Is there scientific evidence for cbd oil and scalp health

Does CBD Help to Slow or Stop Hair Loss?

When the uses for cannabidiol (CBD) seem endless, you might feel skeptical about considering it as an option in preventing hair loss. But there is evidence to show that CBD oil can be beneficial in hair care and could even prevent certain types of hair loss . Cannabis and CBD products may also help treat hair loss or an itchy scalp associated with pso riasis .

Discover how CBD can help with hair loss and which CBD products may be best for male pattern baldness and similar conditions.

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What Causes Hair Loss?

Numerous factors can contribute to hair loss :

  • Genetics – hereditary hair loss is the most common reason people go bald.
  • Hormonal changes in women that occur during pregnancy and/or menopause.
  • Natural effects of aging.
  • Inadequate nutrition, especially a lack of vitamin D.
  • Chemical hair treatments and toxic hair care products.
  • Rare autoimmune conditions like alopecia areata.
  • Cancer treatments, especially chemotherapy.
  • Certain medications, like doxorubicin, used to treat cancer.
  • Certain sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like syphilis.
  • Scalp psoriasis.
  • Thyroid issues.
  • Stress.

Some of these factors are preventable, while others are beyond our control. If your hair loss is due to a reversible factor, like diet or stress, then you may be able to strengthen your hair follicles and even stimulate regrowth.

Effectiveness of CBD for Hair Loss

Hemp and cannabis oil are rich in omega 3 and omega 6 , contributing to hair growth. The plant also contains calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E, linoleic, and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), essential fatty acids for healthy hair growth.

One study using CBD-rich hemp extract showed that people who topically applied CBD oil to their hair and scalp for six months saw successful regrowth. It is suggested that, as stimulating CB1 receptors can result in slowed hair growth, negative allosteric modulators (i.e., they desensitize CB1 receptors) like CBD can help speed up hair growth.

Another study on hemp seed oil showed similarly positive results. Even if CBD hasn’t been proven to reduce hair loss, it still has other benefits for your hair. You can use CBD and hemp shampoos and conditioners to hydrate dry hair. CBD oil may also reduce inflammation and improve blood circulation, encouraging healthy hair growth .

Potential Side Effects

Most side effects associated with CBD products are mild. When using CBD products for hair loss, you may experience:

  • Slight skin irritation (which is more likely attributed to other ingredients than CBD)
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Nausea

Most of these side effects are rare. Consult with your doctor if you experience any adverse side effects after using a CBD oil or other product.

How to Use CBD for Hair Loss

The topical application of CBD products is ideal when treating hair loss. You have many CBD hair loss products to choose from to accomplish your goals, but here are a few that we recommend:

Steam Active Botanicals Shampoo

Steam Active Botanicals is a cannabis-based shampoo that stimulates healthy hair growth and removes dirt and buildup without stripping the hair of its natural oils. The shampoo features cannabis, sage, horsetail, calendula, and ginseng to help strengthen and restore hair. It is also beneficial to anyone suffering from dry or itchy scalp and is used like any other shampoo when washing your hair.

Fitish Hair Plumping Serum

This CBD hair plumping serum is dual purpose, meaning it strengthens your hair and promotes healthy hair growth. It features green tea and oleanolic acid to encourage growth, while CBD and aloe provide volume, thickening the roots and softening your hair. This CBD product should be applied more than once throughout the day, and you should not rinse the serum out as it is meant to be left in your hair.

Raincry Rebuild Bond Repair

Another leave-in hair treatment, Raincry Repair Rebuild Bond, contains rich CBD oil, lotus flower, and collagen peptides. The treatment works by bulking up the hair strands to appear healthier with each use while protecting the hair from environmental damage.

Of course, health begins on the inside, and there are other CBD hair loss products on the market that are not topicals. For example, GRO+ Advanced Gummies are vitamins that promote healthy hair growth. Using broad-spectrum hemp along with biotin, folic acid, zinc, and other beneficial vitamins and minerals, the gummies are 100% vegan, have 20 milligrams (mg) of CBD per gummy, and come in natural fruit flavors.

