If you’ve spent any time researching CBD online, you have very likely come across a lot of alleged benefits of CBD. The issue is, can we believe all we read online?
In the first place, we need to know that CBD or Cannabidiol is a type of compound that is extracted from the hemp plant, a cousin of marijuana. Other times it is manufactured in a laboratory.
What are some supposed benefits of CBD?
CBD has been used for centuries for promoting better general wellbeing. It is marketed to provide relief for anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Also, it is advertised to promote sleep. Part of CBD’s popularity is that it is supposed to be “nonpsychoactive,” and that consumers can reap health benefits from the plant without the high.
Now, you might be wondering if these claimed benefits of CBD are supported by science. If that’s the case, we invite you to keep reading to find out what benefits of CBD are backed by scientific studies.
1. Combat anxiety
One of the most popular benefits of CBD is the ability to calm and relax people and it’s the reason why its use is so widespread. A 2017 study in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry tested the anxiety levels of 57 men in a simulated public speaking test.
Some received a placebo while others received either 150 milligrams, 300 milligrams or 600 milligrams of CBD before their speeches. Those who received 300 milligrams of CBD experienced significantly reduced anxiety during the test compared to those who received the placebo.
However, participants that received either 150 or 600 milligrams of CBD experienced more anxiety during the test than the 300 milligrams group.
2. Treat some epilepsy syndromes
In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of CBD under the brand name Epidiolex to treat seizures caused by Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, which are two rare forms of epilepsy, in patients at least 2 years old.
Three well-vetted studies provide the basis of support for the FDA’s decision. In these trials, 516 patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome received either Epidiolex or a placebo.
Epidiolex, when taken along with other prescribed medications, decreased the frequency of participants’ seizures quite a bit compared to the placebo.
3. Lessen PTSD symptoms
In a small 2018 study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 11 people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were given CBD along with routine psychiatric care for eight weeks. Ten of the eleven experienced a decrease in their PTSD symptoms.
Margaret Rajnic, a doctor experienced in medical cannabis and CBD, emphasizes the importance of using therapy in tandem with any type of cannabis or CBD for PTSD. “There is an amount of therapy that is needed for PTSD,” she says. “But CBD will give you that little bit of decreased anxiety.”
4. Ease ALS symptoms
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a disease that causes nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to deteriorate, resulting in loss of muscle control that gets worse over time. The worst part is that there isn’t a cure, and there are only two FDA-approved medications to help treat ALS symptoms.
Research suggests that patients with ALS can benefit from the effect created by the combination of THC and CBD. In a study that took place in 2019, patients received a combination of THC and CBD in varying doses depending on their needs and preferences.
Those with mild, moderate or severe spasticity (muscle tightness and stiffness) due to ALS reported high levels of satisfaction with the treatment, and those with moderate to severe spasticity reported even higher satisfaction rates than those with mild spasticity.
5. Suppress arthritis symptoms
A 2006 study found that Sativex, a CBD-based botanical drug approved in the UK, promoted statistically significant improvements in quality of sleep, pain during movement and pain at rest in patients with rheumatoid arthritis when compared to a placebo.
It was the first controlled trial of Sativex as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, involving 58 patients. The benefits of CBD found here were several, like a pain-relieving effect, as well as an ability to suppress disease activity.
We need more research but CBD may prove to be a helpful, relatively non-toxic option for managing anxiety, chronic pain and other ailments.
If you decide to try CBD, make sure you are getting it from a reputable source. And talk with your doctor to make sure that it won’t affect any other medicines you take.
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