CBD Research: An Insight Into the Newest Studies and Trials
By following the trail of CBD research, you’ve probably stumbled upon many studies talking about its benefits. We often hear about a large number of symptoms that CBD can be used for – pain, anxiety, depression, ADHD, diabetes, and the list goes on.
Therefore, we’ve curated this compilation of studies, trials, and other research to consolidate the best information in place! In this article, you will find different studies on CBD and its effect on our body, supported by science.
Are you ready? Let’s get started.
What Does Research Say About CBD?
CBD is a phytocannabinoid and one of 113 identified cannabinoids in cannabis plants, together with THC. It accounts for 40% of the cannabis plant’s extract. Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t get you high. It targets different receptors in the body.
Why has this substance become so popular? Because there are so many CBD benefits – it’s hard to even count them all! Moreover, it has been used for centuries as natural medicine.
So, what does science have to say about CBD benefits for us?
When CBD enters the bloodstream, it targets endocannabinoid receptors located in the brain. This is why it offers so many neurological benefits! These receptors are located throughout the body as well, giving it an even larger reach.
The connection between CBD and neurological benefits is huge, and researchers have only just begun discovering them.
- A comprehensive study shares a compilation of information about recent findings related to neurological benefits. It includes benefits for Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, epilepsy, mood disorders (such as schizophrenia), anxiety, depression, addiction, and even more.
CBD Studies on Pain
Hemp oil is often used to reduce the symptoms of pain. CBD research studies confirm CBD works for chronic pain, targeted pain, various types of arthritis pain, multiple sclerosis, and even menstrual cramps!
The following studies analyze how cannabidiol targets pain:
- Cannabinol reduced inflammation and pain-related symptoms in a rat model of arthritis.
- Cannabinoids suppress inflammatory and neuropathic pain by targeting α3 receptors.
- A new neuropharmacology study supports the further need for exploring CBD’s impact on pain.
CBD Research on Anxiety
There are many types of anxiety disorders, from panic disorder and phobia-related disorders to the most prevalent, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Anxiety usually develops after a stressful, traumatic event, but it can also be associated with other chronic conditions, like alcohol abuse.
CBD is known to help people deal with anxiety. Does it work? Yes, according to those who have been using it regularly. But we don’t want to rely on hearsay and anecdotal evidence.
Here’s what science has to say about CBD oil for anxiety:
- Cannabidiol (CBD) disrupts the consolidation of specific and generalized fear memories.
- This large case study from 2019involves both sleep and anxiety. The results show that anxiety started decreasing within the first month in almost all patients (79.2%) who used CBD during the study duration. The sleep scores also improved within the first month in 66.7% of patients.
- Preclinical evidence shows CBD can be used as a potential treatment for anxiety disorders.
- The authors of this clinical study suggest that CBD can be used as a safe and effective treatment for anxiety.
CBD Epilepsy Research
Epilepsy is a disorder of recurring seizures that an estimated 50 million people worldwide suffer from. The treatments for epilepsy include anti-epileptic drugs, surgeries (to remove the part of the brain that causes the seizures), and special diets (ketogenic diet).
Cannabidiol has also shown huge promise for this condition. It’s already been approved for use in the form of prescription medication after a number of reliable CBD oil studies and trials confirmed its benefits.
In the US, the FDA approved only one brand of prescription cannabidiol for the treatment of seizures linked to Dravet syndrome, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and tuberous sclerosis complex.
This drug is called Epidiolex and is the first prescription medication that uses cannabidiol!
- This article compiles information from a variety of CBD studies relating to epilepsy. Each of them shows positive results in reducing seizures.
- Another large study tested the use of CBD on 120 children and young adults with Dravet syndrome (a severe form of epilepsy in children). The results showed that the median frequency of convulsive seizures per month drastically decreased from 12.4 to 5.9 with cannabidiol.
CBD and ADHD Research
ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a neurodevelopmental, behavioral, and mental disorder characterized by impulsivity, inattention, hyper-fixation, and bouts of excessive energy. Its cause is unknown. However, genetic factors play a significant role in 75% of cases.
