CBD Oil Health Benefits and Side Effects: Comprehensive Guide

CBD oil health benefits side effects

Cannabidiol (CBD) oil, a natural remedy derived from the cannabis plant, has gained significant attention in recent years for its potential health benefits. As a non-psychoactive compound, CBD offers a promising alternative for those seeking relief from various ailments without the mind-altering effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This comprehensive review explores the potential health benefits of CBD oil, based on the latest scientific research, while also discussing possible side effects and precautions to ensure safe and informed use.

1. Pain Relief Properties

One of the most prominent potential benefits of CBD oil is its ability to alleviate pain. The use of cannabis for pain management dates back to ancient Chinese medicine, and modern researchers believe that certain components, such as CBD, may be responsible for these pain-relieving effects 1.

The endocannabinoid system, which plays a crucial role in regulating various functions like pain sensation, interacts with CBD. Numerous studies suggest that CBD may help reduce chronic pain by targeting endocannabinoid receptor activity, reducing inflammation, and interacting with neurotransmitters 2. A 2021 review of preclinical evidence also indicates that CBD may be effective in treating pain associated with rheumatic diseases like fibromyalgia 3.

2. Potential Benefits for Mental Health Disorders

CBD oil has shown promising results in addressing symptoms related to certain mental health disorders. A comprehensive literature review from 2020 found that multiple studies suggest CBD possesses properties that may help reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even psychosis 4. Furthermore, a small 2019 study revealed that CBD was effective in reducing PTSD-related symptoms, including nightmares, in adults 5.

While these findings are encouraging, more research is needed to establish CBD as an official treatment for mental health disorders. Ongoing studies aim to provide a clearer understanding of CBD’s potential in this area 6.

CBD may offer relief for certain cancer-related symptoms and side effects associated with cancer treatment, such as nausea, vomiting, and pain. A 2022 research article highlights the potential of CBD in this regard 7. However, further studies are necessary to determine the effectiveness and safety of CBD in cancer symptom management, as well as its potential interactions with conventional cancer treatments 8.

4. Neuroprotective Potential

CBD has shown potential benefits for individuals with neurological disorders. A 2022 study suggests that nabiximols (Sativex), a spray containing both CBD and THC, may help reduce pain and muscle spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) 9. Additionally, research from 2017 indicated that CBD oil helped reduce seizure activity in children with Dravet syndrome, although some adverse reactions were reported 10.

The FDA has approved Epidiolex, a CBD product, for the treatment of several seizure disorders and seizures caused by tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC), a rare genetic disease that causes benign tumors to grow in the brain and other body areas 11. Limited evidence also suggests that CBD may be effective in improving symptoms of other neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and motor disorders like cerebral palsy 12.

5. Cardiovascular Health Benefits

Although more human studies are needed, CBD may offer benefits for heart health, including reducing blood pressure and improving artery function. High blood pressure is linked to increased risks of several health conditions, such as stroke, heart attack, and metabolic syndrome 13.

Research indicates that CBD may be beneficial for people with high blood pressure due to its ability to influence heart muscle contractions and help widen blood vessels 14. A 2020 study involving 26 healthy men found that treatment with 600 milligrams of CBD for 7 days led to significant short-term reductions in blood pressure compared to a placebo group, although the effect was lost after 7 days 15.

While these findings are promising, further research is necessary to fully understand the potential long-term benefits of CBD treatment on cardiovascular health and to determine optimal dosing and duration of use 16.

6. Other Potential Benefits

CBD has been studied for its potential role in treating various other health issues, although more research involving human participants is needed to draw definitive conclusions. Some areas where CBD may offer benefits include:

  • Substance misuse treatment: Preclinical evidence suggests that CBD may help relieve anxiety and depression in individuals with a dependence on certain drugs, such as heroin 17.
  • Possible extension of life in those with glioblastoma: Treatment with a combination of CBD and THC may help extend the life of some individuals with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of cancer, although research is limited 18.
  • Possible improvement in sleep: CBD might help improve sleep in people with certain sleep disorders, but more research is needed to confirm this 19.

