With a forecasted revenue of over 20 billion by 2024, the CBD market is booming. 1 But what exactly is CBD and how effective is it? We look at 9 proven or possible health benefits of CBD oil.
Animal studies have shown some effect of CBD at relieving depression, possibly related to its strong anti-stress effect after either acute or repeated administration. 16
Many other studies, both on animals and humans, have overwhelmingly concluded that CBD has immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties which may make it a good choice for some autoimmune conditions or inflammation-related complaints. 16
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
Conclusion: CBD does not appear to interfere with sleep and may help people sleep better.
Last year, the F.D.A. approved Epidiolex, a purified CBD extract, to treat rare seizure disorders in patients 2 years or older after three randomized, double-blind and placebo-controlled clinical trials with 516 patients that showed the drug, taken along with other medications, helped to reduce seizures. These types of studies are the gold standard in medicine, in which participants are divided by chance, and neither the subject nor the investigator knows which group is taking the placebo or the medication.
Will these trends change your life — or
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the lesser-known child of the cannabis sativa plant; its more famous sibling, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the active ingredient in pot that catapults users’ “high.” With roots in Central Asia, the plant is believed to have been first used medicinally — or for rituals — around 750 B.C., though there are other estimates too.
CBD is advertised as providing relief for anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. It is also marketed to promote sleep. Part of CBD’s popularity is that it purports to be “nonpsychoactive,” and that consumers can reap health benefits from the plant without the high (or the midnight pizza munchies).
More than 60 percent of CBD users were taking it for anxiety, according to a survey of 5,000 people. Does it help?
But many people still don’t really know what CBD is. Is it marijuana? Is it legal? Does it actually work? Is it safe?
By now, you’ve probably run into a product containing cannabidiol, also known as CBD. It’s in everything from drinks and pet products to lotions and chewable gummies. Even major drugstore chains have announced they will start carrying CBD products in certain states.
Experts say cannabidiol products are likely a good choice for some conditions, but evidence is lacking for others.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
I’d like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.