In recent years, more and more people have been hearing about cannabidiol, also known as CBD, and its beneficial effects on health. It is one of the two most important cannabinoid components of the Cannabis sativa plant, from which other elements, such as seeds, are also extracted for therapeutic purposes. The medicinal properties of CBD were officially recognized by the United Nations (UN) in 2020. Since then, its use has been spreading in topical solutions such as creams.
What is CBD
CBD is one of the 80 chemical substances in the Cannabis sativa plant. A natural compound that is the main component of the resinous flower of cannabis and that does not contain THC, that is, tetrahydrocannabinol. That means that it is a natural compound that does not have psychoactive or psychotropic effects, unlike cannabis.
It is important, therefore, to highlight that CBD and THC are not the same things, but rather they are two different types of cannabinoids among the 113 that are present in cannabis. Precisely, THC is the predominant psychotropic compound in the plant.
For this reason, the WHO does not consider CBD to be an addictive substance, but it does attribute therapeutic properties to it, many of which are still under study. Additionally, there are currently no known side effects from its use.
Therapeutic Properties of Cannabidiol
Currently, numerous studies and clinical trials are being carried out to verify the medicinal properties of cannabidiol. To date, with different quality of evidence, the following properties have been demonstrated:
Anticonvulsant. It is already used in children and adults with refractory epilepsies that do not respond to other treatments.
Analgesic. According to a study published in the European Journal of Pain, its effects on the nervous system can help reduce pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Anxiolytic. There is a study published in the journal Neurotherapeutics that supports the beneficial effects of taking doses of between 300 and 600 mg of CBD to reduce anxiety and fear.
Neuroprotective. There are studies, such as one carried out by Queen’s University, that seem to show that it is effective in treating Parkinson’s, and there are others that relate it to an improvement in Alzheimer’s. However, there is still not enough evidence.
Anti-nausea and antiemetic. It has been tested in cancer patients who have nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy.
Although these are the main properties, other studies associate the consumption of CBD with improved sleep, better healing, or a reduction in blood pressure. However, in all these cases further investigation still needs to be carried out.
In general, the different clinical studies that are being carried out show that it has therapeutic potential for the following pathologies:
- Chronic pain.
- Certain types of cancer.
- Autoimmune inflammatory diseases.
- Anxiety, stress, and depression.
- Neurological disorders.
- Neuropsychiatric diseases.
- Metabolic syndromes.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder and alcoholism.
- Cardiovascular disorders.
- Inflammatory bowel diseases
- Chronic inflammatory skin diseases.
Currently, cannabidiol is presented in formats such as oil, capsules, creams, shampoos, ointments, etc.