As is the case with any plant that constitutes a crop, cannabis plants have been selectively bred over the years to bolster one or another desired characteristic. This means that some plants provide a more potent psychotropic effect, others possess more prominent seeds (used in the production of cooking oil traditionally), while others may make for sturdier textile fibers.
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.
If you haven’t been bombarded with CBD marketing or raves about it from friends, get ready. This extract—which comes from either marijuana or its industrial cousin, hemp—is popping up everywhere. There are CBD capsules, tinctures, and liquids for vaping plus CBD-infused lotions, beauty products, snacks, coffee, and even vaginal suppositories. Already some 1,000 brands of CBD products are available in stores—and online in states that don’t have lenient cannabis laws. This is a tiny fraction of what’s to come: The CBD market is poised to exceed $22 billion by 2022, per the Chicago-based research firm Brightfield Group.
‘I recommend starting with a low dose and slowly building up over a few weeks, to find the dose that works best for you,’ agrees Dr Brewer. ‘For example, start with Healthspan High Strength CBD Oil 6.4mg Capsules, taking one to three daily. Then, if needed, move up to Super Strength CBD 15mg Capsules, taking one to two daily. CBD is not psychoactive and is not addictive. I prefer capsules, as CBD drops have a strong taste, although filter-clear peppermint flavoured drops are available.’
Scott Shannon, MD, assistant clinical professor at the University of Colorado, recently sifted through patient charts from his four-doctor practice to document CBD’s effects on anxiety. His study, as yet unpublished, found “a fairly rapid decrease in anxiety scores that appears to persist for months,” he says. But he says he can’t discount a placebo effect, especially since “there’s a lot of hype right now.”
The immediate and powerful effects of THC are explained because of the special affinity it has with the CB1 type receptors, which mediate crucial processes in the brain. The less prominent (but no less important) action of CBD was explained, at least for a while, by hypothesizing that it binds to CB2 type receptors, hence its more diffuse manner of exercising changes in the body. Early on, the antipsychotic effects of cannabidiol were observed, an aspect which seemed to be in consonance with this initial hypothesis.
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In addition to acting on the brain, CBD influences many body processes. That’s due to the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which was discovered in the 1990s, after scientists started investigating why pot produces a high. Although much less well-known than the cardiovascular, reproductive, and respiratory systems, the ECS is critical. “The ECS helps us eat, sleep, relax, forget what we don’t need to remember, and protect our bodies from harm,” Marcu says. There are more ECS receptors in the brain than there are for opioids or serotonin, plus others in the intestines, liver, pancreas, ovaries, bone cells, and elsewhere.
It is thought that by applying the correct amount of cannabis, the cannabinoids can help with the promotion of lipids which help fight chronic skin conditions including acne and psoriasis. Some also claim that cannabis oil has the power to remove wrinkles and skin spots. While we wouldn’t bank on it being the “anti-aging” miracle, it is helping millions of people worldwide deal with a variety of skin diseases including eczema and rosacea.
‘CBD has proven anti-anxiety effects and may be helpful in depression, based on anecdotal reports,’ says Dr Gordon. ‘I use high CBD prescription cannabis medicine products as part of a mental health protocol with my patients suffering with anxiety and depression. The antidepressant effects of CBD have been shown in animal models, but we now need large, depression-specific studies in humans as the next step.’
Alicia Salazar, a New York state board certified health coach, uses CBD with her clients to maximize their health outcomes. “I don’t look at CBD as a magic bullet for weight loss,” she said. “But CBD along with a healthy diet – one that contains healthy fats, whole grains, grass-fed meat and dairy, and plenty of greens, without processed foods and sugar – sets the tone for a healthy weight. And for some, that can naturally include weight loss.”
This isn’t new but had to be mentioned. One of the major and well-known benefits of cannabis is its ability to treat pain and helping with pain management. It has the capabilities of assisting with chronic pain as well as inflammation. Furthermore, it has been found to help patients deal with severe rheumatism and arthritis as well as other chronic pains.
Most human studies of CBD have been done on people who have seizures, and the FDA recently approved the first CBD-based drug, Epidiolex, for rare forms of epilepsy. Clinical trials for other conditions are promising, but tiny. In one Brazilian study published in 2011 of people with generalized social anxiety disorder, for example, taking a 600-mg dose of CBD (higher than a typical dose from a tincture) lessened discomfort more than a placebo, but only a dozen people were given the pill.
I’ve been using their natural oil for about a week now, and I thoroughly enjoy it. Recently, however, I got my wife a small bottle of their mint flavored CBD oil, and she loves it. She never cared for the natural hemp taste. For those of you who are interested, it also comes in a citrus flavor. I had the opportunity to sample that once and was not disappointed.
Some CBD manufacturers have come under government scrutiny for wild, indefensible claims, such that CBD is a cure-all for cancer, which it is not. We need more research but CBD may be prove to be an option for managing anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. Without sufficient high-quality evidence in human studies we can’t pinpoint effective doses, and because CBD is currently is mostly available as an unregulated supplement, it’s difficult to know exactly what you are getting. If you decide to try CBD, talk with your doctor — if for no other reason than to make sure it won’t affect other medications you are taking.
For the past couple of years, the field has been experiencing a boom in cannabidiol-related research. What has permeated the scientific consensus stems from efforts undertaken to explain effects of THC, with descriptions of cannabidiol just a by-product of the initial purpose. For example, CBD was thought to have been simply a precursor of THC, mainly due to the structural similarities between the two.
Dietary changes are the most important action individuals can choose to get off the roller coaster. But CBD could lend a hand in the process. A 2018 study showed that the cannabinoids THC, CBD and CBN enhance cells’ ability to take up glucose. And they perform even better than metformin, a common pharmaceutical prescribed to lower elevated blood glucose.
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).
There is a strong sedative quality to CBD hemp oil, making it a popular remedy for people with insomnia, sleeplessness, interrupted sleep, post-traumatic stress disorder, restless leg disorder, and other night-time issues. Dr. Scott Shannon, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, USA, published a report in the Permanete Journal, in which he recommended either inhaling a small amount of CBD oil, applying it to one’s chest, or even putting a few drops on one’s pillow to help get a good night’s sleep.
From what I understand, CBD derived from the hemp plant does not have the side effects mentioned above, other than possibly to help reduce the amount of Coumadin/Warfarin needed – either way, a patient on this drug needs to be monitored and regularly tested anyway with their doctor. CBD derived from the marijuana plant (will contain THC) may have them, I do not know, maybe that’s why you mention them. One of the many reasons people take Hemp CBD is that it does NOT have the side effects! People take the Hemp version to help with feelings of fatigue, irritability & anxiousness, it does cause it! It helps to bring the body into balance.
Cannabis is often associated with increased appetite (the munchies) and weight gain. However, this is due to its notorious tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content. Cannabidiol, or CBD, does not contain THC, so it is less likely to cause you to binge on a whole bag of Doritos. In fact, CBD can do just the opposite. By reducing your appetite, it can help you consