CBD Benefits Backed By Scientific Evidence
A better sleep? Pain relief? Anxiety reduction? These are just a few of dozens of CBD benefits that can improve your mental and physical health.
The benefits of CBD are not just for humans either! CBD is proving to be beneficial for dogs, cats, and horses as well.
Modern science is just starting to unravel all the benefits this extraordinary compound offers after a scientific moratorium that lasted for decades because of its link to the Cannabis plant.
Six (Seemingly) Undisputed CBD Properties
While researching this article, I gained some unique and unexpected insights into CBD. It became clear that the six “core” properties of CBD are generally undisputed, where the value seems to be assumed in all of the research articles or scientific studies I looked into.
What does CBD do best? The six core properties of CBD are:
- Inflammation reduction
- Pain reduction
- Anxiety reduction
- Anti-bacterial properties, including many drug-resistant bacteria.
- Strong antioxidant properties
- Neuropsychiatric properties for depression, PTSD, etc.
Those six properties, either by themselves or in combination, are the underlying reason CBD has been very successful in reducing or eliminating so many symptoms of so many seemingly unrelated conditions while, at the same time, enhancing health and beauty.
CBD is not THC
CBD is completely legal throughout the USA through the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 because it’s not psychoactive like THC.
THC, the active ingredient in cannabis that gives its users a “high,” comes from the cannabis plant. Those plants have been continually modified to enhance THC for quantity and quality differences.
CBD comes from Industrial Hemp. This is the same plant but modified to remove the THC while retaining CBD and other beneficial compounds. The psychoactive compound has been removed from Industrial Hemp. These plants contain less than 0.03% THC. Industrial Hemp is also in demand for its fiber.
How Does it Work?
In scientific terms, CBD interacts with receptors in the human body called neuroreceptors. The neuroreceptors are part of the endocannabinoid system in mammals.
It’s almost as if the human body was designed to benefit from CBD!
CBD is extracted from Industrial Hemp and mixed with an inert carrier oil like hemp seed oil or olive oil for consumption. Topicals (creams, ointments, lotions, balms) are also very popular, particularly for isolated pain relief.
Did you know? CBD has been used for centuries.
The first documented use of cannabis-derived medicine dates back to 2737 BC when Chinese Emperor Sheng Neng used a cannabis-infused tea. Since CBD was isolated and identified as a unique compound in the early ‘40s, it has always been a neglected element because interest in THC eclipsed it.
CBD Side Effects
The absence of significant side effects is one of the assets CBD offers to people suffering from a variety of conditions. The most frequent side effects are relatively mild compared to the side effects of many prescription drugs. Typical side effects of CBD are:
- Dry mouth
- Mood changes
- Appetite changes
There may be some risks related to side effects. CBD may react with other prescription drugs, such as blood thinners. We always recommend that you proceed with caution and assess your risk.
A 20-year-old with no health issues using CBD to see if it reduces acne or helps alleviate pain in a muscle strain faces much less risk of trying something new than an 85-year-old with multiple major medical issues and multiple prescriptions.
The greater the risk you face, the greater the reason to include a medical practitioner in your decision to use CBD.
Science and CBD Benefits
This is a list of scientific studies where CBD has proven to be beneficial. Many more scientific studies are currently in progress, and we will continue to update this article with additional benefits over time.
A. CBD Benefits: Physical
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1. Relieve Pain
CBD has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes, and recent studies have shown its effectiveness in treating pain. In fact, over 50% of physician visits are motivated by pain.
A meta-study documented by the National Library of Medicine found that CBD is an effective treatment for pain relief. If you’re interested in learning more about how CBD can alleviate pain, check out our complete article on CBD for pain relief.
2. Reduce Chronic Pain
National Academies Committee on the Health Effects of Marijuana found there is “conclusive or substantial evidence” of benefit from cannabis or cannabinoids for chronic pain. (Google Scholar).