ADHD treatment varies from country to country, but it usually involves counseling (behavior therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, social skills training), medications (stimulant medication), or a combination of both.
When it comes to CBD oil and ADHD, although studies are limited, they bring hope for the future. Keep in mind that medication given to children and adults with ADHD (such as Adderall) can be addictive, not to mention the harmful side effects.
- A small trial of 30 adults shows positive results for ADHD symptoms.
- According to CBD research from 2020, higher doses of phytocannabinoids and terpenes had ADHD medication reduction as a result. A high dosage of CBN was linked with a lower ASRS score.
CBD Oil Cancer Research
Cancer is linked to a group of disorders that are associated with abnormal cell growth that has the potential to spread throughout the body (unlike benign tumors, which don’t spread).
You’ll find plenty of CBD cancer studies that show incredible potential when it comes to treatment. At the very least, CBD can help with cancer-related pain. Consequently, scientists have searched even deeper to find out more about CBD’s anti-tumor properties:
- CBD can be used as a potential anticancer drug.
- CBD shows an inhibitory effect on malignant tumors.
- CBD extracts could potentially reduce cancer cell viability and stop cancer cells from multiplying.
- Studies on pancreatic cancer show CBD can reduce tumor invasion, slow tumor growth, and provoke tumor cell death.
CBD Research on Autism
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes difficulties with social interaction and communication. It’s also characterized by repetitive and restricted behavior.
There is less scientific research about cannabidiol in this area, but what researchers have found is very positive. They’ve found a potential link between autism and the CB2 receptors within the endocannabinoid system.
This is one of the receptors that CBD and THC act upon, which sparks the consideration that these substances may be helpful for autism symptoms.
- An observational study shows that the use of CBD-enriched cannabis sativa extract can help improve sleep disorders, seizures, motor development, communication and social interaction, and cognitive performance.
CBD Oil and Addiction Studies
CBD has been studied for nicotine or cigarette addiction. In fact, results show it helped many people quit smoking.
- The results in this study showed a 40% reduction in the number of cigarettes smoked when a group was given a CBD inhaler, with a trend indicating a reduction after follow-up. It also shared that animal studies have shown the possible effects of CBD on opioid and psychostimulant addiction.
- According to preliminary evidence, cannabidiol treatment could potentially inspire resilience to cocaine and methamphetamine use disorders.
CBD Oil Research on Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer’s is arguably one of the worst diseases out there. This neurodegenerative disorder usually starts slowly, only to worsen over time. Alzheimer’s disease causes 60%–70% cases of dementia.
Here’s what the research on CBD and Alzheimer’s disease shows us:
- High doses of CBD can reduce plaque and improve cognition in models of familial Alzheimer’s. This new study suggests that a high-dose CBD has the potential to normalize the level of IL-33 protein in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients (IL-33 plays a vital role in clearing the brain of dead cells and plaque).
CBD Oil Studies on Diabetes
A few studies strongly suggest that CBD may have significant therapeutic potential in treating diabetes (and perhaps cardiovascular disorders) by reducing oxidative/nitrative stress, inflammation, cell death, and fibrosis.
Here’s what we know:
- CBD reduces the occurrence of diabetes in non-diabetic mice.
- According to a 2015 study conducted on rats with diabetes, CBD can reduce inflammation and neurotoxicity. Researchers believe that CBD products could potentially help people with diabetic retinopathy.
- Similarly, in a 2019 study, a 30-day CBD treatment reduced nerve inflammation in rats with diabetes and chronic cerebral hypoperfusion.
Research on CBD Oil and Gastrointestinal Issues
Gastrointestinal issues refer to problems with the stomach, gastrointestinal tract, oesophagus, small and large intestine, rectum, and the accessory organs of digestion (pancreas, liver, gallbladder).
IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is the most common functional gastrointestinal disorder. It’s characterized by abdominal pain and changes in the bowel movements consistency.
How can CBD help?
- Cannabinoids can reduce gastrointestinal motility.
- Various studies show that CBD can reduce the symptoms of IBS while stimulating the endocannabinoid system.
CBD Oil Scientific Research and Asthma
Asthma is a long-term inflammatory disease linked to the lungs’ airways. Its symptoms include shortness of breath, episodes of wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing. The symptoms can become even worse after exercising or during the night.
