These preliminary findings piqued Blessing's interest. For instance, she points to a 2011 study of a few dozen people, some of whom had social anxiety disorder, who were asked to speak in front of a large audience. Researchers compared anxiety levels in people after they took CBD, compared to those who got the placebo or nothing at all. (The participants didn't know if they'd been given the drug or the placebo.)
Because I never go downtown, I had to stop for a latte at my favorite coffee shop—and a second CBD pick-me-up. By the time I stepped into the crowded Indie Beauty Expo, I felt calm and happy. As an introvert, I usually have a hard time making small talk at events. But post-CBD oil, I felt comfortable enough to chat up a storm with every person I met! Three hours later I dragged myself out of the huge exposition and made it to my meditation class, where I took another dropper of CBD oil. Although I really love meditating, I find it particularly challenging to get into the “zone” after a long day at work. Not so much after taking some CBD—it was easy to calm my mind and tune into my breath, despite how fast-paced my day had been.
Just like THC, CBD is a chemical compound extracted from hemp plants. Both hemp and cannabis contain cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive substance. THC, however, is the substance that gives users that “high” or psychoactive effect. CBD has many similarities to THC when it comes to potential health benefits, but the main difference is that it’s a non-psychoactive substance, so it doesn’t give a natural high to users. It also does not cause anxiety, paranoia, or the mouth and eye dryness associated with THC, even when CBD is consumed in higher concentrations. Due to these inherent advantages, most high-quality CBD oil products on the market today are extracted from the hemp plant. THC oil, on the other hand, is derived from the cannabis plant, so it contains high levels of THC and low levels of CBD. On the other hand, industrially produced hemp contains higher concentrations of CBD with only trace amounts of THC, so it’s safer and offers fewer symptoms for users.
Most acutely, the discomfort and stiffness I’d felt for months from a meniscus tear (confirmed by MRI) went away. The occasional twinges I had been getting on runs stopped. More significantly, what had been the tear’s near-constant presence in daily life, such as when getting up from sitting, has disappeared. For now I’ve postponed surgery on the tear. It’s impossible to know if CBD was the key factor in any of these changes. Still, at the end of the month I decided to keep taking CBD daily.
One thing that I really really liked though, was that the effects seemed to last a long time. I have only taken the oil on four separate occasions now, and each time it’s seemed to last like 6-8 hours (or at least all evening). This makes sense too, because after doing a little reading up I found that the sublingual tinctures are much longer-lasting than CBD vape oils or e-juices.
Hippocampal neurogenesis: One hypothesized mechanism by which pharmaceutical anxiolytics may decrease anxiety is via hippocampal neurogenesis – or growth of new neurons within the hippocampus. It appears as though cannabidiol administration induces hippocampal neurogenesis in animal models, and for this reason, similar outcomes may occur in humans. A rat study involving the chronic administration of 5-HT1A partial agonist (tandospirone) increases the biomarker of doublecortin – indicating emergence of new neurons in the hippocampus.
A wealth of marketing material, blogs and anecdotes claim that cannabis oils can cure whatever ails you, even cancer. But the limited research doesn't suggest that cannabis oil should take the place of conventional medication, except for in two very rare forms of epilepsy (and even then, it's recommended only as a last-resort treatment). And, experts caution that because cannabis oil and other cannabis-based products are not regulated or tested for safety by the government or any third-party agency, it's difficult for consumers to know exactly what they're getting.
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