“Cannabidiol is found naturally in the resinous flower of cannabis, a plant with a rich history as a medicine. It has been used for thousands of years.” Currently, scientists and doctors across the world are testing and confirming the therapeutic properties of CBD. A non-addictive substance, CBD is one of more than a hundred cannabinoids that are unique to cannabis and endows the plant with its robust therapeutic profile.
CBD, another phytocannabinoid closely related to THC (the euphoric agent of cannabis), is known for being one of the primary treatments for anxiety and depression. Researchers have been studying two components of cannabis for a long time now.
Much like THC, CBD has therapeutic benefits. Unlike THC, CBD does not cause a “high” or feelings of intoxication in the user. That’s because CBD and THC have entirely different effects on different parts of the brain and body.
CBD can lessen or negate the psychoactive effects of THC, depending on how much of each compound is consumed. Many people would rather have the health benefits of cannabis without feeling high or getting a “high”. CBD is both therapeutically powerful and non-addictive, making it an appealing treatment option for first-time cannabis users.
Many people that are sick and tired of pharmaceuticals with unforgiving side effects are looking for alternatives to medication in harmony with nature. By tapping into our biology, CBD can provide relief for chronic pain, anxiety, inflammation, and other conditions.
Extensive research by the U.S. government suggests that CBD is a possible treatment for a variety of pain-inducing medical conditions, including (but not limited to):
- Autoimmune diseases (inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis)
- Neurological conditions (Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Huntington’s chorea, stroke, traumatic brain injury)
- Metabolic syndrome (diabetes, obesity)
- Neuropsychiatric illness (autism, ADHD, PTSD, alcoholism)
- Gut disorders (colitis, Crohn’s)
- Cardiovascular dysfunction (atherosclerosis, arrhythmia)
- Skin disease (acne, dermatitis, psoriasis)
CBD is the abbreviation for Cannabidiol, an anti-inflammatory and non-psychoactive compound from hemp that has been found to have several therapeutic effects on cancer cells. A 2010 study by California scientists found that CBD enhances the cancer-suppressing effects of THC. When CBD is combined with THC, it makes the anticancer effects of THC even greater. German researchers reported in 2010 that CBD stimulates neurogenesis, the growth of new brain cells, in adult mammals.
HOW DOES CBD WORK?
CBD and THC have a variety of physical effects on the human body. One way in which scientists are studying endocannabinoids is by mimicking and augmenting their effects – such as similarity to that of drugs usually found in marijuana. The endocannabinoids are just one aspect of a very complex system that scientists refer to as the “endocannabinoid system.”
The discovery of the endocannabinoid system has improved our understanding of health and disease. It’s major implications for nearly every area of medical science and it helps to explain why CBD and THC are such versatile compounds.
The endocannabinoid system has an impact on a large array of physiological processes when we’re awake, including how healthy we are and what our mood is like.
When the endocannabinoid system is not functioning properly, there are consequences. A chronically deficient or overactive endocannabinoid system can cause damage to our homes and even mental issues such as depression.
The disease is lethal, it kills a lot of people.
Cutting-edge science has shown that the endocannabinoid system is impaired in nearly all pathological conditions. In 2014, scientists Pal Pacher and George Kunos from the NIH concluded that modulation of the endocannabinoid system could have therapeutic potential in almost all diseases affecting humans.
In addition to slowing the progression of chronic illness, cannabis also increases endocannabinoid levels.
CBD is often hailed for its healing potential.
But it wasn’t until June 25, 2018, that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognized cannabidiol as medicine by approving Epidiolex, an almost pure pharmaceutical CBD formulation, for two severe pediatric seizure disorders.
This was the first time since 80 years ago when “marihuana” became a criminalized drug instead of a cure that the federal government approved an official cannabis-derived product.
In response to the FDA’s historic decision, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced in September 2018 that it had removed Epidiolex from Schedule I classification, a category reserved for dangerous drugs with no medical value. Schedule V drugs are the least dangerous designation in the Controlled Substances Act. Epidiolex had only been considered a Schedule I drug, and was later “descheduled” by the DEA, and removed from their list of controlled substances.
The DEA continues to list cannabis and CBD (when derived from a cannabis plant with more than 0.3 % THC) as Schedule I drugs, illegal narcotics. According to Uncle Sam, there is officially only one good cannabinoid: Pharmaceutical CBD, while the rest of the plant remains an ‘evil’ weed.
For consumers interested in CBD over other remedies, Epidiolex should be a popular choice. Currently, physicians often prescribe pharmaceuticals off-label to treat conditions that were not originally a focus of clinical trials. But the high cost of Epidiolex (more than 30,000 USD annually) makes it prohibitive for off-label prescriptions as well as affordable access to all Americans without health insurance.
For those who can’t obtain pharmaceutical CBD, there are numerous internet storefronts, community markets, coffee shops, health clubs, chiropractic offices, upscale boutiques, and gas stations that retail various hemp-derived CBD oil products, including pure CBD, isolates comparable in chemical make-up to Epidiolex.
Flower and CBD products with varying THC and CBD levels are available to purchase at cannabis dispensaries in states that have legalized the herb for medicinal use.
Consumer demand led to the emergence and growth of a large, unregulated CBD oil industry in 2018. The sudden surge in consumer interest in all things CBD has raised the profile of this substance to diverse clients, ranging from athletes and film stars to soccer moms.
Parents with desperately ill children have been attracted to this treatment as a last-ditch effort.
CBD oils tout curative and preventive benefits for people of all ages and also has pet-palliative potential.
With greater awareness of cannabidiol as a potential health measure, there has also been an upsurge in misconceptions about CBD and cannabis therapeutics.
THE CBD CHALLENGE
CBD is a molecule, not a miracle. Many people could benefit from legal access to a wide range of cannabis remedies, not just low-potency or non-psychoactive products.CBD oils may not always be effective for all ailments. As of present, there is compelling evidence that CBD works best in combination with THC and the full spectrum of other cannabis components.
Figuring out how to optimize the therapeutic use of cannabis is one of the driving forces in medical marijuana that’s been unfolding state-by-state and country-by-country.
With the advent of potent cannabis oil concentrates, CBD-rich products, and innovative delivery systems that do not involve smoking, the therapeutic landscape of Cannabis has changed. It is now a much more complicated conversation about Cannabis with public news outlets.