Natural, legal and with no major side effects (so far), CBD is a marketer’s dream. Hemp-based health products are launching left, right and centre, cashing in while the research is in its first flush of hazy potential. As well as ingestible CBD (also sold as hemp or cannabis oils or capsules) the compound has become a buzzword among upmarket skincare brands such as CBD of London. Predictably, Gwyneth Paltrow is a proponent of the trend, and has said that taking CBD oil helps her through hard times: “It doesn’t make you stoned or anything, just a little relaxed,” she told one beauty website.
This meant that overall, throughout the entire span of the night, I had ingested 2 doses of 2 BioCBD+ capsules for a cumulative dose of 40 mg (equivalent to 400 mg CBD). After my second set of capsules, I ended up going over to a friend’s house and an unexpected party was going on (which made me nervous – I don’t like big parties). I felt somewhat nervous because I didn’t know anyone and they wanted to drink (I didn’t want to) and thought about simply just leaving the party and going home.
Szaflarski explains that cannabis contains about 500 different compounds, some of which—including CBD and THC—interact with certain chemical receptors in the human nervous system. But unlike THC, CBD isn’t psychoactive—meaning it doesn’t cause any kind of a high. Despite that, the US Drug Enforcement Agency classifies CBD (and other cannabis compounds) as schedule I substances, making their sale illegal in many states.
Relevant studies are summarized in Table Table2.2. The anxiolytic effects of CBD in humans were first demonstrated in the context of reversing the anxiogenic effects of THC. CBD reduced THC-induced anxiety when administered simultaneously with this agent, but had no effect on baseline anxiety when administered alone [99, 100]. Further studies using higher doses supported a lack of anxiolytic effects at baseline [101, 107]. By contrast, CBD potently reduces experimentally induced anxiety or fear. CBD reduced anxiety associated with a simulated public speaking test in healthy subjects, and in subjects with SAD, showing a comparable efficacy to ipsapirone (a 5-HT1AR agonist) or diazepam [98, 105]. CBD also reduced the presumed anticipatory anxiety associated with undergoing a single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging procedure, in both healthy and SAD subjects [102, 104]. Finally, CBD enhanced extinction of fear memories in healthy volunteers: specifically, inhaled CBD administered prior to or after extinction training in a contextual fear conditioning paradigm led to a trend-level enhancement in the reduction of skin conductance response during reinstatement, and a significant reduction in expectancy (of shock) ratings during reinstatement .
CBD is shorthand for cannabidiol, one of the more than 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis. CBD products are said to deliver their many claimed benefits by boosting the body’s endocannabinoid system, which is a system that “is a unique signaling pathway that controls the function of a variety of systems throughout the body, including the cardiovascular system,” says Nicholas DiPatrizio, Ph.D., a professor of biomedical sciences at the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine. (More on the endocannabinoid system later.)
Rather, it appeared as though CBD attenuated anxiety induced by THC via alternative mechanisms. It was noted that various effects resulting from CBD appeared to be opposite of those associated with THC. This study published in the early 1980s provided initial evidence that CBD (rather than THC) promotes relaxation and is capable of attenuating drug-induced anxiety.
An animal study using mice found repeated administration of CBD may help the hippocampus regenerate neurons, which could be useful for treating anxiety or depression. Research shows both SSRIs and CBD may promote neurogenesis. This is significant, because evidence suggests that severely impaired neuronal plasticity may influence suicidal behavior. Future research comparing CBD and SSRIs effect on neurogenesis could open up promising new avenues in how we understand depression and how to most effectively treat it.
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.
Every person has their own tolerance and reactivity threshold. Hence, we would advise you to consult your doctor who can set the CBD dose you need to put you into sleep. However, the best way to calculate your customized dosage is by starting at a low amount and increasing it gradually thereon, until the desired effects are met. Be careful not to overdose.
In terms of recent scientific investigations on the topic, in 2011 a group of researchers conducted a study that revolutionized the thoughts about CBD and anxiety. They took 10 people with social anxiety who had never had any treatment for this disorder and divided them into two groups. One group was given 400mg of CBD and the other a placebo. The results showed that those who had received the CBD oil had successfully improved their anxiety symptoms compared to the placebo.
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Cannabidiol (CBD), one of the major compounds of Cannabis sativa, has been shown to have several therapeutic effects including antipsychotic (Zuardi et al., 1991; Leweke et al., 2000; Moreira et al., 2006), antidepressant (Zanelati et al., 2010), anti-epileptic (Devinsky et al., 2016) anti-inflammatory (Esposito et al., 2013), and analgesic properties (Boychuk et al., 2015), besides improving Parkinson’s disease symptoms (Chagas et al., 2014c).
When appropriate doses of CBD are taken during the day (which should be determined in consultation with your doctor, but often include one dose in the morning and one in the evening), daytime performance is drastically improved, and in turn, both the “strength and consistency” of the sleep-wake cycle is also improved. Naturally, this enhances the ability of the body to enter the all-important non-REM sleep cycle at night.
As of now, researchers understand that sleep is divided into multiple cycles with different phases, and it is generally regarded that CBD oil increases sleep in the third phase, which is the “deep sleep” phase. Furthermore, it has been shown that CBD decreases the duration of REM sleep, which is a phase of light sleep and is also the phase where dreams occur.
"It's important to know that the research in this area is in its infancy, partly because we haven't really understood much about CBD until relatively recently," said Marcel Bonn-Miller, an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He pointed out that the classification of marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug by the DEA makes it difficult to get material to use in laboratory studies. Schedule 1 drugs have a high potential for abuse, according to the DEA, and are illegal under federal law.
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