Updated on December 16, 2022. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Shatha Atiya.
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, derived from the Cannabis sativa plant, has become a go-to solution for patients who need relief from some illnesses. Mainly because of its efficacy when alleviating pain, inflammation, and other health conditions.
Despite its recent entrance into the healthcare industry, CBD is fast gaining momentum in the medical world and continues to cause a revolution in the patientcare industry.
It has become a preferred choice for many patients because it works without affecting their state of mind. Although derived from cannabis, CBD contains no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the chemical in cannabis responsible for the ‘high.’
There are various CBD products patients can obtain for their needs. For example, CBD cream, gummies, vape pens, syrup, cake, and even CBD toothpaste! And its application has been known to help manage numerous conditions, including PTSD.
This article will show you how CBD oil excels in treating various medical conditions.
How effective is CBD?
CBD is everywhere. A 2018 survey of over 2,000 U.S. residents shows that 85% of Americans have heard about the oil, and 62% use it therapeutically. The top three health issues that respondents used CBD for were treating chronic pain, anxiety, and depression. Others use CBD oil to alleviate nausea, treat headaches, seizures, and even sexual enhancement.
Research also shows that CBD works for certain rare and aggressive medical conditions. For instance, childhood epilepsy categories like Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) and Dravet Syndrome. Also, CBD oil mitigates anxiety disorders like PTSD, muscle spasticity related to multiple sclerosis, and lots more.
Many studies have indicated that CBD has reduced or stopped seizures in childhood epilepsy cases, which typically do not respond to anti-seizure treatments.
Epidiolex, an oral solution containing CBD, is the first FDA-approved drug for treating these cases of epilepsy.
Here’s how CBD works
When any cannabinoid such as CBD gets into the body, they produce an effect when they interact with your cannabinoid receptors. There are two types of receptors; CB1 and CB2.
CB1 is most prominent in the brain, although also found in the rest of the body. This receptor helps in harmonizing body movement. Additionally, it coordinates the brain while controlling pain, emotions, thinking, memories, and appetite.
CB2, on the other hand, is found in the immune system. It controls and affects things like pain and inflammation, which can stem from an immune response in the body.
Although CBD is still undergoing research by numerous scientists to improve medical accuracy for proper doses and prescriptions, it is fantastic news to know that there is compelling evidence of the efficacy and safety of CBD use.
Seven major conditions alleviated by CBD
CBD can be helpful for patients suffering from diverse types of illnesses. From arthritis to cluster headaches, anxiety, asthma, lung conditions, and more–CBD oil diminishes them all.
Here are a few conditions where CBD oil may come in handy:
StuffThatWork community member reports suggest that CBD oil may be a very effective treatment for PTSD. For some, CBD oil is more effective than traditional drugs, such as Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac, etc.
The reason that CBD works excellently in PTSD patients is because of its effect on the endocannabinoid system. A study showed a decrease in the severity of PTSD-related symptoms in up to 91% of patients tested after eight weeks of treatment. There was a 28% decrease in their PTSD Checklist-5 score after eight weeks compared to when they first started.
Many studies show that besides CBD slowing the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, it may also improve the condition of those affected.
A 2014 study on mice suggests that CBD may help Alzheimer’s patients retain their ability to remember faces. Research is still ongoing to better understand the suitable dosage for this disease.
CBD oil has also shown promising results when alleviating chronic pain and serving as an anti-inflammatory remedy. It is a natural treatment that helps the body not release the compounds that cause inflammation.
When applied topically as an ointment, CBD may also help reduce swellings, inflamed skin diseases, and scars.
Type 1 Diabetes
This type of diabetes results from an attack on the pancreas cells by the immune system. Because of the anti-inflammatory nature of CBD, it may ease inflammation which could protect from Type 1 diabetes or cause a delay in its onset.
Acne is often a result of excess sebum production and the inflammation of sebaceous glands in the body. Topical CBD helps reduce sebum production and fights inflammation in the skin due to its anti-inflammatory qualities. Also, it can be effective against other inflammatory skin diseases like psoriasis.
Studies show that the antipsychotic effects of CBD may reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia and the associated risks of the disease. The presence of CBD in the endocannabinoid system counteracts psychotic symptoms and other cognitive impairments related to the use of cannabis. And this is especially useful for patients dealing with schizophrenia and mental health challenges.
Based on numerous studies, CBD can help patients fall asleep and stay asleep. Some studies have shown that patients with insomnia experienced a significant reduction in their cortisol levels after taking 300 – 600mg of CBD oil. Therefore, suggesting that CBD could slow the release of cortisol, acting as a natural sedative for patients.
Other Uses of CBD
Besides the usefulness of CBD in the cases mentioned above, it is just as effective for the conditions below:
Withdrawal and addiction
CBD has shown potential in keeping smoking addicts off their nicotine addiction. Replacing cigarettes with CBD inhalers reduced the nicotine craving, helping addicts stop smoking.
Its relaxing effects also helped some reduce their tobacco cravings during withdrawal. CBD has also been potent in reducing the consequences of substance abuse such as sleep disorders, anxiety, and more.
A lot of research has been going on, looking at how CBD can help prevent the growth of some cancer cells, improve chemotherapy, and lessen the side effects associated with chemotherapy.
Much about CBD is still undergoing research; however, the medical world is beginning to feel its effects and usefulness in managing many diseases today.
Since appropriate dosages and prescriptions are yet to be determined, it is best to consult with your doctor if you decide to try products and supplements containing CBD.