By Cameron Klar
What is CBD?
CBD (cannabidiol) is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis used to treat a multitude of conditions such as epilepsy, nausea, pain, anxiety, depression, neurodegenerative disorders, opioid withdrawal and PTSD. CBD has also demonstrated a potentially pivotal role in battling adverse side effects of chemotherapy and has shown promise in inhibiting growth in certain types of tumors.
How does CBD work?
CBD works through our endocannabinoid system by promoting homeostasis within the immune and central nervous systems, essentially maintaining balance or equilibrium in our physiology. Unlike THC, which produces a psychoactive sensation, CBD is completely non-psychoactive and can even lower the “high” that THC yields. This not only allows full functionality when taken on its own, but can also allow more THC to be consumed while maintaining less impairment. It should be noted that the endocannabinoid system is prevalent throughout the entire body including the brain, organs, glands, and immune system, among others. The endocannabinoid system has two primary receptors, the CB1 and CB2. The CB1 receptor binds primarily to the brain and nervous system while the CB2 receptor interacts largely with the immune system. The homeostasis CBD provides affects all of these biological systems which regulate our health.
Currently there are over 110 known cannabinoids with more likely to be discovered as studies continue to reveal the complex molecular structures of the cannabis plant. CBD and THC are the two most well known cannabinoids, however, the medicinal benefits of cannabis are widely considered most effective when our endocannabinoid system interacts with an array of cannabinoids and terpenes. This is referred to as the entourage effect. The synergistic nature of cannabis is arguably its most powerful healing attribute.
CBD and Medications
As CBD gains popularity and increased usage, it’s reasonable to ask how CBD interacts with current medications one might be taking. CBD plays a key role in the way it interacts with Cytochrome P450 (CYP). CYP enzymes function to metabolize potentially toxic compounds. CBD is metabolized by CYP and acts as an inhibitor, especially in higher doses. What this means is CBD has the potential to allow many medications to be absorbed more efficiently in the bloodstream. This is why it is best advised to start small with any CBD regimen, as human physiology is unique and finding the appropriate amount of CBD will differ in everyone. Consulting with your physician is strongly recommended to ensure CBD will not have any adverse reactions with current medications.
CBD is administered in a variety of forms including smokable flower, edibles, tinctures, creams/salves, capsules and concentrates. Finding the right way to consume CBD will vary depending on one’s comfort level and medical conditions. Our knowledgeable Patient Consultants will assist in finding the best options for you. Feel free to ask as many questions as you have to make the most informed decision.
The New England Journal of Medicine published a study May 25, 2017 focused on Dravet Syndrome, a rare childhood epileptic disorder with a high mortality rate. One of the most notable cases is Charlotte Figi from Colorado, who was suffering from over 300 grand mal seizures per week before being administered a specially designed hemp based CBD oil (now known as Charlotte’s Web) at the age of 6. The astonishing results brought international attention to not only the overall potential benefits of medical marijuana, but particularly CBD.
CBD has also shown the potential to combat breast cancer cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. An article published by the National Institute of Health in August 2011 suggests the endocannabinoid system may be able to fight cancer cell progression through the use of CBD.
A Spanish university study from October 2013 supports CBD’s efficacy in the treatment of gliomas, interfering with angiogenesis associated with tumor growth. The antiproliferative and antiinvasive effects CBD produces have clearly shown additional research is imperative to fully understand how to most effectively implement CBD in glioma treatment.
The opioid crisis has been in the headlines as of late and for good reason. Fentanyl related deaths in 2016 have risen 540% over the previous three years. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states over 52,000 opioid related deaths took place in 2015. Is CBD the answer? A study in 2014 showed states with medical cannabis laws in place have 25% less opioid related deaths. CBD has shown remarkable potential in reducing the cravings associated with withdrawal symptoms, interacting with the same receptors in the brain as opioids.
CBD, and other cannabinoids, have shown promise treating symptoms in neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s Disease. Although there is no cure for these diseases, quality of life can increase dramatically through the use of CBD. The neurogenesis CBD facilitates shows tremendous promise for people suffering from these conditions, acting as a neuroprotectant, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent.
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