To this point, CBD oil has existed in a kind of liminal space— at once an illegal drug, a legal medication, and some kind of “dietary” supplement. It’s possible this could change in the coming years, however. GW Pharmaceuticals, a U.K.-based firm, has developed a “pure CBD” medication called Epidiolex that has shown promising test results. It is currently on a fast-track to receive FDA clearance. For some patients, Epidiolex could be a miracle cure. This summer, in Wired magazine, writer Fred Vogelstein chronicled his family’s own struggles to find an effective treatment for his son’s epilepsy—including experiments with hemp oil— and the immense hurdles they overcame to gain access to Epidiolex prior to its FDA approval. The drug could be for sale on pharmacy shelves in the near future, though exactly how near is hard to say.
Animal studies have shown that CBD can be effective in treating anxiety. Research on CBD is still limited, but the early results are promising. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by excessive worrying and irrational fear. In a 2011 study, researchers found that participants with GAD experienced a significant decrease in anxiety after consuming CBD. Brain scans backed up the findings that were reported by the patients.
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.
“The brain has these receptors that respond to endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that are naturally produced in the body and brain,” says Jerald Simmons, a neurologist at Houston’s Comprehensive Sleep Medicine Associates. “Some of the cannabinoids in the marijuana plant are very similar to the endocannabinoids in the brain, and they act on the same receptors.”
Neuroprotective properties: There’s some evidence to suggest that CBD may act as a neuroprotective agent. In other words, it may prevent brain cell death and/or damage resulting from hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Those with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy tend to incur damage as a result of inadequate brain oxygenation. Studies in pigs indicate that CBD protects the brain from hypoxic-ischemic damage.
Anti-inflammatory: Many individuals with neuropsychiatric disorders have severe inflammation, particularly neuroinflammation. Neuroinflammation is associated with many causative underpinnings including: air pollution, brain injuries, viruses, and even standard aging. This increase in inflammation can lead to glial cell and cytokine abnormalities, each of which could contribute to anxiety disorders. CBD has been shown to reduce neuroinflammation, which in turn may directly improve anxiety, as well as cognitive function and mood.
Some individuals have been found to have mutations on the CNR1 gene, which is responsible for coding the CB1 receptor (a type of receptor in cells throughout your body that interacts with cannabinoids). Issues with the CNR1 gene can ultimately result in a poorly functioning endocannabinoid system, which is an important variable when figuring out how to use CBD oil.
Although not as abundant as THC cannabinoid content, cannabidiol accounts for approximately 40% of all cannabinoids within cannabis extract. Unlike THC, cannabidiol is non-psychoactive and isn’t typically ingested with the intent to attain any sort of psychological euphoria. That said, the medicinal properties associated with cannabidiol (often administered in the format of “CBD oil”) are thought to far exceed those of THC.
Crippa et al. (2011) published a study investigating the effects of CBD on neural activation among those with social anxiety disorders. For the study, researchers recruited 10 treatment-naïve patients with social anxiety disorders. To determine how CBD influenced neural activity, they utilized functional neuroimaging to assess regional cerebral blood flow at rest with a SPECT scan incorporating an L-ethylcysteinate dimer (ECD) tracer.
The eCB system regulates diverse physiological functions, including caloric energy balance and immune function . The eCB system is also integral to regulation of emotional behavior, being essential to forms of synaptic plasticity that determine learning and response to emotionally salient, particularly highly aversive events [29, 30]. Activation of CB1Rs produces anxiolytic effects in various models of unconditioned fear, relevant to multiple anxiety disorder symptom domains (reviewed in [30–33]). Regarding conditioned fear, the effect of CB1R activation is complex: CB1R activation may enhance or reduce fear expression, depending on brain locus and the eCB ligand ; however, CB1R activation potently enhances fear extinction , and can prevent fear reconsolidation. Genetic manipulations that impede CB1R activation are anxiogenic , and individuals with eCB system gene polymorphisms that reduce eCB tone—for example, FAAH gene polymorphisms—exhibit physiological, psychological, and neuroimaging features consistent with impaired fear regulation . Reduction of AEA–CB1R signaling in the amygdala mediates the anxiogenic effects of corticotropin-releasing hormone , and CB1R activation is essential to negative feedback of the neuroendocrine stress response, and protects against the adverse effects of chronic stress [38, 39]. Finally, chronic stress impairs eCB signaling in the hippocampus and amygdala, leading to anxiety [40, 41], and people with PTSD show elevated CB1R availability and reduced peripheral AEA, suggestive of reduced eCB tone .
The oil may be further refined by 1) alkali washing, or removing the heavy aromatic carboxylic acids with antibiotic properties, which may cause heartburn, gallbladder and pancreas irritation, and resistance to hemp antibiotics; 2) conversion of CBD to THC. Process 1) consists of dissolving the oil in a nonpolar solvent such as petroleum ether, repeatedly washing (saponifying) with a base such as sodium carbonate solution until the yellow residue disappears from the watery phase, decanting, and washing with water to remove the base and the saponified components (and evaporating the solvents). This process reduces the oil yield, but the resulting oil is less acidic, easier digestible and much more potent (almost pure THC). Process 2) consists of dissolving the oil in a suitable solvent such as absolute ethanol containing 0.05% hydrochloric acid, and boiling the mixture for 2 hours.
It is well known that people who consume cannabis in other forms notice increased appetite, famously called “the munchies”. However, cannabis essential oil can help regulate your appetite and induce hunger, while also stimulating your digestive system to operate at a regular level. This can help people who want to gain weight quickly, particularly after an extended illness or injury.
Prescription medicine (Schedule 4) for therapeutic use containing 2 per cent (2.0%) or less of other cannabinoids commonly found in cannabis (such as ∆9-THC). A schedule 4 drug under the SUSMP is Prescription Only Medicine, or Prescription Animal Remedy – Substances, the use or supply of which should be by or on the order of persons permitted by State or Territory legislation to prescribe and should be available from a pharmacist on prescription.
Preliminary research indicates that cannabidiol may reduce adverse effects of THC, particularly those causing intoxication and sedation, but only at high doses. Safety studies of cannabidiol showed it is well-tolerated, but may cause tiredness, diarrhea, or changes in appetite as common adverse effects. Epidiolex documentation lists sleepiness, insomnia and poor quality sleep, decreased appetite, diarrhea, and fatigue.
It's a little more uniform when the product is absorbed by smoking or vaping the oil, Ward said. But, "there are obvious concerns about smoking something." A 2007 review published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found that smoking marijuana resulted in similar declines in respiratory system health as smoking tobacco. A similar review published in 2014 in The American Journal of Cardiology found that marijuana smoke inhalation can increase the chances of heart attack or stroke. Neither review analyzed the effects of vaping cannabis oil alone, so it's unclear if it has the same health risks as smoking other marijuana products.
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