Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is becoming an increasingly popular choice for a natural treatment for many chronic conditions, including chronic pain, seizures and mental health conditions. Ongoing research has shown that CBD can be effective for some conditions, and does not cause the altered mental states or “highs” created by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
Compelling evidence supports claims from both patients and doctors of its efficacy, but there is still a long way to go until the uses of CBD are fully understood and accepted in the medical and legal communities.
Let’s shed some light on everything you need to know about CBD.
What is CBD?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical found in cannabis plants. It does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive ingredient that produces a high. Once it is extracted from the plant, it’s typically mixed with a carrier oil such as hemp seed oil or coconut oil to allow oral ingestion, topical application, and other methods of consumption. CBD has neither shown evidence of abuse potential nor problems related to public health concerns according to the World Health Organization (WHO)(2).
CBD interacts with many metabolic systems in the human body, through both receptor and non-receptor mechanisms. It has the ability to modulate the endocannabinoid system as well. The endocannabinoid system helps to regulate a large number of physiological processes affecting mood, immune activity, blood pressure, hunger, pain, stress, and more. As a result, CBD often demonstrates an incredible therapeutic potential(5).
What can CBD treat?
CBD is currently being researched for its properties to alleviate symptoms of multiple conditions, including:
● Chronic non-cancer pain
● Cancer pain and symptom management
● Autoimmune disorders
● Neurological conditions (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury)
● Inflammatory bowel disease (Ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease)
● Menstrual cramps
Typically, CBD is prescribed for patients who have tried the more ‘traditional’ medical treatments, with little to no success. Doctors will establish eligibility on a case by case basis, depending on the patient’s medical history and symptoms.
Some doctors have already transformed their practices to accommodate new findings for CBD's use as medicine due to anecdotal, “life-changing” results for large numbers of their patients. In fact, one doctor reported that in 2021 the majority of CBD users were middle-aged women who take the medicine for pain relief from inflammatory arthritis(4). As studies continue into the effectiveness of CBD for a range of conditions, we expect to see even more Australians adopting it for a range of conditions.