Among the cannabinoids in cannabis, the main psychoactive compound, THC, often outshines the one that provides a natural anti-anxiety, anti-epileptic and antipsychotic effect.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, lacks the colorful high commonly associated with your traditional marijuana high and doesn't have much of a noticeable effect when isolated. When combined with THC, the relaxing effect combats any feelings of paranoia or panic that can sometimes be felt under the influence.
While lauded for it's effect on epilepsy, recent cannabis research has identified CBD as the component responsible for a great deal of marijuana's medical benefits. Here are 10 medical use for CBD that you might not have known about:
1. Cigarette Addiction
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 24 smokers were randomly chosen to receive either an inhaler of CBD or a placebo. Participants were asked to take a puff every time they had an urge to puff a cigarette. Over the week, those with placebo inhalers saw no change in their total number of cigarettes consumed, while those who were taking CBD saw a nearly 40 percent drop in their intake. Using the inhaler decreased the number of cigarettes without increasing their craving for nicotine, pointing towards a purpose for cannabidiol in the withdrawal process.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation and the National Institute of Health discovered that CBD can provide treatment for acne. Researchers used cannabis-derived cannabidiol on the human sebaceous glands and came to the conclusion that CBD acts as a highly effective sebostatic and anti-inflammatory agent by inhibiting lipid synthesis.
In a study using CBD, the development of diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice was prevented. Although there wasn’t a direct effect of cannabidiol on glucose levels, the treatment prevented the production of IL-12 by splenocytes. Preventing this cytokine is important because it plays a huge role in many autoimmune diseases.
Common treatments for fibromyalgia are anti-inflammatory medications, opioid pain medications and corticosteroids. A 2011 study that focused on CBD treatment for fibromyalgia produced very promising results for future uses in treatment. Half of the 56 participants used CBD, while the other half used traditional methods to treat their condition. Those that used cannabis saw a great reduction in their symptoms and pain, while those using traditional methods didn’t see much of an improvement.
5. Prion/Mad Cow Disease
Cannabidiol has been shown to halt prions, the proteins that cause neurodegenerative diseases like Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and mad cow. The formation and accumulation of prions was prevented with the aide of cannabidiol during a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience in 2007. For mice that were infected, CBD increased their survival time by about a week.
6. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
CBD is known to produce anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory effects when ingested by slowing everything down and calming the user. Those with PTSD are often overcome with anxiety and stress, so patients frequently find relief by using cannabidiol. The antipsychotic benefits provide a stable mental environment for those that need it most.
In 2012, a group of German researchers published a study in the journal Translational Psychiatry. The potent antipsychotic Amisulpride and CBD were compared between 42 schizophrenia patients. The two treatments were deemed effective, but the short side-effect profile of CBD out shined the pharmaceutical option.
8. Crohn's Disease
Some scientists say CBD could be an effective treatment for bowel diseases like Crohn's Disease. THC and CBD interact with the system that controls gut function in the body, something that Crohn's patients suffer issues with. The component of cannabis’ anti-inflammatory ability brings a lot of relief to those suffering from this condition.
9. Multiple Sclerosis
Scientists at the Cajal Institute used animal models and cell cultures to find that CBD reversed inflammatory responses and served as durable protection from the effects of multiple sclerosis. Mice with 10 days of CBD treatment had superior motor skills and showed progression in their condition. Using this information, researchers concluded that CBD has the potential ability to reduce various aspects of MS.
One of the few side effects of CBD is tiredness, but for many, it’s what they seek out in the natural herb. Since pharmaceuticals for aiding sleep pose risk for addiction and leave you feeling groggy the next day, it's best to go the safe route with non-habit forming CBD. When searching for strains to combat insomnia, try staying with Indica and CBD-heavy strains to knock you out when you need it most.