Remember that there is no miracle cure for hair regrowth for whichever product you choose. Genetics play a pivotal role in hair loss and overall hair health, as do your diet and other lifestyle factors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can CBD stimulate hair growth?

Research is emerging, but it is possible that CBD can stimulate fresh blood circulation in the scalp. Massaging CBD oil into the scalp gets the blood flowing near your hair follicles, thus potentially encouraging hair growth.

What does CBD do for hair?

CBD oil is deeply moisturizing and can help treat dry scalp conditions like dandruff. The antimicrobial properties of CBD work to reduce scalp infections, which may be the root cause of dandruff flakes. Amino acids and other beneficial compounds in CBD boost hair health and may make your tresses feel thicker.

Which CBD product is best for hair loss?

The best CBD products for hair loss contain a full spectrum of nourishing ingredients. Look for vitamin E, essential fatty acids, zinc, and folic acid in CBD products.

Incorporate cannabis into your health and beauty regimen with a medical marijuana card. Leafwell’s physicians are ready to meet with you in our virtual clinic and get you started on your path to natural wellness.

Article written by

Tina Magrabi Senior Content Writer

Tina Magrabi is a writer and editor specializing in holistic health. She has written hundreds of articles for Weedmaps where she spearheaded the Ailments series on cannabis medicine. In addition, she has written extensively for the women’s health blog, SafeBirthProject, as well as print publications including Destinations Magazine and Vero’s Voice. Tina is a Yale University alumna and certified yoga instructor with a passion for the outdoors.

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Does CBD Oil Help With Hair Growth? Benefits of Using Hemp Oil For Hair

Hair loss is a common problem affecting the entire population in varying degrees, with up to 100 strands of loss per day considered normal. However, excessive hair loss is not typical and may have a genetic, hormonal, or stress-related background.

People try different things for hair loss, from special shampoos to hair loss treatments and even transplants.

But did you know that a compound from the cannabis plant known as CBD may just be the perfect ingredient for a perfect hair day? Studies have demonstrated that CBD-rich hemp extracts suspended in carrier oils can take care of your mane while also nourishing your hair from the inside — making it stronger and thicker over time.

And the best part about using CBD oil for hair loss is that it won’t make you high, unlike marijuana products. Today, we’re going to explain what CBD is, how CBD oil can help with common hair issues — from dry scalp to chronic inflammation — and give you our recommendations on the best CBD products for hair care.

Whether you’re a man or woman struggling with hair loss, we’re here to help you out with a decent portion of scientific research!

CBD Oil for Hair Loss: Everything You Need to Know

In this section, we’ll cover the benefits of CBD oil for common hair issues to help you understand how it can contribute to a healthy scalp and strong, nourished hair.

CBD Oil Can Prevent Hair Loss By Providing Restful Sleep and Less Stress

We all live in stressful times where peer pressure and expectations from society can wreak havoc to one’s well being. Our fast-paced life and continuously high levels of stress lead to excessive production of cortisol, which is a hormone that triggers the “flight or fight” response when you’re in a dangerous situation.

High amounts of cortisol in the body have been associated with hair loss on top of weight gain and sleeping difficulty. When you have less cortisol in your system, you have higher chances of getting more restful sleep, preventing hair loss.

CBD has been shown to reduce anxiety, improve sleep patterns, and help with stress management in day-to-day situations, therefore potentially reducing the risk of hair loss.

CBD Oil Can Reduce Inflammation

Chronic inflammation can be devastating for your general health, but it also significantly worsens the condition of your hair’s health, including its growth.

CBD can suppress inflammation in the body, promoting a healthy environment for hair to grow on the scalp; it can also reach sebaceous glands that secrete sebum to lubricate hair in follicles, preventing them from drying out.

