Highly versatile, CBD has multiple uses.
As a widely popular natural remedy, the use of CBD (cannabidiol) can impact a number of health issues. Its versatility as a supplement or in topical applications shows promise for a variety of health conditions.
The anecdotal evidence of CBD users seems to corroborate the early research findings for its use in the treatment of many health conditions. Initial results seem to indicate CBD is useful as an anti-inflammatory, pain reliever, and neurogenerative protector.
Use of CBD for pain relief
Canada has approved CBD for pain relief in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and cancer. One study using mice and rats, and published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, showed CBD significantly helped to reduce chronic inflammation and pain. Another research study has shown CBD has pain-relieving effects.
The body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), regulates sleep, appetite, and pain, as well as the body’s immune system response. Naturally produced, these neurotransmitters work with the body’s nervous system.
Researchers have shown CBD reduces chronic pain because it impacts the ECS receptors. One study found rats receiving CBD injections had a reduced pain response to surgical incisions. Still, another investigation into sciatic pain and its associated inflammation found oral CBD treatment reduced both.
Other human studies revealed that a combination of CBD and THC (the psychoactive component of cannabis) was useful for pain relief for people with MS and arthritis.
In the European Journal of Pain, the research found that topical CBD applications helped lower arthritis inflammation and pain. And yet another study reported that CBD helps to inhibit neuropathic inflammation and pain. The chronic pain and inflammation of arthritis and neuropathy are particularly challenging to treat.
Using CBD to promote heart health
An ever-growing problem, heart disease is a leading cause of death in the US. While a healthy diet and lifestyle are essential for people with heart disease, the use of CBD can alleviate some of the factors of heart disease.
High blood pressure is a risk indicator for heart attack and stroke. It also contributes to metabolic syndrome, often a precursor of diabetes. In research studies, the use of CBD suggests it relieves stress and anxiety, helping to lower blood pressure.
In a small study reported in 2017, in the Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight in 2017, scientists found that using CBD helped prevent fluctuations in stress-related blood pressure. Of 9 male volunteers, the men treated with CBD showed lower blood pressures before and after a stress-inducing event than those who received a placebo.
In the same study, the men underwent stress tests to increase blood pressure. Researchers found that a single dose of CBD resulted in the volunteers experiencing a smaller blood pressure increase than might otherwise be expected.
Research links CBD with many heart and circulatory benefits, in addition to lowering high blood pressure, such as:
- Reducing arterial blockages
- Reducing stress-related cardiovascular response
- Reducing cholesterol levels
Using CBD can also help prevent oxidative stress and inflammation, which are often precursors of heart disease.
In addition, the results of animal research suggest the use of CBD may help reduce inflammation and resultant cell death as they relate to heart disease. Because of CBD’s properties as an antioxidant and stress reliever, use of CBD can help reduce heart disease.
CBD uses for cancer-related symptoms
CBD may provide a natural option for relief of chemotherapy-induced nausea and pain. While more research into CBD’s role in cancer treatment needs to be done, current data shows promise. In some cases, CBD proved more effective than more traditional medications used to treat the same symptoms.
The American Cancer Society has reported that the use of CBD (in animal studies) slows the growth and spread of particular kinds of cancer.
A similar review in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found CBD helps to prevent the spread of cancer significantly. The study’s research noticed that CBD showed a tendency to suppress growth, as well as facilitate the destruction of cancer cells.
In the laboratory, one study found CBD concentrate appeared to bring on cancer cell death in human breast cancer cells. Another showed that the growth of aggressive breast cancer in mice was impeded.
More research into the effects on cancer in humans is needed to support these early conclusions, but initial results look promising.
CBD use for its neuroprotective properties
Early research indicates CBD’s impact on the endocannabinoid system and other neurotransmitters could provide relief for people with neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s, MS, Parkinson’s, and epilepsy.
In the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, research seems to indicate that CBD prevents patients’ development of social recognition deficit. This is most promising for people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, possibly helping them continue to recognize people they know. Further, the use of CBD could slow disease progression.
One of the most studied uses of CBD is in the treatment of neurological disorders, such as epilepsy and MS. Though the research is new, results look promising. Of 214 people with severe epilepsy, a dose of 0.9–2.3 grams per pound of body weight resulted in a median reduction of seizures by 36.5%.
In 2018, the US FDA approved the use of an oral solution of a CBD medication (Epidiolex) for the treatment of children 2 and older with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, severe forms of epilepsy.
Also, several studies have shown that CBD used to treat people with Parkinson’s experienced improved quality of life and better sleep.
Anecdotally, CBD appears to have positive benefits for physical ailments and disease. Uses for CBD have the potential to ease symptoms of mental conditions ranging from anxiety to post-traumatic stress disorder.
Although the potential of CBD in treating many health conditions has been studied, without more extensive research in human studies, it’s difficult to determine effective dosages. Currently, CBD is readily available online or at retailers where cannabis is legal.
The uses for CBD are many; whether anecdotally or research-based, the evidence appears to show that CBD use can help alleviate symptoms and fight the effects of many health conditions.