Nowadays, searching through the internet for accurate and trustworthy information is one of the most challenging things to do. Sure, there are various perpetually reputable sources that offer accurate and knowledgeable information, but there are also many who will spread unfounded and quite frankly irresponsible “facts” that give completely wrong advice to those in need.
When it comes to the topic of cannabis, and more specifically, CBD, it’s essential that people hear the correct information. Especially because many people use it for medical reasons. CBD has come a long way in establishing itself as a medical phenomenon. In fact, it has revolutionized how people view medicine and the medical treatment options that are available. Over the past decade, we have seen an increasing number of studies being done on cannabis and its derivatives, like CBD, and the potential that they have to treat a number of medical conditions.
Plenty of CBD-related studies have been done over the past few years across multiple countries and institutions. Many of these studies have been integral in growing the understanding and acceptance of CBD in society. In this article, we are going to review to top CBD studies that have had a significant impact on the community and are sure to amaze you.
CBD May Help in the Treatment of Epileptic Seizures
It’s becoming an increasingly well-known fact that CBD can treat the frequency and severity of epileptic seizures. A number of studies have been done on the effects of CBD in the treatment of epilepsy. One of the latest is a study that was published by Neuroscience in 2018. This particular study provided further evidence to suggest that CBD could be effective in reducing seizures in those who suffer from epilepsy.
The study was conducted by means of a controlled, new, large-scale, and randomized trial with the purpose of reducing the frequency of seizures in patients who suffered from a rare form of epilepsy that is known as Lennox–Gastaut syndrome.
Two doses of CBD were examined in comparison to a placebo as part of the study. A 41.9% reduction in “drop seizures” was reported by researchers for patients who took a 20 mg dose of CBD. A drop seizure is a type of seizure that causes severe loss of balance and muscle control. There was a 37.2% reduction in those who administered 10 mg of CBD, and 17.2% reduction in those who took a placebo.
The recent study has added significant evidence of CBD’s effectiveness to reduce seizures in this severe form of epilepsy. It’s also the first study of this nature that offers more accurate information on proper dosing.
Autism Has Been Added to the List of CBD’s Medical Benefits
Autism is often caused by too little inhibition in the brain. This leads to a heightened sensitivity to stimuli, such as sound, light, touch, and smell, as well as abnormal social behavior. Too little brain inhibition can also result in epilepsy, which is why it’s common for patients on the severe end of the autism spectrum to also suffer from epilepsy.
In 2017, the University of Washington published a report to demonstrate the effectiveness of CBD in a mouse model of autism and epilepsy. Scientists looked at the impact that CBD has on autistic-like social deficits and found that CBD could normalize the social behavior of mice. The CBD helped to increase the preference of the mice to spend time interacting with other mice and also reduced the amount of social-anxiety like behaviors. Crucially, this improvement was observed even after the mice had experienced a number of seizures, which demonstrates its medicinal potential at any age.
This was the first controlled study that has demonstrated the ability of CBD to treat autistic-like social behaviors. The potential of CBD to treat to improve autism symptoms even if used in later developmental stages provided strong justification to test cannabis oil in the first human clinical trial, which is currently being conducted on 120 Israeli patients.
CBD Treats Brain Changes Caused by Regular Cannabis Use
It goes without saying that this has been one of the most fascinating CBD studies done to date. CBD could treat changes in the brain that are caused by cannabis, the very plant that CBD is derived from. Using cannabis that is rich in THC could change the way in which the brain functions. Unfortunately, these changes aren’t always positive and often take place in a region of the brain that is known as the hippocampus. Any changes experienced in this part of the brain could affect resilience to stressors, cognitive performance, and control over anxiety.
But, maybe surprisingly to some, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that CBD could possibly protect the brain against the negative effects of THC. In other words, CBD could act as a protective tool by preventing THC-induced changes. In a 2018 study that was conducted by Australian neuroscientists, it was found that CBD had an effect on hippocampus anatomy in regular weed consumers. Subjects were given four 50 mg capsules of CBD each day as part of the study. At the start of the study, some parts of the hippocampus were smaller in weed users in comparison to those participants who didn’t use weed. However, many of those regions increased significantly in size ten weeks after the CBD treatment.
There are many reasons why CBD’s ability to recover hippocampal size is so important. One of the most relevant is that CBD could work as a promising therapeutic or preventative instrument to combat some of the long-term negative consequences linked to the use of THC.
The Fast-Acting, Long-Lasting Antidepressant Effects of CBD
Over the last few years, CBD has started to emerge as a promising antidepressant. An estimated 20% of the world’s population is thought to suffer from clinical depression. One of the biggest problems is that most of the treatment options on offer are sub-par. Close to a third of patients don’t respond to treatment, and if it miraculously does work, it could take weeks for the effects to kick in.
The good news is that scientists in Brazil published one of the most comprehensive reports to date last year, demonstrating how CBD works in treating depression of preclinical rodent models. As part of the study, a variety of behavioral tests were done on different types of mice and rats, some of which were prone to depression. Researchers found that CBD reduced certain behaviors that are associated with depression.
This was the first study that established the antidepressant benefits of CBD across a range of rodent and behavioral models, and to provide a mechanic insight for the effects. CBD’s antidepressant qualities were linked to changes in brain chemistry which are linked to the disorder.
CBD Has the Potential to Treat Various Types of Addiction
Whether it’s opioids, tobacco, or hard drugs like heroin and cocaine, studies conducted over the past few years have found that CBD could help addicts to overcome their addiction.
One of the more recent studies, published in March 2018, looked into the ability of CBD to protect against those factors that promoted relapse to alcohol and cocaine use. Profound withdrawal symptoms, like heightened impulsive behavior and anxiety, are some of the factors that have been found to promote relapse into drug seeking behaviors. Because CBD hasn’t been found to have any addictive properties, it has the potential to act as an anti-addiction tool if it is able to help the impulsive decision making and anxiety that result from drug withdrawal.
What made this study different was that the CBD was administered transdermally – similar to a patch or gel in humans. This is different from the standard injection method that is typically used in rodent research. As you may have guessed, scientists found that CBD has the potential to reduce anxiety and impulsive decision making, which are both core behaviors that promote drug relapse.
Final Thoughts on Top CBD Studies
CBD has been touted for a wide variety of medical benefits, and we are sure to see an increasing number of studies being conducted over the next few years. It’s clear that the research into CBD is expanding rapidly and also becoming a lot more extensive. Ultimately, these are by no means the first studies to be done on the efficacy of CBD, and they certainly won’t be the last.