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Is CBD Effective to Treat Medical Conditions?

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Is CBD Effective to Treat Medical Conditions?


CBD (cannabidiol) is a chemical used for several medical conditions. It is extracted from marijuana but lacks the psychoactive ingredient THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) found in the plant. While it does not make people high, it does enhance their feeling of well-being. Currently, it is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat seizures and has been found to be effective, according to the Mayo Clinic. Research to determine its use to treat other medical conditions and flesh out its safety profile is ongoing. 

Types of CBD

There are basically three types of CBD:

  • Full-spectrum: This type contains all parts of the plant and has less than 0.3 percent THC. Many feel it is superior since it contains all phytocannabinoids (80). Several terpenes are also present and are felt to have a synergistic effect.
  • Isolates: This type has only CBD. The effects of the isolate formulation may be minimal.
  • Broad-spectrum CBD: These are made up of most of the cannabis plant and contain only a fraction of THC.
Formulations of CBD

CBD products come in many different formulations, from gummies to oil-based capsules. It is important to choose your product wisely since 26 percent do not have the amount of CBD that is advertised. Here are the most common:

  • Oils: potency, dose, and price for this product can vary. The dose typically ranges from five to 10 mg. 
  • Gummies: The potency of this edible can vary, as can the price, flavor, and shape. The dosage starts at five mg, and people who use this form are instructed to start at a low dose and increase it in increments. There are many varieties to choose from.
  • Topicals: This type of CBD product is applied to the skin. The formulation varies and is available as creams, lotions, balms, tinctures, and ointments. The topical is simply rubbed into the affected area. It is important to follow any instructions included that come from the manufacturer. All topicals include carrier oils and some other ingredients, so it is essential to consider any allergies that may be present.
  • Vaping liquids: There is no standard dose, but one vape cartridge contains about 100 mg of oil. Each puff delivers between 1-2 mg or more, depending on the delivery system. It is recommended that you take the lowest dose and increase it by taking one puff and waiting six hours until taking another. Most people increase it by five mg, but this varies from one person to another. It is best to see how you feel after each dose since, many times, the effects are delayed. 

This is the only CBD formulation approved by the FDA. It is used to treat three different seizures in patients older than one year. These epilepsies are hard to treat, but with Epidiolex, the number of seizures in the LGS group was dramatically reduced. The same is true with Dravet Syndrome and with tuberous sclerosis complex. 

Side Effects of Epidiolex

The following side effects are seen with the use of Epidiolex:

  • Liver problems necessitating blood tests before starting the regimen and during its use
  • Feeling unwell
  • Tiredness
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Jaundice
  • Dark urine
  • Right abdominal pain
  • Additive effects with other meds, including prescriptions, herbal supplements, and vitamins
Uses of CBD

CBD is used as an alternative method of treatment for the following conditions, according to Cedars-Sinai:

  • Chronic pain
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Arthritis (rheumatoid) 
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Hypertension
  • Pre-diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Muscle spasticity seen in multiple sclerosis
  • Depression

It is also found to be helpful in the following:

  • Glaucoma
  • Dependance on opioids
  • Disorders of movement
  • Symptoms of HIV/Aids
  • Appetite/weight loss problems
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Nausea and vomiting with chemotherapy
  • Immunity
  • Lacrimation/salivation
  • Tremors of Parkinson’s disease
How Does CBD Work?

CBD works by interacting with receptors in the body, which have their own supply of cannabinoids called endocannabinoids. Cannabis produces phytocannabinoids. Both cannabinoids react with the receptors, most prominently in the GI, immune system, and the brain. CBD works by stimulating two receptors, cannabinoid receptor type one and type two, which occur within the endocannabinoid system.  

Serotonin and Vanilloid Receptors

Most of the effects of CBD occur with the activation of CB1. Activation of CB2 is involved mostly with inflammation and immunity. CBD produces multiple effects throughout many organ systems. Scientists identified roughly 65 sites where CBD acts. For instance, the 5-HT receptors frequently activated by serotonin are prime sites where CBD activates 5-HT1A serotonin receptors, relieving anxiety. It also controls sleep, nausea, vomiting, appetite, addiction, and pain perception. Additionally, CBD directly affects the Vanilloid receptors. These are important for pain perception in the human body. 

