Although the exact mechanism and magnitude of effects of THC and CBD are not fully understood, CBD has been shown to have analgesic, anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant, anxiolytic, neuroprotective, anti-oxidant, and anti-psychotic activity. This wide variety of effects is likely due to it's complex pharmacological mechanisms. In addition to binding to CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system, there is evidence that CBD activates 5-HT1A serotonergic and TRPV1–2 vanilloid receptors, antagonizes alpha-1 adrenergic and µ-opioid receptors, inhibits synaptosomal uptake of noradrenaline, dopamine, serotonin and gaminobutyric acid and cellular uptake of anandamide, acts on mitochondria Ca2 stores, blocks low-voltage-activated (T-type) Ca2 channels, stimulates activity of the inhibitory glycine-receptor, and inhibits activity of fatty amide hydrolase (FAAH) [1, 2].
As the benefits of CBD continue to become known, growers are modifying their crops to account for more cannabidiol and less tetrahydrocannabinol to create stronger medicinal plants. Some politicians believe that all plants with THC should be kept illegal, and as CBD plants become more commonly produced, doctors remind them that both compounds have certain benefits to be had by patients. The anti-nausea and appetite stimulating properties of THC make it an optimal treatment for some patients, depending upon their conditions and symptoms. Research also shows that the two compounds work best when together.
CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), by itself it does not cause a “high.” According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
Now 13, Jackson — whose diagnosis is undetermined — continues to use marijuana every day. (Like many patients, he ingests it in droplet form, which allows for more precise dosing and avoids lung problems.) He still has seizures, but they are less severe and they occur once every week or two, down from around 200 a month before he started using cannabis. He is back in school full time and is well enough to go on hikes and bike rides with his family.