On the other hand, a 2017 comprehensive review of CBD studies in psychiatric disorders found inconclusive results. According to the authors, there isn’t enough evidence to claim CBD as a treatment for depression. However, the authors do note positive results for anxiety disorders. Based on their review, more human tests are needed to better understand how it works, what ideal dosages should be, and if there are potential side effects or hazards.
Regardless of how CBD oil induces hippocampal neurogenesis, the growth of new brain cells may be enough to decrease anxiety. A report published in 2015 documented that increasing adult neurogenesis (regardless of the modality) is sufficient enough to decrease anxiety. Therefore, it could be that CBD is an effective anxiolytic predominantly through mechanisms implicated in neurogenesis.
Research has shown that administration of cannabidiol actually inhibits agonist effects at the CB1/CB2 receptor sites. Although the effects of CB1 inverse agonism aren’t fully elucidated, many speculate that CB2 inverse agonism may contribute to cannabidiol’s anti-inflammatory effects. Due to the fact that neuroinflammation is associated with anxiety disorders, we could hypothesize that a decrease in inflammation may yield anxiolytic responses in a subset of CBD users.
If you’re like me, I think you’ll agree with me when I say that lack of sleep really interrupts your life. You can become cranky and irritable, snapping at friends and colleagues while your body is screaming for rest. Maybe you’ve gone down the laundry list of “fixes” — meditation, yoga, alcohol, exercise, an electronics detox before bed, you know the drill— but nothing seems to be working. It can be frustrating beyond measure.
Whatever the case, if you suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, depression, or insomnia, I would absolutely recommend you give a quality CBD oil a shot. I was certainly not quick to buy into the whole hype machine (I know that the cannabis industry is pretty crazy right now), but I can say as a first time user that it legitimately did work, and it caused absolutely no high or side effects whatsoever.
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Several complexities of the eCB system may impact upon the potential of CBD and other CB1R-activating agents to serve as anxiolytic drugs. First, CB1R agonists, including THC and AEA, have a biphasic effect: low doses are anxiolytic, but higher doses are ineffective or anxiogenic, in both preclinical models in and humans (reviewed in [33, 45]). This biphasic profile may stem from the capacity of CB1R agonists to also activate TRPV1 receptors when administered at a high, but not low dose, as demonstrated for AEA . Activation of TRPV1 receptors is predominantly anxiogenic, and thus a critical balance of eCB levels, determining CB1 versus TRPV1 activation, is proposed to govern emotional behavior [27, 47]. CBD acts as a TRPV1 agonist at high concentrations, potentially by interfering with AEA inactivation . In addition to dose-dependent activation of TRPV1 channels, the anxiogenic versus anxiolytic balance of CB1R agonists also depends on dynamic factors, including environmental stressors [33, 49].
CBD is showing real promise as a compound that can contribute to protecting the brain, thanks to its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities. Scientists are investigating its role in neurogenesis and its ability to help the brain heal from injury, and as a treatment for neurodegenerative disease. Research suggests that CBD may help to reduce brain damage from stroke or other neurological injury. And CBD is increasingly looked to as a possible therapy for several neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis.
Concern about the dangers of marijuana abuse led to the banning of cannabinoids for medicinal use in the U.S. and many other countries in the 1930s and 1940s. It took decades until they came to be considered again as compounds of therapeutic value, and even now their uses are highly restricted yet more and more states have now legalized medical marijuana.
In 1937, the U.S. Treasury Department introduced the Marihuana Tax Act, which imposed a levy of $1 per ounce for medicinal use of cannabis and $100 per ounce for recreational use. This was opposed by physicians who were not required to pay a special tax for prescribing cannabis, use special order forms to obtain it and keep records detailing its professional use. The American Medical Association believed that evidence of cannabis’ harmful effects was limited and the act would prevent further research into its medicinal worth.
Sourcing: In addition to formatting of CBD, the sourcing may make a difference in terms of quality. The modality of CBD extraction used to isolate the CBD may affect its quality and efficacy. Examples of some common extraction techniques include: carrier-oil extraction, CO2 extraction, and alcohol extraction. Implications of sourcing and extraction techniques should be considered by researchers.
Still, for many, cannabis has become a tonic to dull pain, aid sleep, stimulate appetite, buffer life’s thumps and shocks. Pot’s champions say it peels back layers of stress. It’s also thought to be useful as, among other things, an analgesic, an antiemetic, a bronchodilator, and an anti-inflammatory. It’s even been found to help cure a bad case of the hiccups. Compounds in the plant, some scientists contend, may help the body regulate vital functions—such as protecting the brain against trauma, boosting the immune system, and aiding in “memory extinction” after catastrophic events.
Long-term outcomes: There are zero long-term studies investigating the safety, efficacy, and long-term effects of CBD as a treatment for anxiety. Data from animal model studies suggests that chronic CBD usage could yield deleterious epigenetic and/or neuropsychiatric effects. However, it is unclear as to whether administration of CBD at a normative (non-chronic) frequency would maintain therapeutic efficacy over a long-term.
With that said, I'm definitely intrigued enough by the subtle effects to continue taking the oil and possibly even to up the dosage to the recommended two full droppers of the 30mL bottle per day for a week or so. Plus, I take comfort in knowing that it's an all-natural treatment for anxiety that's responsibly grown on family farms in Colorado. Something that's safe, legal, requires no prescription, and makes me less anxious, less scatterbrained, and more focused? I'm definitely on board.
Safety: As of current, there’s zero evidence to suggest that cannabidiol is unsafe and/or intolerable. While certain individuals may experience adverse effects from its administration, these adverse effects are not common and may be a result of: poor sourcing, formatting, addition of other unwanted chemicals or cannabinoids, or contamination. Most research indicates CBD is just as safe and well-tolerated as a placebo.
When taking CBD oil for insomnia, or CBD oil for sleep aid, it is important to find the right product for you. When you are suffering from sleep problems because of anxiety and stress-related issues, using specific methods to administer your CBD may have different effects than others. It is suggested that you take CBD sublingually for long-lasting and potent anxiolytic and analgesic effects. For those with PTSD, using a vaporizer will give you the instant effects you are looking for, but won’t last as long as other delivery methods.
Kimberly is the reference editor for Live Science and Space.com. She has a bachelor's degree in marine biology from Texas A&M University, a master's degree in biology from Southeastern Louisiana University and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her favorite stories include animals and obscurities. A Texas native, Kim now lives in a California redwood forest. You can follow her on Twitter @kimdhickok.
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