CBD, or Cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring compound (phytocannabinoid) found in the resinous flower of cannabis, a plant with a rich history as a medicine going back thousands of years. While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it can be derived directly from the hemp plant, a cousin of marijuana. One of hundreds of cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, CBD does not cause a “high” or intoxicating effect. According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
CBD has been touted and used for a variety of ailments and symptoms, with animal studies, and research and self-report in humans, suggesting CBD may have the potential to help:
- Anxiety Studies and clinical trials are exploring the common report that CBD can reduce anxiety.
- Insomnia. Studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep.
- Chronic pain. One animal study from the European Journal of Pain suggests CBD could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis when applied to skin. Other research identifies how CBD may inhibit inflammatory and neuropathic pain, which are difficult treat.
- Addiction. CBD can help lower cravings for tobacco and heroin under certain conditions, according to some research in humans. Animal models of addiction suggest it may also help lessen cravings for alcohol, cannabis, opiates, and stimulants.
- Seizures – some of the strongest scientific evidence is for its effectiveness in treating some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and, in some cases, stop them altogether. Epidiolex, which contains CBD, is the first cannabis-derived medicine approved by the FDA for these conditions