Cannabidiol (CBD) is becoming a popular supplement. Its proponents claim that it is a safe anti-inflammatory that can alleviate conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, schizophrenia, and anxiety, and help you sleep better. What does the science say about it? Read on to find out.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 100 cannabinoids found in hemp sativa, the hemp plant. CBD and THC are the two most important active compounds found in the hemp plant. They are also the best-researched and recognized.
Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. It cannot cause the negative psychological effects associated with THC, such as paranoia, anxiety, and memory problems. Instead, some research suggests it may naturally protect against the hemp high.
In early studies, CBD has shown promising benefits for people with a number of hard-to-treat conditions.
Tip – These are the best CBD oils currently on the German market
Many people claim that CBD has helped them with seizures, even when nothing else has. Research proves them right: CBD can help reduce seizures in people with epilepsy who don’t respond to medication.
In fact, in 2018, the FDA approved an oral CBD solution to treat two rare forms of severe epilepsy. This approval is based on solid evidence base from the last several years of CBD research but is currently limited to patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
In a three-month study of 23 children and young adults (3-26 years) with treatment-resistant epilepsy, significantly fewer seizures occurred in those receiving a purified 98% oil-based CBD extract. In 39% of participants, the frequency of seizures decreased by half.
In another study of 214 children and adults with epilepsy, CBD was similarly associated with a decrease in seizures. The authors concluded that CBD was safe even at the maximum dose, which was twice that used in the previous study.
In a survey, parents of children with treatment-resistant epilepsy who use CBD were asked about the benefits of CBD. Nineteen parents were included, 84% of whom reported that CBD reduced the frequency of seizures. Two parents indicated that CBD completely resolves seizures. Parents also reported improved alertness, better sleep, and improved mood in their children. Side effects reported were drowsiness and fatigue.
In 15 patients with epilepsy who did not respond to medication, fewer seizures occurred in those who took 200 to 300 mg of cannabidiol per day over a 4.5-month period. Seizures improved in 7 of 8 patients taking CBD, compared with only one patient in the placebo group.
2) Possibly effective for pain
According to many promising studies, cannabinoids could become a new class of painkillers that some researchers believe could help millions of people with chronic pain.
We have receptors for cannabinoids throughout our bodies, but the first type (CB1) is very dense in the pain pathways of the brain, spine, and nerves. The second type (CB2) is more important for the immune system, but it is also involved in inflammation. According to some researchers, CBD can relieve both pain and inflammation through its action on these receptors.
In a comprehensive analysis of 18 clinical trials, the authors concluded that cannabinoids strongly and safely relieve several types of chronic pain: neuropathic pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, HIV, and multiple sclerosis. Another review of 16 studies found significant evidence of CBD benefits for people with chronic pain. The authors of this second review found very little difference in tolerability between CBD and a placebo, meaning that CBD was not associated with side effects in the majority of studies; however, they note that the studies that examined tolerability were of low quality.
In several studies of people with multiple sclerosis and chronic pain, those taking a CBD/THC combination reported less pain. The combination was well tolerated and taken regularly for up to 2 years.
Cannabidiol/THC combinations have had limited but promising results in studies of postoperative pain, chronic pain, cancer pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and neuropathic pain.
The effect of CBD oil on pain is one of the best-studied topics in published human and animal studies. The volume of research and initial results have led the World Health Organization to conclude that CBD may indeed have a beneficial effect on pain – although not clinically proven.
Ben Lesser is a member of a scientific advisory board. He specializes in pain management and works with CBD and other cannabinoid therapies as part of his treatment plan for patients suffering from chronic pain. From him, we received information on how to use CBD as part of pain management treatments for patients. Also, Ben shared with us what he thinks is the best CBD product and good alternatives from BusinessModuleHub.