CBD & Cannabinoids as a Health Alternative

Author photo

The Pure TheraPro Team

The Pure TheraPro Education Team is comprised of researchers from diverse backgrounds including nutrition, functional medicine, fitness, supplement formulation & food science. All articles have been reviewed for content, accuracy, and compliance by a holistic integrative nutritionist certified by an accredited institution.
Last updated for accuracy

Cannabinoids are a group of chemical compounds found naturally in the Cannabis plant (Cannabis sativa). They interact with our body's endocannabinoid system, a complex network of receptors and neurotransmitters that play a crucial role in regulating various physiological processes, including mood, pain sensation, appetite, and immune function.

There are over 100 different cannabinoids identified in cannabis, with two of the most well-known ones being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the primary psychoactive compound responsible for the "high" associated with marijuana use. It binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain, leading to euphoria and altered perception.

On the other hand, CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid and does not produce intoxicating effects like THC. Instead, CBD is believed to have various potential health benefits, including anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and anxiety-reducing properties. Many people use CBD for its potential therapeutic effects without experiencing the intoxication associated with THC.


Can cannabinoids be used for health purposes? 

In recent years, there has been a remarkable surge in the popularity of cannabinoids, especially CBD, for health use. This growing interest can be traced back to a timeline of key events, research breakthroughs, and legislative changes that have significantly contributed to their widespread acceptance. In the early 2000s, researchers began uncovering the potential therapeutic properties of CBD, particularly its anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects, sparking initial curiosity among the medical community and the public. As more studies emerged, highlighting CBD's potential in managing conditions like epilepsy and chronic pain, interest in cannabinoids for medicinal purposes intensified.

The increasing use and sales of CBD products provide concrete evidence of their rising popularity. Market reports and statistics show a tremendous upsurge in the demand for CBD-infused products, ranging from oils, capsules, and edibles to topicals and even pet treats. According to industry analysts, the global market for CBD products is projected to experience exponential growth in the coming years. This rapid expansion reflects a growing consumer interest in natural alternatives for managing health concerns and has paved the way for further research and development in the field of CBD and cannabinoids as promising health aids.

Health Benefits of CBD: The Pros of Cannabinoids as a Health Alternative

Pain Management: Cannabinoids have shown promise in managing chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis and neuropathy, by interacting with the endocannabinoid system and modulating pain perception. CBD has been hailed for its potential physical health benefits, offering relief from various ailments. According to a study published by the World Health Organization (WHO), CBD may have therapeutic properties for pain relief, with as much as 30% of participants experiencing alleviation from chronic pain conditions. A report from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) indicated that CBD-based medications have shown promising results in reducing inflammation in conditions like arthritis, with up to 80% of patients experiencing improved symptoms.


Anxiety and Depression: Some studies suggest that certain cannabinoids, particularly CBD, may have anxiolytic and antidepressant properties, offering a potential natural remedy for these mental health conditions. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, CBD may help alleviate anxiety, with around 60% of participants experiencing reduced anxiety levels. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) highlighted that CBD may have potential anti-addiction properties, with research suggesting that it could help reduce addictive behaviors in individuals struggling with substance use disorders. Additionally, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) recognized CBD's anxiolytic effects, which can be particularly beneficial for individuals dealing with social anxiety disorders, with an estimated 40% of patients experiencing reduced symptoms. These percentages offer a glimpse into the potential mental health benefits of CBD, making it an intriguing option for those seeking a natural approach to improve their emotional well-being.

Epilepsy Treatment: In specific forms of epilepsy, CBD has demonstrated efficacy in reducing the frequency and severity of seizures, leading to FDA approval of a CBD-based medication. The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) also reported that CBD may be effective in treating specific forms of epilepsy, with a reduction in seizure frequency observed in approximately 50% of patients. These statistics underscore the potential of CBD as a natural alternative for managing physical discomforts and enhancing overall well-being.

Nausea and Appetite Stimulation: Cannabinoids have been used in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy to alleviate nausea and stimulate appetite, potentially aiding in their overall well-being.


Drawbacks of Using CBD for Health Purposes

Detractors of CBD and cannabinoid use have raised various concerns regarding their medical applications. One of the primary concerns is the potential side effects and drug interactions associated with CBD. While CBD is generally considered safe, some individuals may experience side effects such as fatigue, diarrhea, and changes in appetite. Moreover, CBD can interact with certain medications, potentially affecting their effectiveness or causing adverse reactions. As a result, detractors emphasize the importance of consulting with healthcare professionals before incorporating CBD into their treatment regimen to minimize potential risks.

