…and their importance in today’s health needs!
For the first time ever, we can say that several medical trials are being carried out to determine the benefits of CBD, and even THC, for humans.
A few years ago, these components were only considered for terminal patients, but now their many benefits are being explored for their possible applications in treatments of different conditions, both for children and adults. Furthermore, they are no longer being looked into as a last resort for terminal patients, but as a first option for conditions like epilepsy, autism, asthma, and even for cancer itself, not just for its symptoms.
Some CBD clinical trials and studies of immense importance that have been or are being carried out, are:
1. CBD for Epilepsy
It’s no wonder, epilepsy is getting the most attention when it comes to CBD clinical trials, since, over the past decade, there have been countless cases of epilepsy patients who have benefited from CBD oil.
This study, carried out by the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the UM School of Pharmacy, aims to determine the benefits and safety of a CBD based medication for children with severe forms of epilepsy. And, though this trial still treats CBD as a last resort, qualifying it as “compassionate care”, it will be an amazing contribution for the medical community.
Ole Miss has an interesting history with cannabis. It was the first authorized cannabis grower for scientific research purposes, though the FDA recently opened up the possibility for other growers to become authorized. Since this is still a controlled substance, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) oversees the production and gives out the authorizations every year.
Why did CBD Clinical trials for epilepsy take so long to occur?
In most cases of severe epileptic disorders, the children who suffer from it usually don’t survive long enough to become adults. The goal with treatment is usually to prolong life expectancy and to maintain life skills (speaking, walking, eating) for as long as possible.
Though cannabis and CBD in particular have been shown to do wonders for these children, the social stigma and legal implications of giving it to minors have put a lot of pressure on parents and health professionals, and limit their options.
2. CBD for Asthma
Asthma is an allergic, inflammatory condition that affects the airways, and more than 26 million people in the U.S. suffer from it.
Together with the Hebrew University, an Israeli company is developing a cannabis based treatment for asthma that will benefit both children and adults. The researchers decided to look into CBD due to its well known anti inflammatory properties, though it might also have an effect on the allergic reaction itself, via the immune system. The idea with this research is to develop a supplement in tablet or inhaler form, that will be accessible to everyone.
Cases of severe asthma have been labeled as an “unmet clinical needs” by the World Health Organization, since it is usually treated with corticosteroids, which some people are resistant to, and from 1990 to 2015, the number of asthma cases doubled, which generates the need for better treatments, preferably natural ones that don’t produce harmful side effects. This is where CBD comes in.
3. Movement Disorders
At the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California San Diego, a CBD trial will be carried out this year to establish possible beneficial effects of cannabis in a common movement disorder known as essential tremor (ET), which is characterized by involuntary shaking. However, if the results are positive, it is likely to have beneficial effects on all disorders of this type. This trial will focus on CBD and will include a low dose of THC.
Movement disorders, like essential tremor, Parkinson’s, dystonia, among others, affect around 42 million people in the U.S. They alter daily life and are extremely likely to cause anxiety and depression; so CBD shows promise as a treatment for people who suffer from this type of conditions, though so far research has been leaning particularly towards Parkinson’s, since it is so debilitating.
4. CBD for MS
Studies show that CBD reduces symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, such as fatigue, pain, inflammation, depression and spasticity, while increasing mobility.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks the protective layers of the nerve fibers and spinal cord, causing failures in the nervous system’s communication to the brain. It can cause numbness, electric shock sensation, and mobility issues, among several other symptoms that significantly affect life and cause disability.
A trial was conducted in 2005, which demonstrated cannabis’ effectiveness at treating pain in patients suffering from MS, and a specific trial was carried out in order to compare the efficacy of two cannabis based medications for MS.
The positive results in these trials are probably due to the role of the endocannabinoid system in multiple sclerosis, which has been established by scientific studies.
CBD is being looked into for its possible ability to treat endometriosis, an illness that affects about 180 million women in the world, and occurs when the lining of the uterus grows in other places around the pelvis, ovaries, or Fallopian tubes.
