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As medical marijuana continues to attract daily headlines, a certain by product of the plant is beginning to get its well-deserved attention. Cannabidiol (pronounced canna-bid-eye-ol) better known as “CBD” is the compound found in the cannabis plant that is showing the most signs for medical treatment. A cousin of the compound Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC), the compound found in marijuana that gives users the “high” feeling, CBD provides the benefits to patients without the buzz.

First discovered in 1940, CBD was labelled as “toxic” by the University of Illinois scientists that first isolated the compound. Since then however, CBD has been studied more and more and has moved through the ranks from being a pariah to being known as the drug of the future.

Studies are beginning to showcase the many potential benefits of CBD:

Pain:

Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, CBD has been shown to penetrate the parts of the body responsible for pain and relieve patients. One well known drug, Sativex, that is approved in several countries, uses CBD and THC together to relieve pain in patients with Multiple Sclerosis.

Heart Health:

In a 2017 study, doctors found that CBD reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers.[1] Allow these result needs to be studied more, it gives a possibility that CBD can reduce the risks that come with high blood pressure, such as stroke and heart attacks.
Acne:

One study found that CBD oil prevents sebaceous gland cells, from overproducing the oily secretion “sebum” which is partly responsible for acne, as well as producing anti-inflammatory effects on the glands. [2]
Reduce Anxiety and Depression:

In a 2011 study, researchers split 24 people with Social Anxiety Disorder into two groups of 12, giving one group a placebo and the other CBD. When both groups were put to a public speaking test, the group given CBD showcased much less anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort. [3]
Cancer-Related Symptoms:

177 Patients receiving cancer treatment who experienced inadequate pain relief despite chronic opioid use were put into a study and either given CBD or a placebo. Those who received the CBD showed a reduction of more than 30% from a baseline pain rating score when compared to those with a placebo. [4]

Neuroprotective Properties:

Arguably the most famous benefit of CBD is its promising results in treating those with both adult and childhood epilepsy. In one 2016 study, epileptic patients who were given CBD oil based on their weight and showcased a median seizure reduction of 36.5% [5]
In children with Dravet Syndrome, a childhood epilepsy disorder, a 2017 study showcased a median reduction of convulsive seizures from 12.4 per month to 5.9 per month when given CBD oil. [6]

Although CBD must continue to be studied to effectively prove without doubt its medical benefits, early studies have been very promising and are opening doors to a wildly different view of CBD from that of the past.
[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5470879/
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27094344
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3079847/
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19896326
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26724101
[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28538134
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