“Strong data is lacking with CBD. There have been only small research trials some showing benefit, others showing no benefit with CBD,” said Pritham Raj, an internist-psychiatrist in Portland, Oregon. “So, in short, the jury is still out. This doesn’t mean CBD doesn’t work for anxiety, it just means that we don’t have enough information to make a strong argument for CBD in the treatment of anxiety.”
At first, I was wary. Although I live in Los Angeles, where it seems like there’s a medical marijuana depot on every corner, I’m not one for doing drugs (legal or otherwise). I mean, I don’t even take Advil when I get a headache! But despite the fact that CBD oil is made from hemp, it doesn’t contain THC. THC is the compound responsible for the “high” that comes with ingesting marijuana. In fact, scientific reviews have proven that CBD “does not interfere with several psychomotor and psychological functions,” and is safe to ingest without any side effects. Let me repeat: YOU WILL NOT GET HIGH FROM CBD!
When medical marijuana became a thing in Seattle, before full legalization, many of my friends found relief from their darker moods with cannabis. At that time, I didn’t have a MMJ card to buy the medical stuff, but a buddy gave me some CBD oil he wasn’t using and I took it in the winter. The grey Seattle rain wasn’t getting to me anymore. I would smile a lot more and it helped me get through a serious break-up and transition in my life. I remember at the time hearing cases like this: http://seattle.cbslocal.com/2014/02/05/study-suicide-rates-fell-in-states-where-medical-marijuana-is-legal/ . How suicide rates dropped in states where medical and recreational use became legal.
Following cloning of the endogenous receptor for THC, namely the CB1R, endogenous CB1R ligands, or “endocannabinoids” (eCBs) were discovered, namely anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (reviewed in ). The CB1R is an inhibitory Gi/o protein-coupled receptor that is mainly localized to nerve terminals, and is expressed on both γ-aminobutryic acid-ergic and glutamatergic neurons. eCBs are fatty acid derivatives that are synthesized on demand in response to neuronal depolarization and Ca2+ influx, via cleavage of membrane phospholipids. The primary mechanism by which eCBs regulate synaptic function is retrograde signaling, wherein eCBs produced by depolarization of the postsynaptic neuron activate presynaptic CB1Rs, leading to inhibition of neurotransmitter release . The “eCB system” includes AEA and 2-arachidonoylglycerol; their respective degradative enzymes fatty acid amide hydroxylase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase; the CB1R and related CB2 receptor (the latter expressed mainly in the periphery); as well as several other receptors activated by eCBs, including the TRPV1 receptor, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ, and G protein-coupled 55 receptor, which functionally interact with CB1R signaling (reviewed in [21, 24]). Interactions with the TRPV1 receptor, in particular, appear to be critical in regulating the extent to which eCB release leads to inhibition or facilitation of presynaptic neurotransmitter release . The TRPV1 receptor is a postsynaptic cation channel that underlies sensation of noxious heat in the periphery, with capsacin (hot chili) as an exogenous ligand. TRPV1 receptors are also expressed in the brain, including the amygdala, periaqueductal grey, hippocampus, and other areas [26, 27].
Some individuals have been found to have mutations on the CNR1 gene, which is responsible for coding the CB1 receptor (a type of receptor in cells throughout your body that interacts with cannabinoids). Issues with the CNR1 gene can ultimately result in a poorly functioning endocannabinoid system, which is an important variable when figuring out how to use CBD oil.
I still have the same bottle that my friend gave me, and at the rate that I’m going I imagine it will be lasting me a really long time. If (when) I do run out, though, I’ll certainly be ordering another bottle of the same exact thing. I’m sure there are lots of other good brands out there, but my experience with the 300 mg Pure Kana was about as good as I could have hoped for, so I don’t see any reason to try anything different (I think the 600 mg and 1000 mg bottles are more suited for pain relief, i.e. arthritis, inflammation, etc). I also think that if you are looking to treat pain, you will have to take it more frequently that what I do.
Animal studies have shown that CBD can be effective in treating anxiety. Research on CBD is still limited, but the early results are promising. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by excessive worrying and irrational fear. In a 2011 study, researchers found that participants with GAD experienced a significant decrease in anxiety after consuming CBD. Brain scans backed up the findings that were reported by the patients.
For example, the six hemp oil companies the FDA had investigated in February had explicitly advertised CBD products for use in the “cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of diseases.” The agency sent warning letters to the companies, ordering them to change their product labeling or face potential legal action. Then, in May, the FDA announced it was excluding products containing cannabidiol from its definition of dietary supplements altogether. Hard, the spokesman for Medical Marijuana, Inc., said the company views “these developments as positive because this allows the debate regarding CBD to come to the forefront.” He characterized the FDA’s May announcement as “an opinion” and added, “Medical Marijuana, Inc. and HempMeds, along with industry associations, are working on determining how we can come to a mutual understanding on the matter with the FDA.”
Nervous system reset: When we experience a freeze-fight-flight response, activity in the autonomic nervous system (ANS) is altered. Anxiety and fear-inducing situations skew activation of the ANS so that the sympathetic branch is more active than the parasympathetic branch. Administration of CBD has been shown to prevent overactivity in the sympathetic branch via 5-HT1A partial agonism. This means that administration of CBD prior to or after a highly stressful event may prevent a full-blown nervous breakdown.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks to widespread use of CBD is price. High-quality tinctures from brands like Floyd’s of Leadville and PlusCBD cost $35 or more; the bottles contain enough tincture to last about a month if you’re using an eyedropper’s worth per day. Prevail’s 2-ounce topical salve, which the company says should last most users between 30 and 45 days, costs $133. A one-month supply of a daily gel typically costs $30 to $60.
Cannabis has been used for centuries to treat nerves and anxiety, as well as other mood problems. CBD may help to improve both depression and anxiety, at least in part through its interactions with serotonin receptors in the brain. Research shows that CBD can reduce both mental and physical symptoms of anxiety. A study of CBD given to people before a public-speaking event indicates that CBD can help reduce stress—this and other research has shown that CBD can be an effective treatment for social anxiety.
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.
The side effects and risks involved with consuming marijuana-based products aren't clear, either, Bonn-Miller said. It's important to "determine cannabinoids that are useful therapeutically while understanding and using cannabinoids that are associated with less risk," he said. At least with CBD, he said, it doesn't appear to have the potential for addiction. That's different from THC, which has been associated with addiction, he said, and negative side effects, including acute anxiety.
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