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.
Whether the claim of 10-fold bioavailability of nano-engineered CBD can be scientifically verified isn’t known, however, preliminary testing from the company suggests that 10 mg of their product is equivalent to 100 mg of others. Assuming the nano-engineering is effectively increasing bioavailability by 10-fold, each BioCBD+ capsule I’ve taken (with 10 mg CBD) is delivering the equivalent of 100 mg standard CBD.
Additionally, CBD is also thought to inhibit reconsolidation of traumatic memories, which may have therapeutic implications for those with PTSD. What’s more, CBD appears to effectively reduce anxiety among healthy individuals without preexisting anxiety disorders. Though the mechanisms by which CBD attenuates anxiety aren’t fully deciphered, 5-HT1A partial agonism and modulation of limbic/paralimbic function likely plays a role.
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.
A bit of online digging led me to realize that the active ingredient in Charlotte's Web Everyday Plus Hemp Oil, the product I'd been offered to test, was the chemical compound CBD, which stands for Cannabidiol. Unlike THC, the other crucial compound in hemp and marijuana plants, CBD does not produce the psychoactive effects that make you feel "high"; instead, it actually eases anxiety and makes you less likely to freak out.
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While CBD predominantly has acute anxiolytic effects, some species discrepancies are apparent. In addition, effects may be contingent on prior stress and vary according to brain region. A notable contrast between CBD and other agents that target the eCB system, including THC, direct CB1R agonists and FAAH inhibitors, is a lack of anxiogenic effects at a higher dose. Further receptor-specific studies may elucidate the receptor specific basis of this distinct dose response profile. Further studies are also required to establish the efficacy of CBD when administered in chronic dosing, as relatively few relevant studies exist, with mixed results, including both anxiolytic and anxiogenic outcomes.
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.
Cannabidiol has been found to act as an antagonist of GPR55, a G protein-coupled receptor and putative cannabinoid receptor that is expressed in the caudate nucleus and putamen in the brain. It has also been found to act as an inverse agonist of GPR3, GPR6, and GPR12. Although currently classified as orphan receptors, these receptors are most closely related phylogeneticaly to the cannabinoid receptors. In addition to orphan receptors, CBD has been shown to act as a serotonin 5-HT1A receptor partial agonist, and this action may be involved in its antidepressant, anxiolytic, and neuroprotective effects. It is an allosteric modulator of the μ- and δ-opioid receptors as well. The pharmacological effects of CBD have additionally been attributed to PPARγ agonism and intracellular calcium release.
Worsening of anxiety: Though most research indicates that cannabidiol is likely to decrease anxiety in humans and animal models, contrasting evidence necessitates consideration. A study published in 2012 by ElBatsh et al. examined the effects of CBD administration on rodent behavior and protein expression. Notably, CBD decreased frontal and hippocampal BDNF and reduced TrkB and phosphor-ERK1/2 expression. This suggests that when used frequently, CBD may exacerbate underlying anxiety. (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22083592).
While we don’t normally think of anxiety as desirable, it’s actually a critical adaptive response that can help us cope with threats to our (or a loved one’s) safety and welfare. These responses help us recognize and avert potential threats; they can also help motivate us to take action to better our situation (work harder, pay bills, improve relationships, etc.). However, when we don’t manage these natural responses effectively, they can become maladaptive and impact our work and relationships. This can lead to clinically diagnosable anxiety-related disorders. We’ve all heard the saying, “stress kills.” It’s true!
A 2016 study evaluated the effects of CBD on a 10 year old girl with pediatric anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder. “Pharmaceutical medications provided partial relief, but results were not long-lasting, and there were major side effects. A trial of CBD oil resulted in a maintained decrease in anxiety and a steady improvement in the quality and quantity of the patient's sleep. CBD oil, an increasingly popular treatment of anxiety and sleep issues, has been documented as being an effective alternative to pharmaceutical medications. This case study provides clinical data that support the use of CBD oil as a safe treatment for reducing anxiety and improving sleep in a young girl with post traumatic stress disorder.”
Anxiolytic effects in models used: CER = reduced fear response; CFC = reduced conditioned freezing; CFC extinction = reduced freezing following extinction training; EPM = reduced % time in open arm; ETM = decreased inhibitory avoidance; L-DT = increased % time in light; VCT = increased licks indicating reduced conflict; NSF = reduced latency to feed; OF = increased % time in center; SI = increased social interaction
CBD oil can also be taken in a tincture which contains the oil itself, as well as a diluting agent such as alcohol or another oil base. Generally, tinctures have a lower amount of CBD per dose, but they can still be an effective means of obtaining relief from sleep disorders. For easy ingestion, simply drop the tincture directly on your tongue and allow it to dissolve prior to swallowing.
The main concern about pharmaceutical drugs is that they only treat the symptoms of insomnia – not the root of the problem. That being said, you need to continuously supply your system with certain doses of a drug. This, in turn, may trigger dangerous side effects, such as strong dependence, unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, inflammation, liver failures, and even rebound insomnia.
CBD has also been shown to enhance extinction of contextually conditioned fear responses. Extinction training involves repeated CS exposure in the absence of the US, leading to the formation of a new memory that inhibits fear responses and a decline in freezing over subsequent training sessions. Systemic CBD administration immediately before training markedly enhanced extinction, and this effect depended on CB1R activation, without involvement of TRPV1 receptors . Further studies showed CB1Rs in the infralimbic cortex may be involved in this effect .
Stephanie Kahn, who with her husband, Jeffrey, runs the Takoma Wellness Center, a medical marijuana dispensary in Northwest Washington, says that about half of her 1,200 patients use CBD-rich products. Her dispensary offers several strains of high-CBD cannabis as well as CBD oil, with different ratios of CBD and THC, each of which she recommends for particular conditions. “We get questions about it every day,” she says. “A lot of our patients get relief with this, and a lot of times this works better than pharmaceutical drugs.”
Despite the fact that marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, companies like HempMedsPx claim their CBD products are legal in all 50 states. According to a legal opinion written by Medical Marijuana, Inc.’s attorney and submitted to the New Republic, “HempMedsPx’s CBD hemp oil, containing naturally occurring CBD and miniscule amount of THC, is exempted from the definition of marijuana, is not a controlled substance, complies with the Controlled Substances Act, and is legal on the federal level.” The opinion is based in large part on a 2004 court ruling which allowed the importation of hemp food products derived from the mature stalks of cannabis plants.
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.
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