Records dating back thousands of years show that people all over the world have used the cannabis plant for pain relief and other medicinal purposes. Now in America, we are seeing a resurgence of interest in using the cannabis plant for alleviating the effects of multiple conditions.
So far, clinical research has shown CBD to be a safe, non-addictive drug that may be therapeutic for a number of conditions, including:
CBD continues to be explored and studied for a number of conditions including anxiety and mood disorders, neurodegenerative conditions, cancer, epilepsy, and more.
CBD Helps Support the Nervous System With its Anti-Convulsant Properties
Research over the past 40 years has strengthened our understanding of how CBD can play a therapeutic role in supporting the nervous system, alleviating symptoms of epilepsy and other nervous system disorders.
CBD has been accessed in preclinical and clinical studies for its anti-convulsant effects. In one study, CBD blocked MES-induced seizures and may be effective against both PTZ-induced and MES-induced seizures. More recently, CBD has been shown to have antiepileptiform and anticonvulsant effects in in vitro and in vivo models.
CBD May Support Cognitive Clarity
Multiple studies indicate that CBD may be able to support brain health in aging populations. A 2004 study conducted by the Department of Experimental Pharmacology in Naples, Italy reports that “Cannabidiol exerts a combination of neuroprotective, anti-oxidative and anti-apoptotic effects against beta-amyloid peptide toxicity”, meaning, CBD is shown to slow the growth of beta-amyloid plaque in the brain that is strongly correlated to Alzheimer’s desease.
A 2015 study conducted by the London School of Medicine and Dentistry indicates that CBD can “limit the inappropriate neurotransmissions that cause MS-related problems and … may offer the potential to control other aspects of disease.” The study goes on to say that CBD may limit the neurodegeneration that drives the progressive disability of MS, noting that a small clinical trial demonstrated a significant slowing of progression in MS patients who took CBD.
A 2007 study indicates that the antioxidant properties of CBD may be able to help slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Another double-blind trial from 2014 indicates that CBD improved quality of life in patients with Parkinson’s disease.
One study from 2005 from the National Institute of Health even indicates that CBD could help support brain health in heavy drinkers, acting as a neuroprotectant against the neurotoxicity caused by alcohol abuse.
May Offer Relief From Discomfort and Pain
Chronic pain is a growing public health concern as populations age across the globe, and here in America, it’s reported that 38 million Americans suffer from chronic pain.
Numerous clinical trials show that CBD may be effective in treating chronic pain, specifically for central and peripheral neuropathic pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer pain.
A 2008 study published in Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management found that the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD could play a role in pain relief. According a 2006 study, CBD is shown to suppress both pain and inflammatory responses.
In 2005, CBD was approved in Canada for treatment of central neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis, and in 2007 for intractable cancer pain. So whether you experience chronic tension and muscle aches, fatigue, or a weak immune system, CBD may be able to help.
CBD May Slow Cancer Growth and Decrease Tumor Growth
Some studies indicate that CBD can shrink tumors and even slow the progression of cancer cell growth. Animal models show that CBD “inhibits the progression of many types of cancer including glioblastoma, breast, lung, prostate, and lung cancer.” The same study indicates that CBD can induce autophagy and cancer cell death. Another 2008 study from Milan, Italy indicates that CBD marks a “significantly reduced growth rate” in tumor cells, showing promise in the prospect of controlling tumor growth.
These effects may be possible due to CBD’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory profile, but more studies must be performed. All studies showing cancer cell death and slower tumor growth were performed in animal tests and have not been tested in humans.
CBD May Be a Boon to Mental Health
Multiple studies show that CBD could support a high quality of life for patients who struggle with feelings of stress and anxiety, and may be able to enhance focus and increase a sense of calm in patients with autism spectrum disorders.
While marijuana intoxication can worsen psychosis among Schizophrenia patients, the non-psychotropic CBD compound shows promise in reducing psychotic symptoms in Schizophrenia patients.
A 2018 Israeli study published in Neurology shows, impressively, that CBD has an 80 percent success rate in “reducing problematic behavior among children with autism spectrum disorders”, with 62 percent of parents reporting significant behavior improvements among the sample size of 60 children, with 80% of the children’s parents reporting a decrease in problematic behavior.
CBD shows potential in reducing measures of anxiety and stress (such as heart rate) in animal models and also promises to reduce anxiety in human patients. One 2015 study from The New York University School of Medicine states that “overall, current evidence indicates CBD has … potential … for … anxiety disorders, with need for further study of chronic and therapeutic effects in relevant clinical populations.”
Therapeutic Value for a Healthier Life
In short, the past 40 years of clinical trials have indicated that CBD is a safe and effective drug that has the potential to support overall wellness, including offering relief for sleep disorders, alleviating muscle and joint aches, reducing muscle tension, and more.
With more research, we will be better able to understand how we can leverage the therapeutic powers of CBD to enhance the quality of life for thousands of Americans.
For a better understanding of how CBD actually works in the human body, take a look at our article here.