The marijuana plant or Cannabis sativa contains two main active constituents, Cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Unlike THC, the CBD is not psychoactive and therefore has not been found to cause any of the negative psychological affects associated with cannabis intake, such as anxiety, paranoia and memory issues.
Some of the proposed benefits of CBD include:
- It can help to reduce inflammation by decreasing the production of many pro-inflammatory substances by the immune system. It can also act directly on the immune cells to enhance their anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory reactions.
- It can help treat depression and reduce anxiety.
- Some studies have suggested that CBD can help with psychosis and schizophrenia, with some reporting similar effects to pharmaceutical interventions, with less instance of side effects.
- On its own or in combination with THC, CBD has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation. This, along with the anti-inflammatory effects have been shown to provide relief of joint swelling, pain and disease progression in sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis.
- It can provide relief of digestive symptoms; reducing nausea and increasing appetite, as well as reducing bowel inflammation in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases. It may be particularly useful for food allergy sufferers.
- Benefits for diabetes sufferers have also been shown, with lower fasting insulin, and waist circumference after taking CBD. It may also have a protective effect on the insulin producing cells of the pancreas in patients with type 1 diabetes.
- Cardiac health may also be improved with CBD. Positive effects on arterial stiffness, blood vessel damage, blood pressure responses to stress, and blood clotting have been observed.
- It has a protective effect on brain function, and has been shown to help preserve brain cells after stroke. It has also shown promise in helping patients with degenerative nerve and brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Epilepsy and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). It may help Multiple Sclerosis patients reduce some of the symptoms associated with the condition, such as muscle tightness, pain and problems sleeping.
- It has tumour fighting effects in many cancers patients, and can also help the immune system to work more effectively at tackling tutor cells. In addition CBD can benefit the nausea, pain and appetite loss experienced in many cancer sufferers, and it can also increase the effectiveness of certain cancer fighting drugs.
- The regrowth of broken bones may be expedited with CBD treatment.
- There have been positive effects on insomnia after taking CBD before bed.
- Skin problems such as psoriasis and acne have also been improved with CBD.
Overall CBD is generally well tolerated by the body with very few side effects. If you want to improve your body function in any of the areas listed above, you may wish to consult with a specialist doctor about how a CBD prescription could help you, when it becomes legal in the UK on November 1st.
Chief Scientific Officer – Soza Health