Cannabis Medical Science

4 science-backed benefits of cannabis

Written by: Emily Watson

The use and acceptance of medicinal cannabis continue to increase and garner more and more attention in recent years. According to the National Institute of Health people have used marijuana and cannabis for more than 3000 years. There is also significant evidence that starting from 400 AD cannabis was used for medical purposes. In the 19th century, cannabis was very famous in Western Europe for its therapeutic use. 

What concerns the USA, according to the United States Pharmacopoeia cannabis was widely utilized as a medicine during the 19- 20th centuries. Today it has become even easier to get medical cannabis. All you need is to find a reliable cannabis dispensary.

Cannabis itself has more than 100 active components. The most widely used ones are CBD and THC. These chemical components are similar to your body’s endocannabinoids which allow them to interact with your cannabinoid receptors. The interaction of THC and CBD with your body’s cannabinoid receptors affects the release of neurotransmitters in your brain, which are responsible for relaying messages between cells and have roles in pain management, immune system function, stress, and sleep. 

CBD (which stands for cannabidiol) received approval by the Food and Drug Administration of the USA as a treatment for some types of epilepsy. Patients who have used CBD also report other benefits of it, such as relieving insomnia, chronic pain, and anxiety.

Relief for chronic pain

Some research suggests that cannabis is employed to treat chronic pain. CBD interacts with the receptors of the endocannabinoid system(ECS) in our brain and immune system. The cells in our brain receive a signal to which our body cells respond. This response later creates an anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effect. 

Research in 2018 states that CBD works well for relieving chronic pain. The review was made based on the constant studies between 1975 and 2018. These studies examined various cases of cancer pain, neuropathic pain, and fibromyalgia. The study came to the conclusion that CBD was effective in overall pain management and did not leave any negative side effects on the patient’s health. There have also been limited studies in 2016 on the effect of CBD for migraine treatment. The study indicated that CBD and THC can lead to less intense pain.

CBD for epilepsy

Epidiolex, a drug prescribed for epilepsy, is yet the only CBD product that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)of the USA. It treats two rare forms of epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndrome. The medication was first approved for children 2 and older but later in 2020, the FDA approved the use of Epidiolex for children 1 and older. The medication is prescribed for children as these above-mentioned seizures typically affect children and teenagers.

More research continues to be published regarding seizures, and how CBD can have a positive impact for epilepsy sufferers. Some research points to the fact that it might help with clobazam (Onfi) which is a drug often prescribed to sufferers.

Some studies have had mixed results, and a lot of people assume that this is because of the fact that CBD is not strictly regulated. Basically, it can be hard to know that you are getting a good, reliable cannabis derivative when you buy CBD, especially in parts of the world where cannabis isn’t allowed. It’s important to make sure that you buy the best to give you the strongest chance of positive results. 

CBD can change the way your body processes some medications. If you’ve ever seen a product with a grapefruit warning, CBD is similar in that it alters the drug’s impact within your body. If you’re worried about CBD interacting with other drugs in your system, speak to a doctor first. In the majority of cases, it is safe to take CBD.

CBD for insomnia

CBD can help with insomnia, either by making people feel relaxed and sleepy, or by targeting the root of the problems. One study looked at over 70 subjects and gave them CBD in capsule form, to be taken daily. Almost 80% of the participants said they felt less anxious, and 2/3rds said they were sleeping better as a result. 

CBD can help to treat depression, anxiety, and pain. All of these are things that can be triggers for people who have insomnia or make it harder for any of us to get to sleep. Even if CBD doesn’t always make you feel sleepy automatically, it can prevent some of the things that are keeping you up at night.

CBD for anxiety

One of the most promising areas of CBD research is around taking CBD for anxiety and other mental health problems or issues such as PTSD.

One seminal study in 2011 compared participants taking CBD to those taking a placebo, the CBD group had reduced levels of anxiety overall. Many studies look at taking CBD as a supplement for the long term, or whether it can be used as a standalone treatment when symptoms get bad.

From the existing studies it is thought that CBD interacts with the receptors in the nervous system, CB1 and CB2 receptors. It also seems that it changes serotonin levels and boosts the level of serotonin in your body. Low levels of serotonin are usually associated with depression and anxiety. 

The bottom line

Anecdotally, people have been reporting benefits of using CBD for a long time. Cannabis has become an area of scientific interest as attitudes have changed, and more studies are taking place all the time. Overwhelmingly, it looks like people are accepting the fact that CBD and other cannabis-derived products can have a positive impact, and may play a vital tool in treating a wide range of illnesses. It is possible that CBD and cannabis products will be prescribed even more widely in the future as the science continues to back it up.

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