Is cannabidiol (CBD)…
- An all-natural medicine with countless benefits?
- A questionable drug with no redeeming value?
- A prescription medication for epilepsy?
Depending on who you talk to, you might hear any or all three, but here are the facts:
We’re still in the early phases of CBD research, but so far scientists have found dozens of promising health benefits.
Some of the strongest studies show that CBD may help treat:
- Muscle pain
Actually, the full list of benefits is much longer, and we’ll dig into all the nitty gritty details later on in this guide.
Scan it like a cheat sheet, jump around like a dictionary, or read it from top-to-bottom.
The choice is yours.
I promise it’ll be fun and painless, and by the time you’re done, you’ll be a CBD wiz.
There’s a lot to cover, so let’s not waste anymore time.
Here we go!
Will CBD Make You High?
If you’ve ever heard rumors that CBD can get you high, you’ve heard wrong.
CBD is entirely non-psychoactive, meaning it won’t make you high.
You can hop, skip, jump, drive, and go to work just like you normally do.
In other words, you get all the therapeutic effects of cannabis without the foggy head.
Sounds pretty fabulous, right?
What Is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of 100 compounds found in hemp and cannabis plants, although it’s much more concentrated in hemp.
Most CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from from hemp and then diluting it in a carrier oil like coconut oil.
Scientists first began to explore the benefits of cannabinoids back in the 1990s.
As they dove deeper, they found that CBD brought relief to a wide variety of symptoms.
In other words, is not just a one-trick pony.
Not only does CBD kick inflammation to the curb, but it can also treat skin conditions, cancer and epilepsy.
Plus, it supports mental health and eases digestion.
CBD vs. THC
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a compound found in cannabis and hemp that makes you high.
CBD, on the other hand, does not get you high.
It does, however, reduce inflammation and promote health.
THC is found in high concentrations in cannabis, and low concentrations in hemp (roughly 0.3% or less).
Batch CBD is made from hemp, so it will not get you high or cause you to fail a drug test.
THC and CBD are both “cannabinoids” so they share the same basic molecular structure.
They interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS).
The ECS regulates all other body systems, including the nervous, immune, digestive and endocrine systems.
When you take CBD, it can affect:
- Immune response
...and a whole bunch more.
In other words, even though CBD is just a single nutrient, it can affect the function of almost every organ in the body.
An Alphabetical List of Potential CBD Benefits
But enough beating around the bush…
Below is a complete list of the potential health benefits of CBD.
For your perusing pleasure, they’re listed here from A-Z.
Each benefit is supported by the latest medical research, so you can follow the links if you want to dive a little deeper.
As you search the web for CBD content, you’ll inevitably come across sites promoting CBD as a magic pill, the elixir of life, and the holy grail of health.
But beware of the hype!
Although the early research on CBD is super exciting, it’s still too soon to crown CBD as king of the health world.
Experts agree that more human clinical trials are needed before we can make such extravagant claims.
With that said, many of these studies are incredibly exciting.
Without further ado, here’s the ultimate list of CBD benefits:
You might come across a site or two that promotes CBD as a treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but so far the data is shaky at best.
However, researchers are still hopeful, and if you’re running out of options it may be worth a try.
There is at least one study claiming that the drug Sativex can improve the behavior of adults with ADHD, but this contains a 1:1 ratio of CBD to THC. (1)
As of right now, there’s no evidence to indicate that CBD can treat ADHD on its own.
The evidence that CBD can treat addiction is promising.
CBD may help opioid addicts by dampening the reward center in the brain that fuels addiction.
It can also make withdrawals less severe and guard against stress.
In fact, a 2015 meta-analysis found that CBD may fight addiction to psychostimulants, opioids, cannabis and tobacco. (2)
Studies show that CBD can have long-term neuroprotective effects and may guard against Alzheimer’s.
