Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a cannabinoid (like THC), and is the second most prevalent constituent of the cannabis plant. CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid compound. It is not associated with the mind-altering effects of the cannabis plant such as THC. Cannabidiol occurs naturally in the cannabis plant but in significantly less quantities than THC. In the past, CBD was nearly bred out of cannabis plants by growers who sought to satisfy those looking for the more mind-altering effects of THC. Cannabidiol was not sought after by cannabis consumers until research indicated that it may be responsible for a vast number of the medical benefits offered by the cannabis plant and its components.
In recent years, CBD has been the subject of a plethora of research studies to determine its part in the effectiveness of cannabis as medicine. The results have been more than promising. Research shows CBD plays a significant role in nearly every aspect of the medical benefits of cannabis. There are research studies showing CBD as a safe and effective antimicrobial compound when battling bacterial infections like MRSA, Clostridium difficile and others. In a time when bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to pharmaceutical antibiotics, CBD is an opportunity for healing that has yet to be fully explored. Cannabidiol also has research indicating neurological benefits. Some research indicates that CBD could act as a neuroprotective agent. There are also numerous cases reporting the ability of CBD to drastically reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures, even in treatment-resistant cases of epilepsy such as Dravet syndrome.
As far as other neurological issues are concerned, there has even been a study suggesting that CBD may prove effective in the management of dyskinesia associated with Parkinson’s disease. There needs to be more research conducted to determine whether or not CBD is a treatment option for those with Parkinson’s, but the earliest research is promising. CBD research also indicates a variety of benefits for those dealing with schizophrenia, social anxiety disorder, and depression. The existing research indicates that CBD may be as effective as typical antipsychotics in treating schizophrenia, without the side effects posed by normal pharmaceutical medication. That in addition to current research which suggests CBD may reduce anxiety in social anxiety disorder and have antidepressant effects for those who are depressed supports the merit of Cannabidiol as medicine for neurological conditions.
Cancer research has also seen advancements thanks to the scientific community’s increased understanding of cannabinoids like CBD. Research trials completed in late 2007 suggest that CBD would be effective in controlling or reducing the spread of metastatic breast cancer. Although the research has not produced a full-scale, publicized clinical trial, the methods by which cannabidiol is able to successfully induce apoptosis (cell death) in cancer cells are being understood more completely every day. Cannabidiol is an amazingly unique cannabinoid with medicinal properties that researchers are only beginning to completely understand.