Cannabidiol, better known as CBD is an herbal medicinal remedy used for a variety of medical conditions. Also known as CBD, it’s one of more than 100 distinct chemical substances found in the flowering cannabis plant, namely cannabis sativa or potpourri pot plants. The only ingredient that may be more well-known as CBD is the plant’s extract. However, CBD has its own benefits, including the ability to protect human cells from cell damage caused by free radicals or harmful molecules called “free radicals.” In addition to its potential benefits to human health, CBD is an excellent source of dietary protein, which is necessary to the growth of strong and healthy bones and muscles.
In fact, CBD has been used to help people who suffer from muscle spasms caused by diseases such as MS, cancer, and Parkinson’s disease. In addition, CBD has been shown to alleviate the symptoms of diarrhea and constipation in human and animals. When administered properly, CBD appears to act as a powerful antioxidant that scavenges the damaging effects of nicotine and seems to aid in weight loss. In short, CBD appears to be a powerful force against some of today’s more serious illnesses and medical conditions.
For years, CBD has been used in human and veterinary medicine with a great deal of success. However, until recently it hasn’t been widely considered for use by humans in the treatment of chronic and ongoing pain syndromes, including pain resulting from arthritic conditions, fibromyalgia, TMJ, Rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic pain resulting from multiple sclerosis. It is important to note that CBD should never be given to a human being without first receiving a full dose of a qualified pharmaceutical product containing acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. (There have been reports of serious, even life threatening, reactions to CBD when it was administered alone.) Also, CBD may cause tachycardia in certain individuals.
One clinical trial conducted in Sweden compared CBD to ibuprofen and found that CBD produced fewer adverse side effects than did the two other prescription pain relievers. In one study, subjects reported increased pain tolerance when given CBD; in another, CBD produced no increase in heart rate or blood pressure, but a significant decrease in “angry,” or stress-related pain was noted in a group of test subjects. However, one study conducted in animals showed that CBD can cause liver toxicity when given at high doses. This is the subject of another ongoing study in Europe. The FDA has not approved CBD for use as a medication in humans.
One ongoing clinical trial is testing the effects of sativex, an oral form of CBD extract. In this study, native was shown to reduce pain when administered with electric current. In another study, CBD was administered by gum. No significant differences between these treatments in pain reduction were noted. This is the only currently approved source of CBD for chronic pain.
In addition to the above, there is an ongoing test-tube study found in the journal Archives of Dermatology. In this test-tube study, CBD oil was found to prevent the growth of acne in laboratory rats. CBD has been shown to be anti-inflammatory in animal tests without affecting the rats’ immune system. This may be the first indication that CBD can have beneficial anti-inflammatory properties not currently known in humans.
Besides reducing inflammation and pain, CBD has some promising effects on other medical conditions. It has shown to be effective in treating menstrual disorders. In one study, women who took CBD had reduced symptoms related to depression and stress. The reduction of depression symptoms was associated with a decrease in cortisol levels, which is associated with mood problems and anxiety. In another study, CBD was found to be effective in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, which is associated with the anxiety and depression. CBD is also believed to help alleviate the symptoms of nausea associated with certain types of cancer surgery.
As with all pharmaceuticals, CBD should be used cautiously and the proper dosage should be determined by a medical professional. People suffering from seizure disorders, hypoglycemia, mania, and depression may not respond well to CBD. People with a history of drug addiction should also avoid using CBD products may contain CBD as it may increase the likelihood of addiction.
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