Cannabis, or marijuana, is a plant that produces many varied chemicals, the most famous being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is what gives users a high and cannabis oil is often used for this reason. The science surrounding cannabis and its various chemical compounds continues to evolve as researchers uncover new information about the effects of these compounds on health. Cannabidiol (CBD) has recently been discovered to have medical properties that do not cause psychoactive effects. Here are the THC and CBD’s medical benefits.
Relieves Pain and Inflammation
Studies show that CBD has anti-inflammatory and painkilling properties. It is also effective at reducing anxiety, which can make symptoms worse for some people. It is one of the few oils that can interact with the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a group of receptors located throughout the body (especially in the brain and immune system) which fight inflammation and pain. CBD not only interacts with these receptors, but also appears to have effects within them. Researchers don’t yet fully understand how this works, but there are some theories:
Relieves Nausea and Vomiting
CBD is known to treat nausea and vomiting, which are common side effects of cancer treatment. It can also reduce the number of days the patient has to stay in the hospital due to their illness.
Can Help with Anxiety
CBD has been shown to have an anxiolytic effect, which means it helps relieve anxiety or emotional stress. It calms nervous system activity and reduces blood pressure as well.
Helps Promote Sleep
Similarly to how CBD reduces anxiety, CBD has been shown to reduce mononuclear cell-mediated inflammation, which causes sleep problems. It also appears to reduce the brain’s levels of the neurotransmitter melatonin, which explains why it is so good at reducing anxiety.
Many studies have shown that CBD has anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects on humans and animals. It is believed to treat depression by affecting serotonin receptors in the brain, and may also have an effect on dopamine receptors.
Fights Cancer Cells
CBD has been proven to inhibit cancer cells. It is able to do this by disrupting how the cancer cells take in glucose, which they need to grow. This causes the cancer cells to die off before they can metastasize (travel to other parts of the body). CBD also attaches to receptors in cancer cells and inhibits their growth.
Can Help with Animal Models of Epilepsy (Seizure Disorders)
CBD helps relieve epilepsy (especially childhood epilepsy) by reducing seizure frequency and severity. The first use of CBD in an animal model was a control group of mice given 0.5mg/kg of CBD daily for 12 weeks. These mice had fewer seizures than the control group, while their anti-epileptic effects have shown to be stronger over time.