CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical compound found in the cannabis plant that is readily available in high street shops.
Its popularity has exploded over the past two years. During the four weeks after health retailer Holland & Barrett started stocking Jacob Hooy’s CBD+Oil in early 2018, sales of the product increased by a whopping 37 per cent. While research by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis has found 6 million people in the UK have used CBD, and that the UK market will be worth £1 billion by 2025.
With CBD still a very new product, it is important to note there is a relative lack of depth to the clinical evidence which supports it’s reported benefits. But here, Built for Athletes takes a look at some of its claimed uses.
Treatment Of Epilepsy
The use of CBD as a treatment for neurological disorders such as epilepsy is one of the most researched benefits it is associated with.
It was one of the major reasons behind the government’s decision to enable doctors to prescribe medicinal cannabis in November 2018, as its use has been shown to control epileptic seizures.
CBD and other compounds found in the cannabis plant have also been shown to improve symptoms of multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, while animal tests have indicated a prevention in the cognitive decline related to Alzheimer’s disease.
Can Ease Anxiety & Depression
Research has suggested CBD can be used as a treatment for both anxiety and depression, causing interest from many people who live with mental health disorders.
One study took 24 people with social anxiety disorder and administered them with either 600mg of CBD or a placebo. Participants then completed a public speaking test, and the group who took CBD had significantly less anxiety and cognitive impairment than the placebo group.
Another study in 2010 used brain scans of participants which revealed changes in blood flow to the regions of the brain linked to anxiety after CBD intake.
Can Relieve Pain
A number of animal studies have found CBD to help relieve pain due to the way it interacts with neurotransmitters.
Meanwhile, human studies involving Sativex, an oral spray consisting of CBD and THC (the compound in cannabis that induces a high), show it can reduce the pain caused by conditions like multiple sclerosis and arthritis.