Hemp oil has never been as popular as other marijuana products. With little to no THC, CBD-rich strains of cannabis don’t deliver the pleasant buzz recreational users seek out in marijuana. In the 1970s, however, scientists found that cannabidiol was effective in reducing seizures. The brain’s endocannabinoid system contains receptors that respond to CBD, producing anticonvulsant effects. Being plant-derived and native to the brain’s own chemistry, CBD is therefore one of the most natural options for seizure treatment available today. Still, not many people took interest in CBD until 2013, when a CNN documentary special, Weed, hosted by the network’s chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, highlighted CBD’s effectiveness in combating seizures. Since then, demand for hemp oil products has exploded.
The 24 individuals were divided evenly into groups of 12 and randomly assigned to receive either CBD (600 mg) or a placebo – prior to a stimulated public speaking test (SPST). As a comparison, researchers also recruited 12 healthy individuals without any neuropsychiatric diagnosis to serve as a control – this group received no CBD. The CBD and placebo were administered 1.5 hours prior to the simulated public speaking test.
Figuring out how much CBD oil to take can feel like trying to navigate through a complicated maze. The sheer volume of CBD brands on the market can create confusion for consumers, and when you take a closer look, it’s not difficult to understand why. Not only do vendors use different source materials (CBD-rich cannabis vs. industrial hemp, different strains, etc.), but they also implement different extraction techniques .
After arrival at the Clinical Research Unit of the Ribeirão Preto Medical School University Hospital (Ribeirão Preto, Brazil) written informed consent was signed, the subjective measures (STAI, VAMS) of the participants were collected and the electrodes used for the polysomnography exam were placed. Next, the subjective measures were completed once again (STAI, VAMS) and, 30 min before the beginning of the polysomnographic examination, the single dose of CBD (300 mg) or placebo was administered. Polysomnography recordings were performed over 8 h. On the morning after the examination, the electrodes were removed from the subject and the VAMS, STAI, WAIS, and PVT were completed. The steps of the experimental protocol are shown in Figure Figure11.
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!
One of the earliest researchers of CBD as an intervention for anxiety is Zuardi. In 1982, Zuardi et al. published a paper examining the effects of cannabidiol on anxiety induced by THC. They also wanted to elucidate whether the attenuation of THC-induced anxiety by CBD resulted from an inhibition of THC or through a distinct anxiolytic mechanism.
Likewise, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) may interfere with sleep architecture and decrease restorative sleep, leading to increased awakenings, reduced REM sleep, increased REM latency, as well as increased periodic limb movement during sleep (Feige et al., 2002). In addition, SSRIs and SNRIs have been associated with REM sleep without atonia, characterized by increased tonic or phasic motor activity in electromyographic channels during REM sleep (Schenck et al., 1992; American Academy of Sleep Medicine, 2014; Lee et al., 2016).
Safety: As of current, there’s zero evidence to suggest that cannabidiol is unsafe and/or intolerable. While certain individuals may experience adverse effects from its administration, these adverse effects are not common and may be a result of: poor sourcing, formatting, addition of other unwanted chemicals or cannabinoids, or contamination. Most research indicates CBD is just as safe and well-tolerated as a placebo.
Support for legalization has steadily grown over the last several years. Today, medical marijuana is legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia. And even federal officials have begun to soften their stances. Last fall, outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder signaled his support for removing marijuana from the list of Schedule I narcotics. “I think it’s certainly a question we need to ask ourselves, whether or not marijuana is as serious of a drug as heroin,” Holder said. This summer, Chuck Rosenberg, the acting administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, acknowledged that marijuana is not as dangerous as other Schedule I drugs and announced his agents would not be prioritizing marijuana enforcement. Still, as long as marijuana remains illegal under federal law, the haphazard system in which it is studied, produced, and distributed will remain, and Americans will not be able to take full advantage of its medicinal properties.
Dr. Ethan Russo, medical director at Phytecs, a biotechnology company spearheading research into plant- based medicines and the endocannabinoid system, took issue with Titus’s claim, however. “Bioaccumulators can recruit heavy metals from the soil,” Russo said, “but breaking them down would be alchemy.” Government regulation of the pharmaceutical industry is designed to protect consumers from unfounded scientific claims.
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Although the 5-HT1A partial agonism exerted by CBD may not be an outright cure for anxiety, it is likely to help many individuals. Studies conducted on humans with panic disorder note impairments in 5-HT1A receptor function and poor 5-HT1A binding. The bottom line is that individuals with anxiety could have dysfunctional 5-HT1A activation and may resort to commercialized 5-HT1A partial agonists (e.g. Buspar) as treatments.
Bonn-Miller also explained that it's imperative to exhaust the traditional and established front-line treatments that are available before seeking out these products. "CBD is not really a first-line treatment for anything," he said. "You don’t want situations where somebody says, 'I have cancer I'm going to forgo chemotherapy because I read something about CBD or THC helping with cancer.'" That's not a good idea, Bonn-Miller said. "Not only is the science not there, but you may end up worse off."
When appropriate doses of CBD are taken during the day (which should be determined in consultation with your doctor, but often include one dose in the morning and one in the evening), daytime performance is drastically improved, and in turn, both the “strength and consistency” of the sleep-wake cycle is also improved. Naturally, this enhances the ability of the body to enter the all-important non-REM sleep cycle at night.
Endocannabinoids (ECS), a group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors that play a key role in memory, mood, brain reward systems, drug addiction, and energy balance. They are also known as »the body’s own cannabinoid system«. Research shows the benefits of the ECS system in fighting depression, anxiety, increasing appetite, and creating feelings of well-being. CBD naturally acts on the ECS system’s signals to increase receptor function and flow. CBD, along with 2-Arachidonoylglycerol(2-AG), is involved in the regulation of appetite, immune system functions and pain management.
Talansky says that his sleep improved almost immediately when he started taking CBD daily. Soon after, he was also less anxious about transitioning from pro cycling to his new sport, felt that he recovered more quickly from hard training, and had fewer flare-ups of his old cycling injuries. Now he encourages other athletes to try CBD, in part “to get rid of the association with smoking weed,” he says. “It’s completely different.”
@gailb, where did you purchase the CBD. I also have been curious about the product, but there are lots of sellers on Amazon, but I hate to purchase a supplement that I don't know anything about the seller. Most of them you can find some pretty good lists of sellers that have good reputations. If you could give a brand name that you used and liked, I would appreciate it. If that is something that needs to be a PM, that will be fine. Thank you, Gary
My trouble falling asleep has never been a major problem. But when I recently learned that nearly 60 percent of people taking cannabidiol—better known as CBD, one of the over 80 compounds found in the marijuana plant—are doing it to help with sleep, I was intrigued. (That stat's according to a survey conducted by Brightfield Group and HelloMD, an online community that brings doctors and cannabis patients together.)
However, Bonn-Miller told Live Science that he thinks cannabis research is on the upswing. "If we flash forward five years I think you'll see more studies," he said. Those studies could reveal more conditions that CBD may be helpful for and may also reveal that some of the reasons why people say they use CBD oil are not supported by the science but are instead a placebo effect. "And that's why we need to do the studies," he said.
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