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CBD Oil Improves Blood Circulation

Better blood flow offers many benefits for the body, especially around hair follicles, encouraging hair growth. Since CBD increases cerebral blood flow, it brings more nutrients to hair follicles while removing harmful toxins and thus allowing hair to become healthier and stronger.

CBD Oil Supports Homeostasis

As mentioned earlier, CBD can interact with the endocannabinoid system, which is a major regulatory network in the body involved in a number of biological functions, from cognition to pain to appetite and new cell growth.

CBD is known for its ability to modulate the functioning of the endocannabinoid system, which can have a positive effect on your body’s potential to maintain a healthy state of homeostasis. This term refers to a state of balance between physiological processes in the body, including hair growth.

How to Use CBD Oil for Hair Loss?

CBD oil comes in a variety of products, from sublingual drops to edibles, vapes, and shampoos. If you want to maximize the benefits of CBD oil for hair loss, we recommend that you support your scalp treatment with organic hemp seed oil for the extra content of essential fatty acids, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. This way, you will provide your hair with all-around care.

Below we explain how to use CBD oil for hair loss and other scalp-related issues.

CBD Oil for Dry Hair and Scalp

If your hair starts to look like straw and feels dull lately, it may be time to introduce CBD oil into your hair care routine. CBD oil and hemp oil can stimulate the formation of new cells on the scalp and enhance the growth of new hair. Every single strand of hair is made out of protein, and because CBD oil contains 21 amino acids, using CBD oil or shampoo can help strengthen and moisturize your hair.

CBD oil is also rich in antioxidants, which can help to protect your hair against environmental factors, keeping them strong and healthy even in harsh conditions.

If you suffer from dry, itchy scalp, you can use CBD oil to reduce inflammation from the inside or add a topical to approach the problem locally. A healthy scalp is an answer to healthy hair, a combination of CBD oil, CBD cream/shampoo, and hemp seed oil can help you bring the scalp back to its normal state and help you get rid of itchy, flaky scalp.

Not to mention a powerful moisturizing effect due to the presence of the fatty acids.

CBD Oil for Hair Growth

Life isn’t always fair. Some people can easily grow their hair down to their waists while the rest of us have problems with growing our hair stronger and thicker. Fortunately, regular use of CBD oil can promote healthy hair growth with Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9 fatty acids. When absorbed by the scalp, they help stimulate hair growth, resulting in thick, long, and lustrous hair.

Best CBD Oils for Hair Loss in 2022

When buying CBD oil, you shouldn’t act on the spur of the moment. It should always be a well thought out decision based on thorough research rather than advertising slogans. If you don’t have the time to dig deeper into the quality criteria for CBD products, we’ve compiled a list of the best brands that offer CBD oil for hair loss and more. We have selected the top 5 brands from over 40 companies that we’ve reviewed in 2022 so far.

1. Royal CBD (Best CBD Oil for Hair Loss)

Get 15% off all Royal CBD products. Use code “CFAH” at checkout.

Product Details

Potency 250 mg –2500 mg
Available Flavors Natural, Berry, Mint, Vanilla
CBD per serving 8.3 mg – 83.3 mg

Why Royal CBD is the Best CBD Oil for Hair Loss:

Royal CBD is a premium Nevada-based brand established by a group of friends with a goal to raise the quality standards regarding the production of CBD oils and customer service. This relatively new company offers a simple product line up consisting of full-spectrum CBD oil, softgel capsules, THC-free gummies, and two types of broad-spectrum topicals.

Royal CBD oil comes in four different concentrations, including 250 mg, 500 mg, 1000 mg, and 2500 mg. You can choose from three flavored options, save for the highest potency which is only available in the unflavored version to maintain the potency of CBD. All of the Royal CBD products are made from US-grown organic hemp and extracted with supercritical CO2. This method of extraction ensures that the plant’s original chemical profile is preserved due to lower temperatures. The CBD oil has been suspended in food-grade MCT oil from coconut to enhance its bioavailability and provide the body with additional benefits, such as stable energy for the brain and support for cardiovascular health.

