CBD benefits: What the science says

The uses and health benefits of CBD have only started to be studied in official clinical trials and studies in recent years. Not all reported effects and properties have been studied scientifically and not all studies done on CBD’s effects have the same level of support by the scientific community or the political and medical institutions in charge of promoting laws decriminalizing and legalizing new substances. Here is a quick summary of where science stands at the moment regarding CBD’s benefits and its effects on humans.

CBD for Epilepsy

There is clear evidence that CBD works in the control of refractory seizures that conventional medicine is unable to treat as effectively. Specifically, CBD helps with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome in patients from 2 years of age and older, reducing the frequency of their seizures. This is where most recent studies on CBD have focused on as it showed promising results from the beginning. Since 2018, medication containing CBD (Epidiolex) is available to treat these rare types of childhood epilepsy.

CBD for Anxiety

In a 2015 study, it was concluded that there was preclinical evidence that demonstrated CBD’s efficacy in reducing anxiety behaviors relevant to multiple disorders, including PTSD, GAD, PD, OCD, and SAD, with a notable lack of anxiogenic effects. The study report added that human experimental findings supported preclinical findings, and also suggested a lack of anxiogenic effects, minimal sedative effects, and an excellent safety profile. 

In a more recent, 2019 study, CBD proved to be better tolerated than traditional psychiatric medication for anxiety and showed promising signs as a tool to reduce anxiety in the study participants.

While the results of these two studies and other similar research are promising, none of them are double-blinded nor randomized,  which are two of the main characteristics that make the findings of a clinical study scientifically reliable and definitive. 

In general, all studies highlight the potential of CBD to treat anxiety and related disorders and emphasize the need for further clinical research.

CBD for Chronic Pain

There are several studies that show promising results on how CBD, alone or in combination with other substances (such as THC) or medicines, may be an option for treating chronic pain and pain caused by several other medical conditions such as arthritis and multiple sclerosis. 

There are also studies on animals that show how CBD has a direct effect on parts of the brain that deal with pain. All these are favorable studies that should encourage further investigation until undeniable scientific evidence is achieved.

CBD as an Alternative to Opioids

Studies also indicate that cannabis-related substances, including CBD, could potentially be an alternative to opioid-based pain medication. 

A 2017 patient self-reported study showed that the majority of participants were able to reduce the amount of opioid-based pain medication with the help of cannabis. 

A recent double-blind randomized study concluded that  “CBD’s potential to reduce cue-induced craving and anxiety provides a strong basis for further investigation of this phytocannabinoid as a treatment option for opioid use disorder”.

CBD to treat cancer-related symptoms

There’s strong and promising scientific evidence that supports the potential of CBD and other types of cannabinoids in the treatment of cancer-related symptoms as well as in helping reduce tumor growth and to increase the effectiveness of other cancer drugs and radiation. 

Other studies have shown how CBD could help deal with cancer-related discomforts such as nausea, neuropathic pain and poor appetite due to its reported analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties.  

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