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Medicinal Value of Cannabidiol (CBD)

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the major cannabinoids found in cannabis. Studies have shown it safely and effectively provides a plethora of therapeutic benefits.

Overview of CBD

While cannabis’ tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the cannabinoid that gets most of the attention, the relatively recent monumental findings on the therapeutic benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) are finally giving the non-psychoactive compound its due shine. CBD levels vary among different strains of marijuana plants, but breeders are able to create varieties with high levels of CBD.

Findings: Effects of Cannabis on Effects of CBD

Studies have shown that CBD safely and effectively reduces nausea and vomiting, suppresses seizure activity, combats psychosis disorders, contests inflammatory disorders, counters neurodegenerative disorders, fights tumor and cancer cells, and battles anxiety and depression disorders (Fernandez-Ruiz, et al., 2013). Because of these notable effects, CBD shows exciting potential as a treatment option for neuroinflammation disorders, epilepsy, oxidative injury, vomiting and nausea, and anxiety and schizophrenia (Fernandez-Ruiz, et al., 2013).

Alzheimer’s Disease

CBD limits the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by blocking microglial activation and thus providing neuroprotection (Martin-Moreno, et al., 2011) (Ramirez, et al., 2005) (Campbell & Gowran, 2007). The combination of neuroprotective, anti-oxidative and anti-apoptotic effects provided by CBD decreases the oxidative stress associated with Alzheimer’s disease. (Iuvone, et al., 2004).

Amytotraphic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

CBD can significantly slow the onset of ALS (Weydt, et al., 2005). In addition, it can help reduce the pain, appetite loss, depression, sleeping problems, spasticity and drooling that can are commonly associated with ALS (Amtmann, et al., 2004) (Carter, Abood, Aggarwal & Weiss, 2010).

Anxiety Disorder

CBD has effects on the limbic and paralimbic areas of the brain to reduce anxiety and has demonstrated the ability to significantly decrease subjective anxiety (Crippa, et al., 2011). It’s also been shown to significantly reduce the anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort associated with public speaking in individuals with Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) (Bergamaschi, et al., 2011).

Arthritis

With its anti-inflammatory benefits and potent anti-arthritic effects that protect joints, CBD limits the progression of arthritis (Malfait, et al., 2000).

Bone Health

CBD enhances the maturation of collagen, the protein in the bone’s connective tissue that holds the bone together, which in turn significantly improves the strength and the healing process of bones (Kogan, et al., 2015).

Cancer

CBD inhibits the progression of cancers located in the breast, lung, prostate and colon in animal models, which suggests that it could also be effective at mediating cancer cell death in human subjects (McAllister, Soroceanu & Desprez, 2015) (Orellana-Serradell, et al., 2015) (Ligresti, et al., 2006). It’s been shown to inhibit human breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion, and decrease the gene expression in breast cancer cells, thus lowering tumor aggressiveness and significantly reducing its size (McAllister, et al., 2007). CBD acid (CBDA) has shown the capability of down-regulating invasive human brain cancer cells and therefore preventing their growth (Takeda, et al., 2014) (McAllister, et al., 2011).

Cardiovascular Disease

CBD reduces myocardial dysfunction, cardiac fibrosis, oxidative-nitrative stress, inflammation, cell death, and interrelated signaling pathways, which collectively offers therapeutic benefits in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases (Rajesh, et al., 2010). In addition, administering CBD shortly after a heart attack has been shown to reduce infarct size and myocardial inflammation, thus showing potential as a treatment for myocardial ischemia (Durst, et al., 2007).

Cirrhosis (Liver Disease)

Studies suggest that CBD helps combat cirrhosis progression by assisting in the death of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), which proliferate and produce excess collagen, causing the accumulation of scarring on the liver (Lim, Devi & Rozenfeld, 2011). CBD has also been shown to restore liver function in mice experiencing liver failure (Abraham, et al., 2011). In addition, CBD provide protection against ischemia reperfusion, the pivotal mechanism of tissue damage in cirrhosis, by reducing the force of key inflammatory pathways and oxidative/nitrative tissue injury (Mukhopadhyay, Rajesh & Pacher, 2011).

Crohn’s Disease (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

CBD supports anti-inflammation of the digestive track (Esposito, et al., 2013) (De Filippis, et al., 2011). CBD is able to control the pro-inflammatory response caused by the disease (De Filippis, et al., 2011).

Depression

CBD has demonstrated both antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects in animal models (de Mello Schier, et al., 2014) (Zanelati, et al., 2010).

Diabetes

CBD has shown to significantly reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines in the bloodstream and the incidence of diabetes in non-obese mice (Weiss, et al., 2006). It’s also been shown to be effective at curtailing the manifestations of the disease (Weiss, et al., 2008). Research has also found that CBD treatments provide significant protection from diabetic retinopathy (El-Remessy, et al., 2006).

