The use of CBD Oils as a medical treatment is gaining momentum in the health and wellness industry. There have already been significant breakthroughs from scientific studies confirming that it may help treat various ailments.
Fact is, marijuana has been used as a pain treatment dating as far back as 2900 B.C. More recent studies have discovered that certain elements of marijuana, including CBD, have great potential for pain relief among many others.
What Exactly Is CBD?
Hemp and marijuana are the two types of Cannabis Sativa plants that produce chemical compounds called cannabinoids. CBD or Cannabidiol is one of many chemical compounds found in marijuana but it does not contain THC, the psychoactive ingredient. Cannabidiol (CBD) doesn’t give you that euphoric “high” associated with THC or Delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol but it still offers great potential.
There are many different CBD oil products available but the amount of CBD they contain do vary. Most CBD products are made from hemp and must have less than 0.3% THC. You might be surprised to learn that your body actually makes its own cannabinoids (called endocannabinoids). It also has cannabinoid receptors where some are related to inflammation and pain.
Researchers first thought that when CBD enters the body that it may attach to CB2 receptors. However, more recently, the common theory is that it may cause the body to produce natural cannabinoids that attach to the CB2 receptors. This means that CBD helps your body use its own endo-cannabinoids more effectively.
CBD Oils And Medical Conditions
Typically, CBD is formulated as an oil but it also sold as an extract, a vaporised liquid and oil-based capsules. Among many other CBD-infused products available online, the most prominent are food items, drinks and beauty products.
According to numerous studies, CBD Oils have been linked to the treatment of everyday ailments to chronic medical conditions. Some of these health issues include:
- Chronic pain
- Loss of appetite and body weight
- Muscle spasms
- Parkinson’s disease
While people use CBD oils for various health-related problems, there isn’t enough research indicating the oil’s actual health benefits. Although this is the case, the general public sees this as a huge area for growth and community pharmacy is well-placed to offer high-quality support and advice regarding the sale and use of CBD.
CBD Oils For Paediatric Epilepsy
As we’ve already established, CBD Oils have shown promising results in treating certain conditions and more recently, a possible treatment option for intractable epilepsy. While the exact mechanics behind it remains unclear, CBD has great anti-epileptic characteristics especially for acute and chronic seizures.
The clinical evidence supporting the use of CBD is still limited to open-label studies and two randomised controlled trials of children. Recently, America’s FDA approved a plant-based formulation of CBD, called Epidiolex, to treat seizures in people 2 years or older. It’s specifically aimed at those with Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS).
Several studies have proved that CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures or stop them altogether in some cases. There are a number of videos available online showing the effects of CBD on these children and their seizures. You can also read more about the cross-sectional survey for Treatment of Childhood Epilepsy.
Does CBD Help With Multiple Sclerosis And Arthritis?
There have been several studies on humans showing that a combination of CBD and THC can be an effective treatment for pain related to multiple sclerosis and arthritis. An oral spray, Sativex, contains THC and CBD which is currently available but only in a few countries where it’s been approved.
Based on a study of 47 people with multiple sclerosis, some were treated with Sativex for one month while others received a placebo. The results were astounding as those taking Sativex experienced a significant improvement in pain, walking and muscle spasms. In another study of 58 people with rheumatoid arthritis, Sativex significantly improved their pain during movement, at rest and overall sleep quality.
While all of these findings are hugely encouraging, more research is required to determine whether CBD oils can be used as an effective treatment for arthritis pain.
Do CBD Oils Help Reduce Anxiety And Depression?
There’s no denying that anxiety and depression are among the most common mental health disorders. They are known to have devastating impacts on the health and well-being of not only the patients but also their loved ones. Statistics from the World Health Organisation show that depression is the largest contributor to disability globally while anxiety ranks sixth.
For more information from the WHO, download the Global Health Estimates For Depression And Other Common Mental Disorders.
People suffering from anxiety and depression usually get treated with pharmaceutical drugs, often causing a number of side effects. Some of these include drowsiness, agitation, insomnia, sexual dysfunction and headaches. Even more serious is the fact that medications such as benzodiazepines are addictive and could lead to substance abuse.
Clinical Studies In Anxiety And Depression
CBD oils have shown great promise as a treatment for depression and anxiety. Many people living with these disorders have become increasingly interested in this natural approach.
One research study involved 24 people suffering from social anxiety disorder where they were given either 600 mg of CBD or a placebo before a public speaking test. The group with CBD had significantly less anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort during their speech compared to the placebo group.
CBD oils have also been used to safely treat insomnia and anxiety in children suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. In several animal studies, CBD showed antidepressant-like effects as CBD has the ability to act on the brain’s receptors for serotonin.
CBD And Heart Health
According to a small study published in the JCI Insight journal in 2017, researchers looked at CBD’s ability to help prevent stress-related changes in blood pressure. The study comprised of nine healthy males who took either a single dose of CBD or placebo. Those who took CBD had lower blood pressure before and after experiencing a stressful event compared to the placebo volunteers.
For an extensive list of frequently asked questions about CBD in healthcare, you should read ‘Cannabis-based Products For Medicinal Use’ from the NHS England.
While recent changes in the legal status of medical cannabis in several European countries have led to CBD being more accessible to health care professionals. However, it appears the attitude of healthcare practitioners are divided when it comes to medical cannabis and for treating epilepsy. More research is needed to collect data about its clinical use in daily practice as not much information is currently available.
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