CBD Project – Defending Whole Plant Therapeutics

project-cbd-logo250Cannabis has been at the center of one of the most exciting – and under reported – developments in modern science. Research on marijuana’s effects led directly to the discovery of a hitherto unknown biochemical communication system in the human body, the Endocannabinoid System, which plays a crucial role in regulating our physiology, mood, and everyday experience.

The discovery of receptors in the brain that respond pharmacologically to cannabis – and the subsequent identification of endogenous cannabinoid compounds in our own bodies that bind to these receptors – has significantly advanced our understanding of human biology, health, and disease.

It is an established scientific fact that cannabinoids and other components of cannabis can modulate many physiological systems in the human brain and body. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that trigger cannabinoid (and other) receptors. More than 100 cannabinoids have been identified in the marijuana plant. Of these, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) have been studied most extensively. In addition to cannabinoids produced by the plant, there are endogenous cannabinoids (anandamide and 2AG) that occur naturally in the body, as well as synthetic cannabinoids created by pharmaceutical researchers.

Extensive preclinical research – much of it sponsored by the U.S. government – indicates that CBD has potent anti-tumoral, antioxidant, anti-spasmodic, anti-psychotic, anti-convulsive, and neuroprotective properties. CBD directly activates serotonin receptors, causing an anti-depressant effect, as well.

In recent years, scientists associated with the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS) have elucidated a number of molecular pathways whereby CBD exerts a therapeutic impact. A preclinical study by Dr. Sean McAllister and his colleagues at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco reports on how CBD kills breast cancer by down-regulating a gene called ID-1, which is implicated in several types of aggressive cancer. Silencing the ID-1 gene is thus is an excellent strategy for a cancer treatment.

“Cannabidiol offers hope of a non-toxic therapy that could treat aggressive forms of cancer without any of the painful side effects of chemotherapy,” says McAllister.

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