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.)
Whatever the case, if you suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, depression, or insomnia, I would absolutely recommend you give a quality CBD oil a shot. I was certainly not quick to buy into the whole hype machine (I know that the cannabis industry is pretty crazy right now), but I can say as a first time user that it legitimately did work, and it caused absolutely no high or side effects whatsoever.
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:
While researching for this blog, we discovered some major disparities between the findings in scientific studies and the anecdotal evidence of regular CBD users. Unfortunately, the academic research is fundamentally flawed, and in some cases, seemingly compromised by a conflict of interest. Similarly, it can be difficult to conclude the true nature of anecdotal arguments.
A 2013 case report conducted in Canada evaluated the beneficial effects of cannabis oil on a 14-year-old female patient diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, also known as ALL. For this particular patient, a standard bone marrow transplant, aggressive chemotherapy and radiation therapy were revoked, with treatment being deemed a failure after 34 months. She was extremely ill and severely underweight at this time.
In Siberia charred seeds have been found inside burial mounds dating back to 3000 B.C. The Chinese were using cannabis as a medicine thousands of years ago. Marijuana is deeply American too—as American as George Washington, who grew hemp at Mount Vernon. For most of the country’s history, cannabis was legal, commonly found in tinctures and extracts.
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.
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:
From their small town in southwestern Maine, Meagan and her husband, Ken, took Addy to Boston to consult with neurologists. These epileptic seizures, they concluded, were the result of a congenital brain malformation called schizencephaly. One of the hemispheres of Addy’s brain had not developed fully in utero, leaving an abnormal cleft. She also had a related condition called optic nerve hypoplasia, which caused her eyes to wander—and which, further tests revealed, made her all but blind. By summer Addy was having 20 to 30 seizures a day. Then 100 a day. Then 300. “Everything was misfiring all at once,” says Meagan. “We were afraid we were going to lose her.”
But it’s Guzmán’s brain tumor research that has captured headlines—and the interest of pharmaceutical companies. Through his years of research he has ascertained that a combination of THC, CBD, and temozolomide (a moderately successful conventional drug) works best in treating brain tumors in mice. A cocktail composed of these three compounds appears to attack brain cancer cells in multiple ways, preventing their spread but also triggering them, in effect, to commit suicide.
Neurologists are skilled at predicting side effects and interactions between well-researched pharmaceuticals. But due to the dearth of reliable research about CBD, doctors like Hernandez and Knupp cannot guide their patients in its use. If there are adverse reactions, Penny will find out because Harper will suffer through them. She has had to figure out through trial and error how best to mix and measure Harper’s oils. The bottom line, Penny said, is simple: “We are the research.”
CBD = cannabidiol; HV = healthy controls; DBP = double-blind placebo; SAD = social anxiety disorder; HC = healthy controls; SPECT = single-photo emission computed tomography; rCBF = regional cerebral blood flow; fMRI = functional magnetic resonance imaging; HPC = hippocampus; HYP = hypothalamus; PHG = parahippocampal gyrus; STG = superior temporal gyrus; MTG = medial temporal gyrus; ACC = anterior cingulate cortex; PCC = posterior cingulate cortex
“I don’t like to take stuff like ibuprofen or prescription medications,” says Andrew Talansky, a professional triathlete from Napa, California, who, as an elite cyclist, rode in the Tour de France. “I’m always looking for natural alternatives.” When Talansky heard an increasing number of athletes talking about CBD, “I went from skepticism to being interested to asking advice on how to use it,” he says.
What Meagan saw in Colorado impressed her—the growing knowledge base of cannabis producers, the kinship of parents coping with similar ordeals, the quality of the dispensaries, and the expertise of the test labs in ensuring consistent cannabis-oil formulations. Colorado Springs had become a mecca for a remarkable medical migration. More than a hundred families with children who had life-threatening medical conditions had uprooted themselves and moved. These families, many of them associated with a nonprofit organization called the Realm of Caring, consider themselves “medical refugees.” Most couldn’t medicate their children with cannabis in their home states without risking arrest for trafficking or even child abuse.
