Cannabidiol Health Benefits and Side Effects


Cannabidiol is a chemical extracted from the Cannabis plant. This plant is quite famous, and because in most countries around the world it is illegal, people used their imagination to come up with many code names for it. Some of the names for this plant are hemp, hashish,  grass, marijuana, weed, Ganja or Pot. Cannabidiol is extracted from the seeds of the plant, while the leaves and flowers are dried up and smoked, baked or ingested orally.

It is estimated that more than 80 chemicals are part of the cannabinoid family. The primary ingredient of the cannabis oil is THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) which represents almost 40% of all ingredients. This is the main active ingredient responsible for the effects of cannabis on the body. Food and Drug Administration informed the US public that cannabidiol is a new product that is being studied and it is regarded by the scientific community more as a drug than a dietary supplement.

Another major compound of Cannabis is CBD or cannabidiol, which caught the attention of scientists who now research its therapeutical properties. This substance is found in different concentrations in the oils or creams available on the market.

Unlike THC, which has psychoactive effects and causes „high” feelings, CBD is not generating any hallucinations or dizziness. However, it does cause some substantial changes in the body, but it seems like they have medical properties. Hemp is a plant from the family of cannabis, and it is used to obtain CBD oil, because of its shallow levels of THC.

CBD is available on the market in a variety of forms and packages. According to the health problem, it is used to treat, cannabidiol can be eaten, drank or sprayed or topically applied. People use cannabidiol to improve many health conditions like multiple sclerosis, anxiety, dystonia  (a muscle disorder), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or Parkinson’sn disease, psoriasis or acne. The side effects of CBD for a long time are still a mystery at the moment, but based on the immediate side effects already known they are assumed to be mild or inexistent.

How does CBD work?

Medical studies revealed that cannabidiol somehow works to prevent a chemical from breaking down in the brain and influence mood, pain and mental function in general and increases the blood levels in the brain. CBD is also assumed to be able to block the hallucinations caused by THC and reduce chronic pain and anxiety. It is not clear yet how this happens, but its antipsychotic effects are certain.

All types of cannabinoids and CBD is no exception, need to connect themselves to the nerves and receptors throughout the body to start working. One might find this a surprising piece of information, but the human body produces certain cannabinoids as well, and it has two special receptors for them: CB 1 and CB 2.The first type, CB 1 is mostly found in the brain, but it is also present all over the body. They influence movement and coordination, mood, pain, emotions, appetite, memory and the entire thinking process. THC wraps around these receptors to create their effects. Meanwhile, CB 2 works to fight inflammation and pain, and it is mostly found in the immune system.

Scientists assumed that CBD influenced CB 2 receptors, but recent studies showed the opposite. Not only CBD doesn’t have any impact on them but stimulates the body to produce and use more its cannabinoids.

Even if cannabidiol originates from the same plant as marijuana, it does not have the same effects. CBD doesn’t cause intoxication because it doesn’t have THC. When extracted from the seeds, CBD contains a mix of chemicals which only brings benefits to the body, and it is legal to use.

Cannabidiol is available as oil, cream, lotion, and other topical forms. CBD can provide relief from many health and medical symptoms.

Topical uses of cannabidiol

A topical product is always better absorbed by the body. Local treatments are easier to apply, and CBD creams are no exception. They don’t have the composition any psychoactive ingredients which make them legal even in the countries around the world where cannabis is illegal. Applied externally, directly on the skin, it helps improve a local health issue. They can be used to:

  • Relief pain – ointments infused with cannabidiol are a local painkiller, and they are used by people who deal with pain and aches caused by arthritis, sore muscles or headaches. This is a more natural cure for chronic or occasional pain than classic medication, and it is not addictive, and it doesn’t generate dangerous side effects.
  • Cure skin problems – creams and lotions with CBD  have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and they can be used to reduce the symptoms of skin problems like acne, psoriasis or eczema. It can be used to relieve pain caused by sunburn, insect bite or irritations.
  • Improve the skin condition – if classic beauty products don’t offer the expected results, one doesn’t need to replace them with more expensive ones. CBD cream can have the job done. Dry skin, wrinkles, or any other aesthetic problem can be improved with this product.
  • Induce relaxation – cannabidiol creams and oils can help relax after a long day. Anxiety, aches or stress are relieved if they are applied on the face, limbs, or entire A massage with a topical product can relax the whole body, and it can be used on children as well.

The reason why topical treatments are so efficient is that the skin absorbs and take them to the CB 2 receptors. They are found throughout the entire body, and when activated by CBD they help reduce the pain. The substance is driven into the bloodstream, and it does not influence the brain. Cannabidiol infused creams act fast on the particular location and don’t cause side effects dangerous for the health. One more benefit is their effect lasts longer because they are slowly absorbed into the body.

What are the benefits of cannabidiol?

