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20 Ways CBD Oil is Used to Improve Health

Cannabidiol, known also as CBD, is taking the world of health by storm. Called “nature’s miracle drug,” CBD is produced from cannabis plants, but does not contain any of the psychoactive elements that other common cannabis products do. Though researchers have only begun to discover all that CBD can do for the body, the little we know is pretty impressive. Below are 20 exciting ways in which CBD oil is being used to improve health.

As a Natural Painkiller

According to several studies, cannabinoids act as a neuromodulator for the neurons responsible for the pain sensation. Furthermore, they stimulate the same area as do opioids. Thus, CBD oil, which is obtained from hemp and rich in cannabinoids, is extremely effective as a natural pain killer.

To Treat Cigarette Addiction

A number of studies have proven that CBD, which is obtained from hemp and contains little to no THC, can be used to alleviate the urge to smoke cigarettes. In one such study, 12 smokers were given an inhaler of CBD, while another 12 were given a placebo. After one week of being told to take a puff of their inhaler every time they felt the urge to smoke, those inhaling CBD saw 40 percent drop in their cigarette use.

To Alleviate Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

CBD oil is well known for its anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory effects. The fact that CBD oil is able to calm and relax its user, combined with the additional fact that it is a cannabis product without psychotic effects, has gone a long way in proving that it is an effective treatment for PTSD patients.

To Treat Schizophrenia

For many of the same reasons that it is an effective tool for treating post-traumatic stress disorder, CBD oil has also proven itself effective for those battling schizophrenia. In fact, in 2012 a group of German researchers conducted a study in which the common antipsychotic Amisulpride was compared to CBD. The study included 42 schizophrenia patients, and ultimately found that while both treatments were effective, CBD had far fewer short-term side effects.

To Stop the Growth of Cancer Cells

Myriad studies have been conducted that suggest that cannabidiol includes certain chemicals that have an anti-tumor effect. More specifically, CBD decreases a cancer cell’s ability to produce energy, thereby helping lymphokine-activated killer cells to destroy the cancer cells more easily. In one study related to cervical cancer, it was found that CBD oil successfully stopped cancerous cells from growing and spreading, while other studies have found the same to be true with leukemia, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer.

To Deter Epileptic Seizures

Perhaps most well-known due to the many national news stories surrounding it is cannabidiol’s effectiveness in treating treatment-resistant epilepsy. In one survey taken of parents with epileptic children, it was reported that 84% of those children experienced fewer seizures while they were consistently taking CBD. After three months on CBD oil, 40% of children with treatment-resistant epilepsy had 50% fewer seizures. Many of these children also experienced things like improved sleep, better mood, and more alertness.

As a Neuroprotective Agent

Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, gastric ulcers, and Crohn’s disease are just a few disorders which occur due to oxidative stress and/or neurodegradation. Thanks to its many anti-oxidant effects, CBD oil prevents oxidative stress to act as a natural neuroprotective agent.

To Help Alleviate the Pain of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The same anti-inflammatory benefits previously mentioned can also provide relief of pain to those with rheumatoid arthritis. In a study on animal models, consistent use of CBD not only alleviated pain, but also decreased the progression of joint damage.

To Relieve Nausea

Those working in the medical industry are excited about CBD’s potential to relieve nausea. When taken in low doses, CBD oil can decrease the nausea that patients often experience after taking toxic drugs.

To Increase Appetite

A report by the National Cancer Institute found that low doses of CBD oil can bind to the body’s cannabinoid receptors, thereby increasing appetite. This is especially promising for those with cancer or other types of diseases which destroy any desire to eat.

As a Treatment for Diabetes

CBD oil is able to delay the destruction of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas and inhibit the production of inflammatory cytokines. Besides this unique ability, a recent study found that diabetic men and women who consistently use marijuana and other cannabis products had 16% lower fasting insulin levels. This study, one of many, suggests that CBD can be used to treat early-stage Type 1 diabetes.

To Promote Heart Health

A number of recent studies suggest that CBD oil could be beneficial for a range of things related to heart health. For example, CBD reduces both the heart rate and blood pressure during times of stress or anxiety, dilates arteries, reduces damage done by clogged blood vessels, and protects these vessels. While more research needs to be done to see if CBD might prevent the development of various blood vessel and heart disorders, early studies have shown that CBD can be used to influence white blood cell function and the aggregation of platelets.

To Help With Inflammatory Bowel Disease

While CBD and THC together are the ideal combination for treating bowel inflammation and its many symptoms, CBD oil on its own can also be beneficial. One study showed that the use of CBD prevented colitis in animal models, while other studies have shown that it is able to normalize gut motility and reduce gut inflammation.

To Help Health Broken Bones

Studies are still being done to learn more about CBD’s full effects on bone health, but recent research showed that rodents with broken limbs mended much more quickly when they were treated with CBD.

To Reduce Dyskinesia

Dyskinesia is a terrible affliction that causes involuntary movements. However, it’s been found that CBD oil, when combined with a TRPV-1 blocker, has been able to alleviate the symptoms of dyskinesia by reducing the production of both inflammatory cell markers and certain key enzymes.

