As more and more states legalize the use of marijuana, a product known as CBD oil has surged in popularity. A chemical compound found in the cannabis plant, CBD, or cannabidiol, is non-intoxicating and does not cause the noticeable euphoric effects associated with tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC, another marijuana compound). Products marketed as CBD oil may contain THC.
And we have a long way to go before we fully understand the relationship between CBD and pain regulation. But strong anecdotal evidence, combined with multiple lab tests and even some clinical trials, have established that CBD holds a lot of promise for pain relief. Or in science-speak, CBD “represents a novel class of therapeutic agents for the treatment of chronic pain.”
In addition to all the benefits we’ve already discussed, CBD has been proven to have antioxidant and neuroprotective effects. This means that it helps repair the damage from oxidative stress, which is believed to be a primary cause of diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS — even heart disorders and some forms of cancer. This is a hugely beneficial effect of CBD.
CBD shows promise in the treatment of anxiety disorders, according to a report published in the journal Neurotherapeutics in 2015. Looking at results from experimental research, clinical trials, and epidemiological studies, the report’s authors found evidence that CBD may help treat generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. However, the authors caution that human-based research on CBD and anxiety is fairly limited at this point.
Pharmacology published a study in 2016 looking at medical marijuana for migraines, specifically in relation to its effects on serotonin, with very positive results. You’ll notice that neither study looked at CBD in isolation from other cannabinoids (which is an issue with a lot of research on CBD and pain). Truthfully, the research on CBD alone just isn’t sufficient to make any pronouncements about its effects on headache pain.