If he had his way, what Mechoulam regards as the often irresponsible silliness of recreational pot culture would give way to an earnest and enthusiastic embrace of cannabis—but only as a medical substance to be strictly regulated and relentlessly researched. “Right now,” he complains, “people don’t know what they’re getting. For it to work in the medical world, it has to be quantitative. If you can’t count it, it’s not science.”
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Reflecting the next morning, I was most surprised by the fact that I never felt "high" in any way—there was never a moment of It's kicking in; I can feel it now like with pain medications or even anti-anxiety drugs. Considering it takes time, consistency, and the right dosage to experience the full effect, I continued taking the oil once a day for the next six days. Here's what went down.
Doesn’t affect cognition: A major drawback associated with anxiolytics is that many affect cognitive function. Sure it helps to take a pill and have less anxiety, but what if it compromises your cognitive abilities (e.g. critical thinking, problem solving, planning, etc.)? Agents such as benzodiazepines are linked to memory problems and generally impair functionality despite reducing anxiety. Research has highlighted CBD’s ability to reduce anxiety without impairing cognitive function.
Because it does not produce psychoactive effects and hemp is not a controlled substance, hemp-based products are legal to sell, buy, and possess in all 50 states. However, the law is a bit more complex when discussing CBD oils and other hemp byproducts. According to the 2014 Farm Bill, hemp should only be grown and cultivated for academic research purposes. This means that, technically, any hemp-derived oil that is not grown for these purposes would be illegal — though this law is rarely enforced. To make matters more complex, the laws are somewhat unclear in certain states. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky recently introduced legislation that would legalize all hemp products at the federal level, but this decision is still pending.
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.
Support for legalization has steadily grown over the last several years. Today, medical marijuana is legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia. And even federal officials have begun to soften their stances. Last fall, outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder signaled his support for removing marijuana from the list of Schedule I narcotics. “I think it’s certainly a question we need to ask ourselves, whether or not marijuana is as serious of a drug as heroin,” Holder said. This summer, Chuck Rosenberg, the acting administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, acknowledged that marijuana is not as dangerous as other Schedule I drugs and announced his agents would not be prioritizing marijuana enforcement. Still, as long as marijuana remains illegal under federal law, the haphazard system in which it is studied, produced, and distributed will remain, and Americans will not be able to take full advantage of its medicinal properties.
However, the 2014 federal farm bill allowed for “research” cultivation and marketing of industrial hemp if those activities aren’t in violation of state laws. Only four states—Idaho, North Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas—have strict no-CBD laws. Since 2014, there has been little to no federal enforcement against commercial hemp products. The upshot: Functionally, hemp-derived CBD products are safe for interstate commerce.
5-HT1A agonist: 5-HT1A is a subtype of the serotonin receptor, which is important because anxiety and depression can sometimes be treated with medications that target the serotonin system. This is why drug companies developed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac and Zoloft. SSRIs work by blocking reabsorption of serotonin in the brain, which increases availability of serotonin in the synaptic space. This helps brain cells transmit more serotonin signals, which can reduce anxiety and boost mood in certain cases (although the full biological basis for this is more complicated and not fully understood).
Cannabis has shown to have positive effects on people suffering from epilepsy and multiple sclerosis. A research conducted in the University College of London, it is also effective in dealing with multiple other neurological conditions like the Dravet syndrome and Parkinson’s disease. It prevents neurodegeneration and cognitive decline, thereby helping those suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Then one day in 1963 a young organic chemist in Israel named Raphael Mechoulam, working at the Weizmann Institute of Science outside Tel Aviv, decided to peer into the plant’s chemical composition. It struck him as odd that even though morphine had been teased from opium in 1805 and cocaine from coca leaves in 1855, scientists had no idea what the principal psychoactive ingredient was in marijuana. “It was just a plant,” says Mechoulam, now 84. “It was a mess, a mélange of unidentified compounds.”
The World Health Organization takes a similar stance, saying there is no evidence of abuse potential or harm associated with the use of pure CBD. However, WHO cautions against its use as a medicine until further research and evidence have been amassed. And, of course, it’s always best to talk with your doctor before making any changes to your health routine.
The vape would be very easy to carry around, but I don’t really enjoy having to inhale something, as it reminds me of when I had a problem with drugs back in the day. You’d also have to use it more often. This could be a great method for you, however, the brand I used was probably low quality and I have no idea if using a better brand would change my opinion on using a vape.
A 2013 study conducted at the University of Haifa in Israel found that cannabinoid treatment after a traumatic experience may regulate the emotional response to the trauma and prevent stress-induced impairment. Cannabinoid treatment minimized the stress receptors in the basolateral amygdala (the nuclei that receives that majority of sensory information) and hippocampus (the part of the brain that is thought to be the center of emotion). (4)
Here’s the thing, though—CBD oil isn’t just helpful for people with epilepsy. Turns out the oil is highly anti-inflammatory, and according to a 2013 review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology it’s also beneficial for treating anxiety, depression, neurodegenerative disorders like dementia, and even has anti-tumoral properties. Sounds like the ultimate superfood, right? I decided to give this magic oil a whirl and see if I noticed a difference in my mood, anxiety, and stress levels.
In 1937, the U.S. Treasury Department introduced the Marihuana Tax Act, which imposed a levy of $1 per ounce for medicinal use of cannabis and $100 per ounce for recreational use. This was opposed by physicians who were not required to pay a special tax for prescribing cannabis, use special order forms to obtain it and keep records detailing its professional use. The American Medical Association believed that evidence of cannabis’ harmful effects was limited and the act would prevent further research into its medicinal worth.
Hernandez said interactions between FDA-approved pharmaceuticals and CBD oils are a serious concern. “What we’ve found so far is that [CBD] can actually affect the levels of some of your epilepsy medications,” Hernandez told me. The diarrhea and vomiting associated with CBD oil ingestion can lower the levels of other drugs in patients’ bloodstreams, while the way the body absorbs CBD can raise the levels of certain medications.
Over the past two years, 17 states have passed laws legalizing CBD so that patients can obtain the drug without fear of prosecution from local authorities. For intractable childhood epilepsies—the sorts of seizure disorders that for centuries have ruined lives and shattered families, the ones even specialists like Hernandez dread—CBD could be a miracle cure.
Rather, it appeared as though CBD attenuated anxiety induced by THC via alternative mechanisms. It was noted that various effects resulting from CBD appeared to be opposite of those associated with THC. This study published in the early 1980s provided initial evidence that CBD (rather than THC) promotes relaxation and is capable of attenuating drug-induced anxiety.
"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."
Szaflarski explains that cannabis contains about 500 different compounds, some of which—including CBD and THC—interact with certain chemical receptors in the human nervous system. But unlike THC, CBD isn’t psychoactive—meaning it doesn’t cause any kind of a high. Despite that, the US Drug Enforcement Agency classifies CBD (and other cannabis compounds) as schedule I substances, making their sale illegal in many states.
My friend had told me that all I do was use the dropper bottle and place 15 drops under my tongue, and then wait for about 90 seconds before swallowing (it also says this very clearly on the bottle as well). I actually went in front of a mirror to administer the drops, so I could count exactly how much I was putting in (you really don’t need to do this though because you can kind of feel the drops as they hit your mouth and count how many you’re putting in that way).
Both Bonn-Miller and Ward stress that it's up to the consumer to be well-educated about the material they're purchasing and the research that's out there. "The companies that are creating [cannabis oils] are offering lots of claims about its use that are not necessarily substantiated by any research," Bonn-Miller said. So "I think there needs to be, from a consumer standpoint, a lot of vigilance," he added.
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