Here’s what the research has to say about CBD and degenerative brain disease:
- A 2008 animal study found that CBD can reduce short-term brain damage in pigs. It also improved breathing, blood flow and heart function with zero side effects. (3)
- On a similar note, a 2014 rodent study proved for the first time that long-term CBD use may prevent Alzheimer’s disease. (4)
- A 2017 meta-analysis published in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology found that CBD can reverse the cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer’s. (5)
CBD protects the brain by reducing inflammation, combatting oxidation, and neutralizing free radicals.
“Anxiety disorders” is a broad category that includes:
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
These anxiety-related disorders can lead to relationship breakdowns, lack of self-worth, and increased risk of suicide.
Luckily, preclinical evidence supports that CBD may help treat all of them.
According to a 2015 meta-analysis published in the journal Neurotherapeutics, even short-term administration of CBD can be effective. (6)
One of the ways that CBD reduces anxiety is by increasing GABA in the brain.
GABA is the same neurotransmitter that’s activated by prescription anti-anxiety meds like Xanax.
However, with CBD, you can boost GABA without the dangerous addictive effects of prescription drugs.
At the same time, CBD enhances natural cannabinoids in several brain regions.
The end result is a chiller, happier, and less anxious you!
Pain management is an area where CBD really shines
If you want to fight arthritis pain, topical CBD seems to be the most effective.
For instance, a 2016 rodent study found that transdermal CBD can reduce pain-related behavior in rats with arthritis. (7)
At the same time, a separate 2019 study found that CBD may treat rheumatoid arthritis by reducing joint inflammation. (8)
CBD may treat asthma by fighting inflammation.
Most asthma symptoms are the result of inflammation and swelling in the lungs.
Luckily, CBD reduces inflammatory cytokines that cause swelling.
At the same time, CBD acts on endocannabinoid receptors in the lungs to relieve pain.
A 2019 study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology found that CBD calms the immune system and soothes the airway. (9)
It’s a match made in neurological heaven!
Autism is a psychiatric disorder characterized by hyperactivity, aggressive behavior, difficulty communicating, anxiety and sleep disorders.
Fortunately, early research shows that CBD can treat many of these symptoms.
Experts agree that we’re desperately in need of more effective treatments for autism, and CBD might do the trick.
Recently, more and more parents are turning to CBD, and they’re reporting back exciting news.
In a 2018 study published in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology, 53 autistic children were treated with CBD for an average of 66 days. (10)
Here are the results:
- Self-injury improved in 67.8% of patients
- Hyperactivity improved in 68.4% of patients
- Sleep problems improved in 71.4% of patients
- Anxiety improved in 47.1% of patients
At the same time, side effects like fatigue and changes in appetite were mild.
“Autoimmune disorders” is a broad category that includes:
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Type 1 diabetes
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
They’re all linked to an overactive immune system and excessive inflammation.
Fortunately, CBD is a potent anti-inflammatory that stops problematic cytokines in its tracks.
A 2018 rodent study found that CBD can effectively treat MS by reducing inflammation. (11)
Here’s what the study’s authors had to say:
“Because CBD is non-psychoactive, our studies suggest that CBD may constitute an excellent candidate for the treatment of MS and other autoimmune diseases.”
I know, I know, it gets old hearing that everything either causes or cures cancer, but bear with me...
The early research on CBD and cancer is pretty exciting:
- One 2018 study published in the International Journal of Molecular Science found that, “Non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) and other CBs inhibited disease progression in breast cancer models.” (12)
- A separate 2019 human case study found that self-administration of CBD oil for one month can greatly reduce the spread of lung cancer cells. (13)
- In a 2012 study, researchers concluded that CBD may prevent/reduce colon cancer growth. (14)
At the very least, CBD can manage symptoms of chemotherapy, like nausea, vomiting, poor appetite and pain.
Early research shows that CBD may help the brain heal after injury. (15)
Concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are common in contact sports like football and martial arts.
The brain is a fragile ball of jelly, and anyone who hits their head too hard (even once) can suffer brain damage.
But don’t worry, your noggin’ will be in good hands with CBD.
