What Can CBD Help?

Addiction & Harm Reduction

CBD may be effective in treating addiction. Research suggests [1] that it can reduce drug-seeking behaviour, cravings and anxiety triggered by environmental cues during periods of abstinence. There is evidence that some of these effects may continue long after treatment. To date, CBD has shown to be safe in combination with fentanyl [2], a potent opiate, suggesting it may be used safely with this drug in treatment. It has also shown potential to reverse neurotoxicity [3] associated with binge-drinking, due to its antioxidant and neuroprotective properties.

A 2018 study [4] showed that high doses of CBD given to smokers reduced the pleasantness of cigarette images and decreased blood pressure after overnight abstinence. Attention bias (the tendency for current thoughts to change one’s perception) was also directed away from cigarette cues.

 

REFERENCES

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30837904

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604178/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4183207/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6099309/

 

FURTHER READING

Beyond the CB1 Receptor: Is Cannabidiol the Answer for Disorders of Motivation?
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5818147/

Cannabidiol as an Intervention for Addictive Behaviors: A Systematic Review of the Evidence
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4444130/

 

Anxiety

Anxiety is something all of us feel. It can be acute – such as when we need to speak in public – or chronic, for people with conditions such as social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and so on. A growing body of clinical, pre-clinical and case studies suggests great potential for CBD to be effective in treating anxiety, by enhancing endocannabinoid signalling and activating serotonin receptors in the brain.

For example, a 2011 clinical study addressed public speaking in patients with social anxiety disorder. Compared with placebo, CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in these patients during speech performance.

In a large case study in 2019, 72 psychiatric patients with primary concerns of anxiety or poor sleep received CBD in addition to their normal treatments. Over a three month period, average anxiety and sleep scores improved by 31% and 28% respectively, with no evidence of safety issues.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

In another case study, a young girl (age 10) was given 25 mg CBD daily beginning March 2015, after poor response to psychiatric pharmaceuticals following diagnosis of PTSD in 2012. She had been sleeping poorly, could not sleep alone, had outbursts in school and was difficult to manage. Over a six month period, her condition greatly improved, with her grandmother (her caregiver) reporting: “My granddaughter’s behaviors are definitely better being on the CBD. Her anxiety is not gone, but it is not as intense and she is much easier to be around. She now sleeps in her own room most of the time, which has never happened before.”

REFERENCES

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4604171/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3079847/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326553/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27768570

Athletes

“My old injured joints now feel inflammation free. I’m more mentally alert & feel like my whole system operates more efficiently.”
- Jake Plummer, retired NFL quarterback and CBD advocate

CBD has become the supplement of choice for many professional athletes [1]. With the World Anti-Doping Agency [2] removing CBD from its list of banned substances in 2018, the number of athletes advocating for CBD therapy [3] is growing rapidly due to its potent antioxidant, pain-relieving properties and lack of intoxicating effects.

Protection & Relief

An athlete’s lifestyle focuses on intensive exercise and training. The two big consequences of this, inflammation and oxidative stress [4], contribute to tissue and organ damage in many health conditions and in general. Studies show that CBD is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant [5], suggesting the ability to effectively relieve pain and prevent damage from oxidative stress in the long-term.

Concussions & Recovery

Concussions are a mild form of brain trauma widely studied and are a concern in many sports [6]. They are linked to both short and long-term neurological symptoms including increased aggression, anxious/depressive behaviour and chronic pain. Research indicates [7] that CBD is highly neuroprotective and offers a new approach to improving these symptoms following trauma.

REFERENCES

[1] https://www.honeycolony.com/article/nfl-stars-push-for-cbd-research/

[2] https://www.wada-ama.org/en/content/what-is-prohibited/prohibited-in-competition/cannabinoids

[3] https://www.menshealth.com/health/a26755363/meet-the-pro-athletes-advocating-for-cbd/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4333958/

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3085542/

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5714087/

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6476923/

Cardiovascular Health

The cardiovascular system [1], made up of the heart, blood, arteries and veins, is a crucial part of a healthy lifestyle. Cardiovascular strain is caused by several factors, including stress and physical inactivity. CBD can help. Research suggests [2] CBD’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects can help with symptoms of heart muscle conditions associated with aging and diabetes, and that it regulates increases in heart rate and blood pressure when exposed to stress. It may also increase blood flow to the brain and enhance antioxidant functioning in stroke patients.

