5 Health Conditions That CBD Can Help Improve

CBD can be found in hundreds of products meant to relieve all manner of pain and anxiety, as well as in lifestyle-enhancing products such as personal lubricants, sports-recovery balms, energy boosters, and sleeping aids. While headlines may lead you to believe that CBD is a cure-all, there are actually a mere handful of conditions that science-backed studies suggest it can treat, according to a report published in 2018 by the World Health Organization.

The following represents what a handful of scientific studies have found in recent years concerning CBD’s medical usefulness, including some ailments and diseases for which the FDA has actually acknowledged the use of CBD products.

1. Chronic Pain

According to a study published in Current Neuropharmacology, when CBD reaches a family of receptors (or cells that receive stimuli, called vanilloid receptors), the interaction results in lower inflammation and levels of pain perception.

Human studies are increasingly substantiating the claims that CBD helps control pain, with one animal study from the European Journal of Pain suggesting CBD could help lower inflammation and pain from arthritis when applied to the skin. Alternative research identifies how CBD may inhibit neuropathic and inflammatory pain, which are typically difficult to treat.

2. Anxiety

Studies and clinical trials are exploring the common report that CBD can reduce anxiety. More than a dozen studies have been completed on lab animals over the past three decades that showed that CBD – depending on the dose – could reduce behavior similar to anxiety in humans, while a handful of studies have been completed with people showing similar results. Interestingly, the Drug Enforcement Administration changed its rules concerning CBD in 2015, making it easier to utilize in research settings; more than a dozen studies are currently being completed or are being set up to test the effect of CBD on anxiety. Some of these involve individuals diagnosed with anxiety disorders, while others are studying anxiety in people with cancer or other diseases.

3. Epilepsy

Anecdotal reports concerning CBD’s use as an epilepsy treatment have existed for decades, and a handful of rigorous scientific studies seem to support these claims. One showed CBD to be effective at reducing the number of seizures in individuals with a form of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS), while in 2018 the FDA approved an oral CBD formulation for LGS and another type of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome.

4. Insomnia

Studies suggest that CBD may aid in both falling asleep and remaining asleep, in part by helping address the aforementioned chronic anxiety and pain. The other part of this equation has to do with the hypothalamus, which plays a role in several sleep-related functions including regulating body temperature and synchronizing sleep patterns. According to a number of medical professionals, CBD can help people with insomnia because it works with the hypothalamus to regulate stress; it’s the suppression of this dysregulated cycle of stress hormone overactivation that equalizes the sleep and wake rhythm through counteracting hormones.

5. Skin Issues/Addiction

A study published in July 2014 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation suggested topical CBD can represent a “potent acne agent,” likely because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, a study published in July 2017 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found CBD (and THC) useful for reducing the itch and inflammation associated with psoriasis and eczema.

What’s more, under certain conditions, CBD can help lower tobacco and heroin cravings, according to research conducted on humans. Animal models of addiction suggest it may also help lessen cravings for other addictive substances such as cannabis, alcohol, stimulants, and opiates.

CBD has also been known to possibly assist in relieving high blood pressure and diabetes. Like any other product, from zinc oxide to aspirin, CBD is not for everyone. If you decide to try CBD products from a supplier, make sure you know where the products are sourced from, how they’re manufactured, and how they’re meant to be used.