Benefits of Cannabidiol (CBD) Oil

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Cannabis continues to climb out of what many consider prohibition that began in the 1930's when the drug was banned. The anecdotal medical benefits of the plant continue to prove true as more and more research comes to the surface. The plant is known to contain over 400 compounds which work together to provide a wide range of benefits to the user.

Today, the focus is shifting from the high-producing effects of THC over to the non-psychoactive effects of Cannabidiol (CBD). This prominent compound has been shown to treat a wide range of conditions and diseases thanks to a multitude of medicinal benefits. In this article, we dive into the various benefits provided by CBD.

Note that while CBD alone is the focus of this article, it has been proven that using 'whole-plant' CBD medicines has been proven most effective. This is known as the entourage effect. In short, the synergies between the compounds in the cannabis plant have proven more effective than any single molecule found within the plant.

What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol is one of 66 identified compounds in cannabis known as cannabinoids. Along with THC, CBD is one of the most abundant cannabinoids found in the plant. You may know THC for its high-producing effects.

This cannabinoid alone is responsible for the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana use. CBD, on the other hand, is non-psychoactive. On the contrary, CBD has been proved to negate the psychoactive effects of THC.

CBD is found in the cannabis plant, including marijuana and hemp. In order to create CBD products, the compound is first extracted from cannabis into an oil form. Assuming a high-quality extraction method is used, the resulting oil contains a full-spectrum cannabinoid and terpene profile. These oils are then ingested by the user in a variety of methods including sublingual administration, by mouth, topical application, or inhaled via vaporization.

In 2013, a new story published by CNN highlighted CBD's effectiveness in treating serious epileptic diseases with no other pharmaceutical treatments. Since then, CBD has exploded into mainstream consciousness and has found acceptance across nearly all states in the USA.

If you're new to CBD, we've written an article which covers all the basics about the compound and answers the question: what is CBD?

Research Shows Potential CBD Benefits

CBD Testing in a Lab

As CBD grows in popularity, the number of studies done on the substance continues to grow substantially. Today there are a wealth of animal and human test results available pointing to a wide variety of potential benefits associated with CBD use. These are accompanied by the lack of major negative side effects.

Below we outline the researched benefits of CBD citing reports as we go:

Reduced Inflammation & Pain Relief

Reducing inflammation is one of the most commonly talked about potential benefits of cannabidiol. A 2012 study concluded that CBD may "significantly suppress chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain" in animals (R). Additionally, a 2007 study found that a CBD/THC spray was potentially effective in treating neuropathic pain in sufferers of multiple sclerosis. (R)

It is essential to note that this pain relief is cited as coming without dependence or a tolerance buildup. This is important because of the dangers associated with tolerance issues commonly associated with opioid use. With the dangers of opioid use, CBD could be an effective safe alternative that saves lives.

Studies suggest that cannabinoids show potential as a new class of drugs for the treatment of chronic pain. (R)

Cancer Fighting & Anti-Tumor Effects

CBD shows promise as both a cancer-fighting and tumor-fighting compound. The cannabinoid has been studied as a potential medicine for a treatment of a wide variety of cancers including breast cancer, leukemia, lung cancer, colon cancer, and more. A 2006 study found that CBD inhibits cancer cell migration, adhesion, and invasion. (R)

A 2016 study concluded that CBD successfully stopped cancer cells in cases of cervical cancer. (R) CBD has also demonstrated direct anti-tumor effects which shows promise for the compound. There is still much research to be done to discover applications for CBD in a cancer-fighting role.

Reduced Anxiety

There are a wide range of studies that outline CBD's effectiveness on reducing anxiety. Specific research shows indicated that CBD reduced anxiety in the following situations:

  • Reduced anxiety for individuals with social anxiety disorder. (R)
  • Reduced anxiety associated with public speaking. (R)
  • Reduced anxiety associated with the psychoactive properties of THC use. (R)

CBD shows promise across many anxiety related disorders including obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). (R)

More information available in our conditions section: CBD for anxiety.

