Over the past few years, increasing public and political pressure has supported legalization of medical marijuana. One of the main thrusts in this effort has related to the treatment of refractory epilepsy—especially in children with Dravet syndrome—using cannabidiol (CBD). Despite initiatives in numerous states to at least legalize possession of CBD oil for treating epilepsy, little published evidence is available to prove or disprove the efficacy and safety of CBD in patients with epilepsy. This review highlights some of the basic science theory behind the use of CBD, summarizes published data on clinical use of CBD for epilepsy, and highlights issues related to the use of currently available CBD products.
These trichomes are tiny, hair-like crystals that cover the leaves and buds of the cannabis plant. Trichomes product the hundreds of known cannabinoids that can be found in cannabis. Of the 100+ cannabinoids that have been identified in the cannabis species, CBD and THC have been studied the most extensively for their role in the endocannabinoid system.
Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is one of 113 known cannabinoids found in cannabis. But unlike its better-known counterpart THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), responsible for cannabis’ mind-altering effects, extensive research suggests that CBD is not psychoactive, and with none of the often-damaging side effects accompanying synthetic pharmaceuticals.
CBD derived from marijuana is a different story, and the law varies from state to state. But as long as you’re using CBD oil that contains less than 0.3 percent THC, you have nothing to be concerned about anywhere in the United States. On the other hand, if you want to take your CBD on a trip outside the country, definitely look into local laws to avoid getting into awkward situations while you’re away.
The endocannabinoid system is spread throughout your brain and body, but primarily throughout your central nervous system. The interaction between cannabinoids and receptors is what produces effects like the regulation of mood, pain, appetite, inflammation, and memory. Plant-based cannabinoids, found in cannabis plants, also interact with the receptors (whimsically named CB1 and CB2) in the endocannabinoid system, and each affects your body in different ways. CBD and its infamous cousin THC are the 2 most well-known cannabinoids.
The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from health care practitioners. Please consult your health care professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product.
And lastly, don’t hesitate to speak with a marijuana doctor or health professional about using CBD oil. And please note, it is not our goal for any of the information on here to come across as clinical advice or medical recommendations. If you live in a state with legalized medical marijuana, make sure you take full advantage of the resources that are available to you – getting a licensed MMJ card is easier than it has ever been before, and it could very well be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made for yourself.
So when people began touting the benefits of CBD for pain, it was a big deal. A non-addictive substance that can ease pain without making you feel high or groggy? It’s easy to see why CBD has been making so many waves. In fact, cannabis plants have a long history as a pain reliever. Whether or not it’s true that Queen Victoria took CBD-rich cannabis to help with menstrual cramps, it is certainly true that her royal physician, Sir J. Russell Reynolds, listed cannabis as “one of the most valuable medicines we possess.” Victorian doctors aside, there are also ancient Assyrian and Ayurvedic manuscripts that recommend cannabis for pain.
In fact, CBD is therapeutic in nature, and will work to manipulate bodily systems at the cellular level to return afflicted organ systems, tissue systems, and even chemical systems in the central nervous system back to a state of health and homeostasis. This is precisely why it has been capable of treating conditions such as depression and anxiety, to chronic physical ailments such as pain, inflammation, arthritis, and more.
While animal experimental data clearly suggest a potential benefit, supportive clinical data are quite sparse. In a case-control study of 308 cases of new onset seizures, Brust and colleagues found that marijuana use was significantly less prevalent among men who had unprovoked seizures compared to case controls (9). This difference was not significant in women. The authors suggest a potential protective effect against seizures with marijuana use; however, this should be considered speculative.