The Research Behind CBD Benefits: 7 Important Studies

Research behind CBD benefits

Posted on January 20th, 2022

We hear so much about cannabis, but less about the research behind CBD benefits. Cannabidiol (CBD) is a predominantly expressed chemical compound in the cannabis sativa plant. Once applied topically, consumed or  inhaled, CBD works with neuroreceptors in your endocannabinoid system(ECS). This sends signals between your cells, helping regulate your immune system, and maintain homeostasis, mood, and movement.

We usually derive CBD from the C. sativa plant in oil form, then combine it with a carrier oil for easier use. Recently, CBD oil popularity increased because people say it keeps them calm, or feeling better. As a result, you can now find it in a variety of products, from oil tinctures to gummies, coffees or even CBD-infused potato chips.

Luckily, we have more than word of mouth to rely on these days. Because CBD research is also growing. And, in this article, we’ll explore the research behind CBD benefits. Keep reading.

Research Behind CBD Benefits Research behind CBD benefits

Below are several ways that research suggests CBD oil might benefit your health.

1. Alleviate Depression & Anxiety

Its calming effects are one of the main reasons why CBD is so popular. And it turns out science backs up that effect. and the reason its consumption is so widespread is its ability to calm. In a 2017 study in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry, researchers tested anxiety levels in a group of people during a simulated public speaking test. While some got a placebo, others received either 600 mg, 300 mg, or 150 mg of CBD before their speeches. People who received 300 mg were significantly less anxious compared to people who received the placebo. Surprisingly, participants who got either 150 or 600 mg of CBD were more anxious than those in the 300 mg group.

What’s more, one animal study revealed that CBD had the same effects as the antidepressant imipramine. However, without human trials, we can’t verify whether CBD causes similar antidepressant reactions in the body.

2. Treats Certain Epilepsy Syndromes

CBD may also treat epileptic seizures. And this is one of the major discoveries from the research behind CBD benefits.

The FDA approved this CBD application in 2018, for a drug with the brand name Epidiolex. For patients 1 year and older, it treats seizures resulting from three rare and severe epilepsy forms —Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, Dravet syndrome, or tuberous sclerosis complex.

Three well-vetted studies offer support for the FDA’s decision. During these trials, 516 patients suffering from the rare epilepsy forms received Epidiolex or a placebo. When taking Epidiolex together with other prescribed medications, the CBD-based drug reduced participants’ seizure frequency, unlike the placebo.

3. Relieve PTSD Symptoms

A 2018 Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine study followed 11 participants with post-traumatic stress disorder. For two months, they took CBD while receiving regular care in an outpatient psychiatric clinic. Ten participants experienced reduced PTSD symptoms. And the researchers said participants tolerated CBD well.

Now, even doctors with CBD and medical cannabis experience emphasize the importance of therapy in collaboration with CBD for post-traumatic stress disorder. Even so, CBD should provide additional anxiety support.

Between 2012 and 2016, several other human trials suggested that CBD relieves PTSD symptoms, even though some tested products include THC. That actually makes sense, since full-spectrum products allow CBD and THC to work together, creating what’s known as an “entourage effect.” (When cannabinoids complement each other to maximize overall benefits.)

4. Treat Opioid Addiction

Several studies—human clinical and preclinical animal trials—claim that CBD might treat opioid-dependent patients.

In one particular study, scientists administered CBD to patients with heroin use disorder. Within a week, the CBD greatly lowered heroin users’ withdrawal anxiety, cue-induced cravings, salivary cortisol levels, and resting heart rate. Better yet? There weren’t any severe adverse effects!

Furthermore, CBD seems to calm a range of medical and psychiatric symptoms such as pain, insomnia, and anxiety in people with substance use disorders. This indicates that CBD could effectively treat opioid addiction, given further studies.

5. Alleviate ALS Symptoms

The disease, “Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis” causes nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain to worsen, leading to loss of muscle control that deteriorates over time. Although it is not yet clear why this disease occurs, it could be hereditary in certain cases. As of now, there is no known cure. However, two FDA-approved medications can assist to treat ALS symptoms.

Studies suggest that patients with ALS can gain from the entourage effect induced by the combination of CBD and THC, similar to PTSD patients. In a 2019 study, people received a combination of CBD and THC in different doses based on their preferences and needs. Patients with mild, average, or severe spasticity (muscle stiffness and tightness) because of ALS revealed high satisfaction levels with the treatment, and people with moderate to serious spasticity reported relatively higher satisfaction rates compared to patients with mild spasticity.

6. Research Behind CBD Benefits for Unmanageable Pain researchers-checking-hemp-plants-in-the-field

In 20015, Canada approved Sativex an oromucosal spray containing the same proportions of CBD and THC. (This is a drug that’s absorbed in your mouth’s lining.) It’s used to treat MS-related central neuropathic pain. Then, in 2007, its use expanded to managing cancer pain that was unresponsive to other medications.

At the same time, ongoing studies in the U.S. prove that CBD helps manage chronic, non-cancer pain. In one 2020 study, scientists gave topical CBD to people with peripheral neuropathy. (This is a painful condition resulting from nerve damage.) Receiving CBD instead of a placebo led to fewer symptoms, including less cold, itchy sensations, and serious, sharp pains. No one reported adverse side effects.

Still, when introduced topically, CBD won’t have a systemic effect. Instead, results will be more localized. But, if you experience localized pain, this might translate to more pronounced relief.

7. Relieve Diabetic Complications

CBD seems to lower the impact of pre-diabetic high glucose levels on different cells in your body. Scientists believe that with more studies, CBD may help prevent diabetic complications, diabetes, and plaque accumulation in artery walls.

In one small study, 13 patients with type 2 diabetes (who weren’t on insulin treatment ) took either CBD or a placebo. Researchers later realized that CBD reduced resistin levels (this induces insulin resistance, which makes it harder for diabetics to modulate blood sugar levels).

It also enhanced their levels of insulinotropic peptide (a glucose-dependent hormone that ensures adequate insulin production from digested food). The results suggest that CBD might be a natural diabetes treatment since it helps your body manage insulin-related hormone levels.

The bottom line on the research behind CBD benefits

We need additional research behind CBD benefits. As of now, we know that CBD may be a beneficial, relatively non-toxic choice for coping with chronic pain, insomnia, and anxiety. Hopefully, the above information will help you make an informed decision before trying CBD.


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