If you regularly buy healthcare supplements and herbal remedies or have an interest in healthy eating and living, you’ve probably come across CBD oil at some point recently; there has been a whole lot of buzz about it over the past year or so.
CBD, which is a compound found in cannabis and hemp, is perfectly legal, won’t get you high (unlike marijuana or “weed”), and has been touted to have some incredible health benefits. From treating acne to killing cancer cells, the list of potential CBD oil uses seems endless, and it’s only getting bigger and better every day.
Research on CBD Oil Uses
But, is there any real medical research and reason to believe such miraculous claims?
The purpose of this article is to answer that exact question. We have come up with a long list of different health conditions that CBD oil has been proposed to treat. For each condition, we tried to gather some scientific backing for the potential benefit CBD products could have, though it’s important to note that it is not listed among official cures for any disease.
After reading this article, you will have a good idea of the true potential for using CBD oils and other products when it comes to improving your health. Of course, as with any health choice, be sure to discuss the use of cannabidiol together with your general practitioner and other health specialists.
Multiple studies have shown that CBD oil benefits mental health by potentially alleviating the symptoms of a wide range of different anxiety disorders. One 2015 meta-analysis published in Neurotherapeutics reviewed forty-nine different trials and studies to conclude that “existing preclinical evidence strongly supports CBD oil as a treatment for generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder when administered acutely”.
CBD oil activates receptors around the body that are involved with the immune system, which may cause them to have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. These anti-inflammatory properties could provide relief for arthritis sufferers. This 2016 study used a topically applied gel in varying amounts on rats. The researchers observed reduced inflammation in the rats’ affected joints and an overall decrease in pain-related behaviours.
A number of people around the world use CBD and other cannabis-derived medications to help treat cancer symptoms. A study on the use of CBD rather than Cannabis sativa extract for cervical cancer treatment that took place in 2016 concluded: “data suggests that cannabidiol rather than Cannabis sativa crude extracts prevent cell growth and induce cell death in cervical cancer cell lines.”
Plus, the National Cancer Institute in the U.S has also indicated that CBD could be an option for relieving pain symptoms of chemotherapy, making it a new potential for doctors seeking to alleviate the side effects of cancer treatment.
It is believed that CBD reacts with a receptor in the brain, known as the 5-HT1A receptor, to activate and stimulate the release of higher levels of serotonin throughout the body. Serotonin can act as a mood stabiliser and helps with appetite and sleep. Low levels of serotonin are constantly linked with depression. An animal study from 2014 did chart a link between CBD and anti-depressant effects.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that can be brought on by a number of environmental factors such as cold, trauma and even stress. The condition causes the body’s skin cells to renew on a much more frequent basis than is normal, which leads to redness and itching. Unfortunately, there is no cure for psoriasis, but CBD oil has been observed to provide relief.
This review from 2010 observed the link between CB2 receptors, which are stimulated by CBD, and their potentially positive effects on autoimmune dysfunctions.
Using CBD oil to reduce the occurrence of seizures has been the subject of a lot of discussions recently. Many experts have noted the possible benefits for patients suffering from seizures. In particular, seizures associated with forms of epilepsy have been looked at in detail.
Researchers from Ohio State University in the U.S conducted a study on 225 patients with a form of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome that observed a drop of more than 50% in atonic seizure frequency in a group that took 10 – 20 mg of CBD every day.
As a result of the interaction between CBD and the cannabinoid receptors in the brain and throughout our body’s immune system, it has been observed that regular doses of CBD oil can play a role in the relief of chronic pain. Back pain relief, especially, seems to be one of the primary CBD oil benefits when it comes to managing pain.
For more insight into the efficiency of CBD oil for chronic pain, we can refer to this 2008 review, which analysed a number of studies between the late 1980s and 2007. The review concluded CBD oil was effective for the management of pain.
Researchers believe CBD oil can reduce stress and anxiety symptoms in a similar way to how it benefits depression: by stimulating receptors in the brain to increase the secretion of serotonin in the body.
An interesting piece of research on individuals with generalised anxiety disorder (SAD) also showed improvements in public speaking-induced anxiety and stress after taking CBD.
