Derived from the cannabis plant, Cannabidiol or CBD oil is a widely used natural solution for a range of health issues. Among its various benefits are pain alleviation and a calming effect without altering one’s mental state.
CBD oil is produced by extracting the compound from the Cannabis sativa plant and mixing it with a base oil such as coconut or hemp seed oil. It is one of the over 100 chemical elements, known as cannabinoids, found in cannabis.
Unlike Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis causing the “high” sensation, CBD does not have psychoactive properties.
A variety of products, available both online and in physical stores, contain CBD. These range from dietary supplements and bath products to beverages and food items.
This piece discusses six scientifically supported health advantages of CBD, along with potential side effects and safety issues you should be aware of.
Potential for Pain Relief
Historically, cannabis has been used for pain management as far back as 2900 B.C., beginning in traditional Chinese medicine. It is thought that components such as CBD play a significant role in this pain-relieving effect.
CBD is believed to interact with the endocannabinoid system, which regulates various bodily functions, including the sensation of pain. The system produces endocannabinoids, which latch onto cannabinoid receptors.
Research suggests that CBD could help mitigate chronic pain by interacting with endocannabinoid receptors, reducing inflammation, and affecting neurotransmitters. Preliminary studies also indicate that CBD might be effective in treating conditions like fibromyalgia, according to research from 2021.
May Mitigate Symptoms of Certain Mental Health Conditions
CBD oil has gained attention as a potential natural remedy for various mental health issues, sparking interest among those affected by these disorders.
A 2020 review of literature on CBD and mood disorders revealed that several studies propose CBD could help alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even psychosis.
Limited research from 2019 also shows that CBD could effectively reduce symptoms related to PTSD, including nightmares, in adults. However, the current body of research is not yet robust enough for medical professionals to endorse CBD as a treatment for these conditions.
May Help Manage Cancer-Related Symptoms
Some evidence suggests that CBD may help alleviate symptoms related to cancer and the side effects of cancer treatment, such as nausea and pain. However, further research is required to ascertain the efficacy of CBD in managing cancer symptoms more broadly.
CBD could offer benefits for individuals suffering from neurological disorders. A study from 2022 indicates that a spray containing both CBD and THC could potentially alleviate pain and muscle stiffness in those with multiple sclerosis (MS).
A 2017 study found that CBD oil could help reduce seizures in children with Dravet syndrome, although some negative reactions were reported.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Epidiolex, a CBD-based product, for treating specific seizure disorders and symptoms associated with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), a rare genetic condition.
Limited studies also suggest that CBD may improve symptoms in other neurological conditions, including:
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Huntington’s Disease
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Motor Disorders such as Cerebral Palsy
May Promote Cardiovascular Well-being
Elevated blood pressure is associated with an increased likelihood of various health issues such as stroke, heart disease, and metabolic disorders.
Studies suggest that CBD could be advantageous for individuals with hypertension, as it appears to affect heart muscle contractions and facilitate the dilation of blood vessels.
For instance, a 2020 study involving 26 healthy men revealed that administering 600 milligrams of CBD for a week led to notable short-term reductions in blood pressure compared to a control group given a placebo. The effects, however, did not persist beyond the 7-day period.
Though the initial results are promising, further investigation is necessary to confirm the potential cardiovascular benefits of CBD.
Additional Potential Advantages
Apart from the health benefits already discussed, CBD is being explored for its efficacy in addressing other medical conditions.
While further studies are required, CBD is speculated to offer the following health benefits:
Treatment for Substance Abuse: Preliminary evidence suggests that CBD might assist in alleviating anxiety and depression in individuals addicted to certain substances like heroin. Potential Lifespan Extension for Glioblastoma Patients: Limited studies indicate that combining CBD with THC could potentially extend the lives of those suffering from an aggressive type of cancer known as glioblastoma. Potential Sleep Quality Improvement: CBD may have the potential to enhance sleep quality in individuals with specific sleep disorders, although more research is needed to substantiate this claim.