Although cannabis has been used both medicinally and recreationally around the world for thousands of years, with the oldest evidence dating back to 2900 B.C., CBD has been making headlines recently thanks to a seemingly endless outpouring of purported benefits (and some admittedly savvy marketing). Produced by the cannabis plant, CBD (also referred to as cannabidiol) is what you might call THC’s milder sibling. While THC is what produces that notable head high when consuming cannabis products, CBD is not psychoactive.
Although CBD is no stranger to treating and alleviating numerous physical and neurological symptoms, studies have been comparatively slow in verifying or negating its definite effectiveness. The relatively new but widespread interest in CBD products, especially CBD oil, may leave some questioning fact vs. fiction.
Fortunately, there have been a number of recent studies to support the health benefits of CBD, and these, in particular, may finally give CBD the good press it deserves:
CBD Can Relieve Symptoms of Anxiety
In January of 2019, The Permanente Journal, a publication of Kaiser, revealed that an uncontrolled study involving 72 adults found that anxiety was drastically reduced in 80% of participants thanks to the regular administering of CBD; additionally, 67% of participants reported better sleep. What makes this study especially unique is that the administered CBD dose was notably lower than in previous trials, with 25-175 milligrams being administered per day, as opposed to the more typical 300-600+ milligrams. In turn, this has indicated that patients need very little CBD to experience positive psychological effects.
CBD May Prevent and Treat Symptoms of Schizophrenia
In August of 2018, Frontiers in Pharmacology published a study touting pre-clinical evidence of the “safe and beneficial effect(s) of treatment with CBD on preventing positive and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia.”
The study, conducted on lab rats, found that patients treated with CBD around the time of puberty could potentially ward off schizophrenia. With the authors stating that “the present study reinforces and extends the beneficial and safe preventive effects of peripubertal treatment with CBD on halting the emergence of behavioral abnormalities that mimic the positive and cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia.”
CBD Can Reduce the Risk of Drug and Alcohol Relaps
Addiction is a serious mental condition that experts in the fields of science and medicine have long sought the means to reverse as well as prevent the relapse of. The Neuropsychopharmacology journal reported in 2018 that CBD could potentially curb addictive behaviors, with CBD producing long-lasting effects at surprisingly small doses. When tested on laboratory rats, administered CBD was found to eliminate context and stress-induced patterns of addictive behavior, with minimal interference in otherwise normal activities.
CBD Can Reverse the Effects of Epilepsy
The pharmaceutical use of CBD is arguably one of the biggest topics of discussion taking place today, and The British Journal of Pharmacology produced an eye-opening study in the spring of 2018. Conducted in the U.K. through the use of rats, specialists were able to deduce that controlled deliveries of CBD restored “excitability and morphological impairments” in rats exhibiting symptoms of epilepsy, thus promising the similar reversal of epileptic damage caused in humans.
CBD Can Assist with Chronic Pain and Inflammation
While cannabis has long assisted in the alleviation of pain and inflammation in the body, mounting studies have finally begun to back this ancient remedy. One particular finding published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine revealed the link between CBD and the drastic reduction of pain and inflammation, further noting that while smoking cannabis may be the traditional method for relief, the use of CBD oil may render that unnecessary.
Studies conducted as early as 2012 revealed that cannabinoids have the ability to suppress neuropathic pain (chronic pain possibly caused by sensory cell damage). Five years later, in 2017, a series of studies further reported the astonishing effects of CBD on one’s perception of pain. Animal subjects treated with CBD, while technically experiencing pain on a physical level, we’re unable to perceive the sensation of pain. Today CBD continues to be tested as a potential pain relief alternative – even to opioid-based medications.
CBD Has Few Side Effects
In late 2018 G.W. Pharmaceuticals published the results of a research study on the potential side effects of CBD, with the verdict coming in at next to none, even in cases of exceptionally high doses. CBD doses of up to 6000 milligrams were well-tolerated in patients, with the majority of side effects being mild at worst. The study additionally found that food affected the body’s absorption of CBD and, thus, its efficacy. By administering CBD with food, bioavailability (the ease with which the body absorbs a substance into the bloodstream) was maximized.
CBD Can Counter the Impact of THC
Many are understandably wary of cannabis’s psychoactive effects, due to preconceived fears or prior experiences. For this reason, they may not pursue CBD for medical use. Fortunately, a study produced by the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research journal found that patients who smoked cannabis with THC (responsible for the aforementioned head high) after using CBD reported “reduced euphoria,” or an unaltered psychological state.
The Bottom Line
There are many more studies to be found on the benefits of CBD and its ease of symptoms related to depression, anxiety, diabetes, cancer, and even heart disease. While there is still much to be determined about the uses of CBD, these and many more studies continue to suggest that CBD is one of the safest, most powerful natural treatments worth considering.