Adenosine 2A receptor: Administration of CBD is thought to act upon the adenosine 2A receptor site, possibly contributing to its anxiolytic and anti-inflammatory effects. Adenosine receptors are known to influence cardiovascular processes (cardiac rhythm, circulation), immune function, sleep, pain regulation, and blood flow. The adenosine 2A receptor interacts with G proteins to alter cAMP (cyclic adenosine monophosphate). Dysfunction of the adenosine 2A receptor may disrupt neurotransmission of glutamate and dopamine, and simultaneously cause inflammation, neurodegeneration, and possibly anxiety.
REM is a state of sleep that occurs in cycles during the night. People are more likely to have vivid dreams during this period. When one is in an REM cycle, the body is almost completely paralyzed. The part of the brain that controls the muscles is completely suppressed and a person is unable to move during this time. This is called REM atonia and the only muscles that function as normal is the heart and the muscles that control breathing.
In the United States, cannabidiol is a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. This means that production, distribution, and possession of CBD is illegal under federal law. In addition, in 2016 the Drug Enforcement Administration added "marijuana extracts" to the list of Schedule I drugs, which it defined as "an extract containing one or more cannabinoids that has been derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis, other than the separated resin (whether crude or purified) obtained from the plant." Previously, CBD had simply been considered "marijuana", which is a Schedule I drug.
Both Bonn-Miller and Ward stress that it's up to the consumer to be well-educated about the material they're purchasing and the research that's out there. "The companies that are creating [cannabis oils] are offering lots of claims about its use that are not necessarily substantiated by any research," Bonn-Miller said. So "I think there needs to be, from a consumer standpoint, a lot of vigilance," he added.
This has been the year medical cannabis hit the mainstream. The government has announced that it is relaxing laws on when cannabis medicines can be prescribed by doctors, following high-profile cases such as that of Billy Caldwell, the 13-year-old boy hospitalised by his epileptic seizures after he was denied legal access to the cannabis oil that helps control them. Meanwhile a new generation of cannabis medicines has shown great promise (both anecdotally and in early clinical trials) in treating a range of ills from anxiety, psychosis and epilepsy to pain, inflammation and acne. And you don’t have to get stoned to reap the health benefits.
Over the past two years, 17 states have passed laws legalizing CBD so that patients can obtain the drug without fear of prosecution from local authorities. For intractable childhood epilepsies—the sorts of seizure disorders that for centuries have ruined lives and shattered families, the ones even specialists like Hernandez dread—CBD could be a miracle cure.
Interactions: CBD, especially when ingested at high doses, may interact with other pharmacological agents, including prescription drugs. Cannabidiol inhibits CYP450 isoenzymes in the liver which means it may be contraindicated with drugs like Warfarin. Researchers should attempt to understand the full-spectrum of CBD interactions and refine usage guidelines for those taking other medications.
"It's important to know that the research in this area is in its infancy, partly because we haven't really understood much about CBD until relatively recently," said Marcel Bonn-Miller, an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He pointed out that the classification of marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug by the DEA makes it difficult to get material to use in laboratory studies. Schedule 1 drugs have a high potential for abuse, according to the DEA, and are illegal under federal law.
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