Fortunately, my hair is in good shape, but I sometimes have an itchy scalp when I’m working from dryer climates, so I always have a bottle of the 1000 mg oil with me. It helps reduce the itching and I have a feeling that it also moisturizes the scalp. No scratching, no pain — if only CBD oil was easier to wash down from hair!

  • Sourced from non-GMO, Colorado-grown hemp
  • Extracted with supercritical CO2
  • Contains full-spectrum CBD
  • Available in 4 strengths and 3 flavored options
  • Up to 2500 mg of CBD per bottle
  • Lab-tested for potency and purity
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Slightly more expensive than the competition
  • No vape products available

2. Gold Bee (Best Organic CBD Oil)

Product Details

Potency 300 mg –1200 mg
Available Flavors Natural, Honey
CBD per serving 8.3 mg – 33.3 mg

About Gold Bee:

Gold Bee is my second-favorite CBD oil for hair loss. As you can see, the podium is taken by two Nevada-based brands. This company is a true maverick among other manufacturers due to the honey flavor in its CBD oil, which the company makes from Colorado-grown, organic hemp plants. Both the quality of ingredients and the honey flavor are award-winning. The CBD oil tastes surprisingly neutral, with delicate yet noticeable notes of honey. There’s no tart sensation in the throat after swallowing, probably because of the lower potencies.

Speaking of which, Gold Bee scores the second place because it offers a limited potency range compared to Royal CBD. There are no high-potency oils in Gold Bee’s collection. Other than that, it’s a great brand that offers premium products at reasonable prices.

  • Made from US-grown organic hemp
  • Contains the full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes
  • Up to 33 mg CBD/mL
  • Good potency range for new users
  • Lab-tested for CBD content and purity
  • No high-potency oils
  • Honey is the only flavored option

3. CBDPure (Top Transparency)

Product Details

Potency 100 – 1000 mg
Available Flavors None
CBD per serving 3.3 mg – 33.3 mg

About CBDPure:

CBDPure first started in 2016 with the goal of making premium CBD oils from organic hemp. Considering what their audience says about their products, the guys at CBDPure must be doing a good job chasing that goal.

Similar to Royal CBD and Gold Bee, CBDPure sources its hemp from Colorado, where the plants are grown without any harmful pesticides or growth boosters. The company provides third-party lab reports for its products on request to leave no doubts that the CBD oil it offers meets the quality and safety criteria.

If you’re just starting out or if you need a product to support your hair growth and revitalize the scalp from the inside, this company is an excellent choice. Although CBDPure specializes in making low-strength CBD oil, these are real full-spectrum products that could proudly compete with some high-potency products on the market — most of which are more expensive.

You can tell that the quality is there simply by looking at the oil’s color. CBDPure’s products are amber gold, which indicates CO2 extraction and proper filtration. The CBD in the oil has been decarboxylated to maximize the product’s potency.

Although the CBD oils from this brand taste better than traditional hemp oils, they still leave an earthy aftertaste. Plus, they’re also less affordable in the long run compared to the two above brands.

  • Sourced from Colorado-grown organic hemp
  • Extracted with CO2
  • 4 strengths to choose from
  • Lab-tested for potency and purity
  • 90-day return policy
  • No high-potency oils
  • Only two forms of CBD available
  • Priced higher than competitors

4. Hemp Bombs (Best CBD Isolate)

Product Details

Potency 125 – 4000 mg
Available Flavors Natural, Acai Berry, Orange Creamsicle, Peppermint, Watermelon
CBD per Serving 4 – 133 mg/mL

About Hemp Bombs:

Based in Tampa, Florida, Hemp Bombs is a manufacturer with a well-established reputation of the best isolate-based CBD oils on the market. This is quite an achievement considering the company started out in 2016. One of the great things about this brand is that it controls every step of the manufacturing process of their products, from extraction to packaging.

