The nervous system is a complex collection of nerves and specialized cells known as neurons that transmit signals between different parts of the body. It is essentially the body's electrical wiring. Structurally, the nervous system has two components: the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. The brain and the spinal cord make up the central nervous system. The peripheral nervous system consists of the nerves and ganglia outside the brain and spinal cord. The nervous system has three main functions: sensory, integration and motor.
The endocannabinoid system, a vital component of the nervous system, helps regulate an array of physiological processes essential for human life. Studies have unmasked the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) in the adjunctive management of several neurological diseases and conditions. Healthcare professionals incorporating Cannabis into their medical practice, whether prescribing medical marijuana and/or CBD derived from hemp, are encouraged by the many potential mechanisms of CBD fitting several of the current hypothetical requirements for a successful adjunctive treatment option for neurological conditions. These include anti-seizure, analgesic, antiemetic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, relaxant and anxiolytic properties.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) (often called Lou Gehrig's disease) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. ALS is characterized by muscle spasms & tightness, rapid & progressive weakness, muscle wasting, difficulty or discomfort in swallowing, loss of the ability to express speech and respiratory failure. Research exploring treatment of spasticity in ALS patient management found Cannabis THC:CBD oromucosal spray to be a valuable addition in the spectrum of symptomatic therapy in ALS. Additionally, according to a single observational study of patients with ALS, patients who admitted to consuming Cannabis, revealed moderate relief of several symptoms, including appetite loss, depression, pain and drooling. Finally, a case report published in 2017 established that co-medication with CBD may slow down the progression of ALS.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement. Symptoms of Parkinson's disease include muscle tremors, muscle & joint stiffness, decreased mobility, impaired balance, impaired ability to communicate (dysphasia), impaired reaction time, impaired memory, sleep disturbances, depression and anxiety. Based on the potential neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD, researchers are exploring the use of CBD as a preventative therapeutic for individuals with genetic risk factors related to Parkinson's disease. In addition, research suggests that CBD, in combination with low-dose THC may offer partial relief of symptoms related to Parkinson's disease such as involuntary muscle contractions, tremor and neuropathic pain.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system). In MS, the immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers nerve fibers and causes communication problems between the brain and the rest of the body. Symptoms of MS include weakness, numbness, loss of muscle coordination and problems with vision and speech & cognition. Pain and muscle spasticity affect nearly all patients affected by MS. Researchers are studying the link between the potential neuroprotective and pain relieving effects of a 1:1 CBD to THC ratio for adjunctive use in reducing the symptoms, such as pain and muscle spasms, of those affected by MS. A survey hosted by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in 2017 indicated that as many as 66% of MS patients are using Cannabis for the treatment of symptoms.
Epilepsy is a central nervous system disorder in which brain activity becomes abnormal, causing seizures or periods of unusual behavior, sensations and sometimes loss of awareness. Dravet syndrome is a type of pediatric epilepsy characterized by prolonged febrile and non-febrile seizures within the first year of a child's life. This rare disease progresses to other seizure types like myoclonic and partial seizures, psychomotor delay and ataxia. It is characterized by growth & nutritional deficiencies, immunosuppression, sensory integration disorders, cognitive impairment, behavioral & developmental delays and speech & motor deficits. Research demonstrates that CBD effectively and safely reduces convulsive, total seizure frequency in Dravet Syndrome. In fact, the FDA approved CBD (Epidiolex) oral solution for use in patients aged 2 years and older for the treatment of Dravet Syndrome and another severe and rare type of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.
Migraine is a chronic neurological disorder characterized by moderate to severe headaches accompanied by symptoms, such as pain, nausea, vomiting and light, sound & smell sensitivities. About 1/3 of migraine sufferers experience auras, which is a term used to describe disturbances in vision, sound, sense of touch, language and motor function that occur prior to the onset of the migraine. Research suggests that the use of CBD may lead to the relief of some of the symptoms of migraines, including reducing inflammation and providing pain relief.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a neurodegenerative disease caused by repeated head injuries and is often associated with athletes and other adults that participate in contact sports. Symptoms may include behavioral problems (such as rage and problems with impulse control), mood problems (such as depression and anxiety) and problems with thinking (such as impaired judgment). Symptoms typically do not begin until years after the injuries. CTE often gets worse over time and can result in dementia. Research has shown a link between CTE and the endocannabinoid system, which suggests that CBD and THC could play a role in relieving associated symptoms. CBD in combination with low dose THC is currently being explored as a preventative measure for those at risk for developing CTE due to the anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties of these phytocannabinoids.
Drug addiction is a disease caused by a combination of behavioral, environmental and biological factors. A possible therapeutic application which has been investigated is the use of CBD to treat drug addiction. Clinical studies suggest that CBD may have therapeutic properties on opioid, cocaine and psychostimulant addiction, and some preliminary data suggest that it may be beneficial in tobacco addiction in humans.
Responsible Distribution of CBD & Cannabis Medicine Certification
Cannabis derived products, like CBD tinctures, may have drug interactions with other medications. All individuals considering adding CBD to their regimen, especially those taking prescription and/or over-the-counter medications, are advised to consult with their doctor and/or qualified health professional.
Complimentary Cannabis Medicine Certification is available to all healthcare professionals with their first wholesale order until February 29, 2020.