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Kevin Sabet, a psychiatrist at the University of Florida’s Drug Policy Institute, presented a six-point plan whose purpose is accelerating officially sanctioned serious research in the properties of cannabidiol and relaxing barriers for private actors interested in the matter, who would nevertheless pursue this avenue in a grayer area and thus, less safe.
Currently, the only CBD product approved by the Food and Drug Administration is a prescription oil called Epidiolex. It's approved to treat two types of epilepsy. Aside from Epidiolex, state laws on the use of CBD vary. While CBD is being studied as a treatment for a wide range of conditions, including Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and anxiety, research supporting the drug's benefits is still limited.
Our bodies are thought to produce endocannabinoids by the billions every day. “We always thought the ‘runner’s high’ was due to the release of dopamine and endorphins. But now we know the euphoria is also from an endocannabinoid called anandamide,” its name derived from the Sanskrit word for bliss, says Joseph Maroon, MD, clinical professor and vice chairman of neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. We produce these natural chemicals all day, but they fade quickly because enzymes pop up to destroy them. That’s where CBD comes in: By blocking these enzymes, CBD allows the beneficial compounds to linger.
Numerous studies have found results that confirm the ability of marijuana to help anxiety and stress. In 2013 an Israeli study demonstrated that treatment with cannabinoids helped to control emotional responses and prevent stress-related responses for those that had experienced a traumatic experience. In 2015 a group of researchers found that cannabis treatments were effective in reducing anxiety in those suffering from PTSD.
In one survey, parents of children who suffer from treatment-resistant epilepsy and use CBD were asked about the benefits. 19 parents were included, 84% of which said that CBD reduced the frequency of seizures. Two parents said that CBD completely resolved seizures. Parents also reported improved alertness, sleep, and mood. Some side effects were drowsiness and fatigue .
Unlike THC, CBD will not make you high. That said, this doesn’t mean CBD is not at all psychoactive, as many assert, says Jahan Marcu, PhD, director of experimental pharmacology and behavior at the International Research Center on Cannabis and Mental Health in New York City: “CBD does change cognition. It affects mood, which is why people take it for anxiety. And some find that it makes them more alert.”
Dr. Cohen has found that chronic conditions including autoimmune diseases and pain syndromes can be helped with a 6-mg under-the-tongue tincture (the fastest delivery system) or a 25-mg capsule taken twice a day. Dosages for topical products like lotions are especially hard to determine—there’s no clarity on how much CBD gets into the system through the skin.
Unfortunately due to the disappointing and down right inaccurate position of the federal government in classifying Cannabis as a schedule one drug, most research institutions risk federal funding if they conduct real research on Cannabis. This has dramatically limited the potential for real research by real scientists to be conducted. That research is critical to better understanding the multitude of therapeutic effects of the various chemical constituents found in Cannabis.
Due to the uniqueness of everyone’s endocannabinoid system, CBD does not affect any two people the same way. There are a host of factors that influence its efficacy, including genetics, previous history of use, general health, weight, ethnicity and so on. Therefore, while one person may find that 15 mg of CBD a day works wonders for suppressing appetite and boosting weight loss, another may require up to 100 mg (or more) in order to achieve the same results (in fact, they may not experience any results at all).