CBD, or cannabidiol, is quickly
changing the debate surrounding the use of marijuana as a medicine. Most people
have heard of a chemical called
THC, which is the
CBD is a key ingredient in cannabis
CBD is one of
WHAT IS CBD OIL?
Cannabis oil comes from Cannabis sativa, a plant that has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. This plant goes by many names, such as marijuana, hemp, or cannabis. Scientists have discovered in cannabis 66 biologically active components that are called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are a group of compounds found in Cannabis species (Cannabis sativa L. and Cannabis indica Lam.). The most powerful cannabinoid is thought to be the chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise known as THC. Other substances in the plant are also being studied for their medical benefits. Hemp generally refers to the stalks and sterilized seeds, which have a much lower concentration of THC, and hempseed oil is more of a health food.
CBD is non-psychoactive
Unlike THC, CBD does not cause a high. While this makes CBD a poor choice for recreational users, it gives the chemical a significant advantage as a medicine, since health professionals prefer treatments with minimal side effects. CBD is non-psychoactive because it does not act on the same pathways as THC. These pathways, called CB1 receptors, are highly concentrated in the brain and are responsible for the mind-altering effects of THC. A 2011 review published in Current Drug Safety concludes that CBD “does not interfere with several psychomotor and psychological functions.” The authors add that several studies suggest that CBD is “well tolerated and safe” even at high doses.
CBD has a wide range of medical benefits
Although CBD and THC act on different
pathways of the body, they seem to have many of the same medical benefits.
According to a 2013 review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Are There Any Facts Showing Cannabis Works?
There are limited studies on medical uses for the cannabis plant. Most of the research involves cannabinoids, including THC, and not the low-THC hemp seed oil. In 1997, the US Government authorized an in-depth investigation into the medical use of marijuana. The Office of National Drug Control Policy commissioned the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to study the risks and health benefits of marijuana. The IOM offered several conclusions regarding the usefulness of medical marijuana.
According to the IOM, scientific data shows that cannabinoids, THC in particular, have some potential to relieve pain, control nausea and vomiting, and stimulate appetite. The effect of cannabinoids on the immune system is not clear. The research found that the reduced anxiety, sedation, and euphoria from cannabinoids could help certain patients and situations, but this could be distressing for others.