We have no doubt about the benefits that medical cannabis has on various illnesses and diseases. There is good evidence in robust human clinical trials that cannabis is of benefit for a variety of ailments whether they be physical, mental, or social.
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Unlike THC, CBD has no psychoactive properties—in fact, when isolated and consumed, it has no immediately noticeable effect on the user. When taken in combination with THC, CBD can actually counteract some of the negative side-effects of THC ingestion, such as feelings of paranoia, anxiety and panic.
Several of the medical benefits of CBD are well documented. For example, in multiple scientific studies, CBD has been shown to be effective in:
- Relieving pain and reducing inflammation
- Producing antipsychotic effects
- Relieving nausea
- Treating various neurological disorders
- Reducing the effect of seizures, including those associated with epilepsy; and
- Promoting cardiovascular health.
Lesser Known Medical Benefits of CBD
There are, however, additional medical benefits associated with CBD which are less generally known or understood. (Although the studies which suggest these additional benefits are preliminary, and further analysis is necessary to replicate their conclusions, they are nevertheless promising.)
Following are benefits of CBD of which most people are unaware:
- It Has the Potential to Reduce Cigarette Consumption in Tobacco Smokers
In a double-blind study conducted at the Clinical Psychopharmacology Unit at University College London, researchers randomly chose 24 smokers, giving half a CBD inhaler and the other half a placebo. Participants in the study were told to use their inhaler every time they felt the urge to smoke a cigarette for a period of one week.
At the end of the week, researchers saw no decrease in the total number of cigarettes smoked among participants who had been given placebos. Among those who inhaled CBD, there was a 40 percent reduction in the number of cigarettes smoked. The participants who used the CBD inhaler reported that, despite reducing cigarette consumption, they felt no additional craving for nicotine
Researchers concluded that:
“…the preliminary data presented here suggest that CBD may be effective in reducing cigarette use in tobacco smokers…these findings add to a growing literature that highlights the importance of the endocannabinoid system in nicotine addiction.”
- It Has Shown Promise as an Effective Treatment for Acne
In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation and the National Institute of Health (Cannabidiol exerts sebostatic and anti-inflammatory effects on human sebocytes), researchers found that cannabidiol counters some of the conditions which lead to acne. Specifically, when they applied CBD to human sebaceous glands, they discovered it exerted some of the same anti-inflammatory effects which had been effective in the treatment of other conditions—in this case, by inhibiting lipid synthesis. They concluded that, based on their clinical experience, CBD “deserves full clinical exploration as a potent, novel class of anti-acne agents.”
- CBD Could Arrest the Onset of Diabetes in Humans
In a 2008 study published in Neuropharmacology (Cannabidiol arrests onset of autoimmune diabetes in NOD mice), researchers were able to prevent the development of diabetes in mice. The injection of CBD in female mice did not affect their glucose levels, but it did prevent the production of a “cytokine,” which is the cause of several autoimmune diseases. Although no studies have shown that CBD can arrest the development of diabetes in humans, a 2005 study published in the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis (AAMC) found that it did have demonstrable benefits for people with diabetes, including stabilizing blood sugars and countering arterial inflammation.
- It Can Reduce the Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
In a 2011 study published by the National Institutes of Health, 23 people suffering from fibromyalgia were given traditional medications (such as opioid pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs). Another 23 used CBD to treat their symptoms. Those using CBD actually saw a greater reduction in common fibromyalgia symptoms, including both pain and inflammation, than those who used the traditional medications. This is very promising, given the addictive nature of opioid medications.
- It Has the Potential to Reduce Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms
Using animal models and cells cultures, researchers at the Cajal Institute discovered that CBD reduced inflammation and other symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis. They found that mice showed improved motor skills after just 10 days of treatment with CBD, concluding that CBD could potentially reduce several of the common symptoms of MS.
The represents just a small sampling of the medical benefits of CBD which scientific studies have brought to light. CBD has also shown promise in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, Crohn’s Disease and insomnia. Given the wide range of medical applications which a relatively small number of studies have already proven, one can only expect that further study will lead to the discovery of more benefits to help more people.
This article was first published on https://www.cannabisimp.com.