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CBD's role in the homeostasis process

Cannabidiol is just the first step in a new direction that looks at the importance of homeostasis in a new light. But before we go any further, let's look into the homeostasis process and its role in human bodies.  

Homeostasis is a process controlling various conditions in our bodies, such as body temperature, water content, carbon dioxide level or blood sugar level, to provide constant internal environment balance. Below is the Wikipedia definition of damage to human body caused by homeostasis process failure:

An inability to maintain homeostasis may lead to death or a disease, a condition known as homeostatic imbalance. For instance, heart failure may occur when negative feedback mechanisms become overwhelmed and destructive positive feedback mechanisms take over. Other diseases which result from a homeostatic imbalance include diabetes, dehydration, hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, gout and any disease caused by the presence of a toxin in the bloodstream. Medical intervention can help restore homeostasis and possibly prevent permanent damage to the organs.

As you can see, the homeostasis process is essential for our survival. How does the CBD fit in?

The Endocannabinoid system has existed in almost every living organism from humans to animals and even some insects for millions of years. This universal system’s overall function is to regulate homeostasis within the body.

CBD or cannabidiol is created through the endocannabinoid system, making it one of the most naturally occurring chemicals within the human body. If you were breastfed as a child, that was most likely the last time you consumed CBD. CBD provides communication between varying types of cells within our bodies. These communications regulate certain cells to act in defense of the body. For example, if you are injured, CBD helps instruct cells on how to handle the injury.

Cannabidiol has shown that it affects the expression of genes involved in zinc homeostasis (zinc is a neurotoxin found in our body; zinc homeostasis plays a critical role in normal functioning of the brain and central nervous system) and suggest that the regulation of zinc levels could have an important role through which CBD may apply its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

This study found a direct interaction between VDAC1 (a protein involved in cell metabolism that is the major calcium ion transport channel and is implicated in cancer and Parkinson’s Disease) and cannabidiol, in which CBD markedly decreases the channel conductance. The interference of VDAC1 by CBD may be responsible for the immunosuppressive and anticancer effects of CBD.

Another perspective of cannabidiol - aromatherapy

CBD is one of the main therapeutic agents that helps treat one of the many symptoms/ diseases, like epilepsy, that are traditionally harder to treat with any current medicines. The other symptoms/ diseases also include rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), schizophrenia, neuropathic pain, seizures, convulsions and the list goes on. 

Since aromatherapy uses aromatic plant extracts and essential oils for healing purposes, it was only a matter of time before the health practitioners took a shine on CBD.

As we know, the fragrant essence of plants, including cannabis, comes from naturally occurring molecules, called terpenes. Terpenes are the main component of any plant resin or essential oils and play many important roles in the plant kingdom- from deterring insect predation, protection from environmental stresses and vitally, as chemical building blocks for more complex molecules, like cannabinoids, certain hormones, vitamins (Vitamin A), pigments and sterols.

Essential oils used in conventional aromatherapy derive from the extraction of these terpenes and their infusion into oils.

We are all familiar with cannabis as medicine or as a recreational drug, but the more subtle aspect of it being an aromatic plant goes too often unsaid. The herbs we use in our kitchen are considered aromatic plants because they contain a particular terpene profile that gives a distinctive flavor. Cannabis is so complex from this point of view that the possible terpene combinations are endless, creating a broad spectrum of aromas and flavors.

The diverse palate of cannabis flavors is impressive enough, but arguably the most fascinating characteristic of terpenes is their ability to interact synergistically with other compounds in the plant, like cannabinoids. This synergy has a scientific basis in our body’s endocannabinoid system. As we already know, CBD stimulates activity in ECS receptors (CB1 and CB2) without actually binding to them. This results in changes within any cells that contain either receptor. Because CB1 and CB2 receptors are present throughout the body, the effects of CBD are systemic.

Let's have a look at the video from Medical Cannabis Clinic Australia  perfectly explaining CBD's effects on the Endocannabinoid system:

 

 

 

CBD (Cannabidiol) studies around the world part 3

Cannabidiol Nausea Research

Cannabidiol has been shown to reduce vomiting and nausea-like behavior via a complex chemical mechanism that indirectly counteracts a certain group of autoreceptors in the human brain.

The first trials on cannabidiol’s effects on nausea were conducted on animals (mainly rats and shrews), and they found that CBD indeed seemed to suppress nausea and vomiting in those animals. However, since these animals were induced to nausea and vomiting via chemical means, it was still unclear how CBD would affect nausea induced by physical means or caused by illness.

