CBD use has risen in popularity, and it’s touted as a treatment for a seemingly unending list of conditions, including pain, anxiety, and insomnia. Could it cure what ails you? Probably not. But it could offer some relief from symptoms that can help you function and feel better. So, which conditions CBD can help?
You’ve probably heard the hype about CBD oil, but not everyone understands what exactly it is and how it works.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid, one of more than 100 naturally occurring chemical compounds in the cannabis plant. THC is another one, but CBD differs from THC in that it doesn’t offer the euphoric high.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD is typically sourced from the hemp plant, which contains only trace amounts of THC. It works with your body’s endocannabinoid system, which supports functions including mood, motor control, sleep, pain, inflammation, and digestion.
Which Conditions CBD Can Help? Possible Uses for CBD Oils
When you take CBD, it binds to cannabinoid receptors in your endocannabinoid system, essentially offering better communication to systems throughout your body.
CBD oil can be helpful for a variety of conditions. Overall, it can be supportive as an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antiemetic, and anti-anxiety agent. Some of the specific conditions CBD can help for include:
- Chronic pain, including fibromyalgia and arthritis
- Anxiety, PTSD, schizophrenia, and depression
- Nausea and inflammatory bowel disease
- Muscle spasticity
- Epilepsy and seizures
- Low appetite
CBD for Autism Spectrum Disorder
Research into CBD use for autism is limited. Generally, expert analysis regards using CBD for the treatment of autism spectrum disorder as promising, but unproven. Anecdotal evidence suggests CBD can help with impulsivity, attention spans, aggression, difficulty sleeping, and hyperactivity. Of course, it’s not clinically proven to do so yet.
However, CBD is clinically proven to treat some symptoms of epilepsy, which is common among those with an autism spectrum disorder. The FDA has approved a drug with CBD (Epidiolex) with CBD as an active ingredient to treat rare and severe forms of epilepsy.
CBD for Fibromyalgia
Chronic fibromyalgia can mean constant pain, headaches, and nausea. However, CBD could possibly offer relief for these symptoms. A review of research from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine on the therapeutic effects of cannabis and cannabinoids found that there is substantial evidence CBD and other cannabinoids can offer relief for chronic pain. Some users of cannabinoids can even replace conventional pain medications such as opiates with cannabis.
CBD for Anxiety
New research from Kaiser Permanente suggests CBD oil can be helpful for anxiety. In the study, almost 80 percent of adults with anxiety who took CBD oil noted decreased anxiety scores within the first month. The research indicates it could hold benefits for anxiety disorders and suggests further clinical study into the effects of CBD for anxiety.
CBD for Sleep Disorders
The same Kaiser Permanente study found that CBD can support better sleep, too. Although not as high a relief rate as anxiety, almost 67 percent of adults in the survey said their sleep scores improved within the first month. As stress can sometimes preclude sleep, it’s possible getting relief from the anxiety can make it easier to get to sleep and benefit from better quality sleep.
Should You Use CBD?
The research into CBD use is limited, which means we don’t fully know exactly how CBD can help all of the conditions it’s believed to treat. And we don’t know the long term risks and side effects of using CBD.
However, like research into its benefits, the indications of safety for CBD are limited but promising. The World Health Organization reports that CBD has an excellent safety profile as it comes with little risk of side effects and little to no risk of addiction or dependency. It’s generally well-tolerated by users.
Conditions CBD Can Help
In conclusion, While there isn’t much clinical research into the use of CBD for chronic conditions, what research does exist suggests it’s promising. As a low-risk drug, it’s not a bad idea to try CBD if you’re considering more severe interventions. Talk to your doctor about how CBD use can fit into your overall treatment plan for chronic conditions.