CBD & Anxiety Disorders
Researchers suspect that CBD affects the way the brain’s receptors respond to serotonin
Serotonin plays an important role in brain chemistry as a neurotransmitter. This neurotransmitter is involved in regulating mood and behavior and is important for good mental and physical health. In a study in people who are diagonalized according to the DSM-5 with social anxiety disorder, CBD helped speak in front of groups.
Other studies have also been done in animals. This shows that CBD:
- Stress reduced
- The symptoms of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) diminish
- Reduce the physiological effects of stress, such as increased heart rate, high blood pressure, etc.
- Sleep also improves in cases of insomnia
CBD & Pain relief
Many people use CBD oil for chronic pain. CBD reduces pain because it affects the receptors in the brain that register pain.
For example, a drug (Sativex) has been approved by the Medicines Evaluation Board for people with MS. The active substances in Sativex are THC and CBD. Sativex is intended to treat pain in people with multiple sclerosis. Researchers still disagree on how CBD helps people with MS.
Some suspect it is due to the effect of CBD on the receptors in the brain, while others believe it is due to the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD. In any case, the fact is that many MS patients benefit from this drug. Studies show that CBD is effective with the following strains:
- MS pain
- Chronic pain
- Arthritic pain
- Muscle strain
- Spinal cord injury
CBD & Acne
Hormones and inflammation play a role in acne (pimples). Excess sebum production causes dead skin and horn cells to linger in the hair follicle and can lead to inflammation. Hormonal changes in puberty cause excessive sebum production, which can cause youth pimples. Bacteria can proliferate in the hair follicles and these inflammatory symptoms become visible as red nodules.
With CBD oil, the activity of the sebaceous glands is slowed down, resulting in less sebum production. In addition, CBD oil has an anti-inflammatory effect that is also useful in the treatment of acne.
CBD & Migraines
A migraine attack lasts between 4 and 72 hours and is many times more severe than a “normal” headache such as with stress or allergies. During a migraine attack, there is often no other option than to crawl into bed with the curtains drawn, take painkillers and hope that it will pass quickly. The disadvantage of painkillers is the side effects and often they only provide some relief. A study of 48 participants found that 40% of the participants had less migraine attacks when they used CBD oil. Another study, among 26 participants, found that the people who used CBD oil had a better quality of life than those who used painkillers. These are just a few small-scale studies, but it seems worthwhile to try CBD oil if you often suffer from migraines.
CBD & Fibromyalgie (Chronical muscle pain)
Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes a lot of chronic pain in the muscles and connective tissue, in combination with stiffness all over the body.
Given that CBD oil works as a pain reliever, it will come as no surprise that some people with fibromyalgia benefit from this oil. However, convincing scientific evidence for this is still lacking. Research has been done with nabilone. Nabilone is a synthetically derived THC derivative. This study was small-scale, it was conducted among 40 people with fibromyalgia. After 4 weeks, the participants had a significant reduction in pain and an improvement in quality of life.
CBD & Sleep
Many people have sleeping problems. About 10% of the population suffers from chronic insomnia and 30% will experience it temporarily at some point in life.
Marijuana is known to help with sleep problems. The strains with a high THC content reduce the amount of REM sleep. This is helpful for people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as it reduces dreaming, thus reducing nightmares. For insomnia, CBD appears to be better suited than THC. Sleep is believed to give you a deeper sleep when you dream less. Deep sleep is the most useful because it is where you recover and relax the most. User experiences teach that CBD improves sleep for many while others benefit more from THC. This is again a matter of trying. Although THC can solve sleep problems in the short term, there is also evidence that THC can damage sleep quality in the long term.
CBD & Epilepsy
The treatment of epilepsy is what made CBD oil known to the general public. In 2013 there was a documentary on CNN about a young American girl with severe epilepsy. Thanks to CBD oil, her parents were largely able to control the severe and frequent attacks. This documentary received a lot of media attention worldwide. Scientists are currently investigating to what extent CBD oil reduces the number of seizures in people with epilepsy and whether it is safe to use. In 2016, a study was conducted among 214 people with epilepsy. The participants in this study were given CBD oil in addition to the medication she was already taking. The participants were followed for 12 weeks and it was found that they had 36.5% fewer attacks per month thanks to the CBD oil.
Unfortunately, the oil did not work equally well for all participants. Some of the participants in the study experienced side effects, and for some these were so annoying that she stopped using the CBD oil. Side effects reported by some participants include:
- Decreased appetite
In practice, CBD oil is only rarely used by neurologists for the treatment of epilepsy. This only happens in patients with severe and frequent seizures where the regular anti-epileptic drugs offer no or insufficient solution. There are several reasons for this. An important reason is that insufficient research has been done into the (long-term) effects and side effects of CBD oil. Another reason is that a high dose of CBD oil is required for the treatment of epilepsy. The problem with the available CBD oil is that it always contains traces of THC. This also in unknown and (per batch) varying quantities. Because the CBD must be dosed high, there is a risk that a high dose of THC is automatically given. THC reduces the effect of certain anti-epileptics and also causes unwanted side effects, of which a stoned or high feeling is the least annoying. If you have epilepsy, or a child with epilepsy, never experiment with CBD oil on your own. You can negatively influence the effect of the anti-epileptic drugs and trigger seizures. If you want to try out CBD oil, do this only in consultation and under the supervision of the treating neurologist.