CBD or cannabidiol significantly influences and changes the debate about the use of cannabis as a drug. Most people have heard about the cannabis ingredient THC, a chemical compound that makes you feel like you’re on the go. Recently, however, scientists have shifted their attention to another compound in cannabis called CBD – and for good reason.
CBD doesn’t have as many side effects as THC. In addition, with each successive study, the positive effects of CBD on human health are proven. Here are five facts that you should know about this unique relationship:
CBD is a key ingredient in cannabis
CBD is one of more than 60 cannabis compounds that belong to the group of molecules called cannabinoids. Of these compounds, THC and CBD are usually present at the highest concentrations and are therefore the most commonly recognized and studied.
The levels of THC and CBD are different between different plants. Recreational cannabis often contains more THC than CBD. However, using selective breeding techniques, cannabis growers have succeeded in producing varieties with a high level of CBD and a low or zero THC content at the same time. These strains are quite rare but have become increasingly popular in recent years in online cannabis dispensaries in Canada.
CBD is not psychoactive
Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t cause a “blast”. This makes CBD less interesting for “ordinary users” of cannabis. However, this compound has a significant advantage when used as a medicine, because everyone wants the medicine to have as few side effects as possible.
CBD is not psychoactive because it does not work on the same “pathways” like THC. These pathways, called CB1 receptors, are concentrated in the brain and are responsible for changes in consciousness under the influence of THC.
A 2011 publication in the Current Drug Safety confirmed that “CBD doesn’t affect psychomotor functions and mental functions”. The authors of the article add that CBD is “well-tolerated and safe, even in large doses”.
CBD has a wide range of medical services
Although THC and CBD work on different “paths” of the body, they bring similar health benefits. According to a study made available in 2013 in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, it can be concluded that CBD has the following medical properties:
Helps you with nausea by taking care of your stomach
Reduces nausea and vomiting
Acts as an anticonvulsant
Inhibits or reduces the activity of a seizure
It’s an Antipsychotic
Combats mental illness
It’s one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory agents in the world
Combats inflammatory diseases
It’s a very strong Antioxidant
Combats neurodegenerative disorders
Helps eliminate cancer cells
Combats tumors and cancer cells
Combats anxiety disorders and depression
Unfortunately, most of this evidence comes from animal studies, as only a small proportion of CBD tests were conducted on humans. However, a UK-based pharmaceutical company – GW Pharmaceuticals – has begun to fund research into the pharmacological use of CBD to treat certain diseases, including epilepsy. Also, a team of scientists from the California Pacific Medical Center, led by Dr. Sean McAllister, confirmed their willingness to start research into CBD in breast cancer treatment.
CBD reduces the negative impact of THC
CBD seems to offer natural protection against “being high”. Numerous studies have shown that this compound reduces THC intoxication, thus reducing memory impairment and paranoia that can occur after marijuana use.
CBD also counteracts the effect of sleepiness after THC, so some cannabis strains seem to increase vigilance significantly after use. THC and CBD were found to be safe from a lethal overdose. However, to reduce potential side effects, patients who take regular medication do not take high doses of CBD.
CBD is still illegal in some countries
Although the CBD has many positive features, it still remains illegal in many parts of the world. Despite this, CBD is fully legal throughout the European Union, including Poland.
In Europe, CBD preparations are most commonly available in various forms, e.g. extracts, oil drops, capsules, and many other forms. In Poland, you can most often meet them on the Internet and in specialized cannabis shops.
However, there is a growing interest in this compound and not so long ago the US Food and Drug Administration approved an application that allows starting treatment of children with severe epilepsy with CBD (a drug of the aforementioned company GW is called Epidiolex). According to the company, “this drug consists of more than 98 percent of CBD, the rest is trace amounts of other cannabinoids, and THC has no at all”. GW Pharmaceuticals has launched yet another cannabis-based drug, Sativex, which is approved in more than 24 countries and helps treat multiple sclerosis.