In the past few years, just such a cure has seemingly presented itself. Amid the less common remedies that can be found on the internet—special diets, meditation, biofeedback, surgical implants—a new product has recently gained prominence: CBD oil (sometimes known simply as “hemp oil”), so named for its chief chemical compound, cannabidiol, which occurs naturally in cannabis plants. In online forums and news articles, CBD has been hailed as a new frontier in epilepsy treatment, with parents testifying that it managed to stop their children’s seizures when nothing else could.
PTSD sufferers usually re-experience the trauma in their dreams, which drastically disturbs their REM sleep and overall sleep patterns, leading to insomnia. In a case report on a 10-year old girl suffering from PTSD, a trial of cannabidiol oil resulted in a maintained decrease in anxiety and a steady improvement in the quality and quantity of the patient’s sleep.
Evidence indicates that CBD is an effective intervention for neuropsychiatric anxiety disorders such as: generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, panic disorder, PTSD, and OCD. Researchers believe that its anxiolytic effects are principally a result of its affinity for 5-HT1A and CB1 receptors. While further research is warranted regarding long-term use of CBD oil for anxiety, authors note that it does not increase anxiety, has minimal sedation, and is extremely safe when used over a short-term.
Funding. AZ, JH, FG, and JC are recipients of fellowship awards from Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq, Brazil – 1A). The present study was supported by a CNPq grant (CNPq/MS/SCTIE/DECIT N° 26/2014 – Pesquisas sobre Distúrbios Neuropsiquiátricos; 466805/2014-4) and STI-Pharm (Brentwood, United Kingdom) has kindly supplied CBD at no cost. IL and JS are recipients of CNPq Fellowships.
Do you have a medical marijuana card? I would suggest finding some indica edibles (they will have THC and maybe some CBD). Start with 7 to 10 mg’s of THC and slowly increase dosage on your next try if nothing happens. Whenever I have an indica strand edible, I sleep like a rock. Maybe even a separate dose of CBD could be beneficial to the THC edible. Everyone reacts different, so it’s best to start slow and gradually increase your dose until you find what works for you.
Dr. Will Cole, leading functional-medicine expert, consults people around the world via webcam at www.drwillcole.com and locally in Pittsburgh. He specializes in clinically investigating underlying factors of chronic disease and customizing health programs for thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, hormonal dysfunctions, digestive disorders, and brain problems.Dr. Cole was named one of the top 50 functional-medicine and integrative doctors in the nation and is the author of Ketotarian in which he melds the powerful benefits of the ketogenic and plant-based diets.
What is the cost? If the CBD oil is cheap, it probably means that the hemp used is low grade. Hemp is a “bio-accumulator,” meaning it can easily suck up toxins from soil. Price will often tell you a lot about the product you are purchasing, as legitimate companies are forced to charge higher prices in order to maintain a growing standard that does not lower the quality of the oil.
Given what you know about CBD already, you likely won’t be surprised to learn that it does not work like typical sleep medications do. In fact, some studies have shown it to actually be mildly alerting, and even to activate some of the same receptors that caffeine does. With this in mind, how can it possibly work to promote a healthy night’s sleep?
The good news is that most of the official research done on CBD oil has shown that there are very few negative side effects from using it. However, CBD is not without some side effects. Most notably, in the clinical studies for epilepsy, sedation was one of the more common side effects. Decreased appetite and diarrhea were also seen in some patients. Depending on what other medicines they are taking, certain patients may need to have periodic blood tests to check on liver function.
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.
Doesn’t affect cognition: A major drawback associated with anxiolytics is that many affect cognitive function. Sure it helps to take a pill and have less anxiety, but what if it compromises your cognitive abilities (e.g. critical thinking, problem solving, planning, etc.)? Agents such as benzodiazepines are linked to memory problems and generally impair functionality despite reducing anxiety. Research has highlighted CBD’s ability to reduce anxiety without impairing cognitive function.
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.
Numerous diseases — such as anorexia, emesis, pain, inflammation, multiple sclerosis, neurodegenerative disorders, epilepsy, glaucoma, osteoporosis, schizophrenia, cardiovascular disorders, cancer, obesity and metabolic syndrome-related disorders — are being treated or have the potential to be treated by cannabis oils and other cannabinoid compounds.
Devinsky puts more weight behind the scientific advancements: In June, the FDA approved an epilepsy drug called Epidiolex, which contains a purified form of CBD oil. In controlled clinical trials, the drug was proven to reduce seizures in people with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome — and it didn't produce as many of the unpleasant side-effects that come with other epilepsy medications.
