CBD is Starting a Medical Revolution
Once THC’s lesser known cousin, CBD is getting serious attention these days because of its potential use in treating a wide-range of medical conditions. So what is CBD and what are some of its therapeutic uses? Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know:
So what exactly is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, and it’s one of the 60+ compounds found in cannabis. Unlike THC, CBD produces little to no psychoactive effects. In fact, CBD can actually lessen, or balance out, the psychoactivity of THC. Hemp has also been used for extraction to remove CBD without the THC.
One of the reasons cannabis is so effective in treating illness has to do with the human body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is present in both humans and animals, and scientists estimate that it evolved in our primitive ancestors over 600 million years ago. The system plays a big role in our immune systems, healing, and maintaining homeostasis. Receptors are found throughout the body–in our brain, organs, connective tissues, and glands. In the brain, cannabinoids “control emotional behavior, mood, stress, and fear.”
The ECS even allows communication between different cell types. In an article for NORML, Dr. Dustin Dulak explains that the “endocannabinoid system, with its complex actions in our immune system, nervous system, and all of the body’s organs, is literally a bridge between body and mind.”
What are the therapeutic benefits of CBD and which conditions does it help treat?
According to a 2013 review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, studies have found CBD to possess the following therapeutic effects:
- Reduces nausea and vomiting
- Suppresses seizure activity
- Combats psychosis disorders
- Combats inflammatory disorders
- Combats neurodegenerative disorders
- Combats anxiety and depression disorders
Cannabis is being used to treat a number of conditions, including Dravat’s Syndrome, arthritis, diabetes, alcoholism, MS, chronic pain, schizophrenia, PTSD, depression, epilepsy. Research has even shown that CBD may help slow down tumor growth and prevent cancer from spreading.
CBD and THC work best together
Often described as the “power couple” of cannabis compounds, used together CBD and THC actually enhance the therapeutic effects of cannabis. Researchers have found that together, THC and CBD enhance anti-inflammatory properties, anti-tumoral effects, and neuropathic pain. Though in high doses, CBD alone can bring some of these benefits too.
Despite having no lethal dose or known serious medical side effects, both cannabis and CBD are still illegal under U.S. federal law, though in some small cases, low potency medicinal CBD has been ignored by law enforcement.