6 CBD Oil Health Benefits — and a Look at the Side Effects
Cannabidiol is a widely utilised natural treatment for a variety of diseases.
CBD (cannabidiol) is one of over 100 chemical components called cannabinoids discovered in the cannabis plant, Cannabis sativa (1Trusted Source).
The psychoactive cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the most common psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, which means it causes the high feeling. CBD, on the other hand, is not psychotropic like THC.
CBD is an enticing choice for people seeking pain and symptom treatment without the mind-altering effects of cannabis or the additional adverse effects associated with some pharmaceutical medicines.
CBD oil is created by extracting CBD from cannabis plants and diluting it with a carrier oil such as coconut or hemp seed oil. CBD can be available in a range of goods, including dietary supplements, bath soaks, drinks, and food, both online and in stores.
It’s gaining popularity in the health and wellness sector, with some scientific research indicating that it can help with symptoms of chronic pain and anxiety. Is it, however, the best option for you?
This article discusses the 6 scientifically validated health advantages of CBD, as well as the potential negative effects and safety concerns associated with CBD products.
Is CBD legal in the United States?
CBD products made from hemp (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal in the United States, however they are still banned in several states.
CBD products produced from cannabis are prohibited on the federal level, although they are lawful in several states.
Check the laws of your home state as well as the laws of any country you visit. Also, nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approvedTrusted Source and may be labelled incorrectly.
It has the potential to ease discomfort.
Since 2900 B.C., cannabis has been used to alleviate pain (2Trusted Source).
Scientists have recently discovered that some components of cannabis, such as CBD, are responsible for its pain-relieving properties.
The endocannabinoid system is a specialised system in the human body that regulates a range of processes, including sleep, hunger, pain sensation, and immune system response (3Trusted Source).
Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters produced by the body that connect to cannabinoid receptors in the nervous system.
CBD has been proven to alleviate chronic pain by changing endocannabinoid receptor function, decreasing inflammation, and interacting with neurotransmitters, according to research (4Trusted Source).
When used alone, CBD appears to be useful for specific forms of pain, including nerve pain and back pain, according to some research. However, it appears to work best when paired with THC (5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).
A combination of CBD and THC has been demonstrated to be useful in relieving pain associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) and arthritis in several human studies.
Sativex (nabiximols), an oral spray containing a 1:1 ratio of THC and CBD, is licenced in numerous countries to alleviate pain associated with MS.
The effects of using Sativex for a month were investigated in a trial including 47 persons with MS. Pain, walking abilities, and muscle spasms all improved for the subjects (7Trusted Source).
However, because the study lacked a control group, placebo effects cannot be ruled out (7Trusted Source).
Sativex may help those with MS-related neuropathic pain and persistent severe neuropathic pain, according to one study. Sativex may also assist with worry and stress, which are important causes of chronic pain, according to the study (8Trusted Source).
CBD may also help with the symptoms of rheumatic disorders like fibromyalgia, according to certain studies.
According to a poll of 2,701 patients with fibromyalgia, those who took CBD for pain management reported a slight to major improvement in their symptoms (9Trusted Source).
CBD may have positive effects on pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, according to preclinical evidence from rat research, but human trials are sparse (10Trusted Source).
Although researchers are cautiously optimistic that CBD could be useful in the treatment of some forms of pain, particularly when paired with THC, further high-quality trials are needed to determine its efficacy in pain management.
CBD, particularly when combined with THC, may be useful in relieving pain associated with diseases like MS and fibromyalgia. Still, additional research is needed to see if it can be used to treat pain.
May help to alleviate the symptoms of some mental illnesses.
Anxiety disorders and other mental health conditions can have serious consequences for one’s general health and well-being.
Pharmaceutical medications are frequently used to treat mental health illnesses, but they can have a variety of side effects, including sleepiness, agitation, sleeplessness, sexual dysfunction, and headaches (11Trusted Source).
Furthermore, many drugs, such as benzodiazepines, have the potential to cause addiction and lead to substance use disorder.
CBD oil has showed potential as a treatment for several mental health issues, such as anxiety disorders, which has piqued the interest of many people who suffer from these conditions.
In a study conducted in Brazil, 57 males were given either oral CBD or a placebo 90 minutes before taking a simulated public speaking test. The researchers discovered that a 300-mg CBD dose was the most efficient at reducing anxiety during the test (12Trusted Source).
Those who received the placebo, a 150-mg dose of CBD, or a 600-mg dose of CBD reported little to no effect (12Trusted Source).
