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Research Regarding CBD and Certain Conditions
While research into the benefits of CBD and other cannabis-derived medicines is ongoing, there is currently only one FDA-approved therapeutic application for CBD oil. This page is for collecting and sharing research, not the diagnosis or treatment of any condition.
We’re excellent farmers, but not trained medical professionals. Please work with your doctor to figure out if CBD is a good addition to your treatment plan.
CBD for Pain Management
CBD treats chronic pain by interacting with the body’s inflammation control mechanisms, specifically the CB2 receptors in our endocannabinoid system. Preclinically, success has been demonstrated in using CBD to control chronic pain, inflammatory pain, and neuropathic pain, while there is increased interest in exploiting the same effects to control inflammation in peripheral organ disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease, renal fibrosis, liver cirrhosis, and ischemia/reperfusion injury.
After a week of low-dose CBD therapy, patients report significant improvement in both pain and anxiety, which are typically associated with chronic pain conditions. Its use for control of chronic pain (specifically intractable cancer pain and neuropathic pain associated with multiple sclerosis) was approved in Canada in 2007 and 2005, respectively.
Our 1000mg CBD Pain Cream is our most popular product and provides pain relief to many people.
Mental Health and CBD Oil
One of the most interesting things about CBD and other cannabinoids is how they evolved to interact with our body’s own endocannabinoid system. This system is known to be dysfunctional in depression, schizophrenia, and other mood or related disorders, and abnormalities in cannabinoid receptors are indicated in psychiatric disorders.This suggests that supplementation with CBD, THC, or other cannabinoids could help alleviate symptoms of depression by supporting the body’s own antidepressant mechanisms.
While controlled clinical research on the subject is in its early days, observational and small-group efficacy experiments are promising. A steadily-growing collection of evidence supports the use of CBD and THC products as part of a depression treatment strategy and researchers are interested in developing a new class of antidepressant drugs based on their mechanisms of action.
Similarly, CBD’s interactions with our body’s internal mood regulation systems make it a promising option for the treatment of anxiety and related disorders, including:
- Panic disorder.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder.
- Social anxiety disorder.
- Post-traumatic stress disorders.
Studies involving animal models show that treatment with CBD has a measurable impact on anxiety-related behaviors, and human efficacy trials show that cannabinoids can help with treatment-naive social anxiety and similar conditions.
While the exact mechanism of action is unknown, functional neuroimaging studies demonstrate that CBD works by influencing the limbic and paralimbic systems, increasing blood flow to the right posterior cingulate gyrus while reducing it in the left parahippocampal gyrus, hippocampus, and inferior temporal gyrus, as measured by the uptake of ethyl cysteinate dimer (ECD), a radioactive tracer used to track blood flow in functional imaging.
CBD for Cancer
Antitumor Effects of THC
In in vitro experiments and preclinical trials on animal models going back to 1975, cannabinoids have been shown to reduce tumor growth through a variety of mechanisms. Proliferation is contained, metastasis reduced, and CBD has been shown to kill cancer cells by triggering autophagy in melanoma, hepatic cancer, pancreatic cancer, and glioma.
How CBD Fights Cancer
As investigations into the benefits of CBD continue, we learn new ways that cannabinoids prevent, contain, and kill cancerous cells. Researchers from the Poznań University of Life Sciences and the Institute of Human Genetics of the Polish Academy of Sciences aggregated an excellent table of which cannabinoids fight which cancer cells, and by what mechanism of action.
Antiemetic Effects of Cannabinoids
There are two FDA-approved cannabinoids sometimes used in controlling the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy: dronabinol or nabilone. In a review of 1,366 patients, these two THC preparations were judged more effective than other, standard antiemetic drugs, and a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial demonstrated that a 1:1 THC:CBD formulation was very effective in treating chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology’s supportive care guidelines do not currently endorse medical marijuana or CBD for this purpose, citing insufficient evidence to deviate from the FDA-approved formulary.
Really severe cancer pain can be difficult to treat with opioids, but cannabinoids have been known to be effective for cancer-related pain management for decades. Inflammation is a significant source of pain from the cancer itself, which is well-controlled by cannabinoids, while they can also bring relief from peripheral neuropathy caused by chemotherapy.
Please note that CBD is better for pain resulting from inflammation, as it acts on the CB2 receptors, while nerve pain is better addressed with THC (which acts on the CB1 receptor). This is another example of how full-spectrum CBD oil products can be more effective than purified cannabinoid isolates.
CBD for Autism Spectrum Disorders
While no serious medical researchers advance CBD as a “cure”, there is new interest in using CBD oil to help autistic children manage sensory sensitivity, stress behaviors, and anxiety.
Clinical research on CBD and autistic spectrum disorders is limited. There have been multiple observational studies supported by the Israeli Ministry of Health which report success with symptom management. One study, which followed a group of sixty children using CBD for seven months and collected parental assessments of outcomes, reported improvement in 80% of cases and significant improvement in 62%.
A second study of fifty-three children also reported improvements after oral CBD use:
- Self-injury and rage attacks improved in 67.6% of cases.
- Hyperactivity symptoms improved in 68.4% of cases.
- Sleep disturbances improved in 71.4% of cases.
- Anxiety symptoms improved in 47.1% of cases.
Observational studies are structurally prone to selection and reporting bias, however, and more rigorous experiments are needed to determine if CBD helps autistic children in a meaningful way. A twelve-week Phase 2, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study began in April of 2019 and is still actively recruiting.
CBD for Seizure Disorders
The first cannabis-derived drug to win full FDA approval was Epidiolex, a purified CBD product used to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Many people with other forms of epilepsy report a degree of success controlling seizures with CBD oil, and research is ongoing.
It is particularly important to consult your physician before using CBD as part of a seizure control routine, as it may interact with other medications. This wasn’t reported among adverse events in the Epidiolex trial populations, though some patients withdrew early from the trial due to elevated liver enzymes. See this study for a representative list of adverse events.
Clinical trials are underway to evaluate purified CBD oil for the treatment of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex and Sturge-Weber Syndrome.
CBD for Arthritis Pain and Inflammation
Topical CBD has been shown in preclinical trials to reduce joint swelling, pain, and immune cell infiltration after four days of consecutive use, without evident side effects.
Later studies supported these results in humans with osteoarthritis (OA), finding that local application of topical CBD blocked OA nerve pain while helping prevent nerve damage in affected joints.
CBD for Fibromyalgia
We don’t yet understand what causes chronic generalized pain in fibromyalgia patients and treatment is limited to symptomatic relief. Small-group studies of fibromyalgia patients who report using cannabis to treat their pain are somewhat promising, however.
One study of fibromyalgia patients in Barcelona, Spain, found that patients who used cannabis reported reduction of pain and stiffness two hours after use and significant relief from sleep disturbances, mood disorders, and anxiety related to their condition. Only 14% of patients in that group reported that cannabis helped treat fibromyalgia-related headaches.
While both this and a similar Israeli study suggest CBD could be useful for managing fibromyalgia symptoms, a placebo-controlled study of chronic pain patients conducted by Leiden University Medical Center and Bedrocan International BV suggests that higher-THC treatments are more effective