However, more recent clinical studies conducted on human patients seem to confirm the above findings. Cannabidiol has been shown to regulate vomiting and reduce nausea-like symptoms in a wide range of illnesses. Additionally, CBD has also been shown to help alleviate chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting with surprising efficiency. This, combined with CBD’s pain relief and potential anti-carcinogenic properties, may one day lead to Cannabidiol being viewed as one of the most multi-faceted supplements to help patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Cannabidiol Pain Relief Research

Some doctors are now considering CBD to be an effective mild to moderately strong analgesic, prescribing Cannabidiol as a pain-reliever for patients with cancer-related pain, as well as other chronic pain such as central neuropathic pains.

While CBD’s pain-relief mechanisms are not yet fully understood, CBD is currently regarded as one of the safest cannabinoids and it has been shown to be effective against a number of cancer-related pains in numerous clinical trials.

CBD and other cannabinoids have also been shown to have effective analgesic properties for terminal cancer patients who have developed a resistance to strong opioid analgesics. This implies that Cannabidiol might be an effective alternative for pain relief even for patients whose bodies have become accustomed to high doses of powerful painkillers.

In certain cases, Cannabidiol is now regarded as a viable alternative to strong analgesics when it comes to chronic pain management. CBD is essentially a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (a simple analgesic) and as such, CBD solutions are less powerful than opioid-based analgesics, but are generally considered to have far fewer side effects than these strong painkillers.

Additionally, Cannabidiol is also considered a means of pain relief for acute pain as well. While its direct analgesic properties seem less potent than most opioid painkillers, CBD’s synergistic effects against inflammation may mean that it will actually be more efficient against inflammatory pain than conventional analgesics.

Finally, CBD has been shown to ease pain caused by some chemotherapy drugs (primarily in breast cancer patients), which helps patients tolerate chemo treatments more easily and with less pain-related side effects.

CBD (Cannabidiol) studies around the world part 2

In our previous article we talked about different studies concluded on CBD effects on anxiety, schizophrenia and arthritis. Let's look into Cannabidiol research on cancer and epilepsy.

Cannabidiol Cancer Research

Study on CBD effects on cancer concluded by researchers at California Pacific Medical Center in November 2007 found that CBD shows promise for controlling the spread of malignant breast tumors and even stalling metastasis (the process of cancerous cells spreading into different parts of the body) by “turning off” the activity of a gene responsible for tumor metastasis.

This research was followed by other numerous studies that have verified that cannabidiol exhibits some inhibitory effects on several types of cancer including breast cancer,colon cancer, certain types of brain tumors, leukemia and others. These results have been verified by dozens of scientific teams, although the exact inhibitory mechanisms are still unknown. Parallel to those studies, CBD has also been shown to inhibit benign tumor growth as well.

But there is more - CBD has been found to build up our body's ability to fight cancer! More specifically, CBD has been shown to induce programmed cell death in breast cancer cells by coordinating the cross-talk between two of our body’s defense mechanisms against cancer, apoptosis and autophagy. Apoptosis is the process of programmed cell death, while autophagy is the breakdown of individual cell components. Combined, these two processes weaken and destroy cancer cells.

Cannabidiol Epilepsy Research

Recent medical studies have shown that the use of Cannabidiol by patients with epilepsy might have a measurable, positive, and statistically significant effect in alleviating the symptoms and diminishing the seizures both in frequency and intensity. They are very important because they compare CBD’s effects on people suffering from epilepsy with healthy volunteers, giving a clear picture of how CBD affects the occurrence of seizures. However, the exact mechanism with which Cannabidiol inhibits epileptic seizures is still not fully understood.

While most studies on cannabidiol’s effects against epilepsy and seizures have been conducted on animals or even in vitro (in test tubes instead of in living organisms.), FDA-approved trials on human patients are already underway to examine whether Cannabidiol can be an effective treatment for epilepsy, especially among children. So far, the initial results have been most promising, but scientists are still conservative with regard to CBD’s potential to fully replace the most established anti-epileptic medications that are currently available to patients suffering from epilepsy or chronic seizures.

What's more, recent studies on children with epilepsy have shown a significant positive effect of CBD for use for treatment-resistant epilepsy, including a rare condition called Dravet’s syndrome, which causes epileptic seizures in children. These finds are critically important because treatment-resistant patients with epilepsy are often difficult cases where children respond weakly or not at all to conventional anti-epileptic medication.

 

CBD (Cannabidiol) studies around the world part 1

Cannabidiol (or its more common name 'CBD') has been attracting a great deal of attention recently.

CBD has shown nutritional potential for years, yet the taboo surrounding Cannabis has kept CBD well off the radar.

Now, that hemp has gained the reputation it deserves, it looks as though this little compound is finally poised for big market growth.