In children with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a kind of anxiety condition, CBD oil has been used to successfully treat insomnia and anxiety (13Trusted Source).
CBD was also found to be useful in lowering PTSD-related symptoms in adults, including nightmares, in a small 2019 trial (14Trusted Source).
CBD has been demonstrated to be beneficial in the treatment of social anxiety and other anxiety-related diseases in several previous trials (15Trusted Source).
Despite the fact that some people report that CBD helps with depression symptoms, human proof of CBD’s putative antidepressant properties is still lacking (15Trusted Source).
Several studies, however, suggest that it may help people with cannabis use disorders reduce their depressive symptoms (15Trusted Source).
The effects of CBD on anxiety and depression symptoms are still being studied.
In fact, in April 2022, a study investigating the potential effectiveness of 150–300 mg of CBD per day for 12 weeks on anxiety and depression symptoms in patients with bipolar disorder will be completed (15Trusted Source).
CBD has been demonstrated to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with anxiety disorders. CBD is currently being researched for its potential application in the treatment of different mental health conditions.
It has the potential to relieve some cancer-related symptoms.
Some cancer-related symptoms and side effects associated with cancer therapy, such as nausea, vomiting, and pain, may be helped by CBD.
An earlier study looked at the effects of CBD and THC in 177 persons who were suffering from cancer-related pain and had not found relief from pain medicines.
When compared to individuals who just received THC extract, those who received an extract containing both chemicals saw a considerable reduction in discomfort (16Trusted Source).
Sativex may assist some people with cancer-related pain, according to an analysis of five research (17Trusted Source).
However, research on the effects of cannabis and cannabinoids like CBD on cancer-related nausea, discomfort, and decreased appetite has yielded inconsistent results (18Trusted Source).
Although CBD may be beneficial for some cancer patients, additional research is needed to establish whether CBD should be used more frequently to control cancer symptoms.
If you have cancer and want to use CBD or other cannabis-derived products, you should speak with your doctor first. These products may not be suitable, safe, or effective for all cancer patients.
Though CBD may help some patients with cancer-related symptoms, research findings are currently mixed, and more research is needed to determine its efficacy and safety.
It’s possible that it has neuroprotective qualities.
CBD’s potential to effect on the endocannabinoid system and other brain-signaling systems, according to researchers, could help people with neurological illnesses.
In fact, treating neurological illnesses like epilepsy and MS is one of the most researched uses for CBD. Several studies have showed encouraging outcomes, despite the fact that research in this area is still relatively new.
Sativex has been proved to be a safe and effective technique for persons with MS to relieve muscle stiffness.
It reduced spasms in 75% of 276 persons with MS who had muscle stiffness that had become resistant to treatment (19Trusted Source).
In another study, researchers administered 0.9–2.3 grammes of CBD oil per pound (2–5 grammes per kg) of body weight to 214 patients with severe epilepsy. Their seizures decreased by 36.5 percent on average (20Trusted Source).
Another study indicated that when compared to a placebo, CBD oil dramatically reduced seizure activity in children with Dravet syndrome, a complicated paediatric epilepsy illness (21Trusted Source).
However, several participants in both studies had adverse reactions to CBD medication, including seizures, fever, and exhaustion.
CBD has also being studied for its ability to treat a variety of other neurological disorders.
Treatment with CBD, for example, has been proven in multiple studies to enhance quality of life and sleep in persons with Parkinson’s disease (22Trusted Source).
However, the researchers point out that there is currently a scarcity of good data. That means there isn’t enough data to warrant the use of CBD in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease in clinical trials (22Trusted Source)
However, the FDA has approved one CBD product for use in the treatment of numerous epileptic disorders.
In 2018, the FDA authorised Epidiolex, a prescription cannabidiol medication, for the treatment of seizures associated with two severe forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
Epidiolex was approved by the FDA in 2020 for the treatment of tuberous sclerosis complex seizures, a rare genetic disorder that causes benign tumours to form in the brain and other parts of the body (23Trusted Source).
CBD may be useful in the treatment of seizures caused by a variety of medical disorders. Epidiolex, a prescription CBD medication, has been approved by the FDA to treat seizures caused by uncommon epilepsy disorders such Dravet syndrome.
It has the potential to improve heart health.
CBD has been related to many heart and circulatory system benefits, including the capacity to decrease high blood pressure, according to some research.
High blood pressure has been related to an increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and metabolic syndrome, among other health problems (24Trusted Source).
CBD has been shown in studies to help persons with high blood pressure.
