Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabis compound that has significant medical benefits, but does not make people feel “stoned” and can actually counteract the psychoactivity of THC. The fact that CBD-rich cannabis is non-psychoactive or less psychoactive than THC-dominant strains makes it an appealing option for patients looking for relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety, psychosis, seizures, spasms, and other conditions without disconcerting feelings of lethargy or dysphoria.
Scientific and clinical research — much of it sponsored by the US government — underscores CBD’s potential as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, alcoholism, MS, chronic pain, schizophrenia, PTSD, depression, antibiotic-resistant infections, epilepsy, and other neurological disorders.
CBD has demonstrable neuroprotective and neurogenic effects, and its anti-cancer properties are currently being investigated at several academic research centers in the United States and elsewhere.
Project CBD responds to inquiries from all over the world. Almost everyone wants to know where to get CBD-rich products and how to use them for maximum benefit.
After decades in which only high-THC cannabis was available in North America and beyond, CBD-rich strains and products are now available to medical users.
“CBD-rich” versus “CBD dominant:” By “CBD-rich,” we mean a cannabis strain or product that has equal amounts of CBD and THC, or more CBD than THC (usually at least 4 percent CBD by dry weight.). By “CBD-dominant,” we mean strains or products that are CBD-rich but have very little THC content.
How does it work?
Cannabidiol has antipsychotic effects. The exact cause for these effects is not clear. But cannabidiol seems to prevent the breakdown of a chemical in the brain that affects pain, mood, and mental function.
Preventing the breakdown of this chemical and increasing its levels in the blood seems to reduce psychotic symptoms associated with conditions such as schizophrenia.
Cannabidiol might also block some of the psychoactive effects of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Also, cannabidiol seems to reduce pain and anxiety.
Uses & Effectiveness of Cannabidiol
Possibly Effective for
- Multiple sclerosis (MS). A prescription-only nasal spray product (Sativex, GW Pharmaceuticals) containing both 9-delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol has been shown to be effective for improving pain, muscle-tightness, and urination frequency in people with MS. This product is used in over 25 countries outside of the United States. But there is inconsistent evidence on the effectiveness of cannabidiol for symptoms of multiple sclerosis when it is used alone. Some early research suggests that using a cannabidiol spray under the tongue might improve pain and muscle tightness, but not muscle spasms, tiredness, bladder control, mobility, or well-being and quality of life in patients with MS.
Insufficient Evidence for
- Bipolar disorder. Early reports suggest that taking cannabidiol daily does not improve manic episodes in people with bipolar disorders.
- A muscle disorder called dystonia. Early research suggests that taking cannabidiol daily for 6 weeks might improve dystonia by 20% to 50% in some people. But higher quality research is needed to confirm this.
- Epilepsy. Some early research suggests that taking cannabidiol daily for up to 18 weeks might reduce seizures in some people. But other research shows that taking cannabidiol daily for 6 months does not reduce seizures in people with epilepsy. Reasons for the conflicting data are unclear. Possibly the studies were too small.
- Huntington’s disease. Early research shows that taking cannabidiol daily does not improve Huntington’s disease symptoms.
- Insomnia. Early research suggests that taking cannabidiol 160 mg before bed improves sleep time in people with insomnia. But lower doses do not have this effect. Cannabidiol also does not seem to help people fall asleep and might reduce the ability to recall dreams.
- Parkinson’s disease. Some early research shows that taking cannabidiol daily for 4 weeks improves psychotic symptoms in people with Parkinson’s disease and psychosis. But taking a specific cannabis extract (Cannador) that contains THC and cannabidiol does not appear to improve involuntary muscle movements caused by the anti-Parkinson’s drug levodopa in people with Parkinson’s disease.
- Schizophrenia. Research on the use of cannabidiol for psychotic symptoms in people with schizophrenia is mixed. Some early research suggests that taking cannabidiol four times daily for 4 weeks improves psychotic symptoms and might be as effective as the antipsychotic medication amisulpride. But other early research suggests that taking cannabidiol for 14 days is not beneficial. The mixed results might be related to the cannabidiol dose used and duration of treatment.
- Quitting smoking. Early research suggests that inhaling cannabidiol with an inhaler for one week might reduce the number of cigarettes smoked by about 40% compared to baseline.
- Social anxiety disorder. Some early research shows that taking cannabidiol 300 mg daily does not improve anxiety in people with social anxiety disorder. But other early research suggests that taking a higher dose (400-600 mg) may improve anxiety associated with public speaking or medical imaging test in people with SAD.
- Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of cannabidiol for these uses.
MMJ DOCTOR: To find out if CBD (Cannabidiol) is a right option to treat your symptoms, schedule your online appointment with licensed Medical Marijuana Doctors.