WHAT ARE THE ACTUAL BENEFITS OF CBD?
The buzz around CBD continues to grow as hemp deregulation spreads across the country. Stories of CBD healing a bedridden child or an autistic individual has inspired hope in those parents looking for an alternative remedy. Yet, ironically, when you try to actually look up the benefits of this chemical, it’s quite impossible to find. It seems like a lot of people are writing about how promising it is. But everyone is tiptoeing around the actual question. What does it actually do for you?
So is it a hoax? Is CBD the modern day snake oil?
From our research, we can confidently say that CBD is definitely not a fraud. Too many doctors, researchers, and even personal testimonials backing its performance have come out to deny the benefits of CBD.
So then, why such lack of transparency? With all the technology that exists today, why don’t we know more about CBD? We’ll dig into that a bit later, but let’s first start off with why there’s so much hope and hype behind this chemical.
WHAT THE MEDIA SAYS ABOUT CBD
The media continues to fuel the momentum behind CBD, as reports continue to pour out that praise and proclaim the benefits of CBD. Here are just a few examples:
- “For the first time in a decade, he is living like a normal boy.” – Wired
- “Immediately after starting the cannabis oil, Ryan went into his longest remission ever” – Fox 17
- “Cannabis oil cures boy of cancer after doctors gave him 48 hours to live” – Green Rush Daily
- “Charlotte is largely seizure-free and able to walk, talk and feed herself after taking oil infused with a special pot strain” – CBS
- “Dog owners use CBD oil to treat pain, nausea, anxiety” – Fox 10
- “Her son went from self-harming behavior like banging his head to being able to ride a bike. “ – Forbes
Even with all these miracle stories, all these stories do conclude with inconclusive remarks and some skepticism. This ambiguity definitely doesn’t help the customers who are looking to CBD as a potential cure. They’re asked thinking What are its actual benefits? How does it work? Why don’t we know more about it?
WHY THERE’S LACK OF TRANSPARENCY BEHIND CBD
This lack of transparency can be boiled down to a couple reasons that are all intertwined. First, what’s holding everything back is the taboo against cannabis (“marijuana”) that continues to exist in our society. We still hear amazingly exaggerated horror stories of what marijuana can do to us. The Reefer Madness that started back in the 1930s hasn’t gone away.
This taboo, which started around the same time that the US government outlawed cannabis, continues to slow down the progress for medical research around CBD. The FDA and DEA refuse to change their stance on cannabis, which is quite odd considering the US government holds onto a patent that highlights the benefits of CBD. Ultimately, all of this taboo and restrictions have inhibited extensive research around CBD and all the other cannabinoids in cannabis. (Cannabis is known to have 85+ different cannabinoids, many of them potentially having health benefits)
Due to the inconclusive research, it’s hard for any CBD brand to claim any actual benefits for their products. Objectively claiming a certain benefit without approval by the FDA is not only ethically wrong, but it could also lead to legal trouble for these companies.
WHAT PRELIMINARY RESEARCH TELLS US: CBD HEMP OIL BENEFITS
Although the effects of CBD aren’t conclusive, we can discuss what preliminary research shows. To be clear, there has been tremendous progress in the research behind CBD. We now know how CBD actually interacts with our body and brain. What is still to be determined is what those interactions actually translates to.
So, research and clinical trials continue as researchers seek to define the concrete benefits of this chemical. It is important to note that much of this progress continues to be slowed down by the fact that our government does not budge on its stance against cannabis.
Yet, progress is progress. The list that we have complied below shows the findings that our science community has found when it comes to the benefits of CBD. This list was organized by going through medical journals and research publications.
CBD first came to the national spotlight when CNN’s documentary highlighted how the hemp extract improved Charlotte’s conditions, a child suffering from dravet syndrome. Complementing this story, several anecdotal evidence and initial research show that CBD has strong implications to help patients with epilepsy.
Here are the snippets and corresponding links behind the conclusion reached from research and clinical trials done behind epilepsy and CBD:
- Evidence strongly supports CBD as therapeutic candidate for a diverse range of human epilepsies (Source)
- CBD was an effective and relatively potent anticonvulsant in both maximal electroshock and audiogenic seizure tests (Source)
2. Chronic Pain
Early results imply that CBD can help reduce chronic pain, especially those related to nerve pain.
