When Brandon Krenzler’s daughter Mykayla was diagnosed with a form of childhood leukemia in 2012 at the age of seven, he began researching medical marijuana products that might ease her symptoms and blogging about the results. The next year, he received some samples of Real Scientific Hemp Oil, which he administered to Mykayla. But the oil made her sick.
In early June, I met with Penny Pennington Howard, a mother of three, who lives in Carrollton, Texas, about 25 minutes outside of Dallas. Posted in the glass of her front door are two signs you can’t quite make out from the sidewalk: one asking visitors not to smoke, as oxygen treatments are in use; the other a yellow diamond informing guests this is the home of a special needs child. Penny welcomed me inside, out of the glare of the sun, and led me through her living room into her kitchen, where her kids were gathered for lunch. Seth, then eight months old, was plucking cereal off the tray of his highchair, while Lily, seven, was darting back and forth between the countertop and table. Harper, a blond five-year-old with hot pink toenails, was reclining in her “tomato chair,” a molded plastic seat with straps to help keep her steady.
Human trials are few and far between. The lone 2016 CBD and sleep-related study was restricted to a single adolescent suffering from PTSD and resulting insomnia. Although, the conclusions indicate the poor girl was sleeping better and on the road to recovery with a low sublingual spray dose of CBD. We must disclose that GW Pharmaceuticals founded the Cannabinoid Research Institute that carried out the research.
The cannabinoids found in both CBD and THC oil mimic the endocannabinoids that our bodies naturally produce. Endocannabinoids are compounds that regulate vital functions such as internal stability, homeostasis, pain regulation, and immune system functioning. Whether they’re produced by the body or obtained from the cannabis plant, cannabinoids facilitate communication on a cellular level between cells to trigger various bodily processes. Therefore, a deficiency of cannabinoids can result in a system thrown out of balance, manifesting in unwanted symptoms and other health complications.
People who smoke cannabis often smoke it to get high and for its calming qualities, using cannabis specifically cultivated for very high amounts of THC content. Strains such as skunk are bred to contain as much of the psychoactive compound as possible, with THC levels increasing dramatically over the last few decades due to the popularity of THC’s effects for recreational users.
One study comparing the effects of THC and CBD even found that, while THC increased anxiety by activating the neurotransmitters involved in the "fight or flight" response, CBD actually repressed autonomic arousal—or the nervous system response associated with sudden increases in heart rate or respiration. In other words, CBD is ideal for people looking to relax and unwind—not get out of their minds.
Imagine waking up in the morning feeling rested and awake – no more residual grogginess or impairment. In order to understand how CBD helps modulate sleep, we turn to a series of medical studies that have been conducted over the past ten years. These studies evaluated CBD’s medical efficacy in treating those who suffer from various types of sleep disorders. We will address the results below.
A research conducted by Ethan B Russo, GW Pharmaceuticals, WA, USA, suggests that CBD oil interacts with the protein cells in the body and sends chemical signals to your brain and immune system through a number of stimuli. This helps the cells positively respond to chronic pain. This oil is regularly suggested for people with inflammation and back pain because of its painkilling quality.
My grandson has severe anxiety. His anxiety and meltdowns were so severe that we couldn’t go shopping, out to eat, or anything else normal people do. The medicines his doctors put him on have horrible side effects. We started him on the cbd oil once a day. Within a couple weeks we saw a huge difference. Yes, he still has some anxiety, and meltdowns, but nothing like they were. We can actually go you the grocery store with him now! And it’s not a coincidence because when we run out for a few days we can see the difference! – Dian
Administration of CBD reduced the anxiogenic effects of THC, suggesting that it is capable of decreasing anxiety in animal models. It was also documented that standalone CBD treatment reduced expression of c-Fos in the central nucleus of the amygdala. Reduction in c-Fos is understood to yield anxiolytic effects – possibly another mechanism by which cannabidiol attenuates symptoms of anxiety.
Whether any of these CBD products will do anyone any good (or bad) is moot. “Cannabidiol is the hottest new medicine in mental health because the proper clinical trials do suggest it has clinical effects,” says Philip McGuire, professor of psychiatry and cognitive neuroscience at King’s College London. “It is the No 1 new treatment we’re interested in. But although there’s tons of stuff in the news about it, there’s still not that much evidence.” Large, long-term studies are needed; a 2017 review paper into the safety profile of CBD concluded that “important toxicological parameters are yet to be studied; for example, if CBD has an effect on hormones”.
“It’s such an interesting plant, such a valuable plant,” says Nolan Kane, who specializes in evolutionary biology. “It’s been around for millions of years, and it’s one of man’s oldest crops. And yet there are so many basic problems that need to be answered. Where did it come from? How and why did it evolve? Why does it make all these suites of compounds? We don’t even know how many species there are.”
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.
When is the best time to take the CBD for sleep problems? The local “authority” maintains that it must be taken in 3 doses throughout the day or will have no effect whatsoever, but I find nothing online to substantiate this claim. Can it be taken as a supplement to prescription medications for sleep disorders? All sites say to consult your physician but physicians (and pharmacists) claim to know nothing about CBD.
One of the biggest players in this new industry is Medical Marijuana, Inc., a company formed in 2009 that operates out of Poway, California, just north of San Diego. It has played a leading role in the so-called Green Rush, as businesses have moved quickly to capitalize on the gradual legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational purposes by states across the country. The company’s spokesman, Andrew Hard, boasted that Medical Marijuana, Inc., “created the CBD industry and was first to market with CBD products.” Through its various subsidiaries, Medical Marijuana, Inc. sells some of the most recognizable products on the cannabis market— everything from Cibaderm CBD-infused shampoo to CanChew chewing gum. In 2014, the company generated $14.5 million in revenue.
People claim that cannabis oil can be used to treat a wide range of conditions, though evidence to back up these claims is often lacking. For example, according to Medical News Today, people use cannabis oil for conditions ranging from pain to acne; some even claim the oil can cure diseases like Alzheimer's and cancer. (But again, there is no clinical evidence to support these claims.)
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Medical Disclaimer: Statements in any video or written content on this site have not been evaluated by the FDA. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product. Representations regarding the efficacy and safety of CBD oil have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA only evaluates foods and drugs, not supplements like these products. These products are not intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease. The material on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. Always consult your physician before beginning any supplement program.
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