To Treat and Avoid Substance Abuse

In 2013, a study on rats found that CBD was able to block the addictive effects of morphine, opioids, and other highly addictive painkillers. For this reason, a number of states have already implemented a medical marijuana program to help fight the ongoing opioid crisis. These programs have reported a 25% drop in deaths by opioid overdose, and the use of 64% fewer opioid painkillers than those for whom medical marijuana is not available.

To Help With Insomnia

Those who suffer from insomnia and other sleep disorders may find relief in CBD oil, which can regulate the necessary circadian rhythm and increase the release of dopamine to ensure that sleep comes faster.

To Alleviate and Prevent a Number of Sexual Health Concerns

Though more research needs to be done before anything is proven, CBD oil has become more and more popular for use in treating a number of sexual health concerns, including erectile dysfunction, performance issues, lack of sexual endurance, and even infertility.

To Relieve Depression

There may be dozens of antidepressants out there, but it seems CBD oil can be added to the list. A number of recent studies have found that CBD works both quickly and over time, and is a comparable alternative to other common antidepressants. In other words, CBD is used by some as a natural antidepressant.

To Improve the Health of Your Skin

Whether you have acne or just want to increase the health of your skin, a recent study has shown that CBD oil can be beneficial. Cannabidiol’s many anti-inflammatory effects include ceasing the production of sebum and sebocytes, and exerting antiproliferative effects, which together reduce inflammation and encourage healthier skin.

20 Ways CBD Oil is Used to Improve Health Cannabidiol, known also as CBD, is taking the world of health by storm. Called “nature’s miracle drug,” CBD is produced from cannabis plants, but

CBD Oil: What are 9 Proven or Possible Health Benefits?

Medically reviewed by Carmen Fookes, BPharm. Last updated on Nov 2, 2020.

Official Answer

With a forecasted revenue of over 20 billion by 2024, the CBD market is booming. 1 But what exactly is CBD and how effective is it? We look at 9 proven or possible health benefits of CBD oil.

What is CBD?

CBD (short for cannabidiol) is one of over 200 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids that are found in cannabis. It is the second most prevalent active compound found in cannabis, behind THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the compound in cannabis that has psychoactive properties and gives people a high. 2

Cannabis is a plant, and there are two main types, Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa. Both marijuana and CBD can be derived from both types, but hemp is only derived from Cannabis Sativa. By law, hemp must contain no more than 0.3% THC (the oil in marijuana that gives you a high) to be called hemp, otherwise, growers are at risk of prosecution under federal law. Hemp is a great resource for making 100% biodegradable, environmentally friendly products such as clothing, packaging, biofuel, building materials, and paper.

CBD derived from hemp contains no more than 0.3% THC and is legal federally but still illegal under some state laws. Cannabis-derived CBD products, on the other hand, are illegal federally but legal under some state laws.

Unlike THC, CBD has no psychoactive properties and will not give you a “high”. There is no evidence it has any abuse or dependence potential and to date, there is no evidence that it is associated with any serious side effects, according to the World Health Organization.

Instead, CBD has been credited with relieving numerous medical conditions, such as epilepsy, anxiety, inflammation, insomnia, and pain. Although “credited” does not mean proven. Because of the historical regulatory landscape, there are hardly any well-conducted trials backing up those claims, although research is expected to ramp up now that laws distinguish between hemp and marijuana.

We look at nine medical conditions where CBD may be, or, has already proven to be, beneficial.

1. Epilepsy

In June 2018, the FDA approved Epidiolex (a plant-based formulation of CBD) to treat seizures for people 2 years of age and older with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which are two rare forms of epilepsy.

CBD has also been investigated for use in other forms of treatment-resistant epilepsy, usually in addition to conventional epilepsy medications. Results varied, but several trials showed CBD significantly reduced seizure frequency by almost 44% in most people. 3

CBD can interact with other medications used for epilepsy and some serious side effects have been reported, notably, a decrease in liver function when given to people already taking valproate.

Conclusion: CBD is beneficial for treating certain types of epilepsy.

2. Pain

Animal studies have shown that CBD has anti-inflammatory effects and works on the endocannabinoid and pain-sensing systems to relieve pain.

Unfortunately, few human trials investigating the use of CBD as a single agent to relieve pain exist, with most trials using a combination of CBD and THC to relieve pain. Notably, Health Canada has approved a combination medication that contains both THC and CBD in a 1:1 ratio for the relief of central nerve-related pain in multiple sclerosis, and cancer pain that is unresponsive to optimized opioid therapy.

An observational study of CBD treatment reported an improvement in self-reported quality of life measures for people with non-cancer-related pain but there was no statistically significant improvement in those with cancer-related pain or with neurological symptoms. 8

A case series of 47 people with multiple sclerosis reported improvements in pain, walking, and muscle spasms with a combination of CBD and THC. 15

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

Other research (both animal and human) has shown that CBD has anti-inflammatory effects, and it may relieve pain by this mechanism.
CBD can interact with other medications used to treat heart conditions or immunosuppressants so you should always talk with your doctor before taking CBD.

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

Conclusion: CBD is unlikely to be effective by itself for nausea and vomiting. The combination of THC and CBD does seem to be effective for nausea and vomiting.

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.

Official answer: With a forecasted revenue of over 20 billion by 2024, the CBD market is booming.1 But what exactly is CBD and how…