Cannabidiol, or CBD, is all the rage these days. And it’s easy to see why. From treating anxiety to blood pressure to even COVID-19, the little cannabinoid that could is changing the face of medical cannabis.
But how much of this is hype? Is CBD clinically proven to help with any of these ailments? This post will look at three important studies on CBD and their conclusions. But first, a little primer on CBD and the endocannabinoid system.
What is CBD & the Endocannabinoid System?
Before moving on to the three important studies on CBD, let’s discuss what CBD is. Your body has a thing called the endocannabinoid system, which regulates various functions of the body. The best way to think about it is in terms of a busy city street.
You’ve got lungs, liver, stomach, heart, kidneys, etc. These are like cars, bicycles, pedestrians, and scooters on the street. Your body’s endocannabinoid system consists of cannabinoid receptors, of which there are two. CB1 is found mainly in the central nervous system (our brain and spine). You can locate CB2 in the peripheral nervous system (like our immune system).
Cannabinoid receptors are like traffic lights. They help coordinate the mass of moving cars, bicycles and people, so the entire system works together smoothly.
Cannabidiolic acid (or CBDa) is an exterior cannabinoid called a phytocannabinoid. When you consume cannabis or hemp, CBDa is activated and becomes CBD.
Researchers don’t think CBD binds directly to your cannabinoid receptors like other cannabinoids (like THC). But it certainly affects our endocannabinoid system.
And we’ve got three important studies on CBD to prove it.
3 Important Studies on CBD: Anxiety
One of our three important studies on CBD looks at CBD’s role in reducing anxiety. More specifically, generalized social anxiety disorder (SAD). SAD is one of the most common types of anxiety disorders.
The researchers of this study used three groups:
- Patients with SAD taking CBD
- SAD patients taking a placebo
- A healthy control group
Researchers used public speaking as their way of testing anxiety levels.
Since fear of public speaking is common even among those not suffering from anxiety, using public speaking as a measurement tool proved worthwhile.
Researchers used tomographic imaging to create a 3D map of the brain. They examined the subjects’ blood pressure, heart rates, and other physiological effects. The researchers also didn’t know who had taken CBD and who had taken a placebo.
This important study on CBD was a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. The researchers concluded that CBD significantly reduced anxiety in SAD patients. They suspected CBD helped regulate serotonin, a transmitter we associate with feelings of well-being.
Many anti-anxiety medications on the market target serotonin levels but have adverse side effects. CBD’s side effects are rare and usually only occur if you take other medicines that interact with it.
3 Important Studies on CBD: Heart Disease
The second of our three important studies on CBD looks at cardiovascular health.
Heart disease is humanity’s leading cause of death, accounting for 17.3 million annual deaths worldwide. Good cardiovascular health is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Doctors recommend regular exercise and a healthy diet to lower your chances of heart disease.
And studies suggest CBD may have a positive role to play as well.
Now, granted, there hasn’t been a lot of research into CBD’s role in cardiovascular health. Not compared to, say, epilepsy and CBD. But given the number of people who suffer from poor heart health, any study on heart disease and CBD is an important one.
In one particular study, researchers gave nine healthy male volunteers 600 milligrams of CBD or a placebo. This was a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study. Researchers monitored the volunteers using a finometer and laser Doppler.
Researchers found that the subjects who had taken CBD had lower blood pressure. In response to cold stress, subjects who had taken CBD had blunted blood pressure and increased heart rates.
Researchers concluded that CBD reduced resting blood pressure and blood pressure increases due to stress. They concluded that further research was needed to authoritatively establish whether CBD could be used to treat cardiovascular diseases.
And while we consider this study important, it’s not the only one. Another survey of healthy males found a reduction in blood pressure from taking CBD. They concluded CBD improved blood flow through one’s arteries compared to the placebo group.
3 Important Studies on CBD: COVID-19
Of our three studies on CBD, this one is perhaps the most important (and certainly most controversial).
This study on CBD suggests the phytocannabinoid can block a COVID-19 infection.
We imagine we don’t have to give you a quick primer on COVID-19. But, just in case you happen to be reading this decades in the future, here’s a brief summary.
COVID-19 is the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, in late 2019. The superbug quickly spread across the world. The pandemic shook world economies, supply chains, politics, and health care systems. And its long-term effects are far from over.
While a massive vaccination campaign has dampened the severity of the disease, COVID-19 is still no joke. New mutations threaten to undo the progress we’ve made against it.
So you can imagine everyone’s surprise when researchers at the University of Chicago recommended clinical trials for CBD to prevent COVID-19 based on promising data from animal studies.
The study, published in Science Advances, found a significant negative association between CBD and SARS-CoV-2.
Researchers treated human lung cells with CBD for two hours before exposing them to SARS-CoV-2. They found that, in high doses, CBD inhibited the virus’ ability to replicate.
Another study (yes, there’s more than one that links CBD with fighting COVID-19) said: “A cohort of human patients previously taking CBD had significantly lower SARSCoV-2 infection incidence of up to an order of magnitude relative to matched pairs or the general population.”
Summarizing: “Cannabidiol from the cannabis plant has potential to prevent and inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection.”
Now, if that isn’t an important study on CBD, what is?
CBD is popular, and for good reason. From treating anxiety disorders to maintaining good heart health to preventing COVID-19 – CBD looks more like a vitamin supplement than a “drug.”
And fortunately, CBD is legal in most places and available online. Here at Green Cuisine, we source our CBD from organic hemp flowers grown in the sub-alpine regions of Slovenia. Our CO2 extraction process ensures no solvents are used that can end up in the final product.
If you’re using CBD to improve your heart health or prevent a cold virus, we can’t really recommend smoking it. But vaping is an option. We also offer balms you can apply to your skin. Or drinks, teas, and powder you can add to a beverage. We recommend our CBD oil drops if you’re looking for a way to dose accurately.