Medical marijuana is not illegal in many countries as it is considered a treatment for certain forms of cancer, glaucoma, muscle disorders or pain, but it is controlled by a heavy regulation, which is not the case for CBD. Studies brought proof of its many beneficial influences on the body, and it seems to be just the beginning.

CBD can be used in a variety of ways according to the health condition intended to treat. Cannabidiol can be rubbed on the skin, sprayed on the mouth, vapor in the nose, eaten or drank. Including cannabidiol in the daily routine will bring considerable improvements for a wide range of health conditions. The medical community is focused on gathering more information about CBD effects. There is still a need for rigorous clinical tests to be sure of the benefits and side effects, but the preclinical trials conducted both on animals, and humans look promising for improving symptoms of treating:

  1. It helps prevent seizures and reduce its effects on the body – studies conducted over the past two decades showed some direct links between the seizure attacks and consumption of CBD. Some scientists even found evidence of this chemical being effective on children dealing with episodes of drug-resistant The studies conducted to observe CBD’s effect on people who have epilepsy are not comprehensive enough to form a definitive opinion on the matter, but the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke continues the work. The risk of side effects is lower for people who use cannabinoids that for those who use classic medication for treating epileptic episodes, regardless the age. Other studies focused on treating schizophrenia, and the conclusions were optimistic as well. Different types of neurological injuries can heal faster due to a constant use of cannabidiol.[1]
  2. It reduces inflammation and offers neurological protection – Pre-clinical trials conducted on animals and in labs reveals some potential neuroprotective properties of CBD in cell cultures, which means cannabidiol can be helpful in treating neurological disorders like Alzheimer, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease or trauma of alcohol abuse. When in chronic pain, people tend to resort to any solution that promises to ease the pain, including over-the-counter medication, which in some cases proved to be life-threatening. Cannabidiol is considered by some individuals a more natural approach, and cases were reported of people experiencing a significant reduction of inflammation and pain. As a result, CBD is available on the market as a treatment for fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis. Type 1 diabetes is a health condition related to the inflammation of the pancreatic cells. Recent studies found that cannabidiol could be a first step to finding a cure for this problem because it has the potential to reduce the inflammation in the pancreas. Acne is a skin condition caused by the inflammation in the skin, so CBD can represent an effective cure as it lowers the sebum production in the skin. Medical journals published a study which claims to have discovered a new treatment for acne. Cannabidiol was used on sebaceous glands and its inhibited their ability to synthesize[2]
  3. It reduces pain – Multiple trials tried to demonstrate the efficiency of cannabidiol in suppressing pain regardless the type or source. So far THC is known for its analgesic effect, and it is still unclear how CBD can act to reduce pain. Considering that cannabidiol has the potential to reduce inflammation, it can also have some mild analgesic effects. Some recent studies concluded that cannabidiol and opioids have different ways of fighting pain and the idea of combining them for creating a treatment might bring fewer risks than just using opioids[3]
  4. It fights tumors and supports the healthy cells to regain control – One of the most famous benefits of cannabinoids is fighting cancer. CBD’s palliative properties over cancer like reducing pain and nausea are supported by many studies conducted over the years, but some small studies reported that cannabinoids also have anti-tumor potential. It was noticed a reduction of the metastasis and higher numbers of dead cancer As a consequence, the tumors were reduced in size. So far most of the studies were conducted on animals, but scientists began to study the effects on human patients as well. Its use as an anticancer agent was studied by many researchers who concluded that cannabinoids act like soldiers to suppers the sick cells and kills them in order to protect the healthy tissue. It is a cancer treatment which deserves more attention due to the is a very low level of toxicity.[4]
  5. It reduces the psychosis – Marijuana, and cannabidiol are part of the same plant, yet they have different properties. In high doses, marijuana is known to generate acute psychotic episodes and in people with a genetic predisposition in can trigger chronic psychosis. Some studies suggest that CBD can mitigate the adverse effects of THC found in marijuana. Reported cases of patients with schizophrenia bring controversial results, so more comprehensive studies need to be conducted on this matter in order to establish the degree of CBD effectiveness on fighting psychosis. Cannabinoids have the potential to reduce the social recognition deficit in people who have Alzheimer in the early stage, and people maintain the ability ca recognize faces and names.[5]
  6. It has a therapeutic effect in anxiety attacks – small clinical trial conducted on animals and humans as well, support the idea that CBD can reduce anxiety and stress. The exact mechanism that cannabidiol use to reduce stress is yet to be elucidated, but subjects o studies showed improved social abilities. Cannabis extract should be avoided if you are diagnosed paranoia and anxiety. Some studies suggest that CBD might have a positive impact on people who suffer from disorders like post-traumatic stress, panic, general or social anxiety. The classic medication for these problems can lead to more dangerous side effects, so there is the no harm in finding more natural treatment[6]
  7. It treats substance abuse disorders – Cannabidiol might have a therapeutic effect on people who try to find a way to recover after abusing different dangerous substances. Some small tests were conducted on this subject, but there is a need for more data for scientists to decide on the matter. It was noticed that smokers who inhale CBD crave less for nicotine. This conclusion was also reached for individuals who abused opioids.[7]

The wide range of health problems which can be cured or at least keep under control earned the cannabinoids a place in the medical hall of fame. Scientists need more data in order to confirm all the properties of this herbal extract, but so far things seem to be promising. Soon a more natural treatment will be available for many disorders, and the good part is that the side effects might be less dangerous.

