Research Library

In 2017, the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its list of banned substances as CBD has proven itself to be a vital tool for high-performance athletes to repair the damage to their bodies caused by intense exertion. CBD has proven effective to help the body’s musculoskeletal and respiratory systems in many ways that benefit an active body.

  • Asthma — A study from 2012 concluded that “The activation of CB1 receptors on bronchial nerve endings has bronchodilator effects … and may be beneficial in airway hyperreactivity and asthma.”
  • Bone health — A study from 2015 concluded CBD “enhances fracture healing” in broken bones. A study from 2010 suggested CBD could help prevent osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
  • Joint pain — The first ever controlled trial of CBD on rheumatoid arthritis occurred in 2006 and resulted in a “significant analgesic effect” and “disease activity was significantly suppressed.”
  • Muscle recovery — In 2018, U.S. News & World Report reported on a recent trend of people improving exercise results with CBD supplements to reduce inflammation and aid muscle recovery. Also in 2018, Men’s Health reported on the same phenomenon: “CBD could be a boon to people looking to ease the soreness and inflammation that comes with intense training and exercise.”
  • Learn more about CBD and fitness at GQ here .

Studies have shown CBD has anti-seizure qualities that help those affected by epilepsy. In a similar way, CBD has demonstrated neuroprotective qualities that aid in recovery from other brain trauma like TBI and stroke.

  • Epilepsy —  Epilepsy affects 5.1 million Americans, and there has been a mountain of research conducted on the effectiveness of cannabis on epilepsy, going back to at least 1881. Clinical studies into CBD’s effect on epilepsy has been conducted since at least 1978. In 2013, the FDA finally approved the first study of a CBD-based medication for epilepsy.
  • Migraines — A 2008 study concluded that the biochemical patterns of migraines suggested an underlying clinical endocannabinoid deficiency “that may be treated with cannabinoid medicines. But in 2010, the science still wasn’t clear on the connection between migraines and CBD, but “the available results strongly suggest that activation of [the endocannabinoid system] could represent a promising therapeutic tool for reducing… migraine attacks.”
  • Sturge-Weber syndrome — A study in 2017 showed CBD to be “well tolerated as adjunctive medication for seizure management” in individuals with Sturge-Weber syndrome.
  • Traumatic Brain Injury — Every year, nearly a million Americans suffer brain trauma like TBI and stroke. A study from 2007 shows CBD has neuroprotective effects without the development of tolerance.
  • Learn more about CBD and brain health at Project CBD here.

The research seems clear: CBD can help fight cancer. A study from 2012 concluded “CBD has potential as an effective agent in cancer therapy.” A 2017 study looked at the effect of CBD on GPR12, a receptor thought to be involved in metastatic cancers and found CBD to be “a novel inverse agonist for GPR12,” a breakthrough that could lead to the ultimate goal of blocking cancer metastasis.

  • Bladder cancer — A study from 2010 showed “The administration of CBD increased intracellular calcium concentrations in T24 [bladder cancer] cells. In addition, the viability of T24 cells progressively decreased with increasing concentrations of CBD…”
  • Brain cancer — A study from 2004 on human glioma cells, the tumors responsible for 80 percent of all malignant brain tumors, found that CBD caused a “dramatic drop [in the]… viability in glioma cells” and that “CBD was able to produce a significant anti-tumor activity… thus suggesting a possible application of CBD as an antineoplastic agent.”
  • Breast cancer — A study from 2011 found that CBD “triggers the …activation of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway in breast cancer cells… Our study revealed an intricate interplay between apoptosis and autophagy in CBD-treated breast cancer cells and highlighted the value of continued investigation into the potential use of CBD as an antineoplastic agent.”
  • Colon cancer — A study from 2012 stated that CBD “exerts pharmacological actions (antioxidant and intestinal antinflammatory) and mechanisms (inhibition of endocannabinoid enzymatic degradation) potentially beneficial for colon carcinogenesis.”
  • Leukemia — In a 2006 study, the authors declared “the results from this study reveal that cannabidiol…may be a novel and highly selective treatment for leukemia.”
  • Lung cancer — A study from 2010 concluded: “Our data provide evidence for a hitherto unknown mechanism underlying the anti-invasive action of cannabidiol on human lung cancer cells.”
  • Learn more about CBD and cancer at Project CBD here.

