When most people think of cannabis, their minds jumps immediately to THC, the chemical found in marijuana that gets users their ‘high.’ While it’s true that THC is the most notable and concentrated component in cannabis, the second most impacting compound is cannabidiol, or CBD, contributing up to 40% of the plant’s extracted phytocannabinoids, the chemicals that make the plant so unique.
As more research is compiled, scientists are excited by the prospects of this previously overlooked component of the plants extensive and unique chemistry. Now that marijuana has been legalized in parts of the U.S. for both medical and recreational use, more attention has been shifting from THC to CBD, and with good reason.
CBD is the component in cannabis that is showing to possess incredible healing power with nearly none of the side effects (being ‘high’) commonly tied with marijuana. THC acts on the biological pathways called CB1 receptors mainly found in the brain, which is the reason the chemical is considered psychoactive compound. This is what people call the ‘high’. CBD, however, is able to bypass this process completely and only give users a feeling similar to that of a sedative with all the benefits of a designer drug that can have any number of temporary or chronic side effects.
Studies show that the medical properties of CBD surpass any other medicinal herb we know of. Even with the extremely limited amount of research that had been allowed, we have already discovered a plethora of treatments it excels in, again, with unobtrusive side effects.
Antiemetic. Reduces nausea and vomiting when tested in animals, research on humans looks promising, but is still being studied carefully.
Anticonvulsant. Suppresses seizures in Epileptics and those with Dravet’s syndrome. Though inconclusive, many parents of epileptic children report a drastic change in health and relief from the harsh symptoms associated with the drugs currently available.
Antipsychotic. CBD has been receiving praise and piquing the curiosity of many doctors in the treatment of schizophrenia. Although the effects of THC can counter some benefits of CBD, more strains are being produced with higher levels of CBD and reduced levels of THC. Many doctors and patients are excited by the results that have already been demonstrated by CBD with fewer side effects than the traditional drug amisulpride.
Anti-inflammatory. CBSs are proven to work as an anti-inflammatory by upregulating T-regulatory cells, the body’s own method of curbing inflammation. Sufferers of gout and some forms of arthritis have had promising results from treatments. More research could lead to many more applications such as tissue inflammation, especially as a result of an auto-immune disorder. Auto-immune disorders can be a tricky to treat and many drugs available will lower a patients immune system as their form of effectiveness. Antioxidant. CBDs are being found to be powerful antioxidants and are useful in treating illnesses where oxidation is a primary symptom. Oxidation is a form of tissue damage that characterizes many diseases and conditions, the most prevalent being stroke and head trauma, neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzeimer’s as well as AIDs related dementia. They are also effective in treating age-related diseases ranging from ischemic (heart) conditions to autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Anti-tumoral and Anti-Cancer – CBD’s are being proven in laboratory tests to be extremely effective in preventing the maturation of tumoral cells. A strong antineoplastic, it has been shown to perform as well as many traditional medications, however it has few unpleasant side effects compared to inherently dangerous methods medications currently use to fight malignant cells, as well as chemotherapy.
Anti-Depressant and Anti-Anxiety. The effectiveness of using Cannabidiol as an anti-anxiety treatment has already been proven. As growers become more knowledgeable and able to produce plants with a higher ratio of CBD to THC, testing continues to produce positive results and is being tailored to fit more specific needs. Many antidepressants have severe withdrawal symptoms and you have to wean your body on and off the medication. CBDs have a fast and efficient onset and no dangers associated with withdrawal. Further research is being conducted in to its use in treating post-traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks, and obsessive-compulsive disorder as it has been proven to reduce anxiety in animal testing trials and could be tailored and prescribed in different ways.