Precautions and warnings regarding cannabidiol

It is estimated that cannabidiol is being used as a treatment for different health problems in more than 25 countries around the world, including the USA. Evan if cannabidiol is an entirely natural product and many studies proved that it is safe to be used in a wide range of forms for adults. Although it has an impact on the nervous system, there were no dangerous side effects noticed affecting the mood or any other vital signs, regardless of the dosage. Tiredness is a common symptom seen in the majority of the users. Some cases of diarrhea and loss of weight and appetite were also reported. Tests have not been cared yet on children due to the lack of information regarding long-term side effects. Nevertheless, one should talk to a doctor before starting a treatment based on CBD.

The results of cannabidiol effectiveness on multiple sclerosis are still inconsistent if it used alone. Some results indicate that spraying CBD under the tongue can improve muscle pain and tightness, but also it might generate tiredness, reduced latter control, and mobility or muscle spasm.

Cannabidiol’s effects on other disorders have been studied as well, but there is insufficient evidence so far in order to make a definitive decision. Results indicate that CBD could be helpful for reducing bipolar disorders, but they don’t reduce the manic episodes. Researchers on dystonia show a 20% to 50% improvement of the condition of some people after only six weeks of treatment, but the studies must continue. Conflicting data also include effects on epilepsy, Huntington’s disease, insomnia, schizophrenia, Parkinson disease or anxiety.

Small doses of cannabidiol for up to 300 mg per day have been tested for long-term use safely. Doses ranging between 1200 mg and 1500 mg per day are recommended to be used for one month at most. Cannabidiol used as a spray under the tongue shouldn’t exceed 2.5 mg daily and should be used under two weeks. Side effects reported by using CBD longer or in a higher dose than recommended are dry mouth, dizziness, and low blood pressure.

Cannabidiol is supposed to be safe for use, but it is obtained from a plant which is regarded with precaution by the medical community. Although this extract has very low amount of THC, the main active ingredient of marijuana, people with high sensitivity to this substance must be cautious when using it. Some studies revealed that there are some possible long-term adverse effects of cannabis on the body like:

  • Addiction on cannabis – individuals with history drug abuse might experience a compulsive need to use this substance.
  • Accentuated symptoms of pre-existing conditions – cannabidiol increases the heart rate so people cardiovascular disorders should use it with moderation and ask for medical approval before using it.
  • Irritation of the lungs – if smoking cannabis one might develop chronic bronchitis or respiratory tract cancer.
  • Reduced libido – constant use of CBD was reported to reduce the sex drive in some cases. Ia also causes irregular periods in women and low sperm count at men. The problem can be reversed if the use of cannabidiol
  • Reduced focus – some people experience short time memory issues and clouded thinking, dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea which stopped when cannabis wasn’t used.
  • Increase the effects of alcohol and other drugs – Cannabis can enhance the side effects of another type of medication. So if you undergo any treatment avoid using cannabis
  • Genetic, congenital disabilities – conceiving a baby while using cannabis increases the risks of a child born with congenital impairments.

These side effects are not a general rule; not everyone must experience them. It all depends on the taken dose, prior experience, mood, a method of administration and any other current treatment. If overdose on cannabidiol seeks immediate medical attention.


CBD doesn’t have a sedative effect on the users which gives it an extensive use. Its healing properties make it worth the attention of the medical community for further research regarding physical and psychological illnesses. Cannabidiol’s benefits for health continue to be revealed by science.

23 states in the USA adopted laws which permit the use of marijuana as a treatment for a range of medical conditions and other 15 to consider allowing individuals to have legal access to CBD oil. Due to the latest attention this product got from the media, the public interest has been rapidly growing. Cases od cannabidiol being used in children how to suffer from seizures attacks caused by Dravet or Lennox – Gastaut syndrome only helped raise its popularity. Preliminary data gathered encourage scientists to hope for obtaining a new therapeutic alternative. Current literature doesn’t bring sufficient evidence to conclude whether CBD  is effective or not on epilepsy.

Even if cannabidiol proves to be helpful as a therapeutic option for a multitude of health issue, one should not get too confident. The majority of the drug who promised wonders in pre-clinical trials didn’t end up on the market after the clinical trials.

When a discovery is made in the medical field, the is a lot of commercials focused on that product and CBD is no exception. There are many benefits promoted but in order to be sure that you get the desired results and don’t endanger your health and life it is recommended to talk to a doctor first.

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