CBD Treatments

CBD Treatments

There are dozens of known medical applications for CBD and more are being discovered as its popularity grows. Below we look at a variety of diseases and conditions, related studies and the CBD treatments currently in use or being considered.

CBD and Acne

Acne is the most common skin condition with 80 percent of us experiencing it at some point in our lives. Acne is caused by sebum which helps protect our skin but can also mix with dead skin cells and dirt trapped inside a pore. In 2014, researchers found CBD helped prevent human sebocytes (the cells that become sebum) from creating too much of the oily chemical. They also found CBD triggered an anti-inflammatory reaction that stops the inflammatory cytokines that lead to acne. Some retailers are already offering skin care products that contain CBD oil.

CBD and ALS

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) kills neurons in the brain that control voluntary muscles. It is 100% fatal. In 2004, a study of just 13 participants reported CBD was moderately effective in reducing appetite loss, depression, pain, spasticity and drooling. On the other hand, CBD was found ineffective at reducing difficulties with speech or swallowing. In 2016 a separate study found CBD mixed with THC actually delayed the progression of ALS during the early stages, although its effect was reduced as the disease progressed.

CBD and Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is dementia that affects memory, thinking and behaviour. The first major trial testing CBD oil in Alzheimer’s patients began in 2019 in the UK. It includes 60 patients between 55 and 90 years and is still underway. In 2014 an earlier study tested the effects of CBD in mice with induced Alzheimer’s Disease. After daily doses for eight (8) months, the mice showed reduced cognitive impairment, reduced social withdrawal and increased facial recognition skills.

CBD and Anorexia

Anorexia is a compulsive disorder that involves an overwhelming desire to lose weight, often to the point of starvation. During anorexia recovery, CBD can help the body regulate appetite, turn food into energy, and slow the rate of weight gain making it easier for anorexics to accept the idea of recovery. Among mental illnesses, Anorexia has one of the highest mortality rates with one in five (1 in 5) sufferers attempting suicide. Along with therapy, CBD can be used as an anti-depressant with few side effects.

CBD and Arthritis

In a study of CBD users and their habits, many patients reported pain as their number one reason for using CBD. Most said CBD worked very well all by itself. In 2017, the journal “Pain” reported scientists working with a topical CBD gel discovered it helped prevent joint pain and worked especially well in people with arthritis.

CBD and Asthma

Asthma affects thousands of people around the world and can seriously effect one’s quality of life. Many studies suggest CBD can help. In 2019 one effort found CBD provided patients measurable relief as well as reduced upper respiratory tract infections.

CBD and Bipolar Disorder

Reports in 2005 suggested a number of bipolar patients were using CBD to alleviate symptoms of mania and depression. While the jury is still out, a number of studies suggest CBD has the same anti-psychotic qualities as other more conventional bipolar treatments. CBD has been labelled as an “atypical” anti-psychotic aid similar to conventional medications but without the long-term side effects.

CBD and Cancer

Some people report CBD helped control their cancer. But science suggests it may be limited to helping reduce the side affects of aggressive cancer treatments including loss of appetite, nausea and pain.

CBD and Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death around the world. Studies suggest CBD may help reduce the inflammation of blood vessels, lower blood pressure and prevent blockages in vital pathways, thereby reducing the possibility of a stroke or heart attack. Other studies report CBD may also reduce cardiovascular response to stress, thus supporting its recommendation for patients with high blood pressure.

CBD and Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is a debilitating gastrointestinal condition with care options that include a variety of drugs and therapies. A study in 2018 showed CBD may significantly reduce Crohn’s disease symptoms. In this study 65% of participants experienced clinical remission after just 8 weeks of being administered CBD oil. However, despite the fact CBD is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, it does not appear to be what led to remission in this particular trial. Further clinical testing is planned or already underway.

CBD and Depression / Anxiety

Depression and anxiety are two of the most common mental illnesses. Researchers report CBD may help relieve both conditions. A medical review in 2014 suggested CBD has both anti-depressant and anti-anxiety properties. A 2018 review noted many studies show similar results in animal trials. CBD works without directly activating the brain’s endocannabinoid receptors, which means less risk of patients becoming addicted.

