Chronic Pain, Arthritis, Anxiety, Depression, or Alzheimer’s? Science Says CBD May Help

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By Lisa Egan

As more people seek safe, natural remedies for health concerns – and as more states legalize medical cannabis – interest in cannabidiol (commonly known as “CBD”) is growing.

In case you don’t know much about CBD and how it works, here’s a summary:

  • CBD is a fascinating compound that has tremendous therapeutic value. It is one of over 60 compounds found in cannabis plants that belong to a class of ingredients called cannabinoids.
  • Cannabinoids are a diverse set of chemical compounds that bind to special receptors in the human body that make up what is known as the endocannabinoid system.
  • The endocannabinoid system is a biological system which plays many important roles in the human body. It is responsible for the physical and psychological effects of cannabis.

We recommend Organica Naturals CBD products for their consistently high quality.

The list of conditions CBD has been shown to benefit is extensive and continues to grow as more research is conducted. Here are five of them.

Studies show CBD may make life a little easier for people with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease that causes problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. In the early stages, someone with Alzheimer’s disease may notice mild confusion and difficulty remembering. Eventually, people with the disease may even forget important people in their lives and undergo dramatic personality changes.

Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.

While the greatest known risk factor for Alzheimer’s is increasing age, it is not a normal part of aging.

According to Dementia Central:

There are three ways which CBD can work to improve health outcomes for persons with dementia; by reducing inflammation, by reducing oxygen build up, and by working as a brain stimulant and neuroprotectant. From a user’s perspective, CBD may reduce stress and anxiety in the individual with dementia as well as reduce the decline of memory and other brain functions. (source)

To view a list of links to studies on CBD and Alzheimer’s, please click here: Alzheimer’s Disease

CBD appears to have powerful anti-anxiety properties.

Experiencing occasional anxiety is a normal and often healthy emotion. It is your body’s natural response to stress. Mild anxiety might be vague and unsettling, while severe anxiety may seriously disrupt the sufferer’s daily life. Frequent intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear may be signs of an anxiety disorder.

Research on CBD for anxiety is still in the early stages, but so far, findings are promising. Numerous animal studies and accumulating evidence from experimental, clinical, and epidemiological studies in humans suggest CBD has powerful anti-anxiety properties.

According to a survey published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research in 2018, almost 62% of CBD users reported using CBD to treat a medical condition. The top three medical conditions were pain, anxiety, and depression. Participants most frequently reported feeling that CBD treated their medical condition(s) “very well by itself” or “moderately well by itself” for the following three conditions: chronic pain, arthritis/joint pain, and anxiety.

To view a list of links to studies on CBD and anxiety, please click here: Anxiety

Research suggests CBD may help relieve depression.

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It can disrupt every aspect of the sufferer’s life, making eating, sleeping and everyday functioning very difficult. Depression is not the same as being a little sad over a specific incident – the feelings associated with depression are persistent and chronic.

Research has shown that CBD has the ability to act on the brain’s receptors for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and social behavior.

CBD has demonstrated antidepressant-like effects in several animal studies, including two conducted in 2009 and 2012.

While studying the modulation of the serotonin system through endocannabinoid signaling in 2011, researchers found evidence that endocannabinoids are important regulators of stress responses.

In an article titled Depression and Cannabis, Dr. Stacey Kerr explains that “a dysregulated endocannabinoid system is implicated in clinical depression”:

A 2014 study concluded that “preclinical data … has shown that elevated endocannabinoid signaling is able to produce behavioral and biochemical effects as [well as] conventional antidepressant treatment, and that many antidepressants alter endogenous cannabinoid tone.”

There is potential, but as with many areas of cannabis science, more research needs to be done.

Regardless of the research, some patients certainly claim cannabis is effective as an antidepressant. These patients admit that it helps them cope with life stressors and will sometimes allow them to see things in a more positive state of mind. (source)

For a list of links to more studies on CBD and depression, please click here: Depression

Several studies suggest CBD can help treat arthritis.

Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint pain, stiffness, and swelling, which typically get worse with age. “Arthritis” is not a single disease – the term refers to joint pain or joint disease. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions. The most common types of arthritis include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia, and gout.

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States, affecting over 50 million Americans.

Several studies in animals suggest that CBD could help treat arthritis and relieve the associated pain.

