CBD oil has surged in popularity. A chemical compound found in the cannabis plant, CBD, or cannabidiol, is non-intoxicating and does not cause the noticeable euphoric effects associated with tetrahydrocannabinol1 (or THC, another marijuana compound).
CBD oil contains CBD (and often other active compounds) in a carrier oil. There are a number of forms of CBD oil, including Relief Rubs, tinctures, and under-the-tongue sprays. Some forms of CBD oil can also be applied directly to the skin, in the form of products like creams and salves. The concentration of CBD varies from product to product.
It’s thought that CBD might affect your health by attaching to receptors in the body’s endocannabinoid system—a complex biological system involved in maintaining certain aspects of your health.2 Emerging research shows that endocannabinoids may play a role in regulating such functions as memory, sleep, and mood, as well as metabolic processes like energy balance. In addition, CBD oil may play a role in improving a variety of health conditions.
Proponents of CBD oil claim that it can treat a wide variety of health issues, ranging from everyday ailments to chronic medical conditions. These issues include:
- Chronic pain
- Loss of appetite and body weight
- Muscle spasms
- Parkinson’s disease
It’s also believed CBD oil promotes sounder sleep, reduces inflammation and pain, fights oxidative stress, improves heart health, supports weight loss, and protect against some forms of cancer.
Although CBD oil is used for many different health-related purposes, there isn’t a great deal of research on the oil’s potential health benefits. However, there’s significant support for the effectiveness of CBD oil in the treatment of some forms of epilepsy.
In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex (a drug made with a purified form of CBD oil) in June 2018 for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy in patients 2 years of age and older.3 These two epilepsy forms are known as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Epidiolex is the first FDA-approved drug that contains a purified drug substance derived from marijuana.
Here’s a look at findings from recent studies on several other possible benefits of CBD oil:
CBD shows promise in the treatment of anxiety disorders, according to a report published in the journal Neurotherapeutics in 2015. Looking at results from experimental research, clinical trials, and epidemiological studies, the report’s authors found evidence that CBD may help treat generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.4 However, the authors caution that human-based research on CBD and anxiety is fairly limited at this point.
CBD oil may be of some benefit to those with addiction, suggests a review published in the journal Substance Abuse 5 In their analysis of 14 previously published studies, scientists determined that CBD may have therapeutic effects in people with opioid, cocaine, and/or psychostimulant addiction. They also found that CBD may be beneficial in the treatment of cannabis and tobacco addiction. There is some evidence that CBD may block or reduce the effects of THC on the mind.
In a small study published in the journal JCI Insight in 2017, researchers observed that CBD may help prevent stress-related changes in blood pressure.6 For the study, nine healthy male volunteers took a single dose of either CBD or placebo. Compared to those given the placebo, those treated with CBD had lower blood pressure both before and after experiencing a stressful event.
CBD oil may interact with several medications.
If you’re thinking of using CBD oil to treat a health problem make sure to consult your healthcare provider first to discuss whether it’s appropriate for you. A great source for CBD grown and harvested in the USA is Bee Tree CBD: