It was the seizures that tipped Penny off that something wasn’t right with Harper after she and her husband Dustin brought her home from the hospital as a newborn. Several months later, having tried a battery of epilepsy medications and still without a diagnosis, Penny and Dustin flew to Boston with Harper to see an expert in infant seizures. It was there they first heard of CDKL5. “This is the point where life changed significantly,” Penny said, “because now we had this diagnosis. You know, this abnormality in our family that we cannot fix.”
Less than two weeks ago, JBS USA, one of our country's largest meat processors, announced a high-risk recall of nearly 7 million pounds of its raw beef, over concerns it may be contaminated with Salmonella Newport. Nearly 60 patients in 16 states have so far been made sick. This recent outbreak of infections tied to contaminated ground beef is especially worrisome because S. Newport is a strain of Salmonella that has often been resistant to antibiotics. It may also be the largest beef recall in history for Salmonella.
By now nearly everyone has heard that cannabis can play a palliative role for cancer sufferers, especially in alleviating some of the nasty side effects of chemotherapy. There’s no question that pot can stave off nausea, improve appetite, and help with pain and sleep. But could it cure cancer? Troll the Internet and you’ll see hundreds, if not thousands, of such claims. A gullible Googler could easily believe we’re on the brink of a miracle cure.

Fear and anxiety are adaptive responses essential to coping with threats to survival. Yet excessive or persistent fear may be maladaptive, leading to disability. Symptoms arising from excessive fear and anxiety occur in a number of neuropsychiatric disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder (PD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), and obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). Notably, PTSD and OCD are no longer classified as anxiety disorders in the recent revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5; however, excessive anxiety is central to the symptomatology of both disorders. These anxiety-related disorders are associated with a diminished sense of well-being, elevated rates of unemployment and relationship breakdown, and elevated suicide risk [1–3]. Together, they have a lifetime prevalence in the USA of 29 % [4], the highest of any mental disorder, and constitute an immense social and economic burden [5, 6].
Cannabidiol (300 mg), 99.9% purity without THC (kindly supplied by STI-Pharm, Brentwood, United Kingdom) was dissolved in corn oil (Zuardi et al., 1993, 2017; Crippa et al., 2004). The same amount of corn oil was used as placebo. The drug and placebo were packed in identical gelatin capsules. The 300 mg dose was chosen based on previous studies that detected the acute anxiolytic effect of this dose (Zuardi et al., 1993, 2017) and the studies by Chagas et al. (2014b) and Chagas et al. (2014c), in which this dose caused a reduction in the frequency of REM sleep behavioral events and improving quality of life (including sleep) in patients with Parkinson’s disease, respectively. The time of drug delivery was based on previous studies that showed that the peak plasma concentration of an oral dose of CBD normally occurs 1–2 h after ingestion (Agurell et al., 1981; Crippa et al., 2004, 2010; Borgwardt et al., 2008; Fusar-Poli et al., 2009; Zuardi et al., 2017).
CBD has also been shown to enhance extinction of contextually conditioned fear responses. Extinction training involves repeated CS exposure in the absence of the US, leading to the formation of a new memory that inhibits fear responses and a decline in freezing over subsequent training sessions. Systemic CBD administration immediately before training markedly enhanced extinction, and this effect depended on CB1R activation, without involvement of TRPV1 receptors [65]. Further studies showed CB1Rs in the infralimbic cortex may be involved in this effect [82].
Cannabidiol may play a therapeutic role in sleep regulation (Monti, 1977; Chagas et al., 2014b). In healthy volunteers with regular sleep cycle, 600 mg of CBD induced sedative effects (Zuardi et al., 1993), whereas in subjects with insomnia, acute use of CBD (160 mg/day) was associated with an increase in total sleep time and less frequent awakenings (Carlini and Cunha, 1981). Daily CBD doses of 40, 80, or 160 mg were shown to reduce dream recall and did not cause ‘hangover’ effects compared to placebo (Carlini and Cunha, 1981).
Cannabis oil is a concentrated extract obtained by extraction of the dried flowers or leaves of the cannabis plant. It is not actually an oil, but derives its name from its sticky and oily appearance. The purpose of producing cannabis oil is to make cannabinoids and other beneficial components, such as terpenes, available in a highly concentrated form.
As it turns out, healthy sleep-wake cycles are extremely dependent on our state of “alertness” during the day. If you are a victim of insomnia, for example, you (along with millions of other individuals) are likely drowsy, fatigued, and generally “out-of-sorts” during the afternoon. As you might imagine, this wreaks havoc on your sleep-wake cycle as it makes it nearly impossible to enter and maintain the non-REM sleep that you need at night.
Because of this classification, it's not easy for researchers to get their hands on the drug. "That's not to say you can't do it, but there are hoops you need to jump through that can be a pain, which may deter researchers from going into this space," Bonn-Miller said. "Relatively speaking, it's a small group of people in the U.S. that do research on cannabinoids in humans."

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