Researchers have suggested cannabidiol (CBD) as a viable treatment in several illnesses. Some scientific research indicates that CBD could be useful for potentially preventing the development of conditions ranging from asthma to degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s. While more research is needed, evidence supports the notion that CBD has preventative potential.
The Preventative Potential of CBD
Research shows that CBD has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective benefits, which may help prevent the development or slow the progression of certain diseases.
Some of the diseases CBD has evidence for potentially preventing include asthma, osteoporosis, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s:
CBD may be used to prevent asthma attacks.
A study by the Department of Preclinical and Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Florence in Italy showed that CB receptors (CB1 and CB2) are involved in lung protection, which may prevent antigen-induced asthma reactions.
Anandamide, an endocannabinoid that activates the CB1 receptors, is known to be released in the bronchoalveolar fluid as a response to asthmatic reactions. Anandamide helps keep airways open when it interacts with CB1.
CBD enhances anandamide levels by inhibiting anandamide’s enzyme, which allows for increased CB1 activation and less restricted breathing.
CBD produces anti-inflammatory effects by suppressing pro-inflammatory immune cells and cytokines when it activates CB2 receptors, which help open up airways.
The researchers from the University of Florence study concluded that “novel non-psychoactive cannabinoid analogues with bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory activity could find a therapeutical use as adjuncts in the treatment of allergic asthma, especially as preventative agents….”
As research shows, CBD has bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory effects—both of which help keep airways open—making it viable as a potential preventative treatment for asthma.
CBD may inhibit bone loss in aging skeletons, slowing or preventing the development of osteoporosis.
A study by the Bone Research Group at the University of Edinburgh showed that activation of the CB receptors could prevent age-dependent bone loss and bone resorption in mice.
Older mice that had fewer CB receptors showed an accelerated bone loss, indicating that activating these receptors may offer a therapeutic target for older people who want to prevent osteoporosis.
As noted above, CBD interacts with the CB receptors, presenting itself as a possible treatment.
Researchers also found that GPR55 receptors play a role in bone reformation. Agonists (activators) of these receptors increase osteoclasts (cells that resorb bone); thus, antagonists (inhibitors) of these receptors could be potential treatments for preventing osteoporosis.
CBD is known to inhibit the function of GPR55 receptors, furthering its case as a potential preventative treatment for osteoporosis.
The Bone Laboratory at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem conducted a study that showed CBD could heal bone fractures and increase collagen, an essential protein involved in bone health.
The findings in this study indicate that CBD can help enhance osteoblast (cells responsible for new bone formation) function, which would help restore bone loss and potentially prevent osteoporosis.
CBD seems to be a viable option for preventing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and possibly reversing the detrimental cognitive effects of the disease.
A 2017 review by researchers from Western Sydney University and Neuroscience Research Australia analyzed several studies on CBD and Alzheimer’s.
The findings in the review included that CBD is a “valid candidate for novel AD therapies” because of its neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.
The researchers also stated that CBD could prevent and even reverse the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s in rodent models.
CBD’s potential to reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s is likely because of its ability to promote neurogenesis.
Additionally, the review noted that current treatments for Alzheimer’s do not prevent or reverse the progression of Alzheimer’s, making it incumbent upon researchers to find new treatments.
CBD May Help Prevent Disease Progression
The preventative potential of CBD is an exciting element.
With evidence suggesting CBD may prevent asthma, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and possibly more conditions, scientists are continuing to enhance their understanding of CBD’s value.
Have you used CBD? What were the results? Tell us about your experience in the comments!
Disclaimer: The content on this site is for informational purposes only. We are not medical experts and nothing should be construed as medical advice. Be sure to speak with your physician before taking CBD or any other treatment.