Cannabis used to be quite the mystery. A hundred years ago, all scientists really knew was that cannabis plants produced chemicals which interacted with our bodies in strange, sometimes unpleasant ways.
Over the years, however, researchers have been devoting more and more time to the study of cannabis and the way it interacts with humans and animals. During their research, they found that cannabis produces more than 100 chemical compounds called “cannabinoids.” They found that these cannabinoids are able to cause changes in the body due to their interactions with a previously undiscovered body system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS for short).
The more they studied these things, the better they began to understand cannabis and its mechanisms. They realized that cannabis produces two plants, marijuana and hemp, and that these two plants generate cannabinoids in varying levels. They also found that some of these compounds created by cannabis plants (such as CBD) can have amazing health benefits.
Every day scientists learn more about cannabinoids and the health benefits they can provide. New studies are published every year that further support the medicinal benefits of CBD.
If you would like to read some of these studies for yourself, then you are in luck! We’ve compiled some of the best academic and peer-reviewed articles available. While we can’t attach direct links to these articles, we will provide the web address for each one so you can copy and paste them into your browser for further reading.
An Introduction to CBD
CBD is one of the most important cannabinoids out there. It has been linked to a variety of positive health benefits and medicinal uses. Unlike THC (the cannabinoid produced primarily by marijuana,) CBD products are legal nationwide – making them easily accessible to nearly everyone in the United States.
While most of the research on this page relates in some way to CBD, here are a few studies which specifically discuss CBD.
Cannabinoids in Health and Disease is an article by Natalya M. Kogan published in 2007. One of the oldest articles in our list, this article dives into CBD and other cannabinoids to describe the way they interact with the ECS. It also discusses therapeutic uses of different cannabinoids in obesity, anorexia, asthma, and a variety of other conditions.
Cannabidiol: From an Inactive Cannabinoid to A Drug with Wide Spectrum of Action is an article published in 2008 by author Zuardi AW. This article discusses our ever-evolving understanding of CBD from 1940 to the present age. This is an excellent article to read if you are interested in learning more about the history of CBD and the general effects it has on the human body.
Research and the Endocannabinoid System
Our understanding of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is arguably much younger than our understanding of CBD. While CBD was first extracted from cannabis in the 1940s, scientists didn’t realize that the endocannabinoid system existed until the 1990s.
If you want to learn more about the ECS, An Introduction to the Endogenous Cannabinoid System may be a good place to start. This article was published in 2015 and focuses on endocannabinoids and the way the ECS interacts with the body. It primarily focuses on the endocannabinoids our body produces, but also discusses the CB1 and CB2 receptors which are responsible for the way CBD and other cannabinoids interact with the body. This is a great article to get a grasp on the way this system works.
For a more detailed overview of the way cannabinoids interact with the ECS, read Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System by Zou S. and Kumar U. This article was published in 2018 and gives an updated analysis of cannabis, cannabinoids, the ECS, and they way they all work together.
Pain and Inflammation
One of the most common uses of CBD is for the treatment of pain and inflammation. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system to help regulate the signals being sent from pain receptors throughout the body. When ingested CBD soothes the body to reduce pain and cut down on inflammation.
The Endocannabinoid System, Cannabinoids, and Pain was published in 2013 and does an excellent job outlining how both temporary and chronic pain affects our body and mood. The authors provide an overview of the endocannabinoid system, cannabinoids and the way they interact with the body. This is an excellent article that is written in easily understandable terms if you want to know more about CBD and how it can help regulate pain.
For those wanting more information about how CBD can potentially help with inflammation, this 2015 article may be the perfect resource. Transdermal Cannabidiol Reduces Inflammation and Pain-Related Behaviors in a Rat Model of Arthritis, describes how CBD, when applied topically as an ointment, can help reduce pain and inflammation – especially associated with arthritis.
Mood Disorders and CBD
One of the most interesting and highly sought-after uses for CBD is its ability to help sooth the side-effects of certain mood disorders. CBD has been shown to help those with anxiety. Because CBD can help regulate serotonin and dopamine levels, it shows a lot of promise as a potential treatment for these conditions.
In a case report titled, Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Oil for Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia, a ten-year-old girl was given doses of CBD as a way to treat her anxiety and sleeplessness. She took no other prescription medications during the trial. By the end of the study, the girl showed significant signs of improvement which researchers attributed to the CBD.
The article Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders goes into great detail about the endocannabinoid system, ECS receptors, and CBD in relation to different types of anxiety. It also discusses various clinical trials in which CBD was used to treat anxiety disorders.
