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Cannabidiol

Cannabidiol (CBD)

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the 113 identified chemical compounds called “cannabinoids” found in the Cannabis sativa plant, commonly known as marijuana or hemp. CBD accounts for up to 40% of marijuana’s extract. This cannabinoid has potent medicinal properties and is used for the treatment of mood disorders, movement disorders, cognitive dysfunction, and pain.    People who want to reap the full health benefits of CBD can take it via inhalation of marijuana smoke or vapor and as an aerosol spray. In addition, it is available in the form of CBD oil, capsules, or as a liquid solution.

How CBD Works?

The human body has “cannabinoid receptors” referred to as CB1 and CB2 that play specific role in a wide array of physiological processes including appetite control, pain perception, memory recall, and mood enhancement. In order for CB1 and CB2 to exert their effects, CBD must activate these receptors first by binding to them.

Overall Health Benefits of CBD

  • Improves sleep quality [1-18]
  • Relieves pain [19-60]
  • Fights anxiety [61-76]
  • Treats seizures [77-125]
  • Treats inflammatory conditions [126-166]
  • Combats cancer [167-201]
  • Improves cognitive function [202-247]
  • Treats migraines [248-259]
  • Wards off depression [76] [88-90] [218] [260-263]
  • Improves cardiovascular health [264-276]
  • Improves blood sugar levels [277-283]
  • Treats neurodegenerative diseases [140-151] [245] [284-387]
  • Treats nausea and vomiting [388-402]

Improves Sleep Quality

For people with sleeping difficulties due to stress or certain medical conditions, CBD may offer long-term solution. A growing body of evidence suggests that this potent cannabinoid has beneficial effects on sleep quality:

  1. In patients with sleeping difficulties due to rheumatoid arthritis-induced pain, administration of CBD by oromucosal spray in the evening for 5 weeks significantly improved quality of sleep. [1]
  2. In patients with Parkinson’s disease, CBD decreased symptoms and improved quality of life. [2-3]
  3. A 2019 study published in Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology found that CBD can improve sleep quality and decrease sleep disturbances. [4]
  4. In adult patients with anxiety-related sleeping problems, CBD treatment improved sleep scores within the first month. [5]
  5. In patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), CBD efficiently blocked anxiety-induced suppression of rapid eye movement or REM (deepest stage of sleep). [6]
  6. In adult male Wistar rats, subjects treated with 10 and 40 mg/kg of CBD had significant increases in the total percentage of sleep. [7]
  7. In people with insomnia, high-dose oral CBD (150-600 mg/d) improved sleep quality. [8]
  8. In patients with anxiety-related disorders, CBD administration as an adjunct to usual treatment improved sleep scores. [9-13]
  9. In healthy subjects, CBD administration is associated with normal sleep. [14]
  10. In healthy volunteers with regular sleep cycle, administration of CBD at a dose of 600 mg induced sedative effects. [15]
  11. In patients with sleeping difficulties due to Parkinson’s disease, CBD improved rapid eye movement sleep behavior. [16]
  12. In patients with insomnia, acute use of CBD at a dose of 160 mg/day increased total sleep time and reduced frequent awakenings. [17]
  13. A 2014 study published in Current Neuropharmacology found that CBD has wake-inducing properties. [18]

Relieves Pain

Studies show that for people with painful conditions, CBD may provide beneficial effects through its pain-relieving properties:

  1. Preclinical studies have shown that CBD blocks pain signals in various acute and chronic pain models by reducing neuro-inflammatory mechanisms via stimulation of CB1 and CB2 receptors. [19-25]
  2. Data from clinical trials have suggested that CBD is effective for the management of chronic neuropathic pain of different origins. [26-29]
  3. In patients with rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis (spine arthritis), CBD treatment reduced persistent pain. [30]
  4. In a rat model of arthritis, skin application of CBD reduced inflammation and pain-related behaviors. [31]
  5. A 2018 study published in the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research reported that CBD users had lesser pain. [32]
  6. In a rat model of chronic muscle pain disorder, local intramuscular CBD injection reduced pain-related behaviors. [33]
  7. In patients with cancer-related pain, CBD treatment at a dose of 25 mg resulted in significant pain relief without serious side effects. [34-37]
  8. In opioid-resistant patients with pain associated with multiple sclerosis, administration of CBD spray dramatically reduced pain. [38-40]
  9. In patients with chronic pain conditions that are not related to malignant diseases, CBD demonstrated effective pain relief. [41-58]
  10. In a rat model of neuropathic pain, intravenous injection of CBD reduced pain and anxiety. [59]
  11. In cancer patients, CBD inhibited neuropathic pain associated with the chemotherapy drug paclitaxel. [60]