REFERENCES

[1] https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cardiovascular-diseases-(cvds)

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5323388/

FURTHER READING

Is the cardiovascular system a therapeutic target for cannabidiol?
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3579247/

A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5470879/

CBD & Neuroprotection

Neurodegeneration is a progressive loss of nerve cell function. It can be caused by oxidative stress and inflammation (also associated with aging), or be a side product of brain trauma, strokes and other conditions such as MS (multiple sclerosis). There are also neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Neuroprotection [1] is the idea of preventing neurodegeneration. Studies indicate [2] that CBD is neuroprotective in a variety of ways, including its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, and its effects on other bodily mechanisms such as astrocyte functioning [3]. Astrocytes are a type of cell in the central nervous system which play a major role in brain function. When nerve cells are damaged, astrocyte levels increase and their functioning changes – this process is involved in neurodegenerative disorders, and regulating this process has become a potential target for therapy.

Astrocytes also contain cannabinoid receptors, suggesting a role of cannabinoids in treating these conditions. Studies have shown that CBD suppresses astrocyte activity in models of neurodegenerative conditions, in addition to other beneficial effects such as improving associated psychiatric symptoms. This is one of several mechanisms in neurodegenerative disorders being explored with CBD – other studies have also achieved positive results using CBD alongside other treatments, such as stem cells [4]. We encourage you to research it, try it for yourself, and support research towards a better future.

REFERENCES

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11749009

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28412918

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5578059/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5297661/

FURTHER READING

Endocannabinoid System in Neurodegenerative Disorders
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5669051/

Translational Investigation of the Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol (CBD): Toward a New Age
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6161644/

In vivo Evidence for Therapeutic Properties of Cannabidiol (CBD) for Alzheimer's Disease
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5289988/

Cannabidiol and Other Cannabinoids Reduce Microglial Activation In Vitro and In Vivo: Relevance to Alzheimer's Disease
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3102548/

Cannabidiol Reduces Aβ-Induced Neuroinflammation and Promotes Hippocampal Neurogenesis through PPARγ Involvement
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3230631/

Cannabidiol to Improve Mobility in People with Multiple Sclerosis
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5874292/

Effects of cannabidiol in the treatment of patients with Parkinson's disease: an exploratory double-blind trial
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25237116

Cannabidiol enhances morphine antinociception, diminishes NMDA-mediated seizures and reduces stroke damage via the sigma 1 receptor
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6142691/

Cannabis Therapeutics and the Future of Neurology
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6200872/

CBD & Skincare

Anti-Aging

Aging in the skin coincides with a decline in the body’s antioxidant mechanisms. Many skincare solutions [1] include a variety of antioxidants for this reason. Research suggests CBD is a more potent antioxidant than vitamins C and E [2], and many companies are beginning to use CBD in skincare products as a result. This may help to counter the effects of aging, even external sources of aging such as UV radiation [3] from the sun.

Eczema

Eczema is a type of dermatitis (inflammation of the skin). Topical CBD acts as an anti-inflammatory [4] through a number of different mechanisms, providing relief from the pain and redness of eczema and other types of dermatitis [5].

Acne

Research suggests CBD may also be an effective treatment for acne [6], preventing excess formation of oil-producing cells and normalizing excessive oil production in the skin caused by acne-promoting agents. CBD also reduces inflammation in acne afflicted areas, helping to prevent scarring and pain.

REFERENCES

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5514576/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC20965/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3789494/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30993303

[5] http://jpet.aspetjournals.org/content/365/3/652.long

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4151231/

CBD & the Digestive System

The digestive system consists of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and digestive organs such as the tongue and liver. When endocannabinoids were found in canine intestines, researchers began to examine the endocannabinoid system's role in GI function. Studies found evidence of key roles such as inflammation, muscle tension and motility, the ability to move food through the GI tract.

This led to the idea that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) - the most common GI diagnosis - may come from a deficiency of endocannabinoids [1] such as anandamide. This deficiency is also thought to be involved in migraines and fibromyalgia, which are often present in those with IBS. CBD may help by increasing anandamide levels and activating TRPV1 receptors - the same receptors activated by spicy food. One study [2] showed that IBS patients had more TRPV1 nerve fibres than regular patients, suggesting that targeting these receptors can help relieve pain from IBS.

Evidence is growing in support of this endocannabinoid deficiency, with strong indications that CBD can provide effective relief from associated conditions. CBD is also being researched in inflammatory bowel diseases [3] such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, where it has been able to reduce inflammation and intestinal damage.

