4 Reasons Cannabidiol (CBD) Should Be a Medicinal Option
Whether or not medical marijuana, in whole or its components, should be legalized is a major issue today, despite the documented benefits to many health conditions. Hopefully, educating the public on the benefits of CBD (the abbreviation for cannabidiol) will bring favorable change to the debate.
1. Cannabidiol provides multiple medical benefits
It’s a scientific fact that CBD and THC effect the human body in vastly differing ways, the do have some of the same health benefits. In 2013 the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology published an article stating that studies have proved CBD has many medical benefits.
Their findings show seven major effects of medicinal CBD. It reduces nausea and vomiting, suppresses seizures and works as an anticonvulsant, aids psychosis disorders, works as an anti-inflammatory agent, is an antioxidant that fights neurodegenerative disorders, fights carcinogens by combating tumors and cancer cells, and works as a mood stabilizer for people suffering from anxiety and depression disorders.
More clinical trials are needed to further this study as debates rage across the United States and the United Kingdom. GW Pharmaceuticals, a UK based company, recently developed a pharmaceutical version of CBD and is currently funding clinical trials to show that CBD is a highly effective treatment for mental disorders including certain types of epilepsy and schizophrenia. Dr. Sean McAllister led a team of researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center and stated he hopes to conduct medical trials to prove CBD is beneficial as a breast cancer therapy.
2 CBD reduces the negative effects of THC
CBD not only lacks the intoxicating effects of THC, it also counteracts them. Cannabidiol has been shown in numerous studies to greatly reduce the intoxicating effects of THC, stopping the high found in recreational marijuana. CBD stops memory impairment and paranoia experienced by cannabis users.
While THC makes users sleepy, CBD causes users to be even more alert than non-users.
Even though CBD and THC have both been proven to hold no risk of lethal overdose, it has been suggested that users of medical cannabis are better off ingesting products with a higher level of CBD to alleviate any possible negative side effects.
3. Why is CBD still illegal?
With all the compelling information listed above for the merits of CBD for medicinal use, it doesn’t seem logical that CBD is still an illegal substance in most of the world. It is still classified as a Schedule I drug in the US and a schedule II drug in Canada despite the proven benefits to people who suffer from many serious chronic illnesses.
The U. S. Drug Enforcement Agency stated in December of 2016 that any marijuana based extract is to be considered a Schedule I drug under federal law. This even includes CBD oil and other CBD derivatives. However, the U.S Food and Drug Administration approved a recent request for pharmaceutical trials of CBD to treat rare forms of epilepsy in children with a drug called Epidiolex, manufactured by GW Pharmaceuticals.That company also produces another cannabis based drug called Sativex, which is used to legally treat patients with multiple sclerosis in over 24 countries.
These are the reasons CBD could be changing the way many illnesses are treated in the future, provided that studies continue to prove its medicinal merits and non-psychoactive properties.
4. CBD and THC are not the same thing
There are over sixty compounds in cannabis that are classified as cannabinoids. The most well known of those, the molecules which are present in the highest concentration, are CBD and THC. However, these elements, although both found in the same plant, offer different properties.
Plants grown for recreational marijuana is high in THC (abbreviation for tetrahydrocannabinol) and very low in CBD, because that is what that particular market calls for.
Through selective breeding, cannabis farmers have been able to produce varieties of cannabis plants that contain high levels of the medicinally beneficial CBD while containing almost no levels of THC. Innovations in recent years have it much easier for cannabis breeders virtually filter THC out of plants grown for medicinal purposes while raising the CBD levels which studies have shown to help so many patients with health problems.
5. You can’t get high from CBD
CBD is not psychoactive like its recreational cousin, THC. There is absolutely no way you can get high from ingesting CBD. This is precisely the reason users of recreational marijuana would have no use for CBD, while the community of health professionals seek it out for its minimal side effects when used medicinally.
THC acts on pathways called CB1 receptors that are highly concentrated in the brain. These receptors are responsible for the mind altering high effects of THC. Studies have proved that CBD does not have those effects on the CB1 receptors and can not make people high.
In 2011 Current Drug Safety published a review which states that CBD does not interfere with most psychomotor and psychological functions, and that several studies suggest that even at high does CBD is “well tolerated and safe.”