Recent studies show an abundance of endocannabinoid receptors in the digestive system and gut, making digestive conditions well-suited the receive the benefits of CBD.

  • Diabetes — In 2015 a stage-2 trial began to test CBD as a treatment for diabetes.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases — A study from 2008 concluded: “IBS and related conditions…suggest an underlying clinical endocannabinoid deficiency that may be suitably treated with cannabinoid medicines.” A study from 2013 concluded CBD was “a potential candidate for the development of a new class of anti-IBD drugs.”
  • Nausea — A 2012 study discovered how CBD stops vomiting and nausea: “These results suggest that CBD produced its anti-emetic/anti-nausea effects by indirect activation of the somatodendritic 5-HT(1A) autoreceptors in the DRN.”
  • Learn more about CBD and digestive issues from Project CBD here.

Studies have shown a number of ways how CBD can be good for heart health and the circulatory system.

  • Atherosclerosis — A study from 2006 concluded, “the immunomodulatory capacity of cannabinoids is now well established and suggests a broad therapeutic potential of cannabinoids for a variety of conditions, including atherosclerosis.” A study from 2012 concluded that CBD “has an immunomodulating effect, as well, that helps lessen the progression of atherosclerosis induced by high glucose level… [with] few side effects.”
  • Heart disease — A study from 2004 showed that endocannabinoids can normailize blood pressure by suppressing cardiac contractility in hypertension. A study from 2011 showed CBD worked as an antiarrhythmic. A study from 2015 concluded that CBD may represent a “novel cardioprotective strategy against doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity.” A study from 2018 showed that 3,800 cannabis users were more likely to survive heart attacks than 1.2 million non-users in the control group.
  • Learn more about CBD and heart hearth from Project CBD here.

CBD is not psychoactive like THC, but it can still have a profound effect on a number of mental health conditions by helping to stabilize and regulate other systems in the body. Here’s what the science says about CBD and mental health:

  • Addiction — 2017 study noted a growing body of evidence to suggest CBD acutely disrupts drug memory expression, “with translational relevance to addiction.”
  • Depression — A 2014 study concluded that endocannabinoid signalling produced effects of a “conventional antidepressant treatment, and that many antidepressants alter endogenous cannabinoid tone.”
  • OCD — A 2012 study showed “CBD inhibited obsessive-compulsive behavior in a time dependent manner.”
  • Schizophrenia — A study from 2006 concluded CBD was “a safe and well-tolerated alternative treatment for schizophrenia.” A study from 2016 confirmed CBD’s antipsychotic effects, among other properties.
  • Learn more about CBD and schizophrenia at Project CBD here.
According to this report from 2015, the research into the connections between the endocannabinoid system and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in still in its youth, but parents have been treating their autistic children with cannabinoids since at least 2010.  Autism spectrum — A study from 2016 concluded: “CBD affects synaptic plasticity and facilitates neurogenesis… In the present review, we summarized…  the therapeutic effects of CBD.” Learn more about CBD and autism at Project CBD here.

Because of CBD’s neuroprotective qualities, CBD has attracted considerable attention from clinical researchers to determine a link between the endocannabinoid system and neurodegenerative disorders.

  • Parkinson’s — A 2014 study found the possibility of CBD improving quality of life in Parkinson’s patients. In 2017, researchers from the University of Louisville discovered a previously unknown molecular target of CBD, which may have significant therapeutic implications for Parkinson’s patients.
  • Multiple Sclerosis — A 2013 study showed CBD’s anti-inflammatory qualities demonstrated potential to help MS pathologies. A 2017 study confirmed CBD’s potential for treating MS.
  • Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) — Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), might be treatable with CBD, “potentially extending life expectancy and substantially reducing the overall burden of the disease,” according to a 2010 study. A 2017 study confirmed CBD’s potential for treating ALS.
  • Huntington’s — A 2011 study provided “preclinical evidence in support of a beneficial effect” of a cannabis-based medicine “as a neuroprotective agent capable of delaying disease progression” in people with Huntington’s. A 2017 study confirmed CBD’s potential for treating Huntington’s.
  • Alzheimer’s — A 2017 study confirmed CBD’s potential for treating Alzheimer’s. A study from 2016 concluded: “CBD affects synaptic plasticity and facilitates neurogenesis… In the present review, we summarized…  the therapeutic effects of CBD, focusing on their relevance to brain function, neuroprotection and neuropsychiatric disorders.”
  • Learn more about CBD and Parkinson’s from Project CBD here.

