CBD & The Human Body
Science & Health
You may have heard on the many benefits of CBD and wondered if all the hype is real. Well, we are here to give you a real look at what science has found so far. And while much of the research of CBD is just starting to get underway, the many potential benefits of CBD are beginning to emerge.
In this article, we review numerous exciting examples from state-of-the-art research that explores the numerous potential benefits of CBD including its potential to relieve inflammation1, pain2, anxiety3, sleeplessness4, and other disorders, as well as benefits for the skin5.
First, some quick background. CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is one of the two major active compounds of cannabis. CBD does not cause any intoxicating effects, meaning it does not produce a “high.”
Cannabinoids “have exhibited the significant potential to be used as novel anti-inflammatory agents,” according to the peer-reviewed journal, Future Medicinal Chemistry6. The reason why this may turn out to be significant is that a whole host of maladies are related to inflammation including arthritis, multiple sclerosis, colitis, liver disease and certain types of cancers7.
Because many athletes suffer from inflammation resulting from acute injuries they’ve suffered in high-impact sports, many are using CBD as a health supplement and recovery aid8. The World Anti-Doping Agency in 2018 removed Cannabidiol (but not cannabis) from its banned substances list9.
The potential pain-relieving properties of CBD are very closely related to its anti-inflammatory properties10. You are probably familiar with a whole class of painkilling meds called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. NSAIDs relieve pain by decreasing inflammation. When specific receptors in the body interacts with CBD, it is believed to activate anti-inflammatory effects that may reduce aches such as back pain and chronic pain11.
Anti Anxiety Benefits
CBD has been found to, in certain cases, reduce anxiety12. According to a study published in the peer-reviewed medical journal, Neurotherapeutics in 2015 , preclinical evidence strongly supports CBD as a potential treatment for generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder13. In one study of social anxiety disorder, researchers conducted brain scans of participants that showed changes in the flow of blood to the limbic and paralimbic areas of the brain14, which are linked to a variety of fundamental cognitive and emotional functions. Brain scans revealed changes in blood flow to the regions of the brain that are linked to feelings of anxiousness15.
CBD, often touted for its muscle-relaxing effects, has been shown to go far beyond just relaxing muscles and to actually help prevent convulsions that are associated with specific types of epilepsy. After successful clinical trials of CBD for some forms of epilepsy, the Journal of Epilepsy Research reported that “For the first time, there is now class 1 evidence that adjunctive use of CBD improves seizure control in patients with specific epilepsy syndrome16.” In fact, CBD’s effect as an anticonvulsant in rats was reported as early as 1977 in one study17.
In one of the biggest confirmations of CBD’s potential medicinal benefits to date, the US Food and Drug Administration approved a CBD-based drug for the treatment of two forms of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome18.
Another benefit of CBD is that it is a potent antioxidant19. Antioxidants stop free radicals from inflicting cellular damage that may result in illness and chronic disease. In fact, the US government actually holds a patent entitled “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants.”
Antioxidants, good sources of which are vegetables and fruits, may prevent or delay some types of cell damage20. According to a study in Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management, an international peer-reviewed journal, Cannabidiol displays greater antioxidant activity than both ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or tocopherol (vitamin E).21
Not only is CBD devoid of psychoactive effects, but it actually works in the cannabis plant to counteract the psychoactive effects of THC. THC causes the feeling known as a ‘high’ by activating a specific receptor in the central nervous system called the CB1 receptor, which accepts cannabinoids. Put simply, due to their molecular similarity, CBD reduces and even blocks THC activation of the CB1 receptor. CBD’s antipsychotic potential has been shown in blocking THC-induced psychosis and therefore it is being studied for its potential to treat psychoses such as schizophrenia22. A recent promising study’s findings suggest that cannabidiol “may normalize dysfunction in these brain regions, which are critically implicated in psychosis, and this may underlie its therapeutic effects in psychosis.”23
Anti Insomnia Benefits
Almost half of all adult Americans have struggled to get to sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation24. And surely any one of them can attest to how debilitating insomnia can be. And while the cannabis plant has been used for centuries as a sleep aid, a recent study in international peer-reviewed open access journal, Medicines, found it is not the THC, but actually, the CBD that has a greater impact on symptom relief for insomnia25. While CBD and sleep research is still a brand new topic for controlled scientific studies, preliminary research into cannabis and insomnia suggests that CBD has therapeutic potential in treating insomnia26.
Because depression is not always treatable with current antidepressant drugs, and because those drugs often have unwanted side effects, studies have been launched into CBD’s potential in treating depression. A recent review of the literature proclaims CBD to be a “promising compound.”27 These are welcome words for those suffering from depression who have resisted using pharmaceutical drugs or who’ve tried prescription drugs that have been ineffective in treating the depression.
Benefits for Seniors
The Baby Boomer generation is discovering the uses of the cannabis plant–hemp-derived CBD oil in particular. This should come as no surprise, given CBD’s potential benefits in alleviating many conditions that older adults face including inflammation28, pain29, anxiety30, sleeplessness31, and other disorders, as well as benefits for the skin32 Read more about CBD for seniors.
