While most of the studies have only been conducted on lab rats, (which, by the way, we have the government to thank for listing cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning virtually no human studies are permitted), the information that has been presented thus far has in large part been promising, although it is still inconclusive as to whether or not CBD really does act as a “miracle” sleeping pill.
Guzmán leads me around his cramped lab—centrifuges, microscopes, beakers, petri dishes, a postdoc researcher in a white smock extracting tissue from a mouse corpse pinned under bright lights. It’s your typical bioresearch lab, except that everything is devoted to the effects of cannabis on the body and brain. The lab focuses not just on cancer but also on neurodegenerative diseases and on how cannabinoids affect early brain development. On this last topic the Guzmán group’s research is unequivocal: Mice born of mothers regularly given high doses of THC during pregnancy show pronounced problems. They’re uncoordinated, have difficulty with social interactions, and have a low anxiety threshold—they’re often paralyzed with fear at stimuli, such as a cat puppet placed near their cage, that don’t upset other juvenile mice.
The extract known as CBD oil sold in the U.S. falls into one of two categories. Crystalline isolate exclusively contains CBD, as other cannabinoids have been removed; full spectrum oil, on the other hand, retains THC and other cannabinoids, and is only sold in states where marijuana use has been legalized. CBD oil can be consumed several different ways, including ingested capsules and food products, vaporizing, tinctures, and topical creams. The soporific effects of CBD oil are linked to its concentration; low-concentration oils will produce minimal effects, while high-concentration oils will produce strong effects.
A geneticist, Kane studies cannabis from a unique perspective—he probes its DNA. He’s an affable, outdoorsy guy with a bright face and eyes that wander and dart inquisitively when he talks. He has studied chocolate and for many years the sunflower, eventually mapping its genome, a sequence of more than three and a half billion nucleotides. Now he’s moved on to marijuana. Though its sequence is much shorter, roughly 800 million nucleotides, he considers it a far more intriguing plant.
CBD Oil for Anxiety
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