Learn About CBD
Welcome to our CBD medical information archive, where you can explore research, treatments, and therapies for various health conditions. Our aim is to offer a comprehensive online resource for both patients and healthcare professionals, emphasizing evidence-based research and practical guidance.
The Medical Uses of CBD & Cannabis: An Introduction
Bone, Muscles, Tissues
Medical Uses of CBD & Cannabis
Cannabis has a long history as a medicinal remedy in various countries, including the United States. In 1854, the U.S. Dispensatory recommended cannabis tinctures for a wide range of conditions such as depression, neuralgia, hemorrhage, pain, and muscle spasms.
Six years later, the Ohio Medical Society published a positive report on cannabis, stating its potential benefits for numerous ailments including epilepsy, infantile convulsions, dysmenorrhea, hysteria, delirium tremens, mania, palsy, whooping cough, asthma, nervous rheumatism, chronic bronchitis, tetanus, and more.
Dr. Tod Mikuriya, a key figure in the effort to legalize therapeutic marijuana in California in 1996, compiled a comprehensive list of chronic conditions that could potentially be treated with cannabis. Drawing from his experience with thousands of patients and insights from other physicians, Mikuriya suggested that cannabis therapy might have potential benefits for nearly 300 diseases.
You might wonder how one herb like cannabis could be considered a viable treatment for such a wide range of diseases. It's natural to be skeptical of these claims.
Snake Oil or Serious Medicine?
There's a solid scientific basis for understanding the therapeutic uses of marijuana. Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), found in cannabis, mimic and enhance the effects of compounds naturally produced in our bodies, known as endocannabinoids. These endocannabinoids are part of our "endocannabinoid system," which regulates various physiological processes.
When the endocannabinoid system malfunctions, it can negatively affect our health. Extensive research shows that it is dysregulated in many diseases. According to leading scientists at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, modulating the endocannabinoid system's activity could be therapeutic for a wide range of human conditions, including obesity, diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders, inflammation, heart issues, gastrointestinal problems, skin conditions, pain, mental health disorders, and more.
CBD and THC, by influencing the endocannabinoid system and enhancing its function, can potentially slow or even halt the progression of these diseases. Despite this, the federal government does not recognize the medical value of cannabis, classifying it as a Schedule I substance with no medical use. Instead, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledges the medical potential of isolated CBD and THC molecules, approving them as prescription medications.
The FDA doesn't approve plants as medicine, so cannabis product-makers cannot make medical claims about their products because herbal cannabis is not FDA-approved. This creates a challenging situation for cannabis businesses, as they cannot market their products by specifying their intended uses.
Federal policy promotes the pharmaceuticalization of individual cannabis components, hindering clinical research on the whole plant and its full-spectrum derivatives, which could validate their therapeutic benefits. Prohibitionists exploit this lack of clinically relevant research to argue that there isn't enough evidence to support cannabis as a disease modifier.
Cannabis components confer various effects through multiple molecular pathways, and real-world evidence suggests its efficacy for many diseases.
Extensive preclinical research, often sponsored by the government, explains how various components of cannabis produce different effects through multiple pathways. Additionally, there's plenty of anecdotal evidence from doctors and dispensaries in states with medical cannabis.
Although this real-world evidence doesn't meet the gold standard of double-blind, randomized clinical trials, it's still valuable because cannabis works differently from single-molecule interventions by Big Pharma. Clinical trials are important but may not be the best way to understand the medical value of a complex plant like cannabis.
A Collective Effort
Amidst a surge of interest in CBD and cannabis therapeutics, Project CBD is aggregating condition-specific data from various sources – patients, care-givers, health professionals, historical literature, and peer-reviewed science reports from Pub Med, the online repository of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. We are engaged in an ongoing effort to gather and share pragmatic information relevant to the following areas:
How the endocannabinoid system is dysregulated in each disease category
What types of cannabinoid remedies are optimal for specific maladies
CBD:THC ratios and dosage guidance
Which terpene profiles are indicated or contra-indicated for different conditions
Other holistic healing modalities that may complement cannabis therapeutics
Much of the research culled from PubMed consists of preclinical abstracts that focus on single-molecule cannabinoids, animal models, and in some cases human cell-line experiments. Although all mammals have cell receptors that respond to cannabis compounds, data from animal studies are not necessarily applicable to human experience.