Despite that, he’s not particularly in favor of legalizing cannabis for recreational use. He doesn’t think anyone should go to jail for possessing it, but he insists that marijuana is “not an innocuous substance”—especially for young people. He cites studies showing that the prolonged use of high-THC strains of marijuana can change the way the developing brain grows. He notes that in some people cannabis can provoke serious and debilitating anxiety attacks. And he points to studies that suggest cannabis may trigger the onset of schizophrenia among those who have a genetic predisposition to the disease.
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.
This is a topic I am asked about all the time, and have been for years: how does cannabis help sleep and health? I’ve heard that the number-two reason why people smoke or use cannabis is for sleep. Considering the recent passing of the recreational use of cannabis in California and other several states I think it is high time (pun intended!) to look at CBD, one of the most active ingredients in medical cannabis.
There are an array of speculative advantages associated with using CBD [oil] as a treatment for anxiety. The agent appears effective for reducing many different types of anxiety and stress when administered on an acute, single-dose basis. In addition to reducing anxiety, preliminary research suggests that CBD may enhance mood, reduce inflammation, improve sleep quality, and preserve healthy brain function. Compared to traditional anxiolytics, CBD isn’t associated with any significant side effects nor substantial contraindications, thereby making it an appealing investigational treatment.
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.
According to a growing body of research, CBD may play a role in the growth of new brain cells, a process known as neurogenesis. CBD is also widely recognized as having anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities, which make CBD a promising therapy for a wide range of conditions, from neurological disorders to autoimmune diseases to chronic pain and depression.
When a person experiences stress, the body secretes a chemical called anandamide. It basically puts you in a temporary state of bliss and enables you to work through your stress. People who suffer from PTSD have to have much lower levels of anandamide, rendering them unable to cope with their stress. When one uses CBDs, it activates the body’s natural production of CBD and the person then has the ability deal with their issues.
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).
If the lack of sleep turns into a chronic state, it can trigger insomnia, which may further lead to serious neurological conditions. People suffering from insomnia often find themselves in a vicious circle; they are constantly exposed to stress and thus start to have anxious thoughts over time; chronic stress and anxiety trigger insomnia; insomnia leads to depression.
CBD exerts several actions in the brain that explain why it could be effective in treating anxiety. Before we dive in, it’s important to note that most research describing how CBD works is preclinical and based on animal studies. As the saying goes, “mice are not men” — and, results from animal studies don’t always neatly transfer to human therapies. However, preclinical studies provide insights that move us in the right direction:
It was the seizures that tipped Penny off that something wasn’t right with Harper after she and her husband Dustin brought her home from the hospital as a newborn. Several months later, having tried a battery of epilepsy medications and still without a diagnosis, Penny and Dustin flew to Boston with Harper to see an expert in infant seizures. It was there they first heard of CDKL5. “This is the point where life changed significantly,” Penny said, “because now we had this diagnosis. You know, this abnormality in our family that we cannot fix.”
“By smoking weed, you suppress the REM sleep, and with that you also suppress a lot of important functions of that REM sleep. One of those functions is reliving the things you have experienced and coming to terms with them, as it were. Processing all kinds of psychological influences is something you do in REM sleep. You also anticipate the things that will happen the next day or the days after that. While you're sleeping, you already consider those and make decisions in advance."
For the study, researchers recruited 8 volunteers and administered the following: THC (0.5 mg/kg), CBD (1 mg/kg), CBD/THC mix OR Valium (10 mg) or placebo (serving as controls). The volunteers each received the combinations in an order different from the others. Researchers were able to verify that CBD inhibited anxiety as induced by THC, but physiological data revealed it was not a result of direct THC inhibition.
Food and beverage products containing CBD were introduced in the United States in 2017. Similar to energy drinks and protein bars which may contain vitamin or herbal additives, food and beverage items can be infused with CBD as an alternative means of ingesting the substance. In the United States, numerous products are marketed as containing CBD, but in reality contain little or none. Some companies marketing CBD-infused food products with claims that are similar to the effects of prescription drugs have received warning letters from the Food and Drug Administration for making unsubstantiated health claims.
PPAR agonism: Agonism of PPARs (peroxisome proliferator activated receptors) may have a variety of benefits including: anticancer, neuroprotective (via removal of beta-amyloid plaques), and antipsychotic effects. Cannabidiol bolsters PPAR-alpha signaling and simultaneously decreases inflammation. Although PPAR agonism may not directly foster an anxiolytic effect, it cannot be ruled out as a potential synergistic contributor.
You only have to read the reviews under a CBD product on the Holland & Barrett website to see the extent to which anecdotal reports cannot be trusted. More than 100 customers gave Jacob Hooy CBD+ Oil five stars, with a few saying they always noticed if they missed a dose (presumably this made them less relaxed, although they did not reveal what they were taking it for), while 93 people gave it one star, saying it did nothing, or was too weak. One couple even said it gave them palpitations and a sleepless night. All these people had different conditions, expectations and situations. “And,” says McGuire, “you have to remember that anything can have a placebo effect.” While it looks unlikely that the recommended doses of these products will do any harm, McGuire’s guess is that doses are so small “that it’s like homeopathy – it’s not going to do anything at all”.
The side effects and risks involved with consuming marijuana-based products aren't clear, either, Bonn-Miller said. It's important to "determine cannabinoids that are useful therapeutically while understanding and using cannabinoids that are associated with less risk," he said. At least with CBD, he said, it doesn't appear to have the potential for addiction. That's different from THC, which has been associated with addiction, he said, and negative side effects, including acute anxiety.
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