In the apparent rush to accept weed into the mainstream, to tax and regulate it, to legitimize and commodify it, important questions arise. What’s going on inside this plant? How does marijuana really affect our bodies and our brains? What might the chemicals in it tell us about how our neurological systems function? Could those chemicals lead us to beneficial new pharmaceuticals?
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.
CBD’s potential usefulness in treating certain conditions is yet another argument in favor of legalizing the entire cannabis plant. Removing cannabis from the federal list of Schedule I narcotics that are illegal under the Controlled Substances Act would allow scientists to research its full medical potential and pharmaceutical companies in the United States to develop marijuana-based drugs and submit them for FDA approval. Government-regulated labs could test products like CBD oil to ensure safety and quality. Doctors could prescribe marijuana- based medicines with full knowledge of potential side effects and drug interactions, and without fear of losing their medical licenses or being thrown in jail.
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.”
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.
I’m 48 and have been diagnosed with anxiety disorder, depression, ptsd and have had panic attacks that have lead me to the ER 3 or 4 times. My psychiatrist put me on wellbutrin and klonopin for the anxiety and depression… I’m taking very low dosages of each but from what I’ve read when you come off of the klonopin it has physical side effects. I’m wanting to come off of both and my psychiatrist doesn’t think good things about cannabis and says that it interferes with the GABA receptors in the brain. I’m trying to find a doctor than can explain to me face to face how CBD and THC work on the brain and what he/she would recommend I do to get off the big pharma train. I’m in Puerto Rico.
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]
While these drugs can be effective for many patients, some don’t respond favorably. Certain patients don’t see much improvement, or they can’t tolerate the side effects. Moreover, tranquilizers like Valium and Xanax can be highly addictive. Clearly, alternative treatments are warranted. Could cannabidiol (CBD), the most prominent non-intoxicating constituent in cannabis, provide a viable alternative for currently available anxiety medications? Quite possibly!
However, I have always been extremely wary of using drugs to treat my condition – no matter how bad it is. I have seen therapists and medical doctors on several occasions for anxiety-related issues (including insomnia and panic attacks), and have been prescribed Xanax once, but I have never actually used a prescription medication to treat my condition. In fact, the one Xanax prescription that was prescribed for me, I never even got filled.
I’ve been on anti-depressants for 11 years since having a stroke and having to stop taking estrogen. I started on Zoloft, then celexa, then Effexor. I’ve been having bad blurry vision for a few years that has my eye dr stumped. Finally my primary doctor thought it could be the Effexor since that is one of the side effects. So we decided that I would wean off the Effexor and try Wellbutrin instead. I lowered the amount of Effexor over 3 weeks till I wasn’t taking it any longer but started the Wellbutrin the last week of taking Effexor. After 3 days of no Effexor the withdrawals seemed to hit me. Headaches, nausea, extremely emotional, and bad dizziness. I had an important event to go to on day 3 of no Effexor so I took a low dose (37.5 mg) hoping to get me through the night. I felt decent for a couple days then boom, the withdrawal symptoms came on fully again. So I decided I would just try to go off both the Effexor and Wellbutrin because I didn’t want to go through this again and really wanted to see if I could handle life without them. Well it’s been a week without any Effexor but the dizziness and emotional outrages are still going on. I’ve been using Bonine (motion sickness) which does seem to help a little. My daughter mentioned the CBD oil which I was totally against at first but after doing a lot of research I am now quite interested in it.
From our personal experience, we can also confirm that CBD can have a very calming effect. We can as well imagine that it can help with anxiety, although we do not suffer from anxiety. When I was stressed out by pressure, it always helped a lot. This may not exactly be anxiety in the real sense of it, but the potential could already be guessed well.
I'm reading this in disbelief. I feel kind of numb to be honest. I'm in collection for thousands because of all the medical treatments, surgeries, and travel. For nearly 8 years my wife has worked two and sometimes 3 jobs and every time I was well enough I worked two jobs trying to catch up and still we fell behind. Call it pride or stupidity, but we never asked for help of any kind. I take care of older neighbors and spend much of my free time working with disabled veterans. I feel like I've given everything I had to help others my whole life. Thank You one and all!
I have extremely high Blood Pressure – generally 150/80, but spikes to 200/100 if I do intense thinking on any matter.. I am told that I have a lot of inner stress, but it does not generally appear in my disposition or attitude. I “think” intensively about many subjects on a regular basis. It could be anything from sports, to foods, politics, someone’s behavior, or just about anything that arises. I continually try to seek answers, creative solutions, etc. Rarely do I get really upset, or blow my top at anyone; but could think over a situation for hours thereafter.
The Green roads CBD didn’t work for me at all. The CBD is mixed with glycerine & it doesn’t come out of the dropper well at all so it’s hard to know how much you are getting. Plus I think glycerine is not a good carrier at all. A simple coconut oil mix would work much better for absorption. I think there are much better options for your money! Really disappointed:(
Kimberly is the reference editor for Live Science and Space.com. She has a bachelor's degree in marine biology from Texas A&M University, a master's degree in biology from Southeastern Louisiana University and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her favorite stories include animals and obscurities. A Texas native, Kim now lives in a California redwood forest. You can follow her on Twitter @kimdhickok.
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