. The study of CBD for nausea is more recent, but has shown a lot of promise.

Animal studies have found that CBD can stop nausea and vomiting. CBD can help treat nausea and vomiting in humans, as well.

A 2016 study has suggested that CBD may be particularly helpful in treating nausea in patients that are not getting relief from prescribed anti-nausea drugs.

4. Epilepsy

One of the most well-known effects of CBD is its impact on certain forms of epilepsy, including Dravet syndrome.

Research shows that CBD has anticonvulsant effects in animal models of epilepsy. While there has not been much research conducted in humans, early reports are promising.

GW Pharmaceuticals has been conducting clinical trials for their drug Epidiolex, a pharmaceutical-grade CBD oil.

At doses between 25 and 50 mg/kg a day, Epidiolex was found to lower seizure frequency by 50% in a 12-week clinical trial. The cannabinoid also showed very mild side effects including decreased appetite, drowsiness and diarrhea.

A 2013 survey of parents of children with treatment-resistant forms of epilepsy found that 84% of respondents reported reductions in seizure frequency after taking CBD.

5. Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease that can cause severe complications over time. These include cardiovascular disease, stroke, damage to the eyes and kidney disease.

Diabetes is also linked to inflammation, which can get worse as the disease progresses.

Animal studies have found that CBD can slow the progression of diabetes and diabetic inflammation. CBD can also benefit complications of diabetes such as eye damage and cardiovascular disease.

A 2009 study even found that CBD can stop at-risk mice from developing diabetes. Researchers believe that CBD may offer this protection against diabetes by boosting the immune system and decreasing inflammation.

6. Schizophrenia

Studies in both animals and humans have found that CBD can treat schizophrenia and other mental illnesses related to psychosis.

A 2013 study found that CBD can help both the positive symptoms of schizophrenia (hallucinations, delusions) and the negative symptoms (lack of emotion, loss of social functioning).

Scientists believe that CBD may help treat schizophrenia by increasing anandamide, a cannabinoid that is naturally produced in the body and is decreased in people with schizophrenia.

CBD has also been found to be as effective as prescription antipsychotics in treating psychosis, with the added benefit of causing fewer side effects.

7. Alzheimer’s Disease

A 2017 study found that CBD can prevent the development of amyloid beta plaques, one of the biological markers of Alzheimer’s disease.

Another study found that CBD can promote the growth of new brain cells that were lost from Alzheimer’s-related brain damage. The researchers also found that CBD can improve some of the cognitive deficits that are caused by Alzheimer’s.

Overall, scientists agree that CBD can help to treat or even prevent Alzheimer’s disease, but that more studies and clinical trials are needed.

8. Parkinson’s Disease

There is evidence that CBD can help to treat some of the complications and side effects of Parkinson’s disease.

A 2014 study found that CBD can alleviate sleep disturbances that can be caused by Parkinson’s disease.

Another study of Parkinson’s patients found that CBD can help treatParkinson’s-related psychosis, with the added benefit that it doesn’t make motor symptoms worse.

A 2014 review concluded that CBD can likely improve quality of life for patients with Parkinson’s disease.

9. Acne

The evidence that CBD can treat acne is limited, but promising.

A 2014 study found that CBD applied to the skin can effectively reduce inflammation. Researchers also found that CBD can stop the production of sebum, an oil that is naturally produced by the body and can lead to the development of acne.

In 2016, the same team of researchers found that CBD can stop the development of acne, but that other cannabinoids like CBG and CBGv can actually increase it.

This means that people who are interested in using cannabis to treat acne should look for skin care products that primarily contain CBD.

10. Psoriasis

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes itchy, scaly patches of skin to appear on the body.

In a 2007 study, researchers looked at the potential for CBD to treat psoriasis. They found that CBD can block the spread of cells that are responsible for psoriasis patches.

CBD has also been found to act as an anti-inflammatory, meaning it has the potential to treat the redness and swelling that can also happen to skin affected by psoriasis.

11. Cancer

Marijuana is commonly used in cancer treatment to reduce nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy. But cannabinoids such as CBD may actually fight the cancer itself.

Current research suggests different cannabinoids, including CBD and THC, can prevent cancer cells from spreading in the body and also trigger cell death in cancer cells.

In a 2012 study, CBD was found to slow the formation of new blood vessels in tumors, which are needed to provide nutrients for growth. By slowing the formation of these blood vessels, CBD may also slow the growth of tumors.

Overall, there is not much research available on CBD and cancer, but early results are promising.

12. Pain

Marijuana is commonly used as an alternative to pharmaceutical drugs to treat different forms of pain. Like over-the-counter painkillers such as Tylenol and Advil, the cannabinoids in marijuana can reduce inflammation.

A 2017 study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology found that CBD can reduce the sensory perception and emotional effects of pain.

Research suggests that CBD can be effective for treating chronic pain, arthritis, and cancer-related pain.

Some evidence suggests that CBD is most effective in treating chronic and neuropathic pain, while it has limited use in treating short-term pain.

13. Heart Disease

Marijuana can cause increases in blood pressure and heart rate, which can result in cardiovascular problems. However, CBD might offer some protection against this.

In a 2010 study, CBD was found to protect cardiac cells when blood supply in the heart was blocked, such as during a heart attack. The researchers observed that CBD stopped arrhythmia in the heart, and reduced the extent of cardiac damage resulting from the lack of oxygen.

CBD may also reduce heart disease associated with diabetes. In a 2010 study, researchers found CBD could reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, scarring, and cell death in diabetic cardiomyopathy — a heart complication of diabetes.