More research is currently being conducted and will help to determine some of the unknowns, such as dosages, best practices, demographic efficacy, and so much more.
3. Arthritis Pain Treatment
Study: Cannabidiol as a treatment for arthritis and joint pain – National Library of Medicine
It is estimated that over 54 million Americans suffer from arthritis. Much of the current treatment involves anti-inflammatories, acetaminophen, and even opioids in some of the more severe cases.
CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, has been shown to help reduce or eliminate arthritis symptoms. The study demonstrated pain reduction (83%), improved physical function (66%), and improvements in sleep quality (66%). For most arthritis sufferers, those are three important results.
One other significant finding was that CBD was able to replace some or all of the other medications being used to manage arthritis symptoms.
4. Treatment for Migraine
There is a general lack of formal research into the use of CBD as a treatment for migraine. However, there is a lot of supporting evidence that it can be an effective relief. Anecdotal (non-scientific) evidence has begun to accumulate.
Also, studies (see the rest of the article for links to research) have shown that CBD provides pain relief, reduces nausea, has anticonvulsive effects, and one of the key properties of CBD seems to be its ability to reduce inflammation. Relief from those symptoms is important to those suffering from migraines.
In one study that combined THC and CBD, there was a 40% reduction in migraine attacks over a three-month period and a pain reduction of 55%. A clinically-validated survey showed an 86% reduction in headache impact when using CBD for a 30-day period.
More research is definitely required, but early indications are promising.
5. Reduced Nerve Pain
A study conducted in 2020 came to the conclusion that CBD administered topically (using creams, balms, or ointments) offered significant improvements to people suffering from peripheral neuropathy, which is nerve pain.
There was a reduction in intense pain, sharp pain, and cold and itchy sensations that people suffering from this condition often experience.
6. Strengthen Bones
There is some debate in medical circles about whether elderly people break bones because they fell or whether they fell because a bone broke. Either way, according to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of injury-related death among adults over 65.
Bone health is a serious concern for anyone over 50. Research studies have shown that CBD helps to strengthen bones and helps to promote the healing process if a fracture does occur.
7. Alleviate Cancer-Related Symptoms
There are no studies that show CBD to be effective in treating cancer. However, using CBD to treat the symptoms of cancer and cancer treatments has benefits for the patient.
CBD can be effective in treating cancer-associated pain, anxiety and depression, sleep problems, nausea and vomiting, and oral mucositis that are associated with cancer and its treatment.
8. Heart Health Benefits
CBD shows promise as a treatment for high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a condition that affects roughly 45% of the entire adult population across all socioeconomic groups. It is a huge problem – it’s the leading cause of death and is expected to get worse in the coming years.
The study quoted shows that CBD reduced resting blood pressure and reduced blood pressure associated with stress. Further research is required to determine if CBD is suitable for the treatment of high blood pressure.
9. Brain Tumor Life Extension – Glioblastoma
Glioblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor in adults, with a very low 5-year survival rate. This study demonstrated that those treated with CBD had double the survival rate at one year compared to those that were in the placebo group.
In addition, another finding in that study is that there was no drug-to-drug interaction. Again, more study is required, but these results are promising.
10. Improved Sleep
If you’re looking for a natural way to improve your sleep, CBD may be worth considering. In a recent study, subjects were tested for both anxiety and sleep, and the results showed impressive improvements in both areas.
After just one month, 79% of the subjects had reduced anxiety, and 66% experienced improved sleep. While more studies are needed, this particular study suggests that CBD could be an effective treatment for both anxiety and sleep issues.
To learn more about how CBD can improve your sleep, check out our page on CBD for sleep.
CBD has shown promise in treating the painful symptoms of Fibromyalgia, but researchers are still searching for answers to the question, why does it seem to work for some but not for others?
Reducing inflammation is one of the greatest benefits of CBD, and that’s what makes it so helpful in treating symptoms of Fibromyalgia.
