We’ve all heard this acronym thrown around over the past few years. Regular reports from news sources and friends telling us about pain relief, arthritis relief, and a myriad of other health concerns seemingly alleviated by this chemical. But what exactly is CBD and how does it relate to cannabis?
CBD: An Introduction
CBD stands for Cannabidiol, a naturally occurring compound found in the flower of the cannabis plant. It is one of more than 100 phytocannabinoids that are unique to cannabis and add to the plants’ wide spectrum of therapeutic value. CBD is closely related to the more famous THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) – the compound in cannabis that creates a high. Though they are related, THC and CBD act in different ways on receptors in the brain and the body. That is, CBD cannot create a “high” like it’s cousin, and can lessen or entirely neutralize the psychoactive effects of THC. This makes the chemical incredibly valuable for people who want the benefits of marijuana without the high that comes with it.
A Multi-Purpose Workhorse
In addition to the proven neuroprotective effects of CBD, its anti-cancer properties are being studied in the United States and around the world. A 2010 brain cancer study conducted by scientists in California found CBD to inhibit glioblastoma cell growth when combined with THC. In the same year, German researchers reported that CBD has the ability to stimulate the growth of new brain cells in adult mammals. Recent and extensive research by scientists and growing anecdotal accounts from CBD users point to the compound’s potential as a treatment for a wide array of health issues, including:
ADD & ADHD
A Body Full of Endocannabinoids
In a previous article we spoke about the discovery of the endocannabinoid system. The discovery of this system has significantly advanced our understanding of disease. The more we learn, the more astounding the implications become for nearly every area of medicine.
The endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in regulating an incredibly wide range of physiological processes. From mood to gut health to blood pressure to bone density, this system is extremely important to our health. Studies have shown that in nearly all pathological conditions the endocannabinoid system is impaired. By balancing and augmenting the system with THC and CBD, it is possible to slow down and even halt the progression of disease.
In 2018, the FDA approved Epidiolex, a medicine derived from cannabidiol used to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome – two severe pediatric seizure disorders. This was the first time that the federal government had given official recognition to a cannabis-derived product as medicine. Though CBD is an amazing molecule, used alone it may not always be enough. There is compelling evidence to suggest CBD is most powerful when combined with the full-spectrum of cannabis compounds, including THC.
Always More to Learn
The debate has been settled as to whether CBD has medicinal value, but the challenge remains that most health professionals have little to no understanding of CBD or its uses. With information still lacking on potential risk factors and interactions with other medicines, we are very much still in the “trial and error” phase of discovery. The evidence remains, however, that CBD has a low-risk profile – making side-effects and negative interactions unlikely.
With so many people now seeking alternatives to pharmaceuticals, CBD has become something of a Holy Grail in terms of more “natural” medicine. The fact that it has proven therapeutic benefits, does not produce a high, and is easy to consume or apply, makes it ever more appealing to patients who have never used cannabis before. GreenLeaf Solutions takes pride in being Bartlesville’s only physician-owned and operated cannabis dispensary. We are obsessed with learning everything we can about this amazing plant and all it has to offer. Let us help you determine if CBD or any other cannabis product is right for you.