Scott Shannon, MD, assistant clinical professor at the University of Colorado, recently sifted through patient charts from his four-doctor practice to document CBD’s effects on anxiety. His study, as yet unpublished, found “a fairly rapid decrease in anxiety scores that appears to persist for months,” he says. But he says he can’t discount a placebo effect, especially since “there’s a lot of hype right now.”
Before I even checked the ingredients list and saw that cocoa seed butter was involved, my first impression was that this body butter smelled like chocolate, so much so that my stomach rumbled with hunger because it was 4pm and I hadn’t eaten lunch yet. Don’t the “whipped” descriptor fool you—unlike most body butters you’ve used, this formula is solid to the touch, a balm rather than a cream. But that might be exactly what you want if you’re looking for a CBD-infused treatment anyway—something that feels extra-nourishing and almost medicinal. Luckily, it smells incredible in a subtle, natural way, not like other body butters with artificial tropical fruit scents.
Naturally, the testimonies of these experts were based on a comprehensive literature review, an endeavor which we have also undertaken, albeit in a less official capacity. While many new products have been hailed as a panacea in their times, and many web sources certainly allude to this status for CBD, our objective was more modest – presenting ten possible benefits of cannabidiol where sufficient evidence exists to back up the claims.
CBD hemp oil is the product derived from the hemp plant, which is high in CBD (cannabidiol) and low in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). This oil has received a large amount of attention in recent years, due to the growing wave of marijuana legislation and debate in many countries, including the United States. While cannabis and smoking marijuana (which often has a high level of the psychotropic compound THC) is still illegal in many places, as more is being learned about CBD, and its potential effects on health, it is becoming more and more accepted as a legal and safe remedy for a wide variety of health conditions. Since it has a minimal amount of the psychotropic compound THC, use of this oil does not result in a traditional “high”, so its effects are generally considered therapeutic, not mind-altering.
CBD oil may be of some benefit to those with addiction, suggests a review published in the journal Substance Abuse in 2015. In their analysis of 14 previously published studies, scientists determined that CBD may have therapeutic effects in people with opioid, cocaine, and/or psychostimulant addiction. They also found that CBD may be beneficial in the treatment of cannabis and tobacco addiction. There is some evidence that CBD may block or reduce the effects of THC on the mind.
Recent studies – in addition to new medication options that include CBD – have also shown promising results in various forms of epilepsy, including Dravet Syndrome. In summary findings published by the U.S. National Library of medicine, multiple small clinical trials have shown that CBD is able to reduce the number of seizures and severity of seizures for those that experience specific forms of epilepsy on a regular basis. (9)
This review paper on the safety and side effects of cannabidiol by the NCBI, for example, suggests that controlled cannabidiol administration is safe and non-toxic in humans and animals. It also does not induce changes in food intake, nor does it affect physiological parameters like heart rate, body temperature or blood pressure. Also, according to this review paper, “high doses up to 1,500 mg/day of CBD are reportedly well tolerated in humans.”
In one survey, parents of children who suffer from treatment-resistant epilepsy and use CBD were asked about the benefits. 19 parents were included, 84% of which said that CBD reduced the frequency of seizures. Two parents said that CBD completely resolved seizures. Parents also reported improved alertness, sleep, and mood. Some side effects were drowsiness and fatigue .
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Two dermatologists I consulted with, New York-based Whitney Bowe, MD and New Jersey-based Jeanette Jacknin, MD, both agreed that CBD’s anti-aging and anti-inflammatory benefits are clinically proven. “Studies have shown that the cannabinoids like CBD in marijuana are anti-inflammatory and anti-aging and topical CBD has proven helpful for acne, eczema, and psoriasis,” Jacknin told me. “Hemp seed oil is reputed to be the most unsaturated oil derived from the plant kingdom, so it is less pore clogging but a great moisturizer for dry, cracked skin.”
CBD hemp oil has a huge range of potential health benefits and uses, including reducing pain, soothing anxiety, fighting chronic diseases, improving mood, eliminating depression, preventing inflammatory arthritis, protecting the immune system, balancing the metabolism, aiding sleep disorders, and healing the skin, among others. CBD oil can also be used in many different ways and has a variety of applications for natural health.
In addition to acting on the brain, CBD influences many body processes. That’s due to the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which was discovered in the 1990s, after scientists started investigating why pot produces a high. Although much less well-known than the cardiovascular, reproductive, and respiratory systems, the ECS is critical. “The ECS helps us eat, sleep, relax, forget what we don’t need to remember, and protect our bodies from harm,” Marcu says. There are more ECS receptors in the brain than there are for opioids or serotonin, plus others in the intestines, liver, pancreas, ovaries, bone cells, and elsewhere.
Since the loosening of legal policy around cannabis and the growing evidence in support of its health benefits, CBD oil has become an integral part of a lot of peoples supplement stack, used as a recovery aid by helping to improve sleep and reduce exercise-induced inflammation. Personally, I’ve been taking it for a few weeks have felt real, tangible improvements in my sleep quality.