Cure-All or Snake-Oil? A Shortish Summary OF CBD Research

Sold in countries worldwide with over $5bn of product purchased each year, CBD is now more widely consumed than Vitamin C and Vitamin D supplements and yet there is still much further to go in our understanding of how CBD actually works in the body, leaving many people unconvinced it…

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Sold in countries worldwide with over $5bn of product purchased each year, CBD is now more widely consumed than Vitamin C and Vitamin D supplements and yet there is still much further to go in our understanding of how CBD actually works in the body, leaving many people unconvinced it works at all. Could so many people be so wrong? Is it really a cure-all or just snake-oil?

The answer, obviously, is neither. For every false claim of miracle potential, people blindly dismiss its obvious ability to help. Help ‘what’ is the question! Here is our shortish summary of the main clinical research done on CBD to date and the ailments it may or may not be able to help…

Stress, Anxiety & Depression:

Predominantly at the pre-clinical stage of animal trials, CBD has begun to show promise on a therapeutic level by reducing both behavioural and physiological (heart rate) symptoms of anxiety. Although on a much smaller scale, human trials have also been undertaken whereby patients with social anxiety disorders were subjected to a stressful public speaking task with results again showing lower levels of anxiety for subjects taking CBD[1]. Although it is unclear as to how the interaction of CBD with the CB1 and CB2 receptors impacts anxiety disorders, early indications suggest that it is through regulating the production of serotonin – a chemical produced by the body thought to determine happiness and mood –  that CBD is most effective[2].

Pain Relief:

The endocannabinoid system is also the regulator of bodily functions such as sleep, pain and your immune system response. We feel physical pain when stimuli heighten the activity of endocannabinoid receptors and the central nervous system. Researchers believe that CBD can alter the way in which your receptors act and signal to begin pain relieving responses. A review of research in 2018 looked specifically at how well CBD worked with alleviating chronic pain and came to the conclusion that CBD was effective in overall pain management and didn’t cause any side effects[3].

Although human tests are further behind and the results inconclusive, strides have been made to show that a combination of CBD and other cannabinoids could be particularly effective in treating chronic arthritis and/or multiple sclerosis[1].

Skin Condition’s (Eczema and Acne)

Although it is unclear as to the root cause of the condition, it is known that the cause of the symptoms is the bodies inflammatory response system going into overdrive. Anti-inflammatory is a term that persistently crops up when debating the potential benefits of CBD. Aside from its obvious ties to pain, chronic inflammation is defined as the body being consistently out of a state of homeostasis. CBD’s activity with the Endocannabinoid system is thought to help regulate the bodies reaction to chronic inflammation and therefore could act as a natural treatment for eczema[2]. There have also been positive results from test tube studies on CBD as a treatment for Acne. By the same methodology, its anti-inflammatory properties prevented glands from excreting excessive sebum[3].

Neurological Benefits:

Plenty of research has also begun into how CBD could prevent the onset of degenerative neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease.

For example, a 2014 study showed that CBD could improve complex sleep-related behaviours associated with rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder in Parkinson’s disease patients- hence drastically improving their quality of life[4].

In the case of Alzheimer’s, animal tests have pointed to how CBD could help prevent cognitive decline through decreased inflammation[5]

Heart Health:

The propensity to suffer from heart health conditions such as strokes and heart attacks are heavily linked to the circulatory system and high blood pressure. CBD research in this field has linked the stress- and anxiety-reducing properties of CBD as being responsible for its ability to help lower blood pressure and therefore indirectly promote heart health.

One recent study treated nine healthy men with one dose of 600 mg of CBD oil and found it reduced resting blood pressure, compared to a placebo.[6]

The above summary is inconclusive and only a slice of the science and research being undertaken in our industry. By summarising these studies, we at Aver are not endorsing endorse their results or conditions, nor do we make claim to the benefits of CBD. The purpose of this article is to inform our readers of research activity in the space. We are unable to provide any medical advice to our customers and always recommend that you

Summary

It’s clear, CBD needs more funding for more research into human level studies. Although we have been using hemp for centuries, CBD as a food is a fairly nascent concept and as yet has never had the required notoriety, market size or history to attract the investment that is required to undertake clinical trials necessary. Current opinion is based on an array of pre-clinical studies in animals, or parallel research into Cannabis. However, interest is growing as scientists begin to look at the core features of CBD and how it interacts with your body. It is encouraging that scientists are beginning to look at the way in which CBD interacts with the central nervous system as a means to naturally treat stress, anxiety, pain, skin conditions, blood pressure and neurologically degenerative diseases. Though it is fair to say that so far this research has not been definite in its findings, hundreds of thousands of personal testimonials globally may beg to differ… For now, snake-oil and cure-all  cheerleaders can continue to tap away at their keyboards saying what they please, jury is out, but we hope that continued interest in CBD will provide more solid information with which to disprove both arguments in the clear future.

References:

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4851925/

[2] Ava Shamban, M.D, CBD and Eczema: A Match Made In Heaven Or Hell? Sunday Edit, 21 October 2019 & Jeremy Riggle Ph.D, CBD and Eczema: A Match Made In Heaven Or Hell? Sunday Edit, 21 October 2019

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27094344

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24845114

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5289988/

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5470879/

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30328956/

[2] https://www.healthline.com/health/cbd-for-anxiety#how-cbd-works

[3] https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2018.01259/full