Potential Side Effects and Precautions

While CBD is generally considered safe, it can cause adverse effects in some people, such as diarrhea, changes in appetite and weight, and fatigue 20. Other side effects reported in childhood epilepsy studies include abnormal liver function test results, drowsiness, sedation, and pneumonia 21.

It’s important to note that CBD can interact with various medications, potentially causing harmful side effects 22. Always consult a qualified healthcare professional about the appropriate dosage and potential risks before using CBD, especially if you are taking other medications or have underlying health conditions 23.

Additionally, the quality of CBD products can vary greatly in the marketplace. Choosing products that have undergone third-party testing for quality and purity, such as those from reputable brands like NuLeaf Naturals and Bluebird Botanicals, is crucial to ensure safety and effectiveness 24.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is CBD good for joint pain?

According to preclinical evidence from studies, CBD may benefit pain and inflammation related to arthritis, but human studies are lacking.

What is the best CBD oil?

Determining the best CBD oil on the market can be challenging. Healthline has compiled a list of the 11 best CBD oils of 2023, which can be found along with information about their vetting process.

The Bottom Line

CBD oil shows promising potential in easing symptoms of anxiety, neurological disorders, heart health issues, and certain types of pain, among other health conditions. However, while some study findings are available, more research is necessary to draw definitive conclusions, and some studies are still ongoing 25.

As the potential uses of CBD are not yet fully understood, it is advisable to consult a qualified healthcare professional before incorporating CBD into your health regimen. They can provide personalized guidance based on your individual health status and help you navigate the use of CBD safely and effectively 26.

By staying informed about the latest research, understanding the potential benefits and risks, and consulting with healthcare professionals, individuals can make well-informed decisions about using CBD oil to support their health and well-being.


  1. The Endocannabinoid System and Pain (NCBI)
  2. Cannabinoids and Pain: New Insights From Old Molecules (Frontiers in Pharmacology)
  3. Cannabidiol (CBD) in Rheumatic Diseases: Promising Pain Relief or Unproven Hype? (Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism)
  4. Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders (Frontiers in Psychiatry)
  5. Cannabidiol in the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Series (Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine)
  6. The Effects of Cannabidiol (CBD) on Cognition and Symptoms in Outpatients With Chronic Schizophrenia: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial (NIH)
  7. Cannabidiol (CBD) in Cancer Treatment: Focus on Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) (Cancers)
  8. Cannabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®)–Health Professional Version (National Cancer Institute)
  9. Efficacy and safety of nabiximols (Sativex) in multiple sclerosis-related spasticity: a meta-analysis of real-world evidence (Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics)
  10. Trial of Cannabidiol for Drug-Resistant Seizures in the Dravet Syndrome (New England Journal of Medicine)
  11. FDA Approves New Indication for Drug Containing an Active Ingredient Derived from Cannabis to Treat Seizures in Rare Genetic Disease (FDA)
  12. Cannabidiol for Neurological Disorders: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis (Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery)
  13. High Blood Pressure Symptoms and Causes (CDC)
  14. Hemodynamic effects of cannabidiol in healthy human volunteers (International Journal of Cardiology Cardiovascular Risk and Prevention)
  15. A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study (JCI Insight)
  16. The potential use of cannabidiol for cardiovascular diseases: the knowns and unknowns (Journal of Human Hypertension)
  17. Unique treatment potential of cannabidiol for the prevention of relapse to drug use: preclinical proof of principle (Neuropsychopharmacology)
  18. A Systematic Review on the Efficacy and Side-Effects of Medicinal Cannabis in the Treatment of Common Primary Brain Tumors (Frontiers in Oncology)
  19. Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series (The Permanente Journal)
  20. An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies (Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research)
  21. Randomized, dose-ranging safety trial of cannabidiol in Dravet syndrome (Neurology)
  22. Potential Adverse Drug Events and Drug–Drug Interactions with Medical and Consumer Cannabidiol (CBD) Use (Journal of Clinical Medicine)
  23. The ABCs of CBD: A Conversation With Brent Bauer, M.D. (Mayo Clinic)
  24. 7 Best CBD Oils of 2023, According to a Dietitian (Healthline)
  25. Cannabinoids and the expanded endocannabinoid system in neurological disorders (Nature Reviews Neurology)
  26. CBD: What You Need to Know (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
Sophia Bennett