What is CBD?
A Guide to One of Nature’s Many Medicines
While THC usually gets all the attention, studies shedding light on the potential benefits of CBD have forced us to take another look at the non-psychoactive compound.
Cannabidiol, abbreviated CBD, is a cannabinoid found in cannabis. When absorbed into our bodies cannabinoids interact with our endocannabinoid system by binding to our CB1 and CB2 receptors, regulating everything we feel, think, and do.
Just like a key fits into a lock, cannabinoids are designed to bind with these receptors and spur them into action. Once triggered a set of events are put into place to send out messages and carry out cellular responses to provide support for our brain, immune, and central nervous system.
Our bodies naturally produce cannabinoids, referred to as endocannabinoids. These are made specifically to bind with our CB1 and CB2 receptors. However, phytocannabinoids (originating from plants) such as CBD can also effectively stimulate these receptors.
It is theorized that a deficiency in our endocannabinoid system can lead to various cognitive and immune problems later in life. Administering cannabinoids such as CBD can help our systems maintain healthy functions and provide therapeutic benefits for our health.
CBD has shown the potential to be beneficial for the treatment of the following diseases & disorders:
Alzheimer’s Disease- Alzheimer’s, a form of dementia, is a disease that causes brain cells to degenerate and die. CBD has shown to slow the progress of the disease and reduce cell death rate.
Amytotraphic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) – CBD may significantly slow the onset of ALS. It can also help reduce the pain, appetite loss, depression, sleeping problems, spasticity, and drooling that can are commonly associated with the disease.
Anxiety Disorder – CBD has effects on the limbic and paralimbic areas of the brain that reduce anxiety. It’s been shown to reduce the anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort associated with public speaking.
Arthritis – With its anti-inflammatory benefits and potent anti-arthritic effects that protect joints, CBD can limit the progression of arthritis.
Bone Health – CBD enhances the maturation of collagen, the protein in the bone’s connective tissue that holds the bone together, to significantly improve the strength and the healing process of bones.
Cancer – CBD has shown to inhibit the progression of cancers in animal test subjects, which suggests it could be effective at mediating cancer cell death in human subjects. CBD acid (CBDA) has shown the capability of down-regulating invasive human brain cancer cells and therefore preventing their growth.
Cardiovascular Disease – CBD can reduce myocardial dysfunction, cardiac fibrosis, oxidative-nitrative stress, inflammation, and cell death, which collectively offer therapeutic benefits in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. In addition, administering CBD shortly after a heart attack has been shown to reduce infarct size and myocardial inflammation.
Cirrhosis (Liver Disease) – Studies suggest that CBD helps combat the progression of cirrhosis by assisting in the death of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), which proliferate and produce excess collagen, causing the accumulation of scarring on the liver. CBD has also been shown to restore liver function in mice experiencing liver failure.
Crohn’s Disease (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) – CBD encourages anti-inflammation of the digestive track by controlling the pro-inflammatory response caused by the disease.
Depression – CBD has demonstrated both antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects in animal subjects.
Diabetes – CBD has shown to significantly reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines in the bloodstream and the occurrence of diabetes in non-obese mice.
Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders – CBD has demonstrated the ability to reduce or even eliminate seizures. Research also finds that cannabis is effective in the treatment of severe pediatric epilepsy disorders like Dravet syndrome, Doose syndrome, and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. CBD has also been shown to improve sleep (53%), alertness (71%), and mood (63%) in epileptic children.
Leukemia – CBD helps prevent complications that can occur after a leukemia patient receives a stem cell or bone marrow transplant. In addition, it has been found to help cancer patients manage the nausea, vomiting, pain, and appetite suppression associated with traditional cancer treatments.
Migraines – CBD is effective at reducing pain associated with a wide variety of conditions, including headache and migraines.
Multiple Sclerosis – CBD combats the inflammation associated with multiple sclerosis, therefore providing neuroprotection and limiting the disease’s progression. CBD effectively reduces the spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis. In addition, it has demonstrated the ability to reduce the neuropathic pain associated with multiple sclerosis.
Nausea – Studies have found that cannabinoids, including CBD, are effective at treating the more difficult to control symptoms of nausea, as well as preventing anticipatory nausea in chemotherapy patients.
Obesity – CBD has been shown to significant decrease body weight gain and reduce lipid levels.
Pain – CBD has been shown effective at lowering pain levels associated with a wide variety of conditions, including spasticity, headache, migraines, and other acute pain and chronic pain conditions.
Parkinson’s Disease – CBD has neuroprotective properties and supports the health of cells in the mitochondria, which helps to prevent neurodegeneration. Significant improvements in well being and quality of life were found in Parkinson’s disease patients undergoing CBD treatment. CBD may also help Parkinson’s disease patients experiencing psychosis.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – CBD’s interaction with the cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) regulates the release of neurotransmitters that increases a sense of pleasure and initiates alternation of memory processes. CBD can also block the continuous retrieval of the traumatic event, thus enhancing its extension and reducing its associated anxiety.
Schizophrenia – CBD has anxiolytic and antipsychotic properties. Schizophrenia patients treated with CBD in trials have shown that CBD is a safe and well-tolerated alternative treatment for schizophrenia.
Sickle Cell Anemia – Cannabinoids have shown to be effective at helping treat the severe pain associated with sickle cell disease.
Spinal Cord Disease – CBD improves bladder control, muscle spasms, and spasticity in patients with spinal cord diseases and damage.
Spinal Cord Injuries – When administered shortly after a spinal cord injury, CBD stimulates a neuroprotective response to limit damage. CBD has shown to improve motor scores following a spinal cord injury.
Stroke – Administering CBD shortly after a stroke protects neurons and astrocytes from damage, and therefore leads to improved functional, histological, biochemical, and neurobehavior recovery.
Traumatic Brain Injury – CBD has shown to provide a neuroprotective effect and limit brain damage following a traumatic brain injury.