CBD is booming right now, and for a lot of reasons. People have come to find that this little compound does a world of good for a number of different problems; CBD has become popular among those looking for anxiety relief, pain relief, and improved quality of sleep, just to name a few.
But, so often when talking about CBD, we’re forced to pull up short- to say ‘we’re not sure,’ or ‘there’s not enough research’. For a long time, research into CBD was limited by the U.S. government. Thankfully, due to the signing of the 2018 Farm Bill, the world of CBD has opened up quite a bit. Along with that, research into CBD will have fewer restrictions as well.
In the spirit of this good news, we wanted to gather up some of the most recent studies on CBD and share them with you all- there’s new and exciting research coming out all the time! The 2018 Farm Bill was only officially signed in December, so the research we’re going to list here probably happened before the bill. However, they’re a great sign of what might come next in the world of CBD.
Although these findings are astounding, they aren’t absolute proof of what CBD can or cannot do. We are not attempting to make any claims by sharing this information, we simply feel that it’s important for people to have access to new, groundbreaking research like this.
CBD & Seizures
One of the most-researched CBD topics is the effects of CBD on seizures. Recently, several studies have been published that focus on the use of CBD for two types of intractable (treatment resistant) childhood seizures, Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. The two studies we are referring to were conducted using double-blind, placebo controlled trials, the current scientific standard for unbiased research.
In each study, patients were observed for a baseline period to determine how many seizures they would normally have on a weekly basis. Then, CBD or a placebo was introduced on top of their normal medicines, and they were observed again to determine if CBD was able to reduce the frequency of their seizures.
In both studies, CBD was shown to reduce seizures more efficiently than the placebo.
In the study focused on patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, CBD averaged a 44% drop in seizure frequency. In the study focused on patients with Dravet syndrome, CBD averaged a 39% drop in seizure frequency, and 42% of patients had a 50% or greater reduction in seizures. That means that nearly half of the patients that received CBD had their seizure frequency cut in half. Both studies concluded that CBD showed potential as an add-on therapy for patients with intractable seizures. For people dealing with seizures, results like this mean better quality of life, and for children, potentially an improved ability to learn and grow.
CBD & Schizophrenia
One subject that has been less looked-into than CBD and seizures, is CBD and schizophrenia. CBD is popularly used to reduce anxiety, and researchers wondered if it was possible that CBD could have antipsychotic qualities as well. They conducted a double-blind study, in which patients were randomly assigned CBD or placebo to take alongside existing medications. They were assessed before and after the study on a number of different scales used when treating people with schizophrenia. After 6 weeks, the study concluded that the CBD group had lower levels of positive psychotic symptoms (hallucinations, paranoia, disorganized behaviors), and were more likely to be rated as ‘improved’ and as ‘not severely unwell’. The researchers concluded that their findings suggest that CBD has beneficial effects for people with schizophrenia.
CBD & Alzheimer’s Disease
The next topic we’re going to discuss is a bit different from the first two. The aforementioned studies were conducted using placebo-controlled, double-blind studies, which are the golden standard for research in the scientific community. Also, they were conducted on human patients. In a recent review article from 2017, researchers compiled evidence of In Vivo therapeutic properties of CBD for Alzheimer’s disease. They gathered studies conducted throughout the years, almost exclusively research conducted on rodents, and summarized the findings. As these studies were conducted using rodent models rather than human patients, the findings aren’t totally conclusive- but they are promising.
In these studies, mice were injected with amyloid beta plaque, the detrimental substance that naturally builds in the brain with Alzheimer’s. To reproduce that, they injected the amyloid beta plaque directly into the mouse’s brain. Then, CBD was administered and the mice are assessed over an 8 month period.
While CBD was unable to reduce the amount of amyloid beta plaque in the brain, long-term CBD use was able to prevent the mice from developing social recognition memory deficits, which is a huge concern in Alzheimer’s disease. Also, the use of CBD seemed to impact inflammation in the brain, another benefit for Alzheimer’s disease.
These findings support using CBD for Alzheimer’s disease- specifically, some of the symptoms of the disease that are related to social recognition memory deficits, like social withdrawal and facial recognition.
In a disease like Alzheimer’s, where there’s very little available currently as far as treatment goes, the promise shown here is huge. More research is needed before we can conclude whether or not CBD may be effective for those with Alzheimer’s, but the preliminary results are worth noting- and worth further investigating.
The possibilities of what CBD might be capable of are, in a way, endless. The more research that is conducted, the better understanding we’ll have of what CBD can and cannot do, but even right now, things are looking promising.
Once again, we aren’t making any claims as to our CBD, or CBD in general- we simply want to share important, current research. Information is power, and we want you all to be informed.
French, Jacqueline, et. al. “Cannabidiol (CBD) significantly reduces drop seizure frequency in Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS): results of a multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial”. Neurology, 88(16, supplement), Apr. 2017. http://n.neurology.org/content/88/16_Supplement/S21.001.short.
Cross, J. Helen, et. al. “Cannabidiol (CBD) reduces convulsive seizure frequency in Dravet syndrome: results of a multi-center, randomized, controlled trial”. Neurology, 88(16, supplement), Apr. 2017. http://n.neurology.org/content/88/16_Supplement/CT.001.short.
McGuire, Phillip, et. al. “Cannabidiol (CBD) as an Adjunctive Therapy in Schizophrenia: A Multicenter Randomized Controlled Trial”. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 175(3), Mar. 2018. https://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/appi.ajp.2017.17030325
Watt, Georgia and Karl, Tim. “In vivo Evidence for Therapeutic Properties of Cannabidiol (CBD) for Alzheimer’s Disease”. Frontiers Pharmacology, Feb. 2017. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2017.00020/full