The Ultimate

CBD Guide 2020

Cannabis is a plant that is currently hotly debated among two groups of people. There is a group that believes that the plant is a virtual miracle drug; and then, there are people who believe it is an illicit narcotic with no medical use. When considering the medicinal value of cannabis, we must first look at the history of using cannabis as medicine.


A Brief History of Medical Cannabis

Cannabis has been used as a medicine for thousands of years. One of the first recorded uses of cannabis in medicine was 2737 BCE by Emperor Shen Neng of China. Between 23 and 79 BCE Pliny the Elder, a Roman author, whose work The Natural History mentions marijuana’s analgesic effects.

In 70 BCE Dioscorides, a physician in Nero’s army, has a Pharmacopoeia that lists marijuana as a medicine. Between 130-200 CE the Greek physician Galen began prescribing medical marijuana. In 200 CE, Chinese surgeon Hua T’o uses marijuana as an anesthetic. By 1563 the Portuguese physician reported on marijuana’s medicinal effects. Chinese Li Shih-Chen wrote of the antiemetic and antibiotic effects of cannabis in 1578.

In 1621, Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy makes the suggestion that marijuana may treat depression. By 1840, medical preparations with cannabis as a base are available in America. From 1850-1915 cannabis was widely used throughout the United States as a medicine and could easily be purchased from pharmacies and general stores.
However, in 1914, the Harrison Act made the use of marijuana use of a crime. In 1915, California became the first U.S. state to prohibit cannabis. The 1937 Marijuana Tax Act criminalized the drug.
In a change of opinion, California became the first U.S. state to legalize the medical use of marijuana in 1996. 

What is CBD?

There are hundreds of cannabinoids that are found in marijuana. However, the two most prevalent are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). THC is the primary psychoactive element, producing the euphoric high that is often associated with cannabis consumption. In contrast, CBD is non-psychoactive and may help to balance out some of the psychoactive effects of THC.  

What is CBD

It’s important to note that medical marijuana often focuses on whole plant therapy, which means the use of the entire plant. This is because of the entourage effect, which means that CBD, THC, and other compounds found in the plant work better together rather than separately.

However, because cannabis is still a Schedule I drug in the U.S. and therefore technically illegal, many have started to investigate the benefits of CBD alone, especially with the 2018 Farm Bill, which made legal the cultivation of hemp, a prime source of CBD. 

What Different Forms Can CBD Come In?

The most abundant source of CBD is the hemp plant. It generally contains minute amounts of THC, making it popular among those who do not want the psychoactive effects. There are several ways that CBD can be processed for consumption.


CBD oil is pure oil that is extracted from the leaves, seeds, and flowers of the cannabis or hemp plant. From there, the CBD oil can be used as a tincture, mixed into foods or drinks, put into a capsule, or vaporized.

CBD Flower

There are two kinds of CBD flower. One is from the hemp plant, which can be smoked or vaporized or cooked into edible treats. The other comes from a strain of cannabis plant that is specifically bred to be high in CBD as opposed to THC. However, for those who are concerned about drug testing, high CBD strains still have enough THC to show up on a screening. 

What Conditions Can CBD Help to Treat?

In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a medication derived from pure CBD called Epidolex. The drug is intended to treat children with seizure conditions such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Beyond prescribing or recommending CBD for types of epilepsy, there are some other potential conditions that CBD can help and a few studies to back up the claims.

CBD for Acne

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, an estimated 40 to 50 million adults have acne. Further, 40% of teens develop acne scarring. Those suffering from the condition often look to prescription medication and over the counter topical remedies. Adjusting the diet can also be effective in the treatment of acne. CBD may also be a treatment for acne according to one study. CBD helped to reduce both inflammation and the production of sebum, which contribute to the outbreak of acne.

CBD for Addiction

Addiction is one of the major medical conditions causing concern in society today. One of the most concerning addictions is the addiction to opiates. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 21 to 29% of those prescribed opioid pain relievers for chronic pain misuse them. 8 to 12% develop an opioid misuse disorder. Of those, 4 to 6 percent will move to heroin. As many as 80% of those who misuse opioid pain relievers eventually turn to heroin. This has led to an increase in heroin overdoses.

CBD for Addiction

Studies indicate that CBD treatment can help those addicted to opioids or heroin. In an experimental rat model, it was discovered that CBD may be a potential treatment for heroin cravings and relapse. Another study showed that in patients who are using methadone treatment for opiate addiction, cannabis proved a stabilizing effect, particularly during the induction process.

Nicotine is yet another highly addictive substance. According to the CDC, in 2018, there were 34.2 American adults who reported smoking. Among those, approximately 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease. One study had preliminary findings that CBD therapy helped people who smoke reduce the number of cigarettes that they smoked by 40%. 

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. The disease kills motor neurons, which then causes muscles to atrophy. The rate of progression varies from one person to another. The muscle atrophy leads to excruciating pain and muscle spasms. In 2018, the first randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study about how cannabis could help ALS was performed.