In reviewing the effects of CBD on cardiac health, a 2013 paper stated that experimental data “appear[s] to support a positive role for CBD treatment in the heart.”

14. Arthritis

Many anecdotal reports suggest CBD may offer therapeutic benefits for people living with arthritis.

CBD topical products may be of particular benefit in improving symptoms of pain in arthritis. These products are applied to the skin, allowing CBD to be absorbed directly into the affected area.

In a 2000 study, researchers looked at the role of CBD in an animal model of arthritis. They found that through its anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects, CBD could block the progression of arthritis.

A 2017 study also suggests CBD has a role in treating arthritis. Using animal models of osteoarthritis, researchers found CBD can block pain and prevent nerve damage.

15. Inflammatory Bowel Disease

The endocannabinoid system is believed to be involved in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This suggests that CBD and other cannabinoids which can target the endocannabinoid system may have potential in the treatment of IBD.

According to a 2011 study using animal models of Crohn’s disease, CBD is an effective anti-inflammatory drug that reduces symptoms of the condition.

A 2017 human trial found that CBD was safe, but not effective in managing symptoms of Crohn’s disease. While this finding was not promising, the researchers suggested it could be due to the small dose of 10 mg that was administered in the trial.

16. Bipolar Disorder

There is very limited research into whether CBD can help treat bipolar disorder, but some studies suggest that CBD may be able to provide mood stabilization.

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CBD has been shown to help with anxiety and depression, which are usually experienced during the low phases of bipolar.

On the other hand, CBD may not be as helpful for manic phases. A small trialconducted in 2010 with two patients looked at the role of CBD in mania. Researchers found that CBD treatment did not improve acute manic episodes of bipolar.

But there is some evidence that CBD can protect against brain damage that can be caused by mania.

17. Liver Disease

Liver failure causes toxins to remain in the blood, which can then damage organs like the brain.

According to a 2011 study, CBD can reduce the extent of neurological damage and cognitive impairments caused by liver failure. In the study, CBD also restored liver function and normalized brain function.

Hepatitis C is a viral infection that can cause severe liver damage if left untreated. It is expensive to treat and the virus is sometimes resistant to drug treatments. A 2017 study found that CBD acts against hepatitis C, blocking replication of the virus by as much as 86.4%.

18. Stroke

CBD may be able to help patients recover from a stroke, and may protect against brain damage in stroke patients.

In a 2012 study, researchers found CBD reduced two kinds of brain damage caused by a stroke in rats. The benefits were so significant that the outcome of the stroke group was comparable to the control group that did not have a stroke.

CBD may be superior to other cannabinoids in treating brain damage caused by stroke. In a 2007 study, researchers found that CBD had stronger neuroprotective effects than THC.

19. Multiple Sclerosis

Sativex, a prescription medication containing a 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD, can be used for treating symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS).

In a 2016 trial, patients with moderate to severe MS were found to have lower scores of spasticity-related symptoms when given Sativex, even if they were resistant to other drugs.

A 2017 study found CBD worked in an animal model of MS by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory chemicals known as cytokines. The researchers also determined that CBD could activate an important biological pathway which is blocked in MS.

20. ADHD

Many people with ADHD use cannabis to self-medicate their symptoms, and some studies suggest that whole-plant cannabis and Sativex can help treat ADHD.

On the other hand, not much research exists on the role of CBD in treating ADHD.

A single study published in 2012 looked into how CBD may affect hyperactivity. Researchers gave CBD to rats with ADHD-like symptoms, and found that CBD could improve hyperactivity and social interaction.

21. Sleep Disorders

Research in animal models suggests that CBD is effective in promoting wakefulness.

This effect may be related to CBD triggering increased dopamine levels in areas of the brain responsible for wakefulness.

This means CBD could someday play a role in promoting wakefulness in disorders causing excessive sleepiness, such as narcolepsy.

CBD may also benefit quality of sleep in certain disorders. In a 2016 case study, physicians observed that CBD improved the quality and quantity of sleep of a young patient with PTSD, likely due to its anxiety-relieving benefits.

22. Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injuries can have permanent life-altering effects, and currently there are no effective treatments available.

In a 2012 study using rats, researchers found that if CBD was applied immediately before a spinal cord injury, the animals were less likely to display problems with movement over the week following the injury.

Additionally, animals treated with CBD were found to have less extensive damage in their spinal cords. The results suggest that CBD aided in minimizing the extent of the damage and allowed for a better overall recovery from the injury.

Future research will reveal whether CBD can help human spinal cord injury patients, as well.

23. Traumatic Brain Injury

Current research suggests that CBD may be a potential candidate for future treatments of traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Much like its neuroprotective effects that minimize damage in spinal cord injuries, CBD has neuroprotective effects in the brain.

Evidence from animal models indicates that CBD can protect neurons following an injury. CBD can also reduce the formation of scar tissue and may help regenerate neuronal axons.

24. Nicotine Addiction

Research has shown that CBD may be helpful in treating nicotine addiction.

In a 2013 study, 24 smokers were randomised to receive an inhaler of CBD or placebo for one week. They were instructed to use the inhaler whenever they felt a craving to smoke.

Over the course of one week, those receiving the placebo inhaler did not decrease the number of cigarettes they smoked while those taking the CBD inhaler reduced their number of cigarettes smoked by 40%.

25. Graft Versus Host Disease

In a study of 48 patients who underwent bone marrow transplant to treat a type of blood cancer, 300 mg/day of CBD was given orally from 7 days before transplant to 30 days after transplant.

Compared to a group of similar patients who did not receive CBD, the CBD-treated group were less likely to develop graft versus host disease (GvHD), a severe and serious complication of bone marrow transplant.

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