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Four science-backed benefits of CBD

CBD is quickly becoming one of the UK’s most popular nutrition supplements – but what are the real benefits?



CBD is quickly becoming one of the UK’s most popular nutrition supplements

CBD entrepreneur, Jordan Donohue, cuts through the noise to bring you the real benefits – and the research behind them.

Thanks to its neuro-modulating and anti-inflammatory properties, CBD is quickly becoming one of the UK’s most popular nutrition supplements – and for good reason. To date, CBD has demonstrated positive effects in a range of areas including mental health, skin health, sleep health and general wellbeing. 

Despite this success, and perhaps because of it, CBD is often referred to as ‘snake oil’ – meaning it is sold as a solution to many problems but is effective towards none.

Furthermore, overzealous advocates of CBD have unintentionally added fuel to this fire, by claiming CBD is nothing short of a miracle cure.

This lack of clarity regarding CBD’s effectiveness has left the public somewhat dubious about the benefits of CBD and the potential it holds to improve their health.

In this article we have put together four benefits of CBD that are supported by science, in an attempt to cut through the noise.

CBD oil reduces public speaking anxiety

Anxiety is a condition that will affect one in three people in their lifetime. For suffers of anxiety, a fear of public speaking is said to be one of the major manifestations of the condition. Despite this, many sufferers continue to battle through public speaking engagements daily, often leaving them feeling anxious, stressed, and burnt out. Proponents of CBD often mention CBD’s anti-anxiety effects, but what does the research indicate?

In 2011 researchers at the University if Sao Paulo decided to test the effects of CBD oil on public speaking anxiety. Twenty four participants with anxiety were given a single dose of CBD oil or placebo, following which they were put through a simulated public speaking test designed to induce anxiety.

The results showed participants who were given CBD oil displayed significantly reduced levels of anxiety and cognitive impairment compared to the participants who did not receive CBD oil [1].

CBD creams can help to manage eczema

Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that has a range of symptoms:

  • Itchy skin
  • Dry & sensitive skin
  • Inflamed & discoloured skin
  • Rough skin (can be leathery or scaly)
  • Oozing or crusting
  • Swelling

Due to the underlying inflammatory nature of eczema, it has been posited that CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties could be useful for people who want to manage eczema naturally, without the use of topical steroids. 

This hypothesis was put to the test in 2019 when researchers in Italy put 20 people with eczema through a trial using a CBD cream. The participants applied the CBD cream to their skin lesions twice per day for three months. During the three-month period no other skin treatments were used.

The results showed that the application of a CBD cream to eczema lesions improved their appearance, decreased redness, and improved skin hydration [2]. The eczema improving effects of CBD were demonstrated once again in 2020 when researchers at the University of Colorado showed that after using a CBD cream for two weeks, 50 percent of participants stated their eczema had improved by more than 60 percent [3].

CBD cream can help with back pain

Back pain effects millions of people worldwide and often leads to long term disability if not managed properly. Furthermore, back pain is one of the leading causes of absenteeism in the workplace, costing the economy millions each year. Due to the promise CBD has shown in areas such as neuropathic pain and inflammation, CBD has been touted as an effective tool in the management of back pain. 

A recent case study in the journal of opioid management has reported two cases where a CBD cream was able to provide pain and symptom relief to patients suffering from chronic back pain. [4]

Case 1

A 40-year-old male visited his GP due to chronic back pain – something he had been suffering with for a while, due to a previous L3 compression fracture. The patient had a significant medical history and several previous issues in the spinal region. Due to not being suitable for surgery, the GP recommended a combination of pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs, both of which did not provide significant relief.

2 weeks later in a follow up appointment the patient mentioned that due to the prescribed treatments providing no relief, he had decided to try a CBD cream for his back pain. The patient used a CBD cream that contained 400mg of CBD per 60ml pot and applied a small amount twice per day to the affected area.

Following use the patient reported that his back pain had reduced from an 8/10 to a 1/10 and that the frequency and severity of his back spasms had decreased. On average the pain relief would last for up to 10 hours. After four weeks of using the CBD cream the patient was able to significantly reduce the amount of medication he was taking as the CBD cream was so successful. 

Case 2

Following several surgical interventions, including the treatment of spinal cord cancer, a 61-year-old woman reported to her GP after experiencing loss of feeling and pain in her back for several years. Her medical history was complex and included rheumatoid arthritis, degenerative disc disease and pinched spinal nerves.

The patient decided to try CBD of her own accord and reported the results to her GP. When applied to the affected area the patient reported decreased pain and discomfort in her back for 7-8 hours.

CBD reduces the severity of delayed onset muscle soreness

Delayed onset muscle soreness, often referred to as ‘DOMS’ is the feeling of soreness you get in a muscle following exercise. It most often occurs in people who exercise intensely, following a long period of not exercising, or in trained individuals who have pushed past their normal training intensities.

CBD has been proclaimed as a powerful post workout supplement that can help with recovery, but until recently there were no data to support such claims.

In 2020 researchers at the university of southern Carolina decided to test the effects of CBD oil on muscle soreness post workout. To elicit significant amounts of muscle damage, and thus soreness, the researchers made 24 trained men squat with 80 percent of their one-rep max until failure. After completing the exercise participants were given a single dose of either CBD oil, placebo, or nothing. The single dose of CBD oil provided 17mg of CBD.

Compared to the placebo and non-intervention groups, the participants who received CBD oil after squatting reported a reduced intensity and duration of muscle soreness in the week following exercise. The researchers noted that the exact mechanism behind this effect it still unknown and that further studies are required in the area [5].

Jordan Donohue is the founder of CBD brand Cannubu and has a background in nutritional science.


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