Cannabidiol studies continue to impact modern medicine and alleviate disease symptoms.
By Dr. Dank
Medical cannabis – the more we get to know her, the more we learn of the therapeutic effects she has on the body.
Medical use of cannabis traces back to 2,800 B.C. when it was described as having had pain-relieving properties and hallucinogenic effects, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.
According to an article on HuffPost by Dr. David Bearman, who specializes in pain management and medicinal cannabis, more than 80 cannabinoids found in the plant are what give it its distinct effects. Scientists have also found that more than 125 terpenes give cannabis its odor and have also yielded therapeutic results.
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the main cannabinoid found in cannabis and the one we know the most about because it produces euphoria when ingested, according to medicaljane.com.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is noted for its therapeutic effects on the body and the lack of euphoria when ingested, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, or NIDA.
These are just two of several cannabinoids we’re beginning to understand.
The endocannabinoid system is the system where body cannabinoids interact, according to the NIH and NLM. The endocannabinoid system has been found to have numerous physiological functions in the body’s nervous system and peripheral organs.
Cannabinoids affect the body by interacting with specific cells and receptors in the brain and body, according to NIDA. THC stimulates brain CB1 receptors, which produce euphoria. CBD has little effect on these receptors, but is now found to affect other parts of the brain’s signaling system.
The federal government also has patents on individual marijuana cannabinoids, such as CBD. According to the patent, cannabinoids can prove useful in treating a variety of oxidative stress associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related inflammation and autoimmune diseases. Cannabinoids can also limit the amount of damage from strokes and trauma, and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV-related dementia.
Yet, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency, cannabis is still a schedule 1 drug with no medical benefits.
Modulating the activity of the endocannabinoid system showed therapeutic promise in disparate diseases and pathological conditions, such as mood and anxiety disorders, movement disorders, cancer, hypertension and osteoporosis, according to the NIH and NLM.
Part of what makes CBD so groundbreaking is its properties affecting diseases such as Alzheimer’s, stroke, glutamate toxicity, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and neurodegeneration caused by alcohol abuse, according to NIDA.
In a study, the NIH and NLM found that a cannabis sativa extract with a high CBD content, or CBD BDS, produced positive results when applied to tumors in patients with colon cancer. The study found reduction in tumor size. According to the study, the results may have some clinical relevance for the use of cannabis-based medicines in cancer patients.
Just imagine how much more there is to learn with 80 or more cannabinoids all interacting differently with the body’s endocannabinoid system.
If you ask me, we’re barely scratching the surface of medicinal cannabis use.
Dr. Dank is not a real doctor. It is the pseudonym chosen to protect the identity of the author of the column. The Courier does not advocate the use of marijuana or any illegal substance. Under current state law, possession is illegal in Texas and punishable with prison time and fines.