Many articles circulating lately talk about the lack of proof that CBD can actually act as a health aid. Medical “experts” point to a lack of scientific research to debunk the claims that CBD can be used as an alternative to highly addictive pharmaceuticals such as Oxycontin and morphine. And, they’re correct, there is a lack of scientific data to support the health claims many CBD enthusiasts make. BUT that isn’t for lack of trying! The Pro-Cannabis movement has been trying to change healthcare to incorporate the use of CBD therapy by advocating for broader study.
Medical research has been historically inhibited by the schedule 1 classification assigned by the Department of Justice to all cannabis and hemp plants. Even though industrial hemp is poised to be a salient and sustainable crop for small farmers across America, the echos of Nixon’s “War on Drugs” have inhibited verifiable scientific research within the states. In fact, the 70’s “War on Drugs” followed by the “Dare” program of the 1980’s served to create a negative social stigma around the use of cannabis. This caused the creation of an overreaching law enforcement effort to criminalize the plant. Prosecution for Cannabis related crimes was extensive. In addition, universities (especially publicly funded colleges) were prohibited from studying the effects of the plant because of it’s legal status. This prevented the development of the research to support the health benefits we are now seeing through anecdotal evidence. The positive effects of CBD ingestion are just now making themselves known.
What We Know For Sure
Here is what is verified:
CBD is not addictive. It does not bind to the brain stem causing physical addiction. Therefore, it can be safely used to treat pain and other conditions often treated with opiates.
CBD will not produce psychotropic effects. Psychotropic effects are the “buzz” or “high” people describe after they have smoked Cannabis.
CBD possesses analgesic effects which can help people suffering from chronic pain.
There is verifiable proof that CBD can help with generalized anxiety as evidenced in the 2011 study:
“Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naïve social phobia patients”
. 2011 May;36(6):1219-26. doi: 10.1038/npp.2011.6. Epub 2011 Feb 9
CBD therapy is used to help numerous patients with epilepsy. A study posted in Epilepsia produced evidence that CBD is a treatment application for those that struggle with neuropsychiatric disorders. Cannabinoid Terpenes are an effective treatment for epilepsy. In fact, just this year the FDA approved the drug Epidiolex, a CBD derived pharmaceutical, for treatment of two types of epilepsy.
There is also promising evidence to suggest that CBD has a positive impact on people with Alzheimer and Parkinson’s disease.
Studies are underway to assess the use of hemp in as an inhibitor to Cancer cells and as a Cancer treatment. CBD binds to a number of different receptors. Known attributes of these receptors include the regulation of body temperature, the modulation of blood pressure, bone reabsorption, and bone density, pain perception and the inhibition of growth in some cells related to Cancer.
The early medical use of Cannabis in states such as California and Oregon helped open the social channel in which this research can take place. Now, with the rise in the legality of medical and recreational use across the United States in tandem with the passing of the long awaited Farm Bill, researchers are free to conduct more studies into the medical properties of Cannabis, specifically CBD. Hopefully it will change healthcare as we know it today.
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