One study found that CBD reduced inflammatory pain in rats by affecting the way that pain receptors respond to stimuli.

In 2014, a research review summarized the results of studies that support CBD as an effective treatment for osteoarthritis.

Applying CBD to the skin (topical use) has the potential to relieve pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, according to a 2016 study.

2017 study found that CBD can prevent the later development of pain and nerve damage in osteoarthritic joints.

If you’d like to read about my personal experience with CBD for psoriatic arthritis, here’s my story: I Tried CBD Oil For My Psoriatic Arthritis. Here’s What Happened.

A growing body of research shows promise for the use of CBD in chronic pain management.

Chronic pain is defined as any pain that lasts at least 12 weeks. Acute pain is a normal response to injury and is short-lived, but chronic pain is very different because it persists – often for months or even longer.

Sometimes chronic pain is caused by an initial injury, such as a back sprain or an accident. In others, there may be an underlying cause, such as illness or underlying disease. And, in some cases, there may be no clear cause. Unfortunately, chronic pain often brings with it other health problems, including fatigue, trouble sleeping, decreased appetite, and changes in mood.

Researchers believe that CBD may help reduce chronic pain by impacting endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation, and interacting with neurotransmitters.

A recent study in rats found that CBD injections reduced pain response to surgical incision. In another study, rats with sciatic pain that were given oral CBD had significantly reduced neuropathic and inflammatory pain.

A 2008 review of studies conducted between the late 1980s and 2007 assessed how well CBD works to relieve chronic pain. Researchers concluded CBD was effective in overall pain management without adverse side effects. Some of those studies also showed that CBD was beneficial in treating insomnia related to chronic pain. (source)

To see a list of links to studies on CBD for chronic pain, please click here: Chronic Pain

Do you use CBD products?

Do you use CBD products on a regular basis for a condition? Have you found it helpful? Share your suggestions and experiences in the comments below.

About Lisa

Lisa Egan has been passionate about nutrition and fitness for over 20 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences with a minor in Nutrition. She is the owner of Lisa Egan Nutrition Coaching and the website All About Habits.

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  • Patrick Keenedy is a paid propagandist for America’s pharmaceutical industry that has fought against the use of marajuana and its procucts, tooth and nail falsely claiming that they lead to mental illness and cancer, depspite its ant-carcinogenic cancer fighting abilities, in addition to be a far less fatal, far less addictive, far less expensive alternative to a $475,000 cancer treatment, and getting addicted to opiods resulting in death, or incarceration with treatment ranging from $12,000 to $50,000 with only a 6% success rate! Naturally as anything with the snake oil industry, the suboxone cure for opiod addiction, is more addictive than the opiods.

    2/3 of pharmaceutical spending in America is spent on psychiatric drugs proven not to work, and make the underlying symptons worse, in addidtion to creating life threatenning side effects, and higher suicide rates.

    Usually, if you are experiencing anxiety, or depression, or ADHD,( which I consider a false diagnosis,) it is your brain
    warnng you that something in your life is drastically wrong!

    The predator class would just love it if we would all just annaesthetize ourselves under their continuous abuse.

    They do all that is possible to induce a state of learned helpnessness. While we may be powerless to individually change their behavior, what we can do is mqke it extremely uncomfortable for them by whistle-blowing, since most the predators are narcississtic psychopaths. It also prevents future victims from making the same mistakes that we made by trusting them in their confidence game in the first place!

  • I’ve heard many senior leaders of the true resistance, the anti-war movement, like Paul Craig Roberts, Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan, and others complain that there is no anti-war movement in America.

    My thesis is that they have been doped into compliancy through the quack psychiatric racket!

    If these quacks had one iota of common sense and decency, they would be advocating for their patients by making public speeches and authoring articles in JAMA on how this predatory oligarcy has destroyed the lives of millions around the world, including their patients, rather than drugging their patients into compliancy!

    These are the mad scientists! They make in excess of $375 per hour to destroy the voice of dissent, and watch America flush down the drain, like a giant turd!

    • What are you talking about? You’re going to need to use full sentences.

      I assume you didn’t read the article because if you did, you’d see that the author linked to numerous studies.

