Cannabinoid or CBD is a member of the family of chemical compounds having a powerful effect on human behavior. It is used as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory agent, muscle relaxant and for the treatment of seizures, depression, nausea, spasticity and other ailments. Despite its miraculous healing properties, CBD has shown to have some serious side effects on some patients, including memory loss, hallucinations, seizures and even addiction. But what really happens is that CBD passes through the bloodstream and reaches the brain where it acts as a sedative or anti-spasmodic, before ceasing its effects. The ongoing confusion over the real role of CBD in the human body has resulted in a number of myths regarding this compound’s medical utility.
In spite of all these, there have been many findings regarding the therapeutic effects of the plant. For example, the National Institute on Drug Abuse has reported that there are some interesting differences between the active component of cannabis (tetrahydrocannabis) and the compound that contain CBD (cannabidiol). They found that CBD is more potent than tetrahydrocannabis in many of its variants, which may explain why CBD is legal and the psychoactive substance in cannabis plant is not restricted to the type of cannabis used to produce it. Additionally, the NIDA has found that the levels of CBD present in the blood are not significantly higher in people who consume cannabis regularly, compared to those who don’t. A number of studies also found that CBD has similar therapeutic effects on Alzheimer’s patients as it does on healthy adults.
However, critics claim that medical marijuana contains far more CBD than the said compound in medical marijuana. Some even suspect that CBD has more therapeutic value than medical marijuana because it is more potent. They claim that the drug test results showing high trace amounts of CBD in the blood are unreliable. Others claim that it is impossible for the body to absorb trace amounts of CBD. And still others believe that the amount of CBD present in any product is highly regulated by the FDA as a food supplement and not a prescription drug.
The controversy concerning CBD has been compounded by the fact that the two primary medications used in treating Alzheimer’s patients are the primary medicines containing CBD. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “The FDA has not approved any medication for use in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.” However, the FDA has approved the use of two medications containing CBD to treat patients who suffer from the condition. Both drugs, Acomplia and Verenicline, contain trace amounts of CBD. As such, these two medications are also subject to drug tests.
A recent study found that a specific strain of bacteria in the human saliva can block the action of acetaminophen, an ingredient included in a number of painkillers including Vicodin and Percocet. A group of researchers from the University of Alberta, Canada, performed a clinical trial using a special mixture of pure CBD oil, ethanol and water to test the ability of the saliva to block the harmful actions of acetycholine, an endorphin which excites coughing and lung damage caused by inhaling tobacco smoke. The researchers found that the oil significantly decreased the occurrence of coughing in test subjects who were subjected to the test.
In another recent case, a group of scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, reviewed lab results involving human brain cancer cells. They concluded that the oil derived from hemp could prevent or reduce the growth of brain cancer cells when given at the same doses as the drug, Percocet. CBD oil was analyzed as part of a study on mice and rats; results were inconclusive. However, the scientists said that more studies must be conducted in order to determine whether CBD oil is beneficial for human beings. At present, it appears that pure CBD can successfully pass safety tests and is unlikely to cause adverse effects when used properly as prescribed. More research must be performed to determine whether other compounds in the plant could have the same positive effect.