When we think of consuming cannabis, normally “getting high” is a big part of that thought. Don’t get me wrong, that’s cool – everybody could use a solid head change every once in a while (or all the time) – we can thank THC for that. But the reason cannabis actually works exceptionally well as a natural medicine is thanks to CBD.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, belongs to a group of compounds called cannabinoids which are primarily found in members of the plant genus Cannabis. Some people call it weed. Mary Jane. Ganja. The Sicky Icky Icky…
Of all the cannabinoids, perhaps the most popular is Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. This compound gives the feeling of euphoria or the sensation of being high. And too much THC can lead to anxiety, paranoia, memory impairment, and even cutting the insides of your mouth from eating way too many Funyuns.
On the other hand, CBD does not contribute to a mental euphoria, it is also the compound responsible for reducing the unwanted effects of THC. Recent research has identified that CBD is the active component responsible for cannabis’ medical benefits.
Known to be the non-psychoactive component in an otherwise mind-altering treatment method, CBD has been used in place of antipsychotic drugs for the treatment of various psychological disorders such as schizophrenia and psychosis.
A German study in 2012 compared CBD to Amisulpride, a known potent antipsychotic, in the treatment of 42 schizophrenia patients. Although both were effective, CBD was the better option in terms of it having lesser side effects.
One other psychological health benefit of CBD is that it is known to reduce anxiety. It is suggested that CBD may be an effective alternative for patients who need anti-anxiety medications.
A study in 2011 simulated public speaking for 24 previously untreated patients who were diagnosed with social anxiety disorder. Those pretreated with CBD before their speech presented significant reductions in their anxiety, cognitive impairment, and speech discomfort.
Another common benefit of CBD is that it provides natural pain and inflammation relief. Evidence has suggested that cannabinoids, in general, are useful in modulating pain by inhibiting neuronal transmission in pain pathways.
Studies on the use of CBD for relieving pain and inflammation for treating patients with Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s Disease, Fibromyalgia and even Acne, among many others.
CBD has also been used in the treatment of seizures and other neurological diseases. Cannabis has been used as an anti-seizure medicine for centuries and CBD is the compound claimed to be responsible for this.
A study in Brazil added CBD to anticonvulsant treatments for epileptic patients and the tests showed promising results. Brazil has recently approved the use of CBD to treat epilepsy, provided that prescriptions are properly given by psychiatrists and neurologists.
CBD has also been said to improve sleep. Although CBD appears to counteract the sleep-inducing effects of THC and promotes wakefulness and alertness, side effects still include drowsiness and fatigue which can provide for better sleep. Therefore, it is still considered a sleep aid, sedative and muscle relaxant.
Scientists continue to discover more and more psychological benefits for this compound found in the famous marijuana plant. The list above is only a few of the many benefits one can acquire from CBD, but it proves how significant it can be when it comes to alternative medicine.