Shots is the online channel for health stories from the NPR Science Desk. We report on news that can make a difference for your health and show how policy shapes our health choices. Look to Shots for the latest on research and medical treatments, as well as the business side of health. Your hosts are Scott Hensley and Carmel Wroth. You can reach the Shots team via our contact form.
Despite this, it's important to know that inflammation is not inherently bad; in fact, it's a brilliant aspect of our immune system. When balanced, inflammation heals wounds and fights off infections. The problem with inflammation arises when it increases and never calms down. Like a forest fire burning on in perpetuity, people get hurt. Same goes with the fiery squall of insidious, chronic inflammation. As a natural anti-inflammatory, CBD can help quell the flame and fight chronic inflammation.
General health improvement: Intermittent usage of CBD oil on an “as-needed” basis is understood to provide numerous general health benefits. Research suggests that CBD oil may offer anticancer, analgesic, and antiemetic properties.  There’s evidence noting that it may boost immune function, slow the growth of bacteria, reduce muscle spasms, and modulate blood sugar levels.  Literature indicates that cannabidiol may be conducive to general health.
The cannabis plant is filled with hundreds of different compounds, several of which have been studied for decades for their therapeutic benefits. The cannabis compounds that have captured the most scientific interest are known as cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are now used in treatment for a broad—and growing—range of conditions and symptoms, from sleep and pain, to anxiety and inflammation, to Parkinson’s disease and cancer.
Some researchers believe that hippocampal neurogenesis may play a critical role in attenuating symptoms of severe anxiety and/or depression.  Although not all 5-HT1A partial agonists may induce hippocampal neurogenesis, there’s evidence to suggest that cannabidiol does.  A study published in 2013 assessed the anxiolytic effects of CBD in mice exposed to chronic stress.
Yet the DEA has stated unequivocally that it considers CBD to be illegal under the Controlled Substances Act. “CBD derived from the cannabis plant is controlled under Schedule I of the CSA because it is a naturally occurring constituent of marijuana,” Joseph Rannazzisi, the deputy assistant administrator of the DEA, told a congressional panel in June. “While there is ongoing research into a potential medical use of CBD, at this time, CBD has no currently accepted medical use in the USA.” Moreover, DEA spokesman Eduardo Chavez told the New Republic that Medical Marijuana, Inc.’s in-house opinion with regards to CBD has no merit. “The bottom line,” Chavez said, “is the oil is part of the marijuana plant, and the marijuana plant is currently a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law.”
CBD is a miracle for me! I have anxiety and arthritis really bad. Very painful knee pain and numbness and pain in my shoulders, arms and hands, especially at night. I kid you not, I purchased CBD cream first and I couldn’t believe how it relieved my pain. Since I purchased it a week ago, I haven’t taken any gabepentin, meloxican or Ibuprofen . That worked so well, I ordered CBD 100 tincture as a start from a recommendation from this site. It came today and I placed a half of dropper full under my tongue as directed on the bottle and it had me very relaxed. So far I love the effect and I am still pain-free. I wished I would have known about this years ago, as there are not nearly as much side effects like all that pharmaceutical madness, that has more side effects than benefits.
Healthspan is a member of the Cannabis Trades Association UK (CTA UK), a body created to ensure legal and ethical CBD trading standards in the UK. CTA UK works closely with the MHRA, FSA and CTPA to comply with EU and UK legislation and regulations. Only selected companies that meet exceptionally high quality standards are allowed to carry its seal of approval; its members guarantee transparency in trading, registration, batch testing and labelling, with reliable and accurate product information to give consumers peace of mind.
Maybe if I had stuck with one type of CBD for the whole two weeks, my body would have become more adjusted to it and I would have noticed more dramatic effects. While it was certainly relaxing (most nights), it wasn't a miracle sleep aid. If my struggle to fall asleep ever became a more serious problem, I'd probably head to a doctor to talk dosages and other options. But in the meantime, I'll be using it on those stress-y kind of nights that require a literal chill pill before bed.
Grant says this may lead to a “dampening” or mellowing of some neurochemical processes, including those linked to pain. “CBD may also react with other receptors, like those for serotonin, and it may have actions that reduce the inflammatory molecules produced whenever there is tissue damage or bacteria coming in,” he says. “But we really don’t know the mechanisms.”
Can CBD oil help anxiety? Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical occurring in cannabis plants. It is possible to add CBD oil to food, and an increasing amount of evidence suggests that it may improve mental health, particularly anxiety. It does not seem to have adverse side effects, but CBD oil is illegal in some states. Learn more about CBD oil here. Read now
Imagine waking up in the morning feeling rested and awake – no more residual grogginess or impairment. In order to understand how CBD helps modulate sleep, we turn to a series of medical studies that have been conducted over the past ten years. These studies evaluated CBD’s medical efficacy in treating those who suffer from various types of sleep disorders. We will address the results below. 
No restrictions and our always-free shipping mean for unparalleled access to some of the world’s best in organic CBD’s. In addition, we are proud to say that we are quite knowledgeable in the CBD field and CBD applications as opposed to many out there, just trying to sell a product. If you need help deciding which CBD line is best for your intended application, we are always happy to explain the options to your fullest understanding.
That’s precisely why I was intrigued when I started hearing about CBD, or cannabidiol, a nonpsychoactive compound found in the cannabis or hemp plant that apparently helps with sleep and anxiety. I didn’t exactly get my hopes up ― after all, tons of natural remedies that worked for other people hadn’t worked for me ― but I figured it was worth a shot.

