If he had his way, what Mechoulam regards as the often irresponsible silliness of recreational pot culture would give way to an earnest and enthusiastic embrace of cannabis—but only as a medical substance to be strictly regulated and relentlessly researched. “Right now,” he complains, “people don’t know what they’re getting. For it to work in the medical world, it has to be quantitative. If you can’t count it, it’s not science.”
Over the past two years, 17 states have passed laws legalizing CBD so that patients can obtain the drug without fear of prosecution from local authorities. For intractable childhood epilepsies—the sorts of seizure disorders that for centuries have ruined lives and shattered families, the ones even specialists like Hernandez dread—CBD could be a miracle cure.
In the apparent rush to accept weed into the mainstream, to tax and regulate it, to legitimize and commodify it, important questions arise. What’s going on inside this plant? How does marijuana really affect our bodies and our brains? What might the chemicals in it tell us about how our neurological systems function? Could those chemicals lead us to beneficial new pharmaceuticals?
Hernandez said interactions between FDA-approved pharmaceuticals and CBD oils are a serious concern. “What we’ve found so far is that [CBD] can actually affect the levels of some of your epilepsy medications,” Hernandez told me. The diarrhea and vomiting associated with CBD oil ingestion can lower the levels of other drugs in patients’ bloodstreams, while the way the body absorbs CBD can raise the levels of certain medications.
Is it possible that some types or “strains” of hemp extracts used for CBD tinctures/capsules could actually increase a persons anxiety and insomnia? I’m a chiropractor and I personally use and sell CBD products in my office. I sell a few different brands. I have had several patients complain about a new higher dosage (50mg per serving) brand saying it actually increased their anxiety, increased their heart rate and prevented them from sleeping well. I have a few other patients that say that this same brand has been very useful in pain relief. Does this have more to do with the terpene profile that the amount of CBD?
But it’s Guzmán’s brain tumor research that has captured headlines—and the interest of pharmaceutical companies. Through his years of research he has ascertained that a combination of THC, CBD, and temozolomide (a moderately successful conventional drug) works best in treating brain tumors in mice. A cocktail composed of these three compounds appears to attack brain cancer cells in multiple ways, preventing their spread but also triggering them, in effect, to commit suicide.
Anti-inflammatory: Many individuals with neuropsychiatric disorders have severe inflammation, particularly neuroinflammation. Neuroinflammation is associated with many causative underpinnings including: air pollution, brain injuries, viruses, and even standard aging. This increase in inflammation can lead to glial cell and cytokine abnormalities, each of which could contribute to anxiety disorders. CBD has been shown to reduce neuroinflammation, which in turn may directly improve anxiety, as well as cognitive function and mood.
I stopped by Moon Juice after work, feeling a little nervous and excited all at once. “You might notice that your body feels a bit heavy after you try it—sometimes when I take it I feel like I just want to sit down and chill,” said the women behind the Moon Juice counter who helped me. Prepped for potential side effects, I emptied one dropper’s worth of CBD oil into my chamomile tea as soon as I got home … And didn’t feel anything. A few hours later I got into bed and immediately fell asleep.
Super- or Sub-critical CO2 method – in entails extracting oil in high pressure and low temperature. CO2 is pushed through the plant and the result is CBD in its purest form. It is considered as the best and safest method, the extracted CBD-rich hemp oil has clean taste because the green chlorophyll is removed during the extraction. This method is more expensive than the alternatives and requires expensive equipment.
From this study we can conclude that the acute effects of THC (e.g. increased anxiety) are unfavorable. Evidence suggests that CBD appears well-tolerated and safe, with no adverse physiological reactions compared to a placebo. However, since the physiological effects of CBD (600 mg) were of no statistically significant difference from the placebo, it is unclear if CBD elicits any therapeutic effect – even at a seemingly reasonable dose.
You may be familiar with a concept called the entourage effect. The entourage effect states that cannabinoids work better together than they do alone. In essence, CBD is more effective when combined with other cannabinoids like CBG, CBN, THC, and so on than it is in isolation. The terms “full-spectrum” and “whole-plant” are alluding to this concept. Biologically, a person gets high by having THC bind to CB1 receptors in the brain. CBD also binds to CB1 receptors in the brain and has been shown to actually counteract some of the effects of getting high by blocking the activation of THC in CB1 receptors. CBD changes the shape of the receptor so that there is less room for THC to bind to. CBD has even been shown to decrease the heightened heart rate that you feel from getting high. Therefore CBD can even have an impact on the anxiety that comes from the psychoactive effects of THC.
Inhibited liver function: The liver regulates the way different drugs are metabolized within the body; this process is known as hepatic drug metabolism. Higher-than-average doses of CBD oil can slow the hepatic drug metabolism process. As a result, users may not be able to process other drugs as quickly. This is particularly concerning for CBD oil users who also take prescription medications.
However, Bonn-Miller told Live Science that he thinks cannabis research is on the upswing. "If we flash forward five years I think you'll see more studies," he said. Those studies could reveal more conditions that CBD may be helpful for and may also reveal that some of the reasons why people say they use CBD oil are not supported by the science but are instead a placebo effect. "And that's why we need to do the studies," he said.
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