CBD studies: new evidence on the health benefits of cannabis derivatives

CBD is attracting attention and appears to be an important discovery for medical advancement. Researchers around the world are conducting studies to further define the potential of marijuana and CBD. Hemp products are nothing new in natural medicine; in ancient India, for example, hemp has been used for centuries to treat various ailments. So is CBD a miracle drug? What does the research know so far?

Introduction: Why are CBD studies important?

A lot is already known about the effect of cannabidiol. The corresponding products experience a real hype and also the medicine has already become attentive. A close relative of cannabidiol, cannabis sativa l or marijuana, has been used for many years as a remedy for pain, inflammation and other conditions. In the case of medical cannabis, the efficacy has long been proven in studies.

The problem is that psychoactive ingredients may only be prescribed by a doctor, and this of course includes THC. Cannabidiol, on the other hand, is convincing in its efficacy without leading to a state of intoxication. It belongs to the cannabinoids that have been classified as “harmless” by the WHO. For science it is of high importance to find out how the effectiveness can be explained.

With existing studies, on the one hand, the treatment with CBD can be included in medicine and on the other hand, the confidence in CBD products will be further strengthened. So far, we know the positive effects mainly from the experiences of satisfied users. If the effect is now substantiated in clinical studies, cannabinoids can be used much more widely.

The effect of CBD on pain and inflammation

Cannabinoids are often used against pain and inflammation. Here, medical cannabis is used on the one hand, but CBD products are also used on the other. Especially chronic pain is a problem for which there is often no adequate help anymore. Medications no longer work, people put all their hope in the cannabis plant. A study from 2019 seems to confirm the hope in CBD. There, it was found that neuropathic pain sensations could be reduced by taking CBD in numerous subjects.

Not only as a pain reliever, but also as a support for chronic inflammation, the cannabinoid CBD could have an effect. Inflammatory diseases are often triggers of chronic pain, here, for example, arthrosis comes to mind. By extracts of the hemp plant such as CBD being able to inhibit inflammation, patients’ pain can also be reduced in the long term. There is already a very promising study on the effect of CBD on osteoarthritis, which gives hope for the future. The active ingredient interacts with the cells in various ways and seems to clearly demonstrate its anti-inflammatory properties.

The effect of CBD on anxiety and stress

The “calming” effect of CBD products is not foreign to most consumers. Whether for sleep disorders, anxiety, or restlessness, CBD is used for a variety of reasons. But has any relevant research been done in this area? How may CBD be able to reduce stress and anxiety?

At least this study clearly shows that CBD brings anxiety-reducing properties. However, the observation was made that the effectiveness is dependent on dosage. Patients who took a dose that was too high or too low did not see good efficacy.

Responsible for the psychic effects of CBD seems to be the endocannabinoid system. Among other things, it is responsible for the production of numerous neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline. An imbalance can have significant consequences. Serotonin deficiency, for example, is associated with depression. By restoring balance and reducing imbalances, cannabidiol supports mental health.

The effect of CBD on the cardiovascular system

Among the greatest threats to the human cardiovascular system are factors such as high blood pressure. Even though there is no scientific proof yet, experts assume that cannabinoids could have a positive effect on blood pressure. What is known from a study, on the other hand, is the positive influence on the cardiovascular system in general. In experimental studies, it was proven that the active ingredient CBD has a positive influence on patients with heart disease or strokes.

In addition, there were initial findings that CBD can reduce oxidative and nitratative stress. This could be an interesting observation, especially since stress can be responsible as a trigger for heart problems.

The effect of CBD on brain health

Cannabinoid preparations exert their effect primarily in the brain. This is true for tetrahydrocannabinol as well as for CBD oil. CBD unfolds its effectiveness through interaction with the endocannabinoid system. Contrary to common assumptions, the receptors are not only located in the brain, but distributed throughout the body. By docking in the brain, CBD can consequently communicate with receptors throughout the body. This explains why pain can be relieved, psychological complaints reduced and inflammatory diseases optimized.

However, initial results in the treatment of epilepsy with CBD are also interesting. It was in a study of the University of Birmingham and affected people with a form of non-treatable epilepsy. The study highlighted that despite the lack of efficacy from the antiepileptic drug, CBD achieved a reduction in seizures. The efficacy was highest in adults in the second year after the start of therapy.

Bottom line: what have we learned so far about the health benefits of cannabidiol?

As of today, we already know that science is making significant progress in the study of cannabidiol. More and more studies are demonstrating efficacy in animal models. What is still missing is an overview of studies that have already been conducted in humans. Against this background, there is still a need for optimization, but this can be expected in the coming years.

We have long known that CBD could be a therapeutic boon for many people due to its favorable side effect profile (almost no side effects and only rare interactions). Especially in the therapy of chronic diseases, CBD products can initiate a rethink. Where conventional medicine reaches its limits, it is precisely such alternative products on which the focus must be placed.

Outlook: What's next in CBD research?

CBD products are far from being fully explored and there is still a lot of work waiting for researchers. Every article is currently being read with glee, and the substance has long since become a perennial favorite. After THC has already shown broad efficacy, it is understandable that CBD extracts are also seen as having great potential. In the future, researchers must focus primarily on studies that provide results on efficacy in humans. Not all veterinary studies can be transferred one-to-one to humans. However, it is precisely these results that are needed to draw further attention to CBD and to be able to help as many people as possible with it.