CBD and Diabetes

Diabetes is an increasingly common chronic condition. One 5-year study found diabetics who use CBD regularly had fasting insulin levels 16 percent lower than those who didn’t. The anti-inflammatory properties in CBD are also thought to be responsible for reducing insulin resistance, a key cause of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. One study found CBD may delay certain types of cell damage in patients with Type 1 Diabetes, thus allowing them a better quality of life over a longer period.

CBD and Huntington’s Disease

Research into CBD for treating Huntington’s Disease dates back to 1991. While some studies show no improvement, one in 2011 led to using a combination of CBD and THC in helping delay Huntington’s progression. In 2015, this same combination was approved for a number of specific neurological treatments in Canada, Spain, New Zealand and the UK.

CBD and Insomnia / Sleep Disorders

The use and abuse of common sleep aid medications has prompted researchers to look at the endocannabinoid system for a better way to get a good night’s sleep. One study found CBD helped 48 of 57 patients sleep noticeably better during a one month trial. Another study, involving 400 volunteers who used a mobile app, found CBD significantly reduced symptoms of insomnia.

CBD and Leukemia

Leukemia often, though not always, responds well to chemotherapy. Now new research suggests CBD may also play a positive role, especially when paired with conventional chemotherapy. Over time this combination could help improve rates of remission while also helping relieve the negative side-effects of cancer treatments.

CBD and Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is one of the world’s most common cancer conditions and is typically treated with chemotherapy. New research, however, is examining whether CBD could be used in treating lung cancer. Several small studies suggest it may help slow cancer from spreading. CBD is already being used to help manage cancer related symptoms and the side effects of cancer treatments.

CBD and Lupus

Lupus is an autoimmune disease which attacks healthy body parts causing joint pain, appetite loss and high fever. Lupus medications often come with extreme side effects. Recent studies, however, show CBD helps ease the chronic pain associated with Lupus and may also assist in regulating the immune system.

CBD and Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) effects the nervous system. Symptoms include pain, muscle spasms, fatigue, inflammation and depression. The American Academy of Neurology reports CBD helps reduce spasms, body pain and the frequency of urination. Studies also show CBD may stimulate appetite, reduce anxiety and alleviate the way drugs effect your mental state and memory.

CBD and Obesity

Recent studies have looked at the potential role our endocannabinoid system plays in obesity. In 2018 researchers discovered a possible link between the activation of CB1 receptors and obesity in humans. The notion that CBD may help reduce over eating is supported by an earlier study that found lab rats exposed to CBD experienced a degree of appetite suppression. To date, however, there is still no definitive proof that CBD encourages weight loss in humans.

CBD and Pain

In a study of CBD users and their habits, many patients reported pain as their number one reason for using CBD. Most said CBD worked very well all by itself. In 2017, the journal “Pain” reported scientists working with a topical CBD gel discovered it helped prevent joint pain and worked especially well in people with arthritis.

CBD and Parkinson’s Disease

A recent study discovered CBD acts as an “inverse agonist” on brain receptors related to movement, learning and emotion. An agonist is a substance that triggers a physiological response. An inverse agonist prevents that trigger. That prevention means CBD could potentially help Parkinson’s patients control tremors and sleep better.

CBD and PTSD

PTSD sufferers with low levels of natural anti-depressants are often unable to turn off traumatic memories. Common treatments include medications and therapy, but studies show CBD may help reprocess difficult events another way. It naturally triggers endocannabinoids known to relieve emotional trauma while helping neurotransmitters promote a sense of happiness.

CBD and Smoking

As research into CBD continues, science has also developed a better understanding of nicotine addiction. In a double-blind study of 24 smokers trying to quit, researchers found those who used CBD smoked 40% fewer cigarettes during the trial. Some participants continued to smoke less even after they stopped taking CBD.

CBD and Muscle Spasms

Muscle spasms are common in chronic conditions like Multiple Sclerosis but can also occur with overuse, muscle fatigue, dehydration and electrolyte abnormalities. One study found CBD provided short-term relief from muscle spasms.

~ See also CBD Benefits