Cannabidiol (CBD), one of the major compounds of the cannabis plant, is currently having a moment in the sun, in great part thanks to the personal-care industry. Products like CBD creams, CBD oils, CBD tinctures, and even CBD gummies have become increasingly popular among consumers dedicated to personal wellness, who are attracted to CBD’s organic nature and apparent health benefits. But consumers aren’t the only ones who are rallying behind this miracle compound. Recent studies on the effects of CBD on the human body show that it not only helps to relieve pain, but that it can also alleviate cancer symptoms and certain side effects caused by chemotherapy, and concentrated CBD “induces cell death in human breast cancer cells.” Similarly, it relieves multiple sclerosis symptoms. For example, in a 47-person study, those treated with oral CBD for one month “experienced a significant improvement in pain, walking, and muscle spasm, compared to the placebo group.” Furthermore, CBD also lessens anxiety and depression more than pharmaceutical drugs, which have negative side effects like insomnia and sexual dysfunction, and it has also been effectively used as a treatment for seizures, as in the case of the 11-year-old Irish boy with epilepsy who went at least 300 days without a seizure following a CBD treatment.
All of this has led more and more doctors and medical professionals to rally behind CBD and other substances derived from cannabis as potentially viable and powerful solutions to a whole host of medical issues. Medical organizations are also slowly but steadily recognizing the versatility of cannabis compounds in treating some serious medical conditions and are supporting measures that would allow more research on CBD’s potential medical benefits to be conducted. Indeed, back on April 19, the Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee for the Food and Drug Administration met to discuss a new CBD oil solution drug application that would be used to treat rare forms of epilepsy. According to meeting minutes provided by the advisory committee, a unanimous vote of 13-0 was made by various doctors and medical professionals that the benefit-risk profile of cannabidiol is favorable for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. Also, the FDA recently approved a CBD medication called Epidiolex, which treats two forms of childhood epilepsy.
CBD is beginning to garner support within the medical community as well as within mainstream culture – and sometimes, within the intersection of both. Dr. Mehmet Oz, the host of the famous TV show, has come out in support of CBD treatments for a variety of medical conditions, especially as a treatment for epilepsy and as a pain reliever for cancer patients. Speaking about a friend of his who had recently died of metastatic bladder cancer, Oz says, “[CBD] changed his life. Instead of being on narcotics or completely in sleep all the time, he lived the last months of his life because he was on CBD to deal with the pain. It helped with cancer and anorexia.” He later adds, “I have never used it personally, but I have never had a chronic problem that wouldn’t be, well, manageable. I know of people, I’ve covered them on the show, that used CBD for their child’s seizures, and I have a very close family friend whose son had a traumatic brain injury. He couldn’t sleep, and he used CBD to help. And, I had a relative with cancer, breast cancer, who got relief from CBD.”
This support within the medical community for CBD is happening despite the contested legal status of cannabis in the United States and the interests of Big Pharma. “To deny a plant-based product that has helped thousands of people from seizures to cancer and to classify cannabis as a Schedule I drug are asinine,” says Dr. Cali Estes, founder of The Addictions Academy and author of I Married A Junkie: Put to the Ultimate Test by Addiction, Love, and Life, on the foggy legality of CBD. “The medical community needs to focus on the products that work, not just the synthetic Big Pharma drugs. We need to start curing the underlying cause of the problems, not just masking them with a drug.”
“CBD oil has no side effects and is all-natural and plant-derived. Prescribed medications are associated with Big Pharma, and full of additives and synthetics that can kill you,” Estes adds. “Once you start an anxiety med, like Xanax, coming off the drug will cause you more anxiety in the long run. Why not start with an all-natural remedy first? I think Big Pharma corporations will get on board and start manufacturing it to cash in on the profits. I see a decline in traditional medicine the way we know it, and an increase in natural therapies.”