From their small town in southwestern Maine, Meagan and her husband, Ken, took Addy to Boston to consult with neurologists. These epileptic seizures, they concluded, were the result of a congenital brain malformation called schizencephaly. One of the hemispheres of Addy’s brain had not developed fully in utero, leaving an abnormal cleft. She also had a related condition called optic nerve hypoplasia, which caused her eyes to wander—and which, further tests revealed, made her all but blind. By summer Addy was having 20 to 30 seizures a day. Then 100 a day. Then 300. “Everything was misfiring all at once,” says Meagan. “We were afraid we were going to lose her.”
I’m 48 and have been diagnosed with anxiety disorder, depression, ptsd and have had panic attacks that have lead me to the ER 3 or 4 times. My psychiatrist put me on wellbutrin and klonopin for the anxiety and depression… I’m taking very low dosages of each but from what I’ve read when you come off of the klonopin it has physical side effects. I’m wanting to come off of both and my psychiatrist doesn’t think good things about cannabis and says that it interferes with the GABA receptors in the brain. I’m trying to find a doctor than can explain to me face to face how CBD and THC work on the brain and what he/she would recommend I do to get off the big pharma train. I’m in Puerto Rico.
Cannabis has shown to have positive effects on people suffering from epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. A research conducted in the University College of London, it is also effective in dealing with multiple other neurological conditions like the Dravet syndrome and Parkinson’s disease. It prevents neurodegeneration and cognitive decline, thereby helping those suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Despite these limitations, this is the first controlled study to evaluate the effects of CBD on sleep architecture using polysomnography. Although the absence of interference with the sleep cycle is not sufficient for concluding that sleep is not affected, the results obtained contribute for the understanding of the effects of CBD in the modulation of sleep in humans.
After months of visiting doctors and sitting through tests like a human lab rat, it was determined that there was a slight anomaly in the anatomy of my temporal lobe—the part of the brain that controls hearing, speech, and auditory comprehension—which explains why every time I have a seizure, I suddenly don’t understand the English language. Epilepsy can’t be cured, so the only course of action available for me was to take a medication every day for the rest of my life. My neurologist prescribed a few different anti-convulsant medications, but they all made me feel tired, depressed, slow, and unlike myself—until finally, I found one that was slightly better than the rest.
Guzmán is a biochemist who’s studied cannabis for about 20 years. I visit him in his office at the Complutense University of Madrid, in a golden, graffiti-splotched building on a tree-lined boulevard. A handsome guy in his early 50s with blue eyes and shaggy brown hair tinged with gray, he speaks rapidly in a soft voice that makes a listener lean forward. “When the headline of a newspaper screams, ‘Brain Cancer Is Beaten With Cannabis!’ it is not true,” he says. “There are many claims on the Internet, but they are very, very weak.”
I have dealt with anxiety for about 20 years. About 5 years ago I had a panic attack for the first time and it was such a horrible feeling. I was on anxiety medicine after that and it delinquent helped with panic but not anxiety really. I got off medicine a month and a half ago and had a panic attack last week. Since then I have been feeling panicky daily.
You only have to read the reviews under a CBD product on the Holland & Barrett website to see the extent to which anecdotal reports cannot be trusted. More than 100 customers gave Jacob Hooy CBD+ Oil five stars, with a few saying they always noticed if they missed a dose (presumably this made them less relaxed, although they did not reveal what they were taking it for), while 93 people gave it one star, saying it did nothing, or was too weak. One couple even said it gave them palpitations and a sleepless night. All these people had different conditions, expectations and situations. “And,” says McGuire, “you have to remember that anything can have a placebo effect.” While it looks unlikely that the recommended doses of these products will do any harm, McGuire’s guess is that doses are so small “that it’s like homeopathy – it’s not going to do anything at all”.
Further testing found what the world now knows: This compound is the plant’s principal active ingredient, its mind-altering essence—the stuff that makes you high. Mechoulam, along with a colleague, had discovered tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). He and his team also elucidated the chemical structure of cannabidiol (CBD), another key ingredient in marijuana, one that has many potential medical uses but no psychoactive effect on humans.
