For centuries, the use of marijuana has proven in different parts of the world to be capable of remedying many disease-inflicted pains. A lot of research has been done in the past few decades to verify these claims. We came to know the component most responsible for these effects, and it is Cannabidiol(CBD). And while some effects were found unrelated to the use of CBD or marijuana in general, many studies have confirmed its medicinal effects and they are countless.
Here is a list of the most significant 5 diseases that CBD can help treat:
First off, this is a breakdown of this neurodegenerative autoimmune disorder. MS attacks the patient’s brain, optic nerve and spinal cord. What it does is cause the immune system to misread neurons as dangerous attackers. That prompts the body’s immune cells to fight any neurons they detect. That results in the brain’s disability to send basic signals to the body. That is, of course, since the brain does that via those neurons that the immune system starts attacking. Because of the damage that the body brings upon itself, a scar tissue starts to emerge.
Millions of people around the world suffer from this disease, but up until now it is incurable. All of the treatments aim to merely ease the symptoms’ effect on the patient by hindering the disease’s advancement and prompting the body to recover quicker from the attacks. All around the world now, there are countries where cannabis has gained legitimacy as a preferable alternative to conventional MS medications, either through direct consumption of the plant, or through CBD oil or any other extract of it.
Cannabis components work on treating almost every symptom of the disease’s activity inside the body. Most importantly, it protects the patient’s brain from it. The non-psychoactive cannabis component, CBD, works as an anti-inflammatory. It counters the effects of the pro-inflammatory proteins that the patient’s brain releases which are called cytokine. These proteins cause excessive inflammation in the patient’s brain when they are released following the activation of the immune system. By deactivating the immune system, CBD is able to effectively calm it down and stop it from attacking the central nervous system.
CBD also eases the pains that occur with the creation of the scar tissue we mentioned above. The breakdown of the swelled/irritated tissues is often tormenting to patients. That is where CBD comes into play. It has a well-proven analgesic effect. It also helps ease the spasticity that affects the muscles of 20% of MS patients. Uncontrollable muscle twitching is another symptom that occurs when the nerve cells responsible for movement are damaged by inflammation, and CBD counters that, too. CBD also eases digestion, helps MS patients fall asleep (something they often face difficulty with), remedies their recurrent depression, and protects their eye from the blurry vision MS often causes by causing inflammation to optic nerve.
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It is not news anymore that several marijuana components were found to have therapeutic benefits for cancer patients. The prospects of this use for cannabis have been discussed since the 60s and perhaps even earlier. The degrees of this treatment are debatable, however. According to some studies, some components of cannabis are capable of outright curing the disease. Other studies say that the plant only offers pain relief and a slowdown of the disease’s progression. Up until now, the latter assumption is more credible. In all cases, thousands or even millions of cancer patients around the world have benefited from the therapeutic effects of cannabis.
The first of these effects is countering the nausea and excessive vomiting that affect cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. It also relieves cancer patients of the same neuropathic pain that we mentioned before that MS patients suffer from, which is the pain that is caused by nerve damage. Lately, several studies have suggested that the intake of cannabinoids like CBD halts the growth of, and sometimes kills, some types of cancer cells. Over and above that, it causes pain relief for cancer patients and allows them to sleep with more ease.
This is perhaps one of the earliest known medical uses for cannabis. There has evidence of its use to treat epilepsies in some ancient civilizations like in China and Persia. The validity of these uses has been proven by many modern studies and anecdotes.
One that caught attention was the study published last May in the New England Journal of Medicine. In the study, 120 children and teenagers (aged from two to 18) suffering from Dravet syndrome (a serious form of epilepsy that is developed during childhood and is incurable) had the effect of liquid CBD tested on them. They were split into two teams in order to test the CBD’s effect against that of a placebo. The result in the CBD-treated group was an average of six seizures per month, down from their regular 12. The placebo-treated group, on the other hand, only came down from 15 to 14 per month. After the 14 weeks of the study, three of the participants even ceased getting seizures altogether. The problem laid in its side effects during the study like nausea, sleepiness and liver difficulties. However, they were thought to be caused by the interaction of the CBD with the other medications the participants were taking, and not because of the substance itself.
There is an abundance of anecdotal evidence on the effectiveness of CBD with epilepsy. One of the most famous cases was the story of Charlotte from Colorado back that gained massive media recognition back in 2013. The girl (seven years old at the time) had been suffering from Dravet syndrome since she was two. After five years of desperate attempts with conventional medication to no avail, they had failed to stop their daughter’s deadly seizures. They tried CBD-concentrated cannabis oil and after a few weeks the difference was noticeable. They girl’s seizures start falling in frequency until they almost came to a complete halt, with only minimal recurrences every once in a while.
Among the diseases CBD has also proven a long time ago to be a source of relief for is anxiety. There are 40 million Americans from 18 years old and above who suffer from anxiety. While many people still take psychological illness lightly, the repercussions of severe anxiety can be huge. CBD has the ability to counteract many forms of anxiety, from panic disorders to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among other things. The reason many patients of these disorders have switched to CBD for treatment is that it does not have half the side effects of pharmaceutical alternatives like Prozac or Zoloft.
For example, what selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac and Zoloft do is stop the brain from reabsorbing the serotonin, which leaves higher levels of serotonin available. This means that more serotonin can be sent by brain signals to the rest of the body, enhancing the person’s mood. CBD has been proven in a number of studies to have the capability of stimulating serotonin receptors in the brain, thus boosting the frequency of serotonin signals. It was also found to help the hippocampus (a part of the brain that was discovered to be smaller among sufferers of anxiety and depression) in the regeneration of neurons. That regeneration helps heal the deficiency causing the anxiety and therefore gradually can cure the disorder.
An endless amount of group studies were made on anxiety patients whose results verify what the lab studies show us. Also, there are infinite testimonials from anxiety patients who were able to successfully treat themselves for different symptoms of anxiety like insomnia, reduced appetite, etc., using CBD extracts.
CBD was discovered to be the cannabis component responsible for limiting the damage of cells and for the neuroprotective and cardiovascular effects cannabis has on heart patients. It was also found to have preventive benefits if preemptively taken before a heart attack strikes. These benefits included the reduction of cell death, and inhibiting oxidative stress, fibrosis, and inflammation among other things. It also helped in the preservation of the left ventricle.
Heart strokes are known to cause brain damage upon their occurrence that in turn causes excitotoxicity, inflammation and oxidative stress. Post-stroke treatment with CBD has proven capable of remedying these damages.
Is that All?
As a matter of fact, that is not even close. The medicinal uses for CBD are numerous and listing them can go indefinitely. However, these are the most important among the list. For a complete list of available CBD products today.