Endocrine Disorders & CBD Research Overview
It wasn’t long ago that CBD was only known by the most devout alternative medicine fans. However, over the last several years, in particular, CBD has exploded into a massive industry that rivals the THC industry itself. This is primarily due to the incredible research being published all the time, detailing the many benefits CBD can offer a wide variety of conditions.
In few ways, has this been more impactful than in the treatment of conditions that impact hormone production such as epilepsy and seizures. In fact, CBD has been shown to be quite effective in regulating the endocrine system and hormone release.
One study called, Endocannabinoid system participates in neuroendocrine control of homeostasis suggested endocannabinoids, such as CBD, could play a vital role in the production and release of various neuroendocrine related hormones. Injection models were shown to enhance the hormone secretion in humans consistently.
Another report looking into how CBD can impact the regulation of the endocrine system called The emerging role of the endocannabinoid system in endocrine regulation and energy balance showed clear evidence that the endocannabinoid system has some level of control over metabolic function and the neuroendocrine system. The team demonstrated this control comes, in part, by having an impact on peripheral tissues throughout the body.
Other research into specific organs of the endocrine system has provided similar results about the regulatory power of CBD. For instance, Role of the endocannabinoid system in food intake, energy homeostasis and regulation of the endocrine pancreas showed the endocannabinoid system has a significant impact on the regulation of the pancreas. According to their research, endocannabinoids are a vital part of the pancreas’ ability to regulate the secretion of insulin.
This knowledge of the regulatory power of CBD on the endocrine system has been well known for many years. While there has been a lot more research conducted over the last 15 years, earlier reports, such as The cannabinoids as potential antiepileptics, also make a case for CBD. That review of the research available at the time showed CBD has a selective impact regarding how it impacts various systems of the body, including the endocrine system.
However, likely the most researched conditions CBD is shown to improve have been epilepsy and seizures of various types. There is no shortage of reports which indicate CBD has a vital role to play in the treatment of these challenging conditions.
Cannabidiol exerts anticonvulsant effects in animal models of temporal lobe and partial seizures studied the value of CBD to treat PTZ-induced seizures in rat models. The team observed treatment with CBD significantly reduced the frequency and severity of seizures, highlighting its anticonvulsant properties.
Other reports on rat models have reached exciting conclusions. For instance, Cannabidiol--antiepileptic drug comparisons and interactions in experimentally induced seizures in rats concluded CBD is a very effective anticonvulsant. They even went as far as to say CBD can improve the benefits of other antiepileptics drugs.
However, not every report has been conclusive or ground-breaking. For instance, while Endocannabinoid system protects against cryptogenic seizures, found limbic convulsive seizures in rat models may be the result of recurring mico-injuries in the brain, they were not able to link CBD to an improvement in seizures either.
Similarly, a report entitled Cannabinoids for epilepsy found no evidence of adverse side-effects to CBD, but also didn’t believe there was enough evidence to say anything conclusively yet. The researchers advocated for more well standardized CBD research in the future to improve this predicament.
That said, there are a lot more reports which conclude CBD does have some vital role to play in the treatment of endocrine system-related disorders such as epilepsy. A study called Nonpsychotropic Plant Cannabinoids, Cannabidivarin (CBDV) and Cannabidiol (CBD), Activate and Desensitize Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) Channels in Vitro: Potential for the Treatment of Neuronal Hyperexcitability evaluated the impact of CBD in managing epileptic seizures. Their data suggests endocannabinoid treatment can reduce both the size and frequency of seizures via an interaction with the TRPV1 receptor.
Clinical trials of humans taking CBD to treat their epilepsy have provided some interesting results. Chronic administration of cannabidiol to healthy volunteers and epileptic patients found about half of patients who received between 200-300mg of CBD per day remained seizure-free during the nearly five-month trial.
Other researchers have also found strong evidence that CBD can limit the size, scope, and rate of seizures, as well as the resulting neurodegeneration. Seizing an opportunity for the endocannabinoid system, for example, concluded while the interactions of the endocannabinoid system are quite complex, they appear to provide some critical therapeutic benefits for those living with epilepsy.
