Cannabidiol (“CBD”) is the single most abundant, non-intoxicating, natural compound found in cannabis. Although it was identified in the 1940s, it wasn’t considered an active cannabinoid until the 1960s. By the early 2000s, it finally started gaining proper notoriety for its broad scope of therapeutic benefits.
CBD is a plant-derived cannabinoid, more accurately referred to as a phytocannabinoid, that supports the endocannabinoid system (“ECS”) and other bodily systems by blocking metabolic enzymes and by stimulating various receptors throughout the body.
The Reported Therapeutic Benefits of Cannabidiol:
It is a common fact that inflammation is the leading factor in many conditions like IBS, cancer, arthritis, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s, to name a few. CBD is the most potent anti-inflammatory phytocannabinoid found in cannabis, and it is a close second to THC for its pain relieving abilities.
Unlike opioids that only provide symptomatic relief, CBD works at the cellular level enabling the body to heal itself, and it does this in many ways.
Humans have been using cannabis to treat epilepsy for hundreds of years. The first scientific reports date back to the late 1800s where neurologists document the use of Indian hemp to treat patients. Cannabinoids are neuroprotective and when seizures occur the body releases the endocannabinoid AEA which is quickly broken down by the metabolic enzyme FAAH. CBD stimulates both CB1 and CB2 receptors and blocks FAAH from breaking down AEA, and this is why CBD is believed to be beneficial in managing seizures.
CBD also prevents the reabsorption of the nucleoside adenosine, a naturally produced chemical. Adenosine is a neuroprotectant and an anti-inflammatory, so when adenosine levels are higher, we can experience reduced anxiety and depression. Increased adenosine levels are also beneficial in traumatic brain injury situations especially when inflammation is a contributing factor.
CBD stimulates the serotonin 5HTIA receptor, and by doing so, it can help the body manage anxiety, depression, appetite, pain, nausea, and vomiting.
Did you know that CBD can counteract the psychoactive effects of THC? It does this by stimulating the vanilloid TRPV1 receptor, and by acting as a partial antagonist to THC. So if you have an adverse reaction to THC, try taking high doses of CBD to balance out the THC levels in your system.
Both AEA and CBD activate the TRPV1 receptor, and by doing so, the body can regulate inflammation, pain and body temperature.
When CBD blocks the orphan GPR55 receptor in the brain, it enhances the body’s ability to combat osteoporosis and limit cancer cell growth.
CBDs interaction with PPAR receptors is showing great promise. Not only does it have antiproliferative effects but it can limit tumor growth. When it activates PPAR-gamma receptors, it breaks down the amyloid-beta plaque associated with Alzheimer’s and regulates metabolic functions which may make it a valuable resource for diabetes and other dysfunctions in the metabolic system.
As a neuroprotectant, CBD helps reduce damage to the brain and nervous system by encouraging growth and development of new neurons.
Last but certainly not least CBD is a powerful antioxidant. It is said to be more potent than vitamins C and E. Studies are showing that antioxidant-rich diets reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and arthritis and cancer.
As you can see, the list of CBD’s therapeutic properties is significant. Its interaction with metabolic enzymes and various receptors throughout the body enhances the bodies ability to heal itself on a cellular level.
- Iffland, Kerstin and Franjo Grotenhermen. “An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies” Cannabis and cannabinoid research vol. 2,1 139-154. 1 Jun. 2017, doi:10.1089/can.2016.0034
- Konieczny, Eileen and Lauren Wilson. Healing with CBD. Ulysses Press, 2018.
- Leinow, Leonard and Juliana Birnbaum. CBD A Patient’s Guide to Medicinal Cannabis. North Atlantic Books, 2017.
- Maroon, Joseph and Jeff Bost. “Review of the neurological benefits of phytocannabinoids” Surgical neurology international 9 91. 26 Apr. 2018, doi:10.4103/sni.sni_45_18
- Wallace, Robyn. “Cannabinoids: defending the epileptic brain” Epilepsy currents 4,3 (2004): 93-5.