There are a number of symptoms that women experience as a result of menopause, such as hot flashes, sleep disturbances, and mood shifts.
CBD has been shown to be effective in dealing with the major symptoms of menopause in separate studies shown on this page. CBD helps regulate mood changes because it is effective in helping reduce anxiety and depression.
CBD has established itself as an effective tool for improving sleep.
Another major symptom of menopause is the loss of bone density, and, again, CBD has been proven to help strengthen bones in aging adults. See #10 for more info about improving sleep, #6 for more info about strengthening bones, and #31 for more about reducing anxiety.
13. Treatment for Menstrual Cramps
Despite the opioid epidemic, limited non-opioid options have been developed to treat this public health crisis. Craving and anxiety are two major factors that cause people suffering from addiction to relapse.
This study showed that CBD reduced both craving and anxiety and continued to have an effect seven days after the final short-term CBD exposure.
Article: CBD & Cannabis for Endometriosis
Scientific research speculates that there are at least four receptors in the human body that impact Endometriosis, and those may also be, or seem to offer some explanation for how CBD offers a positive impact and possibly THC (the psychoactive ingredient in the cannabis plant).
There is not enough scientific study in this area at this time, but there is abundant anecdotal evidence that supports CBD as an effective treatment for symptoms of Endometriosis, such as pain relief.
15. Weight Loss
Obesity is a huge health problem throughout the world. It is estimated that 1.9 billion people are overweight. There is no conclusive direct evidence that taking CBD will result in weight loss, but there is evidence that CBD will indirectly have an impact on weight by increasing metabolism. Increasing metabolism results in more calories being burned in typical daily activities.
CBD stimulates the CB2 receptor, which decreases food intake and inflammation. THC is well known for stimulating appetite by stimulating the CB1 receptor, which CBD appears to block or possibly deactivate.
There is also evidence that CBD helps convert white fat (bad) to brown fat (much better).
16. Improve Sex
Study: How CBD can help improve sex
CBD can help improve sex – not because it has some direct impact on performance, but because it helps to set the mood and increases the pleasure because there are so many cannabinoid receptors in reproductive organs and sexual tissue.
CBD increases blood flow to tissues. A reduction of anxiety, including performance anxiety, is another major reason why people are saying it helps. There are no formal studies that can support this; the evidence is anecdotal. However, several studies are planned at this time.
17. Gastrointestinal Damage Protection
Athletes, in particular, are susceptible to GI damage because as vigorous exercise increases blood flow to the muscles, it also reduces blood flow to the organs and GI tract.
CBD may protect against gastrointestinal damage associated with inflammation and promote the healing of traumatic skeletal injuries because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. More studies are required to be conclusive.
18. Antibacterial Properties (Including Drug-Resistant Bacteria)
The first thing researchers looked at is CBD’s ability to kill bacteria. In every case, CBD had a very similar potency to that of common antibiotics. CBD also was able to destroy drug-resistant strains of bacteria. At this point, it’s not entirely clear how CBD did this.
However, it can be said that CBD has some remarkably useful antimicrobial activity beyond that previously described, including the potential to fight multidrug-resistant streptococcus, pneumonia, and other drug-resistant forms of bacteria.
More study is required before CBD can be used to treat bacterial infections.
19. Reduce the Risk of Stroke
The probability of having a stroke is closely related to blood pressure. A small group of healthy men were tested. Those men were aged 19 to 29 and had never used cannabis.
The researchers found that a single dose of CBD reduced blood pressure by a significant amount, even when their heart rate was increased.
Reduced blood pressure reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases like stroke, and CBD has been shown to be effective; however, further study is required to determine if it can be used in the treatment of high blood pressure.
20. Traumatic Brain Injury Help
Traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of death in people under 45. It’s the result of concussions from car accidents, sports injuries, falls, and any number of injuries. Traumatic brain injury is also the most commonly identified cause of epilepsy.
