CBD’s exact mechanism of action is unclear. Unlike THC, CBD has a relatively low affinity for cannabinoid receptors in the brain. These are the molecules to which THC binds to elicit its psychoactive effects.
CBD oil may reduce the risk of heart disease by alleviating hypertension (high blood pressure) in certain people, suggests a 2017 study in JCI Insight.
Part of this response could be explained by the way that CBD acts in the brain. In low doses, CBD may act as an agonist to several receptor sites, meaning it acts similarly to surrounding molecules that normally bind to the receptor, enhancing the signalling of those receptor sites. At higher doses, however, too much activity at the receptor site can lead to an opposite effect, negating the beneficial effects of CBD.
For this study, nine healthy men took either 600 mg of CBD or the same dose of a placebo. According to the researcher, those treated with CBD had lower blood pressure before and after exposure to stressful stimuli (including exercise or extreme cold).
Instead, CBD is thought to influence other receptors, including opioid receptors that regulate pain and glycine receptors involved in the regulation of the “feel-good” hormone and neurotransmitter serotonin.
Some people may get diarrhea or liver problems [when using CBD]. This is dependent on the individual and their medical history, so monitoring is important,” says Dr. Matharu-Daley.
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
CBD benefits include the following:
Also known as “cotton mouth,” CBD can potentially cause your mouth and eyes to feel very dry, notes Dr. Brent A. Bauer via Mayo Clinic. Though this side effect is more likely to occur with THC, it can happen with CBD, as well.
Because CBD supplements come in so many different forms—such as oils, gummies, tinctures, and vapors—the amount that’s actually absorbed can vary drastically. This, combined with each person, will ultimately affect which (if any) CBD side effects you might experience.
An app was used to measure changes in insomnia in over 400 people taking medical cannabis. The average symptom severity was reduced by 4.5 points on a 10-point scale, a significant improvement in insomnia.
CBD oil may be used both ways.
There are many other medicines that should not be taken with CBD. Doing so may increase the effects of those medicines. As an example, taking CBD with medicines that cause drowsiness may cause the person to be even more sleepy.
Does Topical CBD Help with Pain?
Early research on CBD for the treatment of insomnia suggests that it may be effective. Additional studies are needed.
CBD is the primary cannabinoid in hemp. It has various healing properties. For example, it seems to lessen inflammation, the body’s response to illness or injury. In this way, it may be helpful in treating many different diseases.
Studies are ongoing, but there is evidence that CBD may be effective in reducing anxiety, chronic (long-term) pain like back pain, and insomnia or trouble sleeping.
An animal study found transdermal CBD lessened the pain and inflammation of arthritis.