At present, we have the following classification of cannabinoids: endocannabinoids (produced naturally in the body, mainly from fatty acid precursors), phytocannabinoids (compounds that have a plant origin, with the cannabis plant being the best-studied source of phytocannabinoids though not the only one), and artificial cannabinoids (created while studying THC, to garner the benefits of marijuana without the recreational component).
This turn is due to a comprehensive 2015 study aimed at two notoriously difficult manifestations of epilepsy – Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome – most often encountered in children. Seizure frequency was found to decrease between 54 percent and 67 percent for the six months cannabidiol medication was used, although a small part of individuals did not continue after three months, as their condition did not improve.
Current protocols include managing ADHD with a combination of behavioral therapy and medications. Numerous medications, both stimulants and non-stimulants, have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat ADHD. Because each individual reacts differently to each medication, finding an appropriate protocol can be a challenge associated with many negative symptoms, including:
Hemp oil (also called hemp seed oil) is extracted from the hemp seeds of the hemp plant and it contains very little or no THC. Cannabis, on the other hand, has THC levels above 0.3 percent (usually between 5-35 percent). Because of its low THC levels, you can use hemp oil without feeling “high” afterwards. Hemp is typically grown for industrial purposes, as it’s used to make clothing, paper, ropes, carpets, construction materials and plastic composites.
Lisa Hamilton, a jeweler and doula in Brooklyn, NY, knows about the side effects. She recently tried CBD for the shoulder pain that plagued her five years after an accident. Her doctor certified that she was in chronic pain, which under New York State law allowed her to buy from a state dispensary. One Friday, she swallowed two 10-mg capsules, the amount recommended at the dispensary, then took another two on Saturday. “By Sunday, it felt like I’d gotten hit by a truck. Every muscle and joint ached,” Hamilton says. She cut back to one pill a day the following week, but still felt hungover. She stopped after that.
The cannabis plant contains a unique group of carbon compounds often referred to a phytocannabinoids. The most common ingredient is THC, which creates the euphoric high effect. Due to the THC element in the plant, marijuana is often associated with a stoner stigma of people only wanting to get high. But that is far from the truth. Cannabis also contains other medicinal compounds including cannabinol, cannabigerol, cannabidiol, and cannabichromene.
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.
CBD has been touted for a wide variety of health issues, but the strongest scientific evidence is for its effectiveness in treating some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which typically don’t respond to antiseizure medications. In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and in some cases it was able to stop them altogether. Videos of the effects of CBD on these children and their seizures are readily available on the Internet for viewing, and they are quite striking. Recently the FDA approved the first ever cannabis-derived medicine for these conditions, Epidiolex, which contains CBD.
More recent experiments, involving the administration of a part CBD part THC solution, have yielded results that contradict the first supposition. At present, on the evidence that cannabidiol reduces some of the psychoactive effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (acting as a de facto antidepressant), scientists argue that cannabidiol has a holistic but indirect influence on all cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system. The main consequence of this impact seems to be an increase in the production of endocannabinoids. This is now the prevailing idea that accounts for the mountains of empirical evidence of how the benefits of cannabidiol are expressed at the cellular level.