What, exactly, is CBD oil good for? This question has been asked hundreds of thousands of times by now, if not millions. Since becoming decriminalized in 2018 via the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (better known as the Farm Bill – read the full bill here), CBD and other hemp-based products have been heavily scrutinized for medical efficacy. As products like CBD oil, CBD gummies, and CBD creams flooded the market, people wanted to know what CBD oil was good for. Before we start looking at some science-based journals for evidence at what CBD can do for the human body, it’s important to go over a couple things. First, the FDA hasn’t approved CBD for use as a dietary supplement. That means that any claims made aren’t verified by the FDA. Second, if you have further questions beyond the scope of this article, please consult with your doctor. Many doctors are now educated on CBD use, and can definitely point you in the right direction. Now, let’s get started!
What is CBD Oil Good For?
There are MANY different things that MANY different companies claim CBD is good for. I’ve heard it all – from fungus killing cream to dark spot correction to enamel building. It’s actually unfortunate that so many claims are being made because it makes CBD and other hemp product appear like the new snake oil. I will be upfront, CBD can not cure anything, and will not make all of your problems go away. CBD oil won’t even come close to doing that. However, what I will let you know, is that CBD oil is really good at doing a few different things for the human body. What are those things, exactly? Let’s take a look at the list of claims below that were retrieved by medical journals. The references are below for those who want to verify the claims.
Mental health is such an important topic for many people. There are few worse things I can think of than having to struggle your way through life with severe anxiety issues or depression. As the United States continues to fight mental health problems, people are looking for more medical answers that aren’t hardcore pharmaceutical drugs. While human trials aren’t as numerous with CBD as they are with, say, xanax, they definitely exist. The National Institute of Drug Abuse claims that, ” …CBD has shown efficacy in small human laboratory and clinical trials. CBD reduced anxiety in patients with social anxiety subjected to a stressful public speaking task. The anxiety-reducing effects of CBD appear to be mediated by alterations in serotonin receptor 1a signaling, although the precise mechanism remains to be elucidated and more research is needed.” If anxiety can be reduced in one situation, the same mechanisms can then be triggered with CBD use to prevent overwhelming anxiety in other situations. So, what is CBD oil good for? It would appear we can add mental health to that list!
The first approved FDA drug that contained CBD as an active ingredient is called Epidiolex. This relatively unheard of drug drastically increased in popularity once CBD became decriminalized. Other companies looked to Epidiolex as almost a “big brother” who has been there and done that for CBD promotion and medical research. Epidiolex contains CBD isolate, which is a refined type of hemp extract that contains 99.99% of CBD, instead of the typical broad or full spectrum extracts that contain CBD in addition to other cannabinoids. According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, “Epidiolex’s effectiveness was studied in three randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials involving 516 patients with either Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome. Epidiolex, taken along with other medications, was shown to be effective in reducing the frequency of seizures when compared with placebo.” The Journal of Epilepsy Research also conducted some research of their own. According to them, “Over 80% of parents in this small and possibly biased sample considered their child to have fewer seizures while on CBD-enriched cannabis.” Patients would add amounts of CBD that equal around 25mg to a relatively weak strain of cannabis. The results speak for themselves.
What is CBD Oil Good For? Neurological Functions?
Neurology largely deals with nerve functions. Our central nervous system is a large system of nerves that run all through our bodies. These nerves are responsible for a number of things, pain being one of them. Is CBD oil good for helping in a positive way? “CBD can produce beneficial effects in AD, PD and MS patients, but its employment for these disorders needs further confirmation from well designed clinical studies,” claims the journal called CNS and Neurological Disorders Drug Targets.
Our bodies have CB1 and CB2 receptors that make up the Endocannabinoid system. The goal as of late was to show that CBD supplementation can saturate these receptors that, in turn, help manage pain via nerve interruption. A study done by Philpott, O’Brien, and McDougall states, “The data presented here indicate that local administration of CBD blocked OA pain. Prophylactic CBD treatment prevented the later development of pain and nerve damage in these OA joints. These findings suggest that CBD may be a safe, useful therapeutic for treating OA joint neuropathic pain.” So, someone has managed to conclude that CBD does interrupt nerve signals and actually help decrease pain. This is a huge find!
Some of the most popular products are CBD cream. These creams are supposed to target the local area they are rubbed on, and stop pain…but does CBD really stop the pain? Is CBD oil good for anti-inflammatory effects? An intense study done by BioOrganic and Medicinal Chemistry makes a pretty bold statement: “Modiﬁcations of the structure of CBD, namely the introduction of a carboxy group and replacement of the n-pentyl side-chain with a 1,1-dimethylheptyl group, resulted in an anti-inﬂammatory agent called HU-320. In vivo, HU-320 like HU-239 did not exhibit a cannabimimetic proﬁle but did produce anti-inﬂammatory clinical effects in a murine, collagen-induced arthritis model.” What the heck does that mean? It means that CBD indirectly produced an active anti-inflammatory effect on arthritis. So yes, according to this study, CBD can help with your arthritis-like pain. Another research project by Free Radical Biology and Medicine came to basically the same conclusion (since one report isn’t enough!): “…cannabidiol, which may interact with the endocannabinoid system but has actions that are distinct, offers promise as a prototype for anti-inflammatory drug development.” I guarantee you that people will see approved anti-inflammatory drugs that use CBD rich hemp extract as an active ingredient within the next 5-7 years.
Bio Organic and Medicinal Chemistry: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/272373349_Cannabidiol_CBD_and_its_analogs_A_review_of_their_effects_on_inflammation
CNS and Neurological Disorders Drug Targets: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28412918/
Departments of Pharmacology and Anaesthesia, Pain Management and Perioperative Medicine, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, Canada: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5690292/
Free Radical Biology and Medicine: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21238581/
United States Department of Agriculture: https://www.ers.usda.gov/agriculture-improvement-act-of-2018-highlights-and-implications/
United States Food and Drug Administration: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-drug-comprised-active-ingredient-derived-marijuana-treat-rare-severe-forms
National Institute of Drug Management: https://archives.drugabuse.gov/testimonies/2015/biology-potential-therapeutic-effects-cannabidiol