There are thousands of unique varieties of hemp. The cultivars used for CBD oil contain significantly higher concentrations of CBD than others. Using these uniquely potent plants, it is possible to extract cannabis oil that contains significant levels of cannabidiol, as well as essential vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, terpenes, flavonoids, and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids.
While research into CBD effects is still relatively new, studies have found that cannabidiol may reduce pain by influencing compounds in the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). More specifically, CBD prevents the body from breaking down the compound anandamide, which is associated with pain regulation. A higher concentration of anandamide in the bloodstream has been linked to significant pain reduction.
Those suffering from anxiety often undergo therapy to treat the condition as well. Cognitive-behavioral therapy gives people different ways of managing and coping with anxiety and teaches them the skills to help them identify and handle the root causes of their stress. Therapy combined with medication has proven to be a very effective way of treating anxiety disorders.
“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.”
Phillip Hague, the chief horticulturist at a Denver cannabis company called Mindful, sniffs the roots of a plant to check on their health. He’s grown cannabis most of his life and has traveled the world researching its many varieties. He’s interested in developing new strains with higher concentrations of marijuana’s lesser known compounds that appear to have medical uses. “Cannabis speaks to me,” he says.
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.
No medication seemed to provide a great deal of relief for Harper’s symptoms. But in 2013, three years after their trip to Boston, Penny and Dustin caught an installment of CNN’s medical marijuana documentary and began researching what they could obtain in Texas, where medical marijuana is illegal. Their internet searches soon led them to HempMedsPx and Real Scientific Hemp Oil. The company sent Penny a vial of hemp oil, which she administered to Harper that September.
Long-term outcomes: There are zero long-term studies investigating the safety, efficacy, and long-term effects of CBD as a treatment for anxiety. Data from animal model studies suggests that chronic CBD usage could yield deleterious epigenetic and/or neuropsychiatric effects. However, it is unclear as to whether administration of CBD at a normative (non-chronic) frequency would maintain therapeutic efficacy over a long-term.
Most acutely, the discomfort and stiffness I’d felt for months from a meniscus tear (confirmed by MRI) went away. The occasional twinges I had been getting on runs stopped. More significantly, what had been the tear’s near-constant presence in daily life, such as when getting up from sitting, has disappeared. For now I’ve postponed surgery on the tear. It’s impossible to know if CBD was the key factor in any of these changes. Still, at the end of the month I decided to keep taking CBD daily.
One of the biggest players in this new industry is Medical Marijuana, Inc., a company formed in 2009 that operates out of Poway, California, just north of San Diego. It has played a leading role in the so-called Green Rush, as businesses have moved quickly to capitalize on the gradual legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational purposes by states across the country. The company’s spokesman, Andrew Hard, boasted that Medical Marijuana, Inc., “created the CBD industry and was first to market with CBD products.” Through its various subsidiaries, Medical Marijuana, Inc. sells some of the most recognizable products on the cannabis market— everything from Cibaderm CBD-infused shampoo to CanChew chewing gum. In 2014, the company generated $14.5 million in revenue.
Less than two weeks ago, JBS USA, one of our country's largest meat processors, announced a high-risk recall of nearly 7 million pounds of its raw beef, over concerns it may be contaminated with Salmonella Newport. Nearly 60 patients in 16 states have so far been made sick. This recent outbreak of infections tied to contaminated ground beef is especially worrisome because S. Newport is a strain of Salmonella that has often been resistant to antibiotics. It may also be the largest beef recall in history for Salmonella.
Nervous system reset: When we experience a freeze-fight-flight response, activity in the autonomic nervous system (ANS) is altered. Anxiety and fear-inducing situations skew activation of the ANS so that the sympathetic branch is more active than the parasympathetic branch. Administration of CBD has been shown to prevent overactivity in the sympathetic branch via 5-HT1A partial agonism. This means that administration of CBD prior to or after a highly stressful event may prevent a full-blown nervous breakdown.
One of the most experienced practitioners in this field is Los Angeles physician Bonni Goldstein, who has used the compound to treat dozens of children with intractable epilepsy. She says about half of these patients have seen a significant drop in the number of seizures. “Used in the right way, with the right patient, CBD is extremely powerful,” she says.
Devinsky puts more weight behind the scientific advancements: In June, the FDA approved an epilepsy drug called Epidiolex, which contains a purified form of CBD oil. In controlled clinical trials, the drug was proven to reduce seizures in people with Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome — and it didn't produce as many of the unpleasant side-effects that come with other epilepsy medications.
Acute vs. Chronic: Most studies have examined the acute effects of CBD rather than effects associated with chronic, ongoing administration. It is possible that acute administration may attenuate anxiety, but chronic administration may not. Some individuals may become tolerant to the effects of CBD when administered chronically and/or may find that it worsens their anxiety.
An animal study using mice found repeated administration of CBD may help the hippocampus regenerate neurons, which could be useful for treating anxiety or depression. Research shows both SSRIs and CBD may promote neurogenesis. This is significant, because evidence suggests that severely impaired neuronal plasticity may influence suicidal behavior. Future research comparing CBD and SSRIs effect on neurogenesis could open up promising new avenues in how we understand depression and how to most effectively treat it.
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.
In the primary session, participants were assigned to receive either CBD (400 mg) or a placebo in double-blinded framework. Thereafter in a second session, participants received the agent that they hadn’t received in the first session; those that received the placebo first received the CBD – and vice-versa. Measures indicated that after receiving CBD (400 mg), subjective measures of anxiety significantly decreased compared to the placebo.
Selective breeding of cannabis plants has expanded and diversified as commercial and therapeutic markets develop. Some growers in the U.S. succeeded in lowering the proportion of CBD-to-THC to accommodate customers who preferred varietals that were more mind-altering due to the higher THC and lower CBD content. Hemp is classified as any part of the cannabis plant containing no more than 0.3% THC in dry weight form (not liquid or extracted form).
It’s important to note that each state has its own individual laws on possession limits. Many states now have their own laws on the books for CBD oil specifically. Tennessee, for example, has made cannabis oil legal if it’s derived from hemp rather than marijuana. As Professor Elliot Altman of the Botanical Medical Research Center at Middle Tennessee State University, explains, “The legal definition is hemp is less than point three percent THC which is the psychotropic agent. Marijuana is point three percent or greater.” (14)
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)
“I just felt good,” he adds. “But I wasn’t high at all.” Joliat’s anecdotal experience with CBD is a common one. Some informal polling suggests a lot of people today are at least vaguely familiar with cannabidiol, and have either used it themselves or know someone who has. But even some people who use it don’t seem to know exactly what it is or whether there’s any hard science out there to back up its benefits.
CBD Oil for Sleep
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