Despite what you think you know about CBD, the research is constantly evolving into new and previously unexpected territories. The more researchers begin to understand the endocannabinoid system, and how phytocannabinoids interact with it, the more potential there is for CBD to become a novel new alternative medicine. Yes, people have been self-medicating their chronic pain, epilepsy and inflammation with CBD oil for years, but here are a few new areas where CBD is providing exciting new options for therapeutic use that you may not have heard about.
At the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv University, a team of 18 scientists recently concluded a study which looked at the ability of CBD to influence bone strength. They discovered that through CBD oil therapy, CBD was able to stimulate fracture healing and the production of an enzyme, vital in bone healing, called Lysyl Hydroxylase. Both CBD, and CBD in conjunction with THC, were able to increase the strength and density of bone calluses, which is the method through which your body heals bone fractures. Cannabidiol was essentially able to increase the proliferation of the calluses.
Cannabidiol has already been found to be an effective aid in addiction treatment, however, most studies examined methamphetamines, cocaine and the like. A new study examined CBD use for nicotine addiction, which lead to some very novel results. First, CBD seems to affect memory reconsolidation, or how people may be ‘triggered’ to smoke, for example, while watching others smoke. It also reduced anxiety which is associated with quitting, and perhaps most importantly reduced the salience of smoking cues experienced. Compared to the control group, the group which received CBD oil therapy reduced the quantity of cigarettes they smoked by 40% on average.
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Acne is caused through an over or under production of a sebum, which is an oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands. These glands contain endocannabinoid receptors, which can be stimulated both by endocannabinoids (produced by the human body), or by phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Through a study conducted at the University of Debrecen, it was found that CBD can inhibit upregulated lipid synthesis in skin cells. This in turn, inhibits the appearance of acne. In their small lab study, they found that CBD was much more efficient than even common acne prescriptions such as Accutane in inhibiting this lipid synthesis.
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A five-year study was conducted comparing insulin resistance, glucose and insulin levels in current and former marijuana users. The comparison found that in current users, there was a significantly lower level of fasting insulin present in blood samples then with past users. They also found a smaller average waist circumference. Both of these are indicators of increased diabetic risk. In another study of obese lab mice, the prevalence of diabetes was significantly reduced through CBD treatment.
One theory about what causes PTSD, is that there is an underlying dysfunction within the endocannabinoid system. Scientists have also found lower levels of anandamide within patients with PTSD than with other people. This compound is an endocannabinoid naturally produced by the human body but can be influenced with CBD treatment. Many people with PTSD are already self-medicating with CBD, and now very preliminary research is beginning to back this anecdotal evidence.
Crohn’s disease causes severe and chronic inflammation throughout the digestive tract. For most people this leads to cramping, bloating, irregular stools, and restricted diets. It makes it very difficult to lead a normal life. In preliminary studies, CBD has been shown to provide relief from inflammation, swelling and discomfort. The digestive tract is extremely sensitive to treatment with CBD oil because it contains a huge number of cannabinoid receptors.
Cannabidiol is often advertised as having no serious side effects. While this is true, CBD does create a feeling of relaxation and calmness. This is important for people who have trouble sleeping, or suffer from insomnia because CBD offers a very safe and effective natural alternative to potentially addictive sleeping pills. These pills can often lead to a feeling of grogginess the next day, but thankfully CBD offers a safer alternative that also is safe to use alongside most other medications, and during work hours.
Where many other options have failed, there is promise from CBD oil therapy for reducing the symptoms of MS and potentially reversing the progression of the disease. In one study of lab mice, who were given CBD therapy for 10 days, their motor skills were shown to dramatically improve with the therapy. Both tremors and muscle spasms are shown to decrease and CBD provides an effective relief from pain caused by inflammation.
Often the side effects associated with antipsychotics are extremely problematic, making it difficult for schizophrenic patients to use them consistently. Once patients begin feeling the results of treatment, many choose to stop taking their antipsychotics due to these harsh side effects. Excitingly, CBD may prove to be just as effective as traditional antipsychotics, but without all the nasty side effects. This could perhaps lead patients to feel more comfortable with long term treatment of their mental illness.
In a much-replicated study, participants were given CBD prior to experiencing a stressful situation (for example public speaking). The participants reported their anxiety levels before and after the stressful experience, and compared to the control group they all indicated much lower levels. They were also tested for a series of physiological stress indicators, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature. The results indicated that even on the most basic physiological levels, CBD was able to reduce experience of stress and anxiety.