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What Does Science Say About CBD’s Effectiveness?

Last Updated on June 11, 2024 by Richard Hall

Cannabidiol (CBD) has been the subject of much debate and scientific study, particularly for its potential therapeutic effects on various physical and mental conditions. Derived from the cannabis plant, CBD is one of many cannabinoids that have been identified in cannabis.

Unlike its more famous counterpart, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD does not produce a psychoactive effect, making it an appealing option for individuals looking for relief from pain, anxiety, and other conditions without experiencing the mind-altering effects of marijuana or certain pharmaceutical drugs.

Read on to learn what Science has to say about CBD’s effectiveness. 

Overview of Scientific Findings on CBD

Research into the effectiveness of CBD spans multiple health issues, including anxiety, chronic pain, and neurological disorders. While the evidence has grown significantly in recent years, the results are often mixed, reflecting the need for more comprehensive studies. 

For those interested in exploring the potential benefits of CBD and how to access it safely, checking out resources such as can be an excellent idea. These resources can provide valuable information and access points.

CBD and Anxiety Disorders

It is believed that CBD may help alleviate anxiety in people with conditions such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD). A 2015 review of previous studies concluded that CBD could reduce anxiety behaviors relevant to multiple disorders. These include GAD, SAD, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. 

However, most of these findings are based on acute CBD dosing in a laboratory setting, and more research is needed to understand the long-term effects and optimal dosing.

Impact of CBD on Chronic Pain Management

CBD’s analgesic properties have been another focus of research, with studies indicating that CBD may influence the way the body perceives and responds to pain. A 2018 review of studies conducted between 1975 and March 2018 assessed the effectiveness of CBD in treating chronic pain. The review found that CBD was effective in overall pain management without causing adverse side effects. The potential for CBD to interact with the endocannabinoid system in the body could explain its ability to manage pain with relatively minimal risks.

CBD’s Role in Neurological Disorders

There is intriguing evidence supporting the use of CBD in treating epilepsy and other neurological disorders. The most substantial evidence for CBD’s effectiveness in this area comes from studies on seizure disorders, particularly in children. In 2018, the FDA approved Epidiolex, a CBD-based medication for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. This approval marks a significant milestone as it is the first FDA-approved drug that contains a purified drug substance derived from marijuana.

Potential Side Effects and Safety Concerns

While CBD is generally considered safe, it can cause adverse reactions in some people. The most commonly reported side effects include drowsiness, dry mouth, fatigue, and gastrointestinal discomfort such as diarrhea or decreased appetite. These effects are typically mild but can vary in severity depending on individual sensitivity and dosage levels.

Moreover, CBD can interact with various medications by affecting how the body processes these drugs, particularly those metabolized by the liver’s cytochrome P450 enzyme system. This can lead to altered concentrations of medications in the blood, potentially reducing their efficacy or increasing side effects. 

Consequently, individuals considering CBD for therapeutic purposes should consult with a healthcare provider to discuss potential interactions and ensure safe usage.

Current Regulatory Status and Recommendations

In the United States, the regulatory landscape for CBD is complex and marked by significant variability across different states. Although the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived CBD at the federal level, provided it contains less than 0.3% THC, the FDA has approved only a limited number of CBD products for medical use. This lack of FDA approval for most CBD products means they are classified as supplements, subject to less rigorous oversight than pharmaceuticals. This classification raises concerns about the consistency and purity of 

CBD products, as mislabeling and contamination have been issues. 

Consumers are advised to exercise caution and seek products from reputable sources that provide clear labeling and third-party testing results to verify the product’s quality and cannabinoid content.


Scientific research into CBD is ongoing, with studies showing promising results in areas such as anxiety, pain management, and neurological disorders. However, the effectiveness and safety of CBD can vary, and more research is needed to understand its therapeutic potential and side effects fully. 

As interest in CBD continues to grow, consumers must seek information from reliable sources and consult healthcare professionals to navigate the complexities of its use in a safe and informed manner.

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