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CBD has proven effective as a treatment for several serious conditions.

CBD has proven effective as a treatment for several serious conditions.

Even if you don’t know else anything about cannabis, you’ve probably heard of THC. The acronym stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, which is an active chemical found in cannabis resin and is mainly responsible for the psychoactive effects (“high”) that are traditionally associated with the plant. THC gets most of the spotlight, but there are over 100 other active chemicals (collectively called cannabinoids) in the same resin. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of these substances, and it has become of special interest because it appears to have many important medical applications but no direct psychoactive effects.
CBD has proven effective as a treatment for several serious conditions. Young patients with severe forms of epilepsy that are notoriously difficult to treat experienced a reduction in seizure frequency after being administered the chemical [1]. Schizophrenia is another complex disorder that appears to respond positively to CBD treatment [2], standing in stark contrast to THC, which is known to provoke psychotic episodes and cognitive impairment. Newly emerging research also suggests that CBD can be helpful in the treatment of some cancers [3] and autoimmune disorders [4]. It may even have neuroprotective properties that can help preserve brain cell function [5]. Accordingly, CBD is becoming a medical research priority as resistance to cannabis testing dissipates.
Much of the concern about using cannabis in medicine is the risk of unwanted psychoactive effects. This problem is largely avoided with CBD because the substance is not psychoactive, basically meaning that it doesn’t get you “high”. It can be effortlessly extracted from cannabis, separated from the other cannabinoids (including the highly psychoactive THC) and processed into several concentrated forms that may be consumed orally (ex: oil in a capsule) or otherwise (ex: inhalable vapor). Certain cannabis strains are known to have relatively high concentrations of CBD, making them ideal choices for extraction purposes. Overall, CBD holds great promise as an easily obtainable yet multifaceted tool in several aspects of healthcare.

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References
[1] http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laneur/article/PIIS1474-4422(15)00379-8/abstract
[2] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0920996415000638
[3] http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/76/14_Supplement/3544.short
[4] http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/26772776
[5] http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acsmedchemlett.6b00009

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