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Wellness

7 Health Benefits of CBD

5 Mins read

More and more health benefits of CBD are being discovered by researchers and people around the globe. When it comes to CBD (cannabidiol) it seems you can find an endless range of CBD oils, skin creams containing CBD, and CBD vape pens. There are even types of candy, snacks and other edibles made with CBD. 

When you consume products that contain CBD, you won’t get “high” or “stoned”, but you could experience some significant health improvements.

CBD is the main cannabinoid in non-intoxicating strains of hemp. After years of being very much underappreciated, an increasing amount of research on the health benefits of CBD has now started coming to light. With benefits for anxiety, sleep, pain, mood, cancer symptoms and more, we can see why there has been a recent explosion in the number of CBD products being produced and artisanally formulated. Below are 7 benefits of CBD that might encourage you to try this natural wellness product:

1. Anxiety Relief


CBD oil may help to relieve anxiety at the right dosage. One study on anxiety related to public speaking, for example, compared three doses of CBD – 100mg, 300mg and 900mg – to a placebo and the prescription drug clonazepam. Besides testing whether or not CBD worked, they set out to confirm if the U-shaped effect curve seen in other research could be repeated. This is essentially a Goldilocks-like effect, where you need just the right dose to get the best benefits of CBD for anxiety. 

It turned out that the 300mg dose of CBD was the most effective in soothing post-test stress and anxiety. What’s more, it blunted the increase in heart rate and stress during their speeches. It also didn’t have the sedative properties clonazepam showed. CBD’s “Goldilocks” effect may be caused by its ability to act on serotonin receptors being overshadowed by the stimulating quality it has at higher doses. 

With a general calming effect being notable, daily consumption of CBD could start to significantly reduce your anxiety. Check out these creative ways to consume CBD oil, including adding a drop or two of CBD oil to your morning smoothie. Anxiety relief is one of the top benefits of CBD use reported by many anxiety sufferers.

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2. Managing Symptoms of Autism

Millions of children and adults are on the autism spectrum, which features developmental delay and impairment in abilities such as social skills. However, many report beneficial symptoms such as a heightened ability to focus on the things they are passionate about. With conventional treatment limited to antipsychotics and anti-anxiety drugs for emotional regulation, you want a natural alternative that doesn’t sedate you (hello six-hour research marathons!) and improves brain health. 

Another clinical trial compared the effects of a high-CBD whole-hemp extract to a purified blend of CBD and THC in 150 people with autism. After three months, half of the whole extract group improved on their total symptom scores, while only 21% improved taking a placebo. Their social-responsiveness scores improved by an average of 14.9 points too, compared to just 3.6 points. The purified cannabinoid group only had an improvement of 8.2 points, and 38% of them had significant improvement on total symptoms.  These results were likely down to improved neurotransmitter balance, such as increased serotonin and reduced GABA (a natural sedative). 

3. Relief from Cancer Symptoms

Cancer is a tragically common disease category in the world today. The damaging effects that the disease has on our health – including both quality of life and longevity – mean that even remedies that relieve symptoms are very much welcome. 

A German review of CBD research describes the cannabinoid as effective in reducing pain, anxiety, insomnia and depression. These benefits alone can mean everything to someone because many describe cancer-related pain and depression as worse than the disease itself. Even better, some case reports show patients’ tumours shrinking after beginning to take CBD. A study on 119 people in the journal Schmerz [pain] also found that 10% became tumour-free, while another 38% had stable disease. Of course, we shouldn’t rely on CBD or other cannabis products alone to protect us from cancer. Prevention is the best first line of defence, with or without lemon-flavoured CBD gummies. 

4. Chronic Pain Management


Apart from cancer, chronic pain may have other causes including muscle, nerve or ligament damage. It affects around one in five people, and can be severely disabling. Sadly, the opioid drugs commonly used to treat chronic pain cause devastation of their own, with thousands of people dying every year from overdose. 

