Cannabis research, part 2

As I told you in last week’s blog, research is being done when it comes to CBD, hemp and cannabis. Most of what I wrote about took place in 2016 or earlier. But, this year, a number of studies and research have already been published, not all of them related to the health benefits of this trio.

In fact, one study outlined the value hemp would have not only as a source of healthful food but for industrial products as well as products made from fiber. Fuel is also a potential market. Heck, some companies are experimenting with using hemp for beer or vodka. But, most important is the sustainability of hemp and growing it. It actually nourishes the soil it’s grown in and doesn’t require pesticides or copious amounts of water during a dry spell. Essentially, it’s an eco-friendly product that would be a valuable economic boost for many industries because of its low cost to produce and maintain, plus the varied ways it can be used.

CBD and aging

From a health standpoint, a study published in February indicated that an aging demographic has discovered CBD to relieve pain. Of the study participants, 75 percent had never used CBD in any form. Patients used it for pain-related cancer conditions and Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, and Crohn’s disease. It was also beneficial for patients using it for chemotherapy side effects and inflammatory diseases. The result was that 93.7 percent of participants reported reduced symptoms after using it for six months.

In addition, another study published in Brain Research Bulletin showed that CBD helped protect against iron overload, which can damage the brain in an aging population. An accumulation of iron in the aging brain is thought to contribute to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. It also can lead to brain inflammation. Rather than eliminate the iron, introduction of CBD helped the mitochondrial system protect the brain against damage.

CBD and cancer prevention

Two studies indicated that prophylactic use of CBD could help people avoid certain cancers. A study of the balance of THC, the psychoactive property of cannabis, and CBD was effective in preventing colon cancer. Austrian researchers found that when activated, CB1 receptors, present in every body, can suppress tumors by blocking the GPR55 receptors that promote tumors.

Another study showed similar results with CBD for preventing endometrial cancer. Scientists in Portugal found that CBD killed cancerous cells but not with CB1 and CB2 receptors as you might think.  Instead it activated TRPV1 receptors. TRPV1 receptors are known to be one of CBD’s many targets, but are not activated by THC.

CBD for reduction of opioid use

We’ve all heard about the opioid epidemic. But, the pain-relieving benefits of cannabis can reduce the amount of opioids needed to control pain. A double-blinded, placebo-controlled study showed that cannabis can help replace opioids or significantly reduce opioid use for pain relief.

CBD and autism

Recently the Ray and Tye Noorda Foundation gave $4.7 to the University of California San Diego. Researchers there will study whether medicinal cannabinoid therapies can alleviate symptoms in children with severe autism—and if so, how.

There you have it. Work is being done. Not necessarily in the United States where even nonpsychoactive hemp is branded as a Schedule 1 narcotic. But it is being done—in more enlightened countries.

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