Updated: Mar 28, 2019
Most negative notions of cannabis plants are based on the known psychoactive nature of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), one of the naturally occurring substances found in the plants, and for good reasons. Almost immediately after ingestion, THC may cause hours of delusions and hallucinations in addition to psychomotor impairment.
What most people fail to recognize is that there are more than a hundred cannabinoids identified in cannabis. Cannabidiol –more commonly known simply as CBD – is also present in cannabis. Unlike THC, however, this substance does not induce any negative psychological effects. In fact, CBD has a lot of health benefits. According to the 2017 CBD pre-review report compiled by the Expert Committee on Drug Dependence for the World Health Organization, some of the most well-known health benefits of CBD are as follows:
Conditions Known CBD Effects
Alzheimer's disease: Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
Anxiety: Reduction in social anxiety, relief for fatigue, restlessness, and muscular tension; improvement in ability to concentrate.
Cardiovascular diseases: Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
Cancer: Chemopreventive effects and anti-invasive actions in various types of cancers
Depression: Anti-depressant effect
Hypoxia-ischemia injury: Inhibition of inflammation and oxidative stress
Huntington's disease: Antioxidant in transgenic mice models
Inflammatory diseases: Inhibition of inflammatory pathways
Crohn's diseases: Reduction of disease activity
Infection: Detected activity against bacteria resistant to methicillin
Multiple sclerosis: Anti-inflammatory properties
Nausea: Suppression of nausea
Pain: Analgesic effects, even when neuropathic pains are resistant to other treatments
Parkinson's disease: Reduction of aggressive behaviors and agitation; improvement of psychiatric rating
Psychosis: Anti-psychotic properties
Rheumatoid arthritis: Inhibition of TNF-α (in animal models)
The report also suggests that even high doses of oral CBD do not generally induce negative effects commonly associated with THC. Toxicity is generally low and CBD is largely not associated with abuse potential as well.