Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a natural phyto-cannabinoid (or plant-based chemical compound) found in cannabis plants, including hemp and marijuana. Unlike other cannabinoids — namely tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC — CBD does not produce any psychoactive effects, and will actually counteract these effects to a degree. CBD will induce feelings of sleepiness; for this reason, it can be an effective soporific for people who struggle to fall and/or remain asleep due to insomnia and other sleep disorders.
As we’ve outlined, Cannabidiol, or CBD, has receptors throughout your body, called the endocannabinoid system. Human beings can supplement this CBD system to aid and strengthen the immune system and other functions. Just like you may take vitamin c from an orange to supplement your health, CBD intake improves your endocannabinoid system and overall health. The increasing prevalence of CBD oils for the management and treatment of various illnesses has inspired cannabis breeders to propagate certain strains. The goal of manufacturers is to yield hemp plants with higher CBD to THC ratios to minimize, if not, eliminate, the psychoactive side effects caused by THC. According to research, the best source of high-quality CBD derives from organically grown cannabis with up to 20% CBD concentration by dry weight.
In the primary session, participants were assigned to receive either CBD (400 mg) or a placebo in double-blinded framework. Thereafter in a second session, participants received the agent that they hadn’t received in the first session; those that received the placebo first received the CBD – and vice-versa. Measures indicated that after receiving CBD (400 mg), subjective measures of anxiety significantly decreased compared to the placebo.
When exposed to air, warmth and light (especially without antioxidants), the oil loses its taste and psychoactivity due to aging. Cannabinoid carboxylic acids (THCA, CBDA, and maybe others) have an antibiotic effect on gram-positive bacteria such as (penicillin-resistant) Staphylococcus aureus, but gram-negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli are unaffected.
Devinsky puts more weight behind the scientific advancements: In June, the FDA approved an epilepsy drug called Epidiolex, which contains a purified form of CBD oil. In controlled clinical trials, the drug was proven to reduce seizures in people with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome — and it didn't produce as many of the unpleasant side-effects that come with other epilepsy medications.
Despite the fact that marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, companies like HempMedsPx claim their CBD products are legal in all 50 states. According to a legal opinion written by Medical Marijuana, Inc.’s attorney and submitted to the New Republic, “HempMedsPx’s CBD hemp oil, containing naturally occurring CBD and miniscule amount of THC, is exempted from the definition of marijuana, is not a controlled substance, complies with the Controlled Substances Act, and is legal on the federal level.” The opinion is based in large part on a 2004 court ruling which allowed the importation of hemp food products derived from the mature stalks of cannabis plants.
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If you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and/or are dealing with significant stress, have you tested CBD oil as an intervention? Assuming you have tried CBD oil, share your experience in the comments section below. To help others get a better understanding of your situation, include details such as: type of anxiety you have (e.g. social phobia), the dosage of CBD you took, and how effective it was for attenuating your anxiety (on a scale of 1 to 10).
“These studies mainly point to CBD’s ability to interact with ... serotonin receptors and GABA receptors in the brain,” she explained. “Serotonin plays an important role in mood and anxiety, and GABA is known as the main ‘inhibitory’ neurotransmitter, meaning it calms excess activity in the brain and promotes relaxation. GABA receptors are the target of benzodiazepines, which are a class of anti-anxiety drugs.”
Michael earned an MBA from the University of Windsor’s Odette School of Business in 2009 and an M.D. from Schulich School of Medicine at Western University in 2013, before entering a Family Practice residency at the University of Toronto. A member of the Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids, Doctors for Responsible Access and the Canadian Pain Society, he has completed over 2,000 cannabinoid therapy consultations and has presented many talks in community and hospital settings while serving as student health physician at Seneca College and Medical Director, Canabo Medical Clinic.
Animal studies have shown that CBD can be effective in treating anxiety. Research on CBD is still limited, but the early results are promising. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by excessive worrying and irrational fear. In a 2011 study, researchers found that participants with GAD experienced a significant decrease in anxiety after consuming CBD. Brain scans backed up the findings that were reported by the patients.
Looking back on it now, I can’t believe it’s never really occurred to me to try cannabis as a natural therapy – I have used marijuana kind of off and on a few times over the years, but never specifically to treat anxiety or any other condition. At most, I was what you might call a “social” pot user (and in fact, on several different occasions the weed that I smoked seemed to actually promote my anxiety and panic attacks – which I later learned was common with high THC strains).
GPR55 antagonism: GPR55 (G-protein-coupled receptor 55) is a receptor expressed predominantly within the caudate nucleus and putamen. It is often referenced as an atypical cannabinoid receptor due to the fact that it is activated by cannabinoids. A study published in 2015 investigated the role of GPR55 function in anxiety. Researchers concluded that GPR55 may modulate anxiety-related behaviors in rats. In the study, it was discovered that GPR55 antagonists lead to increased anxiety. Cannabidiol is thought to act as a GPR55 antagonist which may improve bone health and decrease proliferation of cancer cells – but may not help anxiety.
