Updated: Feb 8
A brief overview of some current research
CBD is an all-natural remedy that can help with a variety of ailments, illnesses, and symptoms. In the book Cannabis Revealed, Dr. Bonni Goldstein explains that CBD has multiple properties and can act as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticonvulsant, anti-anxiety, antidepressant, antipsychotic, antibacterial and antitumor agent, all without any psychoactive effects. Read more about what CBD is and how it interacts with our endocannabinoid system (ECS) here.
Research on the health benefits of taking CBD is still ongoing, so new therapeutic uses for this remedy are continually being discovered. But while there is still much to be learned about CBD, recent results from a wide variety of studies have suggested that CBD can provide a safe, powerful alternative for many health issues.
‘A Cross-Sectional Study of Cannabidiol Users’ published in the “Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research” journal shows that almost 62% of CBD users reported using CBD to treat a medical condition. The top three medical conditions were pain, anxiety, and depression. Almost 36% of respondents reported that CBD help their medical condition(s) “very well by itself.”
PLEASE NOTE: Make sure to talk to your healthcare provider about introducing CBD as an addition or replacement to your current treatment plan. Do not make any changes to your current treatment or current medication without consulting your doctor. Cape Ann Botanicals also offers nursing services with our staff nurse for additional medical consultation.
CBD has been shown to protect against memory loss. Research shows that CBD exerts a combination of anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and cell-saving effects from the damage that plaques and tangles cause in the brain. A study in Frontiers of Pharmacology shows that CBD may help by protecting the brain from inflammation and by creating new brain cells. The authors cite studies that found CBD to be neuroprotective, to prevent neurodegeneration, and to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. A 2017 study at California’s Salk Institute found evidence that CBD could help remove plaque-forming Alzheimer’s proteins from brain cells. And a 2011 study by Australian researchers Tim Karl and Carl Group found that CBD promotes the growth and development of brain cells, and reduces the decline of memory and other brain functions.
Anxiety and Depression
CBD has anti-anxiety properties in both low and moderate high doses. A study in Frontiers in Immunology demonstrated that CBD can be helpful in alleviating general anxiety and other anxiety-related clinical disorders, such as panic, post-traumatic stress (PTSD), and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It was also found that CBD has a clear anti-stress effect and antidepressant-like effects. A study published in Neurotherapeutics found preclinical evidence that conclusively demonstrated CBD’s efficacy in reducing anxiety.
Since CBD works well for pain and inflammation, many arthritis sufferers choose CBD for treatment. For example, in the book Cannabis Revealed, Dr. Bonni Goldstein explains that topical CBD can be applied directly to an inflamed, painful joint with fairly rapid onset relief. In an animal study, the administration of CBD after the onset of arthritis effectively blocked the progression of arthritis and had a potent anti-arthritic effect. Researchers at Tokyo’s National Institute for Neuroscience concluded that cannabinoid therapy of rheumatoid arthritis could provide symptomatic relief of joint pain and swelling as well as suppressing joint destruction and disease progression.
Since the endocannabinoid system controls emotional and behavioral responses, as well as social interaction, a disruption in the system may be a contributing factor in the development of autism. In this 2013 study, rats that had a prenatal disruption of their endocannabinoid system had behavioral abnormalities associated with autism. Current clinical trials are being conducted to see whether CBD can treat autism. It has already been shown that CBD can also be useful in managing some of the symptoms of autism, such as anger, aggression, anxiety, and sleeping problems. In one study, following CBD treatment, behavioral outbreaks were much improved or very much improved in 61% of patients. Anxiety and communication problems were much or very much improved by 39% and 47% respectively. Disruptive behaviors were improved by 29% following the treatment. In the book Cannabis Revealed, Dr. Bonni Goldstein encourages “patients and their caregivers to experiment with different doses, strains, and delivery methods as each person responds differently.”
CBD can accelerate the process of the body healing broken bones and making them stronger. Scientists reported in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research that CBD can strengthen bones, promote fracture healing, and even prevent bone disease. A study in the European Journal of Pharmacology showed how CBD can be helpful in bone fragment healing by increasing the volume and thickness of bones. A study in the Journal of Opioid Management also shows that CBD is a pain reliever and can help reduce the amount of opioids used for pain.
In the book Cannabis Revealed, Dr. Bonni Goldstein explains that many cancer patients use CBD to combat nausea, vomiting, pain relief, sleep problems, anxiety and depression that often accompany the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. A study published in the British Pharmacological Society journal also concluded that CBD can be quite useful in alleviating symptoms caused by cancer treatment, including nausea and vomiting.
There also exists a significant body of research that shows the anti-cancer properties of CBD, including the ability to kill cancer cells, to inhibit tumor growth, and to work synergistically with certain chemotherapies to enhance anticancer effects.
