By Joan Eberhardt
CBD, or cannabidiol, often has a reputation that precedes it. CBD evangelists will tell you that it can cure cancer, cause the blind to see, calm seizures, soothe chronic pain and treat psychosis. To a layperson it can sound like snake oil, but the evangelist might be onto something. CBD is a non-psychoactive component found in the cannabis plant. While tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) works to produce the “high” feeling many people enjoy, CBD works quietly in the background, and there’s research to suggest it might be the source of many medical benefits. Here is a Comprehensive Guide To Cannabidiol from our friends at Red Eyes Online.
Marijuana is comprised of hundreds of substances that work in concert. THC, terpenes, flavonoids, are just a few, but cannabidiol is one of the most prevalent compounds found within the trichomes of the female cannabis plant. Cannabidiol substrates bind to cell receptors in your body, those receptors make up the endocannabinoid system. Together these hundreds of substances have an “entourage effect,” which can amplify their effects and produce extraordinary medical benefits.
Patients with certain epileptic conditions have seen near-miraculous developments in the severity and frequency of their symptoms through the use of CBD. Many parents whose children suffer from debilitating seizures, as many as 300 a day in some cases, have seen their children’s lives return to normal with treatment that includes CBD. Many parents moved their families to Colorado and other states with laws that allow them to obtain their children’s medical treatments legally, while other parents stayed in their home states and began to lobby their representatives. Legislation intended to create a legal path for parents with sick children, and others who can benefit from CBD for treatment of debilitating diseases began popping up across the nation. Research has shown that patients who treated their epileptic condition with CBD saw a huge overall reduction in seizures and some reported experiencing no seizure episodes at all, and parents wanted to use CBD to treat their children.
There is also promising research to show that CBD may be beneficial in the fight against cancer, as well as the treatment of the symptoms from chemotherapy. Researchers in the UK were able to treat mice with high concentrations of CBD and showed evidence that the treatment helped prevent the genesis and spread of colon cancer. Researchers in Brazil looked at the way CBD interacts with iron deposits in the brain, and were able to show evidence that could lead to better treatments for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.
There are plenty of questions about how, exactly, CBD works in the body and how it can produce such dramatic medical benefits. In general, more good scientific studies need to be performed before we can fully understand its properties. Marijuana is considered polypharmacological, meaning it affects more than one part of the body at a time, which can make it difficult to study. The endocannabinoid system reaches through almost every part of the human body, including the nervous, digestive, respiratory systems, even skin. Beyond that, from the 1980s onward, marijuana cultivators primarily sought plants that had the highest possible THC content, meaning many strains with high CBD content levels became difficult to obtain.
However, it is because of its polypharmacological properties that cause the evangelists to call it the most important medical development of the century. Tinctures made with high concentrations of CBD oil have shown extraordinary results in the treatment and alleviation of grand mal seizures, side effects from difficult chemotherapies, it can even produce better outcomes for patients with psychosis than is available to them with pharmacological medicines. People with depression or anxiety report that when using CBD by itself produces a calming effects without the increased risk of anxiety some people experience with THC. There are tons of people who find it helpful to help quit smoking, among other common conditions.
Is it legal? Sadly, no. In states with medical marijuana laws it can be found in dispensaries fairly easily, but in states without CBD or medical marijuana laws it is still considered illegal. The Stanley Brothers, who were instrumental in maintaining high-CBD strains, sell their products through their online store under the name “hemp oil.” It is available through them without a medical marijuana recommendation. However, until cannabis is federally declassified, there will continue to be inadequate research into what CBD, or the marijuana as a whole even, could provide as far as medical benefits.
Check out this scene from the documentary Ride With Larry. In this clip, Larry, who suffers from Parkinson’s Disease, is administered cannabis. You can see the effects CBD has on his body in minutes.