The CBD business is expanding, with a projected turnover of over billion by 2024. But what is CBD, and how effective is it?

Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is only one of more than two hundred cannabinoids in cannabis. It is the second most common cannabinoid in cannabis after tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical responsible for the drug's euphoric effects.

Here are a few established or proven health advantages of CBD.

CBD for Pain

CBD has anti-inflammatory properties in animals and acts on the endocannabinoid and pain-sensing systems to reduce pain.

Unfortunately, few human studies establish the use of CBD as an only agent to reduce pain, with the majority of research combining CBD and THC to relieve pain. Notably, Health Canada has authorized a combination drug, including THC and CBD in a 1:1 ratio, for managing central nerve-related pain in multiple sclerosis and cancer pain that has not responded to optimal opioid therapy.

Observational research of CBD therapy found increased self-reported quality of life measures for persons suffering from non-cancer-related pain but no statistically meaningful improvement for those suffering from cancer-related pain or neurological symptoms.

People with multiple sclerosis found that combining CBD and THC improved their pain, walking, and muscle spasms.

CBD has been proven in animal tests to impact serotonin levels in the brain favorably. Serotonin deficiency is hypothesized to have a function in both mood and pain.

Other studies (both animal and human) have demonstrated that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties and may reduce pain .

CBD may interfere with other drugs used to treat heart issues or immunosuppressants, so consult your doctor before using it. Click here for more information.

Conclusion: CBD may be useful for pain relief, but no high-quality human trials support this claim.

CBD for Epilepsy

In June 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex 1https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-drug-comprised-active-ingredient-derived-marijuana-treat-rare-severe-forms (a plant-based CBD formulation) for the treatment of seizures in patients two years of age and older who have Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet syndrome, two rare forms of epilepsy.

CBD's potential use in treatment-resistant epilepsy has also been investigated, often in combination with conventional epileptic medications. Many studies have shown that CBD reduces seizure frequency by around 44% in most people.

CBD may interact with other epileptic drugs, and several significant adverse effects have been documented, including a decline in liver function when given to persons who are also taking valproate.

Conclusion: CBD is helpful in the treatment of some kinds of epilepsy.

CBD for Anxiety

Pretreatment with 300mg CBD reduced anxiety considerably in 57 healthy males who performed a simulated public speaking exam. However, 150mg and 600mg CBD doses did not affect the men's anxiety levels.

An observational study 2https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30624194/ of 21 individuals out of 400 with anxiety found that CBD had beneficial effects on anxiety.

Anxiety levels fell in a large case series of 72 patients, with 57 (79.2%) reporting lower levels during the first month of CBD therapy.

Conclusion: CBD may reduce anxiety before activities such as public speaking. However, the appropriate amount is unknown.

CBD for Depression

Animal studies have revealed that CBD has an anti-depressant effect, which may be connected to its substantial anti-stress impact after either acute or recurrent dosing.

CBD has been proven in animal tests to impact serotonin levels in the brain and serotonin favorably. Serotonin deficiency is hypothesized to have a function in both mood and pain.

Conclusion: CBD may assist with depression, but further research is required.

CBD for Arthritis

Animal research has shown that topical CBD treatments reduce arthritic pain and inflammation with few adverse effects. CBD is useful when applied topically since it is poorly absorbed when taken orally and might produce gastrointestinal adverse effects.

Conclusion: Although topical CBD may be effective in treating arthritis, no high-quality human trials have been conducted to support this claim.

CBD for Sleep problems

CBD improved sleep in 31% of persons using it for other diseases such as anxiety or non-cancer pain.

In an extensive case study of 72 patients, 48 reported improved sleep ratings during the first month. However, these varied with time.

Other studies with 300 mg of CBD in persons suffering from anxiety or depression revealed that CBD seemed to sustain sleep cycle, indicating that it was unlikely to have any detrimental impacts on sleep quality.

Conclusion: CBD does not seem to disrupt sleep and may actually help individuals sleep better.

CBD for Acne

Laboratory research 3https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27094344/ discovered that CBD stopped human sebocytes from producing excessive sebum while also acting as an anti-inflammatory agent, inhibiting inflammatory cytokines from activating. Because acne is usually caused by excessive sebum and inflammation, topical CBD may be an effective treatment to treat acne and may prevent or minimize future outbreaks.

Conclusion: Although further studies are required, preliminary evidence suggests that using topical CBD might help reduce inflammation and excessive sebum production associated with acne.

CBD for Parkinson's disease

Several minor studies have looked at utilizing CBD to treat Parkinson's disease symptoms, with largely positive outcomes. Most trials found no changes in movement-related outcomes across groups; however, groups treated with CBD 300 mg/day had substantially increased well-being and quality of life.

Conclusion: CBD can potentially improve the quality of life of persons with Parkinson's disease, but more extensive studies are required.

CBD for vomiting and nausea

Most research on whether CBD may help with nausea or vomiting has employed a mixture of CBD and THC rather than simply CBD alone.

According to newer studies, THC is more effective than CBD in reducing nausea and vomiting.

Conclusion: CBD is unlikely to benefit nausea and vomiting on its own. The combination of THC and CBD seems useful in treating nausea and vomiting.

Other circumstances

Additional animal and human research have indicated that CBD has immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory characteristics, which may make it a viable alternative for various autoimmune disorders or inflammation-related problems.

Furthermore, additional research is required to study its usage for various other disorders, including muscle stiffness in multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, drug misuse therapy, and diabetes prevention.

 

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Additional resources and citations

  • 1
    https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-drug-comprised-active-ingredient-derived-marijuana-treat-rare-severe-forms
  • 2
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30624194/
  • 3
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27094344/
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