Cannabidiol (CBD) is all the rage these days. Finally, patients in non-cannabis regions can access hemp-derived CBD online. More breeders are developing high-CBD strains, giving patients in medical cannabis states easy access to a variety of beneficial strains. But, what does CBD really help with?
In 2017, some epileptic patients may be able to pick up a CBD-based drug from the pharmacy. Back in September , GW Pharmaceuticals announced their second positive phase three trial of their drug Epidiolex in Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS).
LGS is a rare and severe form of childhood-onset epilepsy that features several different types of seizures. Epidiolex is a pharmaceutical drug made with CBD extracted from real cannabis plants.
The trial consisted of 225 participants, who were split up into three groups. One group received 20mg/kg of Epidiolex per day. Another received 10mg/kg of Epidiolex per day. A final control group received a placebo.
The study found that adding the CBD-based medication to existing treatment caused a 42% reduction in monthly drop seizures.
The company intends to file a New Drug Application (NDA) with the US Food and Drug Administration in early 2017.
High-quality human trials of CBD as an anti-cancer drug are sorely needed. However, back in 2013, Italian researchers decided to sort through the available pre-clinical evidence and evaluate the results.
In their review, the team cites evidence that CBD has an antiproliferative effect on tumor cells. The review articulates that the cannabinoid,
…possesses antiproliferative, pro-apoptotic effects and inhibits cancer cell migration, adhesion and invasion.
In both animal and cell line studies, CBD exhibited anti-tumoral and immunomodulatory properties. This makes the cannabinoid a promising new addition to cancer treatment, pending successful human trials.
Experiencing some social anxiety? A 2011 study examined CBD’s effect on cerebral blood flow in participants diagnosed with social anxiety disorder. In the study, patients received a dose of CBD prior to a public speaking event.
The CBD treatment improved their speech, anxiety, cognitive impairment, and general discomfort. These results were achieved after just a single dose of CBD.
There’s a reason so many patients turn to CBD for pain relief. The cannabinoid is a powerful analgesic, relieving the most difficult types of pain.
These include cancer pain, neuropathic pain, and inflammatory pain like that in rheumatoid arthritis.
A 1988 study found that CBD was four times more effective than aspirin in easing inflammatory pain. In Canada, a drug containing CBD is available by prescription for the management of neuropathic pain associated with multiple sclerosis.
The cannabinoid also engages the vanilloid receptor, which manages pain perception, inflammation, and body temperature. Thus far, it is thought that through this channel, CBD imposes its pain-relieving effects.
In a proof of concept trial from GW Pharmaceuticals, researchers found that CBD treatment dramatically improved symptoms of treatment-resistant schizophrenia. 88 participants were given either CBD or a placebo. All patients remained on their traditional medication throughout the trial.
CBD treatment produced a 20% improvement in symptoms based on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), which tests a variety of schizophrenia-related symptoms.
Positive symptoms include delusions, hallucinations, grandiosity, and more. Negative symptoms include social withdrawal, emotional withdrawal, difficulty with abstract thinking, and more.
The success of this research is perhaps what inspired the company to take out a patent on the use of CBD in conjunction with certain leading anti-psychotic drugs in April of 2015.