Then came Reefer Madness. Marijuana, the Assassin of Youth. The Killer Weed. The Gateway Drug. For nearly 70 years the plant went into hiding, and medical research largely stopped. In 1970 the federal government made it even harder to study marijuana, classifying it as a Schedule I drug—a dangerous substance with no valid medical purpose and a high potential for abuse, in the same category as heroin. In America most people expanding knowledge about cannabis were by definition criminals.
Enter CBD oil: an anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety compound. I have seen in my own life, and many of my patients' lives, the positive impact CBD oil can have on anxiety. Studies have found that CBD oil is a natural anxiolytic (anxiety calmer) and is effective in treating social anxiety. CBD calms anxiety naturally without the potential side effects of pharmaceutical anti-anxiety medications.
That headache study cites research linking CBD to lower rates of anxiety. (Since anxiety often produces headaches, the authors say, CBD could be a plausible headache remedy if those anti-anxiety benefits are legit.) Grant says he’s looked at the literature on CBD and anxiety, and some of it is enticing. He mentions a Brazilian study, for instance, that found people with a fear of public speaking felt less anxiety and less discomfort about their phobia after taking CBD, compared to those who took a placebo.
On the federal level, several bills currently before Congress seek to change the way the government treats CBD. One such bill, the Compassionate Access Act, would exclude CBD from the classification of “marijuana” and remove both from the DEA’s list of Schedule I controlled substances. Rescheduling CBD in such a way would make research and cultivation of CBD much easier.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, cannabis use for medicinal purposes dates back at least 3,000 years. It was introduced into Western medicine in the 1840s by W.B. O’Shaughnessy, a surgeon who learned of its medicinal properties while working in India for the British East Indies Co. It became useful because of its analgesic, sedative, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic and anti-convulsant effects.
These preliminary findings piqued Blessing's interest. For instance, she points to a 2011 study of a few dozen people, some of whom had social anxiety disorder, who were asked to speak in front of a large audience. Researchers compared anxiety levels in people after they took CBD, compared to those who got the placebo or nothing at all. (The participants didn't know if they'd been given the drug or the placebo.)
I had absolutely no problem chatting with the grocery store clerk at the cash register and actually found myself enjoying the chat (not something that usually occurs). Thereafter, I drove home and cooked myself dinner. My friend sent me a text to hang out at like 10:00 PM and I was feeling a bit anxious, so I decided to pop 2 more CBD capsules at around 9:30 PM.
These CBD-only laws also attempt to impose some regulation on CBD oils, such as establishing how much CBD and THC such products must contain. For example, on June 1, the day I sat down with Hernandez in Fort Worth, Texas, Governor Greg Abbott signed the state’s Compassionate Use Act into law in Austin. The law requires that all CBD products contain no more than 0.5 percent THC and at least 10 percent CBD. However, the bill does not specify how the state plans to enforce this requirement. The law contains no language outlining how laboratories can test CBD products, what kinds of standards they would use, or who would regulate them.
The interesting thing about CBD and sleep is that in small to medium doses, CBD is mildly alerting – stimulating the same receptors as caffeine. However, several patients with insomnia report that consuming CBD oil (in tincture or extract form) a few hours before bed leads to a great night’s sleep. So why do the anecdotal results contradict the reported medical studies?
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 🙂
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.
Ganja is simply around us more, its unmistakable but increasingly unremarkable smell hanging in the air. Yes, smoking it may lead to temporary laughing sickness, intense shoe-gazing, amnesia about what happened two seconds ago, and a ravenous yearning for Cheez Doodles. Though there’s never been a death reported from an overdose, marijuana—especially today’s stout iterations—is also a powerful and in some circumstances harmful drug.
"The data supporting efficacy and dosing are specific to one product: Epidiolex," Bonn-Miller says. "That's not necessarily translatable to 'Joe Bob's CBD Blend.'" A CBD extract you buy online or in a dispensary will almost certainly have less CBD in it, he explains, and will contain other cannabinoids—meaning that it will work differently and will need to be dosed differently. "This is not to say that 'Joe Bob's CBD Blend' definitely isn't going to be effective for pediatric epilepsy, but it means that we need to study it before we know."