Let's look into the latest CBD research! 

Cannabidiol Anxiety Research

There have been many studies revering CBD to be an effective solution to anxiety , other studies promote its anti inflammatory qualities and there is even further studies proclaiming the potential for CBD as a powerful solution to epilepsy.

However, despite the early stage of many studies (some which are still very much at the pre-clinical stage), many doctors and medical organizations are already endorsing Cannabidiol as a low-risk treatment for anxiety, as well as exploring the possibilities of using CBD for more severe mood disorders closely related to anxiety, such as depression. 

Cannabidiol Antipsychotic Research

A preliminary clinical trial at the University of California–Irvine has concluded that CBD seems to treat schizophrenia as effectively as current antipsychotic medications, with far fewer side effects and at a lesser cost. Daniele Piomelli, a professor of pharmacology at the university and co-author of the study said, “The results were amazing, not only was [CBD] as effective as standard antipsychotics, but it was also essentially free of the typical side effects seen with antipsychotic drugs.”

Common side effects of antipsychotic drugs include social withdrawal, lack of motivation, and anxiety, all of which frequently occur in schizophrenia as well. Therefore, since those drugs can themselves cause some of schizophrenia’s symptoms, it is still unclear whether CBD is better at treating them or whether it is simply causing fewer of these side effects in the first place. This is the focus of many current studies on CBD’s properties.

Perhaps most interesting of all is the fact that CBD seems to counteract the psychotropic effects of THC, which has been shown to have strong correlation with psychosis when used long-term. Using CBD alongside THC seems to drastically lower the potential of the latter to cause psychosis, a fact that has taken many scientific teams by surprise.

Cannabidiol Arthritis Research 

Studies conducted in lab rats have shown that CBD drastically reduces a model of acute arthritis that applies to numerous different types of joint disorders. While these studies imply that CBD may only indirectly affect arthritis, the findings themselves are encouraging. Nonetheless, the exact mechanisms with which Cannabidiol interacts with arthritis are still not fully understood.

One other indirect benefit that CBD seems to have when administered for arthritis is that it has been shown to reduce the pain caused by several types of arthritis, including the prevalent rheumatoid arthritis. Still, it is not yet clear whether CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties or its analgesic effects play the biggest part in alleviating arthritis-induced pain. Some studies point toward both and if that is eventually proven, it may render CBD a widely accepted treatment for both arthritis and a host of arthritis-related pains.

How fast until we see CBD as a mainstream accepted way of giving up smoking?

A few weeks ago we wrote an article  explaining how cannabidiol (CBD) can help you quit smoking traditional cigarettes. Turns out that numerous studies have found a link between the nicotine addiction and the endocannabinoid system (ECS). Because ECS's receptors (CB1 and CB2) are known to bind with cannabinoids (such as CBD) they can successfully ease the smoking cessation symptoms associated with quitting!

It does sounds good, doesn't it? Especially if you are considering to switch to e-cigarettes - This will allow you to vape on a CBD based eLiquid (such as CBD Gold) to achieve even better results!

You would think that CBD will one day be available on prescription as a stop smoking aid...maybe one day ;)

But it's simply not that simple. 

Believe it or not, there are still countries where CBD is considered as a dangerous drug and therefore is illegal! The reason for that is because of this hair-raising word... 'cannabis'.

Cannabidiol is extracted from industrial hemp, and while hemp is a subspecies of the cannabis plant (Cannabis Sativa L.), in reality is has very little to do with the recreational cannabis known better as 'pot' or 'weed'.

The first (and most important) difference is that CBD is non psychoactive - it does not contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is responsible for getting you high! 

But there's more, what most people don't realise, is that most of us use hemp in our every day lives already. From clothing, to food, to a whole host of consumer and building products, not to mention in so many beauty and body care products, it's only slightly fair to call hemp a wonder crop. 

It is one of the fastest growing biomasses and requires little to no pesticides and no herbicides plus it naturally controls erosion of the topsoil, plus because of its super fast growing time it is also very efficient at cleaning unwanted CO2 out of the air and replacing it with good ol' oxygen that we all so know and love.

Unfortunately, despite the enormous benefits that come from hemp, our society still associates hemp with the 'out of date' connotations of pot. However this is gradually changing, possibly due to the numerous studies clearly stating that both, CBD and hemp in general have indeed a lot to offer with very little side effects.

Considering all that, we will one day see CBD as a mainstream accepted way of quitting smoking, how long depends on the flexibility of vape culture thinking. One things for sure and that 'change is constant' and the faster the word spreads the faster change happens.

 

  • John Yoda