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What is CBD?

CBD (abbreviation for cannabidiol) is one of over 200 cannabinoids contained in cannabis. It is the second most frequent active component found in cannabis, after THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which has psychoactive effects and causes individuals to feel high. 

Cannabis is a plant with two major varieties: Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa. Cannabis and CBD can be extracted from both forms of Cannabis, while hemp can only be extracted from Cannabis Sativa. To be classified as hemp, hemp must contain no more than 0.3% THC (the psychoactive oil in marijuana); otherwise, producers face imprisonment under federal law. Hemp is an excellent material for the production of 100 percent biodegradable, eco-friendly items such as clothes, packaging, biofuel, construction materials, and paper.

CBD produced from hemp has less than 0.3% THC and is allowed at the federal level but banned in certain states. CBD products produced from cannabis, on the other hand, are banned at the federal level but permitted in certain states. CBD, unlike THC, lacks psychoactive characteristics and will not produce a “high.” According to the World Health Organization, there is no evidence that it has misuse or dependency potential, nor is there evidence that it is connected with major adverse effects.

In contrast, CBD has been associated with alleviating a variety of medical ailments, including epilepsy, anxiety, inflammation, sleeplessness, and pain. Although “credited” is not synonymous with “proved” Due to the legal environment of the past, there are few well-conducted studies that support these claims, however research is projected to increase now that regulations discriminate between hemp and marijuana. We examine nine medical diseases for which CBD may or has already been shown to be useful.


1. Epilepsy

Epidiolex (a plant-based formulation of CBD) was authorized by the FDA in June 2018 to treat seizures in children and adults with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), two uncommon types of epilepsy.


CBD has also being studied as a potential therapy for various kinds of treatment-resistant epilepsy, often in conjunction with traditional epilepsy drugs. In a number of clinical studies, CBD considerably decreased the frequency of seizures in the majority of patients by about 44 percent. 3

CBD may interact with other epileptic drugs, and certain significant adverse effects have been recorded, including a decline in liver function in valproate-treated patients. CBD is effective for the treatment of some forms of epilepsy.

2. Pain

CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and acts on the endocannabinoid and pain-sensing systems to alleviate pain, according to research on animals.

Unfortunately, there are few human studies evaluating the use of CBD as a single agent for pain relief, with the majority of research using a combination of CBD and THC. Notably, Health Canada has authorized a medicine containing THC and CBD in a ratio of 1:1 for the treatment of central nerve-related pain in multiple sclerosis and cancer pain that is refractory to optimal opioid therapy.

An observational research of CBD therapy found an increase in self-reported quality of life measures for those with non-cancer-related pain, but no statistically significant improvement for individuals with cancer-related pain or neurological symptoms.

In a case series of 47 individuals with multiple sclerosis, the combination of CBD and THC improved pain, walking, and muscular spasms. Studies on animals indicate that CBD has a favorable impact on brain serotonin levels and serotonin. Low serotonin levels are believed to have an important impact in both mood and pain. 

Other (animal and human) studies have shown that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties, and it may reduce pain through this route. CBD may interfere with drugs used to treat cardiac diseases or immunosuppressants; thus, you should always see a physician before using CBD. CBD may be useful for reducing pain, but no high-quality human research demonstrate this.

3. Arthritis

Animal studies showed that topical CBD applications relieve pain and inflammation associated with arthritis with few side effects. The topical application of CBD is beneficial because CBD is poorly absorbed when taken by mouth and can cause gastrointestinal side effects. 6

Conclusion: Topical CBD may be beneficial at relieving arthritis but no high-quality human studies prove this.

4. Anxiety

Pretreatment with 300mg CBD significantly relieved anxiety in 57 healthy males who undertook a simulated public speaking test. However, dosages of 150mg CBD and 600mg CBD did not make any difference to the men’s anxiety levels.7

Beneficial effects on anxiety after taking CBD were reported in an observational study where 21 patients out of 400 had anxiety. 8

Anxiety scores decreased in a large case series of 72 patients, with 57 patients (79.2%) reporting decreased scores within the first month after CBD treatment. 9

Conclusion: CBD may relieve anxiety before events such as public speaking but it is not known what the optimal dose is.

5. Depression

Animal studies have shown some effect of CBD at relieving depression, possibly related to its strong anti-stress effect after either acute or repeated administration.16

Animal studies have shown that CBD has a positive effect on serotonin levels in the brain, and serotonin. Low levels of serotonin are thought to play a key role in mood as well as pain.11

Conclusion: CBD may help with depression but more trials are needed.