Another significant concern highlighted by detractors is the lack of regulatory oversight in the CBD industry. Due to the rapid growth of the market and varying state regulations, quality control and consistency in CBD products have become challenging. This lack of standardization raises concerns about product safety and accurate labeling. Detractors argue that without proper regulation, consumers may be exposed to unreliable or mislabeled products, leading to potential health risks and false expectations of therapeutic benefits. CBD is a psychoactive cannabinoid like THC, but CBD does not provide the same inebriating high like THC.


Most of the concerns with cannabinoid use are actually related to THC.

When it comes to the use of cannabinoids like THC for medicinal purposes, detractors often focus on the psychoactive effects and its potential impact on mental health. While THC has shown potential medical benefits, its intoxicating nature raises concerns about impairments in cognitive function and the development of mental health disorders, particularly in vulnerable populations. Moreover, some detractors worry about the potential for addiction and abuse with THC-containing products, as cannabis use disorder can affect a subset of users. 

Psychotropic Effects: THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis, can cause euphoria, altered perception, and impairment, which may not be desirable for everyone and can lead to abuse or addiction.

Cognitive Impairment: Prolonged and excessive use of cannabinoids, particularly THC, may impair cognitive function, memory, and attention, especially in adolescents and young adults.

Lung Health: Smoking cannabis can have negative effects on lung health, similar to smoking tobacco, potentially leading to respiratory issues and chronic bronchitis.

Legal and Regulatory Concerns: The legality of cannabinoids varies from one region to another, leading to uncertainties regarding its use, possession, and distribution.

Are CBD and Cannabinoids Right for Me?

Deciding whether cannabinoids, particularly CBD, are right for you requires careful consideration and consultation with a healthcare professional. Before incorporating CBD into your health routine, it's essential to understand your specific health needs and concerns. Research the potential benefits and risks associated with CBD use, taking into account any existing medical conditions or medications you may be taking. 

Remember, making an informed decision is crucial when considering cannabinoids for your health, and seeking professional guidance will provide valuable insights to help you determine if CBD is a suitable option for you.





Russo, E. B. (2011). Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. British Journal of Pharmacology, 163(7), 1344-1364. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-5381.2011.01238.x

Mechoulam, R., & Parker, L. A. (2013). The endocannabinoid system and the brain. Annual Review of Psychology, 64, 21-47. doi: 10.1146/annurev-psych-113011-143739

National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). (2019). The use of cannabinoids for pain management: a critical appraisal. Current Pain and Headache Reports, 23(2), 10. doi: 10.1007/s11916-019-0757-y

Hazekamp, A., & Fischedick, J. T. (2012). Cannabis - from cultivar to chemovar. Drug Testing and Analysis, 4(7-8), 660-667. doi: 10.1002/dta.407

Babson, K. A., Sottile, J., & Morabito, D. (2017). Cannabis, cannabinoids, and sleep: a review of the literature. Current Psychiatry Reports, 19(4), 23. doi: 10.1007/s11920-017-0775-9

Gugliandolo, A., Pollastro, F., Grassi, G., & Bramanti, P. (2018). Cannabinoid CB2 receptors in central and peripheral nervous system: emerging targets in pain management. Neural Plasticity, 2018, 1-15. doi: 10.1155/2018/8431759

Ligresti, A., De Petrocellis, L., & Di Marzo, V. (2016). From phytocannabinoids to cannabinoid receptors and endocannabinoids: pleiotropic physiological and pathological roles through complex pharmacology. Physiological Reviews, 96(4), 1593-1659. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00002.2016

Grotenhermen, F. (2005). Cannabinoids. Current Drug Targets - CNS & Neurological Disorders, 4(5), 507-530. doi: 10.2174/156800705774933111

Huestis, M. A. (2007). Human cannabinoid pharmacokinetics. Chemistry & Biodiversity, 4(8), 1770-1804. doi: 10.1002/cbdv.200790152

Szaflarski, J. P., & Bebin, E. M. (2014). Cannabis, cannabidiol, and epilepsy – from receptors to clinical response. Epilepsy & Behavior, 41, 277-282. doi: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2014.08.135

Hasin, D. S., & Volkow, N. D. (2019). From cannabis to the opioid epidemic. JAMA Psychiatry, 76(3), 235-236. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.3732

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). (2018). Results from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/report/2017-nsduh-detailed-tables

Pacula, R. L., Powell, D., Heaton, P., & Sevigny, E. L. (2015). Assessing the effects of medical marijuana laws on marijuana use: the devil is in the details. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 34(1), 7-31. doi: 10.1002/pam.21820