CBD is a naturally occurring cannabinoid in the cannabis plant that many consider to have medicinal properties. The compound is controversial because it originates from the cannabis sativa plant that also produces tetrahydrocannabinol. However, CBD does not have the same psychoactive properties found in THC and, therefore, does not cause the hallucinogenic effects that are commonly associated with marijuana. CBD can be used to reduce stress and anxiety, help with sleep, and reduce nausea, among other properties. Medical professionals are also using the substance in treating epilepsy, and some studies suggest that the molecule has the potential to be used as an anticarcinogen.
Help with anxiety and sleep
In the peer-reviewed journal Recent Patents on CNS Drug Discovery, Simone Tambaro and Marco Bortolato published an article titled Cannabinoid-related Agents in the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders: Current Knowledge and Future Perspective. The article described the body of evidence that demonstrates the effects of cannabis products on emotional regulation. Now, CBD has drawn the interest of the medical community for the use in treating neuropsychiatric disorders. In a study published in Neurotherapeutics, Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders, the researchers present strong preclinical results demonstrating evidence to support that CBD is an effective treatment for anxiety and panic disorders. The reason is that CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, specifically with certain receptors such as 5-HT1A, among others.
Chronic pain is a public health issue that causes extra problems because of the secondary effects and levels of toxicity of the medication that doctors now prescribe. Furthermore, the medical community is seeking alternative treatments given the elevated level of scrutiny over prescription practices and drug abuse associated with such medication. Therefore, the concept of medical marijuana and CBD are providing patients with nontoxic and nonaddictive options for managing pain. The body’s endocannabinoid system plays a role in many of the physiological functions and helps maintain homeostasis. Additionally, the body has the presence of cannabinoid receptors around the central nervous system and on immune cells.
All of this makes cannabinoids, and CBD in particular, well-suited for modulating pain processing as the compound alleviates pain through these receptors and using other non-receptor mechanisms that include direct analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. Cannabinoids also have modulatory actions on neurotransmitters backed up by preclinical data suggesting that CBD is an effective analgesic. For patients with certain cancers, CBD is growing in popularity because of the nontoxicity of the substance. Medical professionals recommend that those with the condition get the facts about prostate cancer or other forms of the disease and review all treatment options.
Safety of the drug
As different states within the United States have legalized cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes, the public concern on the safety of CBD has also grown. However, the World Health Organization’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence concluded that cannabidiol, in a state that is pure and not manipulated with processes or chemicals, does not cause harm and cannot be abused. Overall CBD is well-tolerated and has a good safety profile. Furthermore, although unsanctioned, the substance is now available in different forms including CBD vape oil for medical use in treating different conditions. As the growing body of evidence continues to demonstrate positive results and the issue of safety is backed up with medical research, the uses of the drug should expand. For example, researchers have clinically proven that CBD is an effective form of treatment for patients with epilepsy. Products such as Epidiolex® have undergone successful Phase III trials and have scientifically demonstrated the positive uses of pure CBD products.