CBD Oil, Does It Really Work? Is CBD Oil Just A Waste Of Money?
Studies tout the benefits of Cannabidiol (CBD) Hemp Oil for multiple ailments: cancer, epilepsy, anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia. With so many wide-ranging benefits, and with conflicting evidence saying marijuana increases anxiety and psychoses, it’s easy to assume CBD is too good to be true.
But if you’re reading this article because you’re here to get a definitive answer on whether CBD hemp oil really works, we’re here to reassure you: Yes, it does. Both government and corporate research around the world, including in the U.S., have studied the many potential benefits of treating various human ailments with CBD hemp oil. They are even working to patent synthetic versions for the pharmaceutical market. Many patients, however, have found success treating their ailments simply with CBD hemp oil.
In this article, we make the case that CBD hemp oil really works by showing you what it is, how it works, and what current research shows.
What is CBD Hemp Oil?
CBD hemp oil is oil extracted from industrial hemp plants. The extracted oil contains over 400 phytonutrients, which include antioxidants and essential oils. It also contains roughly 80 different cannabinoids, which can only be found in the cannabis plant and the human body.
Unlike with the other compound commonly found in marijuana, THC, CBD is non-psychoactive. In other words, CBD is not responsible for getting the user “high”. It does, however, have many other health benefits as evidenced by both anecdotes by medical patients and by clinical trials (see below). Because many patients want the benefits of CBD without the psychoactive effects of marijuana, growers have successfully bred plants that are high in CBD and with minimal amounts of THC. Thus, on the market, you can find CBD hemp oil that does not produce any psychoactive effects.
How does CBD work to produce health benefits?
Our bodies have their own, naturally-occurring cannabinoids. Our brains have cannabinoid receptors, called CB1. These get activated when they detect cannabinoids from the body or from external sources, like from plant-derived CBD hemp oil. CB1 receptors help regulate sensations like pain, emotions, cognition, and sleep.
Our immune system also has cannabinoid receptors, which are called CB2 receptors. These exist with the greatest density in the spleen. They are responsible for producing an anti-inflammatory response.
When these receptors become blocked, significant adverse health effects result. Conversely, supplementing with CBD hemp oil “stimulates multiple biochemical pathways,” which most likely accounts for its wide variety of health benefits.
Because the cannabinoid system in the human body is complex, the exact mechanism for how supplementing with CBD works is unknown. Current evidence confirms, however, that CBD is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and increases serotonin and anandamide. The latter two are neurotransmitters that reduce feelings of pain and anxiety.
What does current research show about CBD’s health benefits?
Research across the world shows CBD’s beneficial effects. Below are just a few examples.
- To protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s:
The Journal of Neuroscience found that the brain’s cannabinoid system protects against neurodegeneration. The University of Sao Paulo in Brazil also found that CBD increases the growth of new neurons in the brain.
- To fight against breast cancer:
The American Association for Cancer Research published a paper in 2011 that concluded CBD kills off breast cancer cells.
- To treat tumor cells in children:
The Nottingham University’s Brain Tumor Centre in Britain is testing how effective CBD is in treating brain tumor cells in children, and found at least one case where a four-year-old’s tumor cells shrunk by two-thirds in six months.
- To treat insomnia:
Various Brazilian researchers concluded that cannabinoid supplementation is good for inducing sleep in a positive way, due to its anti-anxiety effect.
- To treat psychosis:
While research claims marijuana triggers schizophrenia, the University College London found that CBD-specific strains can help treat psychoses like schizophrenia. Researchers have since attributed marijuana’s tendency to cause psychosis mostly to THC, while CBD has the opposite effect of lessening it.
- To treat the self harm aspects that result from autisim:
In May 2017, Israel’s government-sponsored cannabis program will conduct a clinical trial to determine whether CBD can help treat the self harm aspects that result from autism after anecdotal evidence from doctors showed positive results.
Although research still needs to be done to scientifically confirm CBD’s benefits, many doctors continue to prescribe CBD hemp oil to their patients because of the apparent positive results. For example, the medical director of George Washington University regularly prescribes CBD hemp oil for his patients to treat “PTSD, epilepsy, autism, autoimmune disorders, anxiety, and insomnia.” Many medical marijuana dispensaries across the U.S. also carry various CBD hemp oil strains, as patients have increasingly taken interest in treating their ailments with it.