Donald Abrams was a member of the committee that reviewed the evidence that went into producing the report, and he said that the studies they reviewed overwhelmingly used pharmaceutically available preparations that contain THC, including dronabinol, nabilone and the whole-plant extract spray nabiximols, which contains equal parts CBD and THC. It’s impossible to know whether the benefits of cannabis can also be obtained from CBD alone, Abrams said, because CBD is just one of 400 chemicals present in the plant. So far, CBD in isolation has been studied in only a handful of randomized, placebo-controlled trials (considered the gold standard of evidence in medical research), and the evidence remains sparse.
A report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published in the journal Pediatrics cautions pregnant women and nursing mothers to avoid marijuana use due to possible adverse developmental effects to their baby. In a study reviewed for the report, short-term exposure to CBD was found to increase the permeability of the placental barrier, potentially placing the fetus at risk from certain substances.
As you may know or as you may have forgotten (ha!) short term memory problems are really common with THC. That’s why the extremely funny, laugh-snorting joke you told last night is impossible to remember the next morning. Don’t worry, it probably wasn’t as funny as you thought it was last night. But a 2010 study found that CBD eliminates any memory loss problem from weed. In the study, researchers used plants bred for high CBD and low THC plants, and attributed this attenuation of memory loss to CBD’s role as a CB1 antagonist.
CBD exerts several actions in the brain that explain why it could be effective in treating anxiety. Before we dive in, it’s important to note that most research describing how CBD works is preclinical and based on animal studies. As the saying goes, “mice are not men” — and, results from animal studies don’t always neatly transfer to human therapies. However, preclinical studies provide insights that move us in the right direction:
At present, we have the following classification of cannabinoids: endocannabinoids (produced naturally in the body, mainly from fatty acid precursors), phytocannabinoids (compounds that have a plant origin, with the cannabis plant being the best-studied source of phytocannabinoids though not the only one), and artificial cannabinoids (created while studying THC, to garner the benefits of marijuana without the recreational component).
Spanish scientists via their animal studies found that CBD improves the transmission of 5-HT1A, which is a sub-type of receptor of serotonin hormone. It is known that medicines which target the body’s serotonin system can help treat some cases of depression and dealing with anxiety. This is the reason why pharmaceuticals companies have made SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors such as Zoloft and Prozac.
Cannabidiol oil is extracted from the varieties of cannabis plants that have CBD occurring naturally in large amounts and THC in low amounts. To ensure a high concentration of CBD in the oil, a specialized process is used to extract the compound. The oil contains other compounds like terpenes, omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, chlorophyll, vitamins, and phytocannabinoids like cannabigerol, cannabichromene, cannabidivarin, and cannabinol.