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.
Cannabis Oil: Cannabis oil is typically made from marijuana with a high THC percentage. Therefore, it must be purchased in an area where marijuana is legal or can be obtained with a prescription. The amounts of compounds, including CBD and THC, will drastically vary from product to product. Commercially produced cannabis oils will have more controlled concentrations of CBD and THC for medical purposes.
For starters, research on cannabis and sleep is in its infancy and has yielded mixed results. But there is more to it than that. The root cause of many sleep disorders is actual another disease like anxiety, stress, PTSD, or chronic pain – and CBD helps manage all of these conditions. So, while CBD may not be inherently sedative, it combats the underlying condition that is the root cause of many sleep disorders.
On the federal level, several bills currently before Congress seek to change the way the government treats CBD. One such bill, the Compassionate Access Act, would exclude CBD from the classification of “marijuana” and remove both from the DEA’s list of Schedule I controlled substances. Rescheduling CBD in such a way would make research and cultivation of CBD much easier.
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.
For people who suffer from insomnia, constant anxiety during the night or simply struggle to get a sound, restful night of undisturbed sleep, cannabis sativa essential oil may work like a charm. However, according to a research report published by Dr. Ethan Russo, Director of Research for the International Cannabis and Cannabinoids Institute, terpenoids produce an “entourage effect”.
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.)
In the United States, cannabidiol is a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. This means that production, distribution, and possession of CBD is illegal under federal law. In addition, in 2016 the Drug Enforcement Administration added "marijuana extracts" to the list of Schedule I drugs, which it defined as "an extract containing one or more cannabinoids that has been derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis, other than the separated resin (whether crude or purified) obtained from the plant." Previously, CBD had simply been considered "marijuana", which is a Schedule I drug.
Cross-sectional studies have found a direct correlation between more severe PTSD symptomatology and increased motivation to use cannabis for coping purposes, especially among patients with difficulties in emotional regulation or stress tolerance. When using cannabis treatment, military veterans with PTSD reported reduced anxiety and insomnia and improved coping ability. (5)
CBD does not appear to have any psychotropic ("high") effects such as those caused by ∆9-THC in marijuana, but may have anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic effects. As the legal landscape and understanding about the differences in medical cannabinoids unfolds, it will be increasingly important to distinguish "medical marijuana" (with varying degrees of psychotropic effects and deficits in executive function) – from "medical CBD therapies” which would commonly present as having a reduced or non-psychoactive side effect profile.
Chagas M. H., Eckeli A. L., Zuardi A. W., Pena-Pereira M. A., Sobreira-Neto M. A., Sobreira E. T., et al. (2014b). Cannabidiol can improve complex sleep-related behaviours associated with rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder in Parkinson’s disease patients: a case series. J. Clin. Pharm. Ther. 39 564–566. 10.1111/jcpt.12179 [PubMed] [Cross Ref]
CBD = cannabidiol; HV = healthy controls; DBP = double-blind placebo; SAD = social anxiety disorder; HC = healthy controls; SPECT = single-photo emission computed tomography; rCBF = regional cerebral blood flow; fMRI = functional magnetic resonance imaging; HPC = hippocampus; HYP = hypothalamus; PHG = parahippocampal gyrus; STG = superior temporal gyrus; MTG = medial temporal gyrus; ACC = anterior cingulate cortex; PCC = posterior cingulate cortex
On the other hand, a 2017 comprehensive review of CBD studies in psychiatric disorders found inconclusive results. According to the authors, there isn’t enough evidence to claim CBD as a treatment for depression. However, the authors do note positive results for anxiety disorders. Based on their review, more human tests are needed to better understand how it works, what ideal dosages should be, and if there are potential side effects or hazards.
An animal study involving male Wistar rats conducted by Resstel et al. (2009) examined the effect of CBD on restraint stress (RS). Previous research had demonstrated that the phytocannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) yielded anxiolytic and antipsychotic properties in animal models. For this reason, they investigated whether CBD facilitates adaptation to scenarios of inescapable stress and whether this response is mediated by 5-HT1A receptors.
CBD interacts mostly with CB1 receptors which are spread throughout the entire body, but they’re found in the highest concentrations in the immune and nervous systems. The interaction between CBD and endocannabinoid receptors, proteins, and other chemicals in the brain, triggers changes in the activity of hormones, and neurotransmitters throughout the brain and the body.
A wealth of marketing material, blogs and anecdotes claim that cannabis oils can cure whatever ails you, even cancer. But the limited research doesn't suggest that cannabis oil should take the place of conventional medication, except for in two very rare forms of epilepsy (and even then, it's recommended only as a last-resort treatment). And, experts caution that because cannabis oil and other cannabis-based products are not regulated or tested for safety by the government or any third-party agency, it's difficult for consumers to know exactly what they're getting.
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