CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is the second prevalent active ingredient of the cannabis plant. The interaction between CBD and the body’s many receptors, leads to a whole host of benefits. Researchers continue to prove the efficacy of CBD, so there is a clear understanding of the full potential CBD provides.
We know CBD is a proven treatment when it comes to epilepsy, and early research is showing promise in regards to various anxiety disorders, and has been used extensively in the treatment of PTSD, and many other ailments, including cancer. There is a lot of excitement surrounding the benefits of CBD, and the more research done, the more healing can be achieved.
Proponents of CBD claim that it can be used to treat conditions such as chronic pain, inflammation, migraines, PTSD, epilepsy, autoimmune diseases, depression, and anxiety. And a whole lot more.
CBD and Anxiety
CBD is commonly used to address anxiety. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says that CBD has been shown to reduce stress in animals such as rats, and study subjects were observed as having lower behavioral signs of anxiety. It is also known that CBD can help to treat anxiety-induced insomnia as well. Other kinds of anxiety include post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, and social anxiety disorder (SAD).
In 2011, a study researched the effect of CBD on people with SAD, social anxiety disorder. Participants were given an oral dose of 400 milligrams (mg) of CBD or a placebo. Those who received CBD experienced overall reduced anxiety levels.
CBD offers an option for treating different types of anxiety. A recent large case series from Colorado found that 25mg-175mg per day of CBD reduced anxiety in 57 out of 72 patients, or 79%. The results lasted through the study and beyond. 1,2 This exciting research, as well as countless patient stories, inspires further digging into how CBD can positively impact mental health.
CBD and PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder that begins after a traumatic event. That event may involve a real or perceived threat of injury or even death.
People with PTSD feel a heightened sense of danger, and the natural fight-or-flight response is altered, causing feelings of stress and fear, even if in a safe environment, free of any danger.
Many studies have shown that CBD can dramatically help with PTSD symptoms like those who experience nightmares, replaying of negative memories, confusion, depression, and desperate thoughts.
Many recent studies have shown that CBD can dramatically help with PTSD symptom sufferers who experience nightmares, the replaying of negative memories, confusion, depression, and desperate thoughts.
These studies have looked at CBD as both an individualized treatment as well as a supplement to traditional treatments, and the results have been very beneficial. Many people have experienced great relief from the symptoms which have plagued them as a result of PTSD. Researchers have recorded that CBD has offered great relief to the many victims suffering with the immobilizing effects of PTSD.
CBD and Sleep
For patients who suffer with insomnia, studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep.
There is significant scientific research that supports the health benefits of CBD for sleep. The use of CBD can potentially decrease your symptoms of insomnia to achieve quality sleep. It’s easy to understand why people are turning to CBD.
Almost 80 percent of Americans say they have trouble sleeping at least once a week, according to another recent national survey. And many existing treatments, particularly prescription and over-the-counter drugs, are often limited in their ability to help with pain relief, and they can be risky.
Joseph Maroon, M.D., a clinical professor and neurosurgeon at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center who has researched the effect of cannabis on the brain, says that CBD has properties that help people experience better sleep, provided the dosing for the individual is accurate. Everyone is different, and therefore there is no one set dose. It requires some trial and error, but once the dose is found, sleep is achieved.
CBD also affects sleep directly, by interacting with receptors in the brain that govern the body’s daily sleep/wake cycles, according to a 2017 review of sleep and cannabis in the journal Current Psychiatry Reports.
CBD and Chronic Pain
One of the most challenging conditions to treat is chronic pain. Chronic pain is a complex and multidimensional experience, as pain perception is affected by our individually unique biology, mood, social environment, and past experiences. If you or a loved one is suffering from chronic pain, you are greatly aware of the challenges.
People are looking for nonaddictive ways to treat pain and given the challenges of chronic pain management, patients are searching for effective and safer alternatives to opioids to alleviate pain.
CBD is now recognized as a promising pharmaceutical agent to treat chronic pain, and all the conditions/symptoms which accompany chronic pain, continues to evolve. Evidence from animal studies has shown that CBD exerts its pain-relieving effects through its various interactions and modulation of the endocannabinoid system, which is involved in regulating our pain perception.
Given its promising results in animal models, along with its relative safety, non-psychoactive properties, and low potential for abuse, CBD is an attractive candidate to relieve pain.
Currently, CBD alone is not approved for treatment of pain in the United States. But a combination which contains both THC and CBD in a 1:1 ratio, has been approved by Health Canada for prescription, for certain types of pain, specifically central neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis, and the treatment of cancer pain unresponsive to optimized opioid therapy.
CBD and Anti-Nausea
Anyone who has experienced bouts of nausea from either a virus or in more severe cases, such as cancer, knows how taxing on the body symptoms from nausea can be. The good news is research suggests that CBD provides relief for nausea and vomiting. CBD interacts with serotonin releasing receptors, and when given in relatively small doses, has been shown to help alleviate both nausea and vomiting.
Creating a more positive state of mind is definitely helpful for anyone going through chemotherapy, or for anyone experiencing difficult-to-treat, chronic nausea. CBD can create this positive state of mind, by alleviating not only the nausea, but the anxiety which comes along with it. In many instances, patients have experienced positive results when using CBD for their nausea, because both their physical pain from the nausea coupled with their anxiety as a result of the nausea, subsided.
Patients who have nausea caused by chemotherapy, radiation, or other identifiable reasons, CBD can provide relief. Whole plant medicine is more effective than any isolated cannabinoid. The use of cannabis for nausea, and for vomiting due to chemotherapy or radiation, is accepted by many physicians because it is effective, well-tolerated, and even though we do not understand all the mechanisms of action, we do know it works.
What We Know
The benefits of CBD are endless. And we are hearing wonderful stories about people who are finding fantastic relief from their pain and suffering, and are actually healing successfully. As research continues, we are discovering the miraculous benefits of the cannabis plant and how it effectively helps our healing, nourishing mind, body and soul.
- Shannon S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. Perm J. 2019;23:18-041. doi: 10.7812/TPP/18-041. PMID: 30624194; PMCID: PMC6326553.
- Elms, Lucas, et al. “Cannabidiol in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder: a case series.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 25.4 (2019): 392-397.
- Wade DT, Robson P, House H, et al. A preliminary con- trolled study to determine whether whole-plant cannabis extracts can improve intractable neurogenic symptoms. Clin Rehabil. 2003;17:21-29.
- Mecha M, Feliú A, Iñigo PM, Mestre L, Carrillo-Salinas FJ, Guaza C. Cannabidiol provides long-lasting protection against the deleterious effects of inflammation in a viral model of multiple sclerosis: a role for A2A receptors. Neurobiol Dis 2013;59:141-150.
- Chen, Jeffrey W., Laura M. Borgelt, and Allison B. Blackmer. “Epidiolex (Cannabidiol): a new hope for patients with dravet or lennox-gastaut syndromes.” Annals of Pharmacotherapy(2019): 1060028018822124.
- Rock EM, Parker LA. Effect of low doses of cannabidiolic acid and ondansetron on LiCl-induced conditioned gaping (a model of nausea-induced behaviour) in rats. Br J Pharmacol. 2013 Jun;169(3):685-92. doi: 10.1111/bph.12162. PMID: 23488964; PMCID: PMC3682714.