Cannabidiol, for example in the form of CBD oil, is a natural substance with a surprisingly large number of beneficial effects on our health.
It is better known as CBD and is one of a total of 113 cannabinoids, the active ingredients contained in the cannabis plant.
In contrast to THC, which is responsible for the intoxicating effects of marijuana, CBD does not count as such psychoactive substances. So you do not get “high” by taking CBD oil, as is the case with smoking marijuana.
Health effect of the cannabis plant
Thus, cannabidiol is a good option for all people who are only interested in the health effects of the cannabis plant, but not in its intoxicating effect.
The CBD oil is made by extracting the cannabidiol from the cannabis plant. The extract is then dissolved in a carrier oil, e.g. in hemp seed oil or coconut oil, dissolved.
The CBD oil is made by extracting the cannabidiol from the cannabis plant.
In the health sector, CBD oil is now well known for its anxiolytic and analgesic properties. The study on the health effects of CBD oil has also improved significantly in recent years.
Here are seven positive scientifically proven effects of CBD oil on our health:
1. Pain relief
Marijuana was used for pain relief as early as 2,900 BC.
Recent studies have identified the drugs responsible for analgesic, including CBD.
The endocannabinoid system
In our brain there is a so-called Endocannabinoid system, which is involved in the regulation of numerous body functions such as sleep, appetite, pain and the immune system.
Endocannabinoids are endogenous substances that – similar to other neurotransmitters – can dock with corresponding receptors in our nervous system and have their effect there.
In the health sector, CBD oil is now well known for its anxiolytic and analgesic properties.
Studies have shown that CBD has an analgesic effect, mainly because CBD affects the activity of endocannabinoid receptors.
CBD is anti-inflammatory
In addition, the anti-inflammatory effect of CBD oil in pain relief is helpful.
CBD in multiple sclerosis and arthritis
Several studies in humans have also shown that a combination of CBD and THC is effective in pain associated with multiple sclerosis or arthritis.
That is why in many countries a spray called Sativex, which contains a combination of THC and CBD, is approved for pain relief in MS patients.
In a study of 47 MS patients treated with Sativex for one month, there was a significant improvement in not only the pain but also the frequent muscle spasms in MS compared to the placebo group.
Summary: CBD, especially in combination with THC, is very effective in relieving pain – even in severe pain, such as multiple sclerosis or arthritis.
2. Anxiety disorders and depression treatment
Mental illness, especially Anxiety disorders and depression, are very common these days and unfortunately continue to gain ground. For the affected people, these diseases are usually associated with strong personal suffering.
Depression is already the number one cause of disability or premature retirement worldwide, with anxiety disorders in sixth place.
Usually, anxiety disorders and depression are treated with psychotropic drugs such as antidepressants, neuroleptics or benzodiazepines. The intake of such drugs is often associated with significant side effects. These include drowsiness and fatigue, sleep disorders, sexual dysfunction, headache and much more.
Psychotropic drugs sometimes have a high dependence potential.
Some medications, especially anxiety-relieving medicines and tranquilizers such as benzodiazepines are still highly addictive and often lead to drug abuse.
The results of some studies on CBD and mental illness are promising and have already aroused the interest of those affected in CBD oil as an alternative to psychotropic drugs.
CBD in social anxiety disorder
In one study, 24 people with social anxiety disorder received either 600 mg CBD or a placebo. The result: the CBD group showed a significant reduction in anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort compared to the placebo group.
CBD in post-traumatic stress disorder
In another study, CBD oil was successfully used in children who suffered from sleep problems and anxiety due to post-traumatic stress.
Post-traumatic stress can e.g. lead to nutritional problems, sleep disorders or anxieties.
The positive effect of CBD oil on psychiatric disorders stems from the fact that CBD acts on the serotonin receptors in our brain, thereby influencing our mood and our fears.
However, at this time, the antidepressant effect of CBD oil has been demonstrated in only a few animal studies.
Summary: Ingestion of CBD oil alleviates anxiety disorders as well as depression, which has been demonstrated in human studies and animal studies.
3. Help with cancer complaints and its treatments
CBD can also alleviate the symptoms of cancer – either from the cancer itself or from cancer treatment such as radiation or chemotherapy. Such symptoms include nausea, vomiting and pain.
CBD helps against side effects of chemotherapy
One study examined the effects of CBD and THC on 177 cancer patients suffering from pain that could not be alleviated with conventional analgesics. In the group of patients taking a combination of the two active substances CBD and THC, a significantly greater pain relief was observed than in the group of patients who only received one THC extract.
