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How CBD affects chronic diseases?

How CBD affects chronic diseases?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is often equated with the active substance tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). In fact, there is a big difference here, even though both substances have a very positive effect on chronic diseases. While CBD is completely legally available, THC cannot be bought legally, as this substance falls under narcotics. This is because THC has an intoxicating effect and is therefore illegal. CBD, on the other hand, does not have an intoxicating effect and is therefore an alternative for chronic diseases.

What are chronic diseases?

Chronic illnesses are illnesses that persist constantly and are not completely cured. As a result, permanent treatment becomes necessary. Chronic diseases include, for example, cancer, dementia, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, chronic respiratory diseases as well as rheumatism, arthrosis or Crohn's disease, and Bekhterev's disease. 

Chronic diseases are among the most common causes of death worldwide. However, this is also due to demographic development, as most older people suffer from chronic diseases.

How can CBD help with chronic diseases?

CBD has many different benefits for body, mind and soul and can therefore help not only with physical but also with psychological complaints. It affects sleep, pain, appetite as well as mood. But cannabidiol also has an influence on the skin and the immune system. Thus, it can be used effectively in chronic diseases and alleviate complaints.

CBD for chronic skin diseases

The human body has the so-called endocannabinoid system, to which receptors are connected. These receptors are distributed throughout the body and are found in the brain as well as in the cells of the immune system, in the spleen, in the gastrointestinal tract as well as in other organs. CBD can dock onto these receptors when ingested and have a positive effect on the body. Researchers therefore suspect a multifaceted mode of action on the skin, as cannabidiol is also said to affect certain skin structures, among others. These include the keratinocytes, fibroblasts as well as the cutaneous nerve fibres that keep the tissue elastic and produce melanin. Melanocytes are also said to react to various cannabinoids. 

This may then contribute to CBD's effect on various chronic skin conditions such as eczema, acne, psoriasis or even neurodermatitis.[1] At the same time, there is evidence of an anti-inflammatory effect, which means that CBD can reduce the inflammatory skin reaction. CBD can also block the interleukins, i.e. the body's own messenger substances, so that no inflammation is triggered in the first place. [2]

CBD for chronic pain

CBD is known to be an effective aid for pain. By interacting with the endocannabinoid system and the associated receptors, cannabidiol can have a positive influence on pain of all kinds. Besides migraine or headaches, CBD also has the advantage of alleviating the symptoms of rheumatism, arthritis or even chronic back pain. In many forums, it can be read that migraine sufferers have been able to significantly reduce their migraine attacks and that the severity of the attacks has also been reduced. They report that after taking the medication for about 6 months, migraine attacks only started twice - before taking the medication, they started monthly. 

Even though the studies here are still very thin, it still shows that CBD is extremely promising. This was also proven in a study from 2018. [3]

CBD for cancer

CBD has promising potential and, as a study from 2018 [4] shows, is supposed to have a positive effect on cancer and inhibit the growth of the tumour. But not only that, cannabidiol also has a very diverse effect during cancer therapy. Among other things, it can reduce pain or alleviate nausea and vomiting. Especially during chemotherapy, most patients suffer from inflammation of the mucous membranes. CBD also has a good effect here and can relieve inflammation. 

However, it must also be said that mainly medical cannabis is used here. Medical cannabis is a combination of THC and CBD and is individually adapted to the patient. Unfortunately, medical cannabis is not yet available in all clinics, which is why CBD can be used where doctors still refuse. 

CBD continues to work against stress, can produce a calming effect and also helps with sleep problems and depression. In this way, the patient can be built up not only psychologically but also physically.

CBD for other chronic diseases

Cannabidiol can also be used to treat many other chronic diseases. For example, it has been proven that the active ingredient of the hemp plant has an antispasmodic effect, which is why CBD oil can be used for multiple sclerosis [5], epilepsy [6] or gastrointestinal complaints [7]. At the same time, CBD is also said to help in neurodegenerative diseases to stop the disease a little, as CBD protects the nerve cells. But again, there needs to be a lot more studies and research to back all this up. 

CBD as well as THC can provide relief for chronic diseases. However, it of course depends on what disease it is. The legally available CBD oils are already a milestone, as they have virtually no side effects and are usually 100% natural. This alone is a great advantage compared to the drugs from conventional medicine, which have many side effects and unfortunately often lead to dependence and a habituation effect. This is not the case with CBD oil, which is why it can always be an alternative for complaints. Nevertheless, the intake of CBD oil should be clarified with the attending physician, as there can always be interactions with other medications.

Sources:

[1] Gupta AK, Talukder M. Cannabinoids for skin diseases and hair regrowth. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2021 Sep;20(9):2703-2711. doi: 10.1111/jocd.14352. Epub 2021 Aug 7. PMID: 34363728.

[2] Atalay S, Jarocka-Karpowicz I, Skrzydlewska E. Antioxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol. Antioxidants (Basel). 2019 Dec 25;9(1):21. doi: 10.3390/antiox9010021. PMID: 31881765; PMCID: PMC7023045.

[3] Baron EP. Medicinal Properties of Cannabinoids, Terpenes, and Flavonoids in Cannabis, and Benefits in Migraine, Headache, and Pain: An Update on Current Evidence and Cannabis Science. Headache. 2018 Jul;58(7):1139-1186. doi: 10.1111/head.13345. PMID: 30152161.

[4] Pellati F, Borgonetti V, Brighenti V, Biagi M, Benvenuti S, Corsi L. Cannabis sativa L. and Nonpsychoactive Cannabinoids: Their Chemistry and Role against Oxidative Stress, Inflammation, and Cancer. Biomed Res Int. 2018 Dec 4;2018:1691428. doi: 10.1155/2018/1691428. PMID: 30627539; PMCID: PMC6304621.

[5] Fraguas-Sánchez AI, Torres-Suárez AI. Medical Use of Cannabinoids. Drugs. 2018 Nov;78(16):1665-1703. doi: 10.1007/s40265-018-0996-1. PMID: 30374797.

[6] Lattanzi S, Brigo F, Trinka E, Zaccara G, Cagnetti C, Del Giovane C, Silvestrini M. Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol in Epilepsy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Drugs. 2018 Nov;78(17):1791-1804. doi: 10.1007/s40265-018-0992-5. PMID: 30390221.

[7] Kienzl M, Storr M, Schicho R. Cannabinoids and Opioids in the Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. Clin Transl Gastroenterol. 2020 Jan;11(1):e00120. doi: 10.14309/ctg.0000000000000120. PMID: 31899693; PMCID: PMC7056045.

 


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