Cleveland Clinic

CBD Oil – Are the Benefits Claimed Too Good to Be True?

Studies suggest CBD has wide-ranging benefits

These days, many of us could certainly go for a miracle cure-all, especially those of us who struggle with chronic pain, overwhelming anxiety, cancer-related symptoms, and/or hard-to-treat neurological disorders.

But can we count on CBD oil to positively impact our symptoms in the ways we hope?

What are some of the benefits of CBD?

Several studies show the benefits of pure CBD may have wide-ranging positive effects. To understand those benefits, it is important to consider our body’s endocannabinoid system, a complex system of enzymes, neurotransmitters, and receptors that play an important role in the development of our central nervous system. This system helps regulate a variety of functions, including pain, motor control, and memory areas, we may better understand how CBD impacts a variety of conditions and disorders.

Other studies suggest CBD may also be useful in managing symptoms of multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease, as it has neuroprotective, and anti-inflammatory properties. More studies are needed, however, as many suggest that it is not just CBD alone, but a combination of CBD and other cannabinoids, which may help reduce many of these symptoms.

It may assist with pain relief

By interacting with neurotransmitters in your central nervous system, CBD could potentially relieve pain related to inflammation, arthritis, and nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy). In one four-week trial, people who had nerve damage in the lower half of their body reported a significant reduction of intense, sharp pain after using a topical CBD oil.

“All of our different anti-pain drugs affect some section of our pain system, whether it’s Tylenol®, Aspirin®, morphine, or opioids,” explains Dr. Terpeluk. “No one wants to be addicted to opioids, so if there’s a cannabinoid you can take that’s not addictive but can repress the pain, which would be the Holy Grail with chronic pain.

It may help with anxiety and mood disorders

Anxiety and mood disorders like depression or post-traumatic stress disorder can have a severe effect on your daily life and may often cause both physical and emotional stress that could lead to other underlying conditions like sleep disorders, high blood pressure, chronic pain, and heart disease. It is too early to understand the full gamut of effects that CBD may have on anxiety and mood disorders, but individual studies seem to suggest varying positive results. In one study of fifty-seven men who received either oral CBD or a placebo 90 minutes before participating in a simulated public speaking test, researchers learned that a 300-mg dose of CBD significantly reduced social anxiety during the test.

It might help with cancer-related symptoms

CBD may help with nausea, vomiting, and weight loss caused by chemotherapy treatments. The FDA has approved three cannabis-related products to help alleviate these symptoms, as well as help increase the appetite of those who have AIDS. These drugs all contain some level of THC or synthetic THC and are not purely CBD alone.

However, some studies seem to suggest that CBD can help decrease the size of tumors and help stop the spread of cancerous cells in skin cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and more. As with other areas of study, further human clinical trials are needed to understand the full effect CBD has on various kinds of cancer.

What are the side effects or risks of CBD?

If you are purchasing CBD oil and other products online or from a local vendor, Dr. Terpeluk says there is no real way of knowing the purity of the CBD you’re using, as it could be mixed with other cannabinoids, such as the dangerous delta 8, or THC.

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