CBD or Cannabidiol is a booming industry. You may have seen it as an add-in booster to your post-workout smoothie or morning coffee. But what exactly is CBD? Read on to know more about the compound and all the latest CBD health information.
CBD is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a relative of the marijuana plant. According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential. To date, there is no evidence of any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
CBD is readily obtainable in most parts of the United States, though its exact legal status is in flux. All 50 states have laws legalizing CBD with varying degrees of restriction, and while the federal government still considers CBD in the same class of marijuana, it doesn’t habitually enforce against it. The FDA in December 2015 eased regulatory requirements to allow researchers to conduct CBD trials. Currently, many people obtain CBD online without a medical cannabis license. The government’s position on CBD is confusing and depends in part on whether the CBD comes from hemp or marijuana.
CBD has been publicized for a wide variety of health issues, but the strongest scientific evidence is for its effectiveness in treating childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS). These typically don’t respond to anti-seizure medications. In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and in some cases it was able to stop them altogether. Videos of the effects of CBD on these children and their seizures are readily available on the internet for viewing, and they are quite striking. The FDA has approved the first ever cannabis-derived medicine called Epidiolex, for these conditions.
The compound is commonly used to address anxiety. It is also used by patients afflicted by insomnia, as studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep.
CBD Health Information:
CBD may offer an option for treating different types of chronic pain. A study from the European Journal of Pain used an animal model to show that CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study demonstrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, which are two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat. However, there are many more studies in humans that are needed in this area to ascertain the claims of CBD proponents for pain control.
Side effects of CBD include nausea, fatigue and irritability. It can increase the level of blood thinner Coumadin in your blood, and can raise levels of certain other medications in your blood by the exact same mechanism that grapefruit juice does. A significant safety concern with CBD is that it’s primarily marketed and sold as a supplement, not a medication.
Currently, the FDA does not regulate the safety and purity of dietary supplements. So, there is no way to know for sure that the product you’re buying has active ingredients at the dose listed in the label. But you must also always do your research about the brand you’re planning to buy from and if you must, ask them for a Certificate of Analysis (COA), which the CBD brand should be willing to provide if they’re following all the rules.
Findings from a new study examining human and canine brain cancer cells suggest that CBD could be a useful therapy for brain cancer, especially the cases that are difficult to treat. The study looked at glioblastoma, an often-deadly form of brain cancer that grows and spreads very quickly. Even with major advancements in treatment, survival rates for this cancer have not improved significantly.
Chase Gross, a student in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine/Master of Science program at Colorado State University says that, “Further research and treatment options are urgently needed for patients afflicted by brain cancer. Our work shows that CBD has the potential to provide an effective, synergistic glioblastoma therapy option and that it should continue to be actively studied.
Mr. Gross was scheduled to present this research at the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutic’s annual meeting in San Diego this month. Though the meeting was canceled in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the research team’s abstract was published in this month’s issue of The FASEB Journal.
Along with his colleagues, Mr. Gross examined human and canine glioblastoma cells because the cancer shows striking similarities between the two species. They tested the effects of CBD isolate, which contains 100% CBD, and CBD extract, which contains small amounts of other naturally occurring compounds such as cannabigerol and tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
“Our experiments showed that CBD slows cancer cell growth and is toxic to both canine and human glioblastoma cell lines. Importantly, the differences in anti-cancer affects between CBD isolate and extract appear to be negligible,” says Mr. Gross.
The new work revealed that the toxic effects of CBD are mediated through the cell’s natural pathway for apoptosis, which is a form of programmed cell death. The researchers also observed that CBD-induced cell death was characterized by large, swollen intracellular vesicles before the membrane begins to bulge and breakdown. This was true for all the cell lines studied.
Researchers believe that CBD’s anti-cancer actions target the mitochondria, which is the cell’s energy-producing structure by causing it to dysfunction and release harmful reactive oxygen species. Their experiments showed that cells treated with CBD exhibited significant decrease in mitochondrial activity.
According to Mr. Gross, “CBD has been zealously studied in cells for its anti-cancer properties over the last decade. Our study helps complete the in-vitro puzzle, allowing us to move forward in studying its effects on glioblastomas in a clinical setting using live animal models. This could lead to new treatments that would help both people and dogs that have this extremely worrying form of cancer.”
Next, researchers plan to transition from cell cultures to animal models in order to test CBD’s effects on glioblastoma. If the animal studies go well, the work could progress to clinical trials on dogs that are being treated for naturally occurring glioblastoma at the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
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