REFERENCES

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15159679

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2564830/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3232190/

FURTHER READING

Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency Reconsidered: Current Research Supports the Theory in Migraine, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel, and Other Treatment-Resistant Syndromes
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5576607/

Determination and characterization of a cannabinoid receptor in rat brain
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2848184

Cannabidiol and palmitoylethanolamide are anti-inflammatory in the acutely inflamed human colon
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28954820

Cannabinoids and the gut: new developments and emerging concepts
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20117132

Cannabinoids and gastrointestinal motility: animal and human studies
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18924447

Cannabidiol restores intestinal barrier dysfunction and inhibits the apoptotic process induced by Clostridium difficile toxin A in Caco-2 cells
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5721977/

CBD for Women

CBD for PMS

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) affects 3 of every 4 women who menstruate. The symptoms of PMS vary greatly in severity and influence a wide range of bodily functions, from hormonal to muscular. There are four different types of PMS: PMS A (anxiety), B (bloating), C (cravings) and D (depression). Based on the delicate balance of estrogen and progesterone, the symptoms from PMS A through D can vary, and it is not uncommon to experience all four types throughout one menstrual cycle.

Dr. Julie Holland, a psychiatrist and psychopharmacology specialist, believes that our endocannabinoid system plays a role [1] in maintaining homeostasis during this unbalanced time of the month for women, stating, “CBD acts as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent, and a muscle relaxer”, and that “anandamide, our main internal cannabinoid, helps to tamp down the stress response and return our hormones and nervous system to a normal balance”. CBD has been shown in clinical trials to enhance anandamide signalling [2] in the body, suggesting potential to alleviate the PMS symptoms many women experience on a consistent basis.

CBD and Menopause

Menopause marks the end of a woman’s reproductive abilities, where menstruation cycles naturally stop due to a decrease in estrogen production. This includes stages of pre-menopause (3-5 years prior) and post-menopause (1 year after). Hot flashes, mood swings, loss of bone mass, low libido, weight gain, insomnia and pain are all symptoms during these stages. One form of estrogen, estradiol, lowers the activity of FAAH [3], an enzyme in the body that breaks down anandamide. With a lower level of estrogen comes higher FAAH activity, and in turn lower anandamide levels. The fact that CBD enhances anandamide signaling in the body also suggests potential for CBD to help with the symptoms of menopause.

REFERENCES

[1] https://goop.com/wellness/sexual-health/can-cannabis-help-with-pms/

[2] https://www.nature.com/articles/tp201215

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22210740

Diabetes

Diabetes is a metabolism-related condition characterized by high levels of blood sugar, and concerns insulin, the hormone which regulates blood sugar levels. Diabetes is classified into two types. In type 1 diabetes, the immune system destroys the body’s insulin-producing cells, causing insufficient insulin production to regulate blood sugar levels. In type 2 diabetes, the body’s cells do not respond normally to insulin, leading to insufficient insulin production in the long term.

While CBD does not alter blood sugar levels, its immunosuppressive, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties have shown great promise in animal studies regarding diabetes. When one study [1] examined CBD and diabetes-prone mice, only 32% of the CBD-treated group were diagnosed with diabetes, compared to 100% of the untreated group.

Another study [2] with this type of mice addressed diabetic cardiomyopathy (heart muscle conditions). Diabetics are at increased risk [3] of cardiomyopathy, which can lead to heart failure, a major cause of death in diabetics with these conditions. The study showed that CBD reduced many of the symptoms of these conditions, including muscular dysfunction, oxidative stress and inflammation.

Other diabetes-related animal study topics with CBD include obesity rate reduction [4] (of relevance to type 2 diabetes) and diabetic retinopathy [5] (eye conditions), also showing great promise.

REFERENCES

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2270485/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3026637/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1783586/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3349875/

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1592672/

Epilepsy

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders and is characterized by recurring seizures. Approximately 1 in 3 epilepsy cases are treatment-resistant, and there are many efforts dedicated to finding a solution to this. Cannabinoids, particularly CBD, have become a recent focus in the medical community [1] due to the growing use of cannabis and CBD products for self-medication.

Anti-epileptic effects have been seen in both preclinical and clinical studies of CBD. This body of evidence is growing quickly [2], and is pointing to CBD, including commonly available CBD products [3], as an effective addition to epilepsy treatments.

