CBD has slowly made its way into the cannabis market and now it's virtually impossible to not have a friend, co-worker or grandma that doesn’t consistently take CBD for anxiety or other relief. But, are the claims many have made for the benefits of CBD true? Or is everybody getting scammed out of their hard-earned money? CBD, or cannabidiol, is the non-psychoactive sister to the more sought after cannabinoid known as THC, the active ingredient in cannabis that gets you “high”. Although everybody knows how enjoyable these highs are, they also know the anxiety and paranoia that can tag along. This is where CBD comes in, they claim that CBD can relieve these anxiety filled thoughts and allow for clear-minded relaxation.
What are the Benefits?
There are 3 main claims when referring to the health benefits related to CBD; Pain-relief, anxiety-relief and depression-relief.
Last year, Lucil Rapin and her team ran a study that overlooked the use and effectiveness of CBD in these aforementioned topics. She took 279 participants and divided them into two groups based on their symptom intensity; mild intensity and moderate/severe intensity. From there, they were prescribed with a “CBD-rich treatment” and were tested at the start of the treatment, the 3 month and 6 month mark (Rapin, 2021).
To determine a statistically relevant result, the ESAS-r score was determined at the baseline, 3 month and 6 month period. An ESAS-r score is based on a scale from 0 to 10, with 0 being no symptoms present and 10 being an overwhelming symptom. For example, a score of 7 in terms of pain would mean the patient is in a relatively high amount of pain, therefore a decrease in that number would be an ease of said patients pain.
Results of the Study
After completion of the study, Lucil found the results were surprising. Given, many variables can be at play as the results were only based on how the patients felt, rather than a concrete measurement.
For the moderate/severe intensity group, CBD was found to have a very positive effect on all variables including pain-relief, anxiety-relief, depression-relief and overall well-being.
Pain was scored with a 5.14 overall at the beginning of treatment and was lowered to 4.09 after a 3-month period.
Anxiety was scored with a 3.86 at the beginning of treatment and was lowered to 2.44 after a 6-month period.
Depression was scored with a 3.16 at the beginning of treatment and was lowered to 2.23 after a 3-month period.
Well-being was scored with a 5.34 at the beginning of treatment and was lowered to 4.43 after a 3-month period. Due to how the ESAS-r results are taken, this represents a happier group with an increased well-being post-treatment.
Conclusion of Results
Overall, we can see that CBD does indeed have real-life effects on the well-being and other symptoms of which we talked about. Although, these effects are mostly shown in individuals who have moderate to high levels of pain, anxiety and depression. In my opinion, CBD does have great value in the medical world, but we must understand that it is not a “miracle drug” and should be treated appropriately.
- Rapin, Lucile, et al. “Cannabidiol Use and Effectiveness: Real-World Evidence from a Canadian Medical Cannabis Clinic.” Journal of Cannabis Research, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 23 June 2021, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8223341/.