To name just a few: Animal research and small-scale human studies have pointed to CBD's anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties, NPR reports. A study is underway to see how CBD helps patients with PTSD and alcohol use disorder, and another is exploring how CBD might help curb drug cravings in people with opioid addiction. Cannabinoids like CBD may also be effective at treating cancer-related side effects, according to the National Institutes of Health.
In recent years, CBD has generated a tremendous amount of interest among consumers, clinicians, and scientists. Why? Not only does evidence suggest CBD counteracts many of THC’s adverse effects, but numerous animal studies and accumulating evidence from human experimental, clinical, and epidemiological studies suggest CBD has powerful anti-anxiety properties. Administered acutely (“as needed”), it appears safe, well-tolerated, and may be beneficial to treat a number of anxiety-related disorders, including:
The exclusion criteria for the trial were: (i) presence of organic brain syndromes; (ii) use of psychoactive drugs, including nicotine; (iii) presence of general medical conditions, assessed by the patient’s report during the interview and/or through physical examination; (iv) presence of psychiatric disorders (assessed with the SCID-IV); (v) pregnancy; (vi) previous history of any sleep disorder (based on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index - PSQI); and (vii) recent changes in sleep time (variation of more than 2 h in the last 7 days, measured through the sleep log). Thus, the volunteers were all non-smokers and had not taken any medications for at least 3 months before the study. Moreover, none of them had used marijuana more than five times in their lives (no use in the last year) and none had ever used any other illegal drug. All subjects gave their written consent to participate after being fully informed about the research procedures, which were approved by the Hospital das Clínicas de Ribeirão Preto of University of São Paulo ethics committee (HCRP No. 17912/2013).
Would I say that CBD oil has fundamentally changed my life? No. But per the Charlotte's Web website, this is the typical first experience. "Anyone who has ever started a new vitamin or supplement routine knows the short answer to how long it takes to kick in is—'it depends,'" reads the article on what to expect from hemp oil. "For many newcomers, they're not sure what to imagine, or some anticipate a huge change right away. For most of us, though, dietary supplements take time."
CBD is one of the 80+ cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that when consumed, bind to receptors in the body producing varying effects. CBD is non-psychoactive, unlike THC, the more popular cannabinoid known for the “high” feeling. You won’t get high from consuming CBD alone. The body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a natural, biological system that regulates the body. It’s made up of receptors and it regulates many cognitive and physiological aspects of the body including pain, memory, mood, appetite, and fetal development.
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Low concentrations of CBD aren’t the only concern, either. Cannabis plants are hardy and tough, and their thick stalks possess a special property: bioremediation. When grown in contaminated soil, hemp plants absorb heavy metals and other chemical waste, effectively cleansing the terrain. While all plants absorb some chemicals from the soil, the structure, size, and genetic makeup of hemp make it especially adept at this task. Cannabis is so effective that crops of industrial hemp were planted in the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster to help purify heavily irradiated soil. When hemp stalks are used for fiber, paper, and other nonconsumptive industrial purposes, the contaminants absorbed into the plants pose no threat to humans.
It's also safe to take up to 1,500 milligrams of CBD, according to a study published in Neurotherapeutics, which means there's not much risk—and maybe a fair amount to gain—in dosing yourself before bed. So over the course of two weeks, I experimented with four different kinds of CBD to see how it would affect my sleep. I took each one at the same time each night and each type for three nights. Here's what went down:
When exposed to air, warmth and light (especially without antioxidants), the oil loses its taste and psychoactivity due to aging. Cannabinoid carboxylic acids (THCA, CBDA, and maybe others) have an antibiotic effect on gram-positive bacteria such as (penicillin-resistant) Staphylococcus aureus, but gram-negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli are unaffected.
Participants were recruited through advertisements in the local media of the city of Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil. Initially, 335 individuals who were interested in participating were evaluated, 265 of whom were excluded in the recruitment interview (which contained questions about clinical data, demographics, psychiatric symptoms, sleep patterns, among others). The remaining 70 participants were asked to keep a sleep log and completed the rating scales on sleep patterns (ESS, Epworth Sleepiness Scale; PSQI, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index). After these procedures, 27 participants were considered eligible for the study (Figure Figure11) and were randomized into two groups (group 1: placebo – CBD, group 2: CBD – placebo) matched in terms of sex, age, and years of education. To ensure the adequacy of the matching procedure, one participant of each pair had his treatment blindly chosen between the two treatment options available and the other participant (matched to the first one) was assigned to the remaining option.
CBD products that don't contain THC fall outside the scope of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency's (DEA) Controlled Substances Act, which means CBD products are legal to sell and consume as long as they don't have THC. That's likely one of the reasons why CBD products, including CBD oil, are becoming more socially acceptable and increasingly popular. In 2016, Forbes reported that CBD products are expected to be a $2.2 billion industry by 2020.
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