Most people have heard of such an element as THC, a component of marijuana which makes people “high”. Recently, however, public attention has shifted to another constituent element of cannabis – CBD. And for a good reason.
There is no doubt that THC has some side effects that have long prevented doctors from treating marijuana as a medical plant. However, the CBD is completely free of them. The amount of evidence to support the medical benefits of CBD is growing rapidly.
There are five facts worth knowing about this component.
CBD is a key ingredient in Cannabis
CBD is one of more than 60 components made of marijuana. It belongs to a class of molecules called cannabinoids. Along with THC, the CBD concentration in hemp is the highest, which makes this component the most recognisable and studied. The levels of CBD and THC may vary, depending on the plant species. Marijuana grown for “amusement” purposes contains more THC. Industrial hemp – more CBD. Modern science makes it possible to grow varieties with high CBD values and almost zero THC content.
CBD has no psychoactive properties
Unlike THC, CBD doesn’t make a person “high”. This, of course, severely limits the use of CBD for “entertainment” purposes. However, it gives CBD a huge advantage in medicine, as doctors prefer to work with drugs that have fewer side effects.
The reason why CBD has no psychoactive effect is because of its interaction with the body compared to THC. Our body has receptors called CB1. Most of them are in the brain. These are the receptors that are responsible for the conscious effects of THC.
A recently published report says that CBD does not interfere with the psychomotor or psychological functions of the brain. Many studies also show good tolerability and safety of CBD, even at high doses.
CBD has many medical advantages
Although CBD and THC affect the human body differently, many of their effects are quite similar. According to a report published in 2013 by the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, the study showed that CBD has a number of medical properties:
- anti-nausea: it reduces nausea and vomiting;
- anticonvulsant: inhibits seizure activity;
- anti-psychical: fights psychosis;
- anti-inflammatory: fights inflammatory processes;
- antioxidant: fights neurodegenerative disorders;
- anti-tumour: fights tumours and cancer cells;
- antidepressant: fights anxiety and depressive disorders.
Unfortunately, most of the properties of CBD were studied only in animals, and the number of studies on human patients is still very small.
However, a British firm recently introduced a medical version of CBD, and is now actively sponsoring clinical research on the use of its apparatus in the treatment of schizophrenia and some types of epilepsy.
In parallel, a group of researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center is planning to start a trial on the use of CBD to treat breast cancer.
CBD reduces the negative impact of THC
Cannabidiol can be called a natural shield from the “high” caused by THC. Several studies confirm that CBD reduces some tetrahydrocannabinol effects, such as memory impairment and paranoia.
In addition, CBD counteracts the effect of the sleeping pills of THC. This explains why some cannabis varieties cause an excitatory effect.
Both CBD and THC have no risk of fatal overdose. However, in order to limit the potential side effects of THC, it is recommended that people who use medical marijuana use cannabis varieties with high levels of CBD.
CBD has no side effects
Our body itself produces cannabinoids, and products with CBD help in case of clinical shortages. There are endocannabinoids – substances produced naturally in the human body, and there are phytocannabinoids – these components are derived from plants.
When there is a shortage of endocannabinoids, health starts to limp, and in the case of serious diseases (PSTR, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, migraine, IBS, etc.), when a number of drugs with terrible side effects are ascribed, CBD helps to increase the number of endocannabinoids in the body, at the same time, without “rewarding” the patient with these very side effects.
Many studies say that CBD can help in many incurable conditions – this includes psoriasis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, schizophrenia, chronic and neuropathic pain etc. Animals also produce endocannabinoids, but they have this system more developed, so be careful with the dosage of CBD when treating animals.