CBD may offer an option for treating different types of chronic pain. A study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using an animal model, CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study demonstrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat. More study in humans is needed in this area to substantiate the claims of CBD proponents about pain control.
Image: yavdat/Getty Images
CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), by itself it does not cause a "high." According to a report from the World Health Organization, "In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD."
The evidence for cannabidiol health benefits
CBD is commonly used to address anxiety, and for patients who suffer through the misery of insomnia, studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep.
Cannabidiol (CBD) has been recently covered in the media, and you may have even seen it as an add-in booster to your post-workout smoothie or morning coffee. What exactly is CBD? Why is it suddenly so popular?
CBD is readily obtainable in most parts of the United States, though its exact legal status is in flux. All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction, and while the federal government still considers CBD in the same class as marijuana, it doesn’t habitually enforce against it. In December 2015, the FDA eased the regulatory requirements to allow researchers to conduct CBD trials. Currently, many people obtain CBD online without a medical cannabis license. The government’s position on CBD is confusing, and depends in part on whether the CBD comes from hemp or marijuana. The legality of CBD is expected to change, as there is currently bipartisan consensus in Congress to make the hemp crop legal which would, for all intents and purposes, make CBD difficult to prohibit.
CBD has been touted for a wide variety of health issues, but the strongest scientific evidence is for its effectiveness in treating some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which typically don’t respond to antiseizure medications. In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and, in some cases, it was able to stop them altogether. Videos of the effects of CBD on these children and their seizures are readily available on the Internet for viewing, and they are quite striking. Recently the FDA approved the first ever cannabis-derived medicine for these conditions, Epidiolex, which contains CBD.
If you’ve ever wondered why eating chocolate makes you feel so good, the answer is serotonin—a neurotransmitter responsible for transporting signals to different areas of the brain. It is believed to help regulate the mood, as low levels of serotonin are associated with various harmful psychological conditions. And preclinical evidence suggests that CBD may have a similar effect.
It may be hard to believe, but something we all eat and enjoy regularly contains psychoactive compounds. We are, of course, talking about chocolate! Specifically dark chocolate, but chocolate nonetheless.
The example of chocolate as a psychoactive substance was provided on purpose. Both the sweet treat and CBD share a common trait—their activation of serotonin receptors (5-HT).
How does CBD affect the mind?
• Psychotropic: “Denoting drugs that affect a person’s mental state”.
In reality, however, the distinction between psychoactive and non-psychoactive is not as straightforward as it appears. There’s also another term we need to consider—psychotropic. Both psychoactive and psychotropic describe how a substance changes the way we think and feel. But, it’s the slight variation between these two terms that could alter the proper description of CBD.
When searching for CBD products, most websites will list the compound as “non-psychoactive”, because “psychoactive” is a popular term used to describe the effects of marijuana and THC. Keep reading to find out if CBD really is non-psychoactive.
Cacao (the raw seeds from which chocolate is derived) is one of the most popular food products on the planet. And because the compounds within it can reduce tension—this makes chocolate a psychoactive substance. But what about CBD?