Fights Anxiety

Several clinical trials have also shown that CBD has potent anti-anxiety effects:

  1. A 2015 study published in the Journal of Neurotherapeutics found that CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders. [61]
  2. A 2019 study published in the Journal of Neurotoxicology found that CBD can effectively treat anxiety related to psychiatric disorders. [62]
  3. In teenagers with social anxiety disorders, repeated CBD treatment at a dose of 300 mg daily for 4 weeks decreased anxiety. [63]
  4. In patients with generalized social anxiety disorder, CBD exerts its anti-anxiety effect by increasing blood flow to the brain and boosting the levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter (brain chemical) that regulates mood. [64]
  5. Administration of CBD at a dose of 400 mg in patients with generalized social anxiety disorder significantly decreased subjective anxiety. [65]
  6. In normal volunteers, CBD blocked the anxiety provoked by delta 9-THC. [66]
  7. In healthy male subjects, oral CBD administration reduced anxiety during a simulated public speaking test. [67]
  8. In patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, administration of CBD oil resulted in a maintained decrease in anxiety. [68-76]

Treats Seizures

Seizures can be debilitating and may dramatically affect one’s quality of life. Interestingly, an overwhelming body of clinical studies found that CBD has strong anti-seizure properties:

  1. In epileptic patients, CBD administration at a dose of 200-300 mg daily for 4 ½ months significantly prevented convulsive crises. [77]
  2. A 2019 study published in the Journal of Molecules found that CBD can be a safe therapeutic option for patients who are resistant to all conventional anti-epileptic drugs. [78]
  3. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Epilepsy Research found that CBD treatment is associated with improved seizure outcome in patients with epilepsy. [79]
  4. In patients with recurrent seizures associated with Dravet syndrome (DS) and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), CBD administration resulted in greater reduction in seizure frequency. [80-83]
  5. Studies found that CBD helps control seizures by affecting certain signaling pathways in the brain. [84-93]
  6. A phase 1/2 clinical trial found that administration of CBD oral solution in subjects with drug-resistant forms of epilepsy resulted in significant improvement in daily seizure activity. [94]
  7. A phase 2, multi-center clinical trial found that oral CBD solution administration in children with infantile spasms resulted in complete resolution of spasms after 14 days of treatment. [95]
  8. In children and adolescents with epilepsy, administration of various doses of CBD (< 10 to 50 mg/kg body weight) reduced seizure attacks. [96-101]
  9. A 2018 study published in Frontiers in Neurology found that CBD-rich extracts had a better therapeutic profile than purified CBD. [102]
  10. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Epilepsy Research found that CBD at doses of 2–5 mg/kg/day is effective in treating intractable childhood and adolescent epilepsy. [103-106]
  11. A 2018 analysis of several studies on CBD found that the treatment has a high level of efficacy at reducing seizure frequency. [107]
  12. In patients with febrile infection-related epilepsy syndrome (FIRES), CBD treatment reduced seizure frequency. [108]
  13. In cocaine users, CBD administration reduced cocaine-induced seizures. [109]
  14. In various animal seizure and epilepsy models, CBD administration resulted in significant reduction in seizure frequency. [110-120]
  15. In patients with seizures induced by different neuropsychiatric disorders, CBD administration significantly reduced the frequency of attacks. [121-125]

Treats Inflammatory Conditions

Evidence also suggests that CBD can treat unpleasant symptoms and improve the quality of life of people with a wide array of inflammatory conditions:

  1. Studies show that CBD reduces inflammation through its potent antioxidant properties. [126-136]
  2. In patients with ulcerative colitis, CBD administration reduced intestinal inflammation. [137]
  3. In a viral model of multiple sclerosis, CBD protected against the deleterious effects of inflammation. [138]
  4. A 2011 study published in the Free Radical Biology and Medicine found that CBD exerts its anti-inflammatory effects by reducing oxidative stress. [139]
  5. In a rat model of Alzheimer’s disease, CBD reduced amyloid beta-induced nerve inflammation. [140-151]
  6. In the mouse brain, CBD reduced lipopolysaccharide-induced vascular changes and inflammation. [152]
  7. In mice with inflammation of the inner lining of the colon (colitis), CBD administration at a dose of 10 mg/kg reduced inflammation and also lowered the occurrence of functional disturbances. [153]
  8. In male Wistar rats with osteoarthritis, prophylactic CBD treatment prevented the development of joint pain and nerve damage. [154]
  9. In a rat model of arthritis, CBD administration protected joints against severe damage and blocked inflammatory mediators. [31] [155-156]
  10. Studies suggest that the anti-arthritic potency of CBD is due to its ability to reduce TNF in the synovium (inner lining of the joints) and reactive oxygen species. [157-158]
  11. A study found that injection of CBD in rats reduced swelling and sensitivity to pain. [159-161]
  12. A cell study found that human skin cells treated with CBD had significantly lower levels of inflammatory substances. [162]
  13. In a mouse model of autoimmune hepatitis, CBD administration reduced acute inflammation in the liver. [163]
  14. In mice with acute pancreatitis, CBD significantly improved the pathological changes and decreased the levels of inflammatory substances. [164]
  15. A cell study found that CBD treatment reduced production of inflammatory cytokines and protected against inflammatory stimuli and oxidative injury. [165]
  16. A study also found that CBD is safe and effective for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. [166]

Combats Cancer

As a potent antioxidant, CBD has the ability to combat malignant cells and reduce one’s risk for different types of cancer. The anti-cancer properties of CBD are backed by an overwhelming body of clinical studies:

  1. In human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC), treatment with CBD inhibited angiogenesis, a process involving formation of new blood vessels and is related to cancer. [167]
  2. In human glioma cells (comprise malignant brain tumors), CBD inhibited the migration and multiplication of these cells, demonstrating its ability to limit tumor invasion. [168-177]
  3. In neuroblastoma (cancer of the nerve tissue), CBD treatment reduced the viability and invasiveness of malignant cells. [178]
  4. In multiple myeloma cell lines (cancer of the bone marrow), CBD strongly inhibited growth, arrested cell cycle progression and induced cell death. [179]
  5. In astrocytomas (brain tumor), CBD treatment resulted in programmed cell death or apoptosis. [180]
  6. In breast cancer cells, CBD reduced tumor aggressiveness via inhibition of the Id-1 gene and induction of apoptosis. [181-185]
  7. A 2013 study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that CBD exerts its anti-cancer effect by affecting different steps of tumor formation. [186]
  8. In human cervical and lung cancer cell lines, CBD decreased tumor invasiveness. [187]
  9. In a model of kaposi sarcoma (cancer of the lymph nodes), CBD induced apoptosis and prevented proliferation of cancer cells. [188]
  10. In colorectal carcinoma cell lines, CBD reduced cancer cell proliferation by protecting DNA from oxidative damage. [189]
  11. In human lung cancer cells, CBD treatment resulted in tumor regression. [190-1193]
  12. In pancreatic cancer cell line, treatment with CBD induced apoptosis. [194-195]
  13. In leukemic cell lines, treatment with CBD induced apoptosis by acting on CB2 receptors. [196-198]
  14. In a rat model of thyroid cancer, CBD exerted anti-proliferative effects. [199]
  15. In a rat model of thymus gland cancer, CBD induced apoptosis. [200-201]

Improves Cognitive Function

A number of high-quality studies suggest that administration of CBD can lead to progression of motor, social and developmental skills in the elderly and those with cognitive impairment associated with different brain conditions:

  1. In regular cannabis users, prolonged CBD administration resulted in significant improvements in attentional switching, verbal learning, and memory. [202]
  2. In adults with treatment-resistant epilepsy, long-term CBD treatment improved cognitive test performance. [203]
  3. In patients with schizophrenia, a mental health disorder characterized by impairment in thought process and withdrawal from reality, CBD treatment improved cognitive function and decreased symptoms. [204-208]
  4. Studies show that CBD improves cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the brain. [209-213]
  5. Recent studies also show that CBD improves cognitive function by protecting nerve cells or neurons in the brain against different types of injury or damage. [214-217]
  6. Studies show that CBD protects the brain by preventing the formation of amyloid plaques (abnormal proteins) and reducing the levels of proinflammatory mediators. [218-219]
  7. A study found that CBD protects the brain against stroke-induced injury. [220]
  8. A cell study found that CBD protects neurons against neurodegenerative process. [221]
  9. A cell study also found that CBD protects brain cells against beta-amyloid-induced toxicity. [222]
  10. Several studies found that CBD enhances signal transmission between brain neurons. [223-226]
  11. In a rat model of obsessive-compulsive behavior (OCD), CBD administration decreased repetitive behaviors. [227-232]
  12. In healthy volunteers, CBD inhibited tetrahydrocannabinol-induced anxiety and psychotic-like symptoms such as disconnected thoughts, depersonalization, perceptual disturbance and resistance to communication. [233-237]
  13. In rats, CBD administration protected brain nerve cells against ethanol-induced neurotoxicity. [238-239]
  14. In a rat model of heroin addiction, CBD administration at a dose of 5–20 mg/kg reduced heroin-seeking behaviors. [240]
  15. In rats with brain inflammation due to infection, prolonged CBD treatment at a dose of 10 mg/kg prevented memory impairment. [241]
  16. In mice with hepatic encephalopathy, a brain impairment caused by severe liver disease, CBD treatment resulted in normalization of brain function. [242]
  17. In patients with in Parkinson’s disease, CBD improved scores in the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale and the Parkinson Psychosis Questionnaire and improved quality of life. [243-244]
  18. In a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease, CBD reduced the production of amyloid beta (hallmark of the disease). [245]
  19. In newborn rats with brain injury caused by low oxygen levels, CBD treatment reduced long-term brain injury and restored neurobehavioral function. [246]
  20. In pigs with brain injury, CBD reversed brain damage via modulation of oxidative stress and inflammation. [247]

Treats Migraines

Studies show that the pain-relieving properties of CBD can also be beneficial in people with migraines:

  1. A 2018 study published in the Frontiers in Pharmacology found that CBD exerts its pain-relieving effect by blocking pain receptors in the brain. [248]
  2. Studies also show that CBD can inhibit pathophysiological mechanism of headache. [249-254]
  3. A 2018 study published in the Journal of Headache found that CBD’s pain-relieving effect can be in par with opioids but with lesser side effects. [255]
  4. A 2008 study published in the Journal of Dovepress found that CBD can be beneficial in patients with difficult to treat migraine pain. [256]
  5. In patients with chronic migraines, CBD administration is associated with decreased use of opioids and other painkillers. [257-258]
  6. In adult patients, CBD use is associated with decreased frequency of migraine headache. [259]

Wards off Depression

Aside from its anti-anxiety effects, CBD also has antidepressant properties. Evidence suggests that CBD can improve mood and overall quality of life of people with major depression:

  1. In patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, CBD treatment decreased depressive symptoms. [76]
  2. In patients with depression associated with epilepsy, CBD administration improved quality of life and decreased symptoms. [88-90]
  3. A study found that CBD helps treat depression by regulating motivation, eating, sleeping, and energy levels. [218]
  4. A 2018 study published in the Progress in Neuro-psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry found that CBD exerts its antidepressant-like effect by increasing the hormone serotonin. [260]
  5. A 2019 study published in the Molecular Neurobiology found that CBD induces rapid and sustained antidepressant-like effects by increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). [261-262]
  6. In a rat model of depression, oral administration of CBD at 30 mg/kg reduced depressive-like behaviors. [263]

Improves Cardiovascular Health

There’s also increasing evidence suggesting that CBD can improve heart health through various important mechanisms:

  1. Several studies suggest that CBD improves cardiovascular health through its vasodilatory effects (widens blood vessels of the heart). [264-266]
  2. In a rat model of ischemia/reperfusion injury (inadequate blood flow), CBD decreased the size of myocardial infract (dead heart tissue). [267]
  3. In an animal model of diabetes, CBD reduced dysfunction and inflammation of the heart muscle. [268]
  4. In human coronary artery cells, treatment with CBD prevented inflammatory and oxidative stress damage due to high blood sugar levels. [269]
  5. A 2017 study published in JCI Insight found that CBD reduces the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure. [270]
  6. In a mouse model of type I diabetic cardiomyopathy, CBD prevented cardiac dysfunction, oxidative stress, scarring, and inflammatory and cell death signaling pathways in the heart. [271]
  7. In male Sprague-Dawley rats with coronary artery occlusion, CBD prevented abnormal heart rhythm and tissue death. [272]
  8. In mice with doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy, CBD improved heart function and enhanced tissue regeneration. [273]
  9. In an animal model of ischemia/reperfusion injury, CBD improved survival of heart cells. [274]
  10. A 2019 study published in the Current Pharmaceutical Design found that CBD can help treat heart injuries by scavenging free radicals and reducing oxidative stress, apoptosis and inflammation. [275]
  11. In an animal model of myocardial infarction, CBD reduced infarct size and ameliorate reductions in left ventricular function. [276]