One group of patients took a drug called Nabiximol, which is a combination of THC and CBD. The other group took a placebo. The Nabiximol had a positive effect on the spasticity symptoms in patients. It also had a positive effect on pain control.

Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia

It is estimated by Alzheimer’s News Today that there are currently 5.5 million adults in the United States living with Alzheimer’s disease or a related form of dementia. Alzheimer’s is an irreversible and progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys thinking skills and memory and eventually causes difficulty in carrying out the simplest tasks. It also causes behavioral changes and is usually fatal. Studies show that CBD can have a neuroprotective effect on the brain cells that are destroyed by Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s Disease & Dementia

Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental health concerns affecting adults in the United States. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports that 40 million people in the United States experience an anxiety episode each year. Only about 1/3 receive treatment. In 2014, around 15.7 million people experienced at least one major depressive episode. In many cases, anxiety and depression go hand in hand. Most commonly, both anxiety and depression are treated with prescription medication and therapy. However, there are some indications that CBD can help with both anxiety and depression. One review took a look at several studies and came to the conclusion that CBD had both antidepressant and anxiolytic effects in animal models. Anecdotal evidence from patients who use CBD oil to treat anxiety and depression

Anxiety and Depression

CBD for Arthritis

Simply put, arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. There are more than 100 different kinds of arthritis, but the most common kinds are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Arthritis causes joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. It is often treated with over the counter or prescription pain relievers and other medications. Because CBD helps to reduce joint inflammation and serves as a protectant to nerves, one study indicates that it may be a beneficial treatment for both arthritis and nerve pain.

CBD for Acne

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, an estimated 40 to 50 million adults have acne. Further, 40% of teens develop acne scarring. Those suffering from the condition often look to prescription medication and over the counter topical remedies. Adjusting the diet can also be effective in the treatment of acne. CBD may also be a treatment for acne according to one study. CBD helped to reduce both inflammation and the production of sebum, which contribute to the outbreak of acne.

CBD For Autism

CBD For Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) impacts the nervous system. About 200,000 cases are diagnosed each year. A person with ASD may display difficulty with communication, social interactions, obsessive interests, and repetitive behaviors. Children with autism may have episodes of aggression, hyperactivity, and anxiety. Studies on the use of CBD to treat autism are still ongoing. When it came to results reported by parents whose children were given CBD in a sublingual tincture as a treatment saw self-injury and rage attacks reduced in 67.6% of patients. Hyperactivity symptoms improved in 68.4% of patients. Sleep interruptions and problems improved in 71.4% of patients. Anxiety improved in 47.1% of patients. 

CBD For Cancer

In 2016, there were an estimated 15,338,988 people suffering from cancers of various types in the United States. Some of the more common treatments include surgery to remove the cancerous tumors, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and medications. Because these treatments often make those suffering from cancer very ill, some have turned to holistic medications such as cannabis. Several studies have been conducted and reviewed that indicate that CBD may be beneficial in keeping cancer cells from growing and in some cases, killing off cancer cells. The study referenced above looked at CBD’s efficacy in several different kinds of cancers, including breast cancer, colon cancer, leukemia, and glioma.

CBD for Chronic Pain

People who are receiving cancer treatment often deal with chronic nerve pain. Diabetes can also lead to chronic pain, as can fibromyalgia. However, CBD can also help with chronic pain caused by injuries. Many patients who have chronic pain stemming from injury turn to opioid pain relievers, which are highly addictive. A study from 2019 revealed that 80% of people who suffered from chronic pain said that they’ve substituted their opioid and benzodiazepine pain relievers for CBD and cannabis. They reported better symptom management and fewer side effects. 

CBD for Diabetes

In 2015, an estimated 30.3 million Americans had diabetes by 2017, that number was estimated to be more than 100 million. Diabetes is an endocrine disorder that causes high blood glucose levels. This is caused by a disruption in the production of insulin, which helps blood glucose get used for energy. Studies indicate that people who use cannabis, including CBD, have lower fasting insulin levels and insulin resistance than those who do not use marijuana. 

CBD for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a common condition associated with widespread chronic pain, fatigue, memory problems, and mood changes. Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than men. Treatments include pain medications, antidepressants, and anti-seizure drugs. Many people who suffer from fibromyalgia have turned to cannabis and CBD to help treat their pain. The preliminary science supports the use of cannabidiol, according to a 2017 study.

CBD for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common condition that affects the intestines. Symptoms of IBS include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, or both. Because one of the primary causes of IBS is inflammation, CBD may be a potential treatment of IBS without the psychotropic effects of the THC found in cannabis. 

CBD for Migraines

Migraines are headaches that cause severe throbbing pain or pulsing sensations, usually on one side of the head. They are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and heightened sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine attacks can last anywhere from hours to days. Because cannabis has an anti-inflammatory and anti-emetic as well as a vasoconstrictive effect, cannabis, particularly cannabidiol, may be a good treatment for migraine. Anecdotal evidence is positive, but more clinical trials need to be completed.