Cannabidivarin (CBDV) suppresses pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-induced increases in epilepsy-related geneexpression, among other reports, have been able to prove CBD is also effective at treating less common forms of epilepsy, such as pentylenetetrazole-induced seizures. The team found not only does CBD reduce the rate and strength of PTZ-induced seizures, but also increased latency to first signs of a seizure.
However, its value is far from limited. Another report looking into how CBD impacts epilepsy and seizures called Cannabidiol displays antiepileptiform and antiseizure properties in vitro and in vivo, determined it could be particularly effective in treating seizures of a wide variety. They showed that not only does CBD decrease seizures, but it also was shown to be a potent anticonvulsant.
Once again, this seizure reducing quality of CBD is not a new discovery. In fact, reports such as Hypnotic and antiepileptic effects of cannabidiol, going back to the 1980s, indicate some researchers were well aware of the power of CBD even back then. That review of the available research from between 1972 and 1981 line up with what much more recent reports have found. Namely, that between 200-300mg of CBD per day can significantly improve epilepsy symptoms.
Another reason CBD has become such a popular alternative medicine is the power it’s shown to treat children with epilepsy. Even more importantly, it’s known to be safe and effective at treating even less common forms of the condition.
A study called Report of a parent survey of cannabidiol-enriched cannabis use in pediatric treatment-resistant epilepsy, surveyed parents who had used CBD to try and treat their child’s treatment-resistant epilepsy. Incredibly, a full 84% of participants reported a reduction in the frequency of seizures, while 12% were even entirely seizure-free.
Looking into more specific case studies, you’ll find the story of six-year-old Charlotte Figi detailed in Medicinal Marijuana Stops Seizures, Brings Hope to a Little Girl. Charlotte’s seizures were the result of an incredibly rare disorder called Dravet syndrome. After treatment with a specially formulated CBD strain, her seizures fell from over 1,200 a month to a mere three. This account provides some of the most emotionally compelling evidence on the subject.
Some have worried about what CBD could do to young minds. Luckily, reports such as Cannabis, cannabidiol, and epilepsy--from receptors to clinical response, have proven CBD has minimal impact on the developing brain, and the effects it does have are generally recognized as being mild in most cases.
Outside of the ability of CBD to reduce the size and frequency of seizures, there are many ways in which cannabidiol treatment can benefit those with endocrine disorders. A report entitled Endocannabinoids in endocrine and related tumours, provides interesting evidence. The authors concluded that CBD and the endocannabinoid system could impact the proliferation of certain kinds of cancer cells in endocrine system related parts of the body.
Other reports have shown CBD treatment can help regulate food intake. The researchers behind The role of the endocannabinoid system in the neuroendocrine regulation of energy balance were able to find evidence connecting activation of the endocannabinoid system with important signaling hormones. Many of these, including insulin and satiety hormones, are associated with weight loss and the treatment of metabolic disorders.
Research looking into the underlying processes behind CBD has also garnered positive results. For instance, Cannabidiol: promise and pitfalls, summarized the currently available data on using CBD to treat epilepsy, as well as other conditions. Their analysis suggested the long-history of cannabis use by humans, along with the growing body of peer-reviewed evidence, mean CBD, and the endocannabinoid system indeed has a role to play.
Pain is a common issue that can accompany many endocrine disorders. Fortunately, CBD has been shown time and time again to be a valuable tool in the fight against chronic pain. Control of pain initiation by endogenous cannabinoids showed that CBD provides a pain relief response that’s 100-fold more potent thanks to the interaction between two related cannabinoids, PEA and anandamide.
Another common issue for many types of endocrine disorders is trouble sleeping. That said, CBD is known to help vastly improve the quality of REM sleep. The authors of Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature, reviewed all the available research and concluded that CBD might one day be a primary force in improving sleep quality.
While the symptoms of different endocrine disorders can be quite varied depending on the specific condition, one thing that’s common for many of these conditions is mood swings via hormone changes. CBD has been shown to be a powerful mood-regulating aid, with reports like Acute Effects of a Single, Oral dose of d9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD) Administration in Healthy Volunteers, showing that not only is CBD effective, but it’s also exceptionally well tolerated in humans, even at very high doses.