Cannabis oil is a concentrated extract obtained by extraction of the dried flowers or leaves of the cannabis plant. It is not actually an oil, but derives its name from its sticky and oily appearance. The purpose of producing cannabis oil is to make cannabinoids and other beneficial components, such as terpenes, available in a highly concentrated form.
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.)
Certain individuals may be more prone to anxiety than others as a result of mu-opioid receptor expression and/or activation. Research indicates that mu-opioid receptors participate in the modulation of anxiety based on the specific region of the brain in which they are stimulated. What’s more, a report published in 2015 indicated that the neural circuitry associated with the DOR (delta opioid receptor) can induce OR inhibit anxiety.
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.
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.
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.
Greenish Route's CBD Sleepy Z's ($14; greenishroute.com) contained the most CBD at 30mg, plus 2mg of melatonin, and they came in gummy form, which I enjoyed because I'm 12 at heart. But I actually liked this product the least. I know they didn't contain actual marijuana, but it sure tasted like they did, and I hated having that lingering in my mouth (even after brushing my teeth). And it definitely didn't put me to sleep faster; on one night, I was tossing and turning until almost 1 a.m. Not ideal.
All of this makes CBD remarkably difficult for even the most dedicated health care providers to manage safely. Dr. Kelly Knupp, an associate professor of pediatrics and neurology at the University of Colorado, and the director of the Dravet Syndrome program at Children’s Hospital Colorado, said families of epileptic children have tried to bring CBD oils to the hospital for testing. “They’re just concerned that they don’t know exactly who’s growing [the hemp],” Knupp said. “They know it’s not being regulated.” But because CBD is a Schedule I controlled substance, high-tech, regulated laboratories, like those at the University of Colorado, can’t accept, store, or test CBD oils, lest they risk prosecution. “There is no such lab that can take that product,” Knupp said, which leaves any testing up to the unregulated testing centers that cater to the cannabis industry.
Efficacy: While it is impossible to confirm that CBD will effectively reduce anxiety in all users, most evidence indicates that it is likely to provide benefit when ingested at a sufficient dosage (600 mg – orally) on an acute basis. In other words, most people seeking immediate relief from anxiety will likely feel significantly less anxious after using CBD than if they had ingested a placebo. Placebo-controlled studies have already documented the efficacy of acute CBD administration for anxiety.
-What’s the verdict on using Hemp CBD compared to Marijuana CBD oil? Which one is better? The answer to the Hemp or Marijuana oil debate largely depends on your needs. Since there are concerns about the legality and safety of medicinal marijuana oils, medical experts are cautious about writing a prescription for people suffering from serious health conditions.
Most CBD oils are available in round-number concentrations such as 250mg, 500mg, and 1,000mg. While these strengths accommodate many CBD users, they may not be sufficient for those with preferences that fall outside round numbers. NuLeaf Naturals offers a less conventional selection of concentrations: 240mg, 725mg, 1,450mg, 2,425mg, and 4,850mg. This range ensures that most users will find a strength that works for them.
I just started taking CBD oil , I am on my 2nd Hip replacement surgery due to device failures looking at a 3rd surgery. Has you can imagine the pain, stress and anxiety levels are off the charts. Especially at an otherwise healthy 54 yr women. So i understand from reading posts its best to take it under the tongue. I am taking 1-2 ml a day. I can tell some difference,is your recommended dosage. I am using for pain , stress and sleep. I appreciate your feedback.
My mom is late stage dementia. We have tried coconut oil/black pepper/curcumin combo for years. Gives only tine bit of help, and is not something that reverses dementia. Maybe in someone who can score better than a 14 on the mme it could be of help. But cannabinoid is a different story. Cannabinoids produce better results in less time. Can't say yet that they will reverse anything though.
But it’s Guzmán’s brain tumor research that has captured headlines—and the interest of pharmaceutical companies. Through his years of research he has ascertained that a combination of THC, CBD, and temozolomide (a moderately successful conventional drug) works best in treating brain tumors in mice. A cocktail composed of these three compounds appears to attack brain cancer cells in multiple ways, preventing their spread but also triggering them, in effect, to commit suicide.
“I don’t like to take stuff like ibuprofen or prescription medications,” says Andrew Talansky, a professional triathlete from Napa, California, who, as an elite cyclist, rode in the Tour de France. “I’m always looking for natural alternatives.” When Talansky heard an increasing number of athletes talking about CBD, “I went from skepticism to being interested to asking advice on how to use it,” he says.
Imagine waking up in the morning feeling rested and awake – no more residual grogginess or impairment. In order to understand how CBD helps modulate sleep, we turn to a series of medical studies that have been conducted over the past ten years. These studies evaluated CBD’s medical efficacy in treating those who suffer from various types of sleep disorders. We will address the results below.
Relevant studies in animal models are summarized in chronological order in Table Table1.1. CBD has been studied in a wide range of animal models of general anxiety, including the elevated plus maze (EPM), the Vogel-conflict test (VCT), and the elevated T maze (ETM). See Table Table11 for the anxiolytic effect specific to each paradigm. Initial studies of CBD in these models showed conflicting results: high (100 mg/kg) doses were ineffective, while low (10 mg/kg) doses were anxiolytic [59, 60]. When tested over a wide range of doses in further studies, the anxiolytic effects of CBD presented a bell-shaped dose–response curve, with anxiolytic effects observed at moderate but not higher doses [61, 90]. All further studies of acute systemic CBD without prior stress showed anxiolytic effects or no effect [62, 65], the latter study involving intracerebroventricular rather than the intraperitoneal route. No anxiogenic effects of acute systemic CBD dosing in models of general anxiety have yet been reported. As yet, few studies have examined chronic dosing effects of CBD in models of generalized anxiety. Campos et al.  showed that in rat, CBD treatment for 21 days attenuated inhibitory avoidance acquisition . Long et al.  showed that, in mouse, CBD produced moderate anxiolytic effects in some paradigms, with no effects in others.
Szaflarski explains that cannabis contains about 500 different compounds, some of which—including CBD and THC—interact with certain chemical receptors in the human nervous system. But unlike THC, CBD isn’t psychoactive—meaning it doesn’t cause any kind of a high. Despite that, the US Drug Enforcement Agency classifies CBD (and other cannabis compounds) as schedule I substances, making their sale illegal in many states.
A study published by Blessing et al. (2015) evaluated the therapeutic efficacy of cannabidiol in the treatment of anxiety disorders. Researchers compiled and assessed evidence from preclinical, experimental, clinical, and epidemiological publications. This report concluded that preclinical evidence supports the usage of CBD as a potential intervention for anxiety disorders.
Once I'm asleep, I sleep like I'm dead—I can't be roused by vacuuming, hurricanes, or all three of my morning workout alarms. It's getting to sleep that's the problem. Talk to me all you want about too much blue light and screen time, but even on the nights when I read from a real book, I'm still tossing and turning for at least an hour before I eventually fade out.
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.”
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.
Cannabidiol is currently a class B1 controlled drug in New Zealand under the Misuse of Drugs Act. It is also a prescription medicine under the Medicines Act. In 2017 the rules were changed so that anyone wanting to use it could go to the Health Ministry for approval. Prior to this, the only way to obtain a prescription was to seek the personal approval of the Minister of Health.
Hemp Bombs is slightly different from all the companies we have listed in our compilation because it uses a pure CBD isolate instead of full-spectrum extracts to make CBD oil. Hemp Bombs sources their CBD from European Hemp producers who are known for cultivating the top-notch quality industrial hemp. The company is actually proud to have developed such good business relationships with leading European hemp companies. But the most interesting part about Hemp Bombs’ products contain literally ZERO THC – that’s what the company claims and that’s what is written in the third-party lab testing it provides.
To name just a few: Animal research and small-scale human studies have pointed to CBD's anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties, NPR reports. A study is underway to see how CBD helps patients with PTSD and alcohol use disorder, and another is exploring how CBD might help curb drug cravings in people with opioid addiction. Cannabinoids like CBD may also be effective at treating cancer-related side effects, according to the National Institutes of Health.
The review of evidence documented an anxiolytic-like effect of CBD in both healthy volunteers and animal models. What’s more, CBD significantly reduced feelings of anxiety among those diagnosed with social anxiety disorder (SAD). Although the specific anxiolytic mechanisms of CBD aren’t fully elucidated, researchers recommend additional trials of CBD for panic disorder, OCD, social phobia, and PTSD.
Runners pushing themselves daily might want to try more. Floyd’s of Leadville owner Bob Bell says that the company’s 50-milligram soft gels are its top seller. Talansky says his baseline is a 25-milligram gel, plus applying a strong topical cream three to five times a day if a specific body part is bothering him. He takes more on his hardest training days to speed recovery.
Cannabidiol is a Schedule II drug in Canada. As such, it is only available with a prescription. It is available as a spray, called Sativex produced by GW Pharmaceuticals in the UK, for use in multiple sclerosis. The Canadian Government announced that October 17, 2018 is the date when marijuana can be consumed recreationally without criminal penalties, indicating that various cannabidiol products will be freely available to adult consumers.
“The week before we tried it, we had 64 seizures,” Penny told me, noting those were only the visible seizures, while unseen neurological events would likely push the number into the hundreds. “We administered hemp oil, and the next week we logged in 28 seizures. ... The very next week, her second week on the hemp oil, we logged none.” Penny paused and repeated herself, as though she could still only half believe the miracle: “None.”
Former Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plaummer takes a dose of cannabidiol in Colorado in 2016. CBD oil, often dispensed under the tongue with a dropper, has been regulated as a supplement in the U.S., not a medicine. So strength and purity may vary from brand to brand, or even bottle to bottle, scientists say. Aaron Ontiveroz/Denver Post via Getty Images hide caption
I decided to try CBD when I was withdrawing from Tramadol, a synthetic opiate I had been taking for pain (with 2 other medications) for over a year. As I began slowly reducing my use, I experienced a lot of anxiety and muscle tremors in my legs especially. I know that using a marijuana medication meant that my pain doctor would not prescribe for me again, but I was getting off the pain medications one by one anyway, so I don't care.
The DEA isn’t the only government agency scrutinizing CBD vendors. To fend off the FDA, hemp oil companies contend their wares are not drugs but “dietary supplements.” Despite the suggestive “meds” in the company’s name, HempMedsPx is careful to note on its web site, “Although some of our founders are medical professionals, we cannot make medical claims about the benefits of our products.” Others are not quite so nuanced in their marketing. The internet is flooded with CBD products claiming to treat everything from seizures to arthritis to skin conditions and other maladies.
“Strong data is lacking with CBD. There have been only small research trials some showing benefit, others showing no benefit with CBD,” said Pritham Raj, an internist-psychiatrist in Portland, Oregon. “So, in short, the jury is still out. This doesn’t mean CBD doesn’t work for anxiety, it just means that we don’t have enough information to make a strong argument for CBD in the treatment of anxiety.”
In an initial experiment, the male Wistar rats received injections of CBD and were exposed to 60 minutes of restraint stress – with cardiovascular responses recorded. In a second experiment designed to determine effects of CBD on the 5-HT1A receptor, researchers administered a 5-HT1A antagonist prior to the CBD. Precisely 24 hours after CBD administration, the Wistar rats were tested in an elevated plus-maze to gauge anxiety.
In 1992 Mechoulam’s quest for quantification led him from the plant itself to the inner recesses of the human brain. That year he and several colleagues made an extraordinary discovery. They isolated the chemical made by the human body that binds to the same receptor in the brain that THC does. Mechoulam named it anandamide—from the Sanskrit for “supreme joy.” (When asked why he didn’t give it a Hebrew name, he replies, “Because in Hebrew there are not so many words for happiness. Jews don’t like being happy.”)
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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