  • I had severe depression many, many years ago after the birth of my second child.. It apparently ran in my family. I suffered for many years, going to psychiatrists, taking tranquilizers, lithium (which rotted out my teeth), trying psycho-analysis, etc. I tried lots of things to feel better. After the birth of my third child, I started doing some research on-line. It was the beginning of the internet, and research could be done on a home computer, which at that time, were not cheap. So I started looking at studies of depression. Long story short, many, many people are deficient in potassium. And a shortage of potassium can lead to depression. Your brain transmitters do not transmit to each other correctly. I also found a book that literally saved my life. It’s called “Feeling Good: The new Mood Therapy” by David Burns. I found the book before I found out about the potassium shortage. I still to this day take extra potassium. I listen to my body and can tell when I need more or less. I imagine that today with everyone’s fast-food diets and bad eating habits, a potassium shortage is more rampant than it used to be! Just my story and what worked for me. Way back then, CBD was not an option. Nor even a glimmer of a thought.

    • Been thinking about your story and am so glad you shared it. When it comes down to it, most disease or less than optimum living is nearly always related to something lacking in our diet — a malnutrition of one thing or another. I can see all our diseases only getting worse because of the poor quality of our food — mostly denuded processed foods. But even the organic label is not enough if the product has not been grown in nutrient-rich soil. So. I agree that supplements are often a “cure”. I found that adding more B vitamins helped me push back the pre-diabetes status. Potassium has greatly helped my mom’s post-operative delirium. Epsom salts loaded with magnesium help her get to sleep and stay asleep. Old fashioned “cures” where always supplemental in some way. Cod liver oil adds A and D to support so many body functions. Apple cider vinegar adds potassium as well as much needed enzyme action which helps the aging body digest food. Cultured foods in general add so much to vitality because they aid digestion so that we absorb more nutrients. These are things that are good to have as part of our stores which tend to be dead and dried up ol’ stuff.

    • @Cry Havoc, Or, people can try it and trust their own judgement. It is definitely safer than most prescription drugs on the market. Research is just another racket. The U.S. government pays exhorbitant fees to special interest groups in the pharmacuetical industry for totally fraudulent research, attempting to skew research results to their advantage. If you trust the FDA, consider that there is a major opiod epidemic in America, in large part from Oxycontin, propagandized as safe for chronic pain and non addictive. We lost 72,000 Americans from drug overdoses last year.

      Research that!
      Its been around for thousands of years and is still in use. That’s enough research for me.

      I don’t use it myself now, but if I was in extreme pain, I might consider CBD oil, same with Alzheimers.

  • Or … people can wait a while longer before jumping on this popular bandwagon. Funny how all of a sudden people who caution the use thereof are suddenly stigmatized. Please read books like: Tell Your Children: The Truth about Marijuana, Mental Illness and Violence by Alex Berenson. The stakes are too high with the gap between insider and outsider knowledge so great. The Business has much to gain with wider use and politicians have a low risk way to raise revenue and reduce criminality.. Viola`for the PTB.

    My elderly mother used CBD tincture to relieve her RA. The problem was that it only masked the pain which kept her from recognizing other health problems. Then after 3 surgeries in 3 weeks, she went back to self dosing thinking it would help her sleep again. But all it did was exacerbate a condition known as delirium. (very unpleasant for caregivers) Also after taking care of my MIL with Alzheimer’s for 1.5 years, I can’t think of anything more cruel than to mess with someone’s already deteriorating mind in hopes it cures. Too dangerous to even begin to quantify. Psychologists have linked psychosis, paranoia and cannabis use for years. It’s very well- documented and studied.

    Sorry to have to disagree so heartily about something so publicly agreeable as the cannabis bandwagon. But, it seems irresponsible to open our arms to something as a culture which has already been linked to so much mental illness and violent crime. It’s been proven again and again that cannabis use leads to greater opioid use and its attendant crime. Its even on par with alcohol for domestic violence and abuse..

    The hybridized potency has also increased. THC was less than 2% in the 1970s to 20-25% THC now. So. As a matter of caution, please research all this carefully. The government has been winking at legalization for decades, so they are just as complicit as the media in masking the realities of cannabis.

