In the past 10 years cannabidiol or CBD has become a staple in what seems like every industry imaginable. From CBD oil infused pillows to CBD toothpicks, you can’t walk 10 feet without finding some new, eclectic CBD product. You have likely heard of the innumerable positive effects of CBD, but which ones are true and which ones are utter nonsense? Today we are going to break down the scientifically proven effects of cannabidiol!
Before we discuss the medicinal properties of the chemical, I want to provide you with a bit of background on what exactly CBD is. Cannabidiol is a chemical compound found in cannabis. While it does not produce an altered state of mind like THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, it has been speculated to have many healing properties (Grinspoon, 2018). CBD is thought to bind to CB2 receptors throughout the nervous system. The CB2 receptor is heavily expressed in immune system cells and is thought to play a role in neuroinflammation (Maroon & Bost, 2018).
In recent years, there has been an explosion of research surrounding the therapeutic effects of CBD. The data suggests that CBD:
- Can reduce anxiety (Blessing et al., 2015; Guimaraes et al., 1990; Zuardi et al., 1982).
- Can assist in the regulation of heart rate, blood pressure, and is helpful in reducing damage post stroke and heart attack, IN ANIMALS (not enough data is out there about humans at this point) (Sultan et al., 2017).
- Can help reduce some symptoms of schizophrenia (Mcguire et al., 2018).
- Can provide pain relief (Johnson et al., 2010).
- Can help with insomnia (Crippa, 2003).
- Can reduce seizures in treatment resistant epileptic disorders (Grinspoon, 2018).
While there are many studies touting the positive effects of CBD, more research should be conducted to further corroborate the existing data. The only FDA approved treatment involving the use of CBD is in the treatment of several childhood epileptic disorders. While CBD seems to have a low side-effect profile, due to the novelty of CBD research there is not a large swath of data on all of the potential drug interactions. Though CBD has a lot of potential for therapeutic use, it is important to keep this risk in-mind!