Skip to main content

What Are The Benefits Of CBD?

A practical guide to everything CBD

 

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the 100+ cannabinoid compounds found in the Cannabis Sativa plant. Unlike THC, CBD does not produce intoxicating effects, and many studies suggest that CBD may play a role in the management of a wide range of ailments by way of its pharmacological relationship to the endocannabinoid system.

There have been many studies on the potential benefits of CBD showing positive analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, and anxiolytic properties [01]. While existing research suggests numerous beneficial applications, there is still much more research to be done to refine scientific hypotheses further.

CBD interacts with our internal Endocannabinoid System – a complex biological messaging system that plays a fundamental role in regulating a range of physiological functions, including mood, energy, pain, metabolism, stress, sleep, and muscle control.

Table of Contents

Is CBD/Hemp the same as Cannabis?

The Benefits Of CBD

Methods of Consumption

How Should I Use CBD

How to pick the right product?

Is CBD Safe?

 

Is CBD/Hemp the same as Cannabis?

Both Hemp and Cannabis are actually the same plant – Cannabis Sativa. What separates “hemp” vs. “Marijuana/Cannabis” comes down to the level of THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) present in the plant. If it contains less than 0.3% delta-9 THC, then it is considered hemp, and will not produce noticeable intoxicating effects. Essentially, hemp is cannabis that does not make you “high”. We break down the difference further here.

 

 


The Benefits Of CBD

It might seem mad that CBD has been glorified as a molecule with such far-reaching potential benefits, but since the ECS modulates such a wide variety of physiological functions, it makes sense that there could be vast potential for plant cannabinoids like CBD and THC to play a positive role in such an extensive list of ailments.

All current research can be underpinned with the caveat that still more research is necessary to deepen the knowledge to be applied to formal clinical use. Based off of available preclinical, and clinical studies – both in human and animal models – CBD is suggested to play a positive role in the management of symptoms related to:

 

Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety is a healthy human emotion, but when it is felt regularly with the absence of warranted threatening stimuli, it can lead to anxiety or anxiety-related disorders such as General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder (PD), Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), PTSD, and OCD. [02].

In a 2019 study to explore the effects of CBD on Social Anxiety Disorder, participants saw a significant reduction in SAD symptoms across a four-week intervention period with daily doses of CBD [03].

In a 2015 case study of a young girl with severe PTSD, researchers saw daily administration of oral CBD was shown to be significantly effective and reducing PTSD symptoms after 5 months [04].

In a 2015 review published in The American Society for Experimental Neurotherapeutics the authors reviewed 49 preclinical, clinical, or epidemiological studies related to CBD and anxiety and found that, “Preclinical evidence conclusively demonstrates 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…. Human experimental findings support preclinical findings, and also suggest a lack of anxiogenic effects, minimal sedative effects, and an excellent safety profile” [05].

Many studies suggest that CBD may play a role in the management of anxiety by way of its pharmacologic activity within the Endocannabinoid system. Evidence indicates that CBD acts on the CB1 receptors indirectly, by inhibiting the breakdown of the endogenous neurotransmitter anandamide (AEA), allowing it to say in the system longer to provide anxiolytic effects. CBD is also known to activate the human 5HTa serotonin receptor as a pathway for reducing anxiety [06].

We’ve gone more in depth on CBD and Anxiety, in our separate blog here.

 

Epilepsy

CBD’s first entry into mainstream attention was related to its effectiveness at improving the symptoms of epilepsy. There is one FDA-approved prescription CBD medication on the market, Epidiolex, which has been approved to treat rare and resistant forms of Epilepsy such as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), Dravet syndrome, or tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC).

Almost one third of epilepsy patients are not adequately controlled by leading antiseizure drugs (ASDs), and numerous studies have been conducted to test for the effectiveness of CBD, often in conjunction with standard seizure protocols in human trials [07].

In 2017, two double-blind placebo controlled human studies concluded strong evidence that the addition of CBD to conventional antiepileptic regimens produced a greater reduction in seizure frequency related to both Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes [08] [09].

