We take prescription and over-the-counter drugs because we believe they are the best options to make us better, and in the case of the former, that belief is rubber-stamped with the approval of a doctor.
However, many drugs – and even those we take often – are not without their drawbacks. Some present a high risk of addiction, while others can subject the patient to some pretty nasty side effects.
In contrast, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been much more complimentary about an emerging treatment and, believe it or not, one that comes from the cannabis plant: cannabidiol (CBD).
CBD is non-psychoactive and is well-tolerated in doses of up to 1000mg a day, and doesn’t cause impairment, tiredness or tolerance issues. The WHO has noted that CBD has no abuse potential when taken “in its pure state.”
Let’s look more closely at how CBD’s natural health benefits could be harnessed to reduce dependency on leading pharmaceutical drugs.
Opioid-based painkillers have been the first choice for doctors to relieve chronic pain for many years. While there is little dispute as to how effective these drugs are at treating pain, there is also no doubt that they are highly addictive and are causing thousands of deaths by overdose each year, in America alone.
However, scientific research on CBD and other types of medical cannabis for pain indicate that these can have a strong analgesic effect, like opioids, but without so many downsides.
In addition to the studies which show CBD interacting with various receptors to soothe pain, a giant survey of CBD users found that pain was the most common reason for using products.
So, if opioids aren’t really working for you, it may be worth trialling CBD wholesale, either as a solo treatment or in combination with your current medication.
Aspirin is perhaps the most well-known anti-inflammatory drug on the market, and it can be purchased over-the-counter in supermarkets and convenience stores. However, aspirin is part of a class of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which are not without their issues. NSAIDs leave the user at a greater risk of stomach bleeding and getting stomach ulcers. Furthermore, a 2018 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that taking a daily aspirin may be doing elderly people more harm than good.
CBD also has powerful anti-inflammatory qualities, and do not have the potentially serious side effects that NSAIDs do. This may be thanks to the more natural mechanism that CBD functions in to calm inflammation – activating the CB2 receptor in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), via the endocannabinoid anandamide.
Antidepressant drugs have barely changed since the 1980s, when selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) were brought to market. Drugs like Prozac were supposed to treat low mood by preventing the breakdown of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of wellbeing.
However, researchers are not fully sure of serotonin’s role (or how SSRIs work), but it’s seemingly more complex than we know. It’s therefore no surprise that SSRIs aren’t beneficial for everybody. Another negative of these drugs is that they don’t start showing benefits until the patient has been taking them for at least two weeks.
There is a growing consensus that neuroinflammation could be a cause of treatment-resistant depression, and that to manage this, a drug capable of neurogenesis, such as CBD, may be necessary.
Studies on animals that have investigated the influence of CBD on the depression have shown that the substance can improve mood from the first dose, and that a single intake of CBD is enough to produce sustained antidepressant effects, for up to one week.
More research will bring clarity to the therapeutic potential of CBD for depression, but some people are already benefitting from CBD edibles wholesale and other products.
Antipsychotic drugs used to treat psychosis, schizophrenia and other severe mental disorders are far from perfect. Even though they may offer some symptom management, restlessness, shakiness, jaw movement and sleepiness are all commonly-reported side effects.
But CBD has potent antipsychotic properties, which work through a fascinating mechanism. Cannabis may be a psychoactive plant, but CBD is a component of it which reduces psychoactive effects, by marginalising activity at the CB1 receptor in the ECS.
In a review of the existing literature on the antipsychotic properties of CBD, the author suggested that more studies are required to establish why the compound can trigger this therapeutic benefit, but that current evidence indicates CBD could be a future drug option for both psychosis and schizophrenia.