The First CBD (Cannabidiol) Studies Show Therapeutic Qualities

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Researchers studying addiction at the UK Center for Drug and Alcohol Research Care (CDAR) are just starting to learn exactly how the many different compounds found in cannabis, called cannabinoids, effect the human brain and body.

Shanna Bablonis, one of the researchers who is also an assistant professor of behavioral science at the University of Kentucky is working on the study says that research on the effects of cannabinoids found in cannabis on humans is drastically limited. The more well-known compound found in cannabis called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has proved itself to create feelings of euphoria in many people, but some researchers in this study mention that there are other compounds within the cannabis plant that can be particularly therapeutic.

The team recently finished an experimental study in which the effects from one of the compounds found in cannabis called cannabidiol (CBD) were examined while the compound was ingested in combination with cannabis that is smoked. This study was financially backed by the National Institute of Drug Abuse to see if the compound CBD could be used as a form of treatment for those who are dependent upon cannabis. By the end of the study, researches had the opportunity to study the effects of a variety of dosage amounts of CBD use alongside cannabis.


The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) provided the team with the clearance and oversight necessary to administer double-blind tests on people who classified themselves as heavy pot smokers. These subjects finished a series of sessions in the lab where they were given CBD capsules that contained a variety of doses before they were allowed to smoke either cannabis or other placebo cigarettes. Once the drugs were given to the subjects they were examined for a number of different outcomes, including physiological reflexes and brain function. A few hours after the drugs were administered, scientists also gave the test subjects a choice of whether to smoke additional cannabis to see if CBD had any effect on the number of puffs the participants would take. These subjects were required by the team to attend eight different sessions to finish the experimental study.

The results showed that CBD had no effect on the physiological, cognitive, or subjective effects of smoking cannabis. Babalonis notes that the study can be used as proof that CBD doesn’t diminish the high caused by smoking cannabis, while also providing evidence that CBD has a low chance for abuse or dependence. The study also showed that CBD does not produce intoxication and the participants did not feel high from using CBD, which backs up previous findings that CBD does not include any psychoactive effects. The study ultimately showed that there were “no measurable effects of CBD”, according to Babalonis.

This is big news as recent media stories have suggested that CBD could be used to treat severe seizures in people, including children. Since the drug has had such great results in that demographic, more studies have been conducted to examine the side effects and safety of CBD, especially in regards to it becoming a possible curative medicine. The aforementioned study is one of the first studies to say that CBD doesn’t alter the effects from cannabis and that it includes a low abuse rate.

The CDAR lab in the UK teamed up with the Medical University of South Carolina and Columbia University to gather lab data for this experiment. Babalonis had the opportunity to present the results of the experiment at the College on Problems of Drug Dependence annual event in Phoenix, AZ last June.

Although the study showed that it is not effective for treating cannabis dependence, the study did find many other benefits from using CBD in the compound’s ability to be effective in treating other conditions. Studies continue to be done on CBD to see how this compound found in cannabis can be used in treatment of significant health issues.

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