As we age, however, we spend a shorter amount of time in these deeper sleep stages — which explains why sleep disorders often affect older people. It’s said that using CBD oil may influence dopamine levels in the bloodstream, providing users with increased relaxation and thus, better sleep. It can also assist users in getting to the 3rd and 4th stages of sleep more easily, so you’ll spend less time tossing and turning and more time dreaming.
Vaney C., Heinzel-Gutenbrunner M., Jobin P., Tschopp F., Gattlen B., Hagen U., et al. (2004). Efficacy, safety and tolerability of an orally administered cannabis extract in the treatment of spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Mult. Scler. 10 417–424. 10.1191/1352458504ms1048oa [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
We are all aware of the promising therapeutic benefits that can be derived from using CBD oil, but it also may interact poorly with other prescription and over-the-counter drug and medications. Since side effects are unavoidable when taking CBD extracted from both hemp and marijuana, its interaction with drugs that are taken simultaneously may result in adverse effects or serious complications. Hemp CBD oil can inhibit the liver’s ability in processing certain medications, which may result in an overall increase in processing times. As the liver experiences difficulty in metabolizing, drugs stay longer in the body. In some cases, the interaction could cause serious side effects or even overdose. With this in mind, you should consult your physician before starting on any hemp CBD oil therapy and may be required to alter your CBD dosage.
One of the main reasons behind not getting enough sleep is said to be the inability to turn your mind off at night. It would seem that as soon as you lay your head down to sleep, thoughts from the day catch up to you and invade any chance of peace you may have sought in sleep. This may be due to a great number of different things, but most often is due to an overactive mind, stress and even anxiety.
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.
"CBD increases the circulating levels of your natural endocannabinoids, which, in turn, interact with your cannabinoid receptors," Bonn-Miller says. "CBD has also been shown to interact with serotonin receptors, and that may be part of why it has some beneficial effects on anxiety. It also interacts with some pain receptors, which may be why we're starting to see effects on pain and inflammation."
Two cannabis-based pharmaceutical drugs, manufactured in the UK, are licensed for prescription but only for very specific uses. Sativex has been available in the UK since 2010 and uses THC and CBD to treat spasticity in multiple sclerosis. And a new CBD-only drug, Epidiolex, was approved in June in the US to treat rare childhood epilepsies, with a similar decision expected imminently for Europe and the UK.
The main concern about pharmaceutical drugs is that they only treat the symptoms of insomnia – not the root of the problem. That being said, you need to continuously supply your system with certain doses of a drug. This, in turn, may trigger dangerous side effects, such as strong dependence, unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, inflammation, liver failures, and even rebound insomnia.
"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."
CBD oil is made by mixing the extracted CBD or cannabidiol from the cannabis or marijuana plant (Cannabis Sativa) with coconut or hemp seed oil. CBD oil possesses cannabidiol; while THC is psychoactive, CBD is not, thereby helping relieve pain, treating anxiety and depression, fighting cancer, reducing anxiety. It also improves the quality of sleep, boosts appetite, and optimizes digestion.
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.
Hippocampal neurogenesis: One hypothesized mechanism by which pharmaceutical anxiolytics may decrease anxiety is via hippocampal neurogenesis – or growth of new neurons within the hippocampus. It appears as though cannabidiol administration induces hippocampal neurogenesis in animal models, and for this reason, similar outcomes may occur in humans. A rat study involving the chronic administration of 5-HT1A partial agonist (tandospirone) increases the biomarker of doublecortin – indicating emergence of new neurons in the hippocampus.
While we don’t normally think of anxiety as desirable, it’s actually a critical adaptive response that can help us cope with threats to our (or a loved one’s) safety and welfare. These responses help us recognize and avert potential threats; they can also help motivate us to take action to better our situation (work harder, pay bills, improve relationships, etc.). However, when we don’t manage these natural responses effectively, they can become maladaptive and impact our work and relationships. This can lead to clinically diagnosable anxiety-related disorders. We’ve all heard the saying, “stress kills.” It’s true!
With some of the dreadful reactions I have had to medications I mostly say no to drugs. The psychotropics turn me psycho. I read about addictions and have been through thus…I went off cold turkey with pain medication, antidepressants, anti psychotics, anti anxiety…I do not care to go through anything like that again. If I can get something stronger than an OTC I only want a low dose and do not want to go through what I did in 2010 again. This is where I am currently. Maybe my pain is not as severe as pain is for others. I do know what withdrawal is like and…I have had a good life all in all. I endeavor to be content and learn what I can. I do know what does not work for me.
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.
74. Deiana S, Watanabe A, Yamasaki Y. Plasma and brain pharmacokinetic profile of cannabidiol (CBD), cannabidivarine (CBDV), Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) and cannabigerol (CBG) in rats and mice following oral and intraperitoneal administration and CBD action on obsessive-compulsive behaviour. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2012;219:859–873. doi: 10.1007/s00213-011-2415-0. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
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.
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