Cannabidiol is a popular natural remedy used for many common ailments.
Better known as CBD, it is one of the 104 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids found in the cannabis or marijuana plant, Cannabis sativa (1).
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, and causes the sensation of getting “high” that’s often associated with marijuana. However, unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive.
This quality makes CBD an appealing option for those who are looking for relief from pain and other symptoms without the mind-altering effects of marijuana or certain pharmaceutical drugs.
CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the cannabis plant, then diluting it with a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed oil.
It’s gaining momentum in the health and wellness world, with some scientific studies confirming it may help treat a variety of ailments like chronic pain and anxiety.
Here are some health benefits of CBD oil that are backed by scientific evidence.
1. Pain Relief
The human body contains a specialized system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is involved in regulating a variety of functions including sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response.
The body produces endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system.
Studies have shown that CBD may help reduce chronic pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation and interacting with neurotransmitters.
2. Help Reduce Anxiety and Depression
CBD oil has shown promise as a treatment for both depression and anxiety, leading many who live with these disorders to become interested in this natural approach.
In one study, 24 people with social anxiety disorder received either 600 mg of CBD or a placebo before a public speaking test.
The group that received the CBD had significantly less anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, compared to the placebo group.
CBD oil has even been used to safely treat insomnia and anxiety in children with post-traumatic stress disorder.
CBD has also shown antidepressant-like effects in several animal studies.
These qualities are linked to CBD’s ability to act on the brain’s receptors for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and social behavior.
3. Can help alleviate Cancer- related symptoms
CBD may help reduce symptoms related to cancer and side effects related to cancer treatment, like nausea, vomiting and pain.
Some test-tube and animal studies have even shown that CBD may have anticancer properties. For example, one test-tube study found that concentrated CBD induced cell death in human breast cancer cells.
However, these are test-tube and animal studies, so they can only suggest what might work in people. More studies in humans are needed before conclusions can be made.
4. May reduce acne
Based on recent scientific studies, CBD oil may help treat acne due to its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to reduce sebum production.
One test-tube study found that CBD oil prevented sebaceous gland cells from secreting excessive sebum, exerted anti-inflammatory actions and prevented the activation of “pro-acne” agents like inflammatory cytokines.
5. And several other potential benefits
CBD has been studied for its role in treating a number of health issues other than those outlined above.
Though more studies are needed, CBD is thought to provide the following health benefits:
Antipsychotic effects: Studies suggest that CBD may help people with schizophrenia and other mental disorders by reducing psychotic symptoms.
Substance abuse treatment: CBD has been shown to modify circuits in the brain related to drug addiction. In rats, CBD has been shown to reduce morphine dependence and heroin-seeking behavior.
Anti-tumor effects: In test-tube and animal studies, CBD has demonstrated anti-tumor effects. In animals, it has been shown to prevent the spread of breast, prostate, brain, colon and lung cancer.
Diabetes prevention: In diabetic mice, treatment with CBD reduced the incidence of diabetes by 56% and significantly reduced inflammation.