At Denver’s LivWell, which has an enormous indoor growing operation, workers remove marijuana leaves before the buds are trimmed, keeping the plants destined for medical use separate from those for recreational use. After Colorado legalized marijuana, thousands of young people from all over the world flocked to the state to participate in the multimillion-dollar business phenomenon that’s been called the Green Rush.
Similarly, though CBD oil is technically illegal on the federal level, it is sold freely online and in stores even here in New Jersey. Erica McBride, executive director of the National Hemp Association in Washington, said there have been instances in states where pot hasn't been legalized where CBD oil was confiscated at the post office or people possessing it were arrested, but it's “very rare.”
A bit of online digging led me to realize that the active ingredient in Charlotte's Web Everyday Plus Hemp Oil, the product I'd been offered to test, was the chemical compound CBD, which stands for Cannabidiol. Unlike THC, the other crucial compound in hemp and marijuana plants, CBD does not produce the psychoactive effects that make you feel "high"; instead, it actually eases anxiety and makes you less likely to freak out.
Despite that, he’s not particularly in favor of legalizing cannabis for recreational use. He doesn’t think anyone should go to jail for possessing it, but he insists that marijuana is “not an innocuous substance”—especially for young people. He cites studies showing that the prolonged use of high-THC strains of marijuana can change the way the developing brain grows. He notes that in some people cannabis can provoke serious and debilitating anxiety attacks. And he points to studies that suggest cannabis may trigger the onset of schizophrenia among those who have a genetic predisposition to the disease.
A study published in 1993 by Zuardi et al. attempted to elucidate the effects of ipsapirone and cannabidiol among humans exposed to an experimental anxiety task. For the study, researchers recruited 40 healthy volunteers that were assigned to a simulated public speaking (SPS) test – designed to mimic the effects of public speaking. The 40 participants were divided into 4 groups of 10 – each of which was assigned randomly to receive: CBD (300 mg), Valium (10 mg), ipsapirone (5 mg), or a placebo.
I have dealt with anxiety for about 20 years. About 5 years ago I had a panic attack for the first time and it was such a horrible feeling. I was on anxiety medicine after that and it delinquent helped with panic but not anxiety really. I got off medicine a month and a half ago and had a panic attack last week. Since then I have been feeling panicky daily.
CB1 + CB2 receptor (inverse agonist): Most evidence suggests that CBD oil has a low affinity for CB1 and CB2 receptor sites as an inverse agonist. In other words, it binds to the CB1 and CB2 receptors but exerts the pharmacologically opposite effect to an agonist. This differs from a CB1/CB2 antagonist which solely binds to these receptors and blocks stimulation from endocannabinoids.
But all was not well. Harper has continued to experience health issues related to her condition. And seven months after starting to use CBD oil, Harper’s seizures returned— although not as frequently as before. Penny uses eleven iPhone reminders to keep track of Harper’s daily regimen of medications and food, and she records all of Harper’s seizures in a thickly bound black book. But as her parents continue to closely monitor Harper’s health and adjust her medications accordingly, her doctors are tightly limited in the advice they can offer when it comes to CBD oil. “There’s no research on this product, so they don’t say it’s good or bad. They just say, ‘Don’t stop giving it,’” Penny told me.
5-HT1A partial agonist: Modulation of neurotransmission at the 5-HT1A receptor is understood to provide anxiolytic, antidepressant, and neuroprotective effects. Research has demonstrated the effect of cannabidiol as a 5-HT1A receptor partial agonist, meaning it binds to the receptor site but only stimulates the receptor partially (relative to a full agonist). Studies with cloned human cell cultures note that cannabidiol displaces 5-HT1A agonists from 5-HT1A receptor sites in a dose-dependent manner.
We suggest those suffering from anxiety start with 5-10mg per day of CBD. If relief is not felt at this dosage, we suggest increasing by 5-10mg until the desired effects are achieved. You’ll notice that the Gel Capsules are pre-filled and contain 25mg of CBD per pill – there is no harm in starting at 25mg CBD daily as you cannot overdose on CBD nor are there any serious side effects. These ingestible products provide sustained relief for several hours – many people find they provide relief for the whole day – or night as the case may be! The one thing to keep in mind with ingestible CBD products is the delayed onset time – it can take up to 90 minutes for the full effects of the tinctures or capsules to be felt.
I was expecting CBD to work like a sleeping pill, in that it would put me to sleep almost instantly. It did not do that. And while it didn't seem to have any wild effects on how long it took me to get to sleep, the quality of my pre-sleep bedtime was way more relaxed than that of the week before, when I would lie awake thinking about deadlines, to-dos, and the way I really wish I had responded to that text. (Did I mention I'm Type A?)
Throughout the entire experience, my alertness, cognitive function, and energy did not suffer. I wouldn’t say I felt significantly more physically relaxed than prior to taking it, but I did feel slightly more relaxed mentally. If I had to rate this psychological relaxation on a scale from 1 to 10, I’d say it was about a 4; it was noticeable, but not substantial.
However, the 2014 federal farm bill allowed for “research” cultivation and marketing of industrial hemp if those activities aren’t in violation of state laws. Only four states—Idaho, North Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas—have strict no-CBD laws. Since 2014, there has been little to no federal enforcement against commercial hemp products. The upshot: Functionally, hemp-derived CBD products are safe for interstate commerce.
Cannabis Oil: Cannabis oil is typically made from marijuana with a high THC percentage. Therefore, it must be purchased in an area where marijuana is legal or can be obtained with a prescription. The amounts of compounds, including CBD and THC, will drastically vary from product to product. Commercially produced cannabis oils will have more controlled concentrations of CBD and THC for medical purposes.
Cost is another consideration. Most CBD oils are sold in concentrations of 300 to 750 mg, although this may range from less than 100 mg to more than 2,000. A good indicator of price-point is the cost per milligram. Low-cost CBD oils usually fall between five and 10 cents per mg; mid-range prices are 11 to 15 cents per mg; and higher-end oils cost 16 cents per mg or higher. Given these varying per-milligram costs, a bottle of CBD oil may be priced anywhere from $10 or less to $150 or more.
Further testing found what the world now knows: This compound is the plant’s principal active ingredient, its mind-altering essence—the stuff that makes you high. Mechoulam, along with a colleague, had discovered tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). He and his team also elucidated the chemical structure of cannabidiol (CBD), another key ingredient in marijuana, one that has many potential medical uses but no psychoactive effect on humans.
But now, as more and more people are turning to the drug to treat ailments, the science of cannabis is experiencing a rebirth. We’re finding surprises, and possibly miracles, concealed inside this once forbidden plant. Although marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug, Vivek Murthy, the U.S. surgeon general, recently expressed interest in what science will learn about marijuana, noting that preliminary data show that “for certain medical conditions and symptoms” it can be “helpful.”
In a study whose findings have not yet been published, he and a colleague, Daniel Friedman, found that patients receiving CBD in addition to their usual medicines had 39 percent fewer convulsive seizures than patients who remained on their normal drug regimen. Given that the study included only the most treatment-resistant patients, this is an “excellent response,” Devinsky says.
People claim that cannabis oil can be used to treat a wide range of conditions, though evidence to back up these claims is often lacking. For example, according to Medical News Today, people use cannabis oil for conditions ranging from pain to acne; some even claim the oil can cure diseases like Alzheimer's and cancer. (But again, there is no clinical evidence to support these claims.)
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