Hemp Bombs CBD oil comes in a very wide range of strengths. They start at 125 mg and may contain up to 4000 mg of CBD per bottle. The highest potency provides a massive dose of 133 mg in each milliliter. However, this brand doesn’t feature any full-spectrum CBD products. You can only choose between broad-spectrum CBD and CBD isolates.

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The first type of CBD contains all the non-psychoactive cannabinoids and terpenes, but with no traces of THC, so you’re getting some part of the entourage effect. CBD isolate contains nothing but pure CBD; it’s a good option if you undergo drug tests or just want to benefit from CBD alone.

  • Made from organic hemp
  • Extracted with CO2
  • THC-free
  • Third-party tested for potency and purity
  • Up to 4000 mg of total CBD
  • 5 potency options to choose from
  • Flavored with synthetic ingredients
  • No synergy from other cannabinoids and terpenes
  • Most people don’t need so much CBD oil in their routine.

5. CBDistillery (Most Affordable)

Product Details

Potency 250 mg – 5000 mg
Available Flavors None
Potency 8.33 – 166 mg/mL

About CBDistillery:

CBDistillery is one of the most recognizable brands in North America. The company has a stellar reputation among customers, mostly thanks to its transparency and skipping gimmicks. CBDistillery is committed to education and maintaining high-quality standards. The brand is certified by the U.S. Hemp Authority (USHA) after passing a third-party audit and meeting strict standards regarding labeling, ingredients, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) compliance.

CBDistillery uses non-GMO industrial hemp grown on open-air farms in Colorado, Kentucky, and Oregon. The company’s CBD oil is available in full-spectrum and broad-spectrum versions to cater to different types of CBD users. Users can choose between 5 strengths, with up to 5000 mg of CBD per bottle. The oils are extracted with supercritical CO2 and have been granted the current good manufacturing practices (CGMP) certificate.

This is the most affordable company that I’ve ever come across. Even though CBDistillery’s products aren’t made from organic hemp, the price-to-quality ratio makes them the best in their price range.

  • Available as full-spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD
  • 5 strengths to choose from
  • Up to 166.6 mg of CBD per mL
  • Third-party tested for CBD content and purity
  • Very affordable
  • Sourced from non-organic hemp
  • No flavored oils

What is CBD?

CBD stands for cannabidiol, one of over 100 compounds from hemp identified as cannabinoids. Despite coming from the same plant family as marijuana, hemp contains only a trace amount of THC — usually 0.3% or less. There’s no risk of getting high off of hemp-derived products as long as their THC content is double-checked by a third-party laboratory.

CBD interacts with the human endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a major regulatory network within our bodies. The ECS controls a wide range of biological processes, including emotional processing, sleep cycles, stress management, immune response, pain signaling, neuroprotection, appetite, body temperature, hormonal balance, and more.

This interaction leads to a plethora of health benefits. Research shows that CBD oil may help with anxiety, insomnia, major depressive disorder, epileptic seizures, inflammation, pain, and more.

As it turns out, CBD has also several benefits for the skin, including the scalp and hair.

However, before we elaborate on the above benefits, let’s make sure that you know the difference between CBD oil and hemp seed oil.

CBD Oil vs. Hemp Seed Oil

When shopping CBD online or locally, you’ll see products like CBD oil and hemp oil being placed next to each other, which may create confusion. New users often use these terms interchangeably to describe one type of product, but this is an oversimplification.

The difference between CBD oil and hemp seed oil is simple.

CBD oil is extracted from the flowers of mature hemp plants. The flowers contain resinous glands where cannabinoids such as CBD are secreted. CBD oil is typically made using CO2 extraction to pull the beneficial compounds from the plant without using additional heat and solvents. Once extracted, the CBD is suspended in a carrier oil for increased volume and better bioavailability. The carrier is usually a food-grade oil such as hemp seed oil or MCT from coconut.

