Health CareIs CBD a Placebo?
placebo effect

Is CBD a Placebo?

With CBD being the talk of the town over the past few years, many are questioning whether it makes actual physiological changes within the body, or whether it simply works as a placebo that tricks the mind or body into feeling the effect we’re hoping for. Many studies have been carried out to show the effects of CBD compared to a placebo and you will be shocked at the results! Continue reading to answer whether CBD is a placebo and whether it’s worth taking CBD for your ailments.

What Is The Placebo Effect?

A placebo is a medical treatment or procedure designed to deceive the participant of a clinical experiment. It doesn’t contain any active ingredients, but often still produces a physical effect on the individual. The definition is a beneficial effect produced by an ineffective drug. The outcome, therefore, can’t be caused by the treatment itself, but by the patient’s belief in the effectiveness of the treatment.

The mind possesses incredible power to convince us of a false treatment actually works. Occasionally, when a person truly believes that what they have ingested can heal an ailment, their symptoms may disappear.

Science fully recognises the power of the placebo effect; however, the phenomenon can’t cause significant changes in tumours and high cholesterol. On the other hand, it can produce positive results in terms of pain, sleep disorders, menopause, irritable bowel syndrome and depression. A theory around the placebo effect is that it works around the patient’s expectations. If the patient truly believes they are taking effective medication, their own internal chemistry may come into play and produce the effects they are expecting.

The Science Behind CBD

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical derived from the cannabis plant. It doesn’t have any psychoactive properties like its counterpart, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which gives you a ‘high’ but instead is associated with many benefits that promote overall wellbeing by working with the endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system is a network of cellular receptors and chemical signalling compounds that can be found in every tissue of the body. The endocannabinoid system is directly connected to cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD). The compounds found in the cannabis plant fit like a key in our body’s endocannabinoid systems locks and allows for a flow of physiological impacts to occur in the body on mind. The system has impacts on everything from mood, sleep, pain and even the central nervous system, immune system, cardiovascular networks and more.

When you look after your endocannabinoid system, it can produce:

  • Anti-oxidation
  • Anti-inflammation
  • Blood sugar regulation
  • Cholesterol regulation

You can care for your endocannabinoid system in many different ways like reducing exposure to toxins, maintaining a healthy diet, exercising and leveraging natural supplements.

CBD is thought to interact with your endocannabinoid system which has caused a rise in the popularity of CBD products over the years. CBD oil that is extracted from the cannabis plant can be consumed and so has been added to a range of different products such as CBD gummies, drinks like CBD tea and CBD coffee, and even CBD topicals. However, it is most commonly taken in its oil form by placing the dosage under the tongue using a dropper and holding it there for around 60 seconds. This allows for the oil to be absorbed into the blood vessels and you can swallow the oil once the 60 seconds have passed.

CBD has been used medically for centuries and, more recently, more and more people have started to realise the potential of taking CBD regularly. Some of the benefits that people have experienced include:

  • Reduced PTSD symptoms
  • Pain relief
  • Offset anxiety and depression
  • Alleviated symptoms of ALS
  • Prevent arthritis symptoms

Although researchers have discovered that CBD produces a range of physiological changes and effects, how do we know these aren’t merely the results of a placebo?

The Power Of The Placebo

Placebo-controlled trials help distinguish between the true effects of a substance versus a placebo. the studies usually involve two groups, one that receives the substance and the one that receives the placebo. there are also double-blind studies in which neither the researchers nor the patient knows which group receives the placebo to remove as much bias as possible.

From studies, we know that CBD offers more than just a placebo effect with researchers exposing the cannabinoid to these scientific measures before. One randomised, double-blind trial from 2018 tested the effects of CBD in patients with seizures. Results showed that. The CBD group experienced a much more significant reduction in the monthly drop in seizure frequency than the placebo group.

Additionally, another double-blind trial published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology investigated the effects of cannabidiol in patients with Parkinson’s disease. The CBD group experienced a notable difference in their quality of life than the placebo group.

Another study involving 15 healthy adults looked at the effect of CBD and placebos on pain. After using heat to induce pain safely, the researchers measured their nervous system responses. They then administer a drug like pure CBD or a placebo before reassessing the pain responses. The overall results were that CBD had the greatest effect on one aspect of pain, whereas, for another aspect of pain, it was the participant’s expectations.

More research is needed into whether CBD is a placebo, however, the research that we do have gives us a glimpse into the positive effects of CBD in regard to certain illnesses.

Conclusion: Is CBD A Placebo?

Placebos convince us that a drug is effective in treating symptoms of a condition, whether it actually is or not. It’s a phenomenon that may occur when a patient truly believes in the effectiveness of a drug. CBD is a supplement that is growing in popularity as many people report incredible benefits from taking the supplement regularly to help with anxiety, pain, insomnia and more. Many people question ‘is CBD a placebo?’, but looking at the studies that have been carried out so far, the patients who took CBD showed notable improvement compared to those taking the placebo.

Jay is a CBD enthusiast and wellness expert who has spent many years studying the impacts of CBD on the human body and on pets such as dogs and cats. His expertise crosses both the physical and mental impacts of CBD. Jay is a regular consumer of products such as gummies and oils, and is passionate about sharing the wide ranging benefits of CBD.

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