Scientists are quickly discovering health benefits associated with compounds found in cannabis plants, particularly the cannabinoids. CBD is one of the cannabinoids in cannabis. It’s non-pyschotropic meaning that it does not result in the euphoria that is seen with some other strains of cannabis. However, it is considered psychoactive in that it is able to cross the blood-brain barrier. CBD however, may be taken in high doses without causing undesirable psychological side effects. It can help reduce the unwanted effects of THC such as paranoia and anxiety. It is considered an antidepressant, antiepileptic, anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxant, anti- nauseate, anti-proliferative, and sedative.
This cannabinoid is gaining support from governments, scientists, patients, and healthcare providers because of the proven benefits it offers. For instance, the Israeli Ministry of Health has a program in which patients with PTSD are treated using cannabis. The Ministry of Health in Israel has tested CBD and THC components at various ratios in treating post traumatic stress disorder.
That said, the biggest selling point for the increasing popularity of CBD is basically because of its non-europhic feature. In this article, we look at the health benefits of CBD:
1. Helps in the digestive system
Taking CBD helps stimulate appetite and this is according to the National Cancer Institute. A healthy appetite is crucial to maintain a healthy body. It is helpful in facilitating the healing of the body. Sometimes, illnesses tend to decrease appetite in a patient, something that prevents the self-healing process. Scientists hold the view that CBDs tend to bind to cannabinoid receptors naturally found in the body. These receptors may play a part in regulation of the feeding behavior of a person. CBD also helps ease vomiting and nausea and this may be helpful among patients that are undergoing chemotherapy.
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2. Management of pain and inflammation
The analgesic property of CBD helps in the management of pain. When CBD binds to those naturally occurring receptors found in the body, the action helps in relieving pain. It is also considered that CBD has an anti-inflammatory effect, which helps to reduce swelling. In a study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine in 2012, it indicated that CBD remarkably suppresses chronic inflammatory as well as neuropathic pain within rodents while not causing analgesic tolerance.
Related Reading: Why Do Americans Consume 80 Percent Of All Prescription Painkillers?
3. Fighting cancer
CBD is one of the substances in cannabis that have shown an effective inhibition of the growth of cancer. Several studies have been detailed by National Cancer Institute regarding the CBD’s anti-tumor effects. These studies have been done on rats and mice and they suggest that CBD provides protective effects from the development of some tumors. It does this by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, inducing death in tumor cells, and controlling the spread of the cancerous cells.
A study conducted by California Pacific Medical Center says that CBD is able to turn off the gene that is said to be involved in metastasis of breast cancer.
CBD possesses anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects — both of which are helpful in inhibiting the migration of cancer cells as well as the adhesion and invasion. A study conducted in 2006 and published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics indicated that CBD is more potent and has selective inhibition of different breast tumor growths. In 2011, more light was shed on the cellular mechanism involving the death of breast cancer cells induced by CBD.
4. Withdrawal from nicotine addiction
In a placebo controlled study involving 24 smokers, researchers found that CBD helps in withdrawal process from nicotine addiction. The participants in this study were randomly chosen and they received a placebo or an inhaler of CBD. They were then to make a puff whenever they craved for a cigarette.
In a week’s time, those using placebo inhalers did not show changes in their cigarette consumption, but those who took CBD had about 40 percent reduction in their cigarette intake. With those who used the inhaler, they had reduced number of cigarettes while not increasing their craving for nicotine.
5. Treatment of neurological disorders and seizures
In a study conducted by Stanford University in 2014 involving 19 parents, it showed that about 84 percent of the parents said they noticed a reduction in seizure frequency among their children when they took CBD. About 11 percent said there was complete seizure freedom in their children.
About 42 percent of the parents said that they noticed more than an 80 percent drop in frequency of seizures in their kids diagnosed with epilepsy. The survey also found other beneficial effects of CBD such as better mood, increased alertness, and improved sleep. Among the side effects noticed in the children of these parents were fatigue and drowsiness.
There are many uses of CBD for health reasons and while some may be conclusive, others have left a window for more research. Cannabinoids like CBD continue to show a significant role in treatment of various illnesses, diseases, and health conditions ranging from psychological, through to cancer and neurological disorders.