“Unfortunately, American scientists continue to have a hard time securing research funding because marijuana remains a Schedule 1 substance in the U.S. ― a controversial view that places it on a par with heroin, LSD and ecstasy,” Pearson said. Schedule 1 drugs are identified as having “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse,” according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. This designation can make research challenging, Pearson added.

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.


Cannabidiol’s anti-anxiety (Zuardi et al., 1993, 2017; Crippa et al., 2009; Bergamaschi et al., 2011b) and antidepressant (Saito et al., 2010; Zanelati et al., 2010) potential seems to differ from other drugs with effects on the central nervous system, since we found no alterations in sleep architecture. Additionally, studies on the anxiolytic, antipsychotic and antiparkinson effects of CBD described no sedation or drowsiness side effects in their volunteers (Zuardi et al., 1993; Crippa et al., 2004; Fusar-Poli et al., 2009; Chagas et al., 2014a). These findings complement the literature on the few significant side effects resulting from the administration of CBD to humans in a wide range of doses, administered chronically or acutely (Bergamaschi et al., 2011b; Kerstin and Grotenhermen, 2017). It seems, therefore, that CBD has an adequate safety profile with good tolerability and does not affect psychomotricity or cognition (Hayakawa et al., 2007; Crippa et al., 2010; Bergamaschi et al., 2011b; Kerstin and Grotenhermen, 2017). This is particularly important in Parkinson’s disease, where motor and cognitive symptoms play a central role.

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.
Now 13, Jackson — whose diagnosis is undetermined — continues to use marijuana every day. (Like many patients, he ingests it in droplet form, which allows for more precise dosing and avoids lung problems.) He still has seizures, but they are less severe and they occur once every week or two, down from around 200 a month before he started using cannabis. He is back in school full time and is well enough to go on hikes and bike rides with his family.
I’ve been experiencing panic attacks since I was 21 year olds. I am now 48. They are psychologically debilitating with depression repercussions for weeks after. I’ve tried everything – drugs, psychotherapy, meditation, breathing exercises etc. I understand the source of them and psychosis of it – but have never solved them and have pretty much given up hope. I also go through waves of anxiety – which tend to heighten the chance of a panic attack, but the two are not always correlated. Living in CO and being surrounded by CBD discussions, I finally decided to look up and see what CBD might do. Given this thread of info and responses, I’m going to start experimenting with with CBD. I will report back on the effects (maybe over six months)…and after some more research on the best place to start. THANK YOU for this article and information and everyone who has written here. It brings me to tears!

Hi Colleen, it's almost a year later and I'm wondering how you're doing. I'm experiencing a recurrence of Stage 3 ovarian, originally diagnosed in 2011. I've decided to get some chemo, not sold on another 6 cycles though. As a new MMJ patient, I'm still going to go through with Rick Simpson Oil (THC+CBD,) and I just joined a program with my local dispensary to get CBD capsules for $2 each when I order them at least 30 at a time. I hope you're doing well!! I'm off to do more research on dosing. **NOTE: If you have ANY experience with CBD treatment of ovarian cancer, PLEASE respond. Thank you!!
In the past few years, just such a cure has seemingly presented itself. Amid the less common remedies that can be found on the internet—special diets, meditation, biofeedback, surgical implants—a new product has recently gained prominence: CBD oil (sometimes known simply as “hemp oil”), so named for its chief chemical compound, cannabidiol, which occurs naturally in cannabis plants. In online forums and news articles, CBD has been hailed as a new frontier in epilepsy treatment, with parents testifying that it managed to stop their children’s seizures when nothing else could.
We file past the curing rooms and down a hallway pulsating with pumps, fans, filters, generators, trimming machines. A forklift trundles by. Surveillance cameras capture everything, as young workers in medical scrubs scurry about, their faces lit with the pressure and promise of an unorthodox business that’s boomed beyond comprehension. Mindful has big plans to expand, building similar facilities in other states. “Pot is hot!” Hague says with a laugh that conveys amazement and exhaustion. “I’m blown away by what’s happening here every single day.”
I felt the same way. I had anxiety about taking CBD Oil. I have never used it before and of course, I have never even used marijuana. I was nervous that it had .3 THC in it. My husband had to keep reassuring me that it was okay for me to take. I’m as straight-laced as they come. I have an extreme type A personality. I tried it. It made me feel light headed and very sleepy. I took my second dose this morning. I honestly can’t tell that it is working. I haven’t yelled at anyone so maybe it is lol. I’ll keep taking it about maybe once a day. I don’t know about twice a day. It again, still makes me feel a tad tired. I have to function. I hope it works and is not all hype.