CBD has been shown to reduce brain damage and improve functional recovery in animal models of stroke and TBI. According to a 2010 report in the British Journal of Pharmacology. Further research is required to find out what role CBD may have in treating traumatic brain injury
21. Parkinson’s Disease Relief
The endocannabinoid system is a promising target for neuroprotective treatment. That’s another way of saying that CBD can help.
A study that offered CBD to people suffering from Parkinson’s Disease found that treatments of 300 mg per day improved the quality of life for those people more than the placebo group or the group that had a lower dose of CBD.
22. Reduce Steroid Need
Steroids help to reduce inflammation or allergies, and because of that property, they are valuable in treating a vast variety of seemingly unrelated health issues such as rheumatoid arthritis, skin rashes, low energy, or preventing rejection after organ transplants.
The problem with steroids is the side effects. There are a variety of side effects possible, such as diarrhea, hair loss, nausea, nail and skin problems, fatigue, abdominal bloating, disruption to her menstrual cycle, urinary tract infections, and mouth ulcers.
Scientists have found that CBD can be effective in reducing rejection in bone marrow transplants among steroid-resistant patients. Further research allowed patients to shift from steroids to CBD as when treating Crohn’s disease and autoimmune hepatitis.
It shows great promise for an ability to replace steroids. Research is continuing.
B. CBD Benefits: Skin Care & Beauty
[FLW is…] a reliable source for CBD products with knowledgeable owner and staff. Also has some other nice items. Try European Spa Source – ShowerSpa Mist – you will feel like you are in a luxury hotel steam-room.Richard S
In addition to medically related issues, CBD has proven to be a valuable compound in many health and beauty products. CBD is not only anti-inflammatory but also has antioxidant properties.
23. Reduce The Appearance of Scars
Skin can repair itself after a traumatic event, but the longer it takes to repair, the greater the chance of a scar developing. CBD can help speed the healing process by stimulating the production of new skin cells.
24. Reduce Aging and Wrinkles – Antioxidant
Toxins in the environment create free radicals in our body, which are destructive single electrons from oxidative stress. This process leads to inflammation and premature aging and can even cause heart disease and some cancers. Oxidants are bad for our bodies.
CBD has been shown to modify the level and activity of both oxidants and antioxidants. It interrupts free radical chain reactions, capturing free radicals or transforming them into less active forms.
CBD is an effective antioxidant, and the value of that property is still being investigated through ongoing research.
25. Acne Management
Because CBD reduces inflammation in the entire body, that may have an impact on the sebaceous glands, which produce sebum. Too much sebum can lead to acne.
This study showed that CBD reduced or prevented the activity in these glands.
26. Reduce Skin Oil
There is limited data to suggest that CBD may decrease oil production when applied topically. Reduced skin oil is generally helpful and particularly helpful in reducing the appearance of acne. The glands that create skin oil are impacted, as described in the study linked in #24 above.
27. Smooth Rough Skin
CBD is a source of naturally occurring anti-inflammatory properties — all of the things that the beauty industry values highly. Like any moisturizer, CBD oil also acts as an emollient to smooth rough cells on the skin’s surface and offers moisturizing benefits in addition to the other benefits offered by CBD.
28. Treat Eczema & Psoriasis
This study showed that applying topical CBD-enriched ointment on psoriatic skin did help to reduce psoriasis symptoms. This research is still in its early stages but shows great promise.
There is little downside to trying CBD for eczema, and many have experienced positive results.
29. Healthy Hair
CBD oil contains all 21 known amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. That builds collagen and elastin, which are essential to hair strength.
Also, CBD oil is high in antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E and has shown its strength as an antioxidant that shields hair from dryness and frizz. (see #23 above). Also, Omegas 3, 6, and 9 help to maintain hair color.
30. Eliminate Dry Scalp
It’s regenerative for the skin, so it helps the scalp maintain necessary things to keep it healthy, like reducing dandruff, improving blood circulation, and reducing or eliminating sore or irritated hair follicles.”
