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.
'If the Patient Information Leaflet that comes with your medication says to avoid grapefruit juice, for instance, then do not take CBD, as the same type of interaction can affect circulating blood levels of your medicine. Even if the leaflet does not mention grapefruit juice, you should still check with your doctor before taking CBD. You should also not take CBD if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.’
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At the most basic level, CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system and is widely believed to directly impact the brain’s CB1 receptors – the same receptors that certain anxiety medications interact with – lessening the effects of anxiety and related conditions. This allows sufferers to live more normal lives, free from the constraints of anxiety. That’s just the tip of the iceberg… the positive effects of CBD for anxiety are incredible!
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.
This turn is due to a comprehensive 2015 study aimed at two notoriously difficult manifestations of epilepsy – Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome – most often encountered in children. Seizure frequency was found to decrease between 54 percent and 67 percent for the six months cannabidiol medication was used, although a small part of individuals did not continue after three months, as their condition did not improve.
ADHD, or attention deficit disorder, with or without hyperactivity, is often first noticed and diagnosed in school-aged children (it is the most commonly diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorder of childhood). Many sufferers must learn to adapt to difficulties in paying attention, remembering seemingly simple tasks, being over-compulsive and more, over the long term. (44)
It’s thought that the endocannabinoid system may be critical for regulating sleep and sleep stability, which make sense, as it promotes balance throughout the body. Research seems to show that when CBD interacts with this system, sufferers may achieve longer periods of overall sleep. Furthermore, earlier research demonstrated that CBD may provide relief for insomnia sufferers who struggle to achieve REM sleep due to anxiety. (33, 34, 35)
THC does typically come with a long list of health benefits, but the clinical use of this cannabis compound is often limited by its unwanted psychoactive side effects in people. For this reason, interest in non-intoxicating phytocannabinoids, such as CBD, has substantially increased in recent years. In fact, CBD is being used in conjunction with THC for more favorable effects.
Another major reason why CBD oil has been positively received in some parts of the medical community is its apparent effect on cancer and tumor growth.A study done by the researchers of the Institute of Toxicology and Pharmacology, University of Rostock, Germany recommends the use of CBD oil (even direct injection into tumors) to eliminate or reduce the size of the tumors. The antioxidants in CBD hemp oil also provide anti-mutagenic properties and lower users’ risk of cancer.
Currently, the only CBD product approved by the Food and Drug Administration is a prescription oil called Epidiolex. It's approved to treat two types of epilepsy. Aside from Epidiolex, state laws on the use of CBD vary. While CBD is being studied as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, including Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and anxiety, research supporting the drug's benefits is still limited.
People who experience psychosis may produce too much or even too little cannabinoids (from overactive dopamine receptors). CBD is milder than our internal cannabinoids and helps to re-establish a balance of cannabinoids in the brain. CBD also helps lower inflammation, which is often increased in schizophrenia. THC, on the other hand, is stronger than our internal cannabinoids (anandamide and 2-AG), this way potentially triggering psychosis [46, 48].
The current trend in the cannabis-related area of research started in the late sixties and early seventies when products derived from cannabis (especially marijuana) were placed on the list of controlled substances in the US, under the Nixon administration. This move was retroactively interpreted as being part of the conservative reaction to the liberalizing spirit of the sixties.
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.