Lately we see many advertisements on TV or radio talking about the benefits of CBD for our health, from creams, pills for menstrual pain, cocoa for bruises, etc… but what exactly is CBD and how does it work? What are its real benefits? And its consequences?
Cannabidiol is a compound found naturally in herbal plants. As such, it can be converted into THC both naturally and artificially. The toxic effects of THC are well known, both organically and mentally, and it is considered an illegal drug because of the consequences it has on people’s health (addiction, psychosis, delirium, secondary depression, apathy…).
However, another of the main components of hemp (although in plants it is found in smaller proportion than THC), is CBD, whose main effect is the reduction of pain, without causing (when taken as the only element) dependence or addiction. Much is beginning to be said about its possible multiple benefits, but what about the consequences? Let’s take into consideration what the latest study published by the World Health Organization comments. We should start by mentioning that on its own it seems to have positive effects, or rather an absence of negative effects, although it is also seen that it produces adverse consequences when consumed together with other medications (prescribed or not).
In addition, it has been observed that there are two conditions under which it can be transformed into THC or illegal psychotropic. One is through laboratory experimentation, while the other is determined naturally by the personal digestive process when CBD is administered in pill form, which does not seem to occur when administered in oil form. In any case, the research is recent and further studies are still required to determine the veracity of the results found so far.
On the other hand, although the same negative effects as THC are not observed, it does have health effects (both positive and negative), such as:
- Affects the growth of tumor cells, not occurring in non-tumor cells.
- Pro-apoptotic effect on lymphocytes.
- The effect on embryonic development is not known.
- There are studies with contradictory results regarding the influence on hormonal changes, where some studies show negative effects, while others show no effects of any kind.
- No effects are observed at low doses, although they are observed at high doses, in terms of behavioral alterations.
- Some studies show suppression of the immune system at high doses, while other studies show that at lower doses it improves it.
- Mixed with other medications, it impairs the performance of the prescribed drug.
- It does not generate tolerance or dependence.
The most extensive studies of the benefits of CBD focus on the treatment of epilepsy. In these cases, its positive use has been demonstrated in some types of epilepsy, using pure CBD currently in phase III experimentation. In double-blind studies, half of the patients stopped having epileptic episodes (always taken in conjunction with their usual mediation), in another case these episodes were reduced, while in the last patient there was no change in the number of epileptic seizures.
In another study in the case of treatment-resistant epilepsy, adverse effects were even observed in some of the cases, such as drowsiness, reduced appetite, diarrhea or vomiting, and even abnormal liver function. However, it is being assessed whether these adverse effects are due only to CBD or to the mixture with antiepileptic medication, and more studies are needed to determine this, although in any case, more positive than negative effects are expected, hence the possibility of its approval in this type of disease.
Taking into account these results, its effectiveness is being evaluated in other medical conditions, such as ischemia, for the treatment of anxiety, as an antipsychotic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, or antitumor, but clinical trials are less advanced, or show little scientific evidence. It is also valued to continue with its studies for more severe diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatism, or Crohn’s Disease, which so far are very scarce or results are not congruent.
Currently CBD is not on the list of drugs approved by the World Health Organization, and there is no legal authorization for its recreational or medical use. Scientific data and results should be taken into account and, detractors or not, consider that science advances, and that the objective should always be the health of the person, and not its deterioration.
Medical hemp” and the creams and other products that are on sale today, do not have an effective and valid scientific basis that demonstrates its benefits, so it should be assessed and be clear about the risk that exists when using it without any kind of control. It is important to be informed about its use, and to be especially careful in the case of suffering from a more severe disease, especially when under another type of pharmacological prescription.
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