By Kashton Foley
CBD. If Cannabis has brought you to this article you have undoubtedly heard of this three-letter acronym. What is CBD though? Does it work and what is it working for? CBD stands for Cannabadiol, which behind THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the most prevalent active molecule in the Cannabis plant. In order to get to the CBD that most people are using in the U.S. the original molecule, CBDA “cannabidiolic acid”, it must be decarboxylated or heated up which removes the acid. Unlike THC, CBD does not cause the intoxicating euphoric effects most commonly thought of when talking about the Cannabis plant. The lack of euphoric effects has made this molecule widely about to the general public, but where is all of the data and how does it work?
The endocannabinoid system or ECS for short is the human body’s physiological system that is made up of receptors (amongst other biological molecules) and where the Cannabis plant’s active molecules interact with the human body. The two most studied receptors, CB1(Nervous System receptors) and CB2(Immune system and Nervous System receptors), are where CBD interacts with the body. Unlike THC, CBD is able to interact with both CB1 and CB2 receptors. This means that as a potential medicine CBD has promise as a therapy for not only the nervous system, but also physical conditions and symptoms.
Does it work? The simple answer is Yes. Take for example the FDA’s approval of Epidiolex, which is an almost pure CBD pharmaceutical grade drug used for seizures. People are finding relief both anecdotally and alongside a medical professional for several other conditions and symptoms. Pain and inflammation are two of the symptoms most treated with CBD and also two that show some of the most promise for finding relief with CBD. Because of this promise the general public has largely been self-medicating with CBD for a range of ailments.
In lieu of clinical research clearing the way for medical doctors to be able to precisely prescribe CBD products to relieve specific systems data, more specifically BIG Data, shows some clear patterns of symptoms that CBD is relieving. Strainprint Technologies Inc. has the largest real-word evidence database in the world of patient reported outcomes from Cannabis use, with over 350,000 patient reported outcomes that stem from CBD-Only Products.
Over 25% of Strainprint’s overall database holds efficacy records from CBD-only products. This large of an observational study allows both doctors and patients to utilize aggregated data to understand which products are working best for which symptoms and potentially what active minor cannabinoids/ terpenes are common in effective products. The data is showing that muscle pain is the symptom that has the most tracked session (at 14% of CBD-only sessions) with CBD-Only products by around 10,000 more sessions than the next two symptoms CBD-only products are most used for. Anxiety(11% of CBD-Only sessions), Joint pain(11% of CBD-Only sessions), and inflammation(10% of CBD-Only sessions), round out the top four symptoms that patients are utilizing CBD-only products for, but this contradicts some of the data showing what it is best for.
Strainprint’s data is collected in the model of a stage 4 real-world evidence trial and collects an efficacy score for products against symptoms. This efficacy score shows the percentage of relief or symptom improvement a product brings a patient by taking a score of 1-10 before and after use. Looking into this data muscle pain and inflammation show the lowest level of efficacy for the top 4 most treated symptoms at 25% and 22% efficacy respectively. Both of those efficacy scores nearly double where a slight amount of THC and other minor cannabinoids are active in product chemical profiles. This suggests that a person’s ECS, who has muscle pain and/or inflammation, may have a further interaction with other active molecules outside of CBD which can make products more effective for those symptoms. There is a large amount of promise for CBD in psychological symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, and challenge concentrating. These three symptoms have been shown to be the most efficacious with efficacy at 47% for irritability and 46% for both anxiety and challenge concentrating. Suggesting that more people seeking relief from these symptoms should try CBD-only products. CBD products are showing promise of relief with less side effects than other over the counter drugs, but Strainprint’s data shows that not all symptoms are finding the same level of relief. Patients should make sure to track their usage with Strainprint and consult a medical professional when utilizing CBD products.
For more information, visit strainprint.ca.