While the CBD has not had the benefit of the extensive research given to other medications or treatments, there are plenty of studies emerging that can attest to the positive outcomes of CBD use. And as time goes on, we are likely to see more and more scientific evidence of the benefits of CBD use.
Epilepsy is one of the areas where there has been some more significant research into the use of CBD. The compound has been particularly useful with sufferers who have a form of epilepsy that does not respond to any other treatment, including Dravet syndrome.
A study from 2017 evaluated 15 patients with refractory epilepsy (epilepsy not managed by treatment) who were given CBD over the a timeframe of one month to one year. The results showed that in 27% of participants the seizures disappeared completely and in 40%, the frequency of seizures decreased.
Clinical trials of a CBD-based drug known as Epidiolex were carried out prior to the drug’s approval. In a double-blind study of 120 children suffering from Dravet syndrome, non-convulsive seizures were reduced by half, and 5% of participants reported being completely seizure-free. In addition, 62% of those treated with CBD reported an improvement in their overall condition.
Many forms of anxiety can prove difficult to treat, sometimes as they are difficult to diagnose and also because the traditional medications available can cause many unwanted and even dangerous side effects. This is why many people have turned to CBD for help, but what does the research say?
In 2018, Brazilian researchers conducted a study of 57 men pertaining to the use of CBD to alleviate anxiety due to public speaking. A single dose administered 90 minutes before speaking was found to significantly reduce anxiety, as measured by heart rate and blood pressure.
A case study from a mental health clinic, published in 2019, included 47 patients who had presented with anxiety. Participants were given a daily dosage of CBD each day for one month, after which 79% experienced an improvement in their anxiety levels. After an additional month of treatment, these participants reported a further improvement compared to the previous month.
If you want to learn more, read our article on CBD Oil for Anxiety.
People have trouble sleeping for many different reasons, and this is actually why CBD can be so helpful. CBD can aid with pain, anxiety and depression, all of which can lead to improved sleep quality.
A three-month study published in 2019 investigated the effects of CBD on both anxiety and sleep quality. 103 participants were given a daily dose of CBD for a month, and results showed that 66.7% of participants showed improved sleep after one month.
A large-scale survey of 1,521 conducted by Project CBD saw that with the use of CBD, the time taken to fall asleep was reduced from an average of 62 minutes to an average of 20 minutes. Participants also reported that the number of times the woke during the night was also reduced, from an average of 4.3 times to an average of 1.4 times.
A lot of the research that has been carried out on CBD and pain has been conducted on rats, but there are some studies on humans that show how beneficial it can be, along with plenty of anecdotal evidence. In addition, CBD can aid with inflammation that can also be the cause of pain.
A 2017 survey included 2,897 participants who self-reported on how CBD compared to opioid-based medications for pain relief. 97% of participants reported that when taking CBD, they were able to reduce their use of opioids to treat their pain. 81% also reported that taking CBD alone was more effective at treating their pain than a combination of opioids and CBD.
Animals studies on CBD for nausea have been difficult to carry out as rats – the most common creature used for testing – are incapable of vomiting. There have been some studies on humans, particularly regarding the use of CBD for chemotherapy-induced nausea. People often find nausea more distressing than vomiting, as it is an ongoing sensation.
A small-scale human study found that CBD in combination with THC was effective for controlling chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, while CBD alone was not. (This is an example of the entourage effect).
High blood pressure is an extremely common issue, with around 1.1 billion people affected worldwide, and can be potentially fatal if left untreated. While there are a number of options available to help the condition, including lifestyle changes and medication, if you’re using CBD for other issues, this could be a helpful additional benefit.
A small study of nine men in 2017 examined the effects of CBD on blood pressure in stressful situations. A single dose was administered and the participants were subjected to a number of external stressors. The results showed that CBD not only reduced the resting systolic blood pressure, but also blunted the blood pressure response to stress.