Rich in CBD, cannabis has been used for centuries to fight illness, improve sleep, and lower anxiety. Today, our understanding of the potential benefits of CBD is growing by leaps and bounds—more and more, CBD is seen as a powerful disease-fighting agent. Thanks to decades of scientific investigation, it’s now possible to get the benefits of CBD in supplement form.
As humans, each and every one of us produces “endocannabinoids” – even if we’ve never consumed weed before in our lives. Among other things, the receptors have been shown to influence things like mood, depression, anxiety, appetite, and even pain and inflammation. When we have a deficiency in the amount of natural endocannabinoids in our body, then, you might suspect that any (or all) of these systems may be thrown entirely out of whack.
Unknown long-term: The long-term effects of cannabidiol aren’t well understood. In just the past few years, the substance has received more mainstream attention and is increasing in popularity. As more scientific studies support its safety and efficacy as a treatment for medical conditions, more data will be gathered from long-term users. As of now, we aren’t sure whether there could be any detrimental long-term effects of cannabidiol – especially when used by minors.
Yet when one looks at the industry more broadly, there is cause for concern. In February, as part of an investigation into the marketing claims of six hemp oil companies, the FDA analyzed 18 CBD products. What it found was disturbing: Many of these supposed CBD products were entirely lacking in CBD. Of the products tested, six contained no cannabinoids whatsoever. Another 11 contained less than 1 percent CBD. The product that tested highest in CBD, at 2.6 percent, was a capsule for dogs. In states that have legalized CBD, regulations can require CBD products to contain at least 5 percent CBD, more often 10 or 15 percent.
Accordingly, CB1R activation has been suggested as a target for anxiolytic drug development [15, 43, 44]. Proposed agents for enhancing CB1R activation include THC, which is a potent and direct agonist; synthetic CB1R agonists; FAAH inhibitors and other agents that increase eCB availability, as well as nonpsychoactive cannabis phytocannabinoids, including CBD. While CBD has low affinity for the CB1R, it functions as an indirect agonist, potentially via augmentation of CB1R constitutional activity, or via increasing AEA through FAAH inhibition (reviewed in ).
Although some studies have demonstrated the potential effect of CBD on sleep behavior, research about the effects of CBD on the slow wave sleep (SWS) of humans with regular sleep is still lacking. The impact of CBD on sleep, possible side-effects or the advantages of lack of them, including objective measures through polysomnography, has not yet been investigated. Thus, the objective of the present study was to assess the effect of the acute administration of an anxiolytic dose (300 mg, Zuardi et al., 1993, 2017) of CBD on sleep in healthy volunteers by means of cognitive and subjective measures and polysomnography exams.
At first, I was wary. Although I live in Los Angeles, where it seems like there’s a medical marijuana depot on every corner, I’m not one for doing drugs (legal or otherwise). I mean, I don’t even take Advil when I get a headache! But despite the fact that CBD oil is made from hemp, it doesn’t contain THC. THC is the compound responsible for the “high” that comes with ingesting marijuana. In fact, scientific reviews have proven that CBD “does not interfere with several psychomotor and psychological functions,” and is safe to ingest without any side effects. Let me repeat: YOU WILL NOT GET HIGH FROM CBD!
For these breakthroughs and many others, Mechoulam is widely known as the patriarch of cannabis science. Born in Bulgaria, he is a decorous man with wispy white hair and watery eyes who wears natty tweeds, silk scarves, and crisp dress slacks. He’s a respected member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities and an emeritus professor at Hebrew University’s Hadassah Medical School, where he still runs a lab. The author of more than 400 scientific papers and the holder of about 25 patents, this kindly grandfather has spent a lifetime studying cannabis, which he calls a “medicinal treasure trove waiting to be discovered.” His work has spawned a subculture of cannabis research around the globe. Though he says he’s never smoked the stuff, he’s a celebrity in the pot world and receives prodigious amounts of fan mail.
In 31 states and the District of Columbia cannabis is legal for some medical uses, and a majority of Americans favor legalization for recreational use. Other countries are rethinking their relationship to pot too. In Uruguay and Canada the drug is legal. Portugal has decriminalized it. Israel and the Netherlands have medical marijuana programs, and in recent years numerous countries have liberalized possession laws.
