In journalism and media industry for more than twenty years, worked for a number of media companies. Business editing, research and PR specialist. Covering industry and science news for Ilesol Pharmaceuticals.
Humans have smoked the cannabis plant for at least 5,000 years, often using it as a painkiller. According to the book ‘Marijuana: A Short History‘ by John Hudak, even Queen Victoria was “prescribed medical marijuana by the royal physician as a pain reliever for menstrual cramps”.
A study conducted in 2018 on 2.409 American consumers shows 61.56% used CBD to treat one or more medical conditions. The top three medical reasons were chronic pain, arthritis/joint pain, and anxiety.
The WHO acknowledged the therapeutic value of cannabis and cannabis-related substances in a letter released on January 24, 2019.
The scientific research confirms the benefits of CBD in most of the conditions American consumers stated in the aforementioned study. According to the 2019 evaluation of the effects of CBD hemp extract on opioid use and quality of life indicators in chronic pain patients, over half of them (53%) reduced or eliminated their opioids within 8 weeks after adding CBD extract to their regimens. Almost all CBD users (94%) reported quality of life improvements.
Anxiety relief is being widely recognized as one of the biggest benefits of CBD usage. A highly cited study published in Neuropsychopharmacology in 2011 showed that cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in not previously treated social phobia patients. CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly decreased alert in their anticipatory speech.
Epilepsy is another condition where CBD treatment has shown incredible results. In 2013, a purified form of CBD developed by GW Pharma showed the efficacy of CBD for the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsies. Results led to the 2018 FDA and 2019 EMA approval for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare epilepsies: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS) or Dravet syndrome (DS) in patients two years of age and older. With the drug Epidiolex, CBD became the first FDA-approved purified drug substance derived from cannabis and also the first FDA-approved drug for the treatment of seizures in Dravet syndrome.
A small research in the effectiveness of cannabidiol oil for pediatric anxiety and insomnia as part of PTSD has found that CBD oil can be an effective compound to reduce anxiety and insomnia secondary to PTSD. In a first study examining the clinical benefit of CBD for patients with PTSD, patients taking daily oral CBD over an 8-week period demonstrated an overall decrease in PTSD symptom severity. In the general population with a sleeping disorder, a study conducted on more than 400 participants found that smoking raw, natural medical cannabis flowers with higher CBD levels is associated with greater symptom relief.
Researchers have high hopes for the efficacy of CBD in cancer treatment. A number of studies confirm it inhibits cell growth in different cancer types; e.g. a study published in 2016 demonstrated results in cervical cancer. A recent article confirms that, but the effects appear to be dependent on the cancer type and drug dosage. Some cannabis-based drugs are already licensed for clinical use in treating cancer, but only as an analgesic or for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting.
Research has shown numerous neuroprotective benefits of CBD and demonstrated its anxiolytic, antidepressant, neuroprotective anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory benefits. That can lead to its usage in a wide range of medical conditions, such as emesis, inflammation, autism, obsessive-compulsive behavior, glaucoma, schizophrenia, cardiovascular disorders, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, etc. More research is needed for acquiring complete information on the efficiency of CBD in treating those diseases.