In 2018 it seems like CBD shops are opening on a daily basis. The CBD buzz is in the air and people with all sorts of ailments are reaching out to find a more natural and less abrasive treatment for their symptoms. CBD is derived from the cannabis plant, which is still classified as a schedule one narcotic nationally. CBD itself is legal in all 50 states providing that the product does not contain more than a trace of the psychoactive compound THC. CBD does not have the psychoactive side effects that you would experience using cannabis. It seems that this once demonized plant is getting a lot of positive attention for it’s beneficial properties. Which leaves an enormous amount of people asking, “What’s the big deal about CBD?”
What is CBD?
Cannabinoid or CBD is the non-intoxicating component of the cannabis plant that has been shown to have significant medical benefits, but does not make people feel (high). According to recent studies CBD also can counteract Hyper-Sensitivity to THC in some cases. The fact that CBD-rich cannabis is non-psychoactive or less psychoactive than THC-dominant strains makes it an appealing option for patients looking for relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety, psychosis, seizures, spasms, and a host of other debilitating symptoms without disconcerting feelings of lethargy or dysphoria some experience from high THC Cannabis.
Scientific and clinical research underscores CBD’s potential as a treatment for a range of conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, alcoholism, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, schizophrenia, PTSD, depression, antibiotic-resistant infections, epilepsy, and other neurological disorders.
CBD has demonstrable neuroprotective and neurogenic effects, and it’s cancer fighting properties are now being investigated at several academic research centers in the United States and elsewhere.
How CBD Works
- All cannabinoids, including CBD, attach themselves to certain receptors in the body to produce their effects.
- The human body produces certain cannabinoids on it’s own. It has two receptors for cannabinoids, called CB1 receptors and CB2 receptors.
- CB1 receptors are found all around the body, but many of them are in the brain.
- The CB1 receptors in the brain deal with coordination and movement, pain, emotions and mood, thinking, appetite, and memories, among others.
- CB2 receptors are more common in the immune system. They have an effect on inflammation and pain.
It used to be thought that CBD acts on these CB2 receptors, but it appears now that CBD does not act on either receptor directly. Instead, it seems to influence the body to use more of it’s own cannabinoids.
Potential health benefits
Because of the way that CBD acts in the body, it has many potential uses. CBD oil is taken orally, rubbed on the skin, and sometimes inhaled through vapor or used intravenously to produce it’s effects.
CBD is now being used for natural pain relief or anti-inflammatory properties. People commonly use prescription or over-the-counter drugs to relieve pain and stiffness, including chronic pain. Some people feel that CBD offers a more natural way to reduce pain. A study published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine found that CBD reduced chronic inflammation and pain in some mice and rats. The researchers suggest that CBD, the non-psychoactive compound could be a new treatment for chronic pain. CBD is already in use for some conditions that cause chronic pain, such as multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia.
Quitting smoking and drug withdrawals
There is some promising evidence that CBD use may help people to quit smoking. A pilot study posted to Addictive Behaviors found that smokers who used an inhaler containing the compound CBD smoked fewer cigarettes but did not have any additional craving for nicotine. Another similar study posted to Neurotherapeutics found that CBD may be a promising substance for people who abuse opioids. Researchers noted that some symptoms experienced by patients with substance abuse disorders may be reduced by CBD. These include anxiety, mood symptoms, pain, and insomnia. These are early findings, but they suggest that CBD may be used to avoid or reduce withdrawal symptoms.
Epilepsy and other mental health disorders
CBD is also being studied for it’s possible role in treating epilepsy and neuropsychiatric disorders. A review posted to Epilepsia noted that CBD has anti-seizure properties and a low risk of side effects for people with epilepsy. Studies into CBD’s effect on neurological disorders suggest that it may help to treat many of the disorders that are linked to epilepsy, such as neurodegeneration, neuronal injury, and psychiatric diseases.
Another study posted to Current Pharmaceutical Design found that CBD may have similar effects to certain anti-psycotic drugs, and that it may be safe and effective in treating patients with schizophrenia. More research is needed to understand how this works, however.
The fight against Cancer
CBD has been studied for it’s use as an anti-cancer agent. A review posted to the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology notes that CBD appears to block cancer cells from spreading around the body and invading an area entirely. The review indicates that CBD tends to suppress the growth of cancer cells and promote the death of these cells. Researchers note that CBD may help in cancer treatment because of it’s low toxicity levels. They call for it to be studied along with standard treatments, to check for synergistic effects.
Patients with chronic anxiety are often advised to avoid cannabis, as THC can trigger or amplify anxiety and paranoia in some people. However, a review from Neurotherapeutics suggests that CBD may help to reduce the anxiety felt by people with certain anxiety disorders. Researchers point to studies showing that CBD may reduce anxiety behaviors in disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, general anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The review notes that current medications for these disorders can lead to additional symptoms and side effects, and that people may stop taking the drugs because of these unwanted effects. CBD has not shown any adverse effects in these cases to date, and the researchers call for CBD to be studied as a potential treatment method.
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is caused by inflammation when the immune system attacks cells in the pancreas. Recent research posted to Clinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation found that CBD may ease the inflammation in the pancreas in type 1 diabetes. This may be the first step in finding a CBD-based treatment for type 1 diabetes.
Another promising use for CBD is as a new treatment for acne. Acne is caused, in part, by inflammation and overworked sebaceous glands on the body. A recent study posted to the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that CBD helps to lower the production of sebum that leads to acne, partly because of it’s anti-inflammatory effect on the body. CBD could be a future treatment for acne vulgaris, the most common form of acne.
Initial research published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that CBD was able to prevent the development of social recognition deficit in subjects.This means that CBD could potentially prevent people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s from losing their ability to recognize the faces of people that they know. This is the first evidence that CBD has potential to prevent Alzheimer’s disease symptoms
Are there any side effects?
Let’s start with how our bodies break down the cannabinoids. The Endocannabinoid System has two receptors found in the brain, CB1 and CB2, which are responsible for producing the effects of THC or CBD. According to scientists, THC creates a strong bond with these receptors and is almost impossible to shake off. CBD, however, does not have this same quality, ruling out the possibility of psychoactivity.
CBD hemp oil has shown to be beneficial for both mental and physical health conditions. Even under extensive and prolonged use, our users have not reported CBD causing them to experience side effects. With the only variable being the dosage amount, and don’t forget if you have any concerns with the recommended dosage, please feel free to ask your physician.
These topics will be just a few of many discussed at The Mid-America Cannabis Conference & Expo in Oklahoma City June 1st & 2nd. This event is set in the heart of America and is set to be the largest of it’s kind in the region.