Perhaps it’s better to ask what CBD oil is NOT used for. CBD is now widely used by healthy people and applied by many for a specific disease or health complaint. However, there is still insufficient scientific research done to provide evidence for all the current health claims. In many cases, there seems to be some correlation between CBD use and the reduction of complaints, but how effective CBD really is, remains to be demonstrated.
Cannabidiol is considered a safe supplement, and it’s freely available in many countries. Therefore, many people take the test themselves. If it doesn’t work, it won’t harm either.
We wondered what the most popular applications are at the moment. And whether there is scientific evidence for that. Let’s take a look!
What is CBD successfully used for in 2018?
CBD oil received media exposure in 2013 when CNN broadcast a legendary documentary about a three-year-old American girl with epilepsy. Charlotte Figi suffered from severe seizures from her first months of life (up to 200 per week) and largely got rid of them by using CBD oil.
CBD works on the adenosine receptor, which releases more adenosine and reduces epileptic activity in the brain. In recent years increasing research has been conducted with epilepsy patients such as at the University of Birmingham, Alabama, where patients had 50-60% fewer seizures thanks to CBD.
2. Pain relief
CBD oil does not work with acute pain, but seems to have a beneficial effect on all kinds of pain complaints, such as rheumatism (especially fibromyalgia) and osteoarthritis. A study with laboratory animals (2012) has shown that CBD can suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain. In 2005 it was found that CBD can have a positive effect on osteoarthritis, again in laboratory animals. Much research on humans has not yet been done, but we know that CBD works on the TRPV receptors (vanilloid receptors), which cause the nervous system to ignore pain. According to research at the University of Nottingham, CBD also reduces inflammation in joints. The relaxing effect of CBD oil would also contribute by relieving stress, and thus the pain symptoms.
3. Anxiety and stress
In 2011, scientists published an article in the Journal of Psychopharmacology on the relationship between CBD and social anxiety disorders. In that year it also appeared that taking CBD preventively is effective for anxiety, stress and the feeling of discomfort related to public speaking.
In 2017, researchers at the University of Sao Paulo also observed that CBD can reduce anxiety in people with a social anxiety disorder.
How does this work? CBD works on multiple receptors in the body, including the 5-HT1A serotonin receptor, which affects your mood. It would also work on the GABA receptor, which further explains the fear-reducing effect.
4. Sleeping problems
Many people with sleeping problems report that CBD has helped, amongst them a number of celebrities. Although there are many positive sounds to be heard, not everything has yet been scientifically substantiated. The calming effect is in any case a factor, making it easier for people to fall asleep. It can also positively influence the duration of sleep and improve the quality of sleep for Parkinson patients, people with chronic pain and people with PTSD. However, there is currently a lot of research underway into the exact effect, including by SEIN, the centre of expertise for epilepsy and sleep remedies.
Users indicate that dosage is important, and the moment of intake. Often a higher dose of CBD is needed immediately before going to bed. Many people benefit more from cannabis (because of THC) regarding their sleep problems.
There have been several studies that looked at the effects of cannabis and CBD in diabetes patients. So far, they only found that CBD can help to stabilize blood sugar levels and thus reduce the symptoms of diabetes a great deal in test animals. We are now waiting for more research on humans. However, an article was published in 2006 about a study with diabetic mice. The mice were given cannabidiol (CBD), this study showed that CBD can possibly slow down or even prevent destructive insulitis (harmful inflammations to the cells in the pancreas responsible for insulin production). In 2015, scientific research in mice discovered that cannabidiol can help treat a variety of diseases including type 2 diabetes, as it counteracts both oxidative stress and inflammation.
6. Parkinson’s disease
As of today, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, the only thing that can be done is symptom treatment. However, the Dutch Mediwiet Foundation is very positive about the role that cannabis oil can play in patients with this disease. Many people with Parkinson’s disease use cannabis oil, containing both CBD and THC, against spasms and muscle tension. From their experience it shows that this may help to improve a patient’s quality of life.
Not enough scientific research is done into CBD/THC and its effects on Parkinson’s disease. And the studies that have been done are slightly positive or neutral. An example is a study by the University of São Paulo in which researchers found that there are indications for a positive effect on both symptoms and quality of life when patients with Parkinson’s disease use CBD. The test group was very small so more research is needed to come up with definitive conclusions.
7. As a supplement, by mostly healthy people
Both publications and user experiences have led to a list of health benefits for CBD. Because the receptors of the endocannabinoid system are located all over the body, CBD can affect the head, heart, nervous system, skin, muscles and joints as well as increasing the body’s defense in humans and animals.
The most well-known properties of cannabidiol as a supplement are:
- Stimulates and activates the immune system
- Promotes the natural defense system of body cells
- Accelerates recovery after illness or discomfort, making your body fit and vital again
- Reduces muscle tension
- Relaxing in case of restlessness and stress situations
- Beneficial for the nervous system
- Improves mental alertness
- Targets aging (anti-oxidant)
- For the maintenance of healthy cells and tissues
- Improves the drainage of lymphatic fluid (and thus waste products)
- For maintaining strong bones and good bone growth
- Can be used for stiff and stuck muscles or morning stiffness
- Stimulates the intestinal function and is beneficial for a balanced intestinal flora
CBD is also succesfully administered to dogs, cats and horses.
We encourage everyone to compare CBD oil before they buy. It’s your health, choose carefully.
Let us know what’s your preferred application for CBD oil via the comments.