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.
To access CBD oil, a solvent extraction process is required, which returns roughly 3-5 grams of oil per ounce of flower product used. Using grain or isopropyl alcohol as a solvent, you can strain the result of the mixture, leaving CBD oil behind. It is a lengthy process, and in countries where cannabis is legal, there are many places to access high-quality CBD oil.
Research has shown that administration of cannabidiol actually inhibits agonist effects at the CB1/CB2 receptor sites. Although the effects of CB1 inverse agonism aren’t fully elucidated, many speculate that CB2 inverse agonism may contribute to cannabidiol’s anti-inflammatory effects. Due to the fact that neuroinflammation is associated with anxiety disorders, we could hypothesize that a decrease in inflammation may yield anxiolytic responses in a subset of CBD users.
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”.
“THC”—the more-famous, high-inducing compound in cannabis—“works directly on the cannabinoid system, meaning it attaches to receptors and mimics some of our own internal endocannabinoids,” says Igor Grant, a professor and chair of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. But CBD’s interaction with the endocannabinoid system is subtler. “Normally, these endocannabinoid-signaling molecules are broken down by enzymes, and one thing CBD does is interfere with the actions of those enzymes.”
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A 2016 study evaluated the effects of CBD on a 10 year old girl with pediatric anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder. “Pharmaceutical medications provided partial relief, but results were not long-lasting, and there were major side effects. A trial of CBD oil resulted in a maintained decrease in anxiety and a steady improvement in the quality and quantity of the patient's sleep. CBD oil, an increasingly popular treatment of anxiety and sleep issues, has been documented as being an effective alternative to pharmaceutical medications. This case study provides clinical data that support the use of CBD oil as a safe treatment for reducing anxiety and improving sleep in a young girl with post traumatic stress disorder.”
To name just a few: Animal research and small-scale human studies have pointed to CBD's anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties, NPR reports. A study is underway to see how CBD helps patients with PTSD and alcohol use disorder, and another is exploring how CBD might help curb drug cravings in people with opioid addiction. Cannabinoids like CBD may also be effective at treating cancer-related side effects, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Topical solutions also vary greatly in potency. For example, Prevail Botanical’s salve contains 1,000 milligrams of CBD in 2.2 ounces. Floyd’s of Leadville cream has 700 milligrams in a 30-gram (1.05 ounce) container. These deliver higher amounts of CBD than other topicals I tried, such as PlusCBD’s balm (100 milligrams in 1.3 ounces) and Medterra’s cream (750 milligrams in 3.4 ounces). Remember, more isn’t necessarily better.
DiPatrizio says, “There may be some benefits outside of improving epilepsy outcomes, but a lot more research is required.” Any research on athletic claims would almost certainly come from the industry; there are more urgent public health CBD topics to investigate than whether it reduces runners’ knee pain. For the foreseeable future, runners interested in CBD’s effectiveness will have to rely on anecdotal, subjective reports.
Crippa et al. (2011) published a study investigating the effects of CBD on neural activation among those with social anxiety disorders. For the study, researchers recruited 10 treatment-naïve patients with social anxiety disorders. To determine how CBD influenced neural activity, they utilized functional neuroimaging to assess regional cerebral blood flow at rest with a SPECT scan incorporating an L-ethylcysteinate dimer (ECD) tracer.
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.
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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