I have extremely high Blood Pressure – generally 150/80, but spikes to 200/100 if I do intense thinking on any matter.. I am told that I have a lot of inner stress, but it does not generally appear in my disposition or attitude. I “think” intensively about many subjects on a regular basis. It could be anything from sports, to foods, politics, someone’s behavior, or just about anything that arises. I continually try to seek answers, creative solutions, etc. Rarely do I get really upset, or blow my top at anyone; but could think over a situation for hours thereafter.
Meanwhile, so-called wellness drinks infused with CBD are gaining traction. The UK’s first has been launched by Botanic Lab, promoted as “Dutch courage with a difference”. Drinks giants Coca-Cola, Molson Coors Brewing Company and Diageo are all considering launching their own versions, while UK craft breweries such as Cloud 9 Brewing and Stockton Brewing Company are offering cannabis-oil laced beers, and mixologists are spiking their cocktails with CBD mellowness. The fancy marshmallow maker, The Marshmallowist, has added CBD-oil flavour to its menu, promising that “you feel the effects immediately upon eating”, without specifying what those effects might be.
In terms of cancer, the suggestion is to have three doses of CBD oil each day, and gradually increase the amount to 1 gram per day. The full treatment is believed to take 90 days. Please note that CBD oil is still illegal in many countries, but there is a significant amount of research being done on its medical applications, and a number of reputable sources have put out guides regarding the use of CBD oil for treatment of many diseases.
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 study published in 1993 by Zuardi et al. attempted to elucidate the effects of ipsapirone and cannabidiol among humans exposed to an experimental anxiety task. For the study, researchers recruited 40 healthy volunteers that were assigned to a simulated public speaking (SPS) test – designed to mimic the effects of public speaking. The 40 participants were divided into 4 groups of 10 – each of which was assigned randomly to receive: CBD (300 mg), Valium (10 mg), ipsapirone (5 mg), or a placebo.
Relevant studies in animal models are summarized in chronological order in Table Table1.1. CBD has been studied in a wide range of animal models of general anxiety, including the elevated plus maze (EPM), the Vogel-conflict test (VCT), and the elevated T maze (ETM). See Table Table11 for the anxiolytic effect specific to each paradigm. Initial studies of CBD in these models showed conflicting results: high (100 mg/kg) doses were ineffective, while low (10 mg/kg) doses were anxiolytic [59, 60]. When tested over a wide range of doses in further studies, the anxiolytic effects of CBD presented a bell-shaped dose–response curve, with anxiolytic effects observed at moderate but not higher doses [61, 90]. All further studies of acute systemic CBD without prior stress showed anxiolytic effects or no effect [62, 65], the latter study involving intracerebroventricular rather than the intraperitoneal route. No anxiogenic effects of acute systemic CBD dosing in models of general anxiety have yet been reported. As yet, few studies have examined chronic dosing effects of CBD in models of generalized anxiety. Campos et al.  showed that in rat, CBD treatment for 21 days attenuated inhibitory avoidance acquisition . Long et al.  showed that, in mouse, CBD produced moderate anxiolytic effects in some paradigms, with no effects in others.
The 44,000-square-foot building hulks across from a police station in an industrial part of Denver, along a gritty stretch of converted warehouses that’s come to be known as the Green Mile. There’s nothing to indicate the nature of the enterprise. The door buzzes open, and I’m met by the chief horticulturist of Mindful, one of the largest cannabis companies in the world. A druidlike 38-year-old with keen blue eyes, Phillip Hague wears fatigues, hiking boots, and the incredulous grin of someone who—through a confluence of events he never imagined possible—has found his exact life’s calling.
Of course, the easiest solution, advocates say, is for the federal government to legalize cannabis completely. If cannabis were legalized—the whole plant and all its extracts, no confusing singling-out of specific compounds or anatomical features—then U.S. drug companies would be able to carefully cultivate and research its medicinal properties, and submit their findings to regulatory bodies like the FDA for trials and approval.
Results indicated that CBD significantly reduced subjective measures of anxiety as evidenced by changes in VAMS scores. Neuroimaging data revealed decreased ECD-tracer uptake when participants received the CBD compared to when they took the placebo. Particularly, activity in the left amygdala-hippocampal complex and the left posterior cingulate gyrus decreased following CBD administration.
