Cannabidiol is currently a class B1 controlled drug in New Zealand under the Misuse of Drugs Act. It is also a prescription medicine under the Medicines Act. In 2017 the rules were changed so that anyone wanting to use it could go to the Health Ministry for approval. Prior to this, the only way to obtain a prescription was to seek the personal approval of the Minister of Health.
One of the strongest nutraceutical CBD oils is called Charlotte’s Web, with a 50mg dose. Charlotte’s Web is produced in Colorado by the Stanley Brothers, and named after Charlotte Figi, a girl who became famous in the US after her frequent seizures, brought on by the rare Dravet syndrome, were greatly reduced when she started taking CBD oil aged five. The company makes THC products too and is extremely successful, having just offered shares on the Canadian securities exchange, raising about $100m.
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.)
At lower doses, CDB (15 mg/day) co-administered with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, 15 mg/day) increased wakefulness (Nicholson et al., 2004). More recently, Chagas et al. (2014b) investigated the effects of chronically administered CBD (75–300 mg per day for 6 weeks) in patients with Parkinson’s disease and found a reduction in symptoms of REM sleep behavior disorder. After discontinuation of the drug, the frequency of symptoms returned to baseline levels, prior to treatment with CBD. Finally, CBD-enriched extract was described as a safe treatment for reducing anxiety and improving sleep in a young girl with post-traumatic stress disorder (Shannon and Opila-Lehman, 2016).
Cannabidiol offers a novel pharmacodynamic profile as an anxiolytic agent. It is believed that administration of CBD (cannabidiol) modulates neurotransmission in a multitude of ways. Literature shows that cannabidiol alters 5-HT1A, GPR55, CB1/CB2, and mu/delta opioid receptor sites – while simultaneously enhances hippocampal neurogenesis. The combination of these neurophysiological effects likely contribute to its efficacy as a novel anxiolytic.
Side effects of CBD include sleepiness, decreased appetite, diarrhea, fatigue, malaise, weakness, sleeping problems, and others. It does not have intoxicating effects like those caused by THC, and may have an opposing effect on disordered thinking and anxiety produced by THC. CBD has been found to interact with a variety of different biological targets, including cannabinoid receptors and other neurotransmitter receptors. The mechanism of action of CBD in terms of its psychoactive and therapeutic effects is not fully clear.
Preclinical evidence conclusively demonstrates CBD’s efficacy in reducing anxiety behaviors relevant to multiple disorders, including PTSD, GAD, PD, OCD, and SAD, with a notable lack of anxiogenic effects. CBD’s anxiolytic actions appear to depend upon CB1Rs and 5-HT1ARs in several brain regions; however, investigation of additional receptor actions may reveal further mechanisms. Human experimental findings support preclinical findings, and also suggest a lack of anxiogenic effects, minimal sedative effects, and an excellent safety profile. Current preclinical and human findings mostly involve acute CBD dosing in healthy subjects, so further studies are required to establish whether chronic dosing of CBD has similar effects in relevant clinical populations. Overall, this review emphasizes the potential value and need for further study of CBD in the treatment of anxiety disorders.
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CBD oil extracted from hemp — no matter how it’s consumed — works with the body’s ECS system to replenish cannabinoids and regulate homeostasis. The substance is also anti-anxiolytic, meaning it reduces feelings of anxiety — a common source of sleep problems in adults. For these reasons, hemp-based CBD oil can be highly beneficial for people with insomnia whether they struggle with sleep onset (falling asleep) or sleep maintenance (staying asleep). In addition to insomnia, CBD oil may lead to improvements for the following sleep disorders:
“I just felt good,” he adds. “But I wasn’t high at all.” Joliat’s anecdotal experience with CBD is a common one. Some informal polling suggests a lot of people today are at least vaguely familiar with cannabidiol, and have either used it themselves or know someone who has. But even some people who use it don’t seem to know exactly what it is or whether there’s any hard science out there to back up its benefits.
CBD Oil for Sleep
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