Hemp seed oil comes from the plant’s seeds; they are a popular superfood due to their dense nutritional content. Hemp seeds are packed with essential fatty acids, complete protein, vitamins, and trace minerals — but they don’t contain any cannabinoids.

Long story short, the hemp seed oil is a great carrier and a decent source of nutrients, but there’s no CBD in it.

You can, however, combine these two products to maximize the results of your hair loss treatment.

Let’s see how CBD oil can strengthen your hair and prevent them from falling out.

How to Choose the Right CBD Oil for Hair Loss

Choosing the right CBD oil for hair loss can be difficult considering the abundance of brands and products on the market. It seems as if every company out there was selling CBD oil in some form to capitalize on the booming market. The CBD industry is largely unregulated because the FDA refuses to acknowledge hemp-derived CBD as a treatment for any health condition despite its wide range of science-backed benefits.

There’s a lot of great companies selling premium products that can improve your skin’s health, but there’s an equal number of companies preying on the lack of education among new customers.

Here’s how you can protect yourself from sketchy products:

  • Check the hemp source. Hemp plants are bioaccumulators, meaning they can absorb every substance from the soil they were planted in. The best CBD oil for hair loss comes from organic, non-GMO hemp that is grown locally under the sun and without pesticides or synthetic growth boosters. This type of hemp ensures clean CBD-rich flowers.
  • Choose CO2-extracted CBD. CO2 extraction is by far the best method to produce CBD oils. It doesn’t require additional heat or solvents, so it can pull the beneficial compounds from the plant matter without hurting the environment on the way or leaving behind toxic residue.
  • Opt for full-spectrum products. Full-spectrum means that the product was made using the whole plant. This process captures CBD along with other cannabinoids and terpenes, including trace amounts of THC (up to 0.3%). These compounds help your body process the CBD more efficiently, allowing lower doses to remain effective in certain cases. If you don’t have to undergo THC drug screenings at work, full-spectrum CBD oils are better than products based on single molecules like CBD isolate.
  • Always ask for third-party lab reports. Outside laboratories will analyze the CBD content in your CBD oil; they will also look for common contaminants and other unwanted substances, such as heavy metals or pesticides. If you can’t see the lab reports on the company’s website, or can’t receive them on request, buy your CBD oil somewhere else.
  • Avoid companies making outrageous claims about CBD. Cannabidiol is a highly versatile compound. It can help revitalize your scalp and contribute to healthy hair growth, but it won’t cure skin diseases or mend broken bones. If you see a company claiming their product is a miracle drug, this is an instant red flag.

Following these simple steps and doing your research will save you time and money.

Final Thoughts on CBD and Hair Loss

CBD is a promising compound for a variety of applications, including hair loss. While it’s highly unlikely to treat a medical hair loss condition with CBD oil, you can use it to combat a number of health problems that can disturb your scalp’s microbiome and worsen the health of your hair follicles.

If you want to maximize your results using CBD oil for hair loss, we recommend that you combine it with a topical product for a multi-angle approach. You can also add hemp seed oil to your diet or skincare routine due to its dense nutritional content for hair. Hemp seed oil is packed with essential fatty acids, proteins, vitamins, and trace minerals — all of which can contribute to a healthy strong mane.

Always do your research on any company before buying CBD oil for hair loss and make sure that your product has been tested by an independent laboratory. Only then will you protect yourself against fly-by-night companies.

Nina Julia

Nina created CFAH.org following the birth of her second child. She was a science and math teacher for 6 years prior to becoming a parent — teaching in schools in White Plains, New York and later in Paterson, New Jersey.

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CBD Oil: 9 Science-Backed Benefits

Dr. Bindiya Gandhi is an integrative medicine physician with expertise in functional and holistic medicine based in Atlanta, Georgia.