GPR55 Receptors and CBD

GPR55/orphan receptors are blocked or deactivated by CBD. GPR55 is an orphan receptor since it might be part of another, yet unidentified, family of receptors. This receptor is found throughout the brain, particularly in the cerebellum. It modulates blood pressure and affects bone density. By promoting bone resorption, it aids in the occurrence of osteoporosis. GPR55 activation also helps cancer cells of many different types proliferate. 

CBD interaction with the GPR55 receptor changes these outcomes. Since CBD acts as an antagonist, it stops bone resorption leading to osteoporosis and prevents cancer cell reproduction. CBD interaction with another receptor, PPAR (nuclear) gamma receptor, helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease and lung cancer. 

The PPARS-nuclear receptors are on cell nuclei. When PPAR-gamma is activated by CBD, it restricts proliferation of cancer cells and causes lung tumors to shrink. It also reduces amyloid-beta plaque, a key component in Alzheimer’s disease. 

How Does CBD Get Into Cells?

CBD needs to get into cells to work. It passes through the cell’s membrane by riding on a fatty acid-binding protein transport, which aims to take lipid molecules into the cell. CBD prefers three types of this transport molecule and must compete with human substances also trying to get into the cell. 

Anandamide Deficiency Syndrome

When it comes to controlling seizures, CBD enhances a human cannabinoid or endocannabinoid (anandamide) and, by doing so, controls certain types of epilepsy. Annadamine is a bit of a miracle molecule since it produces feelings of happiness and euphoria. A deficiency in this molecule can lead to depression, sleeplessness, and anxiety. Taken together, these feelings can result in increased pain perception. Conditions such as fibromyalgia, IBS, and migraine are common with annadamine deficiency, and their presence increases the person’s pain.

Side Effects of CBD

The known side effects of CBD are:

  • Dry mouth 
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness 
  • Reduced appetite
Is CBD Effective in Treating Medical Conditions?

Studies have strongly suggested it is effective for some but not all conditions. The strongest evidence supports its use for anxiety, insomnia, and pain, especially fibromyalgia and muscle spasticity. The remaining conditions are associated with anecdotal evidence, and more research needs to be done. The best source is to talk to your doctor. 

Finding Out Which Formulation Works Best for You

The type of CBD formulation can affect the effectiveness of the product. For instance, oral CBD works best while topical applications are limited. In addition, many products do not contain the dose that is advertised or lack a label, so it is important to choose a doctor-recommended formulation.

Since the CBD products on the market are not standardized, it is good to keep a journal identifying the product you took and its effect on you. 

Holistic Approach to Life

Many stressors affect us every day, and dealing with them takes a toll. In addition to this anxiety, medical conditions and the pain and other issues they bring makes living with a degree of comfort hard. Traditional medicine is progressing at a rapid clip, and many diseases that were fatal in the past are treatable. Yet, many patients need something more. That is why the field of alternative medicine is receiving the respect it deserves, and the use of CBD is growing in popularity. 

Not everyone will benefit from CBD, but many individuals have sought and found significant improvement. Talk to your doctor about the use of CBD, and see for yourself if it can make a difference.

Please view the following video presented by attorney Ed Smith on how to choose a personal injury lawyer:

Sacramento Chronic Pain Lawyers

If you’ve suffered a personal injury in an auto accident, call our Sacramento chronic pain lawyers. We work hard to provide the compassionate care you need. Call us at (916) 921-6400 or at (800) 404-5400 to obtain free and friendly advice.

Our legal team and staff also recognize the ordeal of dealing with chronic pain daily. When working on the compensation our clients deserve, we take this into consideration. The bottom line is a fracture, head trauma, or medical errors are more than the negligence by another they reflect. They are also the entire toll each of these take and the need to become whole again. It is this journey that might benefit from alternative therapies, including CBD.

Images from Pixabay by cytis 

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