As of October 2022, the FDA has not authorized the marketing of cannabis for the treatment of any illnesses or conditions. However, the agency has authorized one cannabis-derived drug product: cannabidiol.
Cannabidiol, popularly known as CBD, is the second-most-common active ingredient in hemp. It is either produced in a lab or extracted directly from the hemp plant - a close relative of the marijuana plant. Unlike traditional marijuana, CBD does not by itself produce a "high." According to a World Health Organization report, "In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential to danger."
Aside from general stress relief and sleep support, here are 5 specific scenarios where CBD is broadly thought to be beneficial:
1. Epilepsy - Research suggests that CBD may lessen the negative effects of anti-seizure drugs, and it appears to enhance patients' overall health and quality of life.
2. Chronic Pain - The findings of multiple systematic reviews covering numerous trials and studies were collated by one set of researchers, and according to their study's findings, there is evidence that cannabis can effectively treat adults with chronic pain. These findings are supported by an additional study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. According to this study, CBD may help with inflammation and pain reduction.
3. Depression - Experts think that CBD's favorable impact on serotonin receptors in the brain accounts for some of its anecdotal effectiveness in treating depression. Though there’s no one, agreed-upon cause, many clinicians believe depression is likely related to low serotonin levels. Serotonin levels aren't always increased by CBD, but CBD often does change how your brain's chemical receptors react to the serotonin that's already in your body.
4. Inflammatory skin conditions - According to recent studies, including a review article by Dr. Hooman Khorsani published in the Journal of Dermatological Treatment, we may eventually use cannabinoids to treat a number of skin disorders. These conditions include eczema, itching, psoriasis, and potentially even skin cancer.
5. Relief from chemotherapy side effects - While no research studies have yet demonstrated that CBD directly reduces the adverse effects of chemotherapy, a multitude of cancer patients have claimed to experience benefits from using CBD during their treatment. They have described relief from nausea, vomiting, depression, and other side effects.
Today's market is inundated with CBD products, ranging from topical ointments and balms to ingestible gummies and capsules. The latest innovation in the CBD space is the introduction of tablets formulated without glucose, which has had a significant impact on the market. These tablets can provide quicker absorption and more consistent dosages, all while avoiding the introduction of unhealthy sugars.
While some individuals who are opposed to cannabis may be hesitant to try CBD, the positive effects mitigating certain medical conditions are generating enough buzz to convince others to try it. How about you—Have you tried CBD? Would you?