In one such study, researchers administered CBD to people with heroin use disorder. Over the course of a week, CBD significantly reduced heroin users’ cue-induced cravings, withdrawal anxiety, resting heart rate and salivary cortisol levels. No serious adverse effects were found.
Some studies—both preclinical animal and human clinical trials—suggest CBD could be used to help treat people who are dependent on opioids.
5. Alleviate ALS Symptoms
Arthritis involves the deterioration of the tissues in and around your joints. There are several types of arthritis, and symptoms include pain, stiffness and loss of motion. Arthritis treatment usually targets pain relief and improved joint function.
In 2018, in a study of more localized treatment, researchers administered a synthetic CBD gel in either 250-milligram or 500-milligram doses daily or a placebo to patients with knee pain due to osteoarthritis. Patients also stopped taking any other anti-inflammatory medications or painkillers, with the exception of acetaminophen, before and during the study period.
Four other human trials from 2012 to 2016 suggest CBD reduces PTSD symptoms, although some include THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the main mind-altering element in cannabis. When THC and CBD work together, they create what’s called an “entourage effect,” complementing each other’s benefits and potency. For example, taking the same dose of THC and CBD together tempers the “high” from THC, while just a little THC paired with more CBD enhances the effects of the CBD.
Unfortunately, there’s no CBD-specific version of the food pyramid. Dosing depends on body weight, desired effect, and the way a person is taking it. CBD products often come with serving suggestions—but those can be misleading, given that the FDA doesn’t test every supplement against its labels and claims. (The agency has issued warnings to dozens of companies who’ve listed incorrect information about CBD and THC levels in their products; see the full list here.)
By Purbita Saha | Published Jan 4, 2021 2:00 AM
That seems relatively straightforward, but throw local laws into the mix and the standards become a lot more unwieldy. CBD is legal to sell and buy in one form or another around the US, though it’s harder to hawk across state lines because of the federal regulations. In places where it’s lawful, the ingredient can be added to any product as long as it contains less than 0.3 percent THC and is marketed as a cosmetic or supplement. If it’s labeled as a drug or dietary substance it has to undergo clinical tests and win FDA approval before the public can lay hands on it. The agency has only approved one CBD medication so far: Epidolex, which is used to treat the same genetic syndrome that Charlotte Figi had.
How much should people take?
Plenty of companies, restaurants, and cookbook authors are now folding CBD into their recipes. But does the ingredient have the same therapeutic effect when it’s baked in a brownie pan at 360 degrees Fahrenheit or seared in a skillet with sea bass and lemon rinds?
Because CBD is one of hundreds of compounds in hemp and cannabis, it’s tricky to extract and standardize. If the chemical is tainted or alternated in any way during the process, it can have a different set of effects. The way it’s consumed also plays a big part in the reaction. As Figi’s neurologist wrote back in 2014, cooking or smoking CBD means adding heat, which could break down the chemical and make it less beneficial. Pills and edibles, on the other hand, need to be carefully engineered so that they don’t get neutralized by stomach acid.
Overall, doctors are reluctant to call CBD a pain panacea. But companies keep putting it in gels, goos, tinctures, massage oils, and roll-on creams, and people continue to snap them up. (One market report put CBD sales at nearly $5 billion sales in 2020.) It’s clear that the ingredient is somewhat beneficial to human health—science just needs to understand how much.
Overall, the FDA seems unconcerned with low doses of the extract in food and wellness items. It does, however, caution against giving CBD products to children, pregnant and lactating people, and pets.
A 2006 study found that combining THC and CBD increased each cannabinoid’s effectiveness in reducing pain and diminished adverse effects of using just THC alone.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder in which abnormal brain activity causes seizures. Recent studies show that CBD may be an effective treatment for epilepsy, although scientists are unsure of the exact mechanisms, Goldstein says.
2. CBD oil can treat epilepsy
While animal research found CBD to be a promising treatment for nerve-based (neuropathic) pain and inflammatory pain, few studies have examined its effects on humans.
A 2017 study of patients ranging from two to 46-years-old with treatment-resistant epilepsy found that 86% of patients experienced a reduction in seizures after consuming various formulations of artisanal CBD, which is CBD that contains small amounts of THC. Of the participants, 10% reported becoming seizure-free.
Goldstein says that CBD affects the brain in multiple ways, including enhancing the brain’s own anxiety-reducing chemicals and targeting serotonin receptors involved in mood.