The cannabis plant has over 200 individual chemical compounds; these are referred to as cannabinoids. The two compounds most prominent are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), with the best known being THC; it has psychoactive properties.
The main types of cannabis plants are indica and sativa; they both produce THC and CBD. The sativa plant is the only plant to produce hemp, a biodegradable and environmentally friendly product used for the manufacturing of clothing, packaging, biofuel, building materials, and paper.
The fact that cannabis plants produce THC has created a great deal of controversy and misinformation regarding CBD, which does not have psychotropic or drug characteristics and is legally available in select states in the United States. There is no evidence indicating that CBD is addictive or habit forming or that it has any serious side effects according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Unlike THC, CBD has been credited with having significant health benefits in relieving many medical conditions. Due to historical regulatory measures, very few test trials have been conducted to substantiate its medical benefits. Both THC and CBD are derived from cannabis sativa or hemp and are legally produced as long as the THC content remains at 0.3%.
Epilepsy is a brain disorder that affects the nervous system and causes various types of seizures. The reasons for epileptic seizures are unknown even though it is a condition that is suffered by over 60 million people.
In a 2018 study, it was proven that CBD can be an effective treatment for patients suffering from Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome‘two forms of epilepsy. During the test, 44% of the test subjects had fewer and less frequent seizures.
CBD affects epilepsy by binding to the brain receptors found in the endocannabinoid system (ECS) of the brain. In the same year as the CBD epilepsy study, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Epidiolex, a seizure control medication made from CBD, as a treatment for severe forms of child onset epilepsy for patients that are two or older. In 2020, the FDA expanded the use of Epidiolex to treatment of tuberous sclerosis complex and lowered the age of legal usage to one.
Cannabidiol can interact negatively with other epilepsy medications and cause serious and severe side effects such as a decrease in liver function when given to patients taking valproate.
The use of cannabis plant oil to treat pain goes back thousands of years. The endocannabinoid system regulates sleep, appetite, pain, and immune system responses and produces endocannabinoids that are neurotransmitters that bind to the cannabinoid receptors of the nervous system. Recent studies have shown that CBD assists in reducing chronic pain by influencing the activity of the receptors, reducing inflammation, and interacting with the neurotransmitters.
In several studies on animals, CBD was found to have anti-inflammatory effects and worked on the pain sensing aspects of the endocannabinoid system. There have been very few studies on humans, but Health Canada has approved the use of a combination of CBD and THC to relieve central nervous system related pain from multiple sclerosis and cancer, diseases that are unresponsive to opioid treatments.
In the animal studies, it was found that CBD has an effect on serotonin levels. Low levels of serotonin play a major part in mood and pain. The anti-inflammatory effects of CBD have also been found to have an effect on pain.
CBD interacts negatively with medications for treatment of heart conditions or immunosuppressants and is not recommended for treatment of pain for those diseases. Though it is believed that CBD is good for relieving pain, there are no human studies that conclusively prove this to be true.
Over 54 million people in the United States are affected by arthritis and the disabling pain it causes. The two most common types are rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that attacks the joints, causes inflammation, and most commonly affects the hands and feet. The visible sign of arthritis is swollen feet and hands; it also causes stiffness, and extreme pain. Osteoarthritis, which affects the hips, knees, and thumbs, is a degenerative disease that causes deterioration of joint cartilages and bones, creating significant pain and stiffness.
Tests of the use of CBD for chronic arthritic pain have only been conducted on animals, though there are anecdotal accounts that indicate its benefits in humans. Studies completed on animals between 2006 and 2018 have indicated that CBD could be beneficial in relieving arthritic pain.
Some of the studies used both CBD and THC as a spray. Though the present studies are encouraging, there is no conclusive evidence that CBD is a possible treatment for arthritic pain.
If CBD is used for arthritic pain, it should be used topically since ingesting it has negative effects and may lead to gastrointestinal complications. Also, if CBD is taken orally, it is not absorbed by the body.
Anxiety is the mind‘s reaction to stressful, dangerous, and unfamiliar events, and it causes worry, uneasiness, distress, or extreme dread. Though there are negative effects of anxiety, a certain amount is useful in keeping us vigilant. In the case of those who suffer from an anxiety disorder, it is numbing, debilitating, and insurmountable.
There are several forms of anxiety disorders, which include obsessive compulsive, post traumatic stress, general anxiety, panic, separation, and various forms of phobias. Anxiety does not have one cause and can be created by a collection of factors, from traumatic events and genetics to medical conditions and excessive use of tobacco or caffeine products.