Research shows that is can reduce several symptoms associated with TBIs, including:
- Poor memory
“In particular, CBD as well as other phytocannabinoids which do not bind to cannabinoid receptors, represent promising molecules to treat TBI.” (16)
In other words, there’s a solid chance that CBD might help heal head trauma.
Several studies show that CBD can treat depression by:
- Stimulating the immune system
- Reducing inflammation
- Boosting serotonin and dopamine
Researchers know that mood disorders tend to get worse with inflammation, and CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory. (17)
According to a 2014 study, animals given CBD were less likely to exhibit symptoms of depression. (18)
A 2018 study also found that CBD can boost the effectiveness of conventional antidepressants like fluoxetine. (19)
In the study, test subjects were given super-low doses of CBD and super-low doses of fluoxetine.
The doses were so low, in fact, that they normally wouldn’t have worked on their own.
However, together they became a dynamic duo with significant antidepressant effects.
Make sure to talk to your doctor if you’re already taking an antidepressant before experimenting with CBD.
Inflammation plays a key role in the development of diabetes.
By reducing inflammation, CBD may help prevent/reduce symptoms like neuropathy, retinopathy and cognitive deficits.
Most diabetics gradually lose the function of their kidneys, nervous system, and eyesight, but CBD may limit the damage. (20)
For example, a 2006 rodent study found that CBD can lower the incidences of diabetes in non-obese mice. (21)
At the same time, a separate 2019 study found that CBD can reduce the cognitive damage associated with diabetes. (22)
The underlying causes of eating disorders are not yet fully understood.
We do know, however, that cannabinoid receptors are prevalent in the areas of the brain that control food cravings, eating behaviors, reward, and energy balance.
By stimulating these receptors, some researchers believe that CBD may help treat anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders. (23)
However, more research is needed.
Some studies link migraines to endocannabinoid deficiencies and inflammation. (24)
Fortunately, CBD can help with both.
For instance, a recent report stated that cannabinoids can block the activity of migraine-generating receptors in the brain. (25)
Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome
CBD may treat IBS by reducing inflammation.
Inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS) is an autoimmune condition that affects the digestive system.
People with IBS have chronic gut inflammation and bacterial imbalances.
Plus, IBS patients often have higher rates of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
A 2013 paper published in the journal Phytotherapy Research found that, “CBD is a potential candidate for the development of a new class of anti-IBD drugs.” (26)
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune condition that attacks the nerves in the brain and spinal cord.
Over time, this can lead to numbness, speech impediments, blurred vision, fatigue and poor coordination.
Although there aren’t any studies indicating that CBD can treat MS on its own, CBD combined with THC is proven to help.
Sativex is a cannabis-derived oral spray that improves the muscular coordination of MS patients. (27)
It contains a combination of THC and CBD.
A 2019 study concluded that the combination of THC and CBD relieves muscle spasms by reducing nerve inflammation. (28)
Nausea and Vomiting
CBD may reduce symptoms like nausea and vomiting, especially in chemotherapy patients.
According to a recent study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology, “Preclinical research indicates that cannabinoids, including CBD, may be effective clinically for treating both nausea and vomiting produced by chemotherapy or other therapeutic treatments.” (29)
However, some people experience nausea when taking high doses of CBD.
It’s always important to start low, increase doses slowly, and listen to your body.
The anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects of CBD may treat neurodegenerative diseases like Huntington’s and Parkinson’s.
These conditions gradually deteriorate the nerves and brain.
In the case of Huntington’s, this leads to uncontrolled movements and cognitive difficulties.
Parkinson’s is similar, and is characterized by severe hand and body tremors.
Dopamine deficiency is linked to Parkinson’s, but luckily CBD boosts dopamine.
As of 2019, at least three studies have tested CBD as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease.
According to a recent report, “These studies reported therapeutic effects of CBD on non-motor symptoms.” (30)
In other words, CBD may treat the memory, learning and mood-related symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
Pain is one of the most common reasons that consumers use CBD products.
