Can CBD help treat various disorders, from chronic pain to sleep problems and mental health?
Faced with the growing public interest in these questions, our expert went deeper into the subject, focusing on what is behind this scientific name and the effects of CBD products on certain disorders that have been the research subject.
Besides, you can legally head to the best shop online of CBD oil in the UK and Ireland!
So far less publicized than THC, the primary psychoactive molecule of cannabis, cannabidiol (CBD), is now everywhere. Shops are dedicated to selling cannabis-based products rich in CBD, herbal teas prepared to fight against insomnia or even oils to ingest against anxiety, and dried cannabis flowers to smoke or vaporize… As a result, many very varied products are available today.
While France has just launched an experiment relating to cannabis for medical use (with products composed of both THC and CBD) and the craze for CBD-based products continues to be confirmed, it seems relevant to look at what the science is saying right now.
What does the scientific data published to date show? Can CBD help treat various disorders, from chronic pain to sleep problems and mental health? Faced with the growing public interest in these questions, Canal Détox delves into the subject, focusing on what is behind this scientific name and the effects of CBD on certain disorders that have been the research subject.
CBD, THC: some benchmarks
Cannabis (or hemp) is a plant native to equatorial regions. Several species exist. Those consumed for their psychotropic properties, that is to say, capable of modifying the functioning of our central nervous system, come from the Cannabis sativa family. Nearly 500 plant compounds are known, including around 60 cannabinoids.
The main psychoactive compound in cannabis is the cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (commonly known as THC). Cannabidiol (CBD) is also present in large quantities in the plant. It is not legally classified as a psychotropic, although it also exhibits psychoactive effects via an interaction with the serotonergic system. This would also explain the “soothing” effect put forward by sellers to help people with anxiety, sleep difficulties, and chronic pain.
It should be noted that the products offered commercially and sold under the CBD label come from natural extracts of flowers or real flowers of cannabis. They contain mainly CBD but also a little THC (even if it is sometimes present in minute quantities). This is reduced to “CBD products” in everyday language, but this does not reflect the reality and complexity of the composition of the products sold and consumed.
For the past ten years, the interest of the scientific community for CBD has been growing, this molecule being suspected of being involved in some of the potential therapeutic effects of cannabis. However, most of the data available to date come not from large, rigorous clinical trials but from the recognition by scientists that CBD could act on many biological targets in the body.
Chronic pain, anxiety… various disorders but little data
Beyond epilepsy, CBD is widely used in self-medication for various conditions. In particular, the opioid crisis in the United States and Europe has contributed to renewing interest in this molecule.
Faced with the scale of the problem, researchers have indeed worked to identify alternative solutions to relieve patients suffering from chronic pain. In this context, therapeutic cannabis has regularly been presented as a potentially effective and non-addictive treatment. CBD, a molecule with fewer adverse effects than THC, has been particularly highlighted.
But CBD is also regularly used by many individuals to reduce stress and anxiety, help oncology patients tolerate chemotherapy, or help people who suffer from sleep disorders.
Why do users use CBD for self-medication?
To highlight the diversity of the disorders for which consumers use CBD, we can cite a study published in JAMA Open Network in 2020, which thus looked at the reasons most frequently cited by those who take it for self-medication.
More than 300 testimonials were thus scrutinized. Result: more than 63% of Internet users in the study reported using CBD to relieve symptoms related to anxiety, depression or autism spectrum disorders. More than 26% of them used it to fight against orthopedic pain and nearly 15% to improve their sleep.
The studies making it possible to affirm the molecule’s efficacy in these different contexts are nevertheless rare and often methodologically limited. Thus, unlike epilepsy, there are not yet large, rigorous trials comparing CBD to placebo in large patient samples.
In addition, most of the work carried out in the medical field focuses on “therapeutic cannabis” without distinguishing between its different compounds.
It is, therefore, sometimes difficult to determine what effects can be attributed to CBD, especially since the mechanisms of action of this molecule are still poorly understood. Its therapeutic virtues are supposed from pharmacological mechanisms and the results of preclinical studies. It will therefore take a few more years before large-scale trials can answer the question of its clinical usefulness in managing pain and psychiatric illnesses.
And beyond efficacy, there is little doubt about the safety of CBD-rich products, such as those you can find on Justbob, as the molecule is safe and has so far shown no addictive potential from excessive consumption, unlike THC-rich products.
Among the adverse effects documented, we find mainly drowsiness, decreased appetite, digestive disorders, fever, fatigue and vomiting.
In the absence of a fuller knowledge of the different biological mechanisms or conclusive data from clinical trials, caution is therefore still in order regarding the consumption of CBD for self-medication.
Especially since the dosages of legal CBD-based products in the UK are not standardized, some of them can interact with other drugs prescribed to individuals, cancelling their effects or slowing down their elimination. We can also point out that taking these products increases the risk of being positive at a roadside check due to the systematic presence of THC, especially in regular use.