These cannabinoid-rich extracts can pose risks to patients who consume them. The exact composition of different available oils is frequently unknown. They are not checked for quality by external certified laboratories for the presence of residual solvents, or contaminants such as microbes, pesticides, heavy metals or mycotoxins. The lack of standardisation of both the cannabis starting material and oils makes it impossible to fully evaluate their therapeutic effects over time and, hence, their medicinal value.


Following cloning of the endogenous receptor for THC, namely the CB1R, endogenous CB1R ligands, or “endocannabinoids” (eCBs) were discovered, namely anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (reviewed in [22]). The CB1R is an inhibitory Gi/o protein-coupled receptor that is mainly localized to nerve terminals, and is expressed on both γ-aminobutryic acid-ergic and glutamatergic neurons. eCBs are fatty acid derivatives that are synthesized on demand in response to neuronal depolarization and Ca2+ influx, via cleavage of membrane phospholipids. The primary mechanism by which eCBs regulate synaptic function is retrograde signaling, wherein eCBs produced by depolarization of the postsynaptic neuron activate presynaptic CB1Rs, leading to inhibition of neurotransmitter release [23]. The “eCB system” includes AEA and 2-arachidonoylglycerol; their respective degradative enzymes fatty acid amide hydroxylase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase; the CB1R and related CB2 receptor (the latter expressed mainly in the periphery); as well as several other receptors activated by eCBs, including the TRPV1 receptor, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ, and G protein-coupled 55 receptor, which functionally interact with CB1R signaling (reviewed in [21, 24]). Interactions with the TRPV1 receptor, in particular, appear to be critical in regulating the extent to which eCB release leads to inhibition or facilitation of presynaptic neurotransmitter release [25]. The TRPV1 receptor is a postsynaptic cation channel that underlies sensation of noxious heat in the periphery, with capsacin (hot chili) as an exogenous ligand. TRPV1 receptors are also expressed in the brain, including the amygdala, periaqueductal grey, hippocampus, and other areas [26, 27].
Some individuals have been found to have mutations on the CNR1 gene, which is responsible for coding the CB1 receptor (a type of receptor in cells throughout your body that interacts with cannabinoids). Issues with the CNR1 gene can ultimately result in a poorly functioning endocannabinoid system, which is an important variable when figuring out how to use CBD oil.
People with specific phobias experinence strong, irrational fears of certain objects, places, or situations (fear of snakes, flying, big spaces, small spaces, etc.). These phobias can disrupt daily routines and limit a persons abilities to function properly. Some phobias develop in childhood, while others in adolescence or early adulthood. 19 million, 8.7% of the US population suffer from specific phobias. Women are twice as likely to be affected as men.
CBD = cannabidiol; HV = healthy controls; DBP = double-blind placebo; SAD = social anxiety disorder; HC = healthy controls; SPECT = single-photo emission computed tomography; rCBF = regional cerebral blood flow; fMRI = functional magnetic resonance imaging; HPC = hippocampus; HYP = hypothalamus; PHG = parahippocampal gyrus; STG = superior temporal gyrus; MTG = medial temporal gyrus; ACC = anterior cingulate cortex; PCC = posterior cingulate cortex

