CBD and its various forms are slowly taking over the healthcare industry. Looking at its increased acceptance, variety of medicinal uses and legalization, the chances of CBD replacing big pharmaceutical drugs like gabapentin as an alternate medicine are on the rise.
However, whether or not this replacement is a safer alternative will require to withstand the test of time and further research by experts. Here are some of the facts on the efficacy of both gabapentin and CBD for treating ailments, particularly neuropathy and epilepsy, as per the conclusions of latest studies.
What is gabapentin?
Gabapentin is a prescription drug that is referred by healthcare professionals to treat seizures and epilepsy. The drug also has various background benefits which include providing relief from the debilitating symptoms of nephropathy and migraines.
Despite of all of these acclaimed health benefits, gabapentin has come under immense scrutiny of experts due to its side-effects on the body. Abnormal eye movements, difficulty speaking, and tiredness are just a few examples of the negative impacts this drug can have on its users. It can also have some severe side-effects on people with underlying conditions. These include irritability, aggressiveness, depression and many other psychiatric disorders.
Clinical lab results released by Quest Diagnostics have revealed that the gabapentin can cause possible addiction as well. The misuse of the drug had been on a raise between the years 2016 and 2017. According to the research findings of Quest Diagnostics, “Individuals taking prescription opioids and gabapentin concomitantly have a 49% greater risk for opioid-related death than those treated with opioids only,” This means that gabapentin can potentially increase the effects of opioids in addition to causing addiction.
Is CBD addictive?
Contrary to this, CBD is emerging as an alternate treatment for various physiological conditions. These conditions range from neuropathy to seizures, and have shown marked improvements after patients administered CBD for relief.
Because of a lack of researches into the side-effects associated with CBD usage, there are chances of a shift towards it as a substitute for prescription medications, including gabapentin.
According to a report by WHO, ” In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”
The dependence potential of CBD is almost non-existent because it is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. THC, a close relative of CBD is a cannabinoid that causes the euphoric sensation. In fact, CBD can possibly block THC’s access to the body’s receptors, filtering out some of the psychoactive impacts it has on the body.
CBD as an alternate medicine
Derived from the hemp plant, CBD is a naturally occurring chemical compound. Its chemical structure is very similar to the cannabinoid receptors found in the human body, allowing it to bind effectively with them.
Cannabinoid receptors are located throughout the body and play a vital role in regulating appetite, pain sensation, mood and memory. CBD is an external source of these cannabinoids, and its chemistry helps it to provide unrivaled relief for a variety of symptoms and conditions.
Cannabinoids produced by CBD bind to receptor sites throughout the body. The effect that follows this chemical activity depends upon the receptor sites that cannabinoids end up attaching themselves to.
The cannabis plant contains at least 85 types of cannabinoids on average. Depending on their chemical structure, all of these cannabinoids have some explicit have medicinal benefits on the body. Due to this, many cannabinoids have been synthesized for legal prescription use. Some examples of synthetic cannabinoid medications include Marinol, Nabilone, and Rimonabant.
All of these medications are non-addictive and do not alter the heart rate, blood pressure, or body temperature of the patients.
Evidence of health benefits of cannabidiol (CBD)
There is a significant amount of research to back the health benefits of CBD. Out of these evidences, perhaps the most solid attestation comes from the ability of CBD to treat the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes.
CBD compounds effect communication networks of the brain and allegedly slow down message transfer towards the brain. It changes calcium levels in brain cells and decreases any inflammation therein, reducing seizures tremendously.
Sighting these success stories and evidences, FDA has recently approved the first ever CBD based epilepsy medicine called Epidiolex.
CBD vs Pharmaceutical Drugs
In 2017 a research was conducted by Brightfield Group to gauge effectiveness of cannabis as an alternate medicine. The research was based on 2400 individuals who were registered users of a cannabis advocacy website, HelloMD.
The findings of the research showed that 42% of CBD users had given up on pharmaceutical drugs. About 52% of the participants found CBD to be more effective in providing them relief from their ailments.
Medical conditions like epilepsy and neuropathy can leave individuals complexly dependent upon others.
Before trying on any treatment option out of desperation, it is always a good idea to consult healthcare physicians. This will help to rule out any chances of drug interactions or probable side-effects from affecting patients.
The effectiveness of CBD based products is a relatively new development in the healthcare department. Its long-term side-effects are yet to be researched. Therefore, expert consultation before picking up any treatment option is an absolute necessity.