Cannabis is a historic, multidimensional, and sometimes controversial plant. Its versatility and usefulness have propelled cannabis into all kinds of industries and products, especially in the medical field.
What to know about cannabis
There’s a lot of science behind understanding cannabis, but we’ll do our best to simplify it: Cannabis is made up of more than 120 components, which are known as cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), are the two most well-known and researched cannabinoids. THC is responsible for the “high” that many people associate with cannabis, while CBD is a non-intoxicating, non-euphoric component, which you may have seen in the form of oils, gummies, drinks and other products for medical purposes.
How can CBD be used to benefit health?
There’s no doubt that CBD has become quite popular and has generated a new industry — you can even earn a degree in Cannabis Entrepreneurship* here at JWU. While researchers are still working to understand how effectively CBD can be used for medical purposes, there have already been a lot of promising results. Here are seven ways that CBD has been proven to benefit health.
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1. Lowering blood pressure
A study conducted by JCI Insight in 2017 found that CBD lowered the blood pressure of human participants. It reduced their resting blood pressure as well as their blood pressure after stress tests including mental arithmetic, isometric exercise, and the cold pressor test.
2. Reducing inflammation
CBD has been proven to help reduce inflammation and the neuropathic pain it can cause, according to a study by the Rockefeller Institute of Medical Research.
3. Preventing relapse in drug and alcohol addiction
A 2018 study discovered that CBD can be useful in helping people who suffer from drug and alcohol addiction. A preclinical trial with lab rats determined that CBD reduced the stress-induced cravings, anxiety and lack of impulse control that often cause people to relapse.
4. Treating anxiety disorders
Anxiety is perhaps the most common affliction that people have used CBD for, and a preclinical study found that CBD could be effective in treating generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
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5. Treating gastrointestinal (GI) disorders
A recent study found that CBD and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids can effectively be used to prevent and treat GI disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis and more. CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties are key to reducing and preventing symptoms.
6. Preventing seizures
Decades of research have gone into using CBD to treat epilepsy and other seizure syndromes, and a recent study showed it can have positive effects in reducing symptoms and seizure frequency.
7. Fighting cancer
Not only has CBD been used to help alleviate the effects of chemotherapy, but studies have also found it can prevent cell growth and induce cell death in cervical cancer cell lines and it has numerous anti-cancer effects that can help prevent a variety of cancers, treat tumors, and benefit the immune system.
Beyond these seven benefits, there are even more still being researched and tested. It’s our hope that students in our new Cannabis Entrepreneurship program will play a key role in building the future of this industry.