CBD may help treat the following types of pain:
- Joint pain
- Muscular pain/tension
- Chronic pain
- Acute pain
One animal study found that topical CBD gel can significantly reduce joint pain in rats. (31)
Not only that, but at least two other rodent studies arrived at similar conclusions, including this 2016 study conducted by the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. (32)
In fact, anytime that inflammation is contributing to the pain, CBD may help.
It’s also worth noting that CBD isn’t the only cannabinoid that relieves pain:
- Cannabichromene (CBC) is the third-most prevalent cannabinoid, and it’s great at reducing pain and inflammation.
- Cannabigerol (CBG) is more effective than THC at relieving pain and relaxing the muscles.
By the way, both CBC and CBG are in full-spectrum Batch CBD.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) comes with the aftermath of traumatic emotional experiences.
It can lead to anxiety, hormone imbalances, irritability, night terrors, insomnia, social problems, and substance abuse.
The good news is that CBD may help with several of these symptoms, including:
Even better, CBD is non-psychoactive and non-addictive, so it won’t put sensitive individuals at risk for substance abuse.
Here’s what the current research has to say about CBD and PTSD:
- A recent clinical trial found the CBD can reduce anxiety and promote quality sleep in patients with PTSD. (33)
- In a review of 49 clinical trials and studies, researchers found that CBD can treat several symptoms associated with PTSD, including anxiety, stress, social avoidance and difficulty sleeping. (34)
The neuroprotective effects of CBD can improve mood, behavior, and brain function in patients with schizophrenia.
One of the largest studies involved 88 people with schizophrenia. (35)
Over the course of six weeks, half of the group was treated with either 1000 mg/day of CBD or a placebo.
The CBD group showed significant improvements in cognitive processing and fewer hallucinations.
A 2012 study of 44 people showed similar results. (36)
CBD once again reduced hallucinations/delusions and improved thinking.
However, a separate 2018 study published in the journal Psychopharmacology found no improvements with a dose of 600 mg/day. (37)
In 2018, the FDA approved the first ever drug made from CBD to treat epilepsy.
The drug is called Epidiolex.
It treats Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two rare forms of epilepsy.
According to Billy Dunn, M.D., director of the Division of Neurology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, “The difficult-to-control seizures that patients with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome experience have a profound impact on these patients’ quality of life.” (38)
Acne, psoriasis, eczema, you name it...
If it involves inflammation of the skin, CBD may be able to help.
For example, here’s what researchers found when they tested CBD ointments on inflammatory skin diseases. (39)
“The topical administration of CBD ointment, without any THC, is a safe and effective non-invasive alternative for improving the quality of life in patients with some skin disorders, especially of inflammatory background.”
Studies show that CBD can improve sleep.
For example, a 2019 meta-review states that, “Many of the reviewed studies suggested that cannabinoids could improve sleep quality, decrease sleep disturbances, and decrease sleep onset latency.” (40)
The bottom line is, CBD can calm overactive brain chemistry, relieve stress, and help you sleep more soundly.
However, it’s also important to note that frequent, high doses of CBD can promote alertness and prevent sleep in some people.
This is why it’s so important to start with low doses and gradually increase until you achieve the desired effects.
Is CBD Right for You?
There are well-over 500 studies out there on CBD, and the early results are exciting.
However, you should always talk to your doctor before taking CBD for any ongoing health issues.
CBD may conflict with certain medications and affect the liver.
Although CBD is generally well-tolerated, some side effects have been reported, including:
- Difficulty sleeping
The good news, though, is that these side effects are relatively uncommon and usually mild.
More human studies are needed before we know the long-term effects of CBD.
With that said, CBD is a powerful anti-inflammatory that exerts healing effects on almost every organ in the body.
It’s an exciting time to try CBD, and there are plenty of high-quality brands to try.
Always make sure that your CBD is…
- Third-party tested
You deserve CBD that’s packed with nutrients and free of harmful contaminants.
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