Sleep improvement as a result of CBD oil ingestion can come as a result of the cannabinoids directly as well as a side effect of CBD’s other benefits. For example, reduced stress, anxiety and pain, which CBD has been linked to, will all have a positive effect on sleep.
As far as how CBD benefits sleep patterns, a study on the effects of acute systemic administration of cannabidiol on sleep-wake cycle in rats had some positive results: the administration of CBD did lead to an overall increase in sleep time.
Coronary heart disease still remains the number one cause of mortality in the United Kingdom, so any compound capable of protecting your heart must be seriously considered. Research has been mounting on the potential CBD oil uses related to cardiovascular health. One example is this study, which demonstrates CBD to have “cardioprotective” properties.
There certainly seems to be a clear link between the effects of CBD on libido and sexual pleasure; CBD lube and even CBD condoms can be purchased. However, does CBD oil boost sex-drive or are these things all pure gimmicks?
While there is very limited research on the direct effects of CBD consumption on sex drive, many other benefits of CBD oil have been cited to lead to an improved sex life. For example, increased blood flow as a result of taking CBD can improve erectile-dysfunction in men as well as reduce pain associated with penetration in women.
A strong piece of research on CBD oil and acne from 2014 indicates that CBD oil can have some powerful anti-acne effects. It observed the ability of CBD to reduce the inflammation associated with acne on face or brow by slowing down production of abnormal lipids beneath the skin. High lipid production leads to oily skin and inflammation, which is a major cause of acne.
ADHD, which is a mental disorder, is typically hard to treat since it can be displayed and interpreted very differently. As a result, many sufferers choose to self-medicate with other drugs and substances to get relief, many of which can have undesirable side effects. The low side-effect nature of CBD oil could prove to be an excellent alternative for ADHD sufferers if the early research stands up.
A promising German study showed improvements in areas such as concentration, sleep, and hyperactivity in ADHD patients that did not respond to prescribed meds such as Ritalin. While the study wasn’t done on a large group, it shows definite promise for CBD’s use in relieving ADHD symptoms.
Bipolar is another disorder that seems to have a mixed response to traditionally prescribed medications. For this reason, many people can be found online who have experimented with cannabis for relief of their symptoms. While studies like this one show a positive correlation between cannabinoids and bipolar, it has been observed on occasions that cannabis use can increase the frequency of manic episodes.
Some experts indicate this is likely due to the THC in the strain of cannabis being used, which is a psychoactive compound that is not present in CBD oil. For this reason, CBD oil could provide benefits to bipolar sufferers without the psychological side-effects.
As an inflammatory disease of the bowels, it makes sense that treating Crohn’s disease could be among the list of CBD uses. As we’ve mentioned a few times already throughout this article, CBD oil is well-documented to have some anti-inflammatory effects on the body as a result of its interactions with our cannabinoid receptors.
Here is a study that examined the use of cannabis in patients with inflammatory bowel disease over three months. Although the study was not done on CBD oil exclusively, the findings are promising.
Dementia is a general term used to describe symptoms associated with memory loss and impaired thinking. One of the more common conditions associated with dementia is Alzheimer’s. Over the years, there have been numerous newspaper articles linking cannabis use with improvements in the condition of Alzheimer’s sufferers.
While there aren’t any studies examining the effects of CBD on human dementia patients, the animal trials have looked hopeful. Back in 2004, a study on rats found CBD to have “neuroprotective effects”, which could provide a link to similar effects in people with dementia.
Studies on the direct CBD benefits on fibromyalgia are extremely limited and researchers are yet to agree on whether or not CBD and other cannabis products have a direct impact on the causes of fibromyalgia.
However, many of the symptoms associated with the condition have been shown to be improved with CBD oil usage. Fibromyalgia patients’ symptoms usually include chronic pain, inflammation, and poor sleep quality. All of these can be relieved by CBD oil and lead to an overall improvement in quality of life, as was noted in this study on cannabis use in fibromyalgia patients.
The compound, CBD, has been seen to interact with specific receptors in the body that are known as C2 receptors. CBD seems to stimulate these receptors, which are found in the immune system, and cause them to release larger numbers of our body’s natural cannabinoids. These cannabinoids have anti-inflammatory properties.
