Though cannabinoids have been used safely and effectively for thousands of years in herbal traditions around the world, for the past 80 years, the use of CBD for medical and health purposes has been hindered. In spite of the slow pace of research, a large and growing body of evidence has formed that supports the efficacy of CBD for the treatment of many health conditions. With the legalization of hemp now proceeding at a rapid pace, the doors to increased funding for further research and improved knowledge are now wide open. In a landmark decision in June 2018, the FDA approved the first CBD-based drug for epilepsy. And with the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill in December, hemp was removed from the Schedule I list and reclassified as an agricultural commodity. Let’s take a look at some of practical applications of CBD, and the scientific work that supports its use:
Pain and Inflammation Relief – Its ability to reduce inflammation and manage pain has been one of the main applications of CBD through the years. Modern scientific evidence confirms the effectiveness of CBD in the treatment of inflammation associated with conditions such as multiple sclerosis, as well as arthritis and generalized chronic pain due to occupational and life style factors, such as repetitive strain injuries, athletic injuries, and poor sleep habits. CBD has been shown to be effective at reducing pain and inflammation in both ingested and topical forms, making it even more versatile and convenient.
Anxiety and Depression – A 2015 analysis of collected research concluded that CBD oil showed great promise as a potential treatment for numerous forms of anxiety, including social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Nausea – In multiple studies, CBD has demonstrated significant effectiveness at reducing nausea and vomiting in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. It does so without causing intoxication or impairing motor coordination, and researchers are reporting that CBD seems to be more effective at low doses compared to higher doses, for this purpose. Further, CBD has also been found to help reduce the fatigue associated with chemotherapy.
Cancer-Related Symptoms – Recent findings have begun to reveal CBD's potential role as a cancer-fighting therapy, opening up an exciting new branch of research in cancer treatment and prevention. These studies are aimed at investigating the role CBD plays in inhibiting cancerous cell growth and migration. Some breast cancer studies have shown that cannabinoids may be effective in shrinking and destroying cancer cells. Other forms of cancer that have been tested for their response to CBD include cervical cancer, glioblastoma (a particularly malignant form of brain cancer), lung cancer, and colon cancer.
Neurological Disorders – In what is probably the most well-established branch of CBD research, the effect of CBD on neurological disorders is quickly coming to the forefront, particularly as a treatment for epilepsy and other seizure disorders. CBD’s effectiveness as an anti-convulsant has been one of the major drivers in the growth of CBD research, and in the development of CBD-based drugs for treatment of epilepsy and seizure disorders. In June 2018, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved one form of CBD (brand name Epidolex) as a treatment for two rare and specific kinds of epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) or Dravet syndrome (DS).
Heart and Organ Health – CBD promotes heart health in several important ways. Through its effects on the endocannabinoid system, CBD aids in reducing heart inflammation and lowering blood pressure, both of which are critical in the pursuit of cardiovascular health. In addition, recent studies on lab animals indicate that CBD may be effective in the treatment of heart arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).
Skin Care – One of the most popular uses for CBD oil is its effectiveness for general skin care therapy. In addition to its widely sought after soothing and moisturizing effects, new research is providing promising insight into the effectiveness of CBD for treating an impressive range of dermatologic conditions, from acne and dermatitis to psoriasis, and even some forms of skin cancer, such as Kaposi’s sarcoma.
Sleep Disorders – Life in the 21st century comes with its own set of stressors that can affect our ability to get a good night’s sleep. CBD has proven itself to be efficacious in the treatment of sleep disorders, providing a safe, side-effect free, and time-tested solution to a current and increasingly prevalent problem. If you suffer with occasional bouts of insomnia due to stress and worries that keep you tossing and turning, or if chronic pain prevents you from falling asleep or wakes you up in the middle of the night, CBD can provide much need relief. By promoting relaxation and alleviating aches and pains, CBD can help calm your mind and melt away everyday tensions, allowing a more natural path to restful sleep.