You’ve probably already heard about CBD, the hemp extract that is said to treat a variety of ailments without making you high. Cannabidiol, or CBD, has been hugely popular among different demographics for treating pain, anxiety, and a host of other problems – but is there any real medical benefit to using CBD?
This poll conducted on behalf of Quartz showed that 85% of Americans have heard about CBD and at least one out of five have tried it and most people found it useful.
So why are people using CBD?
More than 50% of people using CBD are attempting to relax, and cannabidiol makes it possible to calm the nerves. The main question is whether or not CBD works for all the ailments people use it for; and as far as medical studies go, there haven’t been enough research into CBD – mainly because we only started taking it seriously a few years back. Let’s look at five of the main conditions CBD is used to treat, and the science behind it.
- CBD for Anxiety
Researchers have used lab rats to investigate how CBD can be used to treat anxiety. This particular study involved lab rats that were put in the same area with a predator snake (keep in mind none of the mice were harmed). The mice treated with CBD exhibited fewer “panic like” symptoms and the researchers concluded that CBD prevented anxiety and fear to some extent.
The research around humans is limited; however, studies such as this one show tremendous benefit to using CBD before going through a stressful situation such as public speaking.
- CBD for Sleeping Problems
A huge portion of the population have sleeping problems – some of which is caused by anxiety – and for many of these people, using sleeping pills is out of the question. Research into insomnia shows that CBD may be therapeutic for people who struggle to fall asleep, and it may be effective at increasing quality of sleep; meaning you get to sleep through the night.
Recently more than 400 people participated in a study in which they reported the effects of cannabis on sleep, and although this study used CBD in combination with THC and other cannabinoids, researchers still found that people who took higher strains of CBD reported improved sleep overall.
- CBD for Pain
Lab studies involving rats prove that CBD alleviates pain and may help with inflammation as well. This is attributed to the endocannabinoid system which works with CBD to reduce sensitivity to pain. This effect is seen in humans when CBD is taken in any form, and one of the industries that have grown from the popularity of CBD is the fitness industry, where pro athletes are using it to treat sore muscles and painful joints – basically the side effects of extreme workouts. Check out this study involving 117 people who took CBD to treat cancer-related pain. Individuals who took an extract containing CBD and THC were twice as likely to experience relief than people took THC alone. Using CBD alone also showed a reduction in pain.
- CBD for Migraines
There haven’t been enough studies on this but according to the director of the Headache Center at Jefferson University Hospital;there is every reason to think CBD may be effective at treating headaches.What is lacking is proper research and years of study to determine the long-term effects of CBD in people.
- CBD for Nausea
When used alone, CBD was shown in this studyto suppress the reflex of vomiting in musk shrews, but as for humans, it is likely that a combination of CBD and THC (or better yet, cannabidiol extracted from marijuana) is the best treatment against nausea. Having all the cannabinoids seems to do the trick, as far as research shows.It should be noted that marijuana is still illegal in many parts of the country, so unless your state laws allow recreational marijuana, we suggest you avoid this option.
Can CBD treat neurological disorders?
Even though most of the studies around CBD tend to revolve around pain relief and anxiety, there has been a lot of focus on what CBD could to reverse neurological damage particularly for people with Multiple Sclerosis, epilepsy, and other similar conditions. The FDA has shown an interest in CBD medication by approving one CBD-infused drug to treat a form of epilepsy; and naturally, this has led many researchers to look into how the compound can be used to improve similar conditions.
The results are promising, but more studies are needed to establish things like safety and to be able to predict results for patients. As of the moment, CBD seems pretty versatile as a medication.