The following study, Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs, highlights how cannabinoids, like those found in CBD oil, could be manipulated so that it treats inflammation in the body.
If you’ve ever suffered a migraine, you know how bad the pressure on your head can feel, so many hope that relief could be found in CBD oil.
As is highlighted by this review: The Use of Cannabis for Headache Disorders, it can’t yet be said that there is enough scientific research on the use of a cannabis product specifically for headache disorders, but anecdotal evidence, preliminary trial results, and known neurobiological mechanisms are sufficient enough to warrant such trials.
In a nutshell, there is enough evidence around the pain-relieving and potential neurological benefits of cannabinoids to suggest they could be beneficial to migraine sufferers. But, further trials are required to confirm it.
Autism, which is a developmental disability, could be treated by compounds, like CBD oil, that influence the endocannabinoid system in the body. Here is a review on endocannabinoid signalling in autism, which further explains the role of this system in autism sufferers. CBD oil can interact with our endocannabinoid receptors to potentially provide a protective and anti-inflammatory effect on the neurological system.
There have been a few different papers observing the potential for cannabis compounds to reduce the growth of cancerous cells. This paper from the International Journal of Oncology states that cannabinoids have been shown to have anti-cancer properties both when used alone and in combination with each other.
It also suggests that using certain cannabinoids in combination with common anti-leukaemia drugs allowed doses of toxic drugs to be reduced while still being effective for treatments.
A 2006 study on hempseed oil and cholesterol levels did not show a change in the total levels of cholesterol. However, it did observe a marked improvement in the ratios of HDL and LDL cholesterol. As you may know, lower levels of LDL cholesterol can decrease your risk of suffering from heart disease.
Cannabinoids show some promise in speeding the recovery from traumatic brain injury. A 2015 study using rats found that the application of a cannabinoid 1 receptor led to a “marked recovery” in rats who suffered a severe brain injury.
While CBD oil itself was not used in this study, it opens the door for future research because CBD is a cannabinoid well-known for its therapeutic benefits.
MS is a debilitating neurological disorder that slowly deteriorates the patient’s quality of life year after year. There is no cure as of yet, so much research has been done on how to best alleviate the symptoms of those who suffer from multiple sclerosis. It’s no wonder, then, that some have turned to medicinal CBD for relief.
One trial published in Clinical Therapeutics examined the effects of an endocannabinoid modulator spray on MS patients who suffered from central neuropathic pain (or CNP), a symptom that is found in almost 30% of those with multiple sclerosis. After a rigorous two year trial, the researchers concluded that 100% of the 28 participants who completed the entire trial enjoyed reduced pain associated with CNP.
Parkinson’s, a neurodegenerative disease most known for uncontrollable shaking in those with the disorder, has also been the subject of CBD research. Because cannabinidol is known for its neuroprotective qualities, CBD oil may very well hold the key to easing life for those suffering from Parkinson’s.
In a 2014 double blind study, 21 Parkinson’s patients were split into three groups, one a placebo and the other two receiving 75 or 300 mg of CBD per day, respectively. Based on a series of tests given before and after the trial, the researchers concluded that patients in the 300 mg group reported statistically significant better quality of life than the control group.
Due to the relatively recent legalisation of CBD oil products in many places around the world, more detailed scientific trials still need to be performed, especially on humans. The good news is that the research we do have has proved to be insightful and promising for a complete range of different health conditions.
In this article alone, 22 diseases, illnesses, and conditions have been covered that could potentially be treated with the use of cannabis-derived compounds like CBD. When you couple this potential with the fact that CBD oil has very few proven side effects, it is certainly worth trying for yourself.
Now you know why so many people are talking about CBD oil, so you may be interested in taking it yourself. Know that people choose to take it in many forms, including tablets (with water), gum, paste, sublingual drops (under the tongue), liquid vape, or infused in food. Some even take it daily as an essential part of their health routine.
If you are looking to access some of the rich benefits that a high-quality CBD supplement can offer, be sure to browse our very own range of products and see what we have to offer.