6. Sleep disorders

31% of people taking CBD for other conditions such as anxiety or non-cancer-related pain reported improved sleep with CBD.8
In a large case series of 72 people, 48 patients (66.7%) reported an improvement in sleep scores within the first month, but these fluctuated over time.9

Other trials of 300 mg of CBD in people with anxiety or depression showed that CBD appeared to preserve sleep architecture, meaning it was unlikely to have any negative effects on sleep quality.10

Conclusion: CBD does not appear to interfere with sleep and may help people sleep better.

7. Acne

A laboratory study found that CBD prevented human sebocytes from creating too much sebum in addition to having an anti-inflammatory effect, preventing inflammatory cytokines from activating. Because excessive sebum and inflammation are characteristic of acne, topical CBD could be an effective treatment for acne and may prevent or reduce future breakouts.12,13

Conclusion: Topical CBD may help relieve inflammation and excessive sebum production associated with acne but more trials are needed.

8. Parkinson’s Disease

Several smalls studies have investigated using CBD to relieve symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, with mostly encouraging results. For most studies, there were no differences across groups with regards to movement-related outcomes; however, groups treated with CBD 300 mg/day had a significantly improved well-being and quality of life as measured by the Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire [PDQ-39]).15

Conclusion: CBD shows promise for improving the quality of life in people with Parkinson’s disease but larger trials are needed.

9. Nausea and vomiting

Most studies investigating if CBD is beneficial at relieving nausea or vomiting, have used a combination of CBD and THC, rather than just CBD alone. A 2016 review found the combination to be either more effective or as effective as a placebo.14

More recent research points to THC being more effective at reducing nausea and vomiting than CBD.

10. May benefit heart health

Several studies have connected CBD to several advantages for the heart and circulatory system, including the capacity to reduce excessive blood pressure. A variety of health disorders, including as stroke, heart attack, and metabolic syndrome, are associated with an increased risk of hypertension.

Studies suggest that CBD may be useful for individuals with hypertension. In a tiny trial, 600 mg of CBD oil were administered to nine healthy males. Compared to a placebo, CBD therapy lowered resting blood pressure.

In the same research, males also participated in blood pressure-increasing stress tests. Interestingly, a single dosage of CBD caused the men’s blood pressure to rise less than usual in response to these tests.

Another trial including 26 healthy males revealed that therapy with 600 mg of CBD for seven days resulted in substantial short-term decreases in blood pressure compared to placebo. However, the impact disappeared after seven days.

After repeated doses, the CBD group maintained lower blood pressure values in response to stress than the placebo group.

After repeated CBD administration, the CBD group had decreased arterial stiffness and enhanced blood flow through their arteries, compared to the placebo group. Overall, these results are promising, but more research is required to determine the possible cardiovascular health advantages of CBD therapy.

CBD is unlikely to be beneficial for nausea and vomiting on its own. It seems that the combination of THC and CBD is useful for nausea and vomiting.

11. Reduce PTSD Symptoms

In a 2018 research published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 11 patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) received CBD combined with standard psychiatric therapy in an outpatient psychiatric clinic for eight weeks. Ten of the eleven participants noticed a reduction in PTSD symptoms. CBD was typically well accepted, according to the researchers.

Margaret Rajnic, a doctor of nursing practice with expertise in medicinal cannabis and CBD, stresses the need of combining cannabis or CBD with treatment for PTSD. “A certain level of counseling is required for PTSD,” she states. However, CBD will provide you with a little reduction in anxiety.

Four more human studies conducted between 2012 and 2016 indicate that CBD decreases PTSD symptoms, but several of these studies included THC, the major psychoactive component of cannabis. When THC and CBD interact, they produce what is known as a “entourage effect” in which their advantages and potency compliment one another. For instance, consuming the same quantity of THC and CBD together reduces the “high” from THC, but combining a little amount of THC with greater CBD amplifies the benefits of CBD.

12. Treat Opioid Addiction

Some research, both animal and human clinical trials, show that CBD might be utilized to treat opioid-dependent individuals. In one such trial, CBD was delivered to heroin-dependent individuals. CBD dramatically decreased heroin users’ cue-induced cravings, withdrawal anxiety, resting heart rate, and salivary cortisol levels over the course of one week. No severe adverse effects were discovered.

Other research indicates that CBD may be a useful therapy for opioid addiction due to its ability to alleviate a variety of psychological and physiological symptoms, such as anxiety, sleeplessness, and pain, in individuals with drug use disorders. However, further research is required.

