The medicinal properties of cannabis have been harnessed by civilizations across the globe for more than 2,000 years. But while the ancient world embraced the plant, today’s world has largely shunned it, until recently. Marijuana’s days in the doldrums can be pinned on its psychoactive effects, but research from the 20th century onwards has illustrated that the intoxicating agent – delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – is just one of hundreds of compounds contained in the herb.
While the therapeutic potential of THC remains of serious interest to scientists, it is non-psychoactive cannabidiol (CBD) that has been grabbing headlines in the 2010s. In the recreational cannabis scene, CBD has become a forgotten cannabinoid. Growers deliberately reduce concentrations of CBD as much as possible, to maximize the THC to CBD ratio, and therefore the psychoactive high of a strain. Studies have shown how the non-intoxicating effects of CBD work to neutralize THC’s psychoactive influence. The mechanism that CBD uses to initiate this response is just one way that the cannabinoid has medical value, for conditions such as psychosis.
In this post, we’ll explore other mechanisms that wholesale CBD products work in, to showcase how the natural hemp and cannabis chemical could be harnessed as an approved medicine in the near future.
Psychosis and Schizophrenia
These two serious mental health conditions have not been easy for researchers to make sense of. Although it is known that psychoactive substances can trigger or make illnesses like psychosis and schizophrenia worse. The moderating impact of CBD on THC is, however, of significant interest, as it has precisely the opposite effect of a psychoactive compound. It’s why a cannabis derivative as the solution for the aforementioned disorders is not as crazy as it may sound.
Research in this field is especially important, considering that existing drugs for psychosis and schizophrenia are failing patients – they are typically either ineffective, or cause nasty side effects such as shakiness, drowsiness and sexual health problems.
A review of CBD’s antipsychotic effects, featured in Current Pharmaceutical Design in 2012, suggested that CBD treatment could be a “future therapeutic option” for psychosis, and for schizophrenia “in particular”.
In 2019, a study came out showing how CBD may help to combat heroin addiction, which could not be timelier given the crisis that America is currently having with opioid drugs. CBD has also been briefly researched as a treatment for stopping relapses in those with alcohol addictions, and as a remedy for nicotine addiction.
These intriguing developments are perhaps thanks to the role that CBD plays on opioid receptors in the opioid system. In the case of nicotine, CBD appears to interfere with the reward pathways in the brain that form and deepen over years, causing dependency.
The difficulty in developing safe and effective anti-inflammatory drugs stems from the volatility of the body’s immune system response. Drug researchers have found it hard to easily access the system, so to administer anti-inflammatory messages which are side-effect free. For instance, while non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) like aspirin do reduce inflammation, the threat of stomach ulcers means these drugs are far from perfect.
CBD couples as an anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory treatment. The compound produces this effect by indirectly regulating the endocannabinoid system’s CB2 receptor – these receptors proliferate the peripheral nervous system. The indications are that this form of inflammation reduction does not cause the side effects that other anti-inflammatories do, but that CBD is just as, if not more effective.
Chronic and Neuropathic Pain
Not all pain is the same, but the variety of CBD products means that the cannabinoid can tackle both chronic and neuropathic pain efficiently. At present, research on the analgesic properties of CBD is fairly scant, but user reports have repeatedly shown that these products are popular as painkillers – not least because they offer an excellent alternative to opioids.
Chronic pain can be eased for hours with CBD edibles wholesale products, or even syrups and capsules. To relieve the sharper pain that comes with multiple sclerosis and other neuropathic illnesses, vaping CBD e-liquid, taking a tincture oil or smoking some top-quality CBD-rich hemp flower may be more therapeutic. The great aspect of pain relief with CBD is that you can choose whichever product type suits you.
CBD is set to have a seismic effect on medicine soon, as outdated treatments are replaced with fresher, hemp-derived alternatives. All that needs to happen now is an influx of research in the fields where CBD is considered to have value.