Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of many compounds that are found in the cannabis plant. It is more appealing for its significant therapeutic properties, and unlike THC, it has no psychoactive properties. CBD can be derived from both marijuana and industrial hemp; though there are regulations and legalities in doing so. This section will provide a general market overview and academic sourced information on the purposed health benefits of CBD.
According to a review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharamcology, as the major non-psychoactive component of cannabis, CBD therapeutic benefits include acting as anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, antipsychotic, antiemetic, and anxiolytic agents to treat neuro-inflammation, epilepsy, oxidative injury, nausea, anxiety and schizophrenia, among other conditions.
Natural Pain Relief and Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Natural pain relief is the most common benefit of CBD. In a study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, CBD is shown to suppress chronic inflammation and neuropathic pain significantly, without causing analgesic tolerance. In the central nervous system, CBD has been reported to be useful for reducing the pain of neuro-inflammatory disorders, including multiple sclerosis. Furthermore, based on a combination of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, preclinical research shows CBD has a positive effect in managing neurodegenerative disorders such as neonatal ischemia, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Treatment of Neurological Conditions
Research has shown that CBD is favorable in producing antipsychotic effects and is a promising compound for the treatment of schizophrenia. It has also been found that CBD can significantly reduce the number of seizures in both humans and animals who suffer from epilepsy, and alternatively be used to effectively treat sleep disorders.
Relieves Mental Health Disorders
CBD is shown to reduce anxiety; effectively treating multiple anxiety disorders including, general anxiety, social anxiety, panic, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
Treatment of Various Cancers
CBD is currently being used to treat certain side effects in cancer patients including pain and vomiting. In a review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, CBD exhibits proapoptotic and antiproliferative actions against various cancer types including; lung, skin, pancreas, uterus, breast, prostate and thyroid cancers, among others. Moreover, the study also states CBD’s anti-tumoural properties exhibit the ability to halt cancer cell movement and new tumour cell growth; being particularly effective in fighting breast cancer cells. Furthermore, research also suggests CBD can be used to prevent the invasion of lung and colon cancers and treat leukemia.
Occurrence Reduction of Diabetes
CBD treatment has been found to significantly reduce the occurrence of diabetes by suppressing inflammation. Moreover, recent research dictates CBD may ease inflammation in the pancreas in type 1 diabetes.
CBD is shown to suppress nausea and vomiting.
Promotes Cardiovascular Health
As a result of the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, CBD may be beneficial in promoting a healthy cardiovascular system. In a review, published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, CBD directly engages isolated arteries, causing an immediate reduction of tension and reducing the cardiovascular response to stress. In addition, CBD protects against vascular damage caused by the inflammation of type 2 diabetes, as well as cardiomyopathy associated with diabetes.
Effective in treating acne vulgaris, a skin disease caused by the inflammation and overworking of the sebaceous glands in the body, CBD behaves as a highly effective lipostatic and anti-proliferative agent, lowering the production of sebum that leads to acne.
Glaucoma is a common eye condition that is one of the leading causes of blindness. According to a review published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, cannabinoids including CBD may be effective in lowering the fluid pressure inside the eye- the intraocular pressure (IOP). Furthermore, CBD has antioxidant and vasorelaxant properties, having the ability to increase ocular blood flow and provide neuroprotective action regeneration of retinal cells.
Increases Bone Strength & Growth in Osteoporosis Patients
Osteoporosis is a bone disease characterized by the deterioration of bone tissue and low bone mass; ultimately leading to an increased risk of fractures. According to a recent study, CB1 receptors, cannabinoid receptors sensitive to CBD, will increase peak bone mass and bone marrow in age-related osteoporosis. This receptor controls bone mass through the regulation of osteoclasts- bone cells which break down bone tissue; meaning CBD may be able to promote bone growth. Furthermore, in a study published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, CBD may enhance the biochemical properties of healing in fractures. The study concludes that in addition to increasing bone strength, CBD may also increase the strength and flexibility of bones and ultimately stimulate new bone growth.
In addition to the above health benefits, preliminary research shows that CBD can be used to help people quit smoking.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a biological system comprising of cannabiniod receptors and lipid ligands. All cannabinoids, including CBD, attach themselves to protein receptors in the body to adjust the receptor’s behavior. The human body has two receptors for cannabinoids: CB1 receptors, primarily distributed in the central nervous system (CNS) but are also found throughout the body, and CB2 receptors, found in the immune system. CB1 receptors in the CNS affect emotions, appetite, memory, coordination and movement, among others, while CB2 receptors affect the reduction of inflammation and certain types of pain. CBD, having no physcoactive properties, does not activate the CB1 receptors. Further research suggests that CBD has little effect on both the CB1 and CB2 receptors, but can still interact with the receptors at lower concentrations.