Improves Blood Sugar Levels

A number of high-quality studies shows that CBD has potent anti-diabetic effect and it can be beneficial in people with chronic elevations in blood sugar levels:

  1. In patients with type 2 diabetes, CBD administration at 100 mg twice daily significantly decreased fasting blood sugar levels. [277]
  2. In diabetic men and women, CBD use is associated with lower blood sugar levels. [278]
  3. In young non-obese diabetes-prone (NOD) female mice, CBD treatment significantly reduced the risk of diabetes. [279]
  4. In non-obese diabetic mice, CBD significantly lowered the incidence of diabetes by inhibiting and delaying destructive insulitis and inflammatory Th1-associated cytokine production. [280]
  5. In non-obese diabetic mice, daily injection of CBD at a dose of 5 mg/kg five times weekly for ten weeks improved blood sugar levels by reducing pancreatic inflammation. [281]
  6. In middle-aged rats, CBD administration at 10 mg/kg once a day for 30 days reduced blood sugar levels by treating neuroinflammation. [282-283]

Treats Neurodegenerative Diseases

There’s also a good deal of evidence supporting the healing properties of CBD making it a therapeutic option for people with neurodegenerative diseases:

  1. In patients and animal models with Alzheimer’s disease, CBD treats the condition by reducing amyloid beta-induced nerve inflammation and high levels of oxidative stress. [140-151] [245] [284-302]
  2. In patients and animal models with Parkinson’s disease, CBD administration significantly reduced debilitating symptoms such as tremors, muscular spasms, abnormal posture, and other movement disorder. [303-329]
  3. In patients and animal models with Huntington’s disease (characterized by uncontrolled movements, emotional problems, and cognitive dysfunction), CBD administration prevented degeneration of nerve cells in the brain, resulting in significant improvement of symptoms. [330-350]
  4. In patients and animal models with Tourette syndrome, a disorder characterized by multiple motor and vocal tics, CBD treatment significantly reduced uncontrolled movements and vocal sounds. [351-358]
  5. In patients and animal models with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by loss of motor neurons in the brain and the spinal cord, CBD administration exhibited neuroprotective effects via prolongation of neuronal cell survival, resulting in significant improvement in motor function. [359-368]
  6. In patients and animal models with multiple sclerosis, a potentially disabling disease that disrupts the flow of information within the brain and spinal cord, CBD administration reduced inflammatory response, delayed disease progression, and improved survival rate. [369-386]
  7. In an animal model of lesion-induced intervertebral disc degeneration, CBD significantly reduced the effects of disc injury induced by the needle puncture. [387]

Treats Nausea and Vomiting

Emerging evidence suggests that CBD can help alleviate gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea and vomiting:

  1. In patients undergoing chemotherapy, CBD administration significantly reduced the incidence of nausea and vomiting. [388-393]
  2. In animal models, CBD exhibited significantly greater potency at inhibiting vomiting. [394-395]
  3. In animals with toxin-induced vomiting, low doses of CBD has been found to exert an anti-emetic effect (suppresses vomiting response) compared with higher doses. [396-397]
  4. In an animal model of anticipatory nausea and vomiting, CBD displayed superior anti-emetic effect than ondansetron. [398]
  5. Studies show that CBD exerts its anti-emetic effect via indirect activation of somatodendritic 5-HT(1A) receptors in the brain. [399-402]

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Genemedics® Health Institute is a global premier institute dedicated to revolutionizing health and medicine through healthy lifestyle education, guidance and accountability in harmony with functional medicine. Our physician-supervised health programs are personally customized to help you reach your health and fitness goals while looking and feeling better than ever.