Some people are hesitant about CBD as natural alternative medicine because, in the beginning, there weren’t as many scientifically-backed studies to prove the benefits of CBD oil. Now, however, we have more and more studies dedicated to proving the effectiveness of CBD oil for a range of ailments.
Speaking of science, let’s quickly review how CBD oil works in the body. CBD is a chemical compound derived from the cannabis Sativa plant. When consumed or used topically, CBD molecules interact with receptors in the brain to reduce inflammation, regulate mood, and aid in better movement, to name a few.
The oil in CBD oil simply acts as a carrier for the CBD compound to be consumed or used easily. That said, here are nine health benefits of CBD oil and the promising scientific studies behind them.
1. It Helps with Anxiety and Depression
These are two of the most common mental health struggles people face. And some people may not have access to or have a desire to take traditional medications to manage their symptoms.
When it comes to mental health benefits, CBD oil has been shown to reduce anxiety, promote relaxation, and regulate mood—all hallmark goals for those with anxiety and depression. CBD oil’s calming capabilities are perhaps one of the most common reasons it’s used.
In a 2017 study published in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry, researchers noted anxiety levels in 57 men participating in a simulated public speaking test. Some men received a placebo, while others received 150 milligrams, 300 milligrams, or 600 milligrams of CBD oil before giving their speeches.
Of those who received CBD oil, those who took 300mg showed a remarkably reduced anxiety level than the placebo group. Those who received either 150mg or 600mg of CBD oil experienced more anxiety, which is beneficial information in helping to figure out what an ideal dosage is.
One hurdle people faced initially was knowing how much CBD oil they should take. Without the help of a physician and essential studies like this, it’s hard to know the correct dosage you should be taken for the best results.
As far as depression, studies in mice have shown that CBD oil had similar effects to an antidepressant called imipramine. Human studies are still needed to explore further and confirm this, but it’s an exciting start.
2. It Can Reduce Epileptic Seizures
As you may know, epilepsy is characterized by seizures. These episodes can be dangerous in severe cases and uncomfortable, too. In recent years, it was discovered that CBD oil could further help when it comes to epileptic seizures.
The FDA even approved the use of CBD in 2018 (under the name Epidiolex) to help treat seizures caused by two rare forms of epilepsy—Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. This treatment can be used on patients as young as two years old.
The FDA’s approval was supported by three critical studies where a total of 516 patients with one of these two types of epilepsy received Epidiolex or a placebo. It was found that Epidiolex, even when taken with other prescribed medications, decreased the frequency of seizures.
3. It Can Reduce PTSD Symptoms
Although PTSD is technically under the anxiety umbrella, it’s widespread and problematic enough that it stands on its own a lot of the time. What’s important to know is that anyone can have PTSD. A wide variety of individuals suffer from this disorder, not just veterans. And these people struggle significantly from the effects of PTSD.
In 2018, a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine looked at 11 people with PTSD. Researchers gave these individuals CBD oil in addition to a psychiatric therapy routine for a total of 8 weeks.
The study found that 10 of the 11 patients experienced an overall decrease in PTSD symptoms and that the CBD oil was well-tolerated by the participants. Some psychiatric professionals advocate CBD’s mental health benefits in combination with therapy for PTSD treatment.
Their stance is that therapy is an essential aspect that helps reduce PTSD symptoms, while CBD is an added mental health benefit to provide that extra bit of relief.
But that’s not the only study. From 2012 to 2016, 4 other human studies found similar results. While some of the studies also included THC and CBD, CBD reduced PTSD symptoms in participants.
4. It Can Aid Addiction Recovery
Opioid addiction is a serious issue plaguing our population. For those in recovery, some studies show that CBD may be beneficial in opioid addiction recovery. These studies include both animal and human trials.
One study looked at CBD’s effects on those with heroin use disorder. It was found that CBD reduced heroin users’ cravings over a week. They also experienced decreased withdrawal anxiety, reduced resting heart rate, and reduced salivary cortisol levels—all without any adverse side effects.
Since a big part of addiction rests in the mental health space, we can see how CBD oil is helpful since it’s also shown promise with other mental health-related issues like anxiety, insomnia, etc. While we can’t say definitively that CBD oil is a surefire treatment for substance abuse disorders, it’s suggested that it’s an effective part of the treatment and recovery process.