Commissions we earn from partner links on this page do not affect our opinions or evaluations. Our editorial content is based on thorough research and guidance from the Forbes Health Advisory Board.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a chemical compound found in the cannabis sativa plant. When applied topically or consumed through smoke inhalation or edible consumption, CBD interacts with neuroreceptors in your endocannabinoid system, which sends signals between your cells to help regulate your movement, mood, homeostasis and immune system.

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CBD is often extracted from the cannabis sativa plant in oil form and mixed with an inert carrier oil like hemp seed oil for consumption. In fact, of the 60% of U.S. adults who report having used CBD before, 55% of them use CBD oils and tinctures specifically, according to a recent Forbes Health survey of 2,000 U.S. adults conducted by OnePoll.

CBD research is growing, too. Here are nine ways studies suggest CBD oil could benefit your health.

1. Offset Anxiety and Depression

CBD’s ability to calm is perhaps its most popular effect and the reason its use is so widespread. A 2017 study in the Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry tested the anxiety levels of 57 men in a simulated public speaking test. Some received a placebo while others received either 150 milligrams, 300 milligrams or 600 milligrams of CBD before their speeches. Those who received 300 milligrams of CBD experienced significantly reduced anxiety during the test compared to those who received the placebo. Interestingly, participants who received either 150 or 600 milligrams of CBD experienced more anxiety during the test than the 300 milligrams group.

Meanwhile, at least one study in mice revealed CBD had effects similar to the antidepressant imipramine. Human trials are needed, though, to confirm whether CBD can induce this same antidepressant reaction in our bodies.

2. Treat Select Epilepsy Syndromes

In some instances, CBD can be used to treat epileptic seizures.

In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of CBD under the brand name Epidiolex to treat seizures resulting from Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome—two rare forms of epilepsy—in patients at least 2 years old.

Three well-vetted studies provide the basis of support for the FDA’s decision. In these trials, 516 patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome received either Epidiolex or a placebo. Epidiolex, when taken along with other prescribed medications, decreased the frequency of participants’ seizures compared to the placebo.

3. Reduce PTSD Symptoms

In a small 2018 study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 11 people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) received CBD along with routine psychiatric care for eight weeks in an outpatient psychiatric clinic. Ten of the 11 experienced a decrease in their PTSD symptoms. CBD was generally well tolerated, the researchers write.

Margaret Rajnic, a doctor of nursing practice experienced in medical cannabis and CBD, emphasizes the importance of using therapy in tandem with any type of cannabis or CBD for PTSD. “There is an amount of therapy that is needed for PTSD,” she says. “But CBD will give you that little bit of decreased anxiety.”

Four other human trials from 2012 to 2016 suggest CBD reduces PTSD symptoms, although some include THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the main mind-altering element in cannabis. When THC and CBD work together, they create what’s called an “entourage effect,” complementing each other’s benefits and potency. For example, taking the same dose of THC and CBD together tempers the “high” from THC, while just a little THC paired with more CBD enhances the effects of the CBD.

4. Treat Opioid Addiction

Some studies—both preclinical animal and human clinical trials—suggest CBD could be used to help treat people who are dependent on opioids.

In one such study, researchers administered CBD to people with heroin use disorder. Over the course of a week, CBD significantly reduced heroin users’ cue-induced cravings, withdrawal anxiety, resting heart rate and salivary cortisol levels. No serious adverse effects were found.

Other studies find CBD helpful in reducing various psychiatric and medical symptoms like anxiety, insomnia and pain in patients with substance use disorders, indicating that CBD may be an effective treatment for opioid addiction. However, further studies are necessary.

5. Alleviate ALS Symptoms

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a disease that causes nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to deteriorate, resulting in loss of muscle control that worsens over time. It’s not yet understood exactly why ALS occurs, although it can be hereditary in some cases. There’s no known cure, and there are only two FDA-approved medications to help treat ALS symptoms.