CBD interacts mostly with CB1 receptors which are spread throughout the entire body, but they’re found in the highest concentrations in the immune and nervous systems. The interaction between CBD and endocannabinoid receptors, proteins, and other chemicals in the brain, triggers changes in the activity of hormones, and neurotransmitters throughout the brain and the body.
As noted, CBD has been found to have a bell-shaped response curve, with higher doses being ineffective. This may reflect activation of TRPV1 receptors at higher dose, as blockade of TRPV1 receptors in the DPAG rendered a previously ineffective high dose of CBD as anxiolytic in the EPM [66]. Given TRPV1 receptors have anxiogenic effects, this may indicate that at higher doses, CBD’s interaction with TRPV1 receptors to some extent impedes anxiolytic actions, although was notably not sufficient to produce anxiogenic effects.

Likewise, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) may interfere with sleep architecture and decrease restorative sleep, leading to increased awakenings, reduced REM sleep, increased REM latency, as well as increased periodic limb movement during sleep (Feige et al., 2002). In addition, SSRIs and SNRIs have been associated with REM sleep without atonia, characterized by increased tonic or phasic motor activity in electromyographic channels during REM sleep (Schenck et al., 1992; American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 2014; Lee et al., 2016).
Whether any of these CBD products will do anyone any good (or bad) is moot. “Cannabidiol is the hottest new medicine in mental health because the proper clinical trials do suggest it has clinical effects,” says Philip McGuire, professor of psychiatry and cognitive neuroscience at King’s College London. “It is the No 1 new treatment we’re interested in. But although there’s tons of stuff in the news about it, there’s still not that much evidence.” Large, long-term studies are needed; a 2017 review paper into the safety profile of CBD concluded that “important toxicological parameters are yet to be studied; for example, if CBD has an effect on hormones”.
Numerous diseases — such as anorexia, emesis, pain, inflammation, multiple sclerosis, neurodegenerative disorders, epilepsy, glaucoma, osteoporosis, schizophrenia, cardiovascular disorders, cancer, obesity and metabolic syndrome-related disorders — are being treated or have the potential to be treated by cannabis oils and other cannabinoid compounds.
But now, as more and more people are turning to the drug to treat ailments, the science of cannabis is experiencing a rebirth. We’re finding surprises, and possibly miracles, concealed inside this once forbidden plant. Although marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug, Vivek Murthy, the U.S. surgeon general, recently expressed interest in what science will learn about marijuana, noting that preliminary data show that “for certain medical conditions and symptoms” it can be “helpful.”
He blinks thoughtfully, then turns to his computer. “However, let me show you something.” On his screen flash two MRIs of a rat’s brain. The animal has a large mass lodged in the right hemisphere, caused by human brain tumor cells Guzmán’s researchers injected. He zooms in. The mass bulges hideously. The rat, I think, is a goner. “This particular animal was treated with THC for one week,” Guzmán continues. “And this is what happened afterward.” The two images that now fill his screen are normal. The mass has not only shrunk—it’s disappeared. “As you can see, no tumor at all.”
Selective breeding of cannabis plants has expanded and diversified as commercial and therapeutic markets develop. Some growers in the U.S. succeeded in lowering the proportion of CBD-to-THC to accommodate customers who preferred varietals that were more mind-altering due to the higher THC and lower CBD content.[55] Hemp is classified as any part of the cannabis plant containing no more than 0.3% THC in dry weight form (not liquid or extracted form).[56]
Likewise, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) may interfere with sleep architecture and decrease restorative sleep, leading to increased awakenings, reduced REM sleep, increased REM latency, as well as increased periodic limb movement during sleep (Feige et al., 2002). In addition, SSRIs and SNRIs have been associated with REM sleep without atonia, characterized by increased tonic or phasic motor activity in electromyographic channels during REM sleep (Schenck et al., 1992; American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 2014; Lee et al., 2016).