Nine healthy men were given 600 mg of CBD oil in a small research. When compared to a placebo, CBD therapy reduced resting blood pressure (25Trusted Source).
The guys were also put through stress tests, which are known to raise blood pressure. Surprisingly, the men’s blood pressure increased less than expected in response to these tests after just one dose of CBD (25Trusted Source).
Another study of 26 healthy males revealed that taking 600 mg of CBD for 7 days reduced blood pressure significantly in the short term when compared to a placebo group. The impact, however, was eliminated after 7 days (26Trusted Source).
After repeated dosages over time, the CBD group maintained lower blood pressure levels in response to stress than the placebo group.
In comparison to the placebo group, the CBD group showed reduced arterial stiffness and better blood flow through their arteries following repeated CBD administration (26Trusted Source).
Overall, these findings are encouraging, but more research into the potential heart health advantages of CBD treatment is needed.
CBD may enhance heart health in a variety of ways, including lowering blood pressure and enhancing arterial function, though more human studies are needed.
Other possible advantages
Other than the health conditions listed above, CBD has been explored for its function in treating a variety of ailments.
CBD is thought to provide the following health benefits, though further research is needed:
Antipsychotic properties CBD has been shown in studies to aid persons with schizophrenia and other mental illnesses by lowering psychotic symptoms (27Trusted Source).
Treatment for substance abuse. CBD may help those who are addicted to certain substances, such as heroin, to feel less anxious and depressed (28Trusted Source, 29Trusted Source).
Glioblastoma patients may be able to live longer. Recent research suggests that combining CBD and THC could help some patients with glioblastoma live longer, but more research is needed (30Trusted Source).
Sleep quality may improve. Some studies suggest that CBD may help people with sleep disorders sleep better, but further research is needed (31Trusted Source, 32Trusted Source).
CBD may aid with substance addiction issues, mental health illnesses, and some types of malignancies, according to certain studies. However, more human study is needed to learn more about these potential consequences.
CBD products’ potential negative effects
Although CBD is generally well tolerated and considered safe, some people may experience negative side effects.
The following are some of the side effects that have been reported in research (33Trusted Source, 34Trusted Source):
Appetite and weight fluctuations
In childhood epilepsy research, further side effects such as abnormal liver function test findings, sleepiness, sedation, and pneumonia have been documented. However, these side effects could be caused by CBD combining with other drugs like clobazam (34Trusted Source).
CBD interacts with a variety of drugs, including pain relievers, antidepressants, seizure meds, and diabetes medications, to name a few. Consult a healthcare expert before using CBD oil to ensure your safety and avoid any potentially hazardous interactions (35Trusted Source, 36Trusted Source).
It’s also worth noting that the market is currently flooded with CBD products, many of which are of poor quality.
CBD is used in meals, beverages, nutritional supplements, and personal care products, and it is frequently promoted as a way to alleviate stress, pain, and sleep problems.
This does not, however, imply that you should incorporate any of these foods into your diet or wellness programme.
While some evidence suggests that CBD may be beneficial for specific areas of health, dosage in research studies varies substantially. It’s tough to know what dosage is best for addressing various health problems.
Furthermore, many products contain a combination of chemicals rather than just CBD. Dietary supplements containing CBD and a blend of herbal substances, for example, may not be suitable for everyone, as many herbs can interfere with widely prescribed drugs.
Consult a healthcare expert before using a CBD product to discuss proper dosing and any other concerns you may have.
If you do decide to take CBD, be sure it has been checked for quality and purity by a third party.
NuLeaf Naturals and Bluebird Botanicals are two companies that provide CBD products that have been tested by authorised third-party labs and provide batch results on their websites.
Although CBD is usually regarded harmless, some people may have side effects such as diarrhoea and exhaustion. It may also interact with some drugs, resulting in potentially dangerous adverse effects.
Last but not least
CBD oil has been examined for its possible involvement in relieving the symptoms of a variety of common health problems, including as anxiety and neurological disorders. It may also boost heart health and aid in the relief of certain forms of discomfort.
Keep in mind that some of these health benefits are linked to the usage of CBD in conjunction with THC rather than CBD alone.
Research into the effects of CBD on specific illnesses is currently ongoing, and there is still a lot to learn about CBD’s potential applications.
If you’re thinking about using CBD to treat a health problem or improve your overall health, talk to your doctor first. They can assist you in determining whether or not adding a CBD product to your regimen is appropriate, as well as assisting you in selecting the ideal product.