There is rightfully a lot of interest in cannabidiol (CBD) right now. For those sceptical or totally against trying cannabis, even for medicinal purposes, CBD is a way of experiencing many of the therapeutic effects, without becoming intoxicated. Another benefit of CBD over cannabis with delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is that products are already available and can be readily purchased. Also you will have no need for a prescription or doctor’s recommendation to purchase. These legal CBD products from companies like Jolly Green Oil, that contain less than 0.3% THC, are made using extracts from hemp.
Many argue that cannabis is most effective in whole-plant form, with the THC included. Whilst this is certainly true for some conditions, it’s by no means a strict rule either. Indeed, for some ailments, such as anxiety, not having any THC can be a benefit. This is because THC can also occasionally cause anxiety as a side effect.
Here are four recently-conducted scientific studies which are showing the benefits and medical potential of CBD.
Cannabidiol and Epilepsy:
For many types of epilepsy, drugs like Clozanepam can be used to manage seizures. However, for certain conditions like Dravet Syndrome , no currently approved drugs seem to help. These forms of epilepsy are referred to as ‘refractory epilepsy’ and have been known to cause upwards of one hundred seizures per week.
A 2017 study published in Neurologia looked at the effects of CBD treatment on 15 patients with refractory epilepsy. The results were very encouraging. In more than a quarter of the participants seizures cleared up completely. Seizure frequency also decreased in 40 percent of patients. Crucially, all 15 reported an improvement in mood thanks to CBD. Suggesting the cannabinoid enhances quality of life, even if it isn’t necessarily a cure.
CBD and Pain Relief
The brain is heavily involved with the sensation of pain and is the result of emotional processing. Rats and humans have similar brains, hence why the former is typically used to trial new pain treatments. Frontiers in Pharmacology published a study in 2017 that investigated the endocannabinoid system’s role in incision pain. This also studied the therapeutic value of CBD.
The study showed that CBD can be used to decreased mechanical allodynia. A type of pain sensation that can be triggered by light touch, when injected systemically. Few papers have demonstrated that CBD alone can have any reductive impact on pain, yet this research is proof that further studies in the field are needed, and that CBD can be an effective painkiller.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Many of us would like to have a reduced response to fear. This is particularly the case for people dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). People with PTSD can suffer from adverse reactions to negative memories and flashbacks on a regular basis. A study featured in Neuropharmacology back in 2017 looked at the relationship between CBD and fear, by administering electric shocks to rats.
The researchers found that CBD interfered with the consolidation of fear memories that came from the electric shocks. As long as the CBD was given immediately after the incident.
Fear memories are controlled by the dorsal hippocampus, which is situated in the temporal lobe. This lobe contains CB1 and CB2 receptors from the endocannabinoid system. A similar reduced fear response was detected by treating the rats with an FAAH enzyme inhibitor. This is the same effect that CBD has, which increases anandamide levels. Anandamide then binds to CB1 and CB2 receptors in the dorsal hippocampus to stop the consolidation of fear memories.