CBD is an abbreviation for cannabinoid. Cannabinoid is a natural substance found in cannabis, also known as marijuana, and also in hemp plants. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, which means it causes the sensation of getting high that’s often associated with cannabis. Unlike its cousin THC, CBD is not intoxicating or psychoactive. CBD can be used to treat conditions such as chronic pain, inflammation, migraines, epilepsy, autoimmune diseases, depression, and anxiety. CBD is being studied as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Cannabidiol is a popular natural remedy used for many common ailments.
These qualities makes CBD an appealing option for those who are looking for relief from pain and other symptoms without the mind-altering effects of cannabis or other side effects related to some pharmaceutical drugs.
The human body contains a specialized system called the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in regulating a variety of functions, including sleep, appetite, pain sensation, and immune system response. The body produces endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system. Studies have shown that CBD may help reduce chronic pain by affecting endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation, and interacting with neurotransmitters. A study that included survey data from 2,701 people with fibromyalgia found that those who used CBD for pain relief generally reported slight to significant improvement in symptoms.
Anxiety disorders and other mental health disorders can have devastating impacts on overall health and well-being. Mental health disorders are often treated with pharmaceutical drugs, which can cause a number of side effects, including drowsiness, agitation, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, and headaches. What’s more, medications like benzodiazepines have the potential for dependence and may lead to substance use disorder.
In a Brazilian study, 57 men received either oral CBD or a placebo 90 minutes before they underwent a simulated public speaking test. The researchers found that a 300-mg dose of CBD was the most effective at significantly reducing anxiety during the test.
CBD oil has been used to safely treat insomnia and anxiety in children with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a type of anxiety disorder.
A small 2019 study also found that CBD was effective for reducing PTSD-related symptoms, including nightmares, in adults.
One of the most studied uses for CBD is in treating neurological disorders such as epilepsy and MS. Though research in this area is still relatively new, several studies have shown promising results; reducing spasms in 75% of 276 people with MS who were experiencing muscle spasticity that was resistant to medications.
In another study, researchers gave 214 people with severe epilepsy 0.9–2.3 grams of CBD oil per pound (2–5 grams per kg) of body weight. Their seizures reduced by a median of 36.5%.
One more study found that CBD oil significantly reduced seizure activity in children with Dravet syndrome, a complex childhood epilepsy disorder, compared with a placebo
High blood pressure is linked to higher risks of a number of health conditions, including stroke, heart attack, and metabolic syndrome. Studies indicate that CBD may be beneficial for people with high blood pressure.
In a small study, 9 healthy men were treated with 600 mg of CBD oil. The CBD treatment reduced resting blood pressure compared with a placebo.
In the same study, the men also took part in stress tests that normally increase blood pressure. Interestingly, the single dose of CBD led the men to experience a smaller blood pressure increase than normal in response to these tests.
Another study that included 26 healthy men found that treatment with 600 mg of CBD for 7 days led to significant reductions in blood pressure in the short term compared with a placebo group. The CBD group maintained lower blood pressure levels in response to stress compared with the placebo group after repeated doses over time.
The researchers also found that the CBD group had reduced arterial stiffness and improved blood flow through their arteries after repeated CBD dosing compared to the placebo group.
Researchers discovered that the endocannabinoid system plays a role in maintaining certain body functions, such as mood, appetite, sleep, and regulating circadian rhythms. Within the endocannabinoid system is a network of cannabinoid receptors in the brain and central nervous system.The two primary receptors identified are CB1 and CB2.
Cannabinoids attach to these cells and have various effects. As far as how they may affect sleep, some research indicates that the cannabinoid CBD may interact with specific receptors, potentially affecting the sleep/wake cycle.
In another study published in the Permanente Journal, 72 adults with anxiety and poor sleep were involved. The participants completed anxiety and sleep assessments at the start of the study and at the first-month follow up. Study participants were given 25 mg of CBD in capsule form. Those that predominantly had sleep complaints took the dose in the evening. Participants that had anxiety as their predominant complaint took CBD in the morning.
After the first month, anxiety scores decreased in 79 percent of the people. Sleep scores improved in 66 percent of the participants, which indicated less trouble sleeping.