In a detailed report published in the Journal of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, a team of researchers was able to shrink the size of one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer. After the use of CBD in combination with THC and radiotherapy, “tumor sizes on the final day of the study were significantly smaller in these subjects compared with any of the others,” writes an author of the study.
In the book Cannabis Revealed, Dr. Bonni Goldstein explains that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is involved with energy metabolism, food intake, and energy storage, so a deficiency in the ECS may lead to diabetes. Research shows that using CBD may prevent and/or delay the progression of diabetes. In one study, the development of diabetes was prevented when mice were given CBD. In another study, mice with initial symptoms of diabetes who were given CBD had no progression of the disease. CBD can help people control their sugar levels, sleep better, reduce stress, and ultimately promote better choices leading to a healthier lifestyle. CBD’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects are also important for the prevention of complications from diabetes.
The endocannabinoid system works by maintaining homeostasis. Research suggests that a deficiency in the ECS plays a critical role in the development of epileptic seizures, thus CBD has been studied as a viable treatment option for epilepsy. CBD has been shown to have anticonvulsant properties in all animal research, for example in this study published in the journal “Seizure.” Several recent studies have begun to look at CBD treatment of epilepsy in humans. In a 2013 study at Stanford of epileptic children using CBD, 11% became seizure free, 42% had over 80% reduction in seizures, and 32% had 25-60% seizure reduction, all with the beneficial side effects of better sleep, improved alertness, and better mood.
Studies have also shown that CBD acts as a neuroprotective agent; CBD protects brain cells and encourages the growth of new neurons, which is especially important for epilepsy sufferers as severe brain damage can be sustained from repeated seizures.
Evidence shows that an endocannabinoid deficiency is one possible cause of fibromyalgia, and the use of CBD can help combat the development of fibromyalgia. CBD is also effective in treating symptoms of fibromyalgia, including pain, mood, insomnia, and inflammation. A recent study from Spain reported that fibromyalgia patients who used CBD had a statistically significant reduction in pain and stiffness, enhancement of relaxation, and improved sleep with an increased feeling of well being.
For patients with glaucoma, the optic nerve is damaged due to inflammation. Research has shown that CBD, as an anti-inflammatory and neuroprotectant, can help protect the optic nerve and help prevent optic nerve damage. A study published in the International Journal of Pharmacology and Biopharmacology in 1979 analyzed the effects of CBD on 16 patients with glaucoma. After taking CBD, the patients experienced a decrease in intraocular pressure behind the eyes – the direct cause of glaucoma. Dr. Bonni Goldstein, in her book Cannabis Revealed recommends that glaucoma patients include CBD in their regimen to help prevent optic nerve damage.
In the book Cannabis Revealed, Dr. Bonni Goldstein reports that she has seen thousands of patients who report better sleep with cannabis use. A study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology shows that CBD may increase overall sleep amounts. A study in The Journal of Clinical Pharmacology shows that CBD can improve insomnia. A study in Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management shows that CBD can reduce insomnia in people who suffer from chronic pain. In addition, research published in the CNS & Neurological Disorders shows that CBD has the ability to reduce anxiety, which can be helpful in reducing sleep difficulties and improving sleep quality.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Evidence is building that suggests that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is involved in many processes in the gastrointestinal system, including inflammation, growth of cells that line the gut, motor function, and pain perception. A study in Mucosal Immunology shows that a deficiency in the ECS may result in gastrointestinal illnesses, like IBS. A study in the British Journal of Pharmacology shows that CBD reduces inflammation in the gut that occurs in IBS.
Recent studies show that migraine headaches may be due to endocannabinoid deficiency. In one study, endocannabinoid levels were decreased in patients with chronic migraines and CBD has shown to be an effective treatment for migraines. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research published a review last year showing a clear history of cannabinoid use in the treatment and reduction of migraines. As described in the book Cannabis Revealed, patients of Dr. Bonni Goldstein report less frequency and less severity of migraines, and are finding relief from pain, less nausea, and better sleep. Other patients report that using CBD daily prevents migraines from occurring.
CBD is a neuroprotectant and has been shown to inhibit the progression of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). In a 2015 study, CBD was found to alleviate motor deterioration in mice. A study published in the Frontiers of Neurology found that using CBD may be advisable for patients with MS to reduce symptoms of MS such as fatigue, pain, inflammation, depression, and spasticity, and ultimately improve mobility.
Several studies show the effectiveness of CBD in helping with nausea and vomiting. A study published in the British Pharmacological Society found that CBD interacts with serotonin-releasing receptors, and when given in relatively small doses, CBD can help alleviate both nausea and vomiting. A study in the European Journal of Pharmacology concluded that advances in recent progress in understanding the regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system have revealed significant potential for the use of CBD as a therapeutic approach. A study in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry shows that CBD can be effective in easing anxiety, which can help patients manage the angst of chronic nausea.
