CBD

CBD: Learn About CBD

Get to know CBD Before Using

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Learn about Cannabiodiol (CBD)

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical compound found in the cannabis sativa plant. CBD interacts with neuroreceptors in your endocannabinoid system when applied topically or consumed through smoke or edibles. These signals help regulate your movement, mood, homeostasis, and immune system.

CBD is usually extracted from the cannabis sativa plant and mixed with an inert carrier oil like hemp seed oil before being consumed. CBD oil has gained a lot of popularity in recent years due to its purported calming effects. CBD is now available in a wide range of products, from simple oil tinctures to potato chips infused with the compound.

CBD research is also growing. Here are nine ways CBD oil may benefit your health, according to studies.

1. CBD Reduces Anxiety & Depression

CBD’s ability to calm is perhaps it’s most popular effect and why it is so widely used. A study published in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry in 2017 tested the anxiety levels of 57 men during a simulated public speaking test. Before their speeches, some received a placebo, while others were given 150 milligrams, 300 milligrams, or 600 milligrams of CBD. Compared to the placebo group, those who received 300 milligrams of CBD experienced significantly reduced anxiety during the test. Interestingly, participants who received either 150 or 600 milligrams of CBD experienced more anxiety than those who received 300 milligrams.

Meanwhile, at least one study in mice revealed CBD had effects similar to the antidepressant imipramine. Human trials are needed, though, to confirm whether CBD can induce this same antidepressant reaction in our bodies.

2. CBD Treats Certain Epilepsy Syndromes

CBD can be used to treat epileptic seizures in some cases.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex in 2018 to treat seizures caused by Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two rare forms of epilepsy, in patients at least 2 years old.

FDA’s decision is supported by three well-researched studies. 516 patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome received either Epidiolex or a placebo in these trials. Participants who took Epidiolex with other prescribed medications had fewer seizures compared to those who took a placebo.

3. CBD Relieves PTSD Symptoms

11 patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) received CBD along with routine psychiatric care for eight weeks in an outpatient psychiatric clinic in a small, 2018 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Ten of the 11 participants reported a decrease in PTSD symptoms. The researchers write that CBD was generally well tolerated.

A doctor of nursing practice experienced in medical cannabis and CBD, Margaret Rajnic, emphasizes the importance of combining therapy with any type of cannabis or CBD for PTSD. “PTSD needs a lot of therapy,” she says. “But CBD will give you a little bit of anxiety reduction.”

Four other human trials conducted from 2012 to 2016 suggest CBD reduces PTSD symptoms, although some of those studies also included THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive component of cannabis. Together, THC and CBD create what’s known as an “entourage effect,” enhancing one another’s benefits and potency. Taken together, THC and CBD temper the “high” from THC, while a little THC paired with more CBD enhances its effects.

4. CBD Treats Opiod Addiction

There is evidence that CBD, both in preclinical animal studies and human clinical trials, may be able to help people who are addicted to opioids.

Researchers administered CBD to people with heroin use disorder in one such study. CBD significantly reduced heroin users’ cue-induced cravings, withdrawal anxiety, resting heart rate and salivary cortisol levels over the course of a week. There were no serious side effects.

Studies show that CBD is helpful in reducing psychiatric and medical symptoms like anxiety, insomnia, and pain in patients with addiction, indicating that CBD may be an effective treatment for opioid addiction. Further study is needed, however.

5. CBD alleviates the symptoms of ALS

In Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord deteriorate, resulting in muscle weakness that worsens over time. It hasn’t happened yet, but we don’t know exactly how why ALS occurs, although it can be hereditary in some cases. There’s no known cure, and there are only two FDA-approved medications to help treat ALS symptoms.

People with ALS may benefit from the entourage effect created by the combination of THC and CBD, similar to people with PTSD. In a 2019 study, patients received varying doses of THC and CBD depending on their needs and preferences. Patients with mild, moderate, or severe spasticity (muscle tightness and stiffness) due to ALS expressed high levels of satisfaction with their treatment, and those with moderate to severe spasticity reported higher satisfaction rates than those with mild spasticity.

6. CBD Can Relieve Unmanageable Pain

In 2005, Canada approved the use of Sativex, an oromucosal spray (absorbed in the mouth lining) containing equal amounts of THC and CBD, for treating central neuropathic pain associated with multiple sclerosis. In 2007, Canada approved its use for cancer pain that had not responded to other medications.

According to ongoing studies in the U.S., CBD is effective in treating chronic, non-cancer pain. During one 2020 study, researchers administered CBD topically to patients with symptoms of peripheral neuropathy (a result of brain and spinal cord nerve damage) while another group of patients with the same condition received a placebo. Researchers found that topical CBD significantly reduced intense, sharp pains and cold, itchy sensations compared to a placebo. No participants reported adverse side effects.

CBD oil, when applied topically, does not have the same effect as if it were injected into the bloodstream. Topical CBD instead treats pain in a specific area and is more localized. It may have a more pronounced effect since it’s more direct.

7. CBD reduces diabetic complications 

Tests on human cells found that CBD can reduce the effects of high glucose levels on other cells in the body, which typically precede the development of diabetes and various complications. Several studies concluded that CBD could have significant benefits when used in patients with diabetes, diabetic complications, and plaque buildup in the arteries with further research.

In another small study, 13 patients with type 2 diabetes who weren’t taking insulin were both given CBD and a placebo (instead of insulin). In studies, CBD reduced the levels of resistin (which causes resistance to insulin, the protein that controls sugar levels) and lowered blood pressure. They had higher levels of glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (a hormone that ensures a sufficient release of insulin from digested food) compared to their baseline levels. CBD may help the body regulate insulin-related hormone levels, which may be a natural treatment for diabetes.

8. CBD Protect Against Neurological Disease

CBD has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, according to preclinical and clinical studies. It has been determined that these characteristics can provide significant neuroprotection, or protection against numerous pathological conditions.

Studies suggest CBD may have beneficial effects against Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. We also tested for Huntington’s disease and cerebral ischemia, but no significant positive results were recorded. Clinical studies are needed to confirm CBD’s benefits as a treatment for these disorders.

9. CBD Reduces Arthritis Symptoms 

In arthritis, the tissues in and around your joints deteriorate. Symptoms of arthritis include pain, stiffness, and loss of motion. Pain relief and improved joint function are usually the goals of arthritis treatment.

Sativex—a CBD-based botanical drug approved in the United Kingdom in 2010—promoted statistically significant improvements in quality of sleep, pain during movement, and pain at rest in patients with rheumatoid arthritis when compared to a placebo. 58 patients participated in the first controlled trial of Sativex for rheumatoid arthritis. CBD has been found to have pain-relieving properties and to suppress disease activity.

Using a synthetic CBD gel in either 250-milligram or 500-milligram doses daily or a placebo, researchers treated knee pain due to osteoarthritis with a study of more localized treatment in 2018. Other anti-inflammatory medications and painkillers were also prohibited before and during the study, with the exception of acetaminophen.

The results were interesting, but not entirely conclusive. Those treated with CBD did not experience much difference in pain when compared with placebo patients. On the other hand, there were statistically significant differences between the group receiving the 250-milligram dose and the placebo group when measuring the average weekly improvement of their worst pain levels and their WOMAC (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index) physical function rating. Additionally, men seemed to benefit from CBD more significantly than women in this test.

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