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.
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.
Taking CBD oil is like drinking milk and calling it calcium, Hernandez said: There’s some in there, but at very low concentrations dispersed among a host of other ingredients. And what those other ingredients are is anyone’s guess. “The thing to know is that CBD hasn’t gone through the safety controls, the efficacy controls that we usually use, the clinical trials,” Hernandez said. “The jury is still out regarding how safe this drug is.”
After months of visiting doctors and sitting through tests like a human lab rat, it was determined that there was a slight anomaly in the anatomy of my temporal lobe—the part of the brain that controls hearing, speech, and auditory comprehension—which explains why every time I have a seizure, I suddenly don’t understand the English language. Epilepsy can’t be cured, so the only course of action available for me was to take a medication every day for the rest of my life. My neurologist prescribed a few different anti-convulsant medications, but they all made me feel tired, depressed, slow, and unlike myself—until finally, I found one that was slightly better than the rest.
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.
In early June, I met with Penny Pennington Howard, a mother of three, who lives in Carrollton, Texas, about 25 minutes outside of Dallas. Posted in the glass of her front door are two signs you can’t quite make out from the sidewalk: one asking visitors not to smoke, as oxygen treatments are in use; the other a yellow diamond informing guests this is the home of a special needs child. Penny welcomed me inside, out of the glare of the sun, and led me through her living room into her kitchen, where her kids were gathered for lunch. Seth, then eight months old, was plucking cereal off the tray of his highchair, while Lily, seven, was darting back and forth between the countertop and table. Harper, a blond five-year-old with hot pink toenails, was reclining in her “tomato chair,” a molded plastic seat with straps to help keep her steady.
As Kane leads me around his lab, I see the excitement on his face and on the faces of his young staff. The place feels almost like a start-up company. “So much of science is incremental,” he says, “but with this cannabis work, the science will not be incremental. It will be transformative. Transformative not just in our understanding of the plant but also of ourselves—our brains, our neurology, our psychology. Transformative in terms of the biochemistry of its compounds. Transformative in terms of its impact across several different industries, including medicine, agriculture, and biofuels. It may even transform part of our diet—hemp seed is known to be a ready source of a very healthy, protein-rich oil.”
CBD can be taken in a few ways. Oil is probably the most popular, but it can also be taken in capsule form, or even as a chocolate or gummy. After a week of taking CBD in oil form every night, it was clear I’d stumbled across something kind of remarkable. I often slept well the first few nights of trying something new before it stopped working its magic, which I partially attribute to the placebo effect. With CBD, however, the good nights of sleep kept on coming.
Overall, preclinical evidence supports systemic CBD as an acute treatment of GAD, SAD, PD, OCD, and PTSD, and suggests that CBD has the advantage of not producing anxiogenic effects at higher dose, as distinct from other agents that enhance CB1R activation. In particular, results show potential for the treatment of multiple PTSD symptom domains, including reducing arousal and avoidance, preventing the long-term adverse effects of stress, as well as enhancing the extinction and blocking the reconsolidation of persistent fear memories.
Two cannabis-based pharmaceutical drugs, manufactured in the UK, are licensed for prescription but only for very specific uses. Sativex has been available in the UK since 2010 and uses THC and CBD to treat spasticity in multiple sclerosis. And a new CBD-only drug, Epidiolex, was approved in June in the US to treat rare childhood epilepsies, with a similar decision expected imminently for Europe and the UK.
Very detailed and well researched article, thank you. I would like to highlight the possibility of using CBD suppositories as well, since the bioavailability of rectal administration can reportedly reach up to 70%, compared to 6% via oral ingestion or 30% when vaporized. I have even heard of people who produce their own suppositories or simply inject a mixture of CBD and organic edible oils with a syringe. Might not me the most pleasant option, but obviously very efficient.