In the book Cannabis Revealed, Dr. Bonni Goldstein explains that cannabis has been documented as an effective pain reliever for thousands of years. A study in Journal of Pain Research shows that CBD can have remarkable analgesic capabilities and is effective for pain management. A study in Future Medicinal Chemistry shows how CBD is a potent anti-inflammatory agent, which is why CBD works so well for pain relief. A study in the Journal of Opioid Management shows that CBD is an effective pain reliever and can help reduce the amount of opioids used for pain. Additionally, results from a study in the Clinical Journal of Pain concluded that the treatment of chronic pain with CBD resulted in improved pain and functional outcomes, and a significant reduction in opioid use.
A study released in the Frontiers of Pharmacology shows that CBD’s neuroprotective effects can be helpful for neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's. The study concludes that CBD’s ability to reduce inflammation-associated neurodegeneration, and its antioxidant properties, indicate that CBD can be a useful new approach to treating neuropsychiatric disorders. A study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology shows that Parkinson’s patients who used CBD had significant improvement of thinking, better sleep, fewer hallucinations, and some improvement in motor function. A study in CNS & Neurological Disorders shows the positive effects of CBD on the different symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, including motor inhibition. Researchers concluded in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics that CBD had prompt and substantial reduction in REM Sleep Behavior Disorder that is often found in Parkinson’s patients, in addition to reducing tremors and pain in people with Parkinson's disease.
A survey published in the Journal of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association found that, out of 632 people, 72% reported using or having used a hemp product for their dog (and 104 tried it with their cat) and 64% felt that it helped their pets. The most common conditions pet owners used CBD for included seizures, cancer, anxiety and arthritis.
Dr. Tim Shu, founder and CEO of a pet cannabis company in California called VETCBD explains that CBD can be used to treat seizures, nausea, stress, anxiety, arthritis, back pain, symptoms of cancer, and gastrointestinal issues, among other health conditions in dogs. Relief is provided as cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system, Shu explains. “It’s a series of receptors that run throughout the body,” he says. “The cannabinoids interact with the receptors in the body and modulate things like pain, anxiety, and nausea.” Unlike some traditional pain medicine for dogs, CBD has no life-threatening side effects, Shu points out. “It doesn’t damage the kidney, liver, or GI tract. The dogs aren’t high or sedated.”
Anxiety in Pets
Compelling research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicates that CBD causes a selective anxiolytic effect to reduce anxiety. Additional research in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that CBD was associated with significantly decreased subjective anxiety.
Nausea in Pets
Research published in the Journal of Physiology & Behavior has shown that CBD suppresses nausea caused by a disease or medication and nausea that pets can feel in response to a conditioned event. Researchers found that “the expression of this conditioned retching reaction was completely suppressed by pretreatment with CBD.”
Arthritis in Pets
Results from a study published in the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science showed a significant decrease in pain and increase in activity after dogs with arthritis were given CBD.
Epilepsy in Pets
Dr. Stephanie McGrath, a neurologist at Colorado State University has revealed initial findings from a groundbreaking study to assess the use of CBD for dogs with epilepsy. Based on her research, she found that 89 percent of dogs who received CBD in a clinical trial had a reduction in the frequency of seizures.
Recommended Products: CBD for Pets
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
A study in the Journal of Neuroscience revealed that cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) are expressed in high levels in the amygdala, a part of the brain that controls anxiety, fear memory, and emotional responses to stress. In order to have a normal response to fear and traumatic memories, a properly functioning ECS must be present. The use of CBD can regulate any deficiencies in the ECS and as a result, can reduce anxiety and lessen PTSD symptoms.
A study published in Frontiers of Neuroscience shows that CBD may decrease the intensity and impact of symptoms commonly associated with PTSD, including chronic anxiety in stressful environments.
In the book Cannabis Revealed, Dr. Bonni Goldstein explains that cannabinoid receptors have been found throughout the structure of human skin, and the endocannabinoid system is thought to regulate cell growth and wound healing, so CBD can be used as a treatment for inflammatory skin conditions. A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology shows that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that can help with skin conditions caused by inflammation.
A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that due to its combined lipostatic, antiproliferative, and antiinflammatory effects, CBD has potential as a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of acne.
Research published in the Journal of Dermatological Science proved that CBD can suppress issues with skin cells that cause psoriasis.
A study published in Phytotherapy Research found that CBD exerts an antiinflammatory effect in the early phase of the wound healing process. In addition, research in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management found that topical CBD has the potential to improve pain management in patients suffering from wounds of all classes.