Pretty much everyone knows today that the two major reasons that people take CBD are, first, to help manage pain and, second, to eliminate anxiety. But these are by no means the only reasons people use CBD. Speaking with countless people over close to a decade, we built a list of what people are reading and reacting to in the cannabis literature.
1) CBD Fights Against Cancer
While no one is touting CBD as the universal cure for cancer, there have been some interesting research finds that fuel many people’s interest in the potential anti-cancer effects of CBD. To begin, CBD and other natural chemicals found in cannabis have an anti-tumor effect and could be used to improve standard treatments for many types of cancer. Specifically, CBD has successfully stopped cancer cells in multiple different cervical cancer cells. CBD increased tumor cell death in leukemia and colon cancer. It also decreased human glioma cell growth and invasion, thus suggesting a possible role of CBD as an anti-tumor agent. Cannabinoids like CBD also may be promising tools in combination therapy for breast and prostate cancer, due to their direct anti-tumor effects, their ability to improve the effectiveness of conventional anti-tumor drugs, and their usefulness as a treatment to reduce pain.
2) CBD Reduces Inflammation, Autoimmunity and Pain
CBD, other cannabinoids and terpenes have been shown to be instrumental in reducing inflammation markers and associated pain in a number of conditions including autoimmune diseases. It seems as though in our experience more people take CBD for inflammatory conditions like asthma and digestive disorders versus acute pain from injury or body trauma, however, some studies suggest that cannabinoids may be a new class of useful therapeutic agents for the treatment of chronic pain. CBD significantly decreased chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain in rodents. Cannabidiol, especially in a combination with THC, shows promising results for the treatment of postoperative pain, chronic pain associated with multiple sclerosis, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and neuropathic pain. Lastly, due to its anti-inflammatory effect, cannabinoids may provide relief of joint pain and swelling and decrease joint destruction and disease progression. Administration of CBD protected joints against severe damage, decreased progression, and produced improvement of arthritis in animal models.
3) CBD May Protect the Brain from Cognitive Decline and Neurodegeneration.
While a great deal of research is being done on CBG for these issues, CBD was also found to prevent toxic effects of neurotransmitter glutamate and radical oxygen species (ROS) in the brain, thus preventing brain cell death. CBD has antioxidant activity greater than most natural substance including vitamin C (ascorbic acid) or vitamin E (α-tocopherol). Further, studies suggest that CBD may also protect the brain in cases where blood flow is reduced (ischemia). CBD may also protect brain cells from beta-amyloid toxicity, making it a potential therapy in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Early human studies showed a dose-related improvement in patients with Parkinson’s disease treated with 100–600 mg/day of CBD over a 6-week period. CBD has been shown to reverse cognitive deficits of Alzheimer’s disease in animal models. CBD, due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, may be a promising agent to treat and prolong survival in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) patients. Finally, cannabis derivatives may relieve symptoms in multiple sclerosis patients. A combination of CBD and THC is effective and well tolerated in the treatment of muscle tightness, pain, sleep disturbances, and loss of bladder control (urinary incontinence) in people with multiple sclerosis.
4) CBD Has Therapeutic Potential for Schizophrenia
CBD is a potential treatment for psychosis. CBD improves the symptoms of schizophrenia, but the mechanism of action is unknown. Studies suggest that CBD has similar effects as atypical antipsychotic drugs, but with fewer side effects.
5) CBD Helps with Epileptic Seizures
CBD may be a promising therapy for treatment-resistant epilepsy. In a survey including parents of children with treatment-resistant epilepsy, 84% of parents reported a reduction in their child’s seizure frequency while taking CBD. These children also experienced increased alertness, better mood, and improved sleep. After 3 months of treatment with a purified 98% oil-based CBD extract, 39% of children with treatment-resistant epilepsy had a more than a 50% reduction in seizures. 7 out of 8 patients suffering from secondary generalized epilepsy and resistance to antiepileptic drugs had improvement of their disease state after receiving 200-300 mg/d of cannabidiol for up to 4.5 months.
6) CBD Reduces Anxiety
Cannabidiol reduces anxiety in both healthy individuals and patients with social anxiety disorder. Studies showed that CBD significantly reduced anxiety and discomfort caused by public speaking. CBD also reduced anxiety caused by the use of THC. Researchers suggest that it may be effective for panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. CBD is a potential therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment.
7) Cannabidiol Relieves Nausea
A study showed that CBD relieved nausea and vomiting when it was given to rats. Researchers found that CBD in low doses decreases nausea and vomiting produced by toxic drugs.
This has been a snapshot about the past and why CBD has gained popularity so quickly. In the future, CBD will actually become more of a diverse force in the marketplace when showcasing its ability to impact behavioral areas ranging from making smoking cessation far easier to speeding weight loss.