One area where CBD is clearly helpful: the treatment of seizures associated with one form of epilepsy. A 2017 New England Journal of Medicine study found ingesting oral CBD dramatically cut down most patients’ seizure frequency—a finding that prompted the FDA to support the approval of one CBD drug for use in the treatment of some epilepsy patients.
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?
Animal studies have shown that CBD can be effective in treating anxiety. Research on CBD is still limited, but the early results are promising. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by excessive worrying and irrational fear. In a 2011 study, researchers found that participants with GAD experienced a significant decrease in anxiety after consuming CBD. Brain scans backed up the findings that were reported by the patients.
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de Mello Schier, A. R., de Oliveira Ribeiro, N. P., Coutinho, D. S., Machado, S., Arias-Carrión, O., Crippa, J. A., . . . Silva, A. C. (2014). Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol: A chemical compound of cannabis sativa [Abstract]. CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets, 13(6), 953-960. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24923339
Hague joined Colorado’s green revolution nearly at the beginning. When the U.S. Justice Department announced in 2009 that it would not focus on prosecuting people who complied with state medical marijuana laws, he looked at his wife and said, “We’re moving to Denver.” Now he runs one of the world’s most prominent “grows,” where more than 20,000 cannabis plants thrive.
To deal with the bitter taste and viscous nature of the hemp oil, it was mixed with honey, a known natural digestive aid, and then administered to the patient in daily doses. The objective was to quickly increase the frequency and amount of the dose and to hopefully build up the patient’s tolerance to cannabis oil. In the beginning stages of cannabis treatment, the girl experienced periods of panic, increased appetite and fatigue.
The vast majority of CBD oils come in bottles measuring either 15 milliliters (mL), or 0.5 ounces; or 30 mL, or 1 ounce. However, CBD concentration is more important than bottle size. Concentration refers to the ratio of hemp oil solution (measured in mL) compared to the amount of CBD cannabinoid (measured in milligrams, or mg). A 15-mL bottle may contain 100 mg of CBD, 300 mg, 500 mg, or more. The higher the mg amount, the stronger the CBD oil will be. For this reason, the ‘mg’ measurement is also referred to as the oil’s strength; i.e., 400-mg oil might be called 400-strength oil.
Over decades, researchers have found that THC may help treat pain, nausea, loss of appetite and other problems, while CBD was thought to be biologically inactive in humans. But in the past 10 years, scientists have concluded that CBD may be quite useful. Dozens of studies have found evidence that the compound can treat epilepsy as well as a range of other illnesses, including anxiety, schizophrenia, heart disease and cancer.
A CNN program that featured Charlotte's Web cannabis in 2013 brought increased attention to the use of CBD in the treatment of seizure disorders. Since then, 16 states have passed laws to allow the use of CBD products (not exceeding a specified concentration of THC) for the treatment of certain medical conditions. This is in addition to the 30 states that have passed comprehensive medical cannabis laws, which allow for the use of cannabis products with no restrictions on THC content. Of these 30 states, eight have legalized the use and sale of cannabis products without requirement for a doctor's recommendation.
Pharmaceutical companies producing oils are subject to a pharmaceutical production licence for controlled drugs, issued by government regulators. Currently there are no pharmaceutical companies producing cannabis oil as a medicine. This might change in the future when a standardised, GMP-certified production method becomes available, setting the standards for the production of cannabis oil as a pharmaceutical product.
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.
Cannabidiol has drawn everybody’s attention when parents have discovered that the cannabis plant can significantly reduce epileptic seizures in children. Since then, CBD has become outstandingly popular; It won’t be an exaggeration if we say that cannabidiol has now more of a spotlight than THC, its intoxicating counterpart. Now widely available through online vendors and at health stores near you, CBD is taking the world by storm.
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.
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.
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