REFERENCES

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6143823/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31013866

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29429908

FURTHER READING

Evidence for cannabis and cannabinoids for epilepsy: a systematic review of controlled and observational evidence
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29511052

Mental Health

Mental health is a vastly complicated topic. The discovery and investigation of the body’s endocannabinoid system over the last few decades is now slowly beginning to give us some more insight. For example, a 2010 study [1] in mice showed that CBD increased adult neurogenesis [2] (creation of nerve cells – thought to be a prominent mechanism underlying many mental health conditions), and that this effect was dependent on the cannabinoid receptor CB1. A major review [3] of endocannabinoid signalling and depression published in 2014, worth quoting at length, states:

“[Endocannabinoid signalling] is particularly important in the CNS [central nervous system] processing of reward, fear, memory extinction and stress. As all of these fundamental processes are dysregulated in major depression, better understanding of ECS holds great potential for improved understanding of the biology of depression.”

CBD has been shown to enhance signalling of the endocannabinoid anandamide, in both animal and human studies. A 2012 clinical trial [4] showed that in high doses, CBD produced effects in schizophrenic patients nearly identical to a powerful anti-psychotic, but with far less side effects, and reduced weight gain.

CBD has also been shown to interact with a serotonin receptor outside of the endocannabinoid system, 5-HT1A. A 2016 study [5] in mice showed CBD had anxiety-reducing and anti-depressant effects, with evidence of these 5-HT1A interactions playing a significant role. In general, the 5-HT1A receptor plays a major role [6] in the treatment of depression and other mental health conditions, via neurogenesis in certain areas of the brain, regulation of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, and more.

REFERENCES

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2898685/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4262910/

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24180398

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3316151/

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26711860

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5483313/

Migraines

Migraines take a heavy toll on many people. Chronic migraines can negatively impact quality of life, and finding effective treatment has been difficult [1] due to the adverse side effects of many anti-migraine therapies. CBD has recently become a candidate solution to this problem. Research suggests that people suffering from chronic migraines have lower blood and spinal fluid levels [2] of the endocannabinoid, AEA. This condition, called clinical endocannabinoid deficiency [3], is emerging as a potential target to treat migraines and other conditions such as fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome. CBD is known to stop the enzyme in the body responsible for breaking down AEA – an effect seen to reduce migraine pain [4] in recent studies.

REFERENCES

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5928495/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17119542

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5576607/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25608877

FURTHER READING

Clinical endocannabinoid deficiency (CECD): can this concept explain therapeutic benefits of cannabis in migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and other treatment-resistant conditions?
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15159679

 

Pain

Pain – we know it when we feel it, but what exactly is it? Roughly speaking, there are two main types of pain [1]: nociceptive pain (from tissue damage) and neuropathic pain (from nerve damage). Some types, like the pain from fibromyalgia, are less understood. Pain can also be amplified [2] by psychological factors such as stress or anxiety.

CBD, both oral and topical [3], is quickly growing in popularity [4] as a natural pain remedy in addition to its other benefits. It has done well in studies of both nociceptive and neuropathic pain as a result of its anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties. In these studies, CBD was able to reduce pain and inflammation from arthritis, and pain sensitivity following injuries such as mild brain trauma [5], surgical incisions [6] and nerve damage [7].

REFERENCES

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16774457

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25000833

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4851925/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6043845/

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6476923/

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5478794/

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6319597/

FURTHER READING

A preliminary controlled study to determine whether whole-plant cannabis extracts can improve intractable neurogenic symptoms
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12617376

Pets

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, is a cannabinoid – a molecular compound found in the cannabis and hemp plant – with demonstrated potential to be effective in treating a wide range of health conditions. Research suggests that CBD regulates many functions in the brain and body, through the endocannabinoid system and other mechanisms. Endocannabinoids refer to cannabinoids naturally found in the body. The endocannabinoid system is found in all mammals, and is made up of several receptors that react only to cannabinoids such as CBD and the more well-known compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

Why CBD for Your Pet?

CBD is proving to be a natural, accessible alternative to veterinary pharmaceuticals for several common ailments. After years of positive results, veterinary research is now turning to CBD to get a closer look. A large-scale survey of US veterinarians [1] revealed strong support for the use of CBD products in animals, with over 70% of veterinarians reporting CBD as having been helpful for dogs with pain, anxiety, epilepsy and phobias (such as fear of storms or fireworks).

We invite you to do the research, try it out, and join us in helping our furry friends live the balanced, healthy life they deserve!

REFERENCES

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6338022/

FURTHER READING

Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6065210/