13. Alleviate ALS Symptoms

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a disease that destroys nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, leading in progressive loss of muscular function. Although in certain situations it may be inherited, the specific cause of ALS is not yet recognized. There is no known cure for ALS, and only two FDA-approved drugs are available to treat symptoms.

Similar to those with PTSD, ALS patients may benefit from the entourage effect caused by the combination of THC and CBD, according to research. Patients in a 2019 research got varied dosages of THC and CBD based on their requirements and preferences. Those with mild, moderate, or severe spasticity (muscle tightness and stiffness) owing to ALS expressed high levels of satisfaction with the therapy, with those with moderate to severe spasticity reporting even greater levels of happiness.

14. Relieve Unmanageable Pain

In 2005, Canada authorized the use of Sativex, an oromucosal (absorbed in the lining of the mouth) spray containing equal amounts of THC and CBD, for the treatment of central neuropathic pain associated with multiple sclerosis. In 2007, Canada once again authorized the use of the drug to treat cancer pain that did not respond to other treatments.

In the meanwhile, ongoing research in the United States indicates that CBD is beneficial for treating chronic non-cancer pain. In a 2020 trial, one group of patients with symptomatic peripheral neuropathy (a consequence of brain nerve and spinal cord nerve damage) were provided CBD topically, whereas another group with the same disease got a placebo. Those who applied topical CBD had a substantial decrease in severe, acute aches and chilly, itching feelings compared to those who used a placebo. Participants did not report any harmful effects.

When CBD oil is used topically, it does not have the same systemic effect as when it is administered intravenously. In contrast, CBD used topically is more targeted and reduces pain in a specific location. Since it is more direct, its impact may be more noticeable.

15. Ease Diabetic Complications 

CBD reduces the impact of excessive glucose levels on other cells in the body, which is often a precursor to the development of diabetes and its problems. Researchers found that, with more research, CBD might have considerable advantages for people with diabetes, diabetic complications, and arterial plaque accumulation.

In another minor research, CBD and a placebo were administered to 13 individuals with type 2 diabetes who were not receiving insulin therapy (in lieu of insulin). CBD lowered their levels of resistin (which promotes resistance to insulin, the protein that controls sugar levels) and raised their levels of glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (a hormone that guarantees an adequate release of insulin from digested food). CBD may be a natural therapy for diabetes since it helps the body control insulin-related hormone levels.

16. Protect Against Neurological Disease

According to preclinical and clinical research, CBD has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics. Researchers hypothesize that these properties may give considerable neuroprotection, or protection against a variety of clinical illnesses.

Multiple preclinical research indicate that CBD may have therapeutic benefits against Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. Additionally, Huntington’s disease and cerebral ischemia were evaluated, but no substantial positive findings were found. Further clinical trials are required to establish CBD’s efficacy in treating these conditions.

17. Inhibit Arthritis Symptoms 

Arthritis is characterized by the degeneration of tissues in and around the joints. Symptoms of the various kinds of arthritis include pain, stiffness, and loss of mobility. Typical arthritis treatments focus on pain alleviation and joint function improvement.

Statistically significant increases in sleep quality, pain during activity, and pain at rest were seen in rheumatoid arthritis patients treated with Sativex, a botanical medication containing CBD that was licensed in the United Kingdom in 2010. 58 individuals participated in the first controlled study of Sativex as a therapy for rheumatoid arthritis. CBD was discovered to have both a pain-relieving impact and the potential to inhibit disease activity.

In a 2018 trial of a more targeted therapy, researchers gave patients with knee pain related to osteoarthritis either 250 milligrams or 500 milligrams of synthetic CBD gel daily or a placebo. Aside from acetaminophen, patients ceased using all other anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers before to and throughout the research period.

Although the findings were intriguing, they were not totally definitive. On the one hand, CBD-treated individuals did not perceive a significant reduction in pain compared to placebo patients. In contrast, there were statistically significant differences between the group receiving the 250-milligram dosage and the placebo group in terms of the average weekly improvement of their worst pain levels and WOMAC (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index) physical function assessment. Additionally, males seemed to gain more from CBD than women in this study.

Other conditions

Many other studies, both on animals and humans, have overwhelmingly concluded that CBD has immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties which may make it a good choice for some autoimmune conditions or inflammation-related complaints.16

In addition, more trials are needed to investigate its use for numerous other conditions, such as muscle-spasticity in multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, substance-abuse treatment, and diabetes protection.

Side effects of CBD may include nausea, tiredness, and irritability, and it may interact with some medications, such as warfarin.

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