As awareness of cannabis and CBD grows, studies exploring possible health benefits for a wide range of chronic conditions are being conducted – with encouraging results.
Everyone from researchers to doctors to the public at large is learning more about cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD) with each passing day. As a result, individuals suffering from various chronic conditions might be encouraged by results from studies that show the possible therapeutic value of CBD in mitigating these issues.
What Exactly Is CBD?
CBD is one of more than 120 known cannabinoids (natural compounds found in cannabis plants such as hemp and marijuana) known for its potential nutritional value. CBD does not have the psychoactive properties that THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is known for, but it has been found by the National Institutes of Health to have potential nutritional and therapeutic value with antioxidant and neuroprotective properties.
Significant amounts of CBD can be found in cannabis plants, whether they be marijuana or hemp. In fact, hemp naturally has low amounts of THC and high amounts of CBD, which makes it of great interest to researchers because the low-THC/high-CBD ratios most closely resemble those found in cannabis growing wild in nature.
Chronic Conditions Found to Benefit from CBD
Despite the Federal ban on cannabis as a treatment for any type of ailment, including cancer, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) does state that CBD could be effective in alleviating both the symptoms of cancer and the side effects of cancer treatment. Furthermore, the NCI states that there’s even evidence showing that CBD can reduce the growth of cancer cells.
To learn more about how CBD might impact cancer and cancer treatment-related issues, see our overview on it here.
Epilepsy and Seizure Conditions
According to a report published in the independent general medical journal The Lancet, studies suggest that cannabis, particularly CBD, could safely reduce the decrease the frequency of seizures in children as well as adults. By interacting with the body’s endocannabinoid system, the anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, and antioxidant properties of cannabis are thought to have a positive impact on seizures by reducing not only their severity but also their frequency. Some studies have shown that cannabis can help improve sleep and mood, as well.
To learn more about how CBD can impact epilepsy and seizure conditions, see our overview on it here.
Although many people tend to think of inflammation negatively, it actually is crucial to the body, as it helps your immune system response to such adversity as injury, viruses, and harmful bacteria. However, the body’s inflammatory response is often unnecessary because it can react to normal and healthy tissue as if they are abnormal or infected, such as with autoimmune conditions (including psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease).
As noted above, studies have shown that cannabis has anti-inflammatory properties, which are thought to help a variety of disorders and conditions. Here is a brief look at three conditions in which inflammation plays a big role.
- Chronic pain – It is thought that cannabis can help manage chronic pain. However, there is some debate as to whether CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties help eliminate pain or whether CBD simply acts against pain to reduce it instead, so clinical trials are ongoing.
- Migraines – Millions of people regularly experience migraine headaches, which can often be debilitating. It is been found that CBD and the other cannabinoids in medical marijuana can safely and effectively reduce the inflammation that contributes to the throbbing, pulsing acute pain, as well as the frequency, characteristic of migraines.
- Neurogenerative Conditions – Disorders that cause the brain and various nerves to deteriorate, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, are thought to be mitigated by cannabis when it interacts with receptors in the endocannabinoid system. CBD might reduce inflammation that contributes to – and in some cases, exacerbates – these disorders.
Find out more about how CBD can help reduce inflammation as well as specific inflammatory conditions, see our overview here.
According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, CBD can help reduce anxiety when it interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system. It’s important to note that various studies have found that, while THC can increase anxiety, CBD in cannabis has anxiolytic effects, which can reduce anxiety, impaired cognition, and social phobias (including social anxiety disorder).
To read more about how CBD can impact chronic anxiety conditions, our overview can be found here.
In its various forms, depression can adversely impact your daily life due to a variety of factors, including environment, biological makeup, genetics, and emotional stresses. Depression involves persistent, often severe, feelings of sadness, discontent, and disinterest. Because the endocannabinoid system has been found to be closely connected to mood management, CBD could help regulate the system and have antidepressant effects.
To learn more about research on CBD and its impact on depression, read our overview, which can be found here.
Learn more about the research investigating the benefits of cannabis and CBD for chronic conditions by visiting our research and education page.