Epilepsy and Seizure Disorders

CBD has demonstrated the ability to reduce or even eliminate seizures (Blair, Deshpande & DeLorenzo, 2015) (Rosenberg, Tsien, Whalley & Devinsky, 2015) (Szaflarski & Bebin, 2014) (Devinsky, et al., 2014). Research also finds that cannabis is effective in the treatment of severe pediatric epilepsy disorders like Dravet syndrome, Doose syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (Porter & Jacobson, 2013). CBD has also been shown to improve sleep (53%), alertness (71%), and mood (63%) in epileptic children (Hussain, et al., 2015).

Leukemia

CBD helps prevent complications that can occur after a leukemia patient receives a stem cell or bone marrow transplant (Yeshurun, et al., 2015). In addition, it has been found to help cancer patients manage the nausea, vomiting and pain associated with traditional cancer treatments and to stimulate appetite (Guzman, 2003).

Migraines

CBD is effective at reducing pain associated with a wide variety of conditions, including headache and migraines (Baron, 2015).

Multiple Sclerosis

CBD combats the inflammation associated with multiple sclerosis, therefore providing neuroprotection and limiting the disease’s progression (Kozela, et al, 2011) (Mecha, et al., 2013). CBD effectively reduces the spasticity caused by multiple sclerosis (Collin, et al., 2010). In addition, it has demonstrated the ability to reduce the neuropathic pain associated with multiple sclerosis (Barnes, 2006).

Nausea

Studies have found that cannabinoids, including CBD contained in cannabis, are effective at treating the more difficult to control symptoms of nausea, as well as preventing anticipatory nausea in chemotherapy patients (Parker, Rock & Limbeer, 2011).

Obesity

CBD has been shown to cause a significant decrease in body weight gain and reduce lipid levels (Ignatowska-Jankowska, Jankowski & Swiergiel, 2011) (Silvestri, et al., 2015).

Pain

CBD has been shown effective at lowering pain levels associated with a wide variety of conditions, including spasticity, headache, migraines, and other acute pain and chronic pain conditions (Jensen, Chen, Furnish & Wallace, 2015) (Baron, 2015).

Parkinson’s Disease

CBD has neuroprotective properties and supports the health of neural cells mitochondria, thus helping to prevent neurodegeneration (da Silva, et al., 2014) (Zuardi, 2008). (Fernandez-Ruiz, et al., 2013). Significant improvements in well being and quality of life scores were found in Parkinson’s disease patients undergoing CBD treatment (Chagas, et al., 2014). CBD may help with those Parkinson’s’ disease patients experiencing psychosis (Zuardi, et al., 2009).

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

CBD’s interaction with the cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) of the endocannabinoid system modulates the release of neurotransmitter that increases a sense of pleasure and initiates alternation of memory processes (Betthauser, Piilz, Vollmer, 2015). CBD can also block the continuous retrieval of the traumatic event, thus enhancing its extension and reducing its associated anxiety (Akirav, 2013) (Trezza & Campolongo, 2013) (Passie, et al., 2012).

Schizophrenia

CBD has anxiolytic and antipsychotic properties. Schizophrenia patients treated with CBD in trials have shown that CBD is a safe and well-tolerated alternative treatment for schizophrenia (Zuardi, et al., 2006) (Leweke, et al., 2012).

Sickle Cell Anemia

Cannabinoids have shown to be effective at helping curtail the severe pain associated with sickle cell disease (Kohli, et al., 2010) (Howard, et al., 2005).

Spinal Cord Disease

CBD improves bladder control, muscle spasms and spasticity in patients with spinal cord diseases and damage (Wade, et al, 2003).

Spinal Cord Injuries

When administered shortly after a spinal cord injury, CBD stimulates a neuroprotective response to limit damage (Arevalo-Martin, et al., 2012). CBD has shown to improve motor scores following a spinal cord injury (Kwiatkoski, et al, 2012).

Stroke

Administering CBD shortly after a stroke protects neurons and astrocytes from damage, and therefore leads to improved functional, histological, biochemical, and neurobehavior recovery (Lafuente, et al., 2011).

Traumatic Brain Injury

CBD has shown to provide a neuroprotective effect and limit brain damage following a traumatic brain injury (Castillo, et al., 2010) (Mechoulam & Shohami, 2007) (Pazos, et al., 2013).

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  • October 26, 2015
  • Eve Ripley
  • Medical Marijuana, Inc.

    Hello Roberto,

    It’s a misconception that CBD from marijuana is more effective than CBD from hemp. CBD is CBD — it’s the same compound regardless of whether it comes from a hemp variety or marijuana variety of the cannabis plant. However, marijuana does have THC, which hemp-based products will never have in greater than a trace amount. Most other compounds found in marijuana (other cannabinoids, terpenes, etc.) can also be found in hemp, but concentrations vary widely.