In the modern-day and age, many people have decided to turn to nature and to non-toxic remedies. One plant, in particular, comes to mind when we talk about its wondrous healing properties and it’s been used for centuries for medicinal purposes… You guessed it, it is cannabis.
The first recorded usage of the plant dates back over 10,000 years ago. In the areas of modern-day Taiwan, hemp cord was used in pottery, which tells us that hemp is among the oldest agriculture crops known to man! The widely known American scientist Carl Sagan went on to say that marijuana was most likely the world’s first agricultural crop which led to the development of the civilization itself. In his 1977 book The Dragons of Eden, Speculations on the Origin of Human Intelligence he wrote – ‘’It would be truly interesting if in human history the cultivation of marijuana led generally to the invention of agriculture, and thereby to civilization.’’
The first recorded use of cannabis as medicine goes back to 2,737 BC. The Chinese emperor Shen Nung was prescribing marijuana tea to treat malaria, gout, muscle spasms, and even poor memory. From Asia, the usage of cannabis continued to spread all over the world. Fast forward to the present day, more and more people have continued to explore its impressive health benefits.
The plant itself is comprised of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) compounds. CBD has become widely popular in recent times and is regarded as the next big thing in the health industry. The general interest for it only continues to grow since it is used a remedy for a myriad of ailments. But how does CBD actually work?
The Story of CBD and its Usage for Medical Purposes
One of the first scientists to study CBD and its health benefits was Raphael Mechoulam. Back in the 1970s he was interested in learning more about how cannabidiol can be used to treat epileptic seizures. He conducted a study on 15 patients with epilepsy, where each patient received either a placebo or about 200 – 300 milligrams of CBD. The study was published in 1980 and it lasted for more than four months. During that time, 4 people who were given CBD experienced almost no seizures at all, 3 patients saw some signs of improvement in their condition, and it showed as ineffective in only 1 patient.
That was only the start as in the years to follow scientist performed numerous studies in order to demonstrate the benefits of the CBD usage and its effect on the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
What is Endocannabinoid system and what does it do?
Did you know that we, as humans, have ECS? It was only discovered less than three decades ago, and it’s described as one of the most important biological systems involved in maintaining human health.
ECS has an important role in the development of central nervous system (CNS). It also modulates the peripheral nervous system, synaptic plasticity, and it affects immune function, sleep, inflammation, pain, memory, mood, as well as fertility, reproduction, to name a few. ECS is composed of endocannabinoids. We have more of these neuromodulatory receptors than all other receptors. Our brain naturally produces endocannabinoid molecules, which you can find not only in our brain, but also in organs, connective tissues, immune cells, and glands.
When ECS works properly, it brings balance or homeostasis to our bodies. If, for some reason ECS becomes dysfunctional, that can result in a variety of conditions.
The moment you take CBD, this cannabinoid gets instantly in search of receptors. Once found, CBD binds itself to them, which in return increases your natural levels of endocannabinoids. This further has a therapeutic effect on a plethora of conditions, ranging from pain relief, mood and anxiety, cancer, movement disorders, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and many more.
To relieve pain, including the chronic pain, many people turn to painkillers. However, once they stop using them, troubles, both physical and psychological, could ensue. But, when you use CBD, there are no dangers of opioid addiction.
The ECS is involved in processing pain signals, both centrally and peripherally. Several trials that were conducted on more than one thousand patients have shown just how efficient cannabinoids are for neuropathic pain.
CBD reduces sciatic nerve pain, as well as inflammation. When combined with THC, it turns out that it can relieve the pain related to arthritis and even multiple sclerosis.
If you were to head over to the NCBI’s official website you would find numerous published articles and studies which refer to the CBD’s health benefits, which do not end with pain relief.
Diminish Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression
Two things seem to be taking over society – anxiety and depression. Everyone has different ways of coping with both of these conditions, some turn to antidepressants while others are willing to try natural remedies and CBD. Some researchers have discovered that CBD can actually be used to greatly reduce the symptoms and treat both anxiety and depression, even in children. This is possible because CBD interacts with the serotonin receptors. Serotonin is a hormone and a neurotransmitter, widely known as the ‘’happy’’ hormone as well as the mood stabilizer.
A group of scientists from the Heidelberg University in Mannheim has conducted a research which suggests that CBD could have antipsychotic-like effects, and as such could even reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia.
Relieving Nausea and Fighting Cancer
When patients go into chemotherapy, most of them experience side effects like nausea and vomiting, but CBD can be used to relieve the symptoms of discomfort.
There are some studies which have shown that CBD could also have anticancer properties. What CBD does is that it actually switches off a metastasis gene. Especially in the aggressive type of breast cancer, and the cells which were affected become healthy again.
In 2017 a study was published which has shown that CBD can lower blood pressure in patients and also reduce the stroke volume. Furthermore, in patients who had autoimmune myocarditis, it turned out to be a great therapeutic and it has reduced the condition.
Thanks to its anti-oxidant and anxiety-reducing properties, CBD can diminish the inflammation, lower the blood pressure and also the tension of blood vessel walls.
It is believed that CBD can act on the endocannabinoid system. Therefore is used in treating multiple sclerosis and epilepsy.
One of the studies that were conducted in recent times has shown that seizures were reduced in children with Dravet syndrome, which is a severe form of epilepsy that begins in the first year of life.
Bone Disease and Broken Bones
Cannabinoids play a part in the bone metabolism, which is a crucial cycle that maintains healthy bones. About 10 percent of your old bone material gets replaced by a new one during one year. Researches have shown that CBD blocks enzymes that can destroy bone-building compounds. Also boost the formation of new bone and cartilage cells. This further reduces a risk of osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, and it also speeds the healing of broken bones.
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD could ease the inflammation in pancreas, which is just what this study published in 2016 has shown.
Other studies also shown that CBD users have fasting insulin levels that were significantly lower compared to non-using counterparts. Higher levels of HDL cholesterol (which protects against diabetes), and also lower insulin resistance.
This basically means that CBD could potentially either entirely prevent or delay the type 1 diabetes from being developed.
Heal Skin and Reduce Acne
Skin has an extremely high concentration of cannabinoid receptors. That’s precisely why CBD oil can greatly benefit our largest organ. It can repair damage that UV rays caused. It helps regulate sebum production, by treating acne as well. CBD’s antioxidant is more powerful than both vitamins C and E. Which is why the oil has a remarkable therapeutic effect on our skin! Nowadays there are many cases of people who have successfully treated and cured various skin conditions. With the powerful CBD, and the CBD-based topical products are high in demand for treating psoriasis, melanoma and other skin cancers.
Even though numerous studies have already been conducted, there is still so much to learn about CBD. Especially when it comes to its long-term effects. So far, the results have been promising indeed. It turned out that CBD really is the next big thing in the health industry. We’ve learned that it’s something entirely wondrous that can greatly help humanity. Treating all sorts of health conditions and in fighting various diseases. With numerous studies currently ongoing. We’re probably yet to discover the CBD’s full potential and learn just how immensely it can benefit our lives.