When it comes to marijuana and its medicinal properties, many people are familiar with the numerous benefits of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). However, cannabidiol (CBD) is also gaining popularity as a treatment for many different physical and psychological conditions. After THC, CBD is one of the most abundant chemicals in the cannabis plant.
THC, which causes the main psychoactive effect of marijuana, is often used for pain relief, appetite stimulation, nausea suppression, and even has very promising anti-cancer properties. While THC is useful for a variety is diseases and disorders, CBD may have even more possible applications.
Here are just a few of them:
CBD and Cancer
While THC seems that have the ability to kill cancer cells, CBD has also been the subject of much research for its own unique anti-cancer properties.
A pair of studies from 2003, one out of Italy and one out of Spain, found that CBD was able to stop tumors from spreading by inhibiting the formation of new blood vessels. CBD has also been found to cause cancer cell death in breast cancer, and some promising studies on mice indicate that it may even act as a cancer preventative.
CBD and Anxiety
CBD is an effective treatment for some people suffering with anxiety disorders. Research into the relationship between CBD and anxiety is still preliminary, but there is much anecdotal evidence that suggests it may be helpful for mild to severe anxiety, and even for symptoms of PTSD.
This may seem counter-intuitive, as one of the most common side effects of marijuana is paranoia. However, this is likely due to high THC content. CBD, on the other hand, acts to counter these effects.
Growers have unfortunately been much more focused on increasing THC over CBD over the years in an effort to increase the “high” feeling. Thankfully, with the rising interest in the medicinal properties of marijuana, there are now several strains available with high CBD content as well.
CBD and Pain
CBD is effective for reducing many different types of pain. For example, it is not only able to ease the pain of arthritis, but researchers have found that it also acts as anti-inflammatory and an immunosuppressant, meaning that it actively protects the joints while providing pain relief.
CBD is also able to provide safe and effective relief from chronic pain, cancer-related pain, neuropathic pain, pain associated with HIV, and even common maladies such as headaches and muscle soreness.
CBD and Dravet Syndrome
Dravet syndrome is an incredibly debilitating form of epilepsy with an onset in infancy. It is characterized by frequent and treatment-resistant seizures. Patients see very little improvement with typical anti-epileptic drugs. In fact, these drugs sometimes make the condition worse, and are accompanied by very unpleasant side effects.
Seeking ways to help their children, many parents have found themselves looking outside of the law and using extracts from cannabis strains which are high in CBD. Some of these children’s symptoms have improved so drastically that the FDA has approved research into CBD and childhood epilepsy.
Other Potential Medicinal Uses of CBD
The conditions described above are currently at the forefront of research into CBD, but this amazing compound has many other promising applications. It may be able to delay the onset of a motor neurone disease known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, to help patients manage the symptoms of diabetes, and to improve the symptoms of dystonia.
CBD also has the potential to replace a class of drugs known as atypical antipsychotics, which are used to manage schizophrenia but which come with many unwanted side effects. CBD provides all of the benefits of these drugs, but with none of the negatives and with an excellent safety profile to boot.