As with almost every new and emerging health trend, caution and excitement go hand in hand. On one side you have strong enthusiasm to push the product, substance, whatever it may be, with regards to health benefits and on the other, you have those who wish to temper this enthusiasm with extensive study and research data before any definitive conclusion is reached.
This is the case with the recent emergence of Cannabidiol (CBD) and its growing popularity with the wider public. For those of you who don’t know, cannabis contains many compounds called cannabinoids of which CBD is one.
CBD oil has quickly become a hot topic in the wellness industry for its potential effects on pain, stress and other symptoms. However, with any substance that is being applied for medicinal or psychological purposes, erring on the side of caution should always be a priority until more information surfaces.
Benefits and Applications of CBD Products
That being said, there’s no smoke without fire, and with CBD oils and other CBD products there is a wealth of information appearing that suggests it can be effective in treating a spectrum of conditions and illnesses. How does it work?
CBD is one of many cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, a relative of cannabis plants. Other cannabinoids include CBG and THC but CBD is the primary compound found in hemp. The properties of CBD oil food supplements are many after the process of CBD extraction from the hemp plant. CBD works by binding to naturally occurring cannabinoid receptors in the body.
When cannabinoids bind to these receptors they send signals to areas of the body in need of regulation. They work within a system called the Endocannabinoid System which is present in both human and animals. CBD or Cannabidiol in food supplement form is one of a wide variety of CBD product options on the food supplement market today.
Though more investigation is needed, we do know that a CBD dose works on the Endocannabinoid system, a cannabinoid signalling system in the brain. Many body functions are partly regulated through this system, such as:
- Body Movement
- Brain Development
By no means exhaustive, this gives an idea of the areas in which the application of CBD can have an influence. On a more immediate level, there’s an immense list of medical illnesses and conditions where CBD can play a massive role.
Epilepsy, inflammation, MS, anxiety, insomnia, immune system regulation, glaucoma, autism and side effects of cancer treatment like nausea have all been referred to in anecdotal evidence and even small – scale research studies.
To expand on just a few of these, here are some accounts which testify to CBD’s strong potential for treating such conditions.
With epilepsy, encouraging signs have appeared in numerous studies which demonstrate the potential of CBD in the treatment of multiple forms of the disease, notably Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome(LGS), both childhood illnesses which are generally resistant to current medications.
Epidiolex, a medication which contains CBD, recently received FDA approval, the inaugural cannabis-derived medication for these conditions. A reduction in seizures was common towards both conditions when addressed with CBD, and was occasionally able to prevent the seizures completely.
CBD for use in general anxiety, social anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD)has seen preclinical evidence. Long-term use, however, has not been carried out, but only in acute administration. A study involving rats suggested that CBD could potentially help stop the reinforcement of generalised fear memories, highlighting the promise related to anxiety-related problems.
Broadly speaking, CBD is considered safe. Compared to prescription medication, it has less side effects if any. However, research that’s been done so far indicates this mostly only applies to patients with conditions which are too tolerant of medications, such as epilepsy and psychological disorders. More research is needed in areas where the conditions are not so resistant to medication.
More certain is that CBD is not addictive. Not only this, but CBD has been touted in findings as a potential treatment for individuals with drug addiction themselves, notably for cocaine or opioids.
Neither will CBD get you high, as it doesn’t contain a sufficient amount of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) (0.2% or less in verified brands), the highly psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant, more specifically marijuana.
Potential Side Effects of CBD
There are so far a couple of reported side effects of using CBD, including fatigue, irritability and nausea. However all are uncommon. Also, because insufficient research has been carried out, the ideal dosage remains unclear for any particular condition. Different amounts of CBD suit different people.
Because CBD is a burgeoning industry, many people are becoming involved who don’t take the necessary precautions to ensure the content of their CBD is exactly as stated on the labels. The FDA, for example, does not regulate CBD because it’s currently marketed as a dietary supplement and not a medication. It is important to consider specific laws of countries, the quality of ingredients and ask lots of questions of the place you are purchasing.
This has become a significant worry regarding the safety of CBD. As such, people ought to be cautious about who they buy from, do some research of their own and only do so from sellers who’ve performed rigorous lab testing. A number of low grade brands may skip this testing step if they can.
Any company who offers lab test reports on request or has a dedicated area to them on the shop website can be trusted. Testing ensures product quality and guarantees levels of cannabinoids are abiding by the law.
The Necessity of CBD Clinical Trials
Even though humans have been interacting with CBD for centuries, modern medicine still has a long way to go before it can say with any certainty what conditions and illnesses it can be of most use for. Despite encouraging discoveries about CBD, much work remains to be done. This is where the involvement of clinical trials becomes essential.
The more studies that are done, the more hope there is of improving the health of everyone who wishes to introduce CBD into their lives. Not only improvements, but reduction of potential side effects can be monitored too, so it works both ways.
However, these days it can be difficult to distinguish between what information found online is reputable and what is merely gossip and rumour. Those searching for ways to treat their own conditions, or those of others, face a challenging task to ensure that what they read is legitimate.
This is where CannArchives.org comes in. Finding information for your particular area of interest with CBD can be a daunting undertaking. The aim of CannArchives is to provide users with published and trustworthy research studies that are both up-to-date and continually being added to, and to make simple a user’s road to improved health.
This website is a repository of CBD and cannabis-related research studies. It has a comprehensive list of over 1000 trusted case studies categorised by health concern.
The site is organised very conveniently. Simply scroll through the list of conditions given on the home screen, choose your condition of interest, and there you’ll find whatever notable or reliable studies that have been carried out. Each study provides a brief overview of what the study discovered, and whether the result was positive or negative. All studies are arranged in reverse chronological order, with the most recent studies appearing first.
At CannArchives, one of the main goals is to provide people with easy and understandable access to information that might previously have been difficult to find. On top of that, by continually growing their database they hope that the stigma around cannabis-related therapies might be decreased.
The more studies undertaken, the more treatments that can be found. If an illness is seen to be responsive to CBD application, but not enough research has been done, adding to that research will allow medical professionals to offer more certainty to patients regarding efficacy, and to increase public confidence in what is undoubtedly an area for immense optimism.
Please visit CannArchives.org if you need any more information.
Shannon is a long time CBD user and health writer who has years of experience trying different CBD brands including Dr. Hemp Me, Endoca and more. Sign up for her free newsletter here or visit her Linkedin.