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“Unfortunately, American scientists continue to have a hard time securing research funding because marijuana remains a Schedule 1 substance in the U.S. ― a controversial view that places it on a par with heroin, LSD and ecstasy,” Pearson said. Schedule 1 drugs are identified as having “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse,” according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. This designation can make research challenging, Pearson added.
CBD interacts with the body through the endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS) or endocannabinoid system. First discovered in the late 1980’s, the endocannabinoid system regulates the body’s homeostasis, or general state of balance, impacting such functions as mood, sleep, appetite, hormone regulation, and pain and immune response. Like an acrobat on a highwire, as the environment around us impacts our normal balance, the endocannabinoid system “corrects” by mediating our body’s reaction to keep us level.
A review published in 2017 in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology described how CBD may work to protect the hippocampus — the part of the brain responsible for several important functions, such as learning, memory and navigation — during times of stress, and may also help prevent brain-cell destruction that results from schizophrenia. Another 2017 review published in the journal Annals of Palliative Medicine summarized a handful of studies that suggest cannabis oils containing THC or CBD, or both, may help with chronic pain management, but the mechanism is unclear.
American veterans have been vocal in the discourse regarding medical marijuana. Scientists found that people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are deficient in endocannabinoids. They also found that CB1 receptors signal the deactivation of traumatic memories. PTSD is increasingly popping up on states’ lists of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana. In June 2017, Colorado added PTSD to its list making it the ninth and most recent qualifying condition. New York added PTSD to its tightly controlled program this year after pressure from veterans groups made its way to the governor. Those affected by PTSD often suffer from extreme anxiety, drastically impacting their life and ability to interact with others.
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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.
It also is distinct from THC which acts as a CB1/CB2 partial agonist, thereby stimulating the receptor sites. If it acted the same as THC at the CB1/CB2 receptor sites, its therapeutic potential may be reduced. Moreover, since cannabidiol acts as an inverse agonist at the CB1/CB2 receptor sites, it doesn’t induce psychological euphoria and/or pleasure associated with downstream dopaminergic enhancement in the mesolimbic pathway (resulting from CB1/CB2 agonism).
Guzmán leads me around his cramped lab—centrifuges, microscopes, beakers, petri dishes, a postdoc researcher in a white smock extracting tissue from a mouse corpse pinned under bright lights. It’s your typical bioresearch lab, except that everything is devoted to the effects of cannabis on the body and brain. The lab focuses not just on cancer but also on neurodegenerative diseases and on how cannabinoids affect early brain development. On this last topic the Guzmán group’s research is unequivocal: Mice born of mothers regularly given high doses of THC during pregnancy show pronounced problems. They’re uncoordinated, have difficulty with social interactions, and have a low anxiety threshold—they’re often paralyzed with fear at stimuli, such as a cat puppet placed near their cage, that don’t upset other juvenile mice.
I’ve been on anti-depressants for 11 years since having a stroke and having to stop taking estrogen. I started on Zoloft, then celexa, then Effexor. I’ve been having bad blurry vision for a few years that has my eye dr stumped. Finally my primary doctor thought it could be the Effexor since that is one of the side effects. So we decided that I would wean off the Effexor and try Wellbutrin instead. I lowered the amount of Effexor over 3 weeks till I wasn’t taking it any longer but started the Wellbutrin the last week of taking Effexor. After 3 days of no Effexor the withdrawals seemed to hit me. Headaches, nausea, extremely emotional, and bad dizziness. I had an important event to go to on day 3 of no Effexor so I took a low dose (37.5 mg) hoping to get me through the night. I felt decent for a couple days then boom, the withdrawal symptoms came on fully again. So I decided I would just try to go off both the Effexor and Wellbutrin because I didn’t want to go through this again and really wanted to see if I could handle life without them. Well it’s been a week without any Effexor but the dizziness and emotional outrages are still going on. I’ve been using Bonine (motion sickness) which does seem to help a little. My daughter mentioned the CBD oil which I was totally against at first but after doing a lot of research I am now quite interested in it.
He emphasises that the company’s products are “whole-plant extracts that include a variety of phytochemicals, not just CBD. These beneficial compounds include a range of phytocannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids that work together.” This isn’t necessarily seen as a positive by researchers, with McGuire saying: “They muddy the water.” However, Sativex is also a plant extract containing other cannabinoids and substances. David Potter, chief botanist at GW Pharmaceuticals, which makes the drug, says the evidence at the time the drug was developed “suggested there was a synergy between these active ingredients”.
It’s also important to note for parents that concerning cannabis oil vape stories are arising, including kids vaping cannabis oils with concentrated THC levels. According to The California Department of Public Health, researchers do not fully understand how using cannabis oils and waxes with vapes affects health. What is known is that vaporized cannabis can contain a lot more THC, the cannabis ingredient that can cause psychoactive effects including paranoia and anxiety. (17)
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 has also been shown to enhance extinction of contextually conditioned fear responses. Extinction training involves repeated CS exposure in the absence of the US, leading to the formation of a new memory that inhibits fear responses and a decline in freezing over subsequent training sessions. Systemic CBD administration immediately before training markedly enhanced extinction, and this effect depended on CB1R activation, without involvement of TRPV1 receptors . Further studies showed CB1Rs in the infralimbic cortex may be involved in this effect .
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.
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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