There have been several human studies related to the use of CBD to relieve anxiety. Each study group was given differing levels of CBD from 150 mg up to 600 mg. A significant study found that nearly 80% of the subjects had a decreased anxiety score on the testing instrument after taking doses of CBD.
Each of the test groups were given doses prior to speaking events that normally made them anxious. The only conclusion that can be drawn from the results is that CBD is a beneficial method for preventing anxiety for public figures and those who participate in public speaking and presentations.
Depression is one of the most common health issues and one that is suffered by everyone sometime during their life. Chronic or severe depression can be very devastating, making it impossible for the sufferer to lead a normal life. On an average day, three to four million people suffer from some form of depression.
Chronic and untreated depression can shrink the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain responsible for storing memories and processing emotions. In the long run, the effects of depression can lead to memory loss, the inability to experience emotions, and other mental problems.
The most common method for treating chronic depression is serotonergic (SSRI) medications that lead to weight gain, insomnia, and sexual dysfunction. Though SSRI has proven to be a successful treatment, it does lose its effectiveness if used over a long period of time. The solution to the problems with SSRI has been the discovery and use of CBD.
CBD oil works in the same way SSRI does and blocks the production of serotonin, forcing the serotonin to be used in the synaptic space. When serotonin is properly used by the brain, people experience more stable and contented moods free of stress and depression. CBD can be taken as an oil or be used in a vape pen.
The most recent studies on the use of CBD as a means to fight depression have been completed on animals. The research measured the effects of CBD on serotonin levels with positive results. The reported side effects of using CBD for depression are fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, dry mouth, and low blood pressure. Certain people should avoid the use of CBD for depression; these people include children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and anyone taking another potentially incompatible medication.
Acne is a common condition caused by excess oil, dirt, and dead skin clogging the pores of the skin. The bacteria Propionibacterium can build up in the pores and cause red blemishes. The best and most effective way to fight acne is to keep the skin clean and free of bacteria and cut back on oily products.
For the prevention of acne, CBD blocks the buildup of oil on the skin by stopping the process. A study published in The Journal of Clinical Investigations found that CBD inhibited the production of oil and had an anti-inflammatory effect on the oil producing glands. The published results concluded that CBD may be a promising treatment for acne.
There have been positive results regarding the use of CBD in dealing with acne scars caused by enlarged eruptions and damage to the skin by picking at the eruptions. In a study, participants applied CBD twice a day for three months and had significant improvement in the appearance of their skin.
The side effects of CBD for acne treatment are loss of appetite, dry mouth, fatigue, and diarrhea. Some people believe that CBD is useful for the treatment of acne rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, eczema, and dermatitis.
There are several factors that lead to high blood pressure with hypertension being one of the most common. Hypertension leads to strokes, heart attacks, and various cardiovascular conditions. Hypertension is caused by lifestyle and genetic factors and worsens with advancing years.
One of the ways CBD fights high blood pressure is by widening or dilating blood vessels. A 2017 study in the United Kingdom found that a single dose of CBD oil lowered blood pressure in subjects suffering from stress. Further studies in the same year concluded that CBD may be used as a treatment for cardiovascular disorders, such as hypertension, myocardial infarction, and stroke.
While CBD is effective in treating hypertension, the potential side effects can be cold feet and hands, insomnia, dizziness, and depression as well as symptoms that are similar to asthma such as irregular heartbeat and erectile dysfunction. It is essential that it is not taken in conjunction with other medications.
CBD can be taken for heart conditions in a variety of forms, including as edibles, drops, capsules, and vapes. The dosage of CBD has to be coordinated with the physical characteristics of the patient such as weight, height, genetics, and metabolism.
Psoriasis is a skin disorder that causes redness, itchiness, and scaly patches on the knees, elbows, chest, and scalp. It is the result of the rapid buildup of new skin cells on the surface of the skin that may crack, bleed, and cause discomfort and pain. There is no cure for psoriasis. It goes through cycles of weekly or monthly flare ups followed by short terms of remission. A change in lifestyle can help, and coping strategies and various treatments are available.
CBD oil has been found to be a method for managing psoriasis symptoms. A study published in the journal Peer J Life & Environment found positive results regarding CBD as a method of controlling the effects of psoriasis. The cannabinoids in CBD worked with the cannabinoid receptors in the skin to reduce excess skin cell growth, help reduce inflammation, aid in pain relief, and support the immune system. Unfortunately, the skin tissue used for the study was taken from cadavers, which has made it difficult to duplicate the results.