    • You are mixing up 2 very different things here. CBD oil from Hemp has negligible or almost no THC & will not get you high. The facts that you quote on THC are for Marijuana, not Hemp/CBD oil. Mental illness and violent crime? This is not related to Hemp oil which is a great inflammatory agent. I have heard that legislation is coming to separate Hemp/CBD and Marijuana into two completely different categories. Your reaction is in my opinion an over-reaction. Many, many years ago I smoked marijuana in my lawless youth. Now many, many years later, at age 61, I have tried CBD oil. Not only does it help me sleep without drowsy side-effects the next day, but it also helps with inflammation. I have left my wild and lawless party days behind and today I am a church attending, Christian grandma. Please DO NOT lump CBD oil with marijuana that has the THC levels that you quote in your statement. What you have written is not only not clear, but you are misleading people.

      • Thank you VOR for pointing out the difference. There is a difference. And as Mr. Carter has pointed out there needs to be more regulation. So, please allow me to raise the red flag at least half way up the pole of virtue. After re-reading my mom’s bottle of CBD tincture, it has 250mg of CBD and 5mg of THC. The label states clearly that the product contains MJ — I’m sure it was too small for her to read. Mom purchased it here in SoCal in a store that also sells MJ. I’m not sure how the percentages work themselves out in milligrams. But it was enough to combine with her delirium and take her to crazyland. The Dr. ordered it to be taken away and potassium was supplemented instead with really great results for her insomnia as well as her pain level. The delirium was a result of anesthesia (under 3x/3wks). The chances of getting her mind back are the same as being able to unscramble eggs. How to quantify how much is too much THC on an individual basis should be enough to warrant a warning label that suggests any number of contraindications for even a scant amount.

        • 5 mg of THC is extremely low. Furthermore, it would not stay in your system very long. The statement “The chances of getting her mind back are the same as being able to unscramble eggs.” Is completely inconsistent with that level of THC! I am very sorry your mother is having problems but that a dose of CBD oil (with 5 mg of THC) would only affect a person for a couple, or a few hours.

          • In this case, according to the Doctor, that amount is more than he is willing for her to take.
            It’s similar to a spot of gluten being too much for someone with Crohn’s Disease. You cannot and should not mix THC with Delirium.

  • Daisy, I don’t discount the efficacy of CBD Oil. What I do have trouble with is the Absolute Lack of accountability in the CBD industry. There is Absolutely No Stadardization, nor is there any Certification that each and every batch has been Certified as 100% pure wity No THC content whatsoever. Until there is this Degree of Certification, there most certainly will be folks that test positive for THC in their bloodstream, when in fact they have never, not ever, smoked a joint of Mary Juana!

  • Hello everyone,
    I have done some research on CBD. I agree it helps people and I also found out that it’s mainly the CBD from Cannibis and not Hemp that is more beneficial for people. Hemp CBD is missing most of the molecules and has low levels of CBD and THC . The whole plant CBD is more therapeutic than the molecular CBD.
    I do not doubt that Hemp CBD works but am not sure on what level and everyone is different. I am still reading. Hemp is the only CBD you can get OTC and you are not sure what you are getting unless you have the lab sheet that goes with the bottle. You would have to ask for it. And hopefully it is real of course.

    There are many types of THC and CBD. THC, THC-A, THC-V, CBN, CBD, CBA, CBC, CBC-A, CBG, CBG-A.

    There is a doctor in Maine, Dustin Sulak, who helps people with the correct dosage of CBD or CBD with a certain amount of THC. Everyone is different and they should work with a knowledgeable doctor to find out what is the optimal dosage for them.
    Maine has 8 dispensaries in each region and over 300 caregivers. There have been many people who have been helped successfully, especially children with seizures and autism. I believe you need a medical MJ card to visit these dispensaries and maybe the doc.

    Now that being said. I live in NH. I found out that if you want/need a medical MJ card you have to give up your second amendment rights. Now, THAT is interesting and something to note. There is another place to go in NH called Prime Alternative Treatment Center.
    Here are a couple of other resources I found through my research.

    Just a few thoughts on what I have found. Peace and love to you all. Keep up the good work Daisy!!

    • You should clarify the terms you have used in your statement. I believe you misspoke.
      You said “it’s mainly the CBD from Cannabis and not Hemp that is more beneficial for people”. I am not sure what you meant to say. That is a confusing statement because both Hemp and MJ are in the cannabis family. Perhaps you can restate that?

  • ok so how do I know how to get the reliable real thing, what do I need to know about how much/when to take for chronic pain, and so on…hearing so much but where to go to get it?

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