By Clifford Genece, Honey Colony
Cannabidiol (CBD) is finally being recognized as a revolutionary natural healer, offering a host of medicinal uses.
CBD is one of over 60 compounds found in cannabis that belongs to a class of molecules called cannabinoids. Of these compounds, CBD and THC are usually present in the highest concentrations. Most people are familiar with THC as the prominent compound in the marijuana that is smoked and eaten, but CBD research has been growing to show various health benefits, without the high.
It’s completely legal to distribute and purchase, and is easily the most exciting active cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant.
According to a 2013 review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, studies have found CBD to possess the following medical properties:
1. Seizure Suppression:
The earliest record of cannabis being used to treat epilepsy goes back as early as 1800 B.C.E. in Sumeria. In 2014 the FDA moved forward with allowing the drug Epidiolex, a 99% oil-based extract of CBD,to aid in fighting childhood epilepsy. Results from a 213 panel study showed a 54% decrease in seizures in 137 people who completed the 12 weeks on Epidiolex. Those tested had no success with any prior treatment, and of the 25 patients who had Dravet syndrome, there was a 63% decrease in seizures over the course of three months. Participants ranged from 2-26 years old, and the results gave notice that CBD oil may also be beneficial for children who suffer from seizures.
2. Anti-Inflammatory and Pain Reduction Properties:
Inflammatory diseases can be crippling—Rheumatoid arthritis for instance, is caused by the body’s immune system attacking itself, and causes severe inflammation. Research at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology suggests that CBD can block the progress of arthritis without any of the typical marijuana effects.
IL-6 stimulates both the inflammatory and autoimmune responses in many diseases, such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and prostate cancer, but can reportedly be suppressed, and its secretion reduced, with the introduction of CBD. This leads to a reduction of pain, and returns function to the areas effected.
3. Anti-anxiety and Anti-depression:
Endocannabinoids (ECS) are chemical compounds that play a key role in memory, mood, brain reward systems, drug addiction, and energy balance. As the name suggests, they are activated by the same receptors as CBD. Research has been conducted and reported to show the benefits of the ECS system in relation to combating depression, anxiety, increase appetite, and create feelings of well-being. CBD naturally acts on the ECS system’s signals to reportedly increase receptor function and flow, combating the effects of anxiety and depression.
4. Increase Appetite In Ill Patients:
A common downside to many illnesses is malnutrition and prolonged hospital visits in patients. Patients who undergo chemotherapy for instance, regularly talk about having no desire to eat, adding to their lack of energy. Medication, illnesses, and mental reaction to illnesses can cause the ECS system to reduce the desire of appetite. For centuries, CBD has shown itself to encourage appetite. The “munchies” as so many call it, can be beneficial in giving ill patients the desire to indulge in food and promote a healthy body while they receive treatment. Proper nourishment increases the patient’s chance to combat illness.
5. Combats Neurodegenerative Disorders:
An estimated 5.3 million people have Alzheimer’s in the United States. Of those, two-thirds are women. Neurodegenerative disorders can be caused by inflammation of the brain, and as CBD can reduce inflammation, it can reportedly help decrease the intensity of neurodegenerative disorders. Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and multiple sclerosis all lead to degeneration of the brain, but studies show that increased ECS activity can aid in reducing the onset of degenerative brain diseases. Use of CBD can increase activity in the ECS system and possibly decrease risk of common neurological diseases.
6. Anti-psychotic Effects:
Research suggests that CBD is able to prevent psychotic episodes that are usually associated with excessive THC intake. From there, researchers then were able to suggest that CBD may be able to provide therapeutic relief in various forms of psychosis, with schizophrenia being the most prominent. CBD has reportedly been shown to treat schizophrenia with little side effects, where as many anti-psychotic drugs have numerous side effects.
7. Slow Brain Aging:
Our brains naturally deteriorate with time. Oxygen being a contributor to aging may no longer have as strong of an impact, thanks to recent CBD research. A 2012 study suggests that increasing activity in the CBD system may cleanse oxygen from the brain. This would remove free radicals, which damaged cells over time. Free radicals are unavoidable, as they are a product of the foods and drinks we ingest, our environment, and the various topical items we place on our skin. Being able to cancel free radicals, increase the longevity of cells throughout the body and’ allows for prolonged function.
8. Anti-Cancer Properties:
A 2013 study reported that CBD was able to trigger necessary apoptosis and autophagy in cancer cells. Apoptosis is the natural suicide of cells death in order to create space for healthy and new cells. Autophagy is what allows cells to destroy a specific component to regulate it’s own biology. Cancer is allowed to metastasize due to the inability of mutated and unhealthy cells to die off, or remove damage cell parts. Scientists from the study were able to attack breast cancer cells and inhibit further cancer cell growth. Recently, reports have also been shared of parents providing CBD to their children in various forms, leading to cancer remission.
9. Increase Brain Activity:
CBD has been shown to improve the efficiency of mitochrondria, the energy source for cells. The oxygen cleanse which also reduces the brain’s aging process, plays a part in also increasing brain activity. Through destroying free radicals, mitochondria are able to function properly. Because the brain has an extremely high energy demand it is important to over-exceed this demand to increase proper brain functioning.
As a natural resource, reportedly CBD also has the ability to provide antibacterial support to the body. Since 1950, CBD has been used as a treatment for tuberculosis and other diseases. CBD has reportedly been shown to fight various forms staphylococci and streptococci infections which many modern antibiotics are unable to. As more bacteria begin to evolve and find resistance to prescribed antibiotics, CBD’s antibacterial properties continue to work.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), is a bacteria that is resistant to most antibiotics, and in the United States it kills about 18,000 of the 94,000 people it infects yearly. A study from the University of London showed that CBD provided potent activity against a variety of MRSA strains.
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