THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) Cannabis oil and Cannabidiol (also called CBD) have similarities but some important differences for users. Both cannabinoids, chemical compounds that can be found in all cannabis plants, including hemp and marijuana. Cannabinoids are the substances secreted by the flowers of the cannabis plant and contain natural medicinal properties, offering relief from conditions including anxiety, pain, nausea, and inflammation. There are plant-based cannabinoids and also phytocannabinoids, both with a variety of health benefits.
Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a phyto-cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. However, it does not cause the same psychoactive effects as other naturally occurring cannabinoids (such as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC). CBD induces feelings of sleepiness and tranquility, making it suitable for insomnia and other sleep disorders; CBD can be used to alleviate symptoms of epilepsy, diabetes, and anxiety disorders, as well. Legality is an issue for some; all 50 states have laws governing the sale, possession, and use of CBD, and they vary significantly (see the table below for a full analysis).
"We still don't fully understand all of the mechanisms involved in CBD's actions," says Marcel Bonn-Miller, Ph.D, who studies CBD and its effects, primarily on PTSD. "We know some pieces but definitely not the whole story at this point. A lot of our understanding of the many potential benefits of CBD is rooted in work either on the cellular level or in preclinical models with rodents."
One thing that I really really liked though, was that the effects seemed to last a long time. I have only taken the oil on four separate occasions now, and each time it’s seemed to last like 6-8 hours (or at least all evening). This makes sense too, because after doing a little reading up I found that the sublingual tinctures are much longer-lasting than CBD vape oils or e-juices.
“This is a really powerful compound,” says Mikhail Kogan, the medical director of the George Washington University Center for Integrative Medicine. “I’ve seen it work for a lot of my patients.” He prescribes high-CBD strains of cannabis regularly for such illnesses as epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, autoimmune disorders, autism and insomnia.
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.
The first product I tried was Plus CBD Oil Drops ($42; pluscbdoil.com). One serving—about half a dropper—contains 5mg. "Taking drops has the benefit of sublingual absorption, which means you're going to feel it a little faster than a pill, maybe in 15 or 30 minutes," says Shunney. I did feel sleepy about 45 minutes after taking it (the last time I checked my phone) but I'm pretty sure I was still awake a while longer. I did sleep soundly, with some groggy effects when I woke up. The next two nights, I doubled my dosage (to 10mg) but I didn't fall asleep any faster.
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?
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.
From this study we can conclude that the acute effects of THC (e.g. increased anxiety) are unfavorable. Evidence suggests that CBD appears well-tolerated and safe, with no adverse physiological reactions compared to a placebo. However, since the physiological effects of CBD (600 mg) were of no statistically significant difference from the placebo, it is unclear if CBD elicits any therapeutic effect – even at a seemingly reasonable dose.
The seizures started in May 2013 when she was six months old. Infantile spasms, they were called. It looked like a startle reflex—her arms rigid at her side, her face a frozen mask of fear, her eyes fluttering from side to side. Addelyn Patrick’s little brain raced and surged, as though an electromagnetic storm were sweeping through it. “It’s your worst possible nightmare,” her mother, Meagan, says. “Just awful, awful, awful to watch your child in pain, in fear, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.”
Pure undiluted cannabis essential oil is a green concentrated, sticky, resinous substance that is considered highly volatile, and its component parts are very powerful, including monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and other highly active organic compounds. It is extracted by steam distillation from the flowers and upper leaves of cannabis plants, which are in the Cannabis genus. The essential oil is primarily made and distributed from France and various other European countries, but its exportation is somewhat limited by, as mentioned above, the legal ramifications of what cannabis essential oil is derived from.
A study published by Blessing et al. (2015) evaluated the therapeutic efficacy of cannabidiol in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Researchers compiled and assessed evidence from preclinical, experimental, clinical, and epidemiological publications. This report concluded that preclinical evidence supports the usage of CBD as a potential intervention for anxiety disorders.
I put two drops in my coffee (yes, I realize mixing hemp oil with caffeine is a bananas thing to do, but I need coffee and it is recommended on the website). The oil is much less unpleasant to take this way, although it does hugely change the taste of your coffee, so perhaps save it for your instant coffee, rather than your $5 slow-roasted French drip latte.
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.
"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.
Of course, parents who desperately want to find something—anything—that will help their sick children, don’t have the luxury of caring whether CBD is classified as a drug or a supplement, or whether they get it from a doctor or an online retailer. One reason why people are willing to trust companies like HempMedsPx is that, for some, CBD oil does seem to work.
Like Elixinol, CBD Essence has been around for quite a few years and they definitely know a thing or two about hemp oil. The owner Don has actually been around the pharmaceutical industry for some years, and therefore knows how to deliver a quality and effective product. All of their oils are created using CO2 extraction methods, which have been known to be safer and more effective than solvent-based extraction. They avoid CBD isolates, and they always disclose lab test results to ensure there are no heavy metals or contaminants in the oil.
The definitions of hemp and marijuana can get pretty confusing, but for basic purposes, marijuana contains high levels of THC, and hemp contains low levels of THC. The ratios of CBD to THC in hemp oil can vary, depending on the product and the specific plant the oil was extracted from. CBD oil, a concentrated version of the cannabidiol compound, is typically derived from hemp but can be extracted from marijuana as well. CBD oil products on the market have varying levels of CBD and THC. Many have little to no THC, while some contain small amounts.