5. It Helps Ease ALS Symptoms
ALS is a disease affecting the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. It causes these nerves to degrade, which leads to a loss of muscle control over time. There is no known cure for ALS, and there are only 2 FDA-approved medicines to help with symptoms.
However, research shows that those with ALS can benefit from CBD (and THC, too). Similar to findings with CBD and PTSD, a 2019 study found that ALS patients who received a combination of THC and CBD reported satisfaction with symptom reduction.
Those with more severe cases of ALS took higher dosages and reported even higher satisfaction than those with mild cases of ALS who took a lower dosage.
6. It Helps Relieve Hard-to-Manage Pain
Generally, CBD effectively manages stubborn pains that are more difficult to alieve. A 2005 study in Canada approved the use of Sativex (a spray absorbed through linings in the mouth) combined with CBD and THC to treat patients with MS.
It was successful enough that Canada once again approved this combination for cancer patients who didn’t respond to traditional pain management medications.
In the U.S., studies also show that CBD can be effective when it comes to treating chronic pains. A 2020 study looked at patients with symptomatic peripheral neuropathy (a condition stemming from brain nerve and spinal cord nerve damage). Researchers gave patients a topical CBD treatment or a placebo.
Those who received the CBD showed notable reductions in sharp pain and itchy sensations than those who only received the placebo. None of the participants reported any adverse side effects, thus showing that, when applied topically, CBD can treat localized pain with marked success.
7. It Helps with Diabetic Complications
This may be unexpected since CBD is mainly known to help with mental health and chronic pain in conditions like arthritis. However, studies on human cells have shown that CBD plays a role in reducing the effects of high glucose in other cells throughout the body—the central issue in diabetes.
High glucose levels in cells are an indicator of developing diabetes. Diabetes then leads to complications like plaque buildup in arteries. But CBD has the potential to help with these complications. However, more studies need to be done to test this further.
One small study looked at 13 patients with type 2 diabetes who were not on insulin and were given both CBD and a placebo. The study found that when taking CBD, patients.
In another small study, 13 patients with type 2 diabetes who weren’t on insulin treatment were given both CBD and a placebo instead of insulin. Researchers found CBD decreased levels of resistin (this hormone causes resistance to insulin, which is the protein that regulates sugar levels—a big part of the problem for those with diabetes). It also increased glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide levels, a hormone responsible for making sure there’s a plentiful amount of insulin released from digested food.
Essentially, CBD decreased the problematic hormone and increased the helpful one. With insulin prices being exorbitant for many, this is a crucial development that could make diabetes treatment more accessible.
8. It May Help Prevent Neurological Disease
Disease prevention is a hot topic. And clinical studies indicate CBD has essential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties important in protecting against neurological disease.
Many preclinical studies also indicate that CBD has benefits in staving off Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and MS—all degenerative diseases with no known cure. More studies need to be done to examine this relationship further and discover if CBD benefits other degenerative diseases like Huntington’s.
9. It Can Provide Relief From Arthritis
We frequently talk about the benefits of using CBD oil for arthritis. Since arthritis is characterized by pain, stiffness, and loss of motion in the joints, reducing these symptoms is crucial in helping people live the life they want.
In 2006, a study found that Sativex (the same CBD-based botanical drug mentioned in a Canadian study above and a drug the UK approved in 2010) showed significant improvements in sleep quality, movement pain, and resting pain in patients rheumatoid arthritis (RA) compared to a placebo.
This was the first randomized controlled study using Sativex to treat RA. It looked at 58 patients and found that CBD provided notable pain relief, in addition to actually suppressing the disease’s activity.
More recently, a 2018 study gave synthetic CBD gel in either a 250mg or 500mg dosage to patients with knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. Patients did not take any other anti-inflammatory treatments or painkillers other than acetaminophen during the study.
Results showed that those treated with 250mg of CBD reported more overall weekly improvement in worst pain levels and physical function than patients who received a placebo.
Studies involving CBD and many conditions continue to yield exciting natural pain relief and pain management results. If you’re experiencing any of the issues referenced above and are interested to learn how CBD oil might help, read more on our blog and knowledge center or schedule an appointment to speak with our experienced physicians about introducing CBD into your regimen.
Already confident in taking CBD oil? Check out our third-party approved oils in our online CBD store!