In 1992 Mechoulam’s quest for quantification led him from the plant itself to the inner recesses of the human brain. That year he and several colleagues made an extraordinary discovery. They isolated the chemical made by the human body that binds to the same receptor in the brain that THC does. Mechoulam named it anandamide—from the Sanskrit for “supreme joy.” (When asked why he didn’t give it a Hebrew name, he replies, “Because in Hebrew there are not so many words for happiness. Jews don’t like being happy.”)
In general, the preparation methods for unregulated cannabis oil are relatively simple. They do not entail highly specialised equipment, and use easily accessible solvents such as petroleum ether, naphtha, alcohol and olive oil. For this reason, people who have access to cannabis plant material, from either legal or illegal sources, may prepare it at home by themselves.
“For those patients who have tried and failed with prescription anti-anxiety medications or want another option for other reasons, CBD is a potential alternative with a good safety profile that offers fewer negative side effects and fewer contraindications with other substances,” Pearson said. “While it won’t work for everyone, it offers a gentler alternative that I have seen work for many people.”
Cannabidiol (CBD) is just one of over 85 scientifically-identified cannabinoids (or chemical compounds) derived from the flowering plant cannabis. Each of the cannabinoids within cannabis elicit unique neurophysiological effects. Most people are well-aware of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the predominant cannabinoid within cannabis that is ingested by upwards of 230 million people per year as a psychoactive euphoriant.
Most people do not associate cognitive health issues like anxiety, depression, brain fog, ADD, ADHD, and autism with inflammation, but it turns out that is exactly what the research is finding. There is actually a whole field of research known as the cytokine model of cognitive function studying how inflammation messes with our brains and may cause anxiety disorders. One finding is that elevated levels of NF kappa B (NFkB), an inflammatory bad guy, is associated with anxiety while people with lower levels of NFkB often have lower rates of anxiety.
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.
Pharmaceutical companies producing oils are subject to a pharmaceutical production licence for controlled drugs, issued by government regulators. Currently there are no pharmaceutical companies producing cannabis oil as a medicine. This might change in the future when a standardised, GMP-certified production method becomes available, setting the standards for the production of cannabis oil as a pharmaceutical product.
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This has been the year medical cannabis hit the mainstream. The government has announced that it is relaxing laws on when cannabis medicines can be prescribed by doctors, following high-profile cases such as that of Billy Caldwell, the 13-year-old boy hospitalised by his epileptic seizures after he was denied legal access to the cannabis oil that helps control them. Meanwhile a new generation of cannabis medicines has shown great promise (both anecdotally and in early clinical trials) in treating a range of ills from anxiety, psychosis and epilepsy to pain, inflammation and acne. And you don’t have to get stoned to reap the health benefits.
As of now, researchers understand that sleep is divided into multiple cycles with different phases, and it is generally regarded that CBD oil increases sleep in the third phase, which is the “deep sleep” phase. Furthermore, it has been shown that CBD decreases the duration of REM sleep, which is a phase of light sleep and is also the phase where dreams occur.
Mike, what kind of breast cancer (invasive ductal, I presume)? How many of her lymph nodes were positive? How big was the primary tumor? Reason I ask is that in women with Stage I or IIA tumors that are estrogen-and progesterone-receptor-positive and HER2-negative (ER+/PR+/HER2-) with three or fewer positive lymph nodes, there is a genomic assay test on a sample of the tumor, called OncotypeDX, that will tell doctors whether chemo is necessary or would even work at all. Medicare covers that test 100%.That type of breast cancer mentioned above, which I had as Stage IA, is treated in postmenopausal women with anti-estrogen drugs called aromatase inhibitors(aka AIs: anastrazole, letrozole, or exemestane)which have as a side effect joint pain. CBD oil is effective for this joint pain it is not, I repeat, NOT a substitute for chemo, radiation or these anti-estrogen drugs.So don’t assume your mom’s cancer will require chemo; but if it does, CBD helps with those side effects as well. If she lives in a state where medical marijuana is legal, there are doctors who sub-specialize in certifying applications for a medical marijuana card, and in the interim before the card is issued can advise as to the appropriate dose of CBD oil (legal and over-the-counter in all 50 states). Some (though not most) medical oncologists will certify their own patients’ medical marijuana card applications so she need not seek out another doctor; and will advise the appropriate dose for her symptoms. Once she gets her card, the “budtenders” in the licensed dispensaries can advise her as to the right CBD product (with or without THC), strength, and dosage. If she lives in a state where recreational weed is legal, the “budtenders” in the marijuana shops can steer her to the right strength of CBD oil and the right dosage.
This figure, if accurate, is indeed a substantial number, especially when you take into account the different factors that may be behind this inability to get a decent sleep. If this number is reflective of a population that struggles with getting adequate amounts of sleep, it might suggest a strong need for a remedy that doesn’t mean over-prescribing pharmaceutical sedatives.
Although delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (known as THC) is the primary psychoactive ingredient, other known compounds with biologic activity are cannabinol, cannabidiol, cannabichromene, cannabigerol, tetrahydrocannabivarin and delta-8-THC. Cannabidiol (CBD) is thought to have significant pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory activity without the psychoactive effect of delta-9-THC. (2)
Initial data also suggests that CBD has other far-reaching medical applications. A 2013 study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that “CBD was shown to offer benefits including acting in some experimental models as an anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antioxidant, antiemetic, anxiolytic and antipsychotic agent.” This means CBD could be used as “potential medicine for the treatment of neuroinflammation, epilepsy, oxidative injury, vomiting and nausea, anxiety and schizophrenia.”