Weight plays a role in the effects of CBD oil, and bottle size should be selected based on how much you weigh. Let’s say you weigh less than 130 pounds and desire light CBD oil effects; this means that 11 mg or less will probably suffice per dose, giving roughly 40 doses from a 450-mg concentration. If you weigh more than 230 pounds and desire strong effects, then this same concentration will supply roughly 10 doses. 


McGuire published his own study in August, in which CBD was shown to reduce psychotic episodes in people with schizophrenia. The daily dose was 1,000mg of pure CBD. And a study in which CBD seemed to ease anxiety, published in Nature in 2011, administered a single dose of 600mg, an hour and a half before giving participants a public speaking task. These larger doses contrast with that found in, say, Botanical Labs’ CBD drink. Rebekah Hall, the company’s founder, says her drink is for recreational rather than medicinal purposes and “the amount of CBD per batch is constant and precise, at 2mg per bottle”. A daily dose of two hemp capsules made by Nature’s Plus offers 15mg of mixed “plant cannabinoids” without a specific CBD count.
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.”)

CBD likewise communicates with a neurotransmitter called GABA (gamma-aminobutyric corrosive). GABA transfers messages from one brain cell, or neuron, to another; that message usually is “Back off” or “stop pushing.” GABA advises the body when it’s a great opportunity to shut down, and since a huge number of neurons in the cerebrum react to GABA, the impacts include lessening anxiety, quieting the sensory system, assisting with rest, unwinding the muscles.


When all is said and done, CBD oil is of course relatively new compared to traditional medicine, and therefore a patient with sleep trouble should always discuss CBD with a qualified healthcare professional before using. Also, as we have mentioned it’s important to understand that CBD has not been a clinically-verified form of treatment for insomnia.

Moreover, simple statistical data has been showing that CBD oil and anxiety is one of the most thoroughly  searched topics on the internet, at least in terms of cannabis-related therapies and medical treatments. Specific searches on “CBD oil anxiety,” in fact, have increased exponentially over the last five years. This is modern proof that natural cannabis therapies are beginning to “see the light” in terms of widespread use, and indeed many countless thousands of individuals are already reaping the benefits of the hemp-based compound.


I felt the same way. I had anxiety about taking CBD Oil. I have never used it before and of course, I have never even used marijuana. I was nervous that it had .3 THC in it. My husband had to keep reassuring me that it was okay for me to take. I’m as straight-laced as they come. I have an extreme type A personality. I tried it. It made me feel light headed and very sleepy. I took my second dose this morning. I honestly can’t tell that it is working. I haven’t yelled at anyone so maybe it is lol. I’ll keep taking it about maybe once a day. I don’t know about twice a day. It again, still makes me feel a tad tired. I have to function. I hope it works and is not all hype.

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.”


CBD oil extracted from hemp — no matter how it’s consumed — works with the body’s ECS system to replenish cannabinoids and regulate homeostasis. The substance is also anti-anxiolytic, meaning it reduces feelings of anxiety — a common source of sleep problems in adults. For these reasons, hemp-based CBD oil can be highly beneficial for people with insomnia whether they struggle with sleep onset (falling asleep) or sleep maintenance (staying asleep). In addition to insomnia, CBD oil may lead to improvements for the following sleep disorders:
You may be familiar with a concept called the entourage effect. The entourage effect states that cannabinoids work better together than they do alone. In essence, CBD is more effective when combined with other cannabinoids like CBG, CBN, THC, and so on than it is in isolation. The terms “full-spectrum” and “whole-plant” are alluding to this concept. Biologically, a person gets high by having THC bind to CB1 receptors in the brain. CBD also binds to CB1 receptors in the brain and has been shown to actually counteract some of the effects of getting high by blocking the activation of THC in CB1 receptors. CBD changes the shape of the receptor so that there is less room for THC to bind to. CBD has even been shown to decrease the heightened heart rate that you feel from getting high. Therefore CBD can even have an impact on the anxiety that comes from the psychoactive effects of THC.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks to widespread use of CBD is price. High-quality tinctures from brands like Floyd’s of Leadville and PlusCBD cost $35 or more; the bottles contain enough tincture to last about a month if you’re using an eyedropper’s worth per day. Prevail’s 2-ounce topical salve, which the company says should last most users between 30 and 45 days, costs $133. A one-month supply of a daily gel typically costs $30 to $60.
The studies done on CBD oil have a pretty wide dose range (anywhere from a few milligrams to hundreds of milligrams). I suggest starting at the lower end (around 10 milligrams) and slowly increasing over a few weeks or months to see what works for you. Some people also do well with splitting the dosage throughout the day instead of taking the dose all at once. As with everything, it is always a good idea to talk with your prescribing doctor if you are on any medications. CBD is generally very safe, but there are some pharmaceutical medications CBD oil could potentially interact with and increase or decrease the pharmaceutical drugs' effectiveness.
Although nearly all of the published studies found CBD effective for the attenuation of anxiety, there are some notable limitations associated with the research.  Perhaps the most notable limitation is the fact that most CBD studies investigate the effect of acute, single-dose administration.  The problem with this is that it remains unclear as to whether chronic or long-term CBD ingestion maintains therapeutic efficacy.
In addition to positively affecting the endocannabinoid system, CBD has been the focus of more than 23,000 published studies about cannabinoids in relation to various medical indications including anxiety, epilepsy, inflammation, cancer and chronic pain to name few. For a more comprehensive look at these and other studies, visit our medical research and education page.

Stephanie, generally, I have patients take 20 to 150mg a day for sleep +/- anxiety. Start low and go slow. Know the dosages of your product. Usually 2/3 to 3/4 of the daily dose is 1-2 hours before bedtime, and the other portion is upon waking (to improve wakefulness during the day). Other factors such as stress, hormone replacement, other meds & medical conditions, etc. play a role along with individual differences. I own a compounding pharmacy, so we see a lot of unique needs. I can't give more specific advice in this forum, but there is help!
Earlier preclinical studies have suggested that the therapeutic effects of CBD might depend on the presence of specific clinical conditions. As an example, Campos et al. (2013) showed that the chronic use of CBD for 2 weeks, while not directly increasing hippocampal neurogenesis, prevented its decrease by unpredictable chronic stress. Thus, the absence of changes in the sleep of healthy volunteers treated with CDB in our study should not be considered as a final indication that CBD could not have positive effects in patients with sleep disorders.
An animal study involving male Wistar rats conducted by Resstel et al. (2009) examined the effect of CBD on restraint stress (RS).  Previous research had demonstrated that the phytocannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) yielded anxiolytic and antipsychotic properties in animal models.  For this reason, they investigated whether CBD facilitates adaptation to scenarios of inescapable stress and whether this response is mediated by 5-HT1A receptors.
Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is a phyto-cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. However, it does not cause the same psychoactive effects as other naturally occurring cannabinoids (such as tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC). CBD induces feelings of sleepiness and tranquility, making it suitable for insomnia and other sleep disorders; CBD can be used to alleviate symptoms of epilepsy, diabetes, and anxiety disorders, as well. Legality is an issue for some; all 50 states have laws governing the sale, possession, and use of CBD, and they vary significantly (see the table below for a full analysis).
Throughout the SPST, researchers utilized the Visual Analogue Mood Scale (VAMS), Negative Self-Statement scale (SSPS-N), and physiological measures (blood pressure, heart rate, skin conductance) to determine the anxiolytic efficacy of CBD.  Results indicated that those receiving the CBD exhibited significantly less anxiety, cognitive deficits, speech discomfort, and decreased alertness on the VAMS measure.  Contrastingly, the individuals receiving the placebo exhibited high anxiety, cognitive deficits, high alertness, and overall discomfort on the VAMS.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical compound found in the cannabis and hemp plants. CBD is one of over 100+ cannabinoids that are responsible for the therapeutic properties found in cannabis and hemp. CBD is widely known for its healing components and is used to treat a variety of conditions. It is generally accepted that CBD works best in conjunction with other cannabinoids and terpenes found in these plants. This potent combination — the entourage effect — is what makes the healing properties so exciting.
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.
Furthermore, THC and CBD oils also differ in the nature and effect of their Cannabinoid content. Cannabinoids typically bind to receptor sites located in the brain, called CB-1, and various parts of the human body called CB-2. But different cannabinoids produce different effects depending on which type of receptor they bind to. THC mostly binds to receptors in the brain, but CBD unlocks the receptors scattered throughout the body, making it far more useful for healing properties.
However, I’m thinking that there may have been some sort of synergistic effect between the CBD and beer.  The combination of CBD plus beer worked extremely well for my anxiety – but obviously the beer is not a sustainable nor healthy long-term option.  Reflecting on the experience, it’s difficult to determine how well the CBD worked because I was exposed to a lot more anxiety than the first situation.

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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