- The results indicate a potential for therapeutic use of cannabidiol in chronic painful states. (Source)
- We report that systemic and intrathecal administration of cannabidiol (CBD) significantly suppress chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain without causing apparent analgesic tolerance (Source)
- Cannabis sativa extracts, containing known doses of tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, have granted approval in Canada for the relief of neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis.
One of CBD’s most promising implications have been in its anti-anxiety properties. Some pet owners have even reported that using CBD oil on their dogs have helped treat them for anxiety issues. Early clinical trials have shown that this seems to be the case for both humans and animals:
- Studies using animal models of anxiety and involving healthy volunteers clearly suggest an anxiolytic-like effect of CBD. Moreover, CBD was shown to reduce anxiety in patients with social anxiety disorder.(Source)
- Pretreatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly decreased alert in their anticipatory speech. (Source)
- Results suggest that CBD reduces anxiety in social anxiety disorder and that this is related to its effects on activity in limbic and paralimbic brain areas.(Source)
CBD dosing experiments have shown that small dosages of CBD has an “Active” effect, which means that it actually helps you stay active and focused. Interestingly, large dosages have the opposite effect: a sedative effect. More research has to show what is the optimal dosage to take for the anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects to be optimal, but it’s something one can also experiment with to find the dosage that suits them best.
- CBD exhibited an anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects in animal models discussed (Source)
- Our results demonstrate that CBD exerts fast and maintained antidepressant-like effects as evidenced by the reversal of the OBX-induced hyperactivity and anhedonia. In conclusion, our findings indicate that CBD could represent a novel fast antidepressant drug, via enhancing both serotonergic and glutamate cortical signalling through a 5-HT1A receptor-dependent mechanism. (Source)
CBD’s benefits of alleviating joint pains has been the main reason behind brands developing topicals infused with CBD. You can find many brands who are starting to offer lotions or muscle freeze applications that include CBD.
- CBD was administered after onset of clinical symptoms, and in both models of arthritis the treatment effectively blocked progression of arthritis. CBD was equally effective when administered i.p. or orally. (Source)
The results of testing for CBD’s effects on diabetes is in a very primitive stage. However, early findings have shown that cannabinoids (both THC and CBD) can have positive effects in slowing down cell damages that are related to diabetes.
- We now report that CBD treatment significantly reduces the incidence of diabetes in NOD mice from an incidence of 86% in non-treated control mice to an incidence of 30% in CBD-treated mice. (Source)
- In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 62 subjects with noninsulin-treated type 2 diabetes were randomized to five treatment arms: CBD (100 mg twice daily). CBD decreased resistin (-898 pg/ml; P < 0.05) and increased glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (21.9 pg/ml; P < 0.05) (Source)
- Evidence is emerging that some nonpsychotropic plant cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, can be employed to retard β-cell damage in type 1 diabetes (Source)
7. Drug Addiction, Alcoholism & Smoking
This would be quite an ironic benefit and application of CBD. Using a compound of a Schedule 1 Drug (marijuana) to stop the addiction of other narcotics. One of the most promising application is using CBD to curb the habits of cigarette smokers.
Early clinical trials have shown that CBD can reduce nicotine addiction and have actually reduced the number of cigarettes smoked by 40%!
- Cannabidiol (CBD), the second most abundant component of cannabis, is thought to modulate various neuronal circuits involved in drug addiction. A limited number of preclinical studies suggest that CBD may have therapeutic properties on opioid, cocaine, and psychostimulant addiction, and some preliminary data suggest that it may be beneficial in cannabis and tobacco addiction in humans. (Source)
- CBD can be effective for the treatment of cannabis withdrawal syndrome. (Source)
- These results demonstrate the feasibility of using CBD transdermal delivery systems for the treatment of alcohol-induced neurodegeneration. (Source)
- The role of the endocannabinoid system in nicotine addiction is being increasingly acknowledged. Those treated with CBD significantly reduced the number of cigarettes smoked by ~40% during treatment. (Source)
It is true that more research needs to be done to conclusively state these findings as actual benefits of CBD. However, all of these initial results have very promising and powerful implications. Many of these could replace synthetic drugs that have flooded the market and allow patients and customers to use a natural plant as a remedy.
But then again, maybe that’s the exact reason why progress has been so slow… approval of CBD as a legitimate supplement and drug would be a significant blow to big pharmaceutical companies. Just a food for thought.