A study in 2013 revealed that cannabis users are less likely to take painkillers. That may be because cannabinoids like CBD can help treat chronic pain. It’s a theory supported by this

  • Chronic Pain — A study from 2014 concluded: “Exogenous cannabinoids have been demonstrated to be effective in a range of experimental neuropathic pain models, and there is mounting evidence for therapeutic use in human neuropathic pain conditions.”
  • Fibromyalgia — A study from 2008 reported: “ Migraine, fibromyalgia, IBS and related conditions display common clinical, biochemical and pathophysiological patterns that suggest an underlying clinical endocannabinoid deficiency that may be suitably treated with cannabinoid medicines.”
  • Learn more about CBD and pain at Project CBD here.

Many people are turning to CBD as preventative wellness, and studies have shown CBD has anti-inflammatory effects, lowers the risk of cancer, and stimulates new cell growth, even in aging brains.

  • Cholesterol — A 2013 study found cannabis users had higher blood levels of HDL-C or “good cholesterol.”
  • Inflammation — Cannabinoids have been proven to have an anti-inflammatory effect in numerous studies. CBD engages with the endocannabinoid system in many organs throughout the body, helping to reduce inflammation systemically. The therapeutic potential is impressively wide-ranging, as inflammation is involved in a wide spectrum of diseases.
  • Obesity — The authors of a 2014 study hypothesized “a link between defects in the endocannabinoid system and eating disorders, including obesity.”  
  • Learn more about CBD and preventative medicine at Project CBD here.

The skin has the highest amount and concentration of CB2 receptors in the body. Recent studies have shown significant promise in using CBD to treat a wide range of skin conditions. When applied topically, CBD can repair damage from free radicals like UV rays and environmental pollutants. Topical products can be used to treat and prevent skin cancers.

  • Acne — A 2014 study concluded: “CBD has potential as a promising therapeutic agent for the treatment of acne vulgaris.”
  • Allergic dermatitis — Allergic contact dermatitis affects about 5% of men and 11% of women. A study from 20-7showed “a protective role of the endocannabinoid system in contact allergy in the skin and suggest a target for therapeutic intervention.”
  • Learn more about CBD and skin conditions from Project CBD here.

A study from 2011 showed endogenous cannabinoids play a central role in the stress response, so it’s no surprise that many people have turned to CBD to help with stress-related ailments.

  • Anxiety — A study from 2012 “clearly suggest[ed] an anxiolytic-like effect of CBD. Moreover, CBD was shown to reduce anxiety in patients with social anxiety disorder.”
  • Mood disorders — A 2009 study on CBD and mood disorders concluded: “both clinical and preclinical data argue that cannabinoid receptor signalling may be a realistic target in the development of a novel class of agent for the pharmacotherapy of mood and anxiety disorders.” A 2012 study stated as fact that: ”pharmacological modulation of the [endocannabinoid] system has recently arisen as a promising strategy in the management of anxiety and mood disorders.”
  • PTSD — A 2015 study showed that people with PTSD had a reduced level of endocannabinoids, and a 2015 survey showed CBD to be remarkably good at improving PTSD patients’ sense of well-being. A 2017 study noted accumulating evidence that CBD inhibits fear memory processing and “reduces learned fear in… phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder.”
  • Sleep disorders — Sir William B. O’Shaughnessy recommended “Indian hemp” for sleep disorders as early as 1843. CBD appears to not just help users sleep at night, but also remain alert during the day. A 2006 study showed that “CBD induces alertness” and “might be of therapeutic value in sleep disorders such as excessive somnolence.” A 2013 study found that “CBD appears to increase total sleep time, in addition to increasing sleep latency in the light period of the day.”
  • Learn more about CBD and stress from Project CBD here.