CBD may fortunately bring relief without causing dependence and hypersensitivity to pain. It reduces pain perception and inflammation, a common cause of pain during and after illness or injury. A clinical trial where most volunteers had either multiple sclerosis or a spinal cord injury not only demonstrated pain relief, but also possible improve muscle spasms and bladder control. A larger study tested a high-CBD, whole hemp extract on 97 people with chronic pain. Within eight weeks, 50 were able to reduce their opioid dose. Two of them got off the drugs entirely. 

5. Managing Inflammatory Bowel Disease Symptoms


The anti-inflammatory benefits of CBD may extend to autoimmune conditions, such as inflammatory bowel diseases. A study on removed colon tissue samples from people with and without IBD compared CBD and PEA, a fatty acid that works in similar ways. Both were able to reduce inflammation in tissue samples, but not in colonic cells grown in a lab. This may be because at least part of CBD’s anti-inflammatory effects are from a dampening of immune cell activity. 

Human clinical trials suggest higher remission rates among people with Crohn’s disease who use CBD, but larger studies are needed. Out in the real world, some patients are already seeing wonderful results. When Cotlyn Turner began to use a full-spectrum cannabis oil, he was out of his wheelchair within two weeks. He has since been able to enjoy a normal life where conventional treatment only gave him more health issues. 

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6. Treatment of Insomnia

Insomnia is one of the most common reasons why people take cannabinoid products, including CBD oil. If you’ve tried CBD oil before, you may have enjoyed one of the best night’s sleep you have had in a long time. This is because CBD can improve slow-wave sleep, one of the deep, restorative levels of sleep. The study on autism described above also explains that CBD can increase GABA in people without autism, which may improve sleep quality. 

The benefits of CBD for sleep may even hold up for people with mental health or developmental issues. A case series of over 100 people found a significant improvement in insomnia and anxiety scores over three months, with stronger gains seen in anxiety. Patients primarily complaining of trouble sleeping saw their average insomnia scores fall from 13.08 to 9.33, an almost 29% drop. As anxiety scores improved much more, these results are promising if you’re kept awake at night by constant ruminating and worrying. 

7. Substance Withdrawal


Many people suffer from substance abuse when it comes to recreational or prescription drug abuse, as well as smoking addiction. Studies have shown that oral or inhaled CBD may help you quit smoking, through making you less bothered by “triggers”. Certain times of the day, foods, locations, and friends or family members can trigger cravings. Opioid, stimulant and even cannabis addiction may be relieved with CBD too, by making them less pleasurable and reducing the power of triggers. 

The other benefits of CBD could help during the withdrawal process. For example, a common type of drug abuse is Adderall addiction, which many students and professionals use as a “focus” pill even when it’s not prescribed. It’s difficult to quit because of the nasty Adderall crash, which includes severe anxiety and insomnia. CBD may help by relieving some of these withdrawal symptoms, so you don’t feel the need to restart Adderall use. 

Natural Remedies are Always Best

In general, CBD oils and extracts seem to be the Swiss army knife of herbal medicine. With beneficial effects on the brain and immune system, people with a range of health issues such as autism, chronic pain, chronic anxiety and insomnia are enjoying less severe symptoms and a higher quality of life. It’s always beneficial to replace a prescription drug with a more natural remedy such as CBD oil. CBD oil should not be a stand-alone remedy if you want to achieve optimal health, however. A CircleDNA test can help you understand your health conditions better, so you get a better idea of how to achieve overall wellness.

Alexandra Preston
27 posts

About author
Alexandra Preston is a Naturopath from the Gold Coast. She’s always been passionate about health and science, but as she was growing up, Alexandra noticed the common result of solely relying on conventional symptomatic relief. She could see that many were stuck in an endless loop or downward spiral, and soon learnt of the power of holistic modalities. Now, her path in life is to help others on their journey to optimal health. In 2019, Alexandra Preston published her book Infla-Menses, available through Lulu and Amazon.
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