“CBD oil has a lifting and relaxing effect on mood with none of the adverse psychoactive effects associated with marijuana,” says Healthspan medical director Dr Sarah Brewer. “It acts via the body’s own endocannabinoid system to promote feelings of wellbeing. It’s a great choice if you’re finding it difficult to relax, as it’s not habit-forming”, she adds, noting that the oil is “particularly helpful for reducing anxiety, promoting relaxation and restful sleep.”
Some researchers believe that hippocampal neurogenesis may play a critical role in attenuating symptoms of severe anxiety and/or depression. Although not all 5-HT1A partial agonists may induce hippocampal neurogenesis, there’s evidence to suggest that cannabidiol does. A study published in 2013 assessed the anxiolytic effects of CBD in mice exposed to chronic stress.
THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) Cannabis oil and Cannabidiol (also called CBD) have similarities but some important differences for users. Both cannabinoids, chemical compounds that can be found in all cannabis plants, including hemp and marijuana. Cannabinoids are the substances secreted by the flowers of the cannabis plant and contain natural medicinal properties, offering relief from conditions including anxiety, pain, nausea, and inflammation. There are plant-based cannabinoids and also phytocannabinoids, both with a variety of health benefits.
Update 12 October 2018 - Cannabis-based medicinal products will be able to be prescribed by specialist doctors for conditions including epilepsy following a change in the law laid in parliament. From 1 November 2018 specialists, such as neurologists, will be able to prescribe medicinal cannabis on a case-by-case basis where the patient has an unmet special clinical need that will not respond to licensed medications. Anyone who is under a specialist should discuss their treatment plan with them.
While there are many different pathways driving the positive health benefits of CBD, the center of its awesome abilities seems to be that CBD is a very effective natural anti-inflammatory. Chronic inflammation is really the commonality between most (and by most, I mean basically all) chronic health problems that we face today as a modern society. Cancer, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune conditions, digestive issues, and hormonal problems are all inflammatory in nature. What the heck, right?
Several parameters were recorded during polysomnography, considering that the essential tests for sleep staging are electroencephalogram, electrooculogram, and electromyogram. Given the lack of studies on the effect of CBD on human polysomnography-monitored sleep, other parameters were selected based on studies that tested the effect of other drugs in healthy volunteers (Orr et al., 2012; Yadollahi et al., 2014). When comparing our polysomnographic data with results from other studies that used placebo in healthy volunteers, similar findings were observed (Buysse et al., 1989; Sabbatini et al., 2005; Fidan et al., 2011; Feld et al., 2013; Wilson et al., 2015).
Scientists have made a lot of progress in understanding how CBD produces its calming, pain-reducing, anti-inflammatory effects in the body—and there’s still more to learn. We know that CBD interacts with many different receptors, proteins, and other chemicals in the brain. These interactions create changes in the activity of neurotransmitters, hormones, and other cells throughout the brain and body. Through these interactions, CBD appears to be able to affect many of the body’s functions, from sleep-wake cycles and emotional regulation to inflammation, pain perception, and seizures.
Sleep enhancement: Many individuals with anxiety disorders struggle to get proper sleep. Anxiety often causes insomnia and insomnia often causes anxiety – leading to a vicious cycle of back-and-forth reinforcement that is seemingly inescapable. Administration of CBD has been shown to restore normal REM sleep and is thought to improve sleep quality of certain individuals.
To name just a few: Animal research and small-scale human studies have pointed to CBD's anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties, NPR reports. A study is underway to see how CBD helps patients with PTSD and alcohol use disorder, and another is exploring how CBD might help curb drug cravings in people with opioid addiction. Cannabinoids like CBD may also be effective at treating cancer-related side effects, according to the National Institutes of Health.
People claim that cannabis oil can be used to treat a wide range of conditions, though evidence to back up these claims is often lacking. For example, according to Medical News Today, people use cannabis oil for conditions ranging from pain to acne; some even claim the oil can cure diseases like Alzheimer's and cancer. (But again, there is no clinical evidence to support these claims.)
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