In a 2017 animal study it was noted that administration of CBD in mice produced dose-dependent anti-seizure properties in acute seizure models [10].

 

Acne

Although acne vulgaris is the most common human skin disease, affecting 9.4% of the global population, it is still not fully understood. The pathology of acne seems to be related to the overproduction of sebum (the skins natural oils) and inflammation, as well as proliferation of unwanted sebocytes (cells that make up the Sebaceous Glands in the skin) [11] [12].

In a 2019 comprehensive review published in Molecules, the authors explained that, “cutaneous cannabinoid signaling is deeply involved in the maintenance of skin homeostasis, barrier formation and regeneration, and its dysregulation was implicated to contribute to several highly prevalent diseases and disorders, e.g., atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, scleroderma, acne, hair growth and pigmentation disorders, keratin diseases, various tumors, and itch” [11].

In testing the effects of CBD on human sebocytes, it was found that CBD exerted a trifecta of cellular anti-acne actions. These included: universal lipostatic effects, anti-proliferative effects, and a universal anti-inflammatory effect on induced pro-acne agents. [11].

More efforts are needed to further this area of research. If you are considering CBD for the treatment of acne, it is recommended that you discuss with your dermatologist.

 

Pain + Inflammation

There is a growing body of evidence that CBD may possess analgesic properties related to inflammation and varying types of pain – including chronic pain, arthritis pain, peripheral neuropathy, and more [13]. It is thought that CBD and THC may work better together when it comes to the treatment of pain, but CBD does show potential on its own as well.

In a study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine in rat models, CBD was shown to play a role in the reduction of chronic inflammatory pain and neuropathic pain [14].

In a 2016 study examining efficacy of transdermal CBD in animal models, the authors concluded that CBD noted a significant reduction in arthritis pain-related behaviors and inflammation [15].

In a 2020 randomized, placebo-controlled study, 29 patients with symptomatic peripheral neuropathy were given transdermal CBD across a period of 4 weeks. The authors found significant improvement in the reduction in intense pain, sharp pain, and cold/itchy sensations, with no reported side effects [16].

Currently there is one combined THC/CBD medication that is approved for patients with neuropathic pain – called Sativex.

 

Neuroprotective Properties

The effects of CBD have also been suggested to play a role in the treatment of a variety of neurological disorders.


Alzheimer’s Disease

In a long-term study looking at the effects of CBD on Alzheimer’s in mice, evidence demonstrated that CBD had potential as a preventative treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease, most specifically related to symptoms of facial recognition and social withdrawal [17].

Other studies have shown similar positive effects on the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, though more research is needed in this area [18] [19]


Multiple Sclerosis

Common symptoms that accompany MS include pain, muscle spasticity, fatigue, inflammation, and depression [20].

In a 2018 review published in Frontiers in Neurology, authors outlined the potential for CBD supplementation as a means of treating symptoms fatigue, inflammation, pain, spasticity, to improve mobility [20].

In a 2014 clinical study examining the effect of Sativex (an approved 1:1 THC/CBD medication), 74.6% of participants saw an improvement in resistant multiple sclerosis spasticity (MMS) after 1 month [21]. Sativex is currently licensed to treat spasticity related to MS.


Parkinson’s Disease

In one study looking at the effects of CBD on symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, all four patients had “prompt and substantial reduction in the frequency of REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD)-related events without side effects” [22].

 

Mitigating The Undesirable Effects Of THC

Initial studies evaluating the difference in response between CBD and THC showed that while THC use often results in negative behavioral and psychological effects, CBD is safe and well-tolerated with no difference from placebo in regard to increasing unwanted anxiety, sedation, positive psychotic symptoms, and intoxication [23].

It has been reported in studies that while THC administered alone is anxiogenic (anxiety-inducing), the effect is weakened when co-administered with CBD. Conversely, when CBD is administered alone it expresses anxiolytic (anxiety-reducing) properties [24] [25].

