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  • Writer's pictureLexi Abi-Khattar

CBD Health Benefits

Updated: Nov 18, 2019

The market has exploded with #CBD products over the past year. While the strongest research points to benefits in those with epileptic seizures, there are other health benefits supported by research worth mentioning!

A little crash course for you...

What is CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol, derived from the hemp plant.

Does CBD contain THC?

Cannabidiol or CBD is the second major component of the cannabis plant after tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. THC is the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant while CBD is non-psychoactive. CBD products however, may have various THC:CBD ratios. A combination of THC and CBD are used in the treatment of diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis as it reduces neuroinflammation by promoting healthy gut microbiota.

How does it lead to health benefits?

The body has a system known as the endocannabinoid system or ECS (endo meaning internal). When cannabinoids enter your circulatory system or your bloodstream, the ECS works more effectively.

Here are some benefits backed by research:

1) Anti-inflammatory. A study on rats with acute inflammation were administered an oral dose of CBD for three consecutive days. This resulted in a decrease in serum prostaglandins and free radical oxidative species. In simpler terms, the oral CBD decreased inflammation, edema (swelling) and hyperalgesia (sensitivity to pain).

2) Arthritis. A study on CBD given to animal models with arthritis resulted in decreased inflammatory cells to the joint and provided pain relief, showing a beneficial effect for those with arthritis and/or joint pain.

3) Anti-anxiety. Doses of 20 mg/kg of CBD reduced anxiety factors in mice. Similar findings have been found in human studies.

4) Improved Sleep. A study revealed that within one month, sleep quality improved for 67% of adults and with a dosage of 25 mg/d- 175 mg/d which is a much lower dose than some literature recommends to achieve clinical effects (300 mg-600 mg/d which would be more costly). However, it is important to note that smaller doses can help some achieve better sleep and also help reduce anxiety symptoms. After the second month, 78% of the adults had reported improved sleep.

5) Gut Health. CBD can help restore perforation and increased permeability of the intestines (also known as "leaky gut"), leading to a stronger lining, which ultimately can help prevent diseases including autoimmune. It can also alleviate symptoms related to inflammatory bowel diseases or IBD and can help slow the course of these diseases including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

P.S.It is always best to consult with your physician before taking CBD to make sure there are no drug interactions. CBD can cause certain pharmaceuticals to stay in the bloodstream longer as it can interfere with enzymes that break down toxic metabolites of drugs.


Burstein S. Cannabidiol (CBD) and its analogs: a review of their effects on inflammation. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry. 2015;23:1377-1385.

Lowin T, Schneider M, Pongratz G. Joints for joints: cannabinoids in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Current Opinion in Rheumatology. 2019;31:271-278.

Zieba J, Sinclair D, Sebree T, et al. Cannabidiol (CBD) reduces anxiety-related behavior in mice via an FMRP-independent mechanism. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior. 2019;181:93-100.

Shannon S, Lewis N, Lee H, Hughes S. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente journal. 2019;23:18.

Al-Ghezi ZZ, Busbee PB, Alghetaa H, Nagarkatti PS, Nagarkatti M. Combination of cannabinoids, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), mitigates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) by altering the gut microbiome. Brain Behavior and Immunity. 2019;82:25-35.

Esposito G, Filippis DD, Cirillo C, et al. Cannabidiol in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: A Brief Overview. Phytotherapy Research. 2013;27:633-636.

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