Skincare & Beauty Benefits
Last, CBD is a hot topic in dermatology circles as initial studies have shown “cannabinoid products have the potential to treat a variety of skin conditions, including acne vulgaris, allergic contact dermatitis, asteatotic dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, hidradenitis suppurativa, Kaposi sarcoma, pruritus, psoriasis, skin cancer, and the cutaneous manifestations of systemic sclerosis.33”
Because of these early findings, CBD oil is quickly becoming a sought after ingredient in mainstream skincare products. Botanima Organics’ premium skincare line of products was designed to harness the power of CBD using the highest quality ingredients processed in the purest way possible. Read more about our process here. Click here for more info about Botanima Organics’ skincare line.
- Nagarkatti, P., Pandey, R. , Rieder, S. , Hegde, V. ,& Nagarkatt, M., FUTURE MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY, VOL. 1, NO. 7, 21 Oct 2009, https://doi.org/10.4155/fmc.09.93.
- Elikkottil J, Gupta P, Gupta K., J Opioid Manag. 2010 Jan-Feb;6(1):14. PMID: 20073408
- Lee, J, Bertoglio, L., Guimarães, F. & Stevenson, C. Br J Pharmacol. (2017) 174(19): 3242–3256. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5595771/
- Babson, K.A., Sottile, J. & Morabito, D. Curr Psychiatry Rep (2017) 19: 23. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-017-0775-9
- Oláh A, Markovics A, Szabó-Papp J, Szabó PT, Stott C, Zouboulis CC, Bíró T., Exp Dermatol. 2016 Sep;25(9):701-7. DOI: 10.1111/exd.13042
- Nagarkatti P., Ibid
- Franks AL, Slansky JE. Anticancer Res. 2012;32(4):1119–1136. PMID: 22493341
- Outside Magazine, “Why Athletes Are Ditching Ibuprofen for CBD,” May 2018
- World Anti-Doping Agency, “What is Prohibited in Competition,”
- Elikkottil J, Ibid.
- Haj CG, Sumariwalla PF, Hanuš L,. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2015;355(1):66–75. doi: 10.1124/jpet.115.226100
- Lee, J, Bertoglio, Ibid.
- Blessing EM, Steenkamp MM, Manzanares J, Marmar CR., Neurotherapeutics. 2015 Oct;12(4):825-36., DOI: 10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1
- Crippa, J. A. S., Derenusson, G. N., Ferrari, T. B., Wichert-Ana, L., Duran, F. L., Martin-Santos, R., Hallak, J. E. C. (2011). Journal of Psychopharmacology, 25(1), 121–130. https://doi.org/10.1177/0269881110379283
- Bergamaschi, MM, Queiroz, RH, Chagas, MH, de Oliveira, DC, De Martinis, BS, Kapczinski, F., Quevedo J, Roesler R, Schröder N, Nardi AE, Martín-Santos R, Hallak JE, Zuardi AW, Crippa JA, Neuropsychopharmacology. 2011 May;36(6):1219-26. doi: 10.1038/npp.2011.6.
- Perucca E. (2017). Journal of epilepsy research, 7(2), 61–76. doi:10.14581/jer.17012
- Consroe P, Wolkin A., J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1977 Apr;201(1):26-32. PMID: 850145
- FDA.gov, June 26, 2018, FDA approves first drug comprised of an active ingredient derived from marijuana to treat rare, severe forms of epilepsy
- Hampson AJ, Grimaldi M, Lolic M, Wink D, Rosenthal R, Axelrod J., Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2000;899:274-82., PMID:10863546
- NIH, Antioxidants: In Depth, Nov. 2013, https://nccih.nih.gov/health/antioxidants/introduction.htm
- Russo EB. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008;4(1):245–259. PMID: 18728714
- Zuardi AW, Crippa JA, Hallak JE, Bhattacharyya S, Atakan Z, Martin-Santos R, McGuire PK, Guimarães FS., Curr Pharm Des. 2012;18(32):5131-40. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2174/138161212802884681
- Bhattacharyya, S.; Wilson R., Appiah-Kusi, E., JAMA Psychiatry. 2018;75(11):1107-1117. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.2309
- National Sleep Foundation, Dec 2014, “Lack of Sleep is Affecting Americans, Finds the National Sleep Foundation.”
- Vigil, J., Stith, S., Diviant, J., Brockelman, F., Keeling K., Hall, B. Medicines 2018, 5(3), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines5030075
- Babson, Ibid.
- Silote GP, Sartim A, Sales A, Eskelund A, Guimarães FS, Wegener G, Joca S., J Chem Neuroanat. 2019 Jul;98:104-116. DOI: 10.1016/j.jchemneu.2019.04.006
- Nagarkatti P., Ibid.
- Elikkottil J, Ibid.
- Lee, J, Bertoglio, Ibid.
- Babson, Ibid.
- Oláh A, Ibid.
- Eagleston LRM, Kalani NK, Patel RR, Flaten HK, Dunnick CA, Dellavalle RP., Dermatol Online J. 2018 Jun 15;24(6). pii: 13030/qt7pn8c0sb.
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