What is CBD?
CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), by itself it does not cause a “high.” According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
CBD has been touted for a wide variety of health issues, but the strongest scientific evidence is for its effectiveness in treating some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which typically don’t respond to antiseizure medications.
CBD is commonly used to address anxiety, and for patients who suffer through the misery of insomnia, studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep.
CBD may offer an option for treating different types of chronic pain. A study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using an animal model, CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study demonstrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat.
Medical Experts Agree
“CBD is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anxiolytic, anti-psychotic, anti-tumor, and anti-emetic properties. As far as natural products go, it’s a home run. Now if it could just help Americans lose a few pounds. In a newly published study in the scientific journal Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, Korean researchers studied the effects of CBD administration on preadipocytes (immature fat cells) to explore potential benefits on the treatment and prevention of obesity.”
“We were confident the medicine wouldn’t kill Sam or hurt him irreversibly, but the prospect still made us nervous. The pills contained a pharmaceutical derivative of cannabis. People have been smoking cannabis medicinally for thousands of years. Deaths are rare. But Sam would get a specific compound made in a lab. The compound, cannabidiol, known as CBD, is not an intoxicant. (Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the stuff in pot that makes you high.) Nevertheless, US drug laws made it nearly impossible…”
“A basic understanding of the way cannabinoids affect the body and the brain is helpful to making sense of some of the confusing and contradictory claims made by partisans on either side of those debates. Most cannabinoids (including THC) interact with specific targets on cells in the body, the CB1 and CB2 receptors. CB1 receptors are found mainly in the brain and are important for learning coordination, sleep, pain, brain development, and other functions; CB2 receptors are found mostly in the immune system.”
“Several lines of evidence in mice and other animals have clearly demonstrated that activation of cannabinoid receptors within the brain lowers heart rate and blood pressure responses to stress and reduces panic and anxiety behavior. Put simply, hemp-derived CBD administration appears to attenuate the well-known “fight or flight” phenomenon to physical and mental stress.Other studies using similar models in animals have shown that CBD administration decreases fear-avoidant and conditioned responses to pain or punishment.”
“Among common CBD benefits, natural pain relief tops the list for many. Evidence suggests that cannabinoids may prove useful in pain modulation by inhibiting neuronal transmission in pain pathways. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine found that CBD significantly suppressed chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain in rodents without causing analgesic tolerance. Researchers suggest that CBD and other nonpsychoactive components of marijuana may represent a novel class of therapeutic agents for the treatment of chronic pain.”