CBD is a highly versatile compound with an almost endless list of health benefits. Many of those benefits are backed by scientific research. Until recently, most studies have been conducted on animal models or involved preclinical trials (with humans).
Today, however, we have access to a much broader knowledge base of the benefits of CBD and it appears that what thousands of people have been raving about in their testimonies now find support in modern science.
In this article, we’ll cover 7 research-backed benefits of CBD so that you can understand the “why” behind cannabidiol’s versatility.
Common Uses of CBD
There’s much anecdotal evidence supporting the efficacy of CBD oil in fighting a wide range of health issues, ranging from mild ailments to chronic problems.
These problems include:
- Muscle spasms
- Attention deficits
Below we shed light on scientific research regarding the benefits of CBD.
1. CBD as Preventive Supplement
Cannabinoid supplementation is closely associated to the part of the biological matrix where the brain and body meet. CBD is strikingly similar to the chemicals released by our own bodies, so it gets integrated better than many synthetic drugs.
Here’s what Bradley E. Alger, a leading scientist in the field of endocannabinoids with a PhD from Harvard, has to say about the way CBD interacts with our body and brain.
“With complex actions in our immune system, nervous system, and virtually all of the body’s organs, the endocannabinoids are literally a bridge between body and mind. By understanding this system, we begin to see a mechanism that could connect brain activity and states of physical health and disease.”
That’s why so many people use CBD oil for sheer supplementation — to balance endocannabinoid deficits and maintain their bodies in chemical equilibrium (homeostasis).
2. CBD and Anxiety
CBD is a promising anxiolytic agent. It shows great potential in the treatment of anxiety disorders, as stated in a study published in the journal Neurotherapeutics in 2015.
Experimental research, epidemiological studies, and clinical trials have found evidence that CBD may curb the discomfort in people struggling with social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
However, the authors of the review underline that human-based research is fairly scant at this point.
3. CBD & Addiction
CBD may prove beneficial to those with addiction and habit-forming predispositions, as suggested in the study published in the journal Substance Abuse in 2015. The analysis of 14 studies led the scientists to the conclusion that CBD may have therapeutic effects on addiction to alcohol, opioids, cocaine, and psychostimulants. Interestingly, they also found that CBD may be beneficial in the cannabis use disorder by altering the effects of THC.
4. CBD & Cardiovascular Health
According to a small 2017 study published in the journal JCI Insight, CBD may help in stress management and thus prevent stress-related changes in blood pressure. The study examined a group of healthy male volunteers took one dose of either CBD or placebo. Compared to the placebo group, those treated with CBD reported lower blood pressure under being exposed to a stressful situation.
5. CBD & Sleep Patterns
Among the many benefits of CBD, the way it aids sleep is why it has coined such a stellar reputation among people with sleep disorders.
As it turns out, CBD plays an important role in regulating our sleep-wake cycle. It does it on two levels. First, it boosts our daytime alertness; the level of alertness throughout the day is critical for helping us fall asleep at night. But more importantly, research indicates that CBD can reduce the time we need to enter the deep stage of sleep, and at the same time, it shortens the REM stage — the one during which we dream. CBD can also induce sedation in higher doses.
6. CBD & Brain Health
Cannabinoids can act as neuroprotectants, meaning they help maintain and regulate brain health. CBD takes part in the removal of damaged cells and improves the efficiency of mitochondria.
Moreover, CBD and other antioxidant cannabinoids work to reduce glutamate toxicity. Excessive glutamate damages cells and leads to their death. Therefore, CBD help protect brain cells from damage, keeping, maintaining the organ in good health.
With age, the creation of new neurons slows down in the brain. To keep the brain functioning properly, new cells need to be continuously formed. According to a 2008 study, low doses of CBD and THC prompt the creation of new nerve cells in rodents, even in aging brains.
7. CBD & Skin Health
The highest concentrations of CB2 receptors in the body can be found in the skin. When applied topically as CBD serum, lotion, or salve, CBD can repair damage from free radicals like UV rays and surrounding pollutants.
On top of that, CBD appears to regulate the oil production in the sebaceous glands through the skin’s CB2 receptors, bringing relief in conditions like acne or psoriasis.
Side Effects and Safety Concerns
Like most cannabinoids, CBD can induce a feeling of dry mouth, which is caused by CBD’s ability to inhibit saliva production. In addition, higher doses of CBD can lower blood pressure, which may lead to feelings of dizziness and lightheadedness.
CBD may also interact with plenty of medications, including prescription drugs. It blocks an enzyme in the liver responsible for processing drugs, increasing the concentration of certain medications and causing side effects that are not necessarily related to CBD itself.
Given this, before trying CBD oil, it’s important to consult potential side effects and drug interactions with your physician.
Final Thought on the Benefits of CBD
CBD holds great promise in helping with a variety of symptoms. Scientists are diving deeper into its therapeutic nature to reveal the reason behind its efficacy and versatility. While many health benefits of CBD come from animal studies and preclinical human trials, there are thousands of self-reports from individuals successfully using CBD oil for the conditions described in this article. We hope we’ve inspired you to dive into the research on cannabidiol yourself — and that this cannabinoid will improve (or already improves) the quality of your life.
What do you use CBD for?