James Joliat, a 35-year-old video producer in Denver, has long experienced muscle and joint pain—mostly related to sports injuries. He says he started looking at natural remedies as an alternative to the prescription patches and pills his doctor recommended. After experimenting with homemade rubs infused with plant compounds—stuff like arnica and turmeric—he eventually stumbled onto topical cannabidiol (CBD) rubs.
That headache study cites research linking CBD to lower rates of anxiety. (Since anxiety often produces headaches, the authors say, CBD could be a plausible headache remedy if those anti-anxiety benefits are legit.) Grant says he’s looked at the literature on CBD and anxiety, and some of it is enticing. He mentions a Brazilian study, for instance, that found people with a fear of public speaking felt less anxiety and less discomfort about their phobia after taking CBD, compared to those who took a placebo.
We appreciate the potency of their CBD oil tinctures. For example, a 4,000mg bottle contains a total of 3,912mg of CBD in total, which gives 130mg of CBD per ml. That being said, if you need CBD oil in great abundance, Hemp Bombs have got you covered. However, when it comes to the efficacy of the oil, our opinions are split. We support the theory about the “entourage effect” in cannabis, and as such, we prefer full-spectrum extracts than isolates. That’s because it generally takes much more CBD in the isolate to exhibit its full potential.
There are ways to strain dangerous contaminants out of raw hemp paste. And most companies stand behind their quality and safety procedures. “We continuously test all our products ... to ensure our consumers get the levels of natural constituents they expect from the quality hemp stalk oil they purchase,” HempMedsPx states on its web site. “Additionally, all our products are tested for safety, to ensure there are no solvents, heavy metals, or other potentially harmful materials in our oil. Because we take these steps, we are always confident in our products, and you can be too.”
A 2016 review of animal studies indicated that cannabidiol has potential as an anxiolytic for relief of anxiety-related disorders and fear. Reviews of preliminary research showed cannabidiol has potential for improving addictive disorders and drug dependence, although as of 2016, they indicated limited high-quality evidence for anti-addictive effects in people.
Most acutely, the discomfort and stiffness I’d felt for months from a meniscus tear (confirmed by MRI) went away. The occasional twinges I had been getting on runs stopped. More significantly, what had been the tear’s near-constant presence in daily life, such as when getting up from sitting, has disappeared. For now I’ve postponed surgery on the tear. It’s impossible to know if CBD was the key factor in any of these changes. Still, at the end of the month I decided to keep taking CBD daily.
Would I say that CBD oil has fundamentally changed my life? No. But per the Charlotte's Web website, this is the typical first experience. "Anyone who has ever started a new vitamin or supplement routine knows the short answer to how long it takes to kick in is—'it depends,'" reads the article on what to expect from hemp oil. "For many newcomers, they're not sure what to imagine, or some anticipate a huge change right away. For most of us, though, dietary supplements take time."
Administration of CBD reduced the anxiogenic effects of THC, suggesting that it is capable of decreasing anxiety in animal models. It was also documented that standalone CBD treatment reduced expression of c-Fos in the central nucleus of the amygdala. Reduction in c-Fos is understood to yield anxiolytic effects – possibly another mechanism by which cannabidiol attenuates symptoms of anxiety.
Selective delta receptor agonists have been shown (in animal studies) to reduce anxiety-like behavior and block anxiogenic effects of stressors. Specifically, modulation of the DOR in the central amygdala may predict severity of an individual’s anxiety. There’s reason to believe that allosteric MOR and DOR modulation provided by CBD could reduce anxiety in a subset of individuals – especially when combined with aforestated 5-HT1A and CB1/CB2 effects.
One area where CBD is clearly helpful: the treatment of seizures associated with one form of epilepsy. A 2017 New England Journal of Medicine study found ingesting oral CBD dramatically cut down most patients’ seizure frequency—a finding that prompted the FDA to support the approval of one CBD drug for use in the treatment of some epilepsy patients.
Research conducted by Schier et al. (2012) aimed to review the literature of cannabidiol (CBD) as an anxiolytic due to the fact that it is non-psychotomimetic. Researchers gathered scientific publications from English, Portuguese, and Spanish databases. All compiled articles analyzed the anxiolytic effects of cannabidiol from both human and animal model studies.
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It is known that a major problem of several medications used in the treatment of clinical anxiety and depression is their effect on sleep architecture. Benzodiazepines are an example, since despite the rapid onset of their anxiolytic action, these drugs may produce undesirable side effects such as the increase in non-REM stage 2 sleep and reduction of SWS (Borbély et al., 1985). Long-term use of benzodiazepines may also cause reduction of SWS, loss of efficacy in the treatment of insomnia, alterations in electroencephalogram results during sleep (Poyares et al., 2004) and cognitive dysfunction, even after drug discontinuation (Stewart, 2005).
In the United States, approximately 70 million people suffer from insomnia, insufficient sleep or another sleep disorder. CBD has been mistakenly described as sedating. In modest doses, CBD is mildly alerting. Cannabidiol activates the same adenosine receptors as caffeine, a stimulant. But several patients with sleep issues report that ingesting a CBD-rich tincture or extract a few hours before bedtime has a balancing effect that facilitates a good night’s sleep.
“DEA will continue to support sound and scientific research that promotes legitimate therapeutic uses for FDA-approved constituent components of cannabis, consistent with federal law,” acting DEA administrator Uttam Dhillon said in a press release. “DEA is committed to continuing to work with our federal partners to seek ways to make the process for research more efficient and effective.”
Kimberly is the reference editor for Live Science and Space.com. She has a bachelor's degree in marine biology from Texas A&M University, a master's degree in biology from Southeastern Louisiana University and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her favorite stories include animals and obscurities. A Texas native, Kim now lives in a California redwood forest. You can follow her on Twitter @kimdhickok.
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