Commonly-known cannabis constituent Cannabidiol (CBD) interacts with brain and muscles cells using the body’s natural Endocannabinoid (EC) system. Receptors in the brain, striated, and skeletal muscle tissue bind CBD molecules, causing a reaction from the body. In the both the brain and muscle tissue, CBD has been shown to cause an anti-inflammatory response, making CBD a strong candidate as a treatment for a variety of health issues. These same receptors bind THC in the brain initiating, instead, a psychoactive reaction — this is the “high” experienced by marijuana users.
It has been unequivocally proven that CBD shows no psychoactive effects when bound in the brain or muscle tissue. Instead, CBD elicits anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective responses using the EC. Since EC receptors can be found throughout the body, CBD has demonstrated beneficial treatment effects for many common ailments affecting millions of Americans — as well as millions more people, worldwide.
The following four common diseases have all shown CBD to be a strong treatment candidate:
Common Diseases CBD Treats – Alzheimer’s Disease
With more and more research being performed and published on the effects of CBD on the body, more and more natural EC receptors are being discovered in more and more locations throughout the body. One such recent EC discovery is the presence of receptors known as “CB1” and “CB2” located in the neuronal cells of the brain.
A recent 2016 study published in Nature utilized synthesized CBD and administered it to neuronal cells in vivo that showed the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Although the complete effect is debated in degenerative neuronal science circles, it is widely accepted that the accumulation of beta amyloid (A-beta) typically indicates the beginning stages of multiple mental degenerative diseases including, but not limited to, Alzheimer’s Disease. The presence and accumulation of A-beta determined the non-control study group in this study. Researchers found that the addition of cannabidiol (CBD) removed previous A-beta accumulation, blocked further A-beta accumulation and neuronal inflammation, and provided future neuronal protection from further A-beta accumulation.
A 2014 study confirmed these findings in mice. Researchers illustrated both anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects in vivo using the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR). Per the study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology;
“Adult, male rats were inoculated with human Aβ42 in the hippocampus and then treated with CBD.” “CBD was able to dose-dependently decrease Aβ-induced expression of iNOS, GFAP, S100 calcium binding protein B (S100B) and p50 and p56 antibodies in rat astrocytes.” — Karl, Tim. Watt, Georgia. et al.
It has long been known cannabis constituents such as THC and CBD cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) to bind to brain neuronal EC receptors. Only recently, since the wider-spread legalization of marijuana in the US, has evidence of anti-inflammatory neuronal benefits of CBD come to light. The consensus surrounding the possible medical benefits of CBD and other cannabis constituents continues to trend upwards, indicating the potential for a flurry of neuronal CBD-treatment research.
Acne Vulgaris (AV) is the most common form of acne, affecting millions of Americans every day. Teens and young adults are those most affected. Studies have shown CBD to greatly decrease the appearance and occurrence of scarring due to AV. Both topical and oral administrations have garnered positive results. CBD was demonstrated to decrease the occurrence and negative effects of AV in multiple ways by benefiting the sebaceous glands typically found about the face, shoulders, and chest. First, it was suggested that CBD “primarily normalize both quantitatively and qualitatively excessive and abnormal lipid production induced by acne-promoting stimuli.” 1
AV scarring is caused by inflamed lipid production, creating pustules. CBD showed statistically significant decreases in lipid production in these areas in test subjects.
Next, CBD exerted “universal anti-inflammatory actions” throughout the AV-production cycle. It was found that CBD-infused products prevented the expression of a cytokine key to AV pathogenesis development, halting the production of AV before the production process even starts.
Negative Effects Due to Alcoholism
Typically, mixing substances such as marijuana and alcohol can cause inadvertent side effects. Per a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), however, supplementing marijuana use after a large alcohol binge can protect the liver from alcohol-induced steatosis.
By increase autophagy (cell self-death) in the liver, CBD could prevent acute alcohol-induced liver steatosis. Much in the way CBD treats AD via multiple mechanisms, CBD treats liver steatosis multiple ways. First, CBD achieved attenuation of alcohol-mediated oxidative stress of the liver cells.
Next, CBD illustrated prevention of JNK MAPK activation. JNK MAPK pathway activation regulates cell mitosis, survival, and apoptosis (programmed cell death). With the addition of CBD to the system, cell death and mitosis is kept in check compared to systems devoid of CBD introduction.
Over 1.6 million Americans are known to suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, according to a factbook published in 2015 by the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). Furthermore, CCFA reports IBD are lifelong ailments with no known cure, only lifetime treatment regimens are available to curb the side effects of IBDs.
Once again, CBD — or rather a derivative of CBD — comes to the treatment. There’s actually a patent on the books since 2012 for CBD derivatives cannabidivarin (CBDV) and cannabigerol (CBG) to treat Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and other common IBDs. The patent includes treatment of all intestinal inflammatory diseases but specifies Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. Results showed both pre-treatment and post-treatment CBG administration statistically decreased studied colon weight, indicating reduction in colon inflammation. It makes sense that less colon mass caused by inflammation equates to less colon weight — leading to less gut discomfort experienced by studied subjects. CBC, additionally, demonstrated statistically significant prevention of decreased body weight caused by inflammation caused from ulcerative colitis. This is science-speak for “subjects were able to continue to eat enough food to maintain body weight.” Many times, the inflammation and subsequent pain caused by IBD forces subjects to stop eating, altogether — decreasing body weight.
With encouraging and now definitive results, clearly CBD has the potential to be a widely-used preventative agent for a variety of ailments affecting millions of Americans. From pre-teen and adolescent Acne Vulgaris, to later-in-life-onset Inflammatory Bowel Diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, CBD runs the gamut of possible daily treatment of extremely common diseases, no matter the subject’s age or health situation. Cannabis constituents such as CBD can no longer be pandemically defined to reduce memory, as evidenced by beneficial results in treating Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), and may also decrease the common after-effects of an alcohol binge, rather than exacerbate them.
Researchers have been given limited time to research CBD and other cannabis constituents due to the relatively short timeline of marijuana legality in the US. Within that short timeline, however, already CBD has shown to be a potentially beneficial treatment source for disease sufferers, young and. . .let’s say not so young thanks to full recreational and medical marijuana legalization in such cities as Denver, CO, and Seattle, WA.
1. Olah, Attila et al. “Cannabidiol Exerts Sebostatic And Anti-inflammatory Effects On Human Sebocytes”. Journal of Clinical Investigation 124.9 (2014): 3713-3724. Web. 13 Feb. 2017.