CBD or Cannabidiol is quickly becoming one of the most popular cannabinoids on the market. If you haven’t heard of this beneficial cannabinoid yet, we’re going to take a look at all the benefits CBD has been shown to provide and how it acts differently in our systems than THC. While it provides little to no psychoactive effects, research is showing that CBD can be beneficial in treating a variety of conditions.
What is CBD?
CBD (Cannabidiol) is a compound created by the cannabis plant. It is the second most commonly found cannabinoid on the market following THC. Unlike THC, CBD is non-intoxicating and can be extracted and isolated from the cannabis plant, and will not provide you with the psychoactive feeling. However, it does have the ability to provide a more calming and relaxed sensation. Like many THC products, you can find CBD in a variety of forms such as gummies, topicals, flower, cartridges, tinctures, etc.
Why doesn’t CBD get you high?
THC and CBD both act on the cannabinoid receptors in our endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a neuromodulatory system that is composed of cannabinoid receptors and plays important roles in central nervous system development and synaptic plasticity. There are 2 main cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. THC primarily binds to the CB1 receptors which are what is responsible for the psychoactive effects that cannabis is most known for. CBD has a hard time binding to the CB1 receptors so it primarily binds to the CB2 receptors, which do not provide you with the psychoactive effects. CBD can actually reverse the effects of THC and prevent THC from activating the CB1 receptor. If you’re ever feeling too high or starting to feel anxious, try consuming some CBD to help balance out your high.
Benefits of CBD on Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis is a disease where the immune system eats away at the protective covering around the nerves in the body. This disease can affect the spinal cord, brain, cause nerve damage and cause a variety of different symptoms varying per person.
In a 2017 anonymous survey on the National Multiple Sclerosis Society website, people were asked to answer questions about their cannabis use and answered standardized questionnaires about their neurological function, fatigue, balance, and physical activity. After the survey, the data was gathered and the survey was completed by 595 patients. 59% of those patients recorded that they reduced prescription medication since starting cannabis use. Cannabis users also reported that it had a positive impact on their mood, fatigue, and memory.
In 1994 a survey was conducted from 112 MS (Multiple Sclerosis) patients (57 men and 55 women) from the U.S. and U.K. All 112 patients were self-medicating with some form of cannabis, and it was found that cannabis had improved certain symptoms such as pain, spasticity, tremor, and depression in more than 90% of those patients. Cannabis was also shown to help improve hand-writing tests and bladder control tests.
Benefits of CBD on Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal and the nerve cell activity in the brain is disturbed, causing seizures along with potential other symptoms affecting the person as well.
CBD has shown great potential in helping treat epilepsy. In 2016 a study was conducted on 214 pharmacoresistant child-onset epilepsy patients who were receiving CBD as a treatment option. The two most common syndromes were Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Dravet syndrome is a rare drug-resistant epilepsy that begins in the first year of life. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is a severe form of epilepsy that can be identified during infancy or early childhood. Children with this form of epilepsy experience different kinds of seizures such as tonic (stiffening) and atonic (drop). During this study, each child was administered 5 mg of CBD per day and was increased to a maximum of 50mg per day (if it was tolerated) over a 12 week period. The frequency of motor seizures was 30.0 at the baseline when the treatment started and was reduced to 15.8 after the treatment was over. This shows that the use of CBD cuts the frequency of seizures almost in half.
Benefits of CBD and Anxiety
CBD has become very popular for helping treat anxiety disorders. Clinical studies and trials concluded that CBD can provide a wide array of therapeutic properties including antipsychotic, analgesic, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, etc. In a 2013 study done on mice, the mice were subjected to stressors every day throughout the trial and then given repeated administration of CBD (30mg) 2 hours after each stressor. The results of administering the CBD after each stressor showed that CBD helped show a proliferation (rapid reproduction of cells) effect and promoted cell cycle progression.
Benefits of CBD and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that can be triggered after experiencing or witnessing a scary or dangerous event. PTSD can have a multitude of symptoms such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, nightmares, heightened reactions, etc.
In a 2012 study CBD was administered to rodents that experienced predator exposure (predator exposure promotes long-lasting anxiogenic effects that have similar symptoms also found in PTSD patients). Rats were exposed to a cat and then an hour later received a single dose of CBD. During the study, it was shown that CBD was able to reduce the long-lasting anxiogenic effects after being exposed just one time. This provides us with information that could be helpful in helping treat PTSD symptoms.
While there is still much research needed to be done on CBD and how it can be used medicinally, we are starting to see the positive trend that CBD has. This is a big indicator that cannabis can be used in a variety of different ways as a medicine. Many people may think of the cannabis plant as only providing you with psychoactive effects, but this is slowly starting to fade away as we start to research the plant as a whole. If you are looking to try CBD, stop by any Quality Roots location and any of our knowledgeable patient care specialists can answer any questions you have and point you in the right direction based on what you need.