There is growing interest in CBD as a potential drug in the treatment of a broad spectrum of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders, including anxiety and epilepsy.
However, the psychoactive and therapeutic effects and mechanisms of CBD action are not yet fully understood.
CBD Oil: Health Benefits
CBD oil is thought to have potential benefits for the treatment and management of a wide variety of disorders due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, antipsychotic, analgesic, and muscle relaxation effects, among others. Such a wide variety of effects is possible due to the ability of CBD to interact with a wide range of cannabinoid receptors that are used by the body’s endocannabinoid system.
In response to CBD, the endocannabinoid system modulates metabolic pathways by releasing the neurotransmitter to affect cognition, pain sensation, appetite, memory, and sleep.
So far, most evidence of support for the use of CBD relates to its efficacy in treating epilepsy, including Dravet syndrome. This rare, genetic epileptic disorder begins within the first year of life and affects infants in another healthy way. Dravet syndrome is the first disorder for which cannabadiol (oral solution) has been approved by the FDA. Another disorder for which CBD-based drugs can be used is Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
A second promising area of research into the therapeutic use of CBD is for its anti-inflammatory effects. However, the use of CBD in routine medical practice is a hotly debated issue.
The properties of Cannabidiol as an antipsychotic, mood-enhancing drug, or sleep aid remain largely unfounded. CBD appears to be a more effective antioxidant than vitamins C or E, and has demonstrated superior neuroprotective properties. It can also help in the management of certain skin conditions such as acne and chronic diseases such as diabetes.
Care should be exercised in considering the use of CBD in patients with cancer, schizophrenia, rheumatoid arthritis, or multiple sclerosis. The complexity of these diseases, coupled with the uncertainties surrounding the mechanisms of CBD action, requires further investigation.
CBD Oil: Health risks
According to the World Health Organization, CBD has not been associated with the potential for abuse or addiction in humans. There have been no reported cases of the health-related problems of the public associated with the use of CBD so far.
CBD oil does not contain any added THC or terpene; consequently, CBD does not produce the intoxicating effects associated with the use of THC. In fact, the side effects are often opposed to the anxiety and disorganized thinking usually associated with the use of THC.
CBD is generally well tolerated, but some adverse effects may occur. Sleepiness, fatigue, malaise, weakness, diarrhea, decreased appetite, and sleeping problems (such as insomnia) can be caused or aggravated by CBD use.
It is important to note at present, CBD oil is primarily available as a dietary supplement. As such, its dosage and purity are not regulated. So far, only 2 studies have been performed on humans to examine potential side effects of CBD, and no studies have included a control group.
More clinical research is needed to explore the possible effects of CBD on liver enzymes and drug carriers, and to investigate possible interactions with other drugs. CBD should be examined for its ability to increase or inhibit the therapeutic effects of other medications.
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