There has been little research on CBD and asthma, and most research is done on animals like guinea pigs. However, cannabinoids have been shown to reduce asthma-like reactions:
- Studies show that the activation of cannabinoid receptors inhibits antigen-induced asthma reactions in guinea pigs.
- CBD treatment was able to decrease Th1 and Th2 cytokines in animal models of asthma.
- In reference to a 2019 study on mice, CBD reduced airway inflammation and fibrosis in experimental allergic asthma.
CBD research on Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that affects the motor system. Its early symptoms include tremor, slowness of movement, rigidity, and difficulty walking.
Cannabinoids have the potential to manage Parkinson’s disease symptoms and slow its progression.
- In a 2004 survey of cannabis use among patients at the Prague Movement Disorder Centre in the Czech Republic, 45% of respondents reported improvement in PD motor symptoms.
- Newer studies show that cannabidiol and cannabinoid compounds have the scientific potential for treating Parkinson’s disease and L-DOPA-Induced dyskinesia.
- Based on the results of an open-label study, CBD, in the form of Epidiolex, could be effective in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
CBD for Pets Research
Many people use cannabidiol to help their pets, but is it as healthy and safe as it is for humans? How trustworthy is the research in this category?
- Studies suggest that different doses and formulations of CBD could help dogs with osteoarthritis.
- CBD can also be used as the antiepileptic treatment on seizure frequency in dogs with intractable idiopathic epilepsy
- There are a couple of ongoing studies on other animals. For example, the CBD for horses research is focused on the effects of non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) on inflammation, stress, and stereotypical behaviors in horses.
In accordance with the mentioned studies on animals, it’s safe to say that CBD can be beneficial for both humans and pets. However, CBD products are not medically approved for use in animals, so veterinarians are not allowed to legally prescribe CBD for pets (under federal law).
CBD is a natural medicine that has been increasingly studied over in recent years. The fact that it is not yet FDA-approved is the main obstacle for more research to happen. Yet, the results so far are extremely encouraging, showing that CBD oil has amazing potential for a wide variety of illnesses and disorders.
Does CBD really do anything?
Yes, it does. CBD binds to the endocannabinoids in our body. This way, it can offer therapeutic effects. For example, CBD reduces chronic pain by interacting with neurotransmitters and by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity.
According to studies, CBD can also reduce depression and anxiety since it can act on the brain’s receptors for serotonin (the hormone of happiness). Also, CBD can have some adverse effects as well, especially if taken with certain medications.
How long has CBD been studied?
CBD was discovered in 1940 by Robert S. Cahn, but it was isolated for the first time in 1942 by Roger Adams. During the 80s, Dr. Mechoulam and his team did research on CBD and its potential for the treatment of epilepsy which opened the door for many other studies.
What’s more, the legalization of medical marijuana encouraged even more studies and research on CBD, which resulted in the legalization of hemp-derived CBD on a federal level.
Are there any CBD pregnancy studies?
There is limited research on the side effects of taking CBD while pregnant. In fact, in October 2019, the FDA issued a warning saying that the effects of CBD during breastfeeding and pregnancy are still unknown.
They also indicated that its safety regarding the dosage, interactions with other drugs, and side effects are not clinically defined, meaning CBD could pose a significant risk to the mother and infant.
Is CBD safe for children?
Since CBD oil research shows very few side effects, it can also be a good choice for children with various symptoms. However, don’t expect to find “CBD oil for kids” on the shelves as it is not officially approved for children (unless we’re talking Epidiolex medicine).
Are there clinical trials for CBD?
Yes, there are many CBD clinical trials that focus on different issues. So far, clinical trials have shown that:
- CBD oil can help relieve arthritic pain.
- CBD oil can reduce the severity and frequency of seizures in epilepsy patients.
- CBD can alleviate the muscular discomfort caused by Multiple Sclerosis.
- CBD can be used as an early treatment of psychosis initiated by THC.
- CBD can significantly ease chronic pain in advanced cancer patients.
- CBD can prevent the growth of certain types of tumors.