The National Institute of Health has stated that people have been using cannabis products to treat their health conditions for over 3,000 years. However, many people, including the Food and Drug Administration, do not believe it to be effective or safe in the treatment of most medical conditions. They do agree however that a substance called cannabidiol (CBD), which is present in cannabis, is effective in treating some cases of epilepsy and may be useful for people with other health conditions.
The tension between belief that cannabidiol used to treat a number of ailments and a lack of scientific knowledge has been increased over the last few years by a drive towards legalization. Below, we look at some of the scientific evidence that suggests CBD has medical benefits and the potential health risks associated with using it. Quite simply, is CBD good or bad?
The Medical Benefits of Cannabidiol
Recent studies have suggested that cannabidiol may have a number of medical benefits in the treatment of some conditions. These include:
- Chronic pain – a recent review from the National Academies of Sciences, Medicine and Engineering looked at 10,000 studies on the benefits of using cannabidiol. The review noticed that cannabis, or products that contained cannabinoids like CBD, are effective at reducing or relieving chronic pain.
- Epilepsy – In June 2018, the use of CBD in products such as those produced by Minny Grown was approved to treat two severe, rare, and specific types of epilepsy. CBD isn’t psychoactive. A recent study found that CBD helped reduce the number of seizures a person suffered from.
- Alcohol or drug addiction – another recent review found that cannabidiol could be used to help people with opioid or alcohol dependencies to reduce and fight their addictions. However, other reviews have suggested that users who took THC instead of CBD increase the risk of abuse and becoming dependent on other substances. Many of these studies suggested that if the CBD was only used for a short period of time, it could help reduce this risk.
- Depression, social anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder – a review published in Clinical Psychology looked at the use of CBD to treat symptoms of mental illness. They found that CBD could be used to help relieve some of the symptoms associated with depression and other mental illnesses. They do state that these types of products may not be suitable for conditions like psychosis or bipolar disorder.
- Cancer – there is evidence to suggest that CBD can help reduce or get rid of nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy treatment. Some studies have also suggested that cannabinoids might be able to slow down the growth of some types of cancer.
- Multiple Sclerosis – cannabinoid use has been shown to improve symptoms of spasticity for people who suffer from multiple sclerosis.
Possible Side Effects of Cannabis
There are lots of reasons why people with health conditions use CBD but there may be a few negatives to using it including:
- Mental health problems – consuming this on a regular basis can increase the chances of suffering from a mental illness.
- Respiratory disease – a study has shown that regular consumption may lead to a chronic cough.
Is Cannabis Good or Bad?
There’s a lot of evidence that shows both the health benefits and possible negatives of using cannabidiol. Yet, despite all of the evidence, it’s clear that we still need to complete more research before we know the full picture of the health benefits and risks associated with CBD use.
If you’re one of the thousands of people who live in a state where medical cannabis or CBD is legal then you will need to think about the pros and cons and how they relate to your health condition before using this drug. CBD has been shown to have some amazing benefits so you should definitely look into it some more.