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World Health Organization Findings on CBD

Cannabidiol, CBD, is one of the many beneficial compounds originated from the Cannabis and Hemp plants.  Due to its origin, researching on CBD has been a challenge, and thus scientific results are much more limited than other drugs.

However, the World Health Organization recently published their report on CBD, and confirmed the many uses for CBD.

Download Report (PDF)

Summary

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the naturally occurring cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. It is a 21-carbon terpenophenolic compound which is formed following decarboxylation from a cannabidiolic acid precursor, although it can also be produced synthetically.

CBD can be converted to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) under experimental conditions; however, this does not appear to occur to any significant effect in patients undergoing CBD treatment.

In experimental models of abuse liability, CBD appears to have little effect on conditioned place preference or intracranial self-stimulation. In an animal drug discrimination model, CBD failed to substitute for THC. In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential.

CBD has been demonstrated as an effective treatment of epilepsy in several clinical trials, with one pure CBD product (Epidiolex®) just got approved by the FDA. There is also preliminary evidence that CBD may be a useful treatment for a number of other medical conditions.

CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile. Reported adverse effects may be as a result of drug-drug interactions between CBD and patients’ existing medications.

Several countries have modified their national controls to accommodate CBD as a medicinal product.

To date, there is no evidence of recreational uses of CBD or any public health-related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.

Overview of diseases for which CBD may have therapeutic benefits taken from Pisanti et al (2017)

Disease

Effects

Alzheimer’s disease

Antinflammatory, antioxidant, antiapoptotic in in vitro and in vivo models of Aβ-evoked neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative responses.

Parkinson’s disease

Attenuation of the dopaminergic impairment in vivo; neuroprotection; improvement of psychiatric rating and reduction of agitation, nightmare and aggressive behaviour in patients.

Multiple sclerosis

Improved signs of EAE in mice, antinflammatory and immunomodulatory properties.

Huntington’s disease

Neuroprotective and antioxidant in mice transgenic models; no significant clinically important differences in patients.

Hypoxia-ischemia injury

Short term neuroprotective effects; inhibition of excitotoxicity, oxidative stress and inflammation in vitro and in rodent models.

Analgesic effect in patients with neuropathic pain resistant to other treatments.

Psychosis

Attenuation of the behavioural and glial changes in animal models of schizophrenia; anti-psychotic properties on ketamine-induced symptoms

Anxiety

Reduction of muscular tension, restlessness, fatigue, problems in concentration, improvement of social interactions in rodent models of anxiety and stress; reduced social anxiety in patients.

Depression

Anti-depressant effect in genetic rodent model of depression.

Antiproliferative and anti-invasive actions in a large range of cancer types; induction of autophagy-mediated cancer cell death; chemopreventive effects.

Suppression of nausea and conditioned gaping in rats

Inflammatory diseases

Antinflammatory properties in several in vitro and in vivo models; inhibition of inflammatory cytokines and pathways.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Inhibition of TNF-α in an animal model

Infection

Activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus

Inflammatory bowel and Crohn’s diseases

Inhibition of macrophage recruitment and TNF-α secretion in vivo and ex vivo; reduction in disease activity index in Crohn’s patients.

Cardiovascular diseases

Reduced infarct size through anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in vitro and in vivo.

Diabetic complications

Attenuation of fibrosis and myocardial dysfunction

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