More recent research points to THC being more effective at reducing nausea and vomiting than CBD.
Animal studies have shown that CBD has a positive effect on serotonin levels in the brain, and serotonin. Low levels of serotonin are thought to play a key role in mood as well as pain. 11
In June 2018, the FDA approved Epidiolex (a plant-based formulation of CBD) to treat seizures for people 2 years of age and older with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which are two rare forms of epilepsy.
9. Nausea and vomiting
A case series of 47 people with multiple sclerosis reported improvements in pain, walking, and muscle spasms with a combination of CBD and THC. 15
A laboratory study found that CBD prevented human sebocytes from creating too much sebum in addition to having an anti-inflammatory effect, preventing inflammatory cytokines from activating. Because excessive sebum and inflammation are characteristic of acne, topical CBD could be an effective treatment for acne and may prevent or reduce future breakouts. 12,13
Other research (both animal and human) has shown that CBD has anti-inflammatory effects, and it may relieve pain by this mechanism.
CBD can interact with other medications used to treat heart conditions or immunosuppressants so you should always talk with your doctor before taking CBD.
CBD can interact with other medications used for epilepsy and some serious side effects have been reported, notably, a decrease in liver function when given to people already taking valproate.
Among the few human trials evaluating CBD’s anxiolytic effects was one published in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry in 2019. For this study, 57 men were given either CBD oil or a placebo before a public-speaking event. Anxiety was evaluated using physiological measures (such as blood pressure, heart rate, etc.) and a relatively reliable test for mood states known as the Visual Analog Mood Scale (VAMS).
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.
According to a 2012 study in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, rats injected with inflammatory chemicals in their hind feet experienced less inflammation and neuropathic pain when treated with an oral dose and spinal injection of CBD.
To avoid interactions, tell your doctor and pharmacist about all prescription, over-the-counter, herbal, or recreational drugs you are taking.
Meredith Bull, ND, is a licensed naturopathic doctor with a private practice in Los Angeles, California.
CBD is believed to have a range of positive physical and mental health effects. Because of this, it has become increasingly popular as a way to alleviate everything from anxiety to sleep disorders.
Unless your doctor recommends a specific dose, start by taking 10 to 20 mg a day. Take this for a week to ensure that it is well-tolerated and that you don’t experience any unwanted effects or an allergic reaction.
Some recent research has generated concerns over the safety and potential long term effects of CBD. One study involved giving mice an equivalent of the maximum dose of the CBD medication Epidiolex, which is used to treat certain forms of epilepsy. The results indicated an increased risk for liver damage as well as concerns over its interaction with other medications.
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
It’s also important to remember that many products don’t contain just CBD on its own. There are three types of CBD available: