Marijuana or cannabis has been used in various forms in medicine for thousands of years, and yet it remains a politically charged issue due to concerns of abuse.
It was only a short 80 years ago that marijuana was banned under the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. In fact, it was originally banned due to concerns it was linked to crime, violence, and socially deviant behaviors. However, many believe this ban was heavily propaganda driven and that lots of the claims were exaggerated or possibly even falsified.
However, marijuana and its derived compounds are making a comeback for medicinal purposes. There are a number of promising scientific studies to back up the majority of claims surrounding the benefits of marijuana.
One of the major components of the marijuana plant known for its medicinal properties is cannabidiol or CBD oil. CBD oil has been shown to treat a number of conditions and diseases. It can be pulled from the plant and used without any of the psychedelic effects, as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) portion can be removed. Pure CBD oil is considered a nutritional supplement and can be purchased directly by consumers. Of course, true medical marijuana products can have varying ratios of CBD and THC in them, which a medical marijuana card is required in most states, like Arizona.
Cannabidiol oil has many therapeutic benefits including pain relief, reducing anxiety, preventing cancer, and suppressing autoimmune diseases. At this point, there’s no way to responsibly ignore or deny the medicinal benefits of marijuana, and in particular, CBD oil.
What is Cannabidiol Oil?
CBD or cannabidiol, is one of over 60 cannabinoid compounds found in marijuana. CBD is not the same as THC, which gains much of the media attention due to its hallucinogenic and psychoactive effects.
CBD is non-mind altering and has a host of therapeutic properties including:
CBD does not readily work as readily as THC does on CB1 and CB2 receptors in the body, which is partly why it’s believed not to have any psychedelic side effects. However, CBD does interact more with other receptors in the body such as:
- 5-HT1A Serotonin Receptors – Which impact anxiety, addiction, sleep, pain perception, appetite, and nausea.
- TRPV1 Vanilloid Receptors – Which impact inflammation, body temperature, and pain perception.
- PPARs Receptors – Which impact energy homeostasis, insulin sensitivity, and amyloid-beta plaque (important in Alzheimer’s development).
- GPR55 Receptors – Act as an antagonist and impact blood pressure, cancer cell proliferation, and bone density.
Through acting on these receptors, CBD has been shown to help treat numerous diseases including epilepsy, osteoporosis, anorexia, neurodegenerative disorders, cancer, glaucoma, cardiovascular disease, schizophrenia, and many inflammation related conditions.
Let’s take a closer look at four of these scientifically backed health benefits of CBD.
1. Alleviates Pain
Cannabis has been used as a pain reliever for centuries. Studies suggest it works through inhibiting the neural pain pathways. CBD oil has been shown to reduce inflammation, which may also help reduce overall pain.
One 2012 study found that CBD oil significantly suppressed inflammation and neuropathic pain. This means CBD oil is a good alternative for chronic and persistent pain. More importantly, patients are finding they prefer cannabis over opioids for pain management. This is significant because opioid abuse has become an epidemic in our country. Replacing opioid prescriptions with a non-addictive CBD oil could save thousands of lives.
2. Reduces Anxiety & Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
We know chronic anxiety and stress negatively impacts our lives. CBD oil has been shown to alleviate the effects of anxiety and stress through its impact on various neurological receptors. Numerous studies have found CBD oils reduce social anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
A study found cannabis oil was effective in military veterans for reducing their PTSD related anxiety and insomnia. It also improved their daily function. A second study found CBD oil reduced the anxiety levels of people with performance anxiety when giving a speech.
3. Prevents and Fights Cancer
The potential CBD oil has for both preventing and fighting the effects of cancer is promising. CBD oil is known for its antiproliferative (prevention of excessive cell division) and proapoptotic (promoting cell death) characteristics, which prevent cancer from spreading.
One study even found cannabis extracts could successfully prevent the growth of breast tumor cells. CBD has been found to induce cell death in breast cancer cells – without harming normal – cells because of the differences in receptors on each type of cell.
This is great news for cancer research!
4. Autoimmune Disease
Autoimmune diseases cause your body’s immune system to attack itself. Examples of autoimmune diseases include Crohn’s disease, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes. Autoimmune diseases are on the rise and no-one is really sure why, although some strong hypotheses exist surrounding lifestyle changes, like nutrition, sleep, exercise, toxins, chronic infections, and other stresses on the mind and body.
A major contributor to autoimmune disease is chronic inflammation. Cytokines run rampant in the body and cause inflammation throughout. CBD oil is known for it’s powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
Through activating the body’s vanilloid pain receptors, CBD oil suppresses fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). Suppressing FAAH then inhibits the breakdown of anandamide which reduces inflammation in the body.
People with autoimmune diseases who are experimenting with CBD oil treatments are reporting successful results. Since there are only minimal side effects to using CBD oil, it’s a great potential option for those with autoimmune diseases.
Cannabis Products Have a Future in Medicine
I believe CBD oil has a bright future in medicine.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding medical marijuana which need to be tackled first. One way we can accomplish this is through differentiating between CBD and THC effectively in mainstream media.
If you know someone who would benefit from learning more about CBD oil or medical marijuana I invite you to share this article. Many still think there are hallucinogenic effects to all types of medical marijuana and that’s simply not the case.
Share this article if someone you love suffers from chronic pain, anxiety, PTSD, cancer, or from an autoimmune disease – CBD oil may help them!