There is still a lot more research that needs to be done on how and why CBD affects various diseases and ailments. There are some human studies, but most of the existing research is done on mice because their endocannabinoid system functions the same as humans. This provides a great research model, but human trials are needed to fully understand the potential of CBD and other cannabinoids.
CBD: SAFETY & SIDE EFFECTS
A 2017 study evaluated a massive amount of existing data, research and studies with the goal to update and synthesize large amounts of information. The study concluded that CBD is safe to be used with the most common side effects being tiredness, diarrhea and changes of appetite/weight. It also found that CBD has fewer side-effects compared with prescription medication. Fewer side-effects could help increase patient compliance to treatment. CBD can be used as a supplemental therapy. (SOURCE).
When many people think of cannabis, they think of getting ‘high’ from the psychoactive effects associated THC. This high is produced by Delta9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and has nothing to do with CBD. In fact, research shows the CBD actually counteracts the ‘high’ caused by THC.
A 2017 article clarified some serious misinterpretations and confusion in regards to whether oral CBD is safe and whether subjects who are treat with CBD run the risk of positive workplace tests for THC. The article concluded that publications by Merrick et al.1 and Bonn-Miller et al.,2 are misleading in many aspects. The conversion of oral CBD to THC has not been observed to occur in vivo, even after high doses. Over 40 years of CBD research does not suggest a conversion of CBD to THC after oral administration. In addition, the typical side effects of THC (dizziness, euphoria/high, thinking abnormalities, concentration difficulties, nausea, and tachycardia) have not been observed after treatment with CBD in double-blind, randomized, controlled clinical trials. (SOURCE).
CBD: ENTOURAGE EFFECT
The cannabis plant contains a complex mixture of cannabinoids and terpenoids. Studies indicate that the “entourage” of the whole plant are better drugs than the natural products isolated from them. In support of this view, CBD may increase the potential benefits associated with THC and reduce its negative psychoactive effects. (SOURCE).
A 1998 study showed that CBD is a neuroprotective antioxidant. CBD was shown to prevent hydroperoxide-induced oxidative damage as well as or better than other antioxidants in a chemical system and neuronal cultures. CBD was found to be protect neurons to a greater degree than dietary antioxidants α-tocopherol or ascorbate, and CBD protected neurons with comparable efficacy to the potent antioxidant BHT. (SOURCE).
Laboratory rodents and human studies have shown CBD to be able to prevent psychotic-like symptoms induced THC.
A 2012 article reviewed research evaluating antipsychotic potential of CBD and found that it appears to have the pharmacological profile similar to other antipsychotic drugs. Additionally, the review found that CBD prevented human experimental psychosis and was effective in open case reports and clinical trials in patients with schizophrenia with an outstanding safety profile. The results of the review support the idea that CBD may be a future therapeutic option in general psychosis, particularly in schizophrenia. (SOURCE).
CBD FOR BLOOD PRESSURE
A study published in 2017 investigated the ability of CBD to reduce blood pressure in humans. The results showed that CBD reduced systolic BP and stroke volume, with increased heart rate and maintained cardiac output. This study concluded that accurate administration of CBD reduces resting blood pressure as well as the increased blood pressure due to stress associated with an elevated heart rate. (SOURCE).
CBD FOR ADDICTION
A 2013 study set out to assess the impact of CBD in smokers who wished to stop smoking. Preliminary findings from a 2013 study showed that CBD significantly reduced the number of cigarettes smoked by ~40% during treatment. This preliminary data suggest CBD to be a potential treatment for nicotine addiction. (SOURCE).
A 2015 review discussed how CBD appears to have low reinforcing properties with limited abuse potential. CBD’s anxiolytic properties and minimal adverse side effects also support its potential viability as a treatment option for a variety of symptoms associated with drug addiction. The study concluded that evidence supports potential beneficial treatment for opioid abuse. Patients with substance disorders usually have various psychiatric and medical symptoms that are reduced by CBD – symptoms such as anxiety, mood symptoms, insomnia, and pain so treating them with CBD might be beneficial for treating opioid –dependent individuals. CBD could offer a novel line of research medication that indirectly regulate neural systems modulating opioid-related behavior, thus helping to reduce side effects normally associated with current opioid substitution treatment strategies. (SOURCE).