CBD for Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) occurs when there is an abnormal response of the body’s immune system is directed against the central nervous system. The immune system damages the myelin which surrounds and insulates nerve fibers and the nerve fibers themselves. Messages between the brain and other parts of the CNS are altered or stopped completely. Because cannabidiol has potent anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects, it may be a possible treatment for people suffering from MS.

CBD for Nausea

There are many reasons a person may suffer from nausea. Patients who are suffering from HIV/AIDS, who have cancer and are in chemotherapy, and pregnant women suffering from morning sickness often suffer from chronic nausea. THC is well known for alleviating nausea, but many people do not like the psychotropic effects of the compound. Studies have found that in certain doses, CBD may help to alleviate nausea without the euphoric high caused by THC.

CBD for Neuropathic Pain

Neuropathic pain is pain that is generally caused by the damage or disease that affects the somatosensory nervous system. Diabetics often suffer from diabetic neuropathy, and some patients may suffer from peripheral neuropathy. Patients with cancer and AIDS who are treated with chemotherapy and radiation may suffer from neuropathic pain. CBD may help to treat neuropathic pain without causing diminishing nervous system function and the efficacy of chemotherapy.

CBD for Obesity

CBD for Obesity

70 million Americans are currently classified as obese. Obesity has been linked to several serious medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer, and high blood pressure. The appetite stimulating effect of THC is well-documented, but the effects of cannabidiol on food intake needs more research. One study performed in rats indicated a reduction in food consumption when given cannabidiol, making it a promising potential treatment for obesity.

CBD for Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects dopamine-producing neurons. The disease causes tremors, slow movement, stiffness, and loss of balance. It can be treated, but there is no cure for the disease. Preliminary studies indicate that cannabinoids like THC and CBD may help to slow the progression of both Parkinson’s Disease and Huntington’s Disease. However, more clinical evaluation is needed to support the therapeutic benefit of cannabinoids in patients with Parkinson’s disease.


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder. While it is most common in soldiers, but it also occurs in people who have experienced a traumatic event. These events could include a natural disaster, a car accident, terrorist act, rape, or other violent assault. PTSD may cause nightmares, unwanted memories, heightened reactions to stress, anxiety, or a depressed mood. CBD treatment may help to alleviate the effects of PTSD due to the anxiolytic effects of the compound.

CBD for Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a long-term mental disorder that is diagnosed in 200,000 patients per year. The exact cause is unknown. Schizophrenia is characterized by thoughts or experiences that seem disconnected from reality. Hallucinations and delusions are common, as is disorganized speech or behavior. While there are many antipsychotic medical treatments, CBD may be a viable holistic treatment for those with this condition. One study found that “cannabidiol exerts clinically relevant antipsychotic effects that are associated with marked tolerability and safety when compared with current medication.”

CBD for Sleep Disorders

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 40 million Americans suffer from chronic, long-term sleep disorders. These include insomnia, sleep interruption, sleep apnea, and other disturbances. CBD may help those suffering from sleep disturbances in a few ways. First, CBD can help to calm anxiety, which can often interfere with sleep. CBD also interacts with our body’s endocannabinoid receptors to regulate the sleep/wake cycle. 

CBD for Stroke and Traumatic Brain Injury

CBD for Stroke and Traumatic Brain Injury

Stroke kills approximately 140,000 Americans each year. Each year, more than 795,000 people have a stroke. Strokes can impair muscle and nerve function, affecting movement, speech, and cognition. Additionally, 1.5 million Americans suffer from a traumatic brain injury each year. Depending on the severity of the injury, people can suffer from loss of consciousness, slowed cognition, seizures, and other behavioral issues after a TBI. Studies show that CBD administered after a stroke or a TBI can have neuroprotective effects. Other studies show that CBD can increase cerebral blood flow during a stroke. 

Final Thoughts

Cannabis has been utilized as medicine for millennia. Thousands of years ago, people acknowledged that cannabis helped with pain, depression, anxiety, and even seizures. In the United States, preparations for cough, pain, sleeplessness, and even hysteria contained cannabis as a primary ingredient up until its prohibition in 1937 with the Marihuana Tax Act. The act was struck down in 1969 because it violated the 5th Amendment, but the U.S. Government passed the Controlled Substances Act in 1970, prohibiting cannabis once more.

In 1996, California became the first state to legalize cannabis and its derivatives like CBD for medicinal use. Since, several states have legalized medical marijuana, recognizing its potential as a medicine for a number of different conditions. Several other states have gone further, legalizing the recreational use of cannabis. The Farm Bill of 2018 legalized the industrial cultivation of hemp, including CBD oil.

Before beginning a health regimen that includes the use of CBD oil or high-CBD strains of cannabis, be sure to talk to your doctor. While CBD treatment is well-tolerated, there may be possible interactions with medications you may be taking. Some side effects of CBD include tiredness, nausea, diarrhea, and fatigue, but these symptoms are typically mild.