However, CBD oils and the vast majority of other legal CBD-infused products are usually derived from high-CBD industrial hemp. Extracting CBD from cannabis strains is still widely prohibited. In fact, RQS CBD oil is exclusively sourced from organic EU hemp. The most popular CBD products on the market are CBD oils, CBD topicals, and CBD softgel capsules.
I’m 48 and have been diagnosed with anxiety disorder, depression, ptsd and have had panic attacks that have lead me to the ER 3 or 4 times. My psychiatrist put me on wellbutrin and klonopin for the anxiety and depression… I’m taking very low dosages of each but from what I’ve read when you come off of the klonopin it has physical side effects. I’m wanting to come off of both and my psychiatrist doesn’t think good things about cannabis and says that it interferes with the GABA receptors in the brain. I’m trying to find a doctor than can explain to me face to face how CBD and THC work on the brain and what he/she would recommend I do to get off the big pharma train. I’m in Puerto Rico.
You can tell that NuLeaf Naturals don’t take half measures when it comes to manufacturing their oil; its amber-gold color and clean consistency are indicative of high quality. When it comes to the effects for sleep and insomnia, NuLeaf Naturals provides fast relief from stress, pain, and anxiety – all of which contribute to sleep deprivation. It takes a couple of minutes to experience the therapeutic benefits of CBD oil, and the effects last between 1 and 5 hours, depending on the dosage.
Some users speculate about appropriate dosages or methods of application—including whether or not a small amount of THC boosts CBD’s effects, or whether different methods of administration lead to quicker or more significant effects. Some CBD producers also claim that it has a cumulative effect, and so needs to be used regularly to produce a benefit. But Grant says it’s tough to say at this point exactly how people should (or shouldn’t) be using CBD.
Every person has their own tolerance and reactivity threshold. Hence, we would advise you to consult your doctor who can set the CBD dose you need to put you into sleep. However, the best way to calculate your customized dosage is by starting at a low amount and increasing it gradually thereon, until the desired effects are met. Be careful not to overdose.
Though it's derived from marijuana, CBD doesn't contain any psychoactive elements like pot. "What CBD does is help balance our endocannabinoid system, the main job of which is to keep our body in homeostasis," says Aimée Gould Shunney, a licensed naturopathic doctor at Santa Cruz Integrative Medicine. In addition to affecting the receptors in our brain that impact our stress response, mood, inflammation, and pain, Shunney says, "it also prevents our major endocannabinoid, which is called anandamide, from being broken down—and when we have plenty of our own endocannabinoids circulating, not only are we not going to respond as much to a stress, but we're going to return to baseline faster, so it's like a recovery system." (Related: The Best Health and Wellness CBD Products)
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.
Anti-inflammatory: Many individuals with neuropsychiatric disorders have severe inflammation, particularly neuroinflammation. Neuroinflammation is associated with many causative underpinnings including: air pollution, brain injuries, viruses, and even standard aging. This increase in inflammation can lead to glial cell and cytokine abnormalities, each of which could contribute to anxiety disorders. CBD has been shown to reduce neuroinflammation, which in turn may directly improve anxiety, as well as cognitive function and mood.
I have/had ovarian/primary peritoneal cancer. I used thc/cbd oil pills I self made from the start. I am supposedly their “poster child”. I went thru with chemo and surgery. Oh that horror! But when I tried to tell two seperate doctors, the surgeon was all about it, and my oncologist threw a fit and said it was an anecdote. There are more than 100 studies at the NIH govt website.
While research into CBD effects is still relatively new, studies have found that cannabidiol may reduce pain by influencing compounds in the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). More specifically, CBD prevents the body from breaking down the compound anandamide, which is associated with pain regulation. A higher concentration of anandamide in the bloodstream has been linked to significant pain reduction.
Knowing how much CBD you’re taking can take a little math. Again, capsules are straightforward—the bottle will say how much CBD each one contains. For tinctures, you need to know the total amount of CBD in the container and the container’s size to calculate how much CBD is in each serving. I found 1-ounce tincture bottles, which contain roughly 30 servings, that ranged from containing 100 milligrams of CBD to 1,000.
CBD’s potential usefulness in treating certain conditions is yet another argument in favor of legalizing the entire cannabis plant. Removing cannabis from the federal list of Schedule I narcotics that are illegal under the Controlled Substances Act would allow scientists to research its full medical potential and pharmaceutical companies in the United States to develop marijuana-based drugs and submit them for FDA approval. Government-regulated labs could test products like CBD oil to ensure safety and quality. Doctors could prescribe marijuana- based medicines with full knowledge of potential side effects and drug interactions, and without fear of losing their medical licenses or being thrown in jail.
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 assume this is also a side effect of the eased anxiety, but I seem to fall asleep within the 20- to 30-minute range rather than my normal 45 minutes to one hour (or longer). Not only do I seem to be skipping (or at least shortening) the whole tossing-and-turning phase of my sleep cycle, but I'm able to snap out of the overthinking mindset that often keeps me up at night. Of course, there's no telling whether a big life event would kindly disrupt this newfound bliss, but I'd like to think it's helped on day-to-day basis.
And the products on the shelf aren't all the same, Ward said. "There can be many, many different varieties, and if you're thinking about doing this for medical reasons, you want to find a trusted source and do your research," she said. "Where does that oil come from, and how confident can you be that you know the exact percentages of the different cannabinoids in the product?"
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