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
"There's a certain level of individualized dosing with this ingredient, which makes it challenging," says Shunney. "And think about the dynamic balance our bodies have with how we're responding to stress all the time; it's going to vary from person to person." The reality is, it can take one person 15 minutes to feel the effects of CBD and another person 70 minutes. And it'll involve a fair amount of trial and error to figure out what dosage is right for you.
So Mechoulam called the Israeli national police and scored five kilos of confiscated Lebanese hashish. He and his research group isolated—and in some cases also synthesized—an array of substances, which he injected separately into rhesus monkeys. Only one had any observable effect. “Normally the rhesus monkey is quite an aggressive individual,” he says. But when injected with this compound, the monkeys became emphatically calm. “Sedated, I would say,” he recalls with a chuckle.
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.
As it turns out, healthy sleep-wake cycles are extremely dependent on our state of “alertness” during the day. If you are a victim of insomnia, for example, you (along with millions of other individuals) are likely drowsy, fatigued, and generally “out-of-sorts” during the afternoon. As you might imagine, this wreaks havoc on your sleep-wake cycle as it makes it nearly impossible to enter and maintain the non-REM sleep that you need at night.
Basically, CBD is a 100% natural chemical that’s found in the marijuana plant. It is what’s referred to as a “phytocannabinoid,” which means it belongs to a class of molecules that interact with endocannabinoid receptors in the human body. These receptors belong to the body’s endocannabinoid system, or ECS, which is responsible for essentially all of our homeostatic functions.
As anxiety is connected to the brain’s hippocampus regions. Symptoms of anxiety surface when neurons misfire. Recent research points to CBD oil assisting these neurons and thereby reducing symptoms of anxiety. CBD oil has also been proven to slow the heart rate and enhance relaxation. The combination of these three effects means that CBD does similar work to many of the medications that are prescribed for anxiety, except CBD does it naturally and organically, without a risk of side effects or dependency.
So far, though, there’s scant clinical evidence for the claimed benefits of CBD. In June, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first CBD drug, Epidiolex, for treating seizures associated with two rare forms of epilepsy. Otherwise, the FDA doesn’t consider CBD products to be dietary supplements—manufacturers can’t claim the products will diagnose, treat, or cure any diseases. Instead, CBD product literature contains phrases like “restore vitality,” “relax and recover,” and “may keep healthy people healthy.”
Sleep apnea is a condition in which someone’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts during the night, causing them to constantly wake up and go back to sleep. Marinol, a synthetic version of CBD, has been showing to improve sleep apnea in rats. In clinic trials of Sativex, another synthetic version of CBD and THC, has been shown to produce outcomes of good to very good sleep quality in 40% – 50% of subjects.
The human body also produces cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids, in a bodily system known as the endocannabinoid system (or ECS). The ECS promotes homeostasis by regulating a wide range of functions, including motor skills, mood, appetite, and sleep. As we age, our ECS produces fewer endocannabinoids; they may also decrease due to physical injury or disease. Replenishing depleted endocannabinoids with phytocannabinoids like CBD can help restore balance to the body.
Cost: For high quality, unadulterated CBD – you’re going to pay a hefty price. Assuming you don’t want a product with pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and/or other chemical additives, you’ll likely end up paying a significant amount for just a few doses. Until scientists figure out a way to enhance CBD’s bioavailability, regular users of oral CBD may feel as if the supplement is too costly. Fortunately, there are other ways to administer cannabidiol such as vaporizing the oil – which will likely save consumers money.
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.
Both Bonn-Miller and Ward stress that it's up to the consumer to be well-educated about the material they're purchasing and the research that's out there. "The companies that are creating [cannabis oils] are offering lots of claims about its use that are not necessarily substantiated by any research," Bonn-Miller said. So "I think there needs to be, from a consumer standpoint, a lot of vigilance," he added.
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