Naturally occurring within the plant of cannabis are over 100 cannabinoid molecules, named as such chiefly for their ability to act on our cannabinoid receptors, which are part of the endocannabinoid system.
THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol) is most widely known of these cannabinoids. This is partially due to its numerous demonstrable medical benefits, and partially because it is the primary psychoactive component of marijuana.
CBD (or cannabidiol), however, is another cannabinoid which notably produces no psychoactive or intoxicating response, while simultaneously harboring a broad swath of therapeutic applications. These range from subduing convulsions related to epilepsy, to treating schizophrenia, or even soothing anxiety (including anxiety as a side-effect of THC), and much more. If that weren’t enough, multiple small studies have evidenced that these benefits come paired with a high degree of safety, as CBD is well tolerated at doses of up to 1500 mg per day (p.o.) or 30 mg (i.v.). 
In this article, we will cover CBD’s potential benefits in three domains -- pain relief, cancer treatment, and neuroprotection. It is important to understand that the theme underscoring most of the research done is that it is merely the tip of the iceberg. Most of the studies have been conducted on animals, with human clinical trials currently underway. Enlightening results from these trials are being published constantly, meaning that the full impact of CBD on humans is still not completely clear.
Perhaps the most common use of CBD is to relieve pain naturally. We delve deeper into cannabis’s capacity to replace opioid analgesics such as codeine or methadone in our article, “Cannabis: Chronic Pain Relief Sans Opioids,” so this section will instead be devoted to how CBD specifically can help rein in chronic pain.
A 2012 study published by the Journal of Experimental Medicine found that CBD successfully suppressed inflammatory and neuropathic pain (in rodents) without causing any analgesic tolerance. 
In addition, a medication called Nabiximols (or Sativex) contains equal parts THC/CBD. It has been approved for use in most countries in Europe, as well as many other countries across the globe (USA still outstanding, though clinical trials are ongoing and positive) to treat pain related to Multiple Sclerosis and cancer. However, some research suggests that THC is the true analgesic in this formulation, with CBD merely assisting in the pain relief through its anti-inflammatory properties. 
Aside from simply easing the pain and nausea that accompany cancer and chemotherapy, CBD has decent promise in its own right as an anticancer drug. A 2013 study published by the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that “CBD is a potent inhibitor of both cancer growth and spread” through several different mechanisms, with potential applications in treating leukaemias, lymphomas, as well as cancer in the colon, breast, thyroid, and lungs. 
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are two debilitating diseases that wreak havoc on the neuronal tissue of those afflicted.
Alzheimer’s disease is fatal, decimating the patient's’ brain cells while slowly stealing their mental capacity. First, a forgotten name or date, then a commonly-used phrase, and eventually robbing them of their basic bodily functions and identity itself.
Parkinson’s, on the other hand, is not fatal directly, but complications from the disease often take the lives of those suffering from it -- the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rated complications from PD as the 14th top cause of death in the United States in 2013.  The disease tapers off the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating smooth body movements and emotions.
Modern medicine has yet to discover a true cure for either disease, but CBD’s neuroprotective properties, with further research, may provide a path to a cure. A 2004 study conducted by the Journal of Neurochemistry found that CBD successfully combatted the neuronal degeneration associated with Alzheimer’s in rat cells.  Several studies have also shown significant neuroprotective effects in animal models of Parkinson’s disease [7, 8, 9].
The unifying thrust of the research done on CBD stresses that it is a complex compound, acting through multiple mechanisms in the body. This leads to a wide range of effects, covering symptoms for many diseases extending far past what has been surveyed in this article. The wonders of CBD have yet to be fully explored, but the future looks promising. Rest assured that we at CANNVIS will keep you abreast of the newest research in the field.
- Abuse, National Institute on Drug. "The Biology and Potential Therapeutic Effects of Cannabidiol." NIDA. National Institute on Health, 24 June 2015. Web. 20 July 2017.
- Devinsky, Orrin, Maria Roberta Cilio, Helen Cross, Javier Fernandez-Ruiz, Jacqueline French, Charlotte Hill, Russell Katz, Vincenzo Di Marzo, Didier Jutras-Aswad, William George Notcutt, Jose Martinez-Orgado, Philip J. Robson, Brian G. Rohrback, Elizabeth Thiele, Benjamin Whalley, and Daniel Friedman. "Cannabidiol: Pharmacology and Potential Therapeutic Role in Epilepsy and Other Neuropsychiatric Disorders." Epilepsia 55.6 (2014): 791-802. Web.
- García-Arencibia, Moisés, . Author Links Open the Author Workspace.Sara González, Eva De Lago, José A. Ramos, Raphael Mechoulam, and Javier Fernández-Ruiz. "Evaluation of the Neuroprotective Effect of Cannabinoids in a Rat Model of Parkinson's Disease: Importance of Antioxidant and Cannabinoid Receptor-independent Properties." Evaluation of the Neuroprotective Effect of Cannabinoids in a Rat Model of Parkinson's Disease: Importance of Antioxidant and Cannabinoid Receptor-independent Properties - ScienceDirect. ScienceDirect, 23 Feb. 2007. Web. 20 July 2017. <http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006899306034718>.
- Iuvone, Teresa, Giuseppe Esposito, Ramona Esposito, Rita Santamaria, Massimo Di Rosa, and Angelo A. Izzo. "Neuroprotective Effect of Cannabidiol, a Non-psychoactive Component from Cannabis Sativa, on Beta-amyloid-induced Toxicity in PC12 Cells." Journal of Neurochemistry 89.1 (2004): 134-41. Web.
- Javed, Hayate, Sheikh Azimullah, M. Emdadul Haque, and Shreesh K. Ojha. "Cannabinoid Type 2 (CB2) Receptors Activation Protects against Oxidative Stress and Neuroinflammation Associated Dopaminergic Neurodegeneration in Rotenone Model of Parkinson's Disease." Frontiers in Neuroscience 10 (2016). Web.
- Lastres-Becker, Isabel, Francisco Molina-Holgado, José A. Ramos, Raphael Mechoulam, and Javier Fernández-Ruiz. "Cannabinoids Provide Neuroprotection against 6-hydroxydopamine Toxicity in Vivo and in Vitro: Relevance to Parkinson's Disease." Neurobiology of Disease 19.1-2 (2005): 96-107. Web.
- Massi, Paola, Marta Solinas, Valentina Cinquina, and Daniela Parolaro. "Cannabidiol as Potential Anticancer Drug." British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 75.2 (2013): 303-12. Web.
- Xiong, Wei, Tanxing Cui, Kejun Cheng, Fei Yang, Shao-Rui Chen, Dan Willenbring, Yun Guan, Hui-Lin Pan, Ke Ren, Yan Xu, and Li Zhang. "Cannabinoids Suppress Inflammatory and Neuropathic Pain by Targeting Î±3 Glycine Receptors." The Journal of Experimental Medicine 209.6 (2012): 1121-134. Web.
- Xu, Jiaquan, M.D., Sherry L. Murphy, B.S., Kenneth D. Kochanek, M.A., and Brigham A. Bastian, M.S. "National Vital Statistics Reports: Volume 64, Number 2." Center for Disease Control. CDC, 16 Feb. 2016. Web.