A new lab in Israel, set up by Israeli doctors with the purpose of carrying out medical research about cannabis’ medicinal properties, will begin an intensive study about the way CBD can benefit patients who suffer from endometriosis, since CBD has been proven to regulate the immune system, even preventing the spread of the disease.
The doctors commented on the current information there is about this particular illness, and stated that a lot more research is needed in order to understand how cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system relate to it.
6. CBD Clinical trials for Anorexia
The Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research of UCSD has been pushing medical research forward, which is good news for everyone whose health could be benefited by CBD.
They will soo launch a trial that specifically looks into the effect of CBD in Adult Anorexia Nervosa, for which there is currently no proven medical treatment.
Cannabis has been observed to aid with anorexia for its appetite enhancing properties, and most of the effect has been attributed to THC. However, CBD shows significant promise in this area, since it not only targets appetite, but also helps reduce anxiety and depression, which are the core of eating disorders.
7. CBD for Early Psychosis
Though cannabis is usually not recommended for schizophrenia or psychosis in general, CBD on its own has shown anti psychotic properties.
A trial will begin in order to determine if the component can reduce symptoms and improve cognitive function in patients with early psychosis. It will also look into the biological response to stress, and the effect of CBD in eating behavior, which is altered by anti psychotic medication.
8. CBD Clinical Trials for Anxiety
An extensive clinical study that was carried out in 2015, evaluated CBD’s anxiolytic properties and its effect on anxiety related disorders. It was determined that CBD shows a broad range of potential relevant to the treatment of different symptoms of anxiety disorders, and has the advantage of not producing detrimental side effects even at higher doses.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, and around 40 million adults are affected by them. However, less than 40% of sufferers are receiving treatment for them.
In the past decades, CBD’s beneficial effects in neuropsychiatric disorders has been observed by the medical community through anecdotal evidence and scientific studies, which brings a lot of hope for the development of a successful medical cannabis-based treatment for these conditions.
9. CBD Clinical Trials for Chronic Pain
CBD has shown great promise for pain management, but specifically for chronic pain, it could even be considered a breakthrough.
This current study is examining the effects of both CBD and THC on chronic pain in adults (18-50 yrs.) and it’s related symptoms, and aims to compare the effects of different doses of THC/CBD, in order to determine the best combination. Hopefully this will shed more light on the individual and combined effects of these two cannabinoids.
Chronic pain sufferers develop depression, anxiety and are constantly troubled by inflammation. CBD has the potential of treating all of these issues with little to no side effects, which would allow chronic pain sufferers to have more active lives and care for themselves a lot better.
10. CBD Clinical Trials for Fibromyalgia
A medical study in 2016, suggested that clinical endocannabinoid deficiency could be the cause of chronic pain disorders and other illnesses, such as fibromyalgia, which shows the most evidence of having relation to this issue.
Significantly lower levels of endocannabinoids like anandamide in cerebrospinal fluid were seen in patients suffering from chronic pain. However, several CBD trials for fibromyalgia are still needed in order to determine its benefits, which could be several, since a common treatment for the condition are antidepressants, and it is currently known that CBD and antidepressants share some of their benefits, though work in a completely different way.
This trial showed that most patients experienced reduction of pain and stiffness in as little as two hours after they consumed the cannabis solution. And the beneficial effects were much higher in the ones taking the real cannabis than the control group.
The results concluded that cannabis is much more effective than the different prescription meds currently being indicated for fibromyalgia. Though it’s clear that it requires standardization and regulation for it to be as effective as possible.
Prospects for the future…
Thanks to all these medical studies and trials, we’re finally beginning to learn about the different benefits and possibilities that CBD and cannabis have when it comes to our health and well-being.
The world is currently dealing with an increasing number of medical conditions that are no longer deadly, but that affect quality of life significantly, since they reduce people’s ability to care for themselves and lead a full life.
CBD is showing a lot of promise in medical terms for the near future, not just for adults, but for children who suffer from debilitating conditions. So we’ll see…