CBD, or cannabidiol, is a type of chemical found in the same plant that produces marijuana.
CBD is different from marijuana though, and will not make you “high.” That’s because it does not contain the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, THC, which is the chemical responsible for the intoxicating feeling associated with consuming marijuana.
Recently, CBD has gained traction in the scientific community for its ability to treat multiple conditions — from chronic pain to epilepsy. Here are some of the benefits of CBD oil and whether science says it might be helpful for you. KushieBites pride themselves on providing high-quality CBD edibles.
1. CBD oil eases pain
CBD has been widely studied as a natural, non-addictive way to manage and treat pain symptoms — especially as an alternative to opioids for patients with severe pain.
While animal research found CBD to be a promising treatment for nerve-based (neuropathic) pain and inflammatory pain, few studies have examined its effects on humans.
Still, researchers know that CBD has antinociceptive and anti-hyperalgesic effects — meaning it can block the detection of pain by neurons and counter pain sensitivity.
“CBD has over 65 different targets in the brain and body, working at many receptors and other areas to change messages that cells are sending to each other. If the message of pain is being sent from one cell to another, CBD can block or diminish this message,” says Bonni Goldstein, MD, the Medical Director of Canna-Centers, a California-based medical practice devoted to patients about the use of cannabis for serious or chronic health conditions.
Goldstein says that higher ratios of CBD to THC are often more effective for inflammatory pain like rheumatoid arthritis, while lower ratios are more effective for nerve-based pain like shingles.
A 2006 study found that combining THC and CBD increased each cannabinoid’s effectiveness in reducing pain and diminished adverse effects of using just THC alone.
“Studies clearly show that all types of pain respond better to products that contain both compounds rather than each one alone,” Goldstein says.
2. CBD oil can treat epilepsy
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder in which abnormal brain activity causes seizures. Recent studies show that CBD may be an effective treatment for epilepsy, although scientists are unsure of the exact mechanisms, Goldstein says.
A 2017 study of patients ranging from two to 46-years-old with treatment-resistant epilepsy found that 86% of patients experienced a reduction in seizures after consuming various formulations of artisanal CBD, which is CBD that contains small amounts of THC. Of the participants, 10% reported becoming seizure-free.
Another small 2018 study found that children who took a daily 20mg/kg dose of CBD oil saw a significant decrease in seizure frequency compared to a placebo. However, the study did find seizure intensity increased in patients taking CBD.
3. CBD oil may reduce anxiety
Early research has found CBD may reduce symptoms of a number of anxiety disorders, including:
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
A small 2011 study of patients with social anxiety disorder (SAD) found 600mg of CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort when patients were subjected to a stressful situation like public speaking.
Goldstein says that CBD affects the brain in multiple ways, including enhancing the brain’s own anxiety-reducing chemicals and targeting serotonin receptors involved in mood.
“There is preliminary research that points to neuroinflammation as a cause of anxiety. CBD is a well-proven potent anti-inflammatory which may contribute to its anxiety-reducing effects,” Goldstein says.