Now more than ever, people are seeking alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs which often come with a long list of significant adverse effects, even death when overdosed. As a result, many have turned to cannabidiol (CBD) as a new option in the treatment of many disorders for example chronic, debilitating pain. Compelling evidence supports claims from both patients and doctors of its efficacy – yet, the curious substance still has a long road to total acceptance from the medical and legal community.
Most people, having heard of CBD only recently, assume it to be a new and innovative supplement, although CBD and its uses were in fact “discovered” in 1946(1). Since then, ongoing research is showing that CBD is effective as a medicine and does not cause the altered mental states created by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
While Australian politicians try to make sense of cannabidiol and what it’s true potential can be, let’s shed some light on everything you need to know about CBD.
What is CBD?
CBD is the second most abundant part of cannabis plant, non-addictive, non-psychoactive and very safe. Once it is extracted from the plant, it’s typically mixed with a carrier oil to allow oral ingestion, topical application, and other methods of consumption. As a non-psychotropic medication, CBD is nothing like THC, the other active ingredient in cannabis, in that users won’t feel “high” or impaired in any way. CBD has neither shown evidence of abuse potential nor problems related to public health concerns according to the World Health Organization (WHO)(2).
Instead, CBD has grown popular worldwide for its effectiveness in treating a wide range of physical and mental disorders, pains, diseases, and more, 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
Like with any medication, there are quite a few wild health claims about CBD’s healing properties along with anecdotal evidence for its efficacy as a panacea. As we will soon see, the efforts to prove exactly what CBD is most effective in treating and the specific doses required for those treatments are already underway. Some doctors have already transformed their practices to accommodate new findings in CBD as medicine due to “life-changing” results for large numbers of their patients.
In fact, the majority of CBD users are middle-aged women who take the medicine for pain relief from inflammatory arthritis (4). As its legal status changes, we should soon see even more research into CBD’s effective application as a medicine. For now, patients across Australia will be eager to purchase over-the-counter CBD based on the success of its application for these ailments and more.