Cachexia is a disorder involving dangerous weight loss brought on by diseases as diverse as AIDS, cancer or Alzheimer’s. A 2011 German study involving more than 100 people proved that patients on the placebo lost about 80 percent more weight weekly than those administered a cannabinoid cocktail. This, along with the mood-elevating properties of cannabidiol implies future applications for the treatment of widespread eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa.
This brings me to the main reason why I use CBD for weightlifting – inflammation. I take CBD oil in tincture form first thing in the morning; this allows the CBD to reduce my inflammation and stiff joints from the previous workout. I also apply topical CBD over my body after my post-workout shower, making sure to be generous over my lower back area.
CBD shows promise in the treatment of anxiety disorders, according to a report published in the journal Neurotherapeutics in 2015. Looking at results from experimental research, clinical trials, and epidemiological studies, the report’s authors found evidence that CBD may help treat generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. However, the authors caution that human-based research on CBD and anxiety is fairly limited at this point.
A study performed at the Italian Piemonte University and published in 2008 implied that all cannabinoids help the immune system to fight bacteria. Especially potent are five cannabinoids (including CBD), with the study focusing on antibiotic-resistant strains of the Staphylococcus Aureus, a relevant example of the antibiotics abuse the last few decades have witnessed.
This is why Amanda Oliver, 31, a career consultant in Charleston, SC, pops a CBD gummy bear each night before bed. “I used to lie there tossing and turning as my mind raced from work projects to whether I had set the home alarm,” Oliver says. One piece of candy with 15 milligrams (mg) of CBD is enough to shut off her brain and facilitate sleep. She also swears by the CBD oil she takes at the height of her period, which she says quells her debilitating cramps.
Naturally, the testimonies of these experts were based on a comprehensive literature review, an endeavor which we have also undertaken, albeit in a less official capacity. While many new products have been hailed as a panacea in their times, and many web sources certainly allude to this status for CBD, our objective was more modest – presenting ten possible benefits of cannabidiol where sufficient evidence exists to back up the claims.
For the past couple of years, the field has been experiencing a boom in cannabidiol-related research. What has permeated the scientific consensus stems from efforts undertaken to explain effects of THC, with descriptions of cannabidiol just a by-product of the initial purpose. For example, CBD was thought to have been simply a precursor of THC, mainly due to the structural similarities between the two.
Success stories like Oliver’s are everywhere, but there’s not a lot of data to back up those results. That’s because CBD comes from cannabis and, like nearly all other parts of the plant, is categorized by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as a Schedule 1 drug—the most restrictive classification. (Others on that list: heroin, Ecstasy, and peyote.) This classification, which cannabis advocates have tried for years to change, keeps cannabis-derived products, including CBD, from being properly studied in the U.S.
Nabiximols (Sativex), a multiple sclerosis drug made from a combination of TCH and CBD, is approved in the United Kingdom and Canada to treat MS pain. However, researchers think the CBD in the drug may be contributing more with its anti-inflammatory properties than by acting against the pain. Clinical trials of CBD are necessary to determine whether or not it should be used for pain management.
That leaves those touting CBD’s effectiveness pointing primarily to research in mice and petri dishes. There, CBD (sometimes combined with small amounts of THC) has shown promise for helping pain, neurological conditions like anxiety and PTSD, and the immune system—and therefore potentially arthritis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and more.
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Cannabis, on the other hand, has been known to reduce pain – and has been used to do so for thousands of years. Recent studies, most notably those published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, have demonstrated the link between CBD and pain/inflammation reduction. (2) While some sufferers of chronic pain resort to traditional marijuana use, it may not be necessary. Because of how CBD interacts with the body, it may be just as effective.
Along those same lines, most over-the-counter medications have side effects. At this point, the side effects from CBD have been very minimal and very minor. There have been some complaints of tiredness, upset stomach and a few cases of diarrhea. Outside of those few side effects most people have stated they have encountered minor side effects or none at all.
‘CBD has proven anti-anxiety effects and may be helpful in depression, based on anecdotal reports,’ says Dr Gordon. ‘I use high CBD prescription cannabis medicine products as part of a mental health protocol with my patients suffering with anxiety and depression. The antidepressant effects of CBD have been shown in animal models, but we now need large, depression-specific studies in humans as the next step.’
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'If you have a health condition, or are taking any prescribed or over-the-counter medicines, always check with your doctor or a pharmacist for possible drug supplement interactions before taking CBD,' says Dr Brewer. 'This is because CBD interacts with enzymes involved in metabolising some medicines and may result in increased drug levels that could cause side effects.
Putting this in perspective, eating a portion of grapefruit would have a similar effect on the aforementioned liver enzymes. So neutralizing P450 enzymes should be viewed as a minor side effect of cannabidiol. However, if you are taking pharmaceutical drugs and wish to take CBD, you should discuss any potential complications regarding reduced P450 enzyme activity with your doctor and/or pharmacist.