Two other studies have demonstrated the efficacy of CBD against nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.
Side effects of cancer treatments are difficult to treat
There are already other drugs against the side effects of chemotherapy on the market. However, these are ineffective in some cases, so CBD can be a good alternative for those affected.
CBD oil can help against nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy
Some in vitro studies, as well as some animal studies, even suggest antitumor efficacy of CBD oil, which would mean that CBD also works against the cancer itself. However, further studies (on humans) are necessary for this.
Summary: CBD has great potential to reduce the side effects of cancer therapies. However, the potential antitumor effect of CBD has yet to be proven in further studies to be considered safe.
4. Acne treatment
Acne is a common skin disease that affects up to 9% of the population. The causes of acne are many. Genetic predisposition, bacteria, inflammation of the skin and overproduction of sebum play an important role.
CBD is anti-inflammatory and slows down sebum production
According to current studies, CBD can be helpful in acne therapy because it not only has an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin but also restricts sebum production.
In an in vitro study, it has been shown that the activity of sebaceous gland cells is reduced by CBD and that on the other hand anti-inflammatory processes of the skin are stimulated.
Another study came to similar conclusions, suggesting that taking CBD could be a safe and effective treatment for acne. However, the results should be substantiated by human studies.
Summary: CBD may be an effective treatment for acne because it has anti-inflammatory effects and can stop the overproduction of sebum.
5. Effect on Neurological diseases
Recent studies also show that the effect of CBD on our endocannabinoid system and the effect on other signaling pathways in our brain has the potential to help in neurological diseases.
CBD in epilepsy and multiple sclerosis
So a large study examined the treatment of epilepsy and multiple sclerosis with CBD oil. Although research in this area is still in its infancy, there are already initial studies with promising results.
Sativex, a spray with a combination of the active ingredients CBD and THC, which is absorbed through the oral mucosa, reduces muscle spasms in MS patients. A study with Sativex found that in 75% of 276 MS patients, spasms could be reduced by taking CBD, although other medications were ineffective in these people.
Another study examined the effect of CBD in epileptics and concluded that epileptic seizures were reduced by an average of 36.5%.
CBD in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease
Further studies examined the effect of CBD on Parkinson’s disease and on Alzheimer’s disease, and each of them was able to detect improvement in symptoms.
Summary: Although CBD research on neurological diseases is still in its infancy, initial results suggest that CBD may improve the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease.
6. Effect on Cardiovascular Diseases
Another health effect of cannabidiol is on the cardiovascular system, first of all its ability to lower elevated blood pressure.
CBD reduces blood pressure
Hypertension is a major risk factor for a variety of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack or stroke, as well as a cofactor of the metabolic syndrome.
Some studies have shown that CBD is a natural and effective treatment for high blood pressure.
The stress-reducing effect of cannabidiol
In a study of 10 healthy men, it was shown that taking 600 mg of CBD reduced blood pressure compared to the placebo group.
The same study exposed the men to stress, which naturally causes a rise in blood pressure. In the CBD group, however, the increase in blood pressure was lower than in the control group.
CBD oil can reduce stress, for example at work.
The researchers suspect that anxiolytic effect of CBD oil is responsible for the hypotensive effect.
Equally important is the insight gained from some animal studies: they found that CBD protects against inflammation and early cell death, which is common in cardiovascular diseases.
Summary: Even though more studies in humans are needed, taking CBD is obviously good for our heart health by lowering blood pressure and protecting our heart.
7. Further effects
In addition to those already mentioned, CBD has other health benefits:
- CBD is antipsychotic and therefore suitable for people with schizophrenia.
- CBD can be used by drug addicts to relieve withdrawal symptoms. This CBD ability has been demonstrated in morphologically or heroin-dependent rats for study purposes.
- CBD has anti-tumor effects. Animal studies have shown that CBD can control the spread of certain cancers, such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon or lung cancer.
- CBD is helpful for the prevention diabetes, as evidenced by a study in mice.
The efficacy of CBD oil has been studied and proven in many health conditions such as anxiety disorders, depression, acne and cardiovascular diseases.
For cancer patients, CBD can be a great way to relieve pain and other symptoms that are common in cancer and cancer therapy.
As research on the health effects of CBD oil is still relatively young, we can expect to see more effects in the near future. Although the efficacy and safety of CBD oil continues to be explored, it can already be said that taking CBD oil is a relatively side effect-free and effective natural treatment for many health conditions.