Research Spotlight

The databases often return hundreds of medical studies for a single wellness approach. This section summarizes a sampling of studies–providing a taste of the available research. The Research Spotlights were not selected because they are the most favorable or the most recent, but to provide you an introduction to the more extensive research you’ll uncover by searching the databases.

  • Medicinal Cannabis (THC + CBD) Improved Sleep in Adults with Insomnia
    A small, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study from Australian researchers (2022) tested medicinal cannabis oil containing THC and CBD in people with insomnia and found it improved sleep quality and quantity. Levels of the sleep hormone melatonin increased by 30% and about 60% of participants were no longer considered to have insomnia at the end of a two-week period. 
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  • 2023 Study Reveals How Cannabidiol Counters Epileptic Seizures
    The strongest evidence for CBD is in treating childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, which typically don’t respond to antiseizure medications. In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures or stop them altogether, which is why Epidiolex with CBD was approved by the FDA. This 2023 study from NYU Grossman School of Medicine explains why it works: CBD blocks signals carried by a molecule called lysophosphatidylinositol (LPI) found in brain neurons, which can be hijacked by disease to promote seizures. The study also clarified more broadly how circuits are balanced in the brain, so may have a broader impact in treating autism and schizophrenia.
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  • Low-Dose CBD Was More Effective Than Melatonin for Sleep Quality
     A 2023 double-blinded randomized controlled trial from UCLA and Scripps Clinic Sleep Center assessed the efficacy of various formulations of CBD versus melatonin on sleep quality for 1,800 adults. Finding: low doses of CBD (15 mg) were safe and improved sleep quality in patients with a history of sleep disturbances, although these effects did not exceed that of 5 mg melatonin.
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  • Use of Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Anxiety-Related Disorders: A “Promising Role”
    A 2019 metareview (6 small randomized controlled trials, 1 case series, 1 case report) found that CBD has a promising role as an alternative therapy in managing anxiety disorders. However, more studies with standardized approaches to dosing and clinical outcome measurements are needed to determine the appropriate dosing strategy and its place in therapy.
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  • CBD Metareview Shows “Scarce Evidence” for Impact on Variety of Mental Health Conditions
    A comprehensive 2019 metareview published in The Lancet, which included 83 studies (40 of them RCTs) involving over 3,000 people with various mental health conditions, found that there was “scarce evidence” to show that cannabinoids improved depression or anxiety disorders, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Tourette syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder or psychosis. More High-quality studies are needed.
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  • Comprehensive Report Finds Evidence for CBD and Cannabis Treatment for Three Conditions: Chronic Pain, Chemotherapy-induced Vomiting and Muscle Spasms
    One of the most comprehensive reports, produced in 2017 by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, examined over 10,000 scientific abstracts and concluded that substantial evidence existed for cannabis and cannabinoid treatment for three conditions: chronic pain, chemotherapy-induced vomiting and muscle spasms.
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  • CBD Oil Did Not Provide Relief of Symptoms for Patients with Advanced Cancer
    A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study from Australian medical researchers (2022) found that 28 days of CBD oil did not add value to the reduction in symptom distress for patients with advanced cancer that were receiving palliative care.
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Access all studies currently available for CBD in these databases:

PubMed Trip Cochrane*

*The Cochrane database requires users to enter the search term manually. Enter “CBD”