Although the 5-HT1A partial agonism exerted by CBD may not be an outright cure for anxiety, it is likely to help many individuals. Studies conducted on humans with panic disorder note impairments in 5-HT1A receptor function and poor 5-HT1A binding. The bottom line is that individuals with anxiety could have dysfunctional 5-HT1A activation and may resort to commercialized 5-HT1A partial agonists (e.g. Buspar) as treatments.
Schematic representation of the participants selection and of the protocol – this was a four period crossover study. CBD, cannabidiol; ESS, Epworth Sleepiness Scale; PSQI, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index; PSG, polysomnography; PVT, Psychomotor Vigilance Test; STAI, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory; TCLE, written informed consent form; VAMS, Visual Analog Mood Scale; WAIS, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale.
If you’re like me, I think you’ll agree with me when I say that lack of sleep really interrupts your life. You can become cranky and irritable, snapping at friends and colleagues while your body is screaming for rest. Maybe you’ve gone down the laundry list of “fixes” — meditation, yoga, alcohol, exercise, an electronics detox before bed, you know the drill— but nothing seems to be working. It can be frustrating beyond measure.
I suffer fr migraines. Currently having Botox injections every three months for the last three years. This has helped went fr 24 to 30 migraines a month to 6 to 8 , now I'm back up to 14 to 20 a month. My doctor thought CBD oil might help. I have also started having anxiety attacks for a year now. I'm really confused with the dosages. Any thoughts would b helpful
We are staunch advocates of CBD and its many, amazing, scientifically-backed uses. We are also staunch advocates of our patrons and their access to the highest quality, 100% organic CBD products around. Getting the information you need, the exact product you want, and a no hassle transaction with no attached shipping charges – that’s what we are all about.
There may be some drawbacks associated with using CBD oil for anxiety, especially over a long-term. Hypothetical drawbacks could result from CBD usage include: deleterious epigenetic and/or neurophysiological effects, increased anxiety, tolerance onset (with decreased efficacy over time), and/or withdrawal symptoms. Keep in mind that many of these drawbacks are merely speculative and cannot be confirmed.
In order to manage sleep disorders, we recommend ingesting full spectrum CBD oil daily in the form of Tinctures or Gel Capsules. The ingredients in the two products are the same, the only difference between the two is the form factor and dosage – pills vs. sublingual tinctures. The time at which you should ingest the CBD oil will vary based on your specific sleeping disorder. Meaning those with insomnia should ingest a few hours before bed and those with excessive daytime fatigue should consume when waking in the morning.
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.
By now nearly everyone has heard that cannabis can play a palliative role for cancer sufferers, especially in alleviating some of the nasty side effects of chemotherapy. There’s no question that pot can stave off nausea, improve appetite, and help with pain and sleep. But could it cure cancer? Troll the Internet and you’ll see hundreds, if not thousands, of such claims. A gullible Googler could easily believe we’re on the brink of a miracle cure.
Researchers Bergamaschi et al. (2011) highlighted previous literature regarding CBDs anxiolytic properties and lack of psychotomimetic effects. For this reason, they wanted to test its efficacy for the treatment of anxiety among 24 individuals with social phobia. It should be noted that all 24 of these individuals had never received any sort of prior treatment (e.g. SSRIs) as an intervention for their social anxiety and were considered “treatment-naïve.”
Several studies point to the potential benefits of CBD for anxiety. For generalized anxiety, the National Institute on Drug Abuse says that CBD has been shown to reduce stress in animal studies. Study subjects were observed as having lower behavioral signs of anxiety. Their physiological symptoms of anxiety, like increased heart rate, also improved.
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.
Natural, legal and with no major side effects (so far), CBD is a marketer’s dream. Hemp-based health products are launching left, right and centre, cashing in while the research is in its first flush of hazy potential. As well as ingestible CBD (also sold as hemp or cannabis oils or capsules) the compound has become a buzzword among upmarket skincare brands such as CBD of London. Predictably, Gwyneth Paltrow is a proponent of the trend, and has said that taking CBD oil helps her through hard times: “It doesn’t make you stoned or anything, just a little relaxed,” she told one beauty website.
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