The nervous system’s endocannabinoid system is not well understood. But it’s thought to play a role in regulating pain, sleep, mood, memory, appetite, and other cognitive and physical processes. Because CBD is able to mimic the actions of some natural brain chemicals, its potential therapeutic benefits are wide-ranging but—at this point—nebulous. “We know that cannabidiol modulates the endocannabinoid system, but we don’t know how it works,” Szaflarski says. That said, there are theories.
In his office, however, Hernandez was wary of the CBD boom. He advises well-meaning parents to think twice about voyaging into the world of over-the-counter hemp oil treatments, even if their circumstances are dire. “It’s a huge gimmick that a lot of companies are using,” Hernandez said. “You don’t know what you’re getting. ... There’s a major quality problem.”
One of the strongest nutraceutical CBD oils is called Charlotte’s Web, with a 50mg dose. Charlotte’s Web is produced in Colorado by the Stanley Brothers, and named after Charlotte Figi, a girl who became famous in the US after her frequent seizures, brought on by the rare Dravet syndrome, were greatly reduced when she started taking CBD oil aged five. The company makes THC products too and is extremely successful, having just offered shares on the Canadian securities exchange, raising about $100m.
With some of the dreadful reactions I have had to medications I mostly say no to drugs. The psychotropics turn me psycho. I read about addictions and have been through thus…I went off cold turkey with pain medication, antidepressants, anti psychotics, anti anxiety…I do not care to go through anything like that again. If I can get something stronger than an OTC I only want a low dose and do not want to go through what I did in 2010 again. This is where I am currently. Maybe my pain is not as severe as pain is for others. I do know what withdrawal is like and…I have had a good life all in all. I endeavor to be content and learn what I can. I do know what does not work for me.
Researchers Bergamaschi et al. (2011) highlighted previous literature regarding CBDs anxiolytic properties and lack of psychotomimetic effects. For this reason, they wanted to test its efficacy for the treatment of anxiety among 24 individuals with social phobia. It should be noted that all 24 of these individuals had never received any sort of prior treatment (e.g. SSRIs) as an intervention for their social anxiety and were considered “treatment-naïve.”
“By smoking weed, you suppress the REM sleep, and with that you also suppress a lot of important functions of that REM sleep. One of those functions is reliving the things you have experienced and coming to terms with them, as it were. Processing all kinds of psychological influences is something you do in REM sleep. You also anticipate the things that will happen the next day or the days after that. While you're sleeping, you already consider those and make decisions in advance."
I’ve been struggling with sleep for almost a decade. I started with over-the-counter pills for sleep, then moved to Xanax for sleep. The Xanax works like magic to help me sleep. I’d take three 0.5mg and in 30 mins I’d be in a deeep sleep. However, I would like to wing off pills to sleep for my poor liver and just within the last 2 days have came across this CBD alternative. Given how long I’ve been using a sleep aid and amount I take to sleep, what mg would you recommend taking to sleep? I wanna buy the pen. Also, is there different brands, or strains or whatever like there is with THC “regular weed” or is it all pretty much the same and only separated by MG amount? If there is a different strain of these oils which one is best for pain and for insomnia?
That’s precisely why I was intrigued when I started hearing about CBD, or cannabidiol, a nonpsychoactive compound found in the cannabis or hemp plant that apparently helps with sleep and anxiety. I didn’t exactly get my hopes up ― after all, tons of natural remedies that worked for other people hadn’t worked for me ― but I figured it was worth a shot.
It also is distinct from THC which acts as a CB1/CB2 partial agonist, thereby stimulating the receptor sites. If it acted the same as THC at the CB1/CB2 receptor sites, its therapeutic potential may be reduced. Moreover, since cannabidiol acts as an inverse agonist at the CB1/CB2 receptor sites, it doesn’t induce psychological euphoria and/or pleasure associated with downstream dopaminergic enhancement in the mesolimbic pathway (resulting from CB1/CB2 agonism).
Stephanie, generally, I have patients take 20 to 150mg a day for sleep +/- anxiety. Start low and go slow. Know the dosages of your product. Usually 2/3 to 3/4 of the daily dose is 1-2 hours before bedtime, and the other portion is upon waking (to improve wakefulness during the day). Other factors such as stress, hormone replacement, other meds & medical conditions, etc. play a role along with individual differences. I own a compounding pharmacy, so we see a lot of unique needs. I can't give more specific advice in this forum, but there is help!
In order to create a system where oils can be provided to patients when the original prescription is expressed in grams of dried product, each Licensed Producer must provide an ‘Equivalency Factor’. This allows you to see how much oil you can purchase to be in line with your prescription and ensures that you do not go over your prescribed allowance. For example, a 60ml bottle of Blueberry Lamsbread Cannabis Oil, which has an equivalency factor of 12 ml of oil to 1 gram of dried cannabis, will use 5 grams of your possession limit.
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