 

Other Uses

CBD has a variety of other proposed uses, with some preliminary research relating to:

    • Nicotine/Smoking Cessation [26]
    • Antipsychotic [27]
    • Drug Addiction [28]

 

 

Methods of Consumption

There are a variety of methods to get CBD into the body, and each offer something slightly different.

 

Smoking / Vaping

Since inhalation allows for near instant entry into the blood stream, this method offers the fastest form of relief to the body. However, it can be more difficult to monitor specific dosage. For those who prefer good old fashion smoking this can be an easy and relaxing way to enjoy hemp.

 

Sublingual Drops / Tinctures

Sublingual drops are generally seen as the next quickest method (15-30m). Ingestion of CBD orally may be used for mood or anxiety. To ensure accurate dosing, our sublingual hemp drops have a demarcated pipette to easily measure varying dosages so you never have to guess how much you are dispensing. For the most effective sublingual dosing, leave under the tongue for ~30 seconds to aid absorption.

 

Edible Products

CBD infused into supplements such as gummies or gel capsules can be a very convenient way to consume CBD and also makes it easy to get a consistent dose. Since ingesting CBD means that it will need to be absorbed via the digestive system, this method may take the longest to take effect (about 30-60 minutes) and some bioavailability may be lost compared to other methods of consumption.

 

Topicals

Since topicals are applied to the skin, the CBD interacts with the body in a different way than if taken internally. CBD is absorbed into the receptors in the skin and produce a localized affect to that area. Topical products are not known to penetrate deep enough to reach the blood stream, so even if there was THC in the product, it is not known to have a risk of any mental or psychoactive effects [30]. When CBD is mixed with fats and oils it aids in the absorption in the skin. Apply as much as desired to the affected area and take note of how you feel.

 

 

How Should I Use CBD?

CBD is often touted as a miracle compound, and while there is clear evidence for this excitement, every body is different and it may not produce as much benefit for some versus others. While the cat is out of the bag, and cannabis/hemp are here to stay with contending therapeutic merit, knowing the optimal dose for each individual remains elusive. This, coupled with the low-risk safety profile of CBD has helped open the doors for an empowered personal exploration through shared information and a little bit of trial and error.

 

What Type of CBD Oil Should I Use?

There are various forms of CBD that can be infused into products – categorized as using “Full Spectrum”, “Broad Spectrum”, or “Isolate”. A detailed breakdown of the differences can be found here, but the general distinction comes down to the presence of trace amounts of compliant THC and other minor cannabinoids. From a medicinal perspective, there is evidence that THC and CBD (along with many other minor cannabinoids) work most effectively in combination, where the sum is greater than the individual parts – termed the “entourage effect”. This is why we use Full Spectrum oil in most of our products. This may not necessarily be best for everyone though, as every person is different.

 

Start Slow

If you are new to CBD, the best practice for exploration is to start with a low dosage and work your way up from there. The general rule of thumb is to start at around 10mg CBD. We encourage our clients to feel empowered in exploring different doses over time as you familiarize yourself with any noteworthy effects. Since we use full spectrum oil with trace amounts of THC to maximize potential synergistic benefit, if enough is consumed orally there could be the potential for sensitive individuals to feel a slight and unique type of buzz (so go easy on the gummies, even though they are delicious!)

 

Pay Attention to How You Feel

As you begin your journey with CBD, take note of how you feel before and after. Keep a journal to record noteworthy observations. Be your own scientist for your individual body and tweak as you see fit.

 

Be Consistent

As with any supplement, it might not always be a one-and-done situation. Try taking it consistently and see how you respond once it has a chance to have an effect on the system.

 

 

How to pick the right product?