PTSD sufferers usually re-experience the trauma in their dreams, which drastically disturbs their REM sleep and overall sleep patterns, leading to insomnia. In a case report on a 10-year old girl suffering from PTSD, a trial of cannabidiol oil resulted in a maintained decrease in anxiety and a steady improvement in the quality and quantity of the patient’s sleep.

A friend texted me to hang out while I was grocery shopping and I replied yeah (not something I normally would’ve done).  On my drive to the grocery store I felt completely calm without a major change in alertness or vigilance of my environment.  While I was at the store, I had a pleasant experience, but noticed that my emotions felt slightly subdued again – but the effect wasn’t extreme.
The World Health Organization takes a similar stance, saying there is no evidence of abuse potential or harm associated with the use of pure CBD. However, WHO cautions against its use as a medicine until further research and evidence have been amassed. And, of course, it’s always best to talk with your doctor before making any changes to your health routine.
“Strong data is lacking with CBD. There have been only small research trials some showing benefit, others showing no benefit with CBD,” said Pritham Raj, an internist-psychiatrist in Portland, Oregon. “So, in short, the jury is still out. This doesn’t mean CBD doesn’t work for anxiety, it just means that we don’t have enough information to make a strong argument for CBD in the treatment of anxiety.”

Human trials are few and far between. The lone 2016 CBD and sleep-related study was restricted to a single adolescent suffering from PTSD and resulting insomnia. Although, the conclusions indicate the poor girl was sleeping better and on the road to recovery with a low sublingual spray dose of CBD. We must disclose that GW Pharmaceuticals founded the Cannabinoid Research Institute that carried out the research.
Withdrawal: It is unclear as to whether there are any withdrawal symptoms ensuing following discontinuation of chronic CBD oil administration. It is apparent that there are marijuana withdrawal symptoms – it took years for these to receive legitimate scientific attention in the literature.  Though most would speculate that CBD is unlikely to cause discontinuation effects, withdrawal symptoms cannot be ruled out among long-term, chronic users.

During my visit, Penny showed me how she administers Harper’s CBD oils. We stood in her kitchen, where a window opened onto a vista of green grass and a wooden swing set out back. After carefully mixing and measuring Harper’s oils, Penny poured the liquid into a jumbo-sized plastic syringe. “We put this all online,” she told me, referring to the several YouTube videos she has made to help other parents administer hemp oil. Penny leaned down over her daughter to fit the tip of the syringe into her gastronomy tube, and I stood by silently. Harper looked at Penny, and Penny smiled back at her, and eased the plunger down.
A wealth of marketing material, blogs and anecdotes claim that cannabis oils can cure whatever ails you, even cancer. But the limited research doesn't suggest that cannabis oil should take the place of conventional medication, except for in two very rare forms of epilepsy (and even then, it's recommended only as a last-resort treatment). And, experts caution that because cannabis oil and other cannabis-based products are not regulated or tested for safety by the government or any third-party agency, it's difficult for consumers to know exactly what they're getting.

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