Several recent studies, one in 2007 and one in 2019, have shown very promising results regarding the benefits of using CBD for psoriasis. The American Academy of Dermatology has stated that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that have been proven to be effective against a variety of skin disorders.
The collected data from the many studies indicate that CBD has low toxicity when used for psoriasis treatment, with the possible side effects of sleepiness, dry mouth, and nausea. One study stated that high or uncontrolled doses of CBD can lead to liver damage, but the results have not been replicated.
Over 80% of Americans have difficulty sleeping according to a Consumers Report survey conducted on 1,267 adults. In a recent study, it was found that CBD alleviates anxiety and pain, two of the main reasons that people have trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep.
A psychiatric report published in 2017 in the journal Current Psychiatry Reports indicated that CBD may possibly affect sleep directly by interacting with brain receptors that influence the daily sleep and wake cycles. The results of the study are unclear as to the amount of CBD to take and when to take it.
Much of the research is unclear as to the positive effects of CBD for sleep. Some subjects reported very positive results and view CBD as a cure to their sleep problems. Other people experienced no change in their sleep habits. The final conclusion is that CBD can help calm negative thoughts that interfere with normal sleep patterns.
The effectiveness of CBD in treating sleep problems is unclear and is still being studied. There are potential side effects, which include fatigue, diarrhea, changes in weight, and loss of appetite.
The small amount of current research regarding CBD‘s effect on Parkinson‘s disease seems to indicate that CBD can be a beneficial treatment for movement and sleep problems caused by the disease. CBD has been found to have neuroprotective and antipsychotic effects that may help with disturbances of sleep and improve a patient‘s quality of life.
A 2005 study on animals published in the journal of Neurobiology of Disease was an early investigation into how CBD can help Parkinson‘s patients. The results indicated that CBD produced a neuroprotective effect. Since that original study, more research has been done that shows CBD as a possible means for improvement of movement impairments, psychosis, and sleep disturbances. It is hoped that these positive effects on these aspects of the disease will improve the quality of life for patients.
Though there have been studies regarding the use of THC as a method of suppressing Parkinson‘s symptoms, THC has been found to have several drawbacks and negative effects. A wider spectrum of data is available regarding CBD, which continues to be studied as a means for alleviating Parkinson‘s symptoms. CBD is a safer method with limited side effects.
Nausea is a feeling of discomfort in the upper portion of the stomach that creates a strong urge to expel the contents of the stomach‘to vomit. The desire to throw up caused by nausea is uncomfortable and debilitating. The cause of nausea and the desire to vomit is related to the chemoreceptor zone that is responsible for spotting emetic agents, substances that cause vomiting, in the blood.
There are two types of chemoreceptors: Dopamine D2 and Serotonin 5-HT3. CBD oil interferes with the feelings of nausea by interacting with the receptor 5HT3A that loosens the receptors bound to the serotonin and dopamine receptors and lessens the feelings of nausea and vomiting.
There are several reasons for people becoming nauseous, including anxiety, stress, pain, digestive issues, head injuries, and the arteries of the lower brain. The receptors that control nausea are located in the lower brain. There has been positive evidence from animal studies that CBD can help in regulating nausea and vomiting.
The most frightening and life changing medical diagnosis is one that involves any form of cancer. Over the years, medical science has made great strides in dealing with the horrible effects of cancer and the severe complications and risks that require immediate attention. The various forms of treatment for cancer come with post treatment side effects, such as painful inflammation. Many doctors believe the consumption of CBD after treatments has very beneficial effects.
Though there have been several studies regarding the use of CBD and THC for the treatment of cancer, there isn‘t any conclusive data to substantiate their positive effects. The studies that have been completed are mixed and non-standardized; this taints the published data.
The biggest concern for CBD oil as a way to treat side effects of cancer treatment is the fact that it is unregulated since it is marketed as a supplement. With a lack of restrictions, it is difficult to know how much CBD is in a product with certain products having less CBD and more THC. Further concerns are production methods that can produce possible contamination and impurities.
There are several side effects associated with the use of CBD in cancer treatment. The most prominent of the concerns is the damage to liver function. It has also been found that CBD inhibits enzymes responsible for metabolizing certain drugs, which can affect how drugs work and affect the body. At the top of the list of treatments affected by CBD is chemotherapy, which can become dangerous when combined with CBD.
Discovered at the beginning of the 20th Century by Dr. Alzheimer, Alzheimer‘s disease has become a common but unfortunate form of dementia characterized by the accumulation of brain proteins that disrupt the functions of cells. Studies of the brains of Alzheimer‘s patients have shown that neuroinflammation contributes to the development of the disease. Other evidence indicates oxidative stress in the pathogenesis as well.
