What is CBD Oil Used to Treat?

What is CBD Oil Used to Treat?

CBD oils are the hot topic right now, but what does the research say it is effective at helping?

CBD is one of the 104 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids found in Cannabis sativa (1), commonly called marijuana plant or just cannabis. It can be obtained with or with out Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the main psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis. THC is attributed with the sensation of getting “high” with the use of marijuana. However, unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive.

CBD oil is made by extracting CBD from the plant and then diluting it with a carrier oil such as hemp seed or coconut oil. It has been gaining momentum in the health and wellness world, some of the studies suggest the it may help in a variety of ailments such as chronic pain, anxiety, muscle pain, and inflammation.

Chronic Pain

What is CBD Oil Used to Treat: Chronic Pain

The human body has a specialized system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), this is involved in regulation a variety of functions including sleep, pain, immune system response, and appetite (2). The body produces endocannabinoids, which are the neurotransmitters that bind to the cannabinoid receptors in your nervous system.

Studies have show that CBD may help reduce chronic pain by impacting the endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation and interacting with the neurotransmitters (3). In another study of patients with multiple sclerosis those treated with Sativex, an oral spray which is a combination of THC and CBD, for one month experienced a significant improvement in pain, walking and muscle cramps when compared to a placebo group (4). Another study found that it improved pain during movement and rest in people with rheumatoid arthritis (5).

In short, CBD oil is showing promise in reducing inflammation in lots of different conditions. We could use these studies to apply this to more acute conditions such as whiplash after an auto injury, or after a sports injury, to reduce inflammation and jump start the road to recovery.

Chronic Pain

Reducing Anxiety and Depression

What is CBD Oil Used to Treat: Reducing Anxiety and Depression

CBD oil is showing promise in the treatment for both depression and anxiety, as a more natural treatment approach.

The research found that CBD helped reduce anxiety and cognitive impairment and discomfort in a study comparing public speaking anxiety when compared to a placebo group (6). It has also been used in the treatment of anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder in children (7).

Side Effects?

CBD is generally well tolerated and considered safe, the most common side effects in people are diarrhea, changes in appetite, and some fatigue. CBD is also know to interact with several medications, so before you start using CBD oil it is recommended to discuss it with your prescribing doctor or pharmacist to make sure it is not going to interfere negatively with any medications you are taking.


CBD oil has the potential to treat a large variety of health conditions from minor to more serious. There is new studies being done all the time on the application and use of CBD and cannabinoids. I am interested to see more research in this field directed towards more acute injuries as an alternative to the use of opiods and other pain relievers with a longer list of serious side effects.

  1. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division; Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice; Committee on the Health Effects of Marijuana: An Evidence Review and Research Agenda. The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2017 Jan 12. 2, Cannabis. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK425762/
  2. Mouslech, Z., & Valla, V. (n.d.). Endocannabinoid system: An overview of its potential in current medical practice. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19675519
  3. Genaro, K., Fabris, D., Arantes, A., Zuardi, A. W., Crippa, J., & Prado, W. A. (2017). Cannabidiol Is a Potential Therapeutic for the Affective-Motivational Dimension of Incision Pain in Rats. Frontiers in pharmacology8, 391. doi:10.3389/fphar.2017.00391
  4. Mouslech, Z., & Valla, V. (n.d.). Endocannabinoid system: An overview of its potential in current medical practice. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19675519
  5. Blake DR, e. (2019). Preliminary assessment of the efficacy, tolerability and safety of a cannabis-based medicine (Sativex) in the treatment of pain caused by rheumatoi… – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16282192
  6. Bergamaschi, M. M., Queiroz, R. H., Chagas, M. H., de Oliveira, D. C., De Martinis, B. S., Kapczinski, F., Quevedo, J., Roesler, R., Schröder, N., Nardi, A. E., Martín-Santos, R., Hallak, J. E., Zuardi, A. W., … Crippa, J. A. (2011). Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naïve social phobia patients. Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology36(6), 1219-26.
  7. Shannon, S., & Opila-Lehman, J. (2016). Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Oil for Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia as Part of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report. The Permanente journal20(4), 108-111.

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