The truth about Cannabis and Cannabidiol: Why are we so reluctant?
This week I am going to be sitting down with a woman who makes CBD infused lotions and bath bombs for our podcast 2 Massage Therapists and a Microphone. This is very exciting for me because I have been doing a lot of reading regarding all of the research that has been done regarding the use of this compound for treatment of many conditions that currently are being treated with pharmaceutical compounds that have a list of side effects often longer and more severe that the original condition. It is something that just makes so much sense to me but I am amazed at how many people are so against it and believe this is “drug use” yet do not see taking pills for the rest of their lives as “drug use”. It has to do with the stigma of the actual cannabis plant. The cannabis plant is of course where we get the “drug” marijuana, but it IS a plant and there are other compounds that can be extracted from the plant. The use of cannabis medicinally is not new. But due to the legal considerations, and everything we are told our entire lives about marijuana, many people cannot separate those negative beliefs from what is very, VERY promising research that could mean improved health and quality of life for so many people.
So what is CBD oil? CBD which stands for cannabidiol is one of many compounds known as cannabinoids in the cannabis plant. Until recently, the most well known compound in cannabis was delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the most active ingredient in marijuana. THC is what will get you “high”. It has mind altering effects when it is broken down by heat when smoking it or cooking it. CBD unlike THC, is not psychoactive and the research suggests that it actually has medicinal benefits. The human body produces certain cannabinoids on its own and also has two receptors for them. One type of receptor called CB1 is what THC attaches to. The other type, called CB2 is what used to be believed to be the receptor for CBD. Current research suggests that CBD actually directs the body to use more of its own cannabinoids.
Much of the peer reviewed research has suggested that CBD oil is a more natural alternative to treat chronic pain, inflammation, and stiffness. But that is not what is so interesting to me. What I find so exciting is the other research that has shown CBD oil to be a very promising treatment for a wide range of conditions that you cannot just take over the counter medication for and that the treatments that exist currently, if they exist, are pretty aggressive. How amazing would it be if we could help people get better with the use of a plant? A PLANT. CBD oil has already been approved for treatment of two types of epilepsy which in itself is amazing but did you know about some of these other uses…
CBD oil may be a natural alternative treatment for schizophrenia, anxiety disorders such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). THC can trigger or amplify anxiousness and/or paranoia but CBD has shown to reduce these symptoms and it has very low levels of toxicity. Other research has suggested that CBD may help people quit smoking and it could be a treatment for opioid addiction. It has been shown to prevent or reduce the symptoms of withdrawal.
Let’s talk about Cancer. Nobody wants to but everybody has been affected by cancer. CBD may just prove to combat cancer. It tends to suppress the growth of cancer cells and promote their destruction. I am not even close to finished talking about all of the benefits that have been showing positive results with the research being done but I feel like if a medicinal use for CBD is treatment for those affected by cancer, why aren’t we all jumping on this bandwagon? Or at least being open to learning more. I personally have seen so much suffering from Cancer that if someone told me that there is a compound that can be extracted from a plant, that might help and the side effects are slim to none, the risks are negligible, and literally nobody in history has suffered an overdose from this type of substance…
Because CBD is used to decrease inflammation, it has shown to be an effective treatment of Type 1 Diabetes, acne, early stages of Alzheimers, chronic pain, Epilepsy, Parkinsons, Huntingtons, sleep disorders, and glaucoma.
But what about the side effects? Adults tolerate a wide range of doses well. There are no significant side effects on the central nervous system, vital signs, or mood, even among people who use very high doses. The most common side effect seems to be tiredness and some people have reported diarrhea, and changes in appetite and weight. Of course because of the legality of this type of treatment there really is a lack of long term safety data. But again, we seem ok with that when new drugs come out on the market that have far more chemicals and short term side effects that what has been PROVEN with CBD research. Let’s not forget that the use of CBD is not new, nobody overdoses from smoking marijuana (which does contain CBD), and CBD itself is NOT going to make you high, nor is it addictive or have symptoms of withdrawal. I am really hoping that my Podcast may bring some more education to you all and at the very least, open your minds a little to join me in looking at all the positives that may come from this research and get excited! Health is not a destination but a lifestyle and anything we can do to improve the quality of our life and over wellness is cool by me!
Amanda Cooke, RMT