C. CBD Benefits: Mental Health
I suffer from anxiety and [FLW] was able to help me out and talk me through the best options. The store is amazing and the products have been awesome so far. I have noticed that my anxiety is reduced after 3 days using the green life organics cbd oil. I will definitely be back!Alison R.
31. Reduced Mental Health Disorder Symptoms
There are a number of mental health issues where treatment with CBD has shown scientific promise and/or is anecdotally revered.
- General anxiety
- obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- panic disorder
- social anxiety disorder
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- sleep disorders
32. One of the Top CBD Benefits: Reduce Anxiety
It’s my opinion, as the writer of this article, that reducing anxiety is one of the cornerstones of the benefits CBD offers. This 2019 study measured blood pressure and heart rate in three groups of subjects, all of which had different doses.
CBD was determined to have been very effective in reducing anxiety.
33. Reduce Paranoia & Anxiety Resulting From THC
If you accidentally consume too much THC and feel anxious or paranoid, counteract it by taking some CBD. CBD is the yin of THC’s yang!
CBD reduces the feeling of being high, and it reduces the munchies and sleepiness induced by THC. It produces a much more mellow feeling.
34. CBD Benefits: Neuroprotection
One of the most studied uses for CBD is in treating neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and Parkinson’s Disease. Though research in this area is still relatively new, several studies have shown promising results.
Studies have demonstrated a reduction in muscle spasticity, reduced epileptic seizures, and a significant reduction in seizures in children with Dravet Syndrome, a childhood epilepsy disorder.
People with autism have experienced improvements in their health and behaviors after taking CBD.
Taking CBD has shown a reduction in anxiety and aggression, self-harm, and improved social interactions. In addition, it has been shown to reduce co-occurring seizures.
The risks are often minimal (nausea, lightheadedness, diarrhea) compared to the benefits.
36. Antipsychotic Effects
This study examined multiple other studies that investigated the antipsychotic properties of CBD. Small-scale clinical studies have shown CBD to be an effective, safe, and well-tolerated antipsychotic compound.
However, many larger studies would be required before CBD would be available for treatment. It shows promise, but it’s not approved for medical use at this point.
37. Treatment for Substance Abuse And Addiction
Article: Using CBD During Addiction Recovery
CBD has shown great potential in treating substance abuse and addiction. Consistently ingesting regulated amounts of CBD has been shown to reduce the symptoms and cravings associated with withdrawal from substance abuse, ease anxiety and irritability, and lower cravings for tobacco, heroin, alcohol, cannabis, opiates, and stimulants.
CBD has also been found to significantly reduce craving and anxiety in drug-abstinent heroin users, making it a promising non-opioid option for treating addiction.
38. Help With ADHD
If you or a loved one is struggling with ADHD, you may be looking for alternative treatments to supplement traditional medication. CBD has been gaining popularity as a natural treatment for ADHD symptoms.
At Flourish + Live Well, we’ve compiled the latest research on CBD for ADHD to help you make an informed decision about whether CBD is right for you. From improving focus and concentration to reducing hyperactivity and impulsivity, CBD may offer a range of benefits for those with ADHD.
To learn more, check out our page on CBD for ADHD.
39. Epilepsy Treatment
The results of the study showed that treatment with CBD-based products significantly reduces seizure frequency, even for this otherwise treatment-resistant population.
The reductions in seizures were between 37% and 89%, which is remarkable. More study is required before CBD will qualify as a medical treatment for epilepsy.
40. PTSD Treatment
After 4 weeks of treatment, 91% of patients in this study reported a decrease in symptoms of PTSD. Some patients continued for 36 weeks and experienced a sustained decrease in symptoms.
CBD was well tolerated in this study, with no patients dropping out of the study due to side effects. More study is required to determine how long the effect can last.
