Research shows that CBD plays a significant role in nearly every aspect of the medical benefits of cannabis plant, and has a variety of healing properties. CBD has been found to have strong anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory and anti-convulsive properties, and is not a psychoactive cannabinoid like THC. Studies are also showing CBD as a safe and effective antimicrobial molecule when battling bacterial infections like MRSA, Clostridium difficile and others. In a time when bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to pharmaceutical antibiotics, CBD is an opportunity for healing that has still not been fully explored. Some research indicates that CBD could even act as a neuroprotective agent, and suggests CBD may reduce anxiety in social anxiety disorder and have antidepressant effects for those who are depressed.
Cannabinoids are a group of 21-carbon–containing terpenophenolic compounds produced uniquely by Cannabis species (e.g., Cannabis sativa L.) .[1,2] These plant-derived compounds may be referred to as phytocannabinoids. Although delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary psychoactive ingredient, other known compounds with biologic activity are cannabinol, cannabidiol (CBD), cannabichromene, cannabigerol, tetrahydrocannabivarin, and delta-8-THC. CBD, in particular, is thought to have significant analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity without the psychoactive effect (high) of delta-9-THC.
Scientific research has shown that CBD may be therapeutic for many conditions, including those listed to the right. In compiling a list of conditions for which there is evidence that CBD-rich medicaments might be helpful, we examined hundreds of peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals. Relevant reports have been culled primarily from PubMed, the online service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Most of the PubMed material consists of abstracts on preclinical research involving single cannabinoid molecules, test tubes, petri dishes, animal experiments, and in some cases human cell line studies.
Although all mammals have cell receptors that respond pharmacologically to cannabinoid compounds, data from animal experiments and other preclinical research is not always applicable to human experience.
CBD is all the rage in the public sphere these days, but how much does the average person actually know about it? In this issue of Cannabinoid Profiles, the properties of CBD are broken down and the therapeutic benefits are explored. Get to know this cannabinoid and discover what studies are currently being done to determine its wide variety of medicinal benefits.
LD50 (Lethal Dose): 50mg/kg for mice (Compare to Nicotine: 3.34mg/kg), ~748mg/kg for humans
Cannabidiol (CBD) is the principal non-psychoactive cannabinoid present in the cannabis plant, occurring in the largest concentrations after THC. Beyond being not psychoactive, CBD is a powerful anti-psychotic drug and valuable for anyone with psychosis or schizophrenia. CBD has been shown to be a better anti-inflammatory than THC and Ibuprofen, it is also at least as effective as THC for treating pain and managing tumors. CBD has a wide range of therapeutic uses ranging from physical ones like pain relief to mental ones like relief of anxiety and depression. Due to the fact that it is non-psychoactive and strongly medicinal even in small doses, CBD is highly recommended for treatment of children, the elderly, and anyone who wants to remain clear headed yet medicated. CBD appears to change how THC affects the body, making it less psychoactive and more therapeutic.
Analgesic – Relieves pain.
Antibacterial – Slows bacterial growth.
Anti-Diabetic – CBD is the only cannabinoid identified that helps lower blood sugar levels.
Antidepressant – Relieves symptoms of depression.
Anti-Emetic – Reduces vomiting and nausea.
Anti-Epileptic – Reduces seizures and convulsions.
Anti-Ischemic – CBD is the only cannabinoid identified that reduces the risk of artery blockage.
Antipsioratic – CBD is the only cannabinoid identified to treat psoriasis.
Anti-Proliferative – Inhibits cancer cell growth.
Antipsychotic – Tranquilizing effects to relieve symptoms of psychosis, two terpenoids also help (linalool and myrcene).
Antioxidant – Prevents the damage of oxidation to other molecules in the body.
Antispasmodic – Suppresses muscle spasms.
Anxiolitic – CBD is the only cannabinoid identified that relieves anxiety, but two terpenoids also help (linalool and limonene).
Bone Stimulant – Promotes bone growth.
Immunosuppressive – CBD is the only cannabinoid identified that reduces function in the immune system.
Intestinal Anti-Prokinetic – CBD is the only cannabinoid identified that reduces small intestine contractions.
Neuroprotective – Slows damage to the nervous system and brain.
Vasorelaxant– CBD is the only cannabinoid identified that reduces vascular tension.
CBD is also currently being studied for a variety of conditions.
Currently Being Studied For
Cancer: A study was published in 2007, regarding ongoing research being done at San Francisco’s California Pacific Medical Center, showing that CBD inhibits a particular gene (Id-1) which is responsible for the growth of cancer cells in the body. By inhibiting this gene CBD shuts down the growth of cancer cells, potentially stopping or even reversing tumor growth. While it is premature to say that CBD cures cancer, it is worth further research.
Dravet Syndrome/Epilepsy: In October of 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved two clinical trials assessing the therapeutic uses of CBD in treating intractable epilepsy in children. The CBD preparations are being made by British pharmaceutical company GW Pharmaceuticals, makers of Sativex. Dravet is a rare seizure disorder where usually children will have their first intractable seizure before they are even one year old, and in exceptional cases seizures can last over 24 hours. Harborside, where I work, has a famous patient named Jayden, a young boy who uses a CBD-rich tincture to treat his Dravet Syndrome.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease/Crohn’s Disease: CBD shows a lot of promise for controlling the inflammatory responses and discomfort caused by Crohn’s disease and IBD. CBD has so much potential to regulate these diseases that it is being considered for a new class of IBD drugs.
Alzheimer’s Disease/Dementia/Memory Loss: CBD’s strong neuroprotective and antioxidative effects work together to counteract the effects of aging on our brains, fighting off memory loss and dementia.