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Cannabidiol (CBD): Its Effects and Benefits

Cannabidiol (CBD)is one of 113 active cannabinoids contained within the cannabis plant. Cannabidol, as a non-psychoactive drug, can be medically used to treat symptoms of various disorders and diseases, including tumors and autoimmune disorders. It is slowly but surely revolutionizing the way the medical world views cannabis-based treatments of serious, persistent physical and mental health issues.

What is CBD?

Many have heard of this drug but are left wondering what is CBD. In every cannabis plant, there is a group of molecules called cannabinoids. The highest concentrations found in cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD. THC is a psychoactive drug (meaning that it changes chemical makeup in the brain). Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. It acts on a different pathway than THC. It does not have the same binding ability with CB1 and CB2 receptors, which are highly condensed throughout the brain. Instead, it suppresses fatty acid amide hydroxylase (or FAAH, the enzyme responsible for breaking down anandamide), thereby enhancing endocannabinoid tone. Since it inhibits FAAH, the body’s endocannabinoid response is enhanced.

Cannabidol is safe to be taken at elevated doses as it is generally well-tolerated by the body. It is being increasingly considered as an alternative treatment for many diseases and disorders.

CBD Effects

CBD effects include reducing nausea and vomiting, reducing inflammation, suppressing seizure activity, and combating anxiety, psychosis, depression, neurodegenerative disorders, and cancer and tumor cells. It has also been shown to reduce the negative effects of THC, reducing paranoia and memory impairment. Weed with high CBD is still being tested in laboratory studies but seems to have positive effects on both adults and children with painful and difficult-to-treat illnesses.

High CBD strains could have stronger effects on (and therefore be more useful for treating) patients with multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and Dravet’s syndrome (an extreme form of epilepsy that manifests in childhood).

Weed with high CBD is actively bred in several strains which can be located based on the area in which a person lives. High CBD strains include Charlotte’s Web, Harlequin, Cannatonic, and Sour Tsunami.

CBD Benefits

CBD cannabis is regarded as having numerous medical benefits. In fact, in 2013, the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology published findings from studies conducted on laboratory animal subjects that demonstrate the drug’s usefulness as a medicinal treatment method.

CBD cannabis can be used as an anxiolytic and/or anti-depressant since it helps to reduce anxiety and depression. Anandamide, the endocannabinoid broken down by FAAH, produces an anti-anxiety response, so the binding of cannabidol to its receptor enhances this anti-anxiety response. CBD benefits might also include acting as an anti-psychotic. Recent studies have shown promising results in treating schizophrenic patients who had not previously responded well to traditional anti-psychotic medications.

Since CBD marijuana interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, it can act as a pain reliever, anti-inflammatory drug, suppress seizures, and reduce vomiting and nausea. It binds with TRPV-1, a G-protein that regulates pain reception, inflammation, and body temperature. Individuals with auto-immune disorders tend to experience significant amounts of bodily inflammation, pain, and irregular body temperatures. The introduction of CBD marijuana to the endocannabinoid system can help to reduce these persistent, unpleasant symptoms.

Although CBD cannabis remains illegal (and, shockingly, in the same class as heroin) in America, the United Kingdom recently reclassified its oil form as a legal and acceptable form of medicine. Treatments using the drug should be overseen by a doctor, even though there are no negative side effects to using it to treat serious illnesses.

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