Cannabidiol (CBD)

Background

CBD, the abbreviated form of Cannabidiol, is one of over 60 cannabinoid compounds in the cannabis plant, second to THC in abundance. These cannabinoids, or phytocannabinoids, including CBD, are characterized by their ability to act on the cannabinoid receptors – parts of our endocannabinoid system. Though THC is the main psychoactive element of Cannabis having certain medical uses, CBD is prominent for its being non-psychoactive and displaying a wide range of potential medical applications. Such characteristics particularly make it attractive as a therapeutic agent.[1]

Benefits

CBD is the main non-psychoactive element of Cannabis sativa and the health benefits of CBD include nootropic effects, such as it

  • Reduces anxiety [8]
  • Improves memory [9]
  • Promotes sleep [10]
  • Promotes mood [11]
  • Reduces pain and inflammation [12]
  • Helps people who are fighting cancer [13]
  • Protects neurons from Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative conditions [14]

Acting in some experimental models as an anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, antiemetic, anxiolytic and antipsychotic agent, CBD is, therefore, a potential drug for the relief of neuroinflammation, epilepsy, oxidative injury, vomiting and nausea, and schizophrenia.[2]
CBD or Cannabidiol is used for the relief of chronic pain, and helps reduce anxiety and may also be effective for panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.[3] CBD administration can significantly reduce the incidence of diabetes. Experiment on non-obese diabetic mice proved this fact.[4] CBD does not impair cognition  and may have therapeutic potential to reverse or inhibit certain cognitive impairments. As one of the popular nootropics, CBD could work as a neuroprotectant and inception of the diseases like Parkinson’s, dementia, or Alzheimer’s can be checked.

How it works

CBD doesn’t have much action at the CB1 and CB2 receptors. Rather CBD is able to block the actions of components which activate those receptors, such as THC. As a result, it can restrain that psychoactivity of THC, and might be effective to reduce the side effects of it.[5] CBD can also inhibit the enzyme that may degrade anandamide, fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), and can, therefore, bring back anandamide levels in diseases which have shown medical endocannabinoid deficit. Using CBD for schizophrenia can bring about a significant increase in serum anandamide levels.[6]

 

CBD desensitizes (reduce the receptor’s activity) certain Transient receptor potentials – TRPV1, TRPV2, TRPV3, TRPV4 and TRPA1 channels which are highly active in pain states in many diseases. [7] CBD can also target the key neural signaling receptors like 5-HT1a and 5-HT3a, that are considered to be useful targets for diseases such as epilepsy and many other anxiety disorders.

Considerations

Some reported side effects of cannabidiol can be dry mouth, low blood pressure, light headedness, and drowsiness. There is not enough dependable information about the safety of taking cannabidiol while you are pregnant or breast feeding. Taking high doses of cannabidiol might make muscle movement and tremors worse in people with Parkinson’s disease.

Recommendations

CBD – Cannabidiol is probably safe when taken by mouth and appropriately in adults. CBD dosages can be different for treatment of different diseases, such as,

  • To increase appetite in cancer patients: 2.5 milligrams of THC by mouth with or without 1 mg of CBD for six weeks
  • To treat chronic pain: 2.5-20 mg CBD by mouth for an average of 25 days
  • To treat epilepsy: 200-300 mg of CBD by mouth daily for up to 4.5 months, etc

So, it is recommended that you should consult your doctor before starting consuming CBD.

Sources