WHAT IS CANNABIDIOL (CBD)?
Cannabidiol, conventionally known as CBD is a chemical found in the Cannabis sativa plant, also called Marijuana or hemp; more than 100 chemicals, identified as cannabinoids, have been found in the Cannabis sativa plant. Although THC and CBD have been the most studied cannabinoids, there are also other identified cannabinoids within the medical cannabis, such as cannabinol (CBN), cannabigerol (CBG), Cannabidivarin (CBDV), and Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), etc.
In 1940, Roger Adams first discovered CBD and extracted it from the cannabis plant successfully. CBD is a major phytocannabinoid, accounting for up to 40% of the Cannabis plant’s extract. Even though delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the major active ingredient in Marijuana, Cannabidiol is also obtained from hemp, which contains only minimal THC amounts.
Meanwhile, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) are two types of cannabinoids found naturally in the resin of the marijuana plant, both of which interact with the cannabinoid receptors that are found throughout the body.
There are lots of studies going on concerning CBD and many unanswered questions. But there is this general belief that CBD is a safe compound, and no casualty is yet to be associated to its use. In the future, we look at the licensing of CBD to be used in pharmaceuticals. It is just a matter of time.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The exact method of action of CBD is not currently fully understood. However, it is known that CBD acts on cannabinoid (CB) receptors of the endocannabinoid system, which are seen in numerous areas of the body, including the peripheral and central nervous systems, while also including the brain. In addition, the endocannabinoid system regulates many physiological responses, including pain, memory, appetite, and mood.
In summary, Cannabidiol has effects on the brain. It is understood to prevent the breakdown of the brain’s chemical responsible for pain, mood, and mental function. Preventing this breakdown while increasing its blood levels seems to reduce mental disorder associated conditions such as schizophrenia. Inadvertently, Cannabidiol might also block some of the psychoactive effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
POSSIBLE THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS
Although the exact medical implications are currently being investigated, CBD has shown promise as a therapeutic and pharmaceutical drug target. As reported from the research, some of CBD’s possible therapeutic benefits include but are not limited to the following.
a. Anti-Seizures Effects
Several studies have reported that CBD has anti-seizure activity over the last two decades, reducing the severity of animal models’ seizures.
b. Anti-Anxiety Effects
In recent reports, CBD has shown therapeutic efficacy in a range of animal models of anxiety and stress, reducing behavioral and physiological (e.g., heart rate) measures of stress and anxiety. It has also shown efficacy in reducing anxiety in patients with social anxiety subjected to a stressful public speaking task.
c. Anti-Tumor Effects
There are pre-clinical reports on the use of CBD in treating cancer. The results affirms the reduced cell viability, increased cancer cell death, decreased tumor growth, and metastasis inhibition.
d. Anti-Psychotic Effects
While Marijuana can produce acute psychotic episodes at high doses, research suggests that CBD may mitigate these effects. Besides, there have been a few small-scale clinical trials in which patients with psychotic symptoms were treated with CBD.
1. Taking CBD with a meal that is rich in fat increases the amount of CBD that is absorbed by the body. This is liable to increase the effects and side effects of CBD.
2. Taking CBD may result to drowsiness or sleepiness. While using it along with other herbs and supplements with the same effect might cause too much sleepiness.
- Jones et al. Cannabidiol exerts anti-convulsant effects in animal models of temporal lobe and partial seizures. Seizure. 2012 Jun;21(5):344-52.
- Bergamaschi et al. Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naive social phobia patients. Neuropsychopharmacology 2011;36:1219–1226.
- Iseger and Bossong. A systematic review of the antipsychotic properties of cannabidiol in humans. Schizophr Res. 162(1-3):153-61. (2015).