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Conclusion: CBD may help with depression but more trials are needed.

Conclusion: Topical CBD may help relieve inflammation and excessive sebum production associated with acne but more trials are needed.

CBD has also been investigated for use in other forms of treatment-resistant epilepsy, usually in addition to conventional epilepsy medications. Results varied, but several trials showed CBD significantly reduced seizure frequency by almost 44% in most people. 3

6. Sleep disorders

Anxiety scores decreased in a large case series of 72 patients, with 57 patients (79.2%) reporting decreased scores within the first month after CBD treatment. 9

Unlike THC, CBD has no psychoactive properties and will not give you a “high”. There is no evidence it has any abuse or dependence potential and to date, there is no evidence that it is associated with any serious side effects, according to the World Health Organization.

Pretreatment with 300mg CBD significantly relieved anxiety in 57 healthy males who undertook a simulated public speaking test. However, dosages of 150mg CBD and 600mg CBD did not make any difference to the men’s anxiety levels. 7

Conclusion: CBD is beneficial for treating certain types of epilepsy.

Dr. Smita Das, chair of the American Psychiatric Association’s Council on Addiction Psychiatry’s cannabis work group, does not recommend CBD for anxiety, PTSD, sleep or depression. With patients turning to these to unproven products, she is worried that they may delay seeking appropriate mental health care: “I’m dually concerned with how exposure to CBD products can lead somebody into continuing to cannabis products.”

“It’s promising in a lot of different therapeutic avenues because it’s relatively safe,” said James MacKillop, co-director of McMaster University’s Michael G. DeGroote Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research in Hamilton, Ontario.

But without clinical trials in humans, psychologists say CBD’s effect on depression is still a hypothesis, and not an evidence-based treatment.

Does CBD help sleep and depression?

Last year, the F.D.A. approved Epidiolex, a purified CBD extract, to treat rare seizure disorders in patients 2 years or older after three randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled clinical trials with 516 patients that showed the drug, taken along with other medications, helped to reduce seizures. These types of studies are the gold standard in medicine, in which participants are divided by chance, and neither the subject nor the investigator knows which group is taking the placebo or the medication.

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For students with generalized social anxiety, a four-minute talk, with minimal time to prepare, can be debilitating. Yet a small experiment in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology found that CBD seemed to reduce nervousness and cognitive impairment in patients with social anxiety in a simulated public speaking task.

“Our top therapies attempt to break the association between reminders of the trauma and the fear response,” said Mallory Loflin, an assistant adjunct professor at the University of California, San Diego and the study’s principal investigator. “We think that CBD, at least in animal models, can help that process happen a lot faster.” While large clinical trials are underway, psychologists say there isn’t compelling evidence yet as to whether this is a viable treatment.

CBD oil may also increase liver enzymes (a marker of liver inflammation). People with liver disease should use CBD oil with caution, ideally under the care of a doctor who can regularly check blood liver enzyme levels.

According to the investigators, men provided 300 mg of CBD exhibited less anxiety than those given a placebo. Interestingly, those provided 100 mg or 600 mg of CBD oil did not.

CBD oil contains CBD mixed with an inert carrier oil, such as coconut oil or hemp seed oil. The bottled oil, called a tincture, is sold in various concentrations. There are also CBD capsules, CBD gummies, and under-the-tongue CBD sprays.

Possible Side Effects

To avoid interactions, tell your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription, over-the-counter, herbal, or recreational drugs you are taking.

There have also been suggestions that CBD may aid in the treatment of cannabis and nicotine addiction. Further research is needed.

However, the effect of CBD on each addiction type was often very different. With opioid addiction, for example, CBD showed little effect in minimizing withdrawal symptoms in the absence of THC. By contrast, CBD on its own appeared effective in minimizing drug-seeking behaviors in users of cocaine, methamphetamine, and other psychostimulant drugs.

If you are thinking about using CBD oil to treat a health condition, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider to ensure that it is the right option for you.