It promises to help with a whole load of ailments - here's what the science says.
By now, you know that CBD – short for cannabidiol – is a phytocannabinoid that comes from the cannabis or hemp plant. You’ll also know that CBD oil, as covered in our extensive guide, is a popular CBD product. But do you really know the many CBD benefits or how it could help your day-to-day?
Good question. “Anyone can benefit from CBD usage, especially those suffering from anxiety, joint and muscle pain and skin issues related to stress,” explains Rosie Joly, beauty and wellness director at OTO.
So why has CBD has such a rise in popularity in recent years? “The need for natural, powerful remedies like CBD has never been greater,” shares Joly. “A growing body of evidence is revealing how CBD can help with sleep, stress, mood, and certain skin conditions, as well as pain management and inflammation.”
Lucy Gornall, head of wellness at Puresport, agrees, confirming that CBD has really blown up in recent years. “I think anything that comes from the hemp plant is going to attract attention, but also, we’re more intrigued than ever before about natural alternatives to deal with illness and ailments,” she shares.
It’s important to note here: CBD won’t make you high. “It’s a naturally occurring substance that’s used in products to impart a feeling of relaxation and target specific issues,” shares Joly.
CBD benefits: 8 to know about
1. CBD boosts relaxation
FYI, one of the main benefits of CBD is its ability to help you relax. Ever Googled the symptoms of exhaustion? Then it could help you.
“CBD helps support your body’s natural mechanisms for keeping you calm and relaxed,” explains Joly. Find yourself constantly distracted or on edge? CBD could help.
2. CBD reduces stress
On that note – are you someone who experiences chronic stress or suffers from bouts of over-thinking and worry? CBD is known to reduce your stress levels and help you manage the unwanted side effects stress can cause, too. One 2020 study found a link between CBD and normal neuroendocrine and anxiety responses to stress.
“Stresses show in our skin through various forms, such as acne, and in our bodies in the form of pain – which can further exacerbate anxiety. Through CBD usage, these symptoms can be managed,” shares Joly.
3. CBD can ease anxiety
As Gornall explains, when it comes to stress and anxiety, CBD can work to enhance the body’s endocannabinoid system.
“This is a set of cell receptors linked to mood which can really be of benefit for those who feel overwhelmed with work, or other elements of life, as well as those who suffer from anxiety or anxious moments,” she shares.
One Perm J study published in 2019 found that, when using CBD, anxiety scores decreased within the first month in 79.2% if the study, while an earlier 2015 paper in Neurotherapeutics concluded that CBD has considerable potential as a treatment for multiple anxiety disorders.
4. CBD can help reduce pain
Similarly, one recent 2021 study found CBD to show several different pain outcomes, including reduced pain unpleasantness. That is, CBD won’t get rid of your pain, but it can improve how much you feel it.
“Many Puresport customers are older and have found benefits in applying CBD topically to painful joints,” Gornall explains. “Plus, thanks to CBD’s inflammatory properties, it can help with sport recovery and aiding muscle recovery. I swear by it after long runs,” she shares.
Vitality CBD 30ml Oral Spray 1200MG High Strength CBD Berry Flavour – £30.00
Healthspan High Strength CBD Oil 250mg Drops 2.75% (10ml) – £16.00
Pureis CBD 560mg 6.0% Spearmint Oil Drops 10ml – £66.00
Puresport 500mg CBD Oil Tincture – 30ml | Broad Spectrum | 0% THC – £37.99
5. CBD can help you sleep better
As Gornall shares, another 2019 study showed how the sleep scores of adults improved within just one month of taking CBD before bed. “There’s also been research claiming how CBD can help sleep disorders in people with neurological conditions,” she shares.
6. CBD can boost your skincare routine
“CBD is an incredibly valuable ingredient to add to your skincare routine,” shares Joly. FYI, as a highly ‘sebostatic’ ingredient, CBD reacts with your skin’s receptors to:
- Help balance and control oil production
- Control acne outbreaks
- Hydrate your skin
- Soften your skin.
It also works as a powerful antioxidant, which helps to:
- Protect your skin
- Prevent and limit free radical damage.
“Studies have also found that CBD has unique anti-inflammatory benefits which promote rapid skin healing,” shares Joly.
7. CBD can be anti-inflammatory
The anti-inflammatory benefits of CBD extend past your skin, too. “When applied topically, CBD has an anti-inflammatory effect and, as discussed, can ease both joints and muscles pain,” explains Joly.
8. CBD can be a natural alternative
Bored of constantly popping paracetamol or relying on non-natural alternatives to get you through the day? “In our fast paced world, we often turn to western medicines, antibiotics and other drugs to help us sleep, to give us energy, to shift headaches and to ease fatigue,” explains Gornall. “These tend to just give a short term solution,” she goes on.
She advises opting for more natural alternatives, which she believes can help in the long term. “They can be friendlier to the body and added to a person’s lifestyle, too,” she concludes.
While there’s no doubt more research needs to be done on CBD and the benefits it can have, the research so far seems to indicate that, placebo or not, it certainly helps those who use it.