Critics contend that the Realm of Caring parents are using their kids as guinea pigs, that not enough studies have been done, that many, if not most, of the claims can be dismissed as the result of the placebo effect. “It’s true, we don’t know the long-term effects of CBD, and we should study it,” Meagan says. “But I can tell you this. Without it, our Addy would be a sack of potatoes.” No one asks, she notes, about the long-term effects of a widely used pharmaceutical that has been routinely prescribed for her two-year-old. “Our insurance pays for it, no questions asked,” she says. “But it’s highly addictive, highly toxic, turns you into a zombie, and can actually kill you. And yet it’s perfectly legal.”
I ended up trying it for the first time about three days later. I started getting that same old butterfly in the stomach type feeling that I always get when my anxiety creeps up, and I found that as the day went on at work, it was getting gradually worse (and for absolutely no reason at all, like always). So I decided as soon as I got home, I was going to try the oil.
I will say that it was pretty awkward trying to not swallow for 90 seconds – it’s a totally unnatural feeling, and you feel like you’re going to start drooling all over yourself. You’ll have to fight the instinct to swallow just a little bit, but it’s really not that bad (also, it says on the bottle that you can hold for 60 seconds instead of the full 90 if you want to). I did take a nice big swig of cold water after I swallowed the oil, though, just to get the slightly bitter-ish vanilla flavor out of my mouth (but again, the flavor really is not bad).
In the primary session, participants were assigned to receive either CBD (400 mg) or a placebo in double-blinded framework. Thereafter in a second session, participants received the agent that they hadn’t received in the first session; those that received the placebo first received the CBD – and vice-versa. Measures indicated that after receiving CBD (400 mg), subjective measures of anxiety significantly decreased compared to the placebo.
Given what you know about CBD already, you likely won’t be surprised to learn that it does not work like typical sleep medications do. In fact, some studies have shown it to actually be mildly alerting, and even to activate some of the same receptors that caffeine does. With this in mind, how can it possibly work to promote a healthy night’s sleep?
When exposed to air, warmth and light (especially without antioxidants), the oil loses its taste and psychoactivity due to aging. Cannabinoid carboxylic acids (THCA, CBDA, and maybe others) have an antibiotic effect on gram-positive bacteria such as (penicillin-resistant) Staphylococcus aureus, but gram-negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli are unaffected.
Evidence from human studies strongly supports the potential for CBD as a treatment for anxiety disorders: at oral doses ranging from 300 to 600 mg, CBD reduces experimentally induced anxiety in healthy controls, without affecting baseline anxiety levels, and reduces anxiety in patients with SAD. Limited results in healthy subjects also support the efficacy of CBD in acutely enhancing fear extinction, suggesting potential for the treatment of PTSD, or for enhancing cognitive behavioral therapy. Neuroimaging findings provide evidence of neurobiological targets that may underlie CBD’s anxiolytic effects, including reduced amygdala activation and altered medial prefrontal amygdala connectivity, although current findings are limited by small sample sizes, and a lack of independent replication. Further studies are also required to establish whether chronic, in addition to acute CBD dosing is anxiolytic in human. Also, clinical findings are currently limited to SAD, whereas preclinical evidence suggests CBD’s potential to treat multiple symptom domains relevant to GAD, PD, and, particularly, PTSD.
The nutrition and supplement industry—which includes CBD products—is almost wholly unregulated. “The concentrations in products are only approximate, and I don’t know how well they’re tracked,” Szaflarski says. Even if you could absolutely trust a product’s label—and many CBD manufacturers, aware of the current scrutiny on their industry, go to great lengths to assure consumers of the quality of their products—there aren’t a lot of concrete facts when it comes to the type or amount of CBD a person should take for a specific ailment or aim.
Elias Anderson, one of the owners of Going Green, said representatives from HempMedsPx approached him after Krenzler published the lab’s findings on his blog. “They were like, ‘What are we gonna do about it?’” Anderson recalled, “And I was like, ‘Nothing. We have standards, and I stand behind my test results.’” Still, the company’s representatives were insistent and advised Anderson to have Kenzler take down the lab’s findings. In an email to the New Republic, Hard, the Medical Marijuana, Inc. spokesman, contended that the sample of hemp oil that Going Green Labs tested had been “tampered with” by a competitor after Krenzler obtained it. “HempMedsPX, if anything, told the lab they cannot publish results from products [for which] they had no chain of custody tracked,” Hard said, “and if they did—that could prove to be very bad for the lab.” He also characterized Krenzler and Anderson as “haters” of Medical Marijuana, Inc., and suggested that much of the criticism of the company and its products comes from commercial competitors.
I wanted to tell people here that CBD has been very effective for my anxiety, and helps with insomnia. For me, it was a cumulative effect, after a week of one dropper of oil, I can sleep very well at night. I feel like I am not polluting my body with commercial pharmaceuticals. I wish everyone here the best, and hope it works for you as well as it has for me.
When Brandon Krenzler’s daughter Mykayla was diagnosed with a form of childhood leukemia in 2012 at the age of seven, he began researching medical marijuana products that might ease her symptoms and blogging about the results. The next year, he received some samples of Real Scientific Hemp Oil, which he administered to Mykayla. But the oil made her sick.
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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