Hey Cynthia. Thanks for your inquiry. No, this doesn’t hold true for CBD. The best thing to do is to start low and slowly increase the dose gradually, only if needed. You want to find your personal sweet spot dose with CBD. One easy way to do that is to start out with the serving size listed on the bottle and go from there. Let me know if you have more questions and I will do my best to help 🙂
Many who take prescription medication for insomnia or other sleep-related issues complain of feeling lethargic, nauseated, distracted, and unable to focus - and that’s just some of the side-effects. Many of those who take prescription medication are also unable to operate vehicles or machinery, which can mean the loss of mobility and even the loss of income. But how do you find something that helps you maintain a decent sleep without all the horrible side-effects of prescription medication?
The vast majority of CBD oils come in bottles measuring either 15 milliliters (mL), or 0.5 ounces; or 30 mL, or 1 ounce. However, CBD concentration is more important than bottle size. Concentration refers to the ratio of hemp oil solution (measured in mL) compared to the amount of CBD cannabinoid (measured in milligrams, or mg). A 15-mL bottle may contain 100 mg of CBD, 300 mg, 500 mg, or more. The higher the mg amount, the stronger the CBD oil will be. For this reason, the ‘mg’ measurement is also referred to as the oil’s strength; i.e., 400-mg oil might be called 400-strength oil.
Sample sizes: As was already mentioned, the sample sizes used to test the effects of CBD for anxiety were relatively small-scale. Although the results from these small-scale studies may be accurate, larger-scale trials (with larger sample sizes) are warranted to confirm preliminary outcomes. A therapeutic effect found in just 10-20 patients may not hold up in a group of several hundred.
Kane fingers one of his innocuous-looking plants, expressing mild bemusement at the U.S. ban on commercial hemp cultivation. “Hemp produces fibers of unparalleled quality,” he notes. “It’s a tremendously high biomass crop that replenishes the soil and doesn’t require much in terms of inputs. We import tons and tons of hemp each year from China and even Canada, yet as a matter of federal policy, we can’t legally grow it. There are places where farmers in the U.S. can literally look across the Canadian border and see fields that are yielding huge profits.”
Overall, it’s important to look for CBD products that are lab tested. These tinctures may only be as good as they are potent and its important to trust the companies that you’re purchasing from. When shopping for CBD for sleep, make sure to see if the products have been tested by an independent third party lab for purity and potency. Did you read the label? Does the ingredients list agree with you? If you’re a person with a lot of anxiety, you might need a higher dose of CBD to help with your sleep. Double check the label to make sure that the CBD content is clearly outlined. Some labels will not distinguish between hemp extract and CBD content (there is a difference) so it’s important to make sure you understand the products you are purchasing. You can learn more about each of these products in their individual reviews.
There are thousands of unique varieties of hemp. The cultivars used for CBD oil contain significantly higher concentrations of CBD than others. Using these uniquely potent plants, it is possible to extract cannabis oil that contains significant levels of cannabidiol, as well as essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids.
How was the CBD extracted? The most advanced extraction process today is known as CO2 extraction, and only a number of companies, in our opinion, excel at it. This is the process of removing fats and lipids to create pure CBD oil. Always check to see the company’s CBD oil extraction process, and stay away from products that have been extracted using butane.
We're on the edge of a CBD explosion. The U.S. market for CBD products is estimated to be worth $2.1 billion by 2020, up 700 percent from 2016; the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its list of banned substances; the Food and Drug Administration approved an epilepsy medication containing CBD oil for the first time, causing the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to shift its stance — albeit very slightly — on CBD.
Concern about the dangers of marijuana abuse led to the banning of cannabinoids for medicinal use in the U.S. and many other countries in the 1930s and 1940s. It took decades until they came to be considered again as compounds of therapeutic value, and even now their uses are highly restricted yet more and more states have now legalized medical marijuana.
Wondering where to buy cannabis oil? Look for a reputable company that sells its products legally (according to your specific state laws) with full transparency and accountability. It’s very important to make sure any cannabis oil you purchase has been tested by accredited laboratories to ensure that is is free of pesticides, residual solvents (from the extraction process), bacteria, fungus, foreign matter and heavy metals.
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”.
Medical Disclaimer: Statements in any video or written content on this site have not been evaluated by the FDA. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product. Representations regarding the efficacy and safety of CBD oil have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA only evaluates foods and drugs, not supplements like these products. These products are not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease. The material on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. Always consult your physician before beginning any supplement program.
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