Art: Have the second bit of art here. Maybe have a stack of books, an article open on the computer, or something similar (Feel free to run with your own idea that may be more appropriate). Include the text, “Scientists are learning more and more about these topics every day. There are hundreds of articles about CBD, cannabinoids, and the endocannabinoid system available.”
There are hundreds of academic articles about CBD, the ECS, and cannabinoids available online. In case we didn’t cover a topic you were looking for, here are some additional resources for your convenience. To learn more about CBD and its effects, visit our website here.
Morgan, C. J., Das, R. K., Joyce, A., Curran, H. V., & Kamboj, S. K. (2013). Cannabidiol reduces cigarette consumption in tobacco smokers: preliminary findings. Addictive Behaviors, 38(9):2433. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23685330
Nagarkatti, P., Pandey, R., Rieder, S. A., Hegde, V. L., & Nagarkatti, M. (2009). Cannabinoids as novel anti-inflammatory drugs. Future medicinal chemistry, 1(7), 1333–1349. doi:10.4155/fmc.09.93
Jorge, L. L., Feres, C. C., & Teles, V. E. (2010). Topical preparations for pain relief: efficacy and patient adherence. Journal of pain research, 4, 11–24. doi:10.2147/JPR.S9492
Babson, K. A., Sottile, J., Morabito, D. (2017). Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: A Review of the Literature. Curr Psychiatry Rep, 19: 23. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-017-0775-9
Vigil, J. M., Stith, S. S., Diviant, J. P., Brockelman, F., Keeling, K., Hall, B. (2018). Effectiveness of Raw, Natural Medical Cannabis Flower for Treating Insomnia under Naturalistic Conditions. Medicines, 11;5(3). https://www.mdpi.com/2305-6320/5/3/75
Shannon, S., & Opila-Lehman, J. (2016). Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Oil for Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia as Part of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report. The Permanente Journal, 20(4), 108–111. http://doi.org/10.7812/TPP/16-005
Zuardi, A.W. (2008). Cannabidiol: from an inactive cannabinoid to a drug with wide spectrum of action. Rev Bras Psiquiatr, 30(3), 271-280. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18833429
Blessing, E. M., Steenkamp, M. M., Manzanares, J., & Marmar, C. R. (2015). Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders. Neurotherapeutics, 12(4), 825–836. http://doi.org/10.1007/s13311-015-0387-1
Morgan, C. J., Freeman, T. P., Schafer, G. L., & Curran, H. V. (2010). Cannabidiol attenuates the appetitive effects of Delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol in humans smoking their chosen cannabis. Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 35(9), 1879–1885. doi:10.1038/npp.2010.58
Liput, D. J., Hammell, D. C., Stinchcomb, A. L., & Nixon, K. (2013). Transdermal delivery of cannabidiol attenuates binge alcohol-induced neurodegeneration in a rodent model of an alcohol use disorder. Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior, 111, 120–127. doi:10.1016/j.pbb.2013.08.013
Morgan, C. J., Das, R. K., Joyce, A., Curran, H. V., & Kamboj, S. K. (2013). Cannabidiol reduces cigarette consumption in tobacco smokers: preliminary findings. Addictive Behaviors, 38(9):2433.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23685330
Callén, L., Moreno, E., Barroso-Chinea, P., Moreno-Delgado, D., Cortés, A., Mallol, J., … McCormick, P. J. (2012). Cannabinoid Receptors CB1 and CB2Form Functional Heteromers in Brain. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 287(25), 20851–20865. http://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M111.335273
Zou, S., & Kumar, U. (2018). Cannabinoid Receptors and the Endocannabinoid System: Signaling and Function in the Central Nervous System. International journal of molecular sciences, 19(3), 833. doi:10.3390/ijms19030833
Lu, H. C., & Mackie, K. (2015). An Introduction to the Endogenous Cannabinoid System. Biological psychiatry, 79(7), 516–525. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.07.028
Fine, P. G., & Rosenfeld, M. J. (2013). The endocannabinoid system, cannabinoids, and pain. Rambam Maimonides medical journal, 4(4), e0022. doi:10.5041/RMMJ.10129
Kogan, N. M., & Mechoulam, R. (2007). Cannabinoids in health and disease. Dialogues in clinical neuroscience, 9(4), 413–430.
Hammell, D. C., Zhang, L. P., Ma, F., Abshire, S. M., McIlwrath, S. L., Stinchcomb, A. L., & Westlund, K. N. (2016). Transdermal cannabidiol reduces inflammation and pain-related behaviours in a rat model of arthritis. European journal of pain (London, England), 20(6), 936–948. doi:10.1002/ejp.818