Many people are seeking alternatives to pharmaceuticals with harsh side effects – medicine more in sync with natural processes. By tapping into how we function biologically on a deep level, there is evidence that CBD can provide relief for chronic pain, anxiety, inflammation, depression and many other conditions. However, until recently there have been very few well-conducted trials to back up these claims.
The main reason there are few trials to back up the perceived health benefits of CBD is that previous laws lumped marijuana and hemp together in the same basket. However, in December 2015, the FDA eased the regulatory requirements for CBD, which allowed for more scientific research to begin. New research and mounting anecdotal accounts from patients and physicians highlight CBD’s potential as a treatment for a wide range of maladies, including (but not limited to):
- Autoimmune diseases (inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis)
- Neurological conditions (Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Huntington’s chorea, stroke, traumatic brain injury)
- Metabolic syndrome (diabetes, obesity)
- Neuropsychiatric illness (autism, ADHD, PTSD, alcoholism)
- Gut disorders (colitis, Crohn’s)
- Cardiovascular dysfunction (atherosclerosis, arrhythmia)
- Skin disease (acne, dermatitis, psoriasis)
CBD has proven neuroprotective effects and its anti-cancer properties are being investigated at several academic research centers in the United States and elsewhere. A 2010 brain cancer study by California scientists found that CBD “enhances the inhibitory effects of THC on human glioblastoma cell proliferation and survival.” This means that CBD makes THC even more potent as an anticancer substance. Also in 2010, German researchers reported that CBD stimulates neurogenesis, the growth of new brain cells, in adult mammals.
There is no evidence CBD has any abuse or dependence potential and to date there is no evidence that it is associated with any serious side effects, according to the World Health Organization.