Improved Sleep Quality & Duration

Multiple studies have concluded that CBD may help users fall asleep, and sleep more soundly. A 2016 study on CBD use for sufferers of insomnia showed that CBD gradually helped improve sleep quality, duration, and reduced anxiety. (R)

Additionally, other benefits of CBD are associated with improved sleep. Better sleep can be associated with CBD's influence on inflammation and pain. A 2013 study on CBD and epilepsy noted that added benefits of the cannabinoid included 'better mood and improved sleep". (R)

Seizure Prevention in Treatment-Resistant Epilepsy

Quite possibly one of the most well-known benefits of CBD is its role in preventing seizures in those who suffer from epilepsy. CBD has a wide range of clinical and anecdotal evidence showing its effectiveness in helping with treatment-resistant epilepsy. (R) In addition to the anti-seizing benefits, children noted better mood, improved sleep, and increased alertness. These benefits came with drowsiness and fatigue as side effects. (R)

The now well-known story of Charlotte Figi is responsible for CBD's push into the spotlight thanks to CNN. At just 3 months old, this girl was diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy known as Dravet Syndrome. The 2013 article outlines how CBD oil was used to reduce 5-year-old Charlotte's seizure rate from over 300 grand mal seizures a week to only 2-3 per month. (R)

Cannabidiols's effectiveness has been the driving force behind much of the state-level legalization specific to CBD. Nearly all states that do not currently have legalized medical marijuana laws now have legalized CBD use for specific applications.

Anti-Depressive Effects

CBD shows promise as an anti-depressant thanks to tests performed on mice. Results from tests showed that CBD induced antidepressant-like effects similar to the pharmaceutical drug Tofranil (imipramine). These effects point to an activation of 5-HT1A receptors. (R)

Even more motivating, it was observed that CBD provided 'fast and maintained antidepressant-like effects'. (R) This is extremely promising when compared to slow acting pharmaceutical options that carry a wide range of serious side-effects.

More information available in our conditions section: CBD for depression.

Protect Against Neurodegenerative Diseases

Along with THC, CBD was found to have neuroprotective effects in a study of glaucoma. (R) This prevents brain cell death by preventing the toxic effects of neurotransmitter glutamate and radical oxygen species (ROS) in the brain. (R) These antioxidant effects are observed as being greater than Vitamin C & E.

Sufferers of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease may find relief with CBD use. Studies show mixed results in patients with Parkinson's. (R, R) Animal studies have shown that CBD reversed the cognitive effects of Alzheimer’s disease in mice. (R)

Nausea Relief & Increased Appetite

One study showed relief in nausea and vomiting in animals. (R) Another study showed low doses reduced nausea and vomiting triggered by toxic drug use. The same study showed that at higher doses CBD was shown to increase nausea or have no effect overall. (R)

Anti-Psychotic Effects

Tests on both animals and humans suffering from schizophrenia showed that CBD users demonstrated lower levels of positive psychotic symptoms. This may point to CBD as a new class of treatment for the disorder. (R) These are promising findings since schizophrenia is a disease that is typically managed with pharmaceutical drugs with serious potential side effects.

One of CBD's most well-known interactions is with the popular cannabinoid THC. Despite the association with cannabis, CBD has actually been observed to reduce the mind-altering 'high' effects associated with THC. (R)

Lowers Incidence of Diabetes

An animal-based study on mice performed in 2006 showed that CBD lowered the incidence of diabetes. The treatment resulted in a significant reduction of plasma levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. The result being that CBD can inhibit and delay the destructive insulitis and inflammatory cytokine production. (R)

A 2013 study further provided hope for sufferers of diabetes. By surveying current and past marijuana users, lower levels of fasting insulin were observed. Additionally, users resulted in a smaller waist circumference - one of many factors connected with the onset of diabetes. (R)

Originally Published: June 2, 2018 | Last Updated: November 16, 2018

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