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.
Well, apart from day to day anxiety that most of us suffer with, anxiety is actually a very complex disorder, which can be at times extremely paralyzing and debilitating. According to recent data published by the National Institute of Mental Health, Anxiety disorders affect 19.1% of adults in the United States in any given year. Furthermore, it is estimate that 31.1% of American adults experience any anxiety disorder at some time in their lives.
“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."
Nervous system reset: When we experience a freeze-fight-flight response, activity in the autonomic nervous system (ANS) is altered. Anxiety and fear-inducing situations skew activation of the ANS so that the sympathetic branch is more active than the parasympathetic branch. Administration of CBD has been shown to prevent overactivity in the sympathetic branch via 5-HT1A partial agonism. This means that administration of CBD prior to or after a highly stressful event may prevent a full-blown nervous breakdown.
Bonn-Miller also explained that it's imperative to exhaust the traditional and established front-line treatments that are available before seeking out these products. "CBD is not really a first-line treatment for anything," he said. "You don’t want situations where somebody says, 'I have cancer I'm going to forgo chemotherapy because I read something about CBD or THC helping with cancer.'" That's not a good idea, Bonn-Miller said. "Not only is the science not there, but you may end up worse off."
Research suggests that CBD may exert some of its pharmacological action through its inhibition of fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), which may in turn increase the levels of endocannabinoids, such as anandamide, produced by the body. It has also been speculated that some of the metabolites of CBD have pharmacological effects that contribute to the biological activity of CBD.
For people who suffer from insomnia, constant anxiety during the night or simply struggle to get a sound, restful night of undisturbed sleep, cannabis sativa essential oil may work like a charm. However, according to a research report published by Dr. Ethan Russo, Director of Research for the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute, terpenoids produce an “entourage effect”.
Researchers utilized SPECT neuroimaging with an ECD tracer to assess regional cerebral blood flow of the participants ~90 minutes after CBD or placebo administration. They also administered the VAMS (Visual Analogue Mood Scale) to determine subjective mood of participants throughout the study. After each participant had been examined twice (once with the placebo, once with the CBD) – data was compared.
The relative representativeness of the small sample size and the use of a single dose of CBD can perhaps be regarded as a limitation of our study, as it does not allow the assessment of the effects of chronic treatment with CBD on sleep. In the study by Chagas et al. (2014b), for example, CBD was chronically administered for 6 weeks to patients with Parkinson’s disease and REM sleep behavior disorder. Since the effects of CBD are biphasic (Zuardi et al., 2017), the use of a single dose also limits the interpretation of the present findings. Moreover, monitoring changes in sleep using a conventional polysomnography presents some intrinsic limitations, as it is insufficient alone to detect drug-induced changes of the sleep EEG. For this purpose, a spectral analysis or a similar procedure is also needed. Conversely, the use of preclinical polysomnography to characterize drug-induced sleep disturbances has been increasingly recommended in the regulatory context (Authier et al., 2016). Finally, it is essential to evaluate the effects of CBD in a larger sample and in individuals diagnosed with sleep disorders in addition to healthy volunteers.
A study conducted by Todd and Arnold (2016) elucidated the neural correlates associated with CBD and THC interactions in mice. The researchers administered CBD, THC, or a combination of CBD/THC to mice and examined anxiety-related behaviors – as well as other neurophysiological markers. Results indicated that THC suppressed locomotor activity and was anxiogenic in that it increased anxiety.
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.
Cannabis has been used for centuries to treat nerves and anxiety, as well as other mood problems. CBD may help to improve both depression and anxiety, at least in part through its interactions with serotonin receptors in the brain. Research shows that CBD can reduce both mental and physical symptoms of anxiety. A study of CBD given to people before a public-speaking event indicates that CBD can help reduce stress—this and other research has shown that CBD can be an effective treatment for social anxiety.
If you’re just diving into the world of CBD, we recommend a starting serving size of two to three milligrams. From there, you can work your way up to 100 or even 200 milligrams, after you’ve taken the time to gradually observe how CBD affects your body and mind. Remember, you cannot overdose on CBD, and there are no reported side effects from using high concentrations.
And the products on the shelf aren't all the same, Ward said. "There can be many, many different varieties, and if you're thinking about doing this for medical reasons, you want to find a trusted source and do your research," she said. "Where does that oil come from, and how confident can you be that you know the exact percentages of the different cannabinoids in the product?"
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