CBD’s medicinal benefits show promise though research lags in U.S.
Does it seem like you’re hearing about CBD left and right these days?
It’s not your imagination.
CBD, which is short for cannabidiol, has garnered great press and plenty of believers thanks to how many users find it relieves everything from pain and inflammation to nausea and seizures. So what is CBD? It’s the non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant. It’s found in the seeds, stalk, and flowers of cannabis plants and is extracted in the form of cannabis oil.Unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), you won’t feel high or stoned after using CBD.
Back in 2013, CBD first gained wide exposure when CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon, filmed a show with a family from Colorado whose daughter suffered uncontrollable seizures. She has Dravet Syndrome, a very severe form of epilepsy that typical prescription medications don’t help. Their 5-year-old daughter, Charlotte, found relief after using a strain of cannabis that’s high in CBD. Today, that strain is called Charlotte’s Web, in honor of the little girl. After using CBD, the little girl’s seizures reduced dramatically — from 300 a week to just two or three each month.
Suddenly medical professionals were reevaluating the stances they’d taken previously on medical marijuana. “I have seen more patients like Charlotte first hand, spent time with them and come to the realization that it is irresponsible not to provide the best care we can as a medical community, care that could involve marijuana,” Gupta opined in 2013. “We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that.”
In part because of this anecdotal evidence and as people have changed their minds, more research is emerging on the medical benefits of CBD. And back in 2015, Nora D. Volkow, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, testified to Congress about the benefits of CBD — including properties ranging from anti-seizure, anti-inflammatory and analgesic to anti-tumor, anti-psychotic and anti-anxiety.
Our loyal Tumbleweed customers report it helps their pain, inflammation, anxiety and more. Ridge Currington, our director of operations, advocates that people try it for themselves to see if it helps what ails them. Just remember, marijuana and CBD work differently for every person. People should try the different compounds for themselves and keep a journal of the effects so they can reference it in the future.The current research shows little to no known side effects from CBD, and it’s generally regarded as safe. We’ve found that many users like to combine CBD with a small amount of THC, which provides excellent anti-inflammatory benefits and relief from their pain. Highly Edible CBD pucks are a stand-out favorite among Tumbleweed customers.
As part of her testimony, Volkow said that while current research is “insufficient to draw firm conclusions,” CBD has been shown to have neuroprotective properties for neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, stroke, multiple sclerosis and neurodegeneration that’s resulted from abusing alcohol.
This preliminary research, while not enough to support drug approval, is enough to “highlight the need for rigorous clinical research in this area,” Volkow said. And clinical research (research conducted on humans) has increased, but both conducting and finding funding for the research hasn’t been very easy since marijuana is currently classified as a Schedule I drug (since 1970).
While there’s support for medical marijuana in the medical community and a growing body of research that supports marijuana’s medically beneficial properties, the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), has yet to budge on its position.
Even the World Health Organization concluded that CBD does not appear to have abuse potential or cause harm. We hope that as more research can be done on cannabis to uncover its medicinal benefits, the federal government will reconsider its classification.