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CBD benefits include the following:

There are several reasons why someone might want to use CBD. The substance can be found in a multitude of products ranging from pain-relieving creams to edible tinctures to skincare. Research is still underway, but over the last few decades scientists have become more aware of how CBD might prove beneficial when applied either topically or ingested.

CBD—the abbreviation for cannabidiol, a substance that’s generally derived from the hemp plant—has skyrocketed in popularity over the last five years. In fact, according to some research, “CBD” as a Google search term remained stable from 2004 to 2014 but has since ballooned by up to 605%.

Are There Any Benefits Associated With Using CBD?

“Since discovering the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body in the 1990s, CBD has been researched more extensively. The ECS is a central regulatory system restoring normal balance and homeostasis in a range of human physiologic systems throughout the body and brain and has cannabinoid receptors and chemicals in its function,” explains Dr. Matharu-Daley.

Some people may get diarrhea or liver problems [when using CBD]. This is dependent on the individual and their medical history, so monitoring is important,” says Dr. Matharu-Daley.

Because CBD supplements come in so many different forms—such as oils, gummies, tinctures, and vapors—the amount that’s actually absorbed can vary drastically. This, combined with each person, will ultimately affect which (if any) CBD side effects you might experience.

It’s important to point out that CBD is not regulated by the FDA and therefore dosages might not be accurate. It’s also difficult to know what an appropriate dose is the first time you try a new product.

Trembly B, Sherman M. Double-blind clinical study of cannabidiol as a secondary anticonvulsant. Marijuana ’90 International Conference on Cannabis and Cannabinoids 1990;2:5.

Cannabidiol is most commonly used for seizure disorder (epilepsy). It is also used for anxiety, pain, a muscle disorder called dystonia, Parkinson disease, Crohn disease, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Likely Effective for

Esposito G, De Filippis D, Maiuri MC, et al. Cannabidiol inhibits inducible nitric oxide synthase protein expression and nitric oxide production in beta-amyloid stimulated PC12 neurons through p38 MAP kinase and NF-kappaB involvement. Neurosci Lett 2006;399(1-2):91-5. View abstract.

Fusar-Poli P, Allen P, Bhattacharyya S, et al. Modulation of effective connectivity during emotional processing by Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol 2010;13(4):421-32. View abstract.

Yadav V, Bever C Jr, Bowen J, et al. Summary of evidence-based guideline: complementary and alternative medicine in multiple sclerosis: report of the guideline development subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology. 2014;82(12):1083-92. View abstract.