Research suggests people with ALS can benefit from the entourage effect created by the combination of THC and CBD, similar to people with PTSD. In a 2019 study, patients received a combination of THC and CBD in varying doses depending on their needs and preferences. Those with mild, moderate or severe spasticity (muscle tightness and stiffness) due to ALS reported high levels of satisfaction with the treatment, and those with moderate to severe spasticity reported higher satisfaction rates than those with mild spasticity.

6. Relieve Unmanageable Pain

In 2005, Canada approved the use of Sativex, an oromucosal (absorbed in the lining of the mouth) spray with equal proportions of THC and CBD, for the treatment of multiple sclerosis-related central neuropathic pain. In 2007, Canada approved the medicine’s use again for cancer pain that proved unresponsive to other medications.

Meanwhile, continued studies in the U.S. indicate CBD is effective in treating chronic, non-cancer pain. In one 2020 study, researchers administered CBD topically to a group of patients with symptomatic peripheral neuropathy (a result of brain nerve and spinal cord nerve damage) while another group with the same condition received a placebo. Results showed a significant reduction in intense, sharp pains and cold, itchy sensations in those who used the topical CBD compared to those who used the placebo. No participants reported adverse side effects.

When introduced topically, CBD oil doesn’t affect the systemic issue as it might if it were introduced directly into the bloodstream. Instead, topical CBD is more localized and treats pain in a certain area. Since it’s more direct, it may have a more pronounced effect.

7. Ease Diabetic Complications

For starters, tests on human cells found that CBD helps reduce the effects of high glucose levels on other cells in the body, which typically precedes the development of diabetes and various complications. Researchers concluded that with further studies, CBD could have significant benefits when used in patients with diabetes, diabetic complications and plaque buildup in artery walls.

In another small study, 13 patients with type 2 diabetes who weren’t on insulin treatment were given both CBD and a placebo (in lieu of insulin). Researchers found CBD decreased their levels of resistin (which causes resistance to insulin, the protein that regulates sugar levels) and increased their levels of glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (a hormone that ensures a sufficient release of insulin from digested food) compared to their baselines before they started the test. These results suggest CBD could be a natural treatment for diabetes by helping the body regulate insulin-related hormone levels.

8. Protect Against Neurological Disease

Preclinical and clinical studies show that CBD has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers deduce these characteristics can provide significant neuroprotection, or protection against numerous pathological disorders.

Several preclinical studies suggest CBD can produce beneficial effects against Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Huntington’s disease and cerebral ischemia were also tested, although significant positive results were not recorded. Further clinical studies are needed to confirm CBD’s benefits when used as a treatment for these disorders.

9. Inhibit Arthritis Symptoms

Arthritis involves the deterioration of the tissues in and around your joints. There are several types of arthritis, and symptoms include pain, stiffness and loss of motion. Arthritis treatment usually targets pain relief and improved joint function.

A 2006 study found that Sativex—a CBD-based botanical drug approved in the United Kingdom in 2010—promoted statistically significant improvements in quality of sleep, pain during movement and pain at rest in patients with rheumatoid arthritis when compared to a placebo. It was the first controlled trial of Sativex as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, involving 58 patients. CBD was found to have a pain-relieving effect, as well as an ability to suppress disease activity.

In 2018, in a study of more localized treatment, researchers administered a synthetic CBD gel in either 250-milligram or 500-milligram doses daily or a placebo to patients with knee pain due to osteoarthritis. Patients also stopped taking any other anti-inflammatory medications or painkillers, with the exception of acetaminophen, before and during the study period.

The results were interesting, although not entirely conclusive. On one hand, those treated with CBD did not experience much change in pain when compared with placebo patients. On the other hand, there were statistically significant differences between the group receiving the 250-milligram dose and the placebo group when measuring the average weekly improvement of their worst pain levels and their WOMAC (Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index) physical function rating. Additionally, men seemed to benefit from CBD more significantly than women in this test.

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