Anxiety-related disorders affect a huge segment of our population—40 million adults (18%) in the United States age 18 and older. In response, Big Pharma has developed numerous drugs to treat anxiety-related disorders, from selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac and Zoloft to tranquilizers (the most popular class being benzodiazepines such as Valium and Xanax).
Until 2017, products containing cannabidiol that are marketed for medical purposes were classed as medicines by the UK regulatory body, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and could not be marketed without regulatory approval for the medical claims. CBD oil with THC content not exceeding 0.2% was legalized throughout the UK in 2017. Cannabis oil, however, remained illegal to possess, buy and sell.
Their CBD oil is high-quality due to their unique CO2 extraction process which contains no pesticides, solvents, herbicides or chemical fertilizers. Furthermore, they have all their products tested by third-party laboratories. According to customers, their star product has been great for sleep disorders, anxiety, pain relief and for taking on stress, although it’s important to note that not everyone may experience the same results.
Guzmán is a biochemist who’s studied cannabis for about 20 years. I visit him in his office at the Complutense University of Madrid, in a golden, graffiti-splotched building on a tree-lined boulevard. A handsome guy in his early 50s with blue eyes and shaggy brown hair tinged with gray, he speaks rapidly in a soft voice that makes a listener lean forward. “When the headline of a newspaper screams, ‘Brain Cancer Is Beaten With Cannabis!’ it is not true,” he says. “There are many claims on the Internet, but they are very, very weak.”
Cannabidiol (CBD) is just one of over 85 scientifically-identified cannabinoids (or chemical compounds) derived from the flowering plant cannabis. Each of the cannabinoids within cannabis elicit unique neurophysiological effects. Most people are well-aware of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the predominant cannabinoid within cannabis that is ingested by upwards of 230 million people per year as a psychoactive euphoriant.
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.”
The side effects and risks involved with consuming marijuana-based products aren't clear, either, Bonn-Miller said. It's important to "determine cannabinoids that are useful therapeutically while understanding and using cannabinoids that are associated with less risk," he said. At least with CBD, he said, it doesn't appear to have the potential for addiction. That's different from THC, which has been associated with addiction, he said, and negative side effects, including acute anxiety.
Participants were recruited through advertisements in the local media of the city of Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil. Initially, 335 individuals who were interested in participating were evaluated, 265 of whom were excluded in the recruitment interview (which contained questions about clinical data, demographics, psychiatric symptoms, sleep patterns, among others). The remaining 70 participants were asked to keep a sleep log and completed the rating scales on sleep patterns (ESS, Epworth Sleepiness Scale; PSQI, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index). After these procedures, 27 participants were considered eligible for the study (Figure Figure11) and were randomized into two groups (group 1: placebo – CBD, group 2: CBD – placebo) matched in terms of sex, age, and years of education. To ensure the adequacy of the matching procedure, one participant of each pair had his treatment blindly chosen between the two treatment options available and the other participant (matched to the first one) was assigned to the remaining option.
NuLeaf Naturals CBD oil tinctures are all full spectrum; it is 100% organic and never made with herbicides, pesticides, or chemical fertilizers. The brand offers a full spectrum pet CBD oil tincture, as well. NuLeaf Naturals offers free shipping to all 50 states; the brand’s products are also sold in more than 200 retail locations across the country.
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.
Among the company’s many offerings is Real Scientific Hemp Oil, which it sells through its subsidiary HempMedsPx, also based in Poway. On its web site, HempMedsPx describes how its hemp “is grown in northern European microclimates, without the use of any pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers.” The company promises that it “continuously scrutinizes and improves the processes to meet all regulations and exceeds quality standards.”
Throughout the SPST, researchers utilized the Visual Analogue Mood Scale (VAMS), Negative Self-Statement scale (SSPS-N), and physiological measures (blood pressure, heart rate, skin conductance) to determine the anxiolytic efficacy of CBD. Results indicated that those receiving the CBD exhibited significantly less anxiety, cognitive deficits, speech discomfort, and decreased alertness on the VAMS measure. Contrastingly, the individuals receiving the placebo exhibited high anxiety, cognitive deficits, high alertness, and overall discomfort on the VAMS.
Natural, legal and with no major side effects (so far), CBD is a marketer’s dream. Hemp-based health products are launching left, right and centre, cashing in while the research is in its first flush of hazy potential. As well as ingestible CBD (also sold as hemp or cannabis oils or capsules) the compound has become a buzzword among upmarket skincare brands such as CBD of London. Predictably, Gwyneth Paltrow is a proponent of the trend, and has said that taking CBD oil helps her through hard times: “It doesn’t make you stoned or anything, just a little relaxed,” she told one beauty website.
Can’t sleep? Cannabis oil also works for people with insomnia. The calming effects of the oil help people to sleep calmly, relieving issues of anxiety and restlessness. A 2015 scientific review published in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy found that cannabis treatment is effective for military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Research suggests that cannabinoids, the psychoactive components of unrefined cannabis, regulates neurotransmitter release and produces a wide range of central nervous system effects, including increased pleasure and alteration of memory processes.
Growing and producing CBD oil made from hemp may soon become fully legal. Lawmakers are working to finalize a 2018 Farm Bill sponsored by Sen. Mitch McConnell that removes hemp from the controlled substances list, allowing it to be grown legally on a large scale. Negotiators are hoping for a completed report this month and a vote on the bill by year's end.
Landis expects prices to come down 10 to 20 percent over the next few years. The biggest reason is that hemp cultivation is likely to dramatically increase. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is among the farm-state legislators who are pushing for hemp to be legalized at the federal level. McConnell’s state, Kentucky, is already one of the leading hemp producers. CBD manufacturers’ raw material expenses will drop significantly once enough farmers figure out how to profitably grow hemp, says PurePower CEO McLaughlin.
There may be some drawbacks associated with using CBD oil for anxiety, especially over a long-term. Hypothetical drawbacks could result from CBD usage include: deleterious epigenetic and/or neurophysiological effects, increased anxiety, tolerance onset (with decreased efficacy over time), and/or withdrawal symptoms. Keep in mind that many of these drawbacks are merely speculative and cannot be confirmed.
When formulating a CBD regimen for a specific disease or illness (like sleep disorders), it’s important to understand that CBD should be used regularly for maximum relief. It’s also helpful to understand whether another condition like anxiety, PTSD or pain is actually the root cause of your sleep disorder. The recommended regimen will also vary slightly based on the type of sleeping disorder you have – i.e. those suffering from insomnia will need to consume their CBD at a different time of day than those suffering from excessive daytime fatigue.
This is a topic I am asked about all the time, and have been for years: how does cannabis help sleep and health? I’ve heard that the number-two reason why people smoke or use cannabis is for sleep. Considering the recent passing of the recreational use of cannabis in California and other several states I think it is high time (pun intended!) to look at CBD, one of the most active ingredients in medical cannabis.
Sample sizes: As was already mentioned, the sample sizes used to test the effects of CBD for anxiety were relatively small-scale. Although the results from these small-scale studies may be accurate, larger-scale trials (with larger sample sizes) are warranted to confirm preliminary outcomes. A therapeutic effect found in just 10-20 patients may not hold up in a group of several hundred.
In general, the preparation methods for unregulated cannabis oil are relatively simple. They do not entail highly specialised equipment, and use easily accessible solvents such as petroleum ether, naphtha, alcohol and olive oil. For this reason, people who have access to cannabis plant material, from either legal or illegal sources, may prepare it at home by themselves.
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