Currently the only FDA approved form of CBD medication is called Epidiolex which is an isolated form of CBD. Because all other forms of CBD on the market cannot tout FDA approval, consumers should be discerning about which products they select. That doesn’t mean that other products won’t produce the same if not better effects, but it’s important to look out for a few key things when shopping around. One of the reasons we were passionate about making our own CBD products arose after seeing truly sub-par offerings on the market that dared to accept peoples hard earned money for what they were offering. There are a lot of great companies out there too though, just look out for these key things:

 

Third Party Lab Testing

Since CBD falls under nutritional supplements or ingredients, it is less regulated than other medical ingredients. It is best practice to always ensure that the company advertising CBD products had third-party testing to confirm stated label cannabinoid content. This information should be easily located on their website, and you shouldn’t have to ask them for it!

You can find a link to our test results here.

 

Bold Health Claims

It is illegal (and poor form) for companies to make bold claims about CBD “curing” diseases or cancer – and rightly so, because there simply is not enough evidence to say with the utmost confidence “this dosage of CBD will cure this disease”. Be wary of companies making such claims. As companies, we have a responsibility to be transparent and not exploit the trust of new CBD users.

In all of our educational blog posts about the effects of CBD we believe in transparency and citing sources. There has been a lot of great research produced with regards to the benefits of CBD (and we’ve read a lot of it), but it’s important to note that we are still in an exploratory period with this multipurpose molecule from a strict scientific perspective.

 

Full List of Ingredients

As with any product that you may apply on or ingest into the body, it is important to know the full list of ingredients that you are purchasing. These should be easily viewable so you aren’t forced to make any assumptions.

We want our customers to know exactly what ingredients we use – We take pride in sourcing only top-quality ingredients that add to the uniqueness and effectiveness of our products. So not only do we want to be transparent, we are excited to share them with you.

 

Overall Legitimacy of Company

These days it seems like everybody and their mother is selling CBD. There are many great companies out there, but it’s still important to do a little homework. Does the company have contact information? Can you call them? Do they have a stated return and satisfaction policy? Do they seem like they know what they are talking about? Do they provide necessary information to help you make an informed purchase?

 

 

Is CBD Safe?

CBD has been generally seen to have a favorable safety profile. In a comprehensive review published by Bergamaschi et al, comparing over 100 original studies, it was noted that CBD is well tolerated in humans with doses up to 1500mg [29].

CBD is not addictive and thus lacks abuse potential. Many prescription drugs affect the release of dopamine in the brain’s pleasure center that can cause one to become dependent on the drug over time. CBD is not shown to trigger dopamine release, or show addictive qualities in the available literature.

While being generally well tolerated, some possible side effects can include dry mouth, diarrhea, drowsiness at high concentrations, or changes in appetite [23]

Additionally, there can be certain drug interactions when CBD is combined with other medications such as blood thinners. Be sure to consult with your health care provider before trying CBD if you are taking other prescription medications to ensure that you are informed and safe!

 

 

Note about Research:

There has been a large body of positive research studying the effects of CBD in animal studies, but there is still more work to be done in the realm of human clinical trials before certain findings can be refined.  

This is in part due to the evolving legal status of cannabis and CBD, where the prohibition on cannabis has caused difficulty in researchers obtaining access to the plant compounds. Due to factors such as small sample sizes, or varying dosage amounts across studies, and lack of long-term studies, the generalizability of certain findings is limited. The research points in clear directions, but for now there is still an element in personal exploration to find what works for each individual.

 

Interested in learning more about CBD? Check out these other articles:

 

References:

  1. [Vučković S, Srebro D, Vujović KS, Vučetić Č, Prostran M. Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules. Front Pharmacol. 2018;9:1259. Published 2018 Nov 13. doi:10.3389/fphar.2018.01259]
  2. [Skelley JW, Deas CM, Curren Z, Ennis J. Use of cannabidiol in anxiety and anxiety-related disorders. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association. 2019 Dec 19.]
  3. [Masataka N. Anxiolytic Effects of Repeated Cannabidiol Treatment in Teenagers With Social Anxiety Disorders. Front Psychol. 2019;10:2466. Published 2019 Nov 8. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02466]
  4. [Shannon S, Opila-Lehman J. Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Oil for Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia as Part of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report. Perm J. 2016;20(4):16-005. doi:10.7812/TPP/16-005]
  5. [Blessing EM, Steenkamp MM, Manzanares J, Marmar CR. Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics. 2015;12(4):825-836. doi:10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1]
  6. [Russo, E.B., Burnett, A., Hall, B. et al. Agonistic Properties of Cannabidiol at 5-HT1a Receptors. Neurochem Res 30, 1037–1043 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11064-005-6978-1]
  7. [Klein BD, Jacobson CA, Metcalf CS, Smith MD, Wilcox KS, Hampson AJ, Kehne JH. Evaluation of Cannabidiol in Animal Seizure Models by the Epilepsy Therapy Screening Program (ETSP). Neurochem Res. 2017 Jul;42(7):1939-1948. doi: 10.1007/s11064-017-2287-8. Epub 2017 May 6. PMID: 28478594.]
  8. [Devinsky O, Cross JH, Laux L, Marsh E, Miller I, Nabbout R, Scheffer IE, Thiele EA, Wright S; Cannabidiol in Dravet Syndrome Study Group. Trial of Cannabidiol for Drug-Resistant Seizures in the Dravet Syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2017 May 25;376(21):2011-2020. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1611618. PMID: 28538134.]
  9. [Devinsky O, Patel AD, Cross JH, Villanueva V, Wirrell EC, Privitera M, Greenwood SM, Roberts C, Checketts D, VanLandingham KE, Zuberi SM; GWPCARE3 Study Group. Effect of Cannabidiol on Drop Seizures in the Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2018 May 17;378(20):1888-1897. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1714631. PMID: 29768152]
  10. [Klein BD, Jacobson CA, Metcalf CS, Smith MD, Wilcox KS, Hampson AJ, Kehne JH. Evaluation of Cannabidiol in Animal Seizure Models by the Epilepsy Therapy Screening Program (ETSP). Neurochem Res. 2017 Jul;42(7):1939-1948. doi: 10.1007/s11064-017-2287-8. Epub 2017 May 6. PMID: 28478594.]
  11. [Tóth KF, Ádám D, Bíró T, Oláh A. Cannabinoid Signaling in the Skin: Therapeutic Potential of the “C(ut)annabinoid” System. Molecules. 2019;24(5):918. Published 2019 Mar 6. doi:10.3390/molecules24050918]
  12. [Tan JK, Bhate A global perspective on the epidemiology of acne. Br J Dermatol. 2015 Jul;172 Suppl 1:3-12. doi: 10.1111/bjd.13462. PMID: 25597339.]
  13. [Vučković S, Srebro D, Vujović KS, Vučetić Č, Prostran M. Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules. Front Pharmacol. 2018;9:1259. Published 2018 Nov 13. doi:10.3389/fphar.2018.01259].
  14. [Xiong W, Cui T, Cheng K, et al. Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 glycine receptors. J Exp Med. 2012;209(6):1121-1134. doi:10.1084/jem.20120242]
  15. [Hammell DC, Zhang LP, Ma F, et al. Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. Eur J Pain. 2016;20(6):936-948. doi:10.1002/ejp.818]
  16. [Xu DH, Cullen BD, Tang M, Fang Y. The Effectiveness of Topical Cannabidiol Oil in Symptomatic Relief of Peripheral Neuropathy of the Lower Extremities. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2020;21(5):390-402. doi: 10.2174/1389201020666191202111534. PMID: 31793418.]
