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Low concentrations of CBD aren’t the only concern, either. Cannabis plants are hardy and tough, and their thick stalks possess a special property: bioremediation. When grown in contaminated soil, hemp plants absorb heavy metals and other chemical waste, effectively cleansing the terrain. While all plants absorb some chemicals from the soil, the structure, size, and genetic makeup of hemp make it especially adept at this task. Cannabis is so effective that crops of industrial hemp were planted in the aftermath of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster to help purify heavily irradiated soil. When hemp stalks are used for fiber, paper, and other nonconsumptive industrial purposes, the contaminants absorbed into the plants pose no threat to humans.
For most people with epilepsy, diagnosis sets off a gauntlet of trial-and-error attempts to find the right medication. The process is tortuous, with seizures alternately dying down and flaring up while side effects— fatigue, nausea, liver damage, and more—develop without warning. This is partly due to the fact that “epilepsy” is actually a broad category that includes a number of distinct seizure disorders. About 30 medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are currently used to treat these conditions, and when a person first begins having seizures, there is often much tinkering with combinations and dosages. I spent years battling side effects like vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, and severe headaches, which were alleviated only by yet another prescription medication. Parents who endure enough sleepless nights caring for a sick child can become desperate for a cure.
The seizures started in May 2013 when she was six months old. Infantile spasms, they were called. It looked like a startle reflex—her arms rigid at her side, her face a frozen mask of fear, her eyes fluttering from side to side. Addelyn Patrick’s little brain raced and surged, as though an electromagnetic storm were sweeping through it. “It’s your worst possible nightmare,” her mother, Meagan, says. “Just awful, awful, awful to watch your child in pain, in fear, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.”
But it’s Guzmán’s brain tumor research that has captured headlines—and the interest of pharmaceutical companies. Through his years of research he has ascertained that a combination of THC, CBD, and temozolomide (a moderately successful conventional drug) works best in treating brain tumors in mice. A cocktail composed of these three compounds appears to attack brain cancer cells in multiple ways, preventing their spread but also triggering them, in effect, to commit suicide.
Currently, studies suggest that CBD attaches to the cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, within the body, which works to maintain homeostasis in the body. CB2 receptors were found in much higher amounts in the joints of arthritis sufferers and when CBD was introduced into the body, it was found to interact with these receptors, promoting analgesia in the affected area. It also suggested that it was unlikely that CBD users would build up an eventual resistance, and so could be used without gradual reuptake.
Typically, pharmaceutical companies making cannabis-based medicines have sought to isolate individual compounds from the plant. But Mechoulam strongly suspects that in some cases those chemicals would work much better in concert with other compounds found in marijuana. He calls this the entourage effect, and it’s just one of the many cannabis mysteries that he says require further study.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which someone’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts during the night, causing them to constantly wake up and go back to sleep. Marinol, a synthetic version of CBD, has been showing to improve sleep apnea in rats. In clinic trials of Sativex, another synthetic version of CBD and THC, has been shown to produce outcomes of good to very good sleep quality in 40% – 50% of subjects.
“The brain has these receptors that respond to endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that are naturally produced in the body and brain,” says Jerald Simmons, a neurologist at Houston’s Comprehensive Sleep Medicine Associates. “Some of the cannabinoids in the marijuana plant are very similar to the endocannabinoids in the brain, and they act on the same receptors.”
According to the case report, it was charted by the girl’s oncologist that the patient “suffers from terminal malignant disease. She has been treated to the limits of available therapy … no further active intervention will be undertaken.” She was then placed in a palliative home care and told to prepare for her disease to overwhelm her body. She was expected to suffer a stroke within the next two months.
In terms of recent scientific investigations on the topic, in 2011 a group of researchers conducted a study that revolutionized the thoughts about CBD and anxiety. They took 10 people with social anxiety who had never had any treatment for this disorder and divided them into two groups. One group was given 400mg of CBD and the other a placebo. The results showed that those who had received the CBD oil had successfully improved their anxiety symptoms compared to the placebo.
During the study, 50 participants with PTSD coexisting with alcohol use disorder will be given either 400 milligrams of CBD daily, or a placebo. The goal is to see if the participants who take CBD end up drinking less and whether this leads to an improvement in PTSD symptoms. The participants will be given a pharmaceutical-grade CBD, which is more reliable in strength and purity than the supplements that are currently available for sale to the public.
It is known that lack of sleep can interfere with certain aspects of cognitive functioning, such as attentional levels (Goel et al., 2009) and PVT, which has a high sensitivity to measure responses that require selective attention (Basner and Dinges, 2011). However, the results of the present study did not show any significant impairment in either the reaction time or number of errors measured by the PVT, suggesting that the attention levels of the volunteers were preserved in the morning after the sleep assessment, regardless of the administration of CBD or placebo. Not having administered the PVT test before CBD and placebo administration does not significantly affect the conclusions once the study does not intend to assess the effect of CBD on baseline vigilance (which would require comparison with baseline PVT results), but to rather evaluate if CBD may be safely administered to patients without affecting their vigilance state overall, such that the patients may safely conduct every-day tasks, like for example driving.
A syrup is also absorbed sublingually, and I took Shunney's advice of swishing CBD Living's Sleep Aid ($26; cbdlivingwater.com) around my mouth for a minute before swallowing to promote absorption. One tablespoon contains 15mg of CBD plus 2mg of melatonin, and the cherry flavor tasted like Nyquil, which I kind of liked. Again, I could feel the effects of the CBD working through my system after about 40 minutes or so, but I didn't think I actually fell completely asleep any early than the other nights. (Related: Will Melatonin Really Help You Sleep Better?)
Just saw this now. I use the first one on this list. I’ve tried five different brands, some worked better than others. I have found that my sleep is also connected to the food I eat of a night time. So I’ve cut back on sugary, fatty foods. I take a few drops in the evening, always 2 hours before I go to sleep and try to relax. That’s what works for me. Hope it helps
Of course, the easiest solution, advocates say, is for the federal government to legalize cannabis completely. If cannabis were legalized—the whole plant and all its extracts, no confusing singling-out of specific compounds or anatomical features—then U.S. drug companies would be able to carefully cultivate and research its medicinal properties, and submit their findings to regulatory bodies like the FDA for trials and approval.
No statistically significant changes were found between the three different time points in the four factors evaluated by the VAMS and, as well as in the STAI. These results suggest that none of the different moments of the exams were subjectively rated as anxiogenic, sedative, uncomfortable or as producing cognitive impairment. It should be noted here that, unlike other medications, the anxiolytic effect of CBD is only observed when given to subjects in obviously anxiogenic situations (Zuardi et al., 1993, 2017; Bergamaschi et al., 2011a; Crippa et al., 2010).
It's a little more uniform when the product is absorbed by smoking or vaping the oil, Ward said. But, "there are obvious concerns about smoking something." A 2007 review published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found that smoking marijuana resulted in similar declines in respiratory system health as smoking tobacco. A similar review published in 2014 in The American Journal of Cardiology found that marijuana smoke inhalation can increase the chances of heart attack or stroke. Neither review analyzed the effects of vaping cannabis oil alone, so it's unclear if it has the same health risks as smoking other marijuana products.
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