41. Schizophrenia Treatment
After six weeks of treatment, the CBD group had a lower level of psychotic symptoms than the placebo group. In this study, CBD had beneficial effects on patients suffering from schizophrenia.
This is just one study, and other studies have shown inconsistent results. Much more study is needed.
42. Reduce Psychosis Symptoms
This study found that a single dose of CBD can reduce symptoms of psychosis by “resetting” brain activity in three areas of the brain.
The brains of those that took the CBD showed less severe abnormalities than the placebo group, indicating a reset had taken place.
43. Improved Memory
Having a great memory is exactly the opposite of the stereotypical cannabis user. However, recent studies have shown that blood flow increases to the key regions of the brain associated with memory processing and decision-making.
The change in blood flow this study demonstrated suggests further research in this area could be valuable to those suffering from PTSD and Alzheimer’s disease.
44. Treating Depression
This study focused on people that were already using CBD to self-treat depression. 90 people responded and completed a questionnaire. The survey found that the vast majority, 86%, felt better after CBD treatment, and the majority of the group was taking CBD daily.
This study is not in any way conclusive; it just asked a group of people who were self-treating for depression for their opinion. A clinical study is required.
D. CBD Benefits: Dogs (& Horses)
Best CBD dispensary in town! Regie and the folks at Flourish + Live Well truly CARE and offer…CBD for pets including Bailey’s CBD oil for cats, CBD oil for dogs, CBD dog chews, and CBD pet topicals! If you or your pet are in need of CBD for anxiety, inflammation, arthritis, etc. this shop is for you!! Visit their CBD store today!Aaron A
For more information about CBD and dogs, we invite you to take a look at this article: CBD for Dogs.
It will answer questions like: How well does it work?, What are the symptoms and issues it helps with?, Is it legal?, What dosages are best?, What to look for in a product?, and why Flourish + Live Well might be the best place for you to shop for CBD for dogs.
45. Arthritis Relief
Dogs that suffer from arthritis are often prescribed drugs that may damage the liver or kidneys and may not be very effective. CBD, on the other hand, stimulates the immune system to reduce inflammation, and CB1 receptors change the way the brain responds to pain.
Reducing pain and inflammation without side effects has proven beneficial to dogs with arthritis.
46. Fight Cancer
The study above showed that CBD is effective at reducing cancer cell proliferation. In addition to slowing the growth of cancer cells, CBD has demonstrated other cancer-fighting properties in animals.
CBD increased the survival time, slowed the growth of tumors, cancer cells became more sensitive to treatment with CBD, and CBD also directly killed cancer cells by blocking their ability to produce energy.
47. Seizures & Epilepsy
Study: Randomized blinded controlled clinical trial to assess the effect of oral cannabidiol administration in addition to conventional antiepileptic treatment on seizure frequency in dogs with intractable idiopathic epilepsy
89% of the dogs in this study who received CBD had a reduction in the frequency of seizures. A larger follow-up study was created to determine the impact of dosage on the effectiveness of CBD in reducing seizures.
48. Reduced Nausea
There is a lot of evidence that the endocannabinoid system in humans and animals regulates nausea and vomiting and CBD has a beneficial impact on that system. See the “How does it work” section above.
Preclinical research shows that CBD may be clinically effective for treating nausea and vomiting produced by chemotherapy or other treatments.
49. Soothe Nervous System in Horses
This study showed a reduced reactivity to a stressful event. CBD could be beneficial for horses dealing with transport stress, competition-related stress, or stall rest. The benefit of CBD is that it can reduce anxiety without causing significant side effects.
50. Eliminate Dry, Itchy Skin
The results of this study showed that 65% of the dogs participating had substantial reductions in itchiness. CBD can help to reduce dry, itchy skin in dogs because of two properties it possesses.
CBD has natural anti-inflammatory properties, and it also has natural antihistamine properties. Histamines are a chemical that causes itching.
Keep Up To Date
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