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- In addition to THC and CBD, researchers believe there are roughly 400 other chemical compounds in cannabis, at least 60 of which are cannabinoids.
- Endocannabinoids are naturally produced not only in the human body, but in animals (including fish) as well.
- In fully-legal states, 71% of cannabis consumers are interested in recreational use, and 45% for multipurpose use.
- Legalization has more support than ever, with 81% of Americans in favor of medical use, and 61% supporting legal, recreational use.
Cannabis Health Benefits
According to a report issued by the World Health Organization (WHO), “To date, there is no evidence of recreational use of CBD or any public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
In clinical trials, it has proven effective in easing the symptoms of epilepsy, and CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential, according to controlled studies in humans.
CBD also shows the potential to help with drug and nicotine addiction, though more studies are needed.
People who currently use THC to self-medicate often report experiencing the health benefits without the high when they use CBD instead.
Opinions of Opiates vs Cannabis for Pain Management
Latest News Summary
Cannabis is Clearly the Opposite of a “Gateway Drug” to Addiction
A study conducted by HelloMD, along with the University of California Berkley, asked nearly 3,000 patients who use both opioid and non-opioid based pain medication about their use of cannabis.
The survey results concluded that 97 percent of respondents “strongly agreed/agreed” that their opioid use could be decreased when using cannabis, and 92 percent “strongly agreed/agreed” that they prefer cannabis as a treatment for their health issues.
In addition, 81 percent “strongly agreed/agreed” that using cannabis alone was more effective than taking cannabis in conjunction with opioids.
Studies such as these show time and time again that cannabis is an excellent substitute for opioids most of the time. However there are obvious reasons why cannabis remains illegal at the federal level in the US. Nationwide legalization would result in the loss of at least $4.5 billion from the pockets of pharmaceutical corporations.
Current Understanding of CBD Health Benefits
CBD and THC are just two of the 200+ substances that can be found in the cannabis plant. CBD doesn’t have psychoactive effects and will not get you “high,” has no physical potential for addiction, and has very few side effects, according to the World Health Organization.
The problem is that not enough research exists to validate these claims, because the FDA lumped both THC and CBD into the same category. Not until December 2015 did the FDA ease the regulations for CBD, enabling more research into CBD itself.
Finally, research is being done on its benefits for conditions such as schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, anxiety, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes. The government’s position on CBD is still nebulous, however, all 50 states have legalized CBD with different restrictions for each state.
Will CBD Work for Me?
Although it’s being sold nearly everywhere now, be sure to check with your doctor first, in order to ensure that CBD wouldn’t contraindicate any medications you’re taking. A good rule of thumb is to avoid CBD if any of your current medicines can’t be taken with grapefruit juice, because either one of these will inhibit production of cytochrome p450 enzymes in the same way. This would prevent the liver from doing its job breaking down and absorbing medicine properly, throwing your metabolism off-balance.
Also, the effects of CBD use by pregnant women are not yet known. The FDA has classified CBD as a supplement, and is therefore not regulated or studied in the same the way as prescription drugs. Be sure to check which forms of CBD are currently legal in your state.
That said, there are very few side effects from using CBD as directed. Dr. Tiffany Lester, an expert in functional medicine, suggests starting with a 5mg dose, and working up to 40mg if needed. She also suggests doing some research of the companies that make CBD, asking them questions about which forms would be best for your particular condition. Due to the lack of strict regulation, the exact levels of CBD in each product can vary, and a product that isn’t supposed to contain any THC can occasionally end up with traces of it.
CBD works directly on the brain’s serotonin receptors and the amino acid GABA (an inhibitory neurotransmitter). Low levels of these can result in anxiety and depression, which can be alleviated with CBD. This could be why there are many anecdotal reports of CBD being used to treat nicotine and alcohol addiction, since people often develop cigarette smoking and drinking habits as a form of self-medication for psychological issues.
CBD can also suppress cytokine production and affect T-regulatory cells, to combat inflammation and auto-immune disorders. Chronic pain can be eased by CBD because of how it blocks pain neurotransmitters.
People with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can find relief as CBD helps decrease spasmodic activity and improve intestinal function. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2017 reported that CBD helps to decrease the number of seizures in children with a severe form of epilepsy.
This is all great news, especially for people who previously had no choice but to deal with the high from THC, while simply trying to get the medical benefits from the CBD by smoking cannabis. Your results may vary, of course, but if you’re legally and medically able to try CBD, it just might be the cure for what ails you. If one brand, type or dosage doesn’t work, there are plenty of others to choose from.
https://medium.com/cbd-origin/is-it-safe-to-take-cbd-with-other-medications-cbd-drug-interactions-explained-446ed50b4758, https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1611618 and