There are indications that CBD serves as a neuroprotector and anti-inflammatory and that it has antioxidant properties. There is further indication that CBD promotes neurogenesis‘the production of neuron brain cells; this is a process that diminishes in Alzheimer‘s patients. All of the data is inclusive since it was gathered from experiments on animals.
Since there is not a cure for Alzheimer‘s, the various treatments are focused on controlling and easing the symptoms of the disease. The most compelling evidence indicates that neuroinflammation contributes to its development. Specific genes related to immune receptors seem to be involved in its development.
Recent research indicates that CBD promotes the production of neurons, the cells that are lost during the onset of Alzheimer‘s. Animal studies have shown that CBD reverses and prevents cognitive dysfunction. Additional results have indicated that the combination of CBD and THC can be used as a treatment since CBD inhibits the psychoactive effects of THC.
As with other treatments using CBD, there are serious side effects related to the interaction of CBD with other drugs. The most common potential side effects are diarrhea and bloating with a few users experiencing liver problems.
Diabetes mellitus is a group of diseases that influences how your body uses blood sugar or glucose, an important source of energy for the cells of muscles and tissues as well as a source of fuel for the brain. Regardless of the cause of diabetes, it leads to excess sugar in the bloodstream, which can lead to very serious health conditions.
The symptoms of diabetes vary between the types of diabetes, with type 1 being the most severe. Some of the symptoms are thirst, increased urination, hunger, weight loss, fatigue, irritability, blurred vision, and the slow healing of sores. Type 1 appears during childhood while type 2 is mostly seen with people over 40.
The studies and experiments regarding CBD as a method for controlling or curing diabetes have been conducted on mice and rats. In one study, it was found that CBD decreased the flow of blood to the brain, reversing a complication created by diabetes. Further results indicated that CBD cut down on high blood sugar, lowered cholesterol, and increased insulin production.
The side effects of using CBD for diabetes include fatigue, drowsiness, diarrhea, and dry mouth. Since CBD products are unregulated, their labels may have misinformation and neglect the inclusion of details regarding other chemicals that may be present in the product.
Schizophrenia is one of the most debilitating mental disorders, and it makes it impossible for a sufferer to lead a normal, stable life. It removes the patient‘s ability to think and behave rationally and causes exaggerated changes in behavior. Fortunately, schizophrenia is a very rare mental disease that is suffered by less than one per cent of the population.
The most notable symptoms of schizophrenia, which have been dramatized in the movies, are delusions and hallucinations. Depending on the severity of the disease, patients will see things, people, or conditions that are not present or do not exist. These misconceptions are what lead a sufferer to act incoherently and abnormally; this leads to their hospitalization.
Though there is no cure for schizophrenia, there are methods available to cure and control psychotic episodes. The endocannabinoid and endogenous cannabinoid systems are involved in the neuropathology of a psychosis such as schizophrenia. CBD is a type of therapeutic agent since it indirectly affects the endocannabinoid system.
Several studies have shown that CBD has neuroprotective properties due to its ability to prevent neuroinflammation and its impact on the immune response to neurological disorders. Other data has shown that CBD is a method for preventing memory impairment. The many animal studies suggest that CBD possesses the same characteristics as antipsychotic drugs.
For use as an antipsychotic, CBD can be taken orally, intravenously, or through inhalation without producing any side effects or toxicity. There is evidence derived from imaging, behavioral studies, animal models, epidemiological studies, and clinical studies that seem to indicate that CBD may have the same potency as other antipsychotic drugs.
There have been and continue to be extensive studies regarding the positive health effects of CBD and its ability to ease symptoms and the effects of disease. In recent years, there has been an increased focus on CBD and an effort to educate the public on the differences between CBD and THC.
Regardless of the work being done to make CBD more acceptable, it must be noted that there are negative side effects related to its use; these include diarrhea, changes in appetite and weight, and fatigue. It is further noted that CBD does not interact well with other medications and must be used in conjunction with other medications only under the guidance of a trained medical professional.
There have been a few studies that have indicated that the use of CBD can lead to liver toxicity. These particular complications are another sign that the use of CBD should be supervised and carefully monitored.
Though there is the possibility of negative factors regarding the use of CBD as a medicinal or medical treatment, there is still a large amount of information that we do not know about its use and its benefits. What is very clear is that CBD has been used for thousands of years to improve health and as a preventative measure. Modern research and scientific study is working diligently to find how society can benefit from its use.