  17. [Cheng D, Spiro AS, Jenner AM, Garner B, Karl T. Long-term cannabidiol treatment prevents the development of social recognition memory deficits in Alzheimer’s disease transgenic mice. J Alzheimers Dis. 2014;42(4):1383-96. doi: 10.3233/JAD-140921. PMID: 25024347.]
  18. [Libro R, Diomede F, Scionti D, et al. Cannabidiol Modulates the Expression of Alzheimer’s Disease-Related Genes in Mesenchymal Stem Cells. Int J Mol Sci. 2016;18(1):26. Published 2016 Dec 23. doi:10.3390/ijms18010026]
  19. [Watt G, Karl T. In vivo Evidence for Therapeutic Properties of Cannabidiol (CBD) for Alzheimer’s Disease. Front Pharmacol. 2017;8:20. Published 2017 Feb 3. doi:10.3389/fphar.2017.00020]
  20. [Rudroff T, Sosnoff J. Cannabidiol to Improve Mobility in People with Multiple Sclerosis. Front Neurol. 2018;9:183. Published 2018 Mar 22. doi:10.3389/fneur.2018.00183]
  21. [Flachenecker P, Henze T, Zettl UK. Nabiximols (THC/CBD oromucosal spray, Sativex®) in clinical practice–results of a multicenter, non-interventional study (MOVE 2) in patients with multiple sclerosis spasticity. Eur Neurol. 2014;71(5-6):271-9. doi: 10.1159/000357427. Epub 2014 Feb 12. PMID: 24525548.]
  22. [Chagas MH, Eckeli AL, Zuardi AW, Pena-Pereira MA, Sobreira-Neto MA, Sobreira ET, Camilo MR, Bergamaschi MM, Schenck CH, Hallak JE, Tumas V, Crippa JA. Cannabidiol can improve complex sleep-related behaviours associated with rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder in Parkinson’s disease patients: a case series. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2014 Oct;39(5):564-6. doi: 10.1111/jcpt.12179. Epub 2014 May 21. PMID: 24845114]
  23. [Iffland K, Grotenhermen F. An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res. 2017;2(1):139-154. Published 2017 Jun 1. doi:10.1089/can.2016.0034]
  24. [Papagianni EP, Stevenson CW. Cannabinoid Regulation of Fear and Anxiety: an Update. Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2019;21(6):38. Published 2019 Apr 27. doi:10.1007/s11920-019-1026-z]
  25. [Niesink RJ, van Laar MW. Does Cannabidiol Protect Against Adverse Psychological Effects of THC?. Front Psychiatry. 2013;4:130. Published 2013 Oct 16. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2013.00130]
  26. [https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S030646031300083X?via%3Dihub || Cannabidiol reduces cigarette consumption in tobacco smokers: preliminary findings]
  27. [Antonio Waldo Zuardi, Jose Alexandre S. Crippa, Jaime E.C. Hallak, Sagnik Bhattacharyya, Zerrin Atakan, Rocio Martin-Santos, Philip K. McGuire and Francisco Silveira Guimaraes, “A Critical Review of the Antipsychotic Effects of Cannabidiol: 30 Years of a Translational Investigation”, Current Pharmaceutical Design (2012) 18: 5131. https://doi.org/10.2174/138161212802884681]
  28. [Hurd YL, Spriggs S, Alishayev J, Winkel G, Gurgov K, Kudrich C, Oprescu AM, Salsitz E. Cannabidiol for the Reduction of Cue-Induced Craving and Anxiety in Drug-Abstinent Individuals With Heroin Use Disorder: A Double-Blind Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. Am J Psychiatry. 2019 Nov 1;176(11):911-922. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2019.18101191. Epub 2019 May 21. Erratum in: Am J Psychiatry. 2020 Jul 1;177(7):641. PMID: 31109198.]
  29. [Bergamaschi MM, Queiroz RH, Zuardi AW, Crippa JA. Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent. Curr Drug Saf. 2011 Sep 1;6(4):237-49. doi: 10.2174/157488611798280924. PMID: 22129319.]
  30. [Hess C, Krämer M, Madea B. Topical application of THC containing products is not able to cause positive cannabinoid finding in blood or urine. Forensic Sci Int. 2017 Mar;272:68-71. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2017.01.008. Epub 2017 Jan 16. PMID: 28122323.]

Leave a Reply

Please Verify Your Age

By clicking enter, I certify that I am over the age of 21.

Or

0