The good news for all progressive-minded people is that cannabidiol and other phytocannabinoids are beginning to be taken seriously by both the medical and the political establishment. Though not many officials may recognize, the deficiencies in a healthcare system fit for the 21st century should be addressed by more than just inspired policies. Investment in further cannabinoid research and a departure from the status of cannabidiol as a shady Internet-sold dietary supplement is but the first step. A product that has the promise of delivering so many health benefits should not be further relegated to the recesses of unsanctioned, unscrupulous commerce.
Naturally, the testimonies of these experts were based on a comprehensive literature review, an endeavor which we have also undertaken, albeit in a less official capacity. While many new products have been hailed as a panacea in their times, and many web sources certainly allude to this status for CBD, our objective was more modest – presenting ten possible benefits of cannabidiol where sufficient evidence exists to back up the claims.
Furthermore, a study published in the Journal of Neuroendocrinology has suggested that the ECS is capable of stimulating specific areas of the body involved in metabolism, such as the skeletal muscles and GI tract. This happens due to the presence of anandamide and 2-AG, which are two naturally-occurring compounds in the body that interact with the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
To my understanding, neither CBD nor THC are effective for “severe” pain; rather, they work better for mild to moderate chronic pain. Often, with severe pain, the dosage of opiates can be decreased with concomitant use of medical cannabis or CBD and that decrease in dose makes their use safer. Concurrent use of THC does increase the analgesic effect of CBD, but it also adds the “high” which some people do not want as a side effect.
‘The media has no doubt helped drive this popularity,’ says Dr Sarah Brewer, medical director at Healthspan. ‘However, the main drive is because people who take it experience the benefits very quickly, and “word of mouth” is a powerful thing. CBD oil also has such a wide range of benefits, reducing anxiety, promoting relaxation, ensuring a good night’s sleep, reducing pain perception and improving general feelings of wellbeing. It therefore appeals to a wide range of people.’
The inquiry upon the manner in which THC produces its psychoactive effects on the human body led, in the 1980’s, to the discovery of the endocannabinoid system – a rather loose complex of nerve receptors which under the influence of compounds called cannabinoids trigger many physiological and psychological reactions. Because cannabinoid receptors are present in almost every tissue of a mammal’s body (although they are not limited to mammals), it has wide-ranging influences on the well-being of an organism. Therefore cannabinoids are definitely substances that deserve further attention from scientists.
More recent experiments, involving the administration of a part CBD part THC solution, have yielded results that contradict the first supposition. At present, on the evidence that cannabidiol reduces some of the psychoactive effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (acting as a de facto antidepressant), scientists argue that cannabidiol has a holistic but indirect influence on all cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system. The main consequence of this impact seems to be an increase in the production of endocannabinoids. This is now the prevailing idea that accounts for the mountains of empirical evidence of how the benefits of cannabidiol are expressed at the cellular level.
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