Important CBD Reasearch: Addiction, Chronic Pain, Inflammation and Cancer in Research
Inflammation has been connected to a number of health conditions.
In a quick recap, CBD is a CO2 oil extract from organically grown industrial hemp from Europe. CBD is the the primary ‘NON-Psychoactive’ cannabinoid in Cannabis sativa, and not only is it legal in all 50 states, but the price has come down so it can be afforded by all.
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The body of data on CBD continues to grown, with scientific papers being produced on Chronic pain & inflammation, addiction and cancer. There appear to be multiple pathways which infammation production, as well as lessening the perception of pain. In terms of addiction, chronic pain is particularly of interest as often patients are treated with narcotic pain medications which can lead to addiction and abuse.*
CBD has been found to modulate and interact with many pathways including opiate pathways (pathways related to pain). CBD is able to bind to the opiate receptor (mu-opioid) in our brain that is a binding site for morphine and other pain relieving medications (5). As it binds to this receptor, it is able to modulate pain perception by activating the receptor and decreasing the sensation of pain (6). This is the same receptor that morphine acts upon and is able to yield the same pain relief without addiction.
CBD and Drug Addiction, in Addition to Pain Relievers
A brief picture of the MU/Opiod receptors in the Central Nervous System
Drug addiction is a common ailment, including alcoholism, cocaine addiction, tobacco and narcotic addition. Human studies have shown that it has been a potential positive indirect due to decrease stress vulnerability and brain toxicity (7). Studies have shown that CBD use has decreased morphine and cocaine use without or limited withdrawal symptoms of nausea, vomiting, hallucinations, and cold sweats (7).
CBD and Alcohol Withdrawal
CBD has also been used in alcohol withdrawal studies and has proven to alleviate withdrawal symptoms as well (8). Although the mechanism for alleviation of addiction is unknown, it is thought to be with regards to the reward behavior system in our brain due to the fact that CBD does work on dopaminergic pathways (9).
Research, CBD and Cancer
CBD has been shown to inhibit the progression of many types of cancer including glioblastoma (GBM), breast, lung, prostate and colon cancer (10). Although the mechanism for its mode of action is unknown, it has been proven that CBD does inhibit tumor cell growth, invasion, spread, and development even in late stages of cancer in human studies (11).
CBD & Anti-Inflammatory & Immune Response
Autoimmune disease and anti-inflammatory response go hand in had and often lead to pain. As mentioned above, pain management is one of the many therapeutic uses of CBD. However chronic pain does have other sources, especially with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
The big name players of these immune molecules are cytokines, Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha (TNF-Alpha), and interleukin factors. Administration of CBD has shown to inhibit the production of cytokines, which are inflammatory markers in our body that then lead to the signals to increase inflammation (12). Thus inhibiting cytokines leads to decreased inflammation and thus alleviates pain perception. CBD is able to do this through binding of CB1 and CB2 receptors and inhibiting the immune response (12).
CBD also has been shown to inhibit many interleukin factors and tumor necrosis factors (TNF’s) that are also responsible for inflammation and immune response. This pathway is not as well known and there are multiple different pathways and mechanisms purposed, unfortunately due to the abundance of CB2 receptors on peripheral tissues (tissues that are not the brain and spinal cord) and immune cells, CBD can modulate and inhibit the release of interleukin factors and TNFs that promote immune response and inflammation (12).
This is may be especially important for those afflicted with autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases are when the body’s immune response targets their own body’s produced cells that lead to inflammation and ultimately pain due to targeting their own body’s produced cells. Autoimmune diseases are typically treated with immune suppressing medications that often put these people at risk for other infections and illnesses due to being immune-compromised. CBD does not inhibit the body’s immune function from other pathogens and can be used as a therapeutic means of treatment for autoimmune diseases to alleviate flare-ups, inflammation, and pain.
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In conclusion, CBD has many therapeutic effects on all body systems, simply because cannabinoid receptors are located all throughout our body tissues, and since CBD works through the endo-cannabinoid system (our body’s own engogenous cannabinoid system), it is it appears to produce its effects by not only modulating our own endocannabinoids, but inhibiting inflammation responses through mechanisms not yet completely understood. Despite this grey areas of exact mechanisms, there are many proposed with significantly valuable evidence that is still being avidly researched today. Many of them deal with regulating and modulating our own endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-AG, and CB1 and CB2 receptors.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
1. FM Leweke, D Piomelli, F Pahlisch, D Muhl, C W Gerth, C Hoyer, J Klosterkotter, M Hellmich, and D Koethe. Cannabidiol enhances anandamide signaling and alleviates psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia. Transl Psychiatry. 2012 Mar; 2(3): e94
2. Stephen D Skaper and Vincenzo Di Marzo. Endocannabinoids in Nervous System Health and Disease: The Big Picture in a Nutshell. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2012 Dec 5; 367(1607): 3193–3200
3. Alline Cristina Campos, Fabricio Araujo Moreira, Felipe Villela Gomes, Elaine Aparecida Del Bel, and Francisco Silveira Guimaraes. Multiple Mechanisms Involved in the Large-Spectrum Therapeutic Potential of Cannabidiol in Pyschiatric Disorders. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2012 Dec 5; 367(1607): 3364–3378
4. Wolf SA, Bick-Sander A, Fabel K, Leal-Galicia P, Tauber S, Ramierz-Rodriguez G, Muller A, Melnick A, Waltinger TP, Ullrich O, Kempermann G. Cannabinoid Receptor CB1 Mediates Baseline and Activity-Induced Survival of New Neurons in Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis. Cell Commun Signal. 2010 Jun 17;8:12
5. Baron EP. Comprehensive Review of Medicinal Marijuana, Cannabinoids, and Therapeutic Implications in Medicine and Headache: What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been… Headache. 2015 May 25.
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2. Melissa Prud’homme, Romulus Cata, and Didier Jutras-Aswad. Cannabidiol as an Intervention for Addictive Behaviors: A Systematic Review of the Evidence. Subst Abuse. 2015; 9: 33–38
3. Zuardi AW, Crippa JA, Hallak JE, Moreira FA, Guimaraes FS. Cannabidiol, aCannabis sativa constituent, as an antipsychotic drug. Braz J Med Biol Res.2006;39(4):421–9
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5. McAllister SD, Soreceanu L, Desprez PY. The Antitumor Activity of Plant-Derived Non-Psychoactive Cannabinoids. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 2015 Jun;10(2):255-67
6. Sean D McAllister, Ryuichi Murase, Rigel T Christian, Darryl Lau, Anne J Zielinski, Juanita Allison, Carolina Almanza, Arash Pakdel, Jasmine Lee, Chandani Limbad, Yong Liu, Robert J Debs, Dan H Moore, And Pierre-Yves Desprez. Pathways Mediating the Effects of Cannabidiol on the Reduction of Breast Cancer Cell Proliferation, Invasion, and Metastatis. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2011 Aug; 129(1): 37–47.
12. Barbara L.F. Kaplan, Alison E.B. Springs, and Norbert E. Kaminski. The Profile of Immune Modulation by Cannabidiol (CBD) Involves Deregulation of Nuclear Factor of Activated T Cells (NFAT). Biochem Pharmacol. 2008 Sep 15; 76(6): 726–737..