CBD (Cannabidiol): The Medicine of the Future
3 years ago
If you're anything like me, you've probably spent a fair deal of time hoping that the medical establishment would begin transitioning to more user-friendly, safer drugs. So many of the medicines doctors prescribe today are damaging or downright dangerous, and it's easy to wonder if the results are worth the price consumers pay - both financially and physically.
Today, however, it looks like there's light at the end of that tunnel. It comes in the form of cannabidiol (CBD), and all evidence points to the fact that it may well be the medicine of the future.
CBD 101: What You Need to Know
Within the cannabis plant, there are more than 60 chemical compounds called cannabinoids, including cannabidiol. These cannabinoids work within the body to activate the cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system. While all of these cannabinoids offer benefits of their own, recent research has shown that cannabidiol may present more health benefits than any single manufactured drug that's being prescribed today.
Cannabidiol is present in the cannabis plant in high levels. In fact, it's the second-most abundant cannabinoid in the entire herb, which is fortunate because doctors are now singing the praises of CBD for treating everything from autoimmune diseases and diabetes to arthritis, nausea, digestive disorders and much more.
CBD has also been suggested to possess neuroprotective effects, which makes it a fantastic potential treatment for people at high risk of recurring head injuries (like NFL players).
Thanks to the medicinal value of CBD, this unique little compound could become big news in the medical world sooner rather than later.
CBD and THC
Until recently, medical professionals believed that THC was a byproduct of CBD. But today we know that THC and CBD are separate compounds that, when subjected to heat or extraction processes, undergo extensive changes that make them psychoactive.
Because CBD can be used without the psychoactive effects of THC, the compound is an exciting alternative for patients who are attempting to do away with their current medication in favor of something safer, more easily accessible, and with far fewer side effects.
CBD and Cancer
CBD is the main compound that gives cannabis its soothing, relaxing effect. Because of this, CBD has emerged as a powerful treatment for anxiety disorders, epilepsy, eating disorders and pain. Some scientists are even evaluating the compound with regard to potential treatment options for cancer patients - and CBD has already proven promising!
Within the last several years, a scientist with San Francisco's Pacific Medical Center named Dr. Sean McAllister discovered that CBD can actually restrict the growth of cancer cells throughout the body, thus slowing tumor growth and providing more time for cancer patients to explore treatment options.
When Dr. McAllister studied the effect of CBD on breast cancer patients, he found that the administration of CBD actually decreased the number of cancer cells present. Plus, since CBD is completely nontoxic, applying the compound didn't present any unwanted side effects for the patients in question.
CBD and Diabetes
In addition to showing promise for cancer treatment, CBD has also given hope in the world of diabetes treatment. In a study conducted by Marc Feldman at the Imperial College of London, CBD was administered to mice suffering from genetic type-1 diabetes, which generally begins to affect the mice around 14 weeks of age.
But when one group of mice was treated with CBD during the first seven weeks of their lives, only 30 percent showed diabetic symptoms at the regular time of onset. From these results, Feldman concluded that the administration of CBD is actually capable of preventing the onset of diabetes in mice - a development which is, needless to say, incredibly exciting for the human population.
CBD and Inflammation
When it's not treating cancer or diabetes, CBD is busy being a formidable opponent for inflammation. CBD has been tested by dozens of scientists worldwide and has consistently been shown to reduce the symptoms associated with inflammation from gastrointestinal disorders and even arthritis.
In fact, numerous lab studies have found that the correct doses of CBD can reduce symptoms of inflammation up to 50 percent in lab mice.
The Future of CBD
Over the last several years, consumers of medical marijuana have displayed a marked preference for high-THC indica strains which often provide an intense psychoactive experience. Because of this, CBD-rich strains have fallen out of popularity; today, it's tough to find strains with more than 1 percent CBD.
Fortunately, some growers have recognized the medicinal and recreational importance of CBD-rich strains, which are making a comeback around the country. Strains such as Charlotte's Web and Harlequin have been shown to possess a multitude of medical benefits, and new strains are being developed on a regular basis.
It's clear that CBD offers a whole host of health benefits, and the research into this exciting compound will continue in the coming years. As it stands now, I'm optimistic about the future of CBD and all of the incredible treatment options it presents us with.