Cannabis (also known as marijuana) is the most commonly used illegal drug worldwide (although not illegal in Canada). The compound called delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is responsible for its effects that make people feel “high.” Another compound in cannabis is cannabidiol, known as CBD for short. CBD does not have the “high” exerting effects of THC but is thought to have medicinal effects partly due to its attachment to cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are located on the surfaces of cells throughout the body to include the brain, nerves, and cells of the immune system. Therefore, it is not surprising that CBD may potentially have beneficial health properties.
Claims about CBD’s medicinal use suggest that it may help with pain, epilepsy, insomnia, anxiety, glaucoma, appetite loss, and muscle spasms. Its effects on the immune system in autoimmune diseases, such as Sjögren’s, is currently unknown. There is currently no research on CBD oil for Sjögren’s. Some studies, such as a 2009 review Future Medicinal Chemistry, suggest that it could help autoimmune disorders in general. It might be especially beneficial for conditions with an inflammatory component, such as arthritis.
Thus far, side effects have been noted in cannabinoid products to include rash, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, drowsiness, low blood pressure, high heart rate, light headedness, worsening of Parkinson’s disease, and dry mouth (important when we are talking about Sjögren’s). They also appear to probably have potential harmful interactions with other medications and supplements to include melatonin, valerian root, SAMe, antibiotics, antidepressants, antihistamines, blood pressure medicines, warfarin, anti-acids, statins used for cholesterol, seizure medicines, and Viagra. There is not enough evidence to claim that CBD oil can help Sjögren’s. In fact, it could make symptoms like dry mouth worse. Anyone wishing to try CBD for Sjögren’s, or any condition, should discuss their options with a knowledgeable physician first.
*article compiled by SjSC with sources from www.sjogrens.org & www.whatyousjo.com