The medicinal benefits of cannabis and the individual compounds contained within it are being unearthed at an unprecedented rate, thanks to a combination of modern-day technology, our biological understanding of the body, and the increased desire to research controlled substances once again.
The therapeutic possibilities of cannabis are more wide-ranging than would have been believed just 20 years ago. Much of this is down to the distinct medicinal potential of cannabidiol (CBD), the key non-psychoactive constituent in the herb. CBD is not an agonist of the CB1 receptor, and therefore does not produce the required reaction inside the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to initiate mind-altering, psychotropic effects.
With the public safe in the knowledge that CBD won’t affect their brain or cause mental health issues, many more people are prepared to at least give CBD a try. Moreover, hemp-based CBD is legal in most locations, and everywhere in the United States, as the ultra-low THC content means that specific cannabis legislation isn’t required. Green Roads CBD is one of many companies developing hemp-derived CBD products.
Here are five conditions that, based on existing research, could eventually be treated using CBD.
While THC produces a psychoactive effect, CBD is responsible for an anti-psychoactive effect. In terms of cannabis, this means that the more CBD there is in a strain, the less potent the psychoactive effects will be. However, in a medical context, the anti-psychotic effect of CBD as a CB1 receptor antagonist, or blocker, means it could help to treat psychosis.
This carries increased importance because of the severe side effects that many patients prescribed anti-psychotic drugs experience. The prospect of a safer and perhaps even more therapeutic treatment than those currently available is cause for optimism. This review of CBD’s anti-psychotic properties suggests CBD could even be beneficial for schizophrenia patients.
Depression is another mental health disorder where existing pharmaceutical treatments are falling short. This is partially due to the complexity of the mood disorder, but also due to the lack of research on substances that we know affect the brain, such as cannabinoids like CBD. Current selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drugs work to keep more serotonin in the body, but the slow-to-act mechanism can leave patients waiting weeks before experiencing relief.
In contrast, the current studies on CBD and depression indicate that the cannabinoid not only has antidepressant properties, but that it works much more quickly than SSRIs. Some research shows this may be thanks to the neurological benefits CBD has on parts of the brain affected by depression.
According to a recent survey, arthritis and chronic pain was the most common reason for taking CBD, following chronic pain. This is perhaps no surprise given the analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that CBD has demonstrated when isolated. For osteoarthritis, CBD may help by limiting damage to joint cartilage, therefore reducing pain. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, and there is some research that CBD can help with these by encouraging immune system regulation.
The pain of arthritis is close to the surface of the body, which makes CBD-infused salves, balms and creams an ideal form of treatment. Simply apply the cream to the affected area. With the popularity of topicals for arthritis, it may be worth investing in CBD wholesale creams.
After decades of unsuccessful research, a group of cannabinoid scientists may have finally identified the cause of fibromyalgia, an unusual illness that triggers myriad of physical and mental symptoms. They argue that these symptoms are the result of an endocannabinoid deficiency – in a nutshell, those who suffer from fibromyalgia aren’t generating endocannabinoids at the necessary rate. This leads to dysfunction in the ECS, that can only be remedied with external help.
CBD may be able to treat this dysfunction, by inhibiting reuptake of anandamide. Anandamide is the most essential endocannabinoid in the ECS, as it activates both of the main cannabinoid receptors.
Anxiety patients are in a similar position to depression patients – SSRIs are not up to standard, but the current science on CBD looks promising. Studies have shown that CBD promotes higher amounts of anxiolytic GABA neurotransmitters in the brain, reducing the brain excitation which is thought to trigger anxiety.
Furthermore, researchers have also identified that CBD has an actual anti-anxiety effect in practical situations, and that it’s not just down to a placebo effect. This was as part of a study on patients with social anxiety in 2011.