Research into cannabidiol (CBD) began in the 20th century, with the discovery of the cannabinoid itself and later the endocannabinoid system (ECS) where it has a significant impact. These breakthroughs have provided the foundation for more in-depth studies in the past couple of decades, which have helped to paint a better picture of how CBD works in the body and the compound’s potential as a therapeutic agent.
While hemp-derived wholesale CBD products are legal, and people are already happily taking them to self-medicate their ailments, scientific research is imperative for the legitimization of CBD as mainstream medicine. Politicians, the media, and important bodies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) have already shown more receptiveness to CBD than psychoactive, THC-rich cannabis. Let’s put a focus on three important pieces of CBD research that have been carried out in recent times, but have perhaps not yet received the attention they deserve.
2018 Survey Shows Why People Are Using CBD
We know that there is a long list of reasons for taking CBD, and while some like to dismiss CBD products as a fad, the reality is that the compound can help with so much because of the endocannabinoid system’s (ECS) wide-ranging influence on the body. And now, thanks to a cross-sectional study by Jamie Corroon and Joy A. Phillips published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, a peer-reviewed journal, we have a good idea of what people are using CBD for.
This, the first study of its kind, involved 2,409 American CBD users, who submitted an anonymous questionnaire. The results found that more than 60 percent were using products as alternative medicine, 38 percent are taking them to improve general health and wellbeing. The survey also highlighted the broad appeal of CBD, with nearly 1,000 respondents stating that they were not regular cannabis users.
The leading reason for using CBD was to treat chronic pain, with nearly 30 percent selecting this option – although this could technically describe a number of conditions. Arthritis and joint pain came in second, with anxiety and depression at third and fourth. Allergies, nausea, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, migraines, and fibromyalgia came in lower down the list.
More than 900 respondents are taking their CBD sublingually with tincture oils, making it more popular than any other method. Sublingual absorption was closely followed by vaping and taking capsules.
CBD May Help to Treat Anxiety
Unfortunately, hardly anybody had heard about CBD back in 2011, when a ground-breaking study in Europe showcased the potential of this non-psychoactive cannabinoid to treat anxiety, and specifically public speaking anxiety, which is a form of social anxiety. However, with almost 20 percent of the adult American population affected by it each year, this research warrants our attention.
None of the 24 patients used in this investigation, which was featured in Neuropsychopharmacology, had any experience with anxiety medication, making them ideal candidates for the test. Half were administered a placebo treatment, while the other half got a 600mg dose of CBD in a capsule.
Following treatment, all participants took part in a simulated public speaking test, with their anticipatory speech and speech performance assessed – the former is the anxiety caused by an upcoming event, with the reading taken in the seconds leading up to the speech. The CBD helped to reduce anticipatory anxiety while promoting an improved speech performance.
The researchers suggested that CBD’s anxiolytic effects may be mediated in the serotonin system and not the ECS, at serotonin 1A receptors.
An Introduction to Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CED)
The identification of the ECS in the early 1990s has paved the way for research into the system itself. Since the turn of the millennium, a series of papers looking at the implications of a dysfunctional ECS have been published, authored by psychopharmacology researcher Dr. Ethan Russo.
Incredibly, these studies may have uncovered the root cause for both fibromyalgia and migraines, illnesses that have left scientists perplexed for decades. The ECS can only function well with optimum levels of endocannabinoids, and especially anandamide, a chemical that binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors, regulating mood, pain, inflammation, and more.
When endocannabinoids are not present in the necessary amounts, the ECS becomes dysfunctional, with the patient suffering from a proposed condition called Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CED). Russo’s research has continuously highlighted the medicinal potential of CBD wholesale and whole-plant cannabis. In the 2016 update, the study suggested that natural solutions are preferable to synthetic drugs, which may be too forceful.