Cannabis has been stigmatized for decades, but scientists and society cannot deny that the plant’s active ingredients, known as Cannabinoids, provide a natural remedy to a host of health issues. While CBD, extracted from the cannabis plant, is structurally similar to THC, part of the allure is that it won’t get you high.
“CBD is now the most researched cannabinoid on the market and rightly so because the studies go back to the 1940s proving its effectiveness on the nervous and immune systems, with no toxicity, side effects, nor psycho-activity,” says Jared Berry, CEO of Isodiol, a company that produces hemp-extracted CBD for pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and cosmetic companies.
Cannabis is known to have 85+ different cannabinoids, many of them potentially having health benefits.
“Cannabinoids promote homeostasis at every level of biological life, from the sub-cellular to the organism, and perhaps to the community and beyond,” writes NORML, a foundation that works to reform marijuana laws.
According to research, cannabinoids synergize and help support humans’ built-in Endocannabinoid System (ECS). It was in 1992 that scientists discovered that the ECS plays a direct role in homeostasis, which regulates every metabolic process in the body, such as pain sensation, appetite, temperature regulation, stress reactivity, immune function, and sleep, as well as other processes. Even more interesting is that muscle and fat tissue also utilize these receptors to control their processes.
So basically, CBD communicates with our body’s main command center to keep things running as they should. Pretty amazing.
While the government has arguably made selling CBD quite difficult, the US Department of Health and Services ironically patented cannabinoids in 2001.
The FDA and DEA refuse to change their stance on cannabis.
“Naturally, this shows a certain amount of hypocrisy that there is ‘no accepted medical use’ for cannabis according to federal law,” Sam Mendez, an intellectual property and public policy lawyer who serves as the executive director of the University of Washington’s Cannabis Law & Policy Project recently told the Denver Post. “And yet here you have the very same government owning a patent for, ostensibly, a medical use for marijuana.”
Politics aside, let’s look at just nine of the myriad ways CBD can help improve health.
Epilepsy is a neurological disorder caused by unusual nerve cell activity in the brain. Each year, about 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with this condition. Many turn to mind-numbing medications, brain surgeries and invasively implanted electrical stimulation devices, with little to no relief.
Yet, 20 years of research has shown that CBD has anti-seizure activity, and has been used successfully to treat drug-resistant, epileptic children with no side effects.
“CBD oil is also really good option for people with seizures, because you want a method of delivery they can’t choke on. As an oil, it can be rubbed on the gums and under the tongue,” adds Payton Curry, the founder of Flourish Cannabis, and a huge proponent of CBD. Curry views cannabis as a vegetable, and uses everything from the bud to the root stock to maximize its non-psychoactive properties.
These days, just thinking of the future of the health care system in this country and the assaults on our environment is enough to get a person down and out.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, in any given year, persistent depressive disorder PDD, affects approximately 1.5 percent of the U.S. population ages 18 and older. That’s about 3.3 million American adults.
In 2015, an estimated 16.1 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.
CBD has shown to have antidepressant-like actions, enhancing both serotonergic and glutamate cortical signaling through a 5-HT1A receptor-dependent mechanism.
We live in a Xanax-addled society. Anxiety Disorders today affect 18.1 percent of adults in the United States, which equates to approximately 40 million adults, between the ages of 18 to 54.
One of CBD’s most promising implications is in the realm of anti-anxiety. Studies show that CBD can positively impact behavior and reduce psychological measures of stress and anxiety in conditions such as PTSD, social anxiety disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder.
CBD also significantly reduced cognitive impairment and discomfort in speech performance, and significantly decreased angst surrounding public speaking.
Even some pet owners have reported that using CBD oil on their dogs has calmed them down, writes Gunhee Park, Co-Founder of Ministry of Hemp.
While more research is needed to illustrate optimal dosage for anti-anxiety, consider this an opportunity to experiment and learn what works for you.
Today, chronic disease is on the rise like never before with oxidative stress playing a significant causative role. Oxidative stress occurs when the body has too many free radicals and can’t counteract the damage. People fall prey when eating a nutrient deficient diet or when they experience an onslaught of toxins and the body can’t keep up and detox, causing more symptoms of dis-ease.
Oxidative stress is associated with a number of ailments including neurodegenerative diseases, heart disease, gene mutations and cancer.
How amazing that CBD is particularly beneficial in the treatment of oxidative stress-associated diseases of the CNS, because cannabinoids’ ability to cross the blood brain barrier and exert their antioxidant effects in the brain.
Chronic low-level inflammation can severely erode your health; the silent lurker contributes to at least seven of the 10 leading causes of mortality in the United States, which include heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and nephritis.
While real organic food and proper nutrition should be the base of any anti-inflammatory protocol, CBD has shown to significantly suppress chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain without causing dependency or tolerance.
CHRONIC PAIN AND NEURO-PROTECTION
Studies also indicate that this magical compound can help reduce chronic pain, which is fantastic considering America is witnessing a serious and deadly opioid epidemic. To put things in perspective, we are now losing more people to opioids than from firearms or car crashes – combined.
Cannabis can regulate immune functions and shows positive effects where neurons have been damaged, which makes it a safe and effective treatment for ALS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and MS. CBD has also slowed down cell damage in diabetes patients and worked effectively to block progression of arthritis.
As if CBD wasn’t already a home run, CBD also plays a positive role on our metabolism, and body weight regulation.
In a published study in the scientific journal Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry
CBD was found to:
- Stimulate genes and proteins that enhance the breakdown and oxidation of fat.
- Increase the number and activity of mitochondria, which increases the body’s ability to burn calories).
- Decrease the expression of proteins involved in lipogenesis (fat cell generation).
- Help induce fat browning.
Not sleeping can wreak havoc on your psyche and physique. According to the American Sleep Association, 50-70 million U.S. adults have a sleep disorder today.
Evidence suggests that CBD oil can improve quality of sleep and reduce anxiety. I can attest. One study found that CBD blocked anxiety-induced REM sleep suppression, resulting in better quality of sleep. Another study found that the oil reduced participants’ cortisol levels, which are linked to anxiety and stress in the body.
When it comes to doses for treatment, Gunhee writes that CBD dosing experiments have shown that small doses of CBD have an “active” effect, meaning it actually helps you stay active and focused while interestingly, large dosages have the opposite effect: sedation.
How ironic that we can use a compound belonging to a Schedule 1 Drug (marijuana) to stop the addiction of other narcotics.
CBD is thought to modulate various neuronal circuits involved in drug addiction. A limited number of preclinical studies suggest that CBD may have therapeutic properties on opioid, cocaine and psychostimulant addictions. One of the most promising application is using CBD to curb the habits of cigarette smokers.
CBD can even be effective for the treatment of cannabis withdrawal syndrome and certainly helped me kick Xanax for good.
Many of these could replace synthetic drugs that have flooded the market and allow patients and customers to use a natural non addictive plant compound as a remedy.
In the words of Gunhee, co-founder of Populum: “…maybe that’s the exact reason why progress has been so slow; approval of CBD as a legitimate supplement and drug would be a significant blow to big pharmaceutical companies.”