CBD - In Context
Traditionally, and by design, the pharmaceutical industry is very limited. Each year, billions of dollars are invested in research for the development of new drugs. However, despite such huge material resources, many of the products that are delivered prove inadequate. As is typical of prescription drugs, the list of potentially negative side-effects often outweighs the purposes for which they are prescribed.
For many conditions, as is the case with anxiety, responsiveness to medication is not a given. Conditions such as this derive from a broad spectrum of causality, with the manifestation of varying symptoms depending on the nature of the individual. Given the huge diversity among cause and effect between subjects, the pharmaceutical industry's traditional 'one-size-fits-all' approach to solutions are often inaccurate and ill-conceived.
For centuries it has been widely understood that many chemical derivatives of the cannabis plant have therapeutic value. In fact, modern science is rapidly acquiescing to this trend with mounting empirical proof delivered through concrete and distilled argument. The discovery of therapeutic value of the chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant, in this instance 'cannabinoids', is leading to increased global engagement, knowledge and awareness of their potential health benefits. There are over 80 cannabinoids in cannabis, and each strain has its own unique chemical blend that creates distinct effects.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is no exception. CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, meaning it is not associated with the euphoria, or 'high', that is typically associated with cannabis use. Unlike Tetrahydrocannabinol, or 'THC' (the psychoactive compound causing the 'high'), CBD can be administered at relatively high doses without undesired psychological side-effects. CBD has proven to be a powerful anti-epileptic, anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory, anti-nauseate and muscle relaxant.
Studies that have applied animal models of anxiety and involving healthy volunteers have revealed that CBD reduces anxiety in patients with social anxiety disorder. Many academics also suggest that it may be effective for panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
For example, a 2011 study aimed at comparing the effects of a simulated public speaking test on healthy control patients and treatment-native patients with social anxiety disorder. A total of 24 never-treated patients with social anxiety disorder were given CBD 1.5 hours before the test. The research found that prior treatment with CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance.
Whether the UK government will ever truly appreciate the immense potential of CBD administration still remains to be seen. However, any resistance to the legal cannabis market is likely to come under intense public scrutiny as the momentum behind empirical support continues to crumble the stigma associated with non-psychoactive cannabis derivatives.
"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act”.
- Orwell, G. 1984.
Editor's note: I am not a doctor. This article makes neither any attempt to diagnose or treat any health condition, nor offer medical advice. CBD is not a 'cure', it is a very complex chemical derived from an infinitely more complex organic article. Please employ your own critical investigation and independent thought, and explore this fascinating topic for yourself.