When cannabis was first being touted for its therapeutic potential, it was the psychoactive THC compound that supporters were excited about. However, more recently, as research has advanced, scientists and cannabis users have become more aware of cannabidiol (CBD).
In contrast to THC, CBD is non-psychoactive so you can’t get “baked” off it, but it is infused with analgesic, anxiolytic, anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory and other medical qualities. Even better, when CBD and THC are taken together in full-spectrum form, these qualities are amplified through the “entourage effect”, with the natural healing abilities of the CBD becoming more pronounced, and the psychoactive effects of the THC brought under control.
This is especially important for those using marijuana for anxiety, as in isolate form, THC can induce paranoia through that psychoactivity. Hence, most medical marijuana users – who have full access to the plant – will either smoke or vape the buds, vape CBD e-juice which also has THC, or take CBD-THC oil, edible or cream products directly.
We all know how CBD is great in reducing seizures in patients with severe forms of epilepsy, but the cannabinoid’s medical résumé is wide-ranging. Here are 10 potential medical uses for CBD in either isolate or full-spectrum form.
1) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
The anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic effects produced by CBD have been noted for their effectiveness in tackling PTSD. High stress and anxiety levels are common with PTSD, and CBD promotes calm in the user, and slows down racing thoughts. Moreover, as an antipsychotic, CBD keeps the user mentally grounded – for that reason CBD-isolate is perhaps a better option than a CBD-THC mix for those with PTSD.
2) Mad Cow Disease (Prion)
An intriguing 2007 study in the Journal of Neuroscience showcased CBD’s ability to slow down neurodegenerative diseases in mice, by inhibiting prion proteins. Mad cow disease is caused by the build-up of these prions, something which CBD may be able to prevent. As of now, research in humans on the matter is limited, but with the knowledge that rodents brains’ have similarities to humans, there is real hope for the future.
3) Ending cigarette addiction
With the health risks now explicitly known, more and more people are trying to give up cigarettes – but nicotine addiction is a hard addiction to break. However, a recent study involving 24 smokers has offered new hope for smoking addicts. Some were given a placebo, while others were given an inhaler containing CBD oil. Smokers using the placebo noticed no changes, but those with the CBD inhaler found that their cigarette reduced almost 40 percent during the one-week testing period. Quitting smoking demands willpower, but the evidence suggests CBD can definitely make the process easier.
4) Treating acne
Acne has proven extremely difficult to consistently treat, with some people finding joy from medication, while others are left to suffer. But a study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation that was also published in the Institute of Health has proposed CBD as an effective, natural treatment for the frustrating skin condition. The anti-inflammatory property of CBD stalls lipid synthesis, and cannabidiol is also a good sebostatic agent. Therefore, when CBD is applied to acne-affected areas, in the form of creams, balms or salves, blotchy skin naturally clears up and adopts a healthy glow.
5) Treating diabetes
Research indicates that CBD could be useful in helping those with diabetes to manage their condition. Instead of directly affecting sugar levels, CBD stops splenocytes from producing IL-12. Autoimmune diseases are known to arise from the IL-12 cytokine, and therefore if CBD inhibits it, that has to be a good thing.
Fibromyalgia is a very painful condition that has traditionally been treated with opioid meds, anti-inflammatory meds and corticosteroids. With opioids addictive and the others often ineffective, patients have looked for alternative treatments and are increasingly turning to CBD – a study from 2011 suggests they are right to.
Out of the 56 participants in the program, more than half used CBD to treat their fibromyalgia and experienced a massive reduction in chronic pain and other symptoms. Those who stuck to their old meds found them relatively ineffective. Considering CBD is much safer than opiate-based medication, it appears medical marijuana is the way forward for fibromyalgia patients.
7) Multiple sclerosis
Researchers at the Cajal Institute carried out experiments on rodents, and factored in cell cultures to determine that, as an anti-inflammatory, CBD has medical potential in treating multiple sclerosis. Studies on mice have shown that CBD is able to improve motor skills. Therefore, it will be interesting to see studies on humans to confirm whether the logical theories on CBD treating MS are correct.
CBD does induce tiredness, although this isn’t necessarily a side effect. For those with sleeping difficulties, whether due to insomnia or simply a poor pattern, the sleepiness caused by CBD is actually a welcome thing – not to mention, unlike pharmaceutical sleep medication, they aren’t addictive, nor do they leave you tired the following day. We recommend that if you plan on using CBD to treat insomnia, to use CBD-dominant strains and high dosages, to really take the edge off and put you in a relaxed, sedative state.
CBD’s antipsychotic trait has resulted in the cannabinoid being touted as a possible treatment for schizophrenia – and a team of German scientists have strived to find out. Published in the Translational Psychiatry back in 2012, the German study explained that when matched up against Amisulpride (an anti-psychotic medication), the CBD was just as effective in treating schizophrenia patients, with far fewer side effects.
10) Crohn’s disease
While not proven, some marijuana scientists are confident that CBD could help treat Crohn’s Disease and similar bowel diseases. The belief is that for these ailments, CBD is more effective when combined with THC as the two interact in the endocannabinoid system, which influences how the gut functions. Furthermore, as an anti-inflammatory, CBD and other medical marijuana treatments help to make living with such conditions more manageable.