THC is the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana and it is what people are searching for when they want a product that gives them a "high." Unlike THC, CBD isn't known to cause psychoactive effects, and is therefore attractive to those who want to avoid the high but who believe there are other benefits of CBD, said Sara Ward, a pharmacologist at Temple University in Philadelphia. [Healing Herb? Marijuana Could Treat These 5 Conditions]
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 understanding CBD, one of the most active ingredients in medical cannabis.
"Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and HIV dementia.

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.
Because it does not produce psychoactive effects and hemp is not a controlled substance, hemp-based products are legal to sell, buy, and possess in all 50 states. However, the law is a bit more complex when discussing CBD oils and other hemp byproducts. According to the 2014 Farm Bill, hemp should only be grown and cultivated for academic research purposes. This means that, technically, any hemp-derived oil that is not grown for these purposes would be illegal — though this law is rarely enforced. To make matters more complex, the laws are somewhat unclear in certain states. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky recently introduced legislation that would legalize all hemp products at the federal level, but this decision is still pending.
At age 5, Figi’s parents, Matt and Paige Figi, had exhausted all traditional options in their quest to control the hundreds of grand mal seizures their young daughter was experiencing every day. They ultimately turned to the Stanleys, a group of brothers who grow pot in Colorado, who then developed a groundbreaking hemp-based CBD oil they dubbed “Charlotte’s Web.”

In the United States, cannabidiol is a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act.[60] This means that production, distribution, and possession of CBD is illegal under federal law. In addition, in 2016 the Drug Enforcement Administration added "marijuana extracts" to the list of Schedule I drugs, which it defined as "an extract containing one or more cannabinoids that has been derived from any plant of the genus Cannabis, other than the separated resin (whether crude or purified) obtained from the plant."[61] Previously, CBD had simply been considered "marijuana", which is a Schedule I drug.[60][62]
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.
“It’s such an interesting plant, such a valuable plant,” says Nolan Kane, who specializes in evolutionary biology. “It’s been around for millions of years, and it’s one of man’s oldest crops. And yet there are so many basic problems that need to be answered. Where did it come from? How and why did it evolve? Why does it make all these suites of compounds? We don’t even know how many species there are.”
The eCB system regulates diverse physiological functions, including caloric energy balance and immune function [28]. The eCB system is also integral to regulation of emotional behavior, being essential to forms of synaptic plasticity that determine learning and response to emotionally salient, particularly highly aversive events [29, 30]. Activation of CB1Rs produces anxiolytic effects in various models of unconditioned fear, relevant to multiple anxiety disorder symptom domains (reviewed in [30–33]). Regarding conditioned fear, the effect of CB1R activation is complex: CB1R activation may enhance or reduce fear expression, depending on brain locus and the eCB ligand [34]; however, CB1R activation potently enhances fear extinction [35], and can prevent fear reconsolidation. Genetic manipulations that impede CB1R activation are anxiogenic [35], and individuals with eCB system gene polymorphisms that reduce eCB tone—for example, FAAH gene polymorphisms—exhibit physiological, psychological, and neuroimaging features consistent with impaired fear regulation [36]. Reduction of AEA–CB1R signaling in the amygdala mediates the anxiogenic effects of corticotropin-releasing hormone [37], and CB1R activation is essential to negative feedback of the neuroendocrine stress response, and protects against the adverse effects of chronic stress [38, 39]. Finally, chronic stress impairs eCB signaling in the hippocampus and amygdala, leading to anxiety [40, 41], and people with PTSD show elevated CB1R availability and reduced peripheral AEA, suggestive of reduced eCB tone [42].
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Accordingly, CB1R activation has been suggested as a target for anxiolytic drug development [15, 43, 44]. Proposed agents for enhancing CB1R activation include THC, which is a potent and direct agonist; synthetic CB1R agonists; FAAH inhibitors and other agents that increase eCB availability, as well as nonpsychoactive cannabis phytocannabinoids, including CBD. While CBD has low affinity for the CB1R, it functions as an indirect agonist, potentially via augmentation of CB1R constitutional activity, or via increasing AEA through FAAH inhibition (reviewed in [21]).

The nutrition and supplement industry—which includes CBD products—is almost wholly unregulated. “The concentrations in products are only approximate, and I don’t know how well they’re tracked,” Szaflarski says. Even if you could absolutely trust a product’s label—and many CBD manufacturers, aware of the current scrutiny on their industry, go to great lengths to assure consumers of the quality of their products—there aren’t a lot of concrete facts when it comes to the type or amount of CBD a person should take for a specific ailment or aim.


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 is the cost? If the CBD oil is cheap, it probably means that the hemp used is low grade. Hemp is a “bio-accumulator,” meaning it can easily suck up toxins from soil. Price will often tell you a lot about the product you are purchasing, as legitimate companies are forced to charge higher prices in order to maintain a growing standard that does not lower the quality of the oil.
Cannabidiol also works with anxiety by boosting our own endocannabinoid levels, meaning that we can naturally produce more of the things inside of us that put us in a good mood without needing extra things like CBD. Another interesting side effect of CBD with anxiety is that CBD actually boosts our own natural production of endocannabinoids such as anandamide.
The 44,000-square-foot building hulks across from a police station in an industrial part of Denver, along a gritty stretch of converted warehouses that’s come to be known as the Green Mile. There’s nothing to indicate the nature of the enterprise. The door buzzes open, and I’m met by the chief horticulturist of Mindful, one of the largest cannabis companies in the world. A druidlike 38-year-old with keen blue eyes, Phillip Hague wears fatigues, hiking boots, and the incredulous grin of someone who—through a confluence of events he never imagined possible—has found his exact life’s calling.

When I first learned about CBD oil, I'll admit I was a bit skeptical. My mind immediately turned to weed and the unnerving experiences I'd had with heightened anxiety in college. For me, a person who's already predisposed to overthinking, marijuana, no matter what the form, would typically put my mind into overdrive and result in a common yet dreaded side effect: paranoia.


Although delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (known as THC) is the primary psychoactive ingredient, other known compounds with biologic activity are cannabinol, cannabidiol, cannabichromene, cannabigerol, tetrahydrocannabivarin and delta-8-THC. Cannabidiol (CBD) is thought to have significant pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory activity without the psychoactive effect of delta-9-THC. (2)
How do you take it? CBD products comes in a variety of forms, including tinctures, gel caps, and topical applications. One athlete-focused company, Floyd’s of Leadville, offers a protein recovery powder and a carb drink that contain CBD. (That’s Floyd as in Floyd Landis, the former professional cyclist who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title for failing a drug test and who helped to expose Lance Armstrong’s doping.) Another athlete-focused company, PurePower Botanicals, offers capsules that combine CBD with herbs and other purported medicinals, such as turmeric. PurePower says that the non-hemp-derived ingredients increase the effectiveness of the products’ CBD.
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.
Welcome to Mayo Connect. I am a Volunteer Mentor and not a medical professional. As such I can offer the benefit of my personal experience, as can others on this site, but not medical diagnoses nor medical opinions. We strive to help each other with the understanding that we are all different and what works for me may not work for you. I have gotten so much good from participating in Mayo Connect that I love it.
Anti-inflammatory: Many individuals with neuropsychiatric disorders have severe inflammation, particularly neuroinflammation. Neuroinflammation is associated with many causative underpinnings including: air pollution, brain injuries, viruses, and even standard aging.  This increase in inflammation can lead to glial cell and cytokine abnormalities, each of which could contribute to anxiety disorders.  CBD has been shown to reduce neuroinflammation, which in turn may directly improve anxiety, as well as cognitive function and mood.
As of now, researchers understand that sleep is divided into multiple cycles with different phases, and it is generally regarded that CBD oil increases sleep in the third phase, which is the “deep sleep” phase. Furthermore, it has been shown that CBD decreases the duration of REM sleep, which is a phase of light sleep and is also the phase where dreams occur.

THC is the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana and it is what people are searching for when they want a product that gives them a "high." Unlike THC, CBD isn't known to cause psychoactive effects, and is therefore attractive to those who want to avoid the high but who believe there are other benefits of CBD, said Sara Ward, a pharmacologist at Temple University in Philadelphia. [Healing Herb? Marijuana Could Treat These 5 Conditions]

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