Cannabis has been used around the world for thousands of years due to its medicinal properties. Unfortunately, this plant’s healing properties were hidden from the public when it became restricted and criminalized. As more and more states are legalizing cannabis every year, however, we are finally regaining access to the benefits of this extraordinary plant.
What Is CBD?
While THC is the component in cannabis that is intoxicating, cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive chemical compound that has been found to prevent and treat many ailments. CBD can be found in many forms including CBD oil, CBD capsules, and even CBD edibles. Since CBD is not intoxicating, you will not feel the “high” that is associated with marijuana when used by itself. There are many products on dispensary shelves that combine CBD and THC as well, producing different desired effects. Because each person’s body and tolerance is different, what may work for one person may not be the right combination for another.
CBD and Anxiety
While people who are suffering from anxiety are usually advised to avoid marijuana or cannabis due to an increase in symptoms by THC, CBD by itself can help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Not only can it help reduce symptoms that are experienced, but it can also help protect the body and cells from the physical effects of stress.
Read our full article on the impact that stress has on the endocannabinoid system.
CBD and Cancer
In a 2019 study of patients with malignant brain tumors, CBD was administered alongside the traditional treatments of chemotherapy. The study followed nine patients that were diagnosed with a grade IV glioblastoma and had an average life expectancy of 14-16 months. While chemotherapy is the standard treatment in such cases, it only extends the life expectancy by a few months. These patients were given 400 mg of CBD every day in conjunction with the standard treatment. At the end of the study, all but one patient was still alive and the range of months of additional survival was 7-47 months.
Because CBD plays a role in fighting stress and inflammation, it can also be very effective in preventing or suppressing tumor growth. Multiple studies have been done to support these facts, but more still needs to be done to come to concrete conclusions.
CBD and Brain Health
CBD is a neuroprotective compound, which means that it helps to regulate and maintain brain function. As an anti-inflammatory, it helps protect the brain from inflammation. Aside from that, it also helps prevent glutamate toxicity, which can damage brain cells due to overstimulation.
A 2008 study done on animals showed that low doses of CBD can encourage new nerve-cell-growth, even in aging brains. This is important in maintaining brain health and preventing degenerative brain diseases because as we get older, cell production slows down and leads to things like neuropathy and Alzheimers.
CBD and Bone Health
Not only does CBD help facilitate the growth of new cells in the brain, but it also helps with the process of bone metabolism. Our bones are replaced with new material at a rate of about 10% per year for healthy and strong bones. CBD blocks the enzyme that is responsible for destroying bone-building compounds in our bodies. This enzyme is what ultimately leads to diseases like osteoporosis, where the body is no longer able to make more bone and cartilage cells.
Because CBD helps with the process of creating new bone cells, it also helps speed up the healing time for broken bones and prevent refracturing. A study done in 2015 showed that patients who had broken bones and were treated with CBD had 35-50% stronger bones that those who were not treated with CBD.
These are just a few of the benefits one can get from using CBD. It’s becoming increasingly clear that CBD can be an effective way to treat many conditions in the human body without the side effects that are experienced with many treatments and medications.
Because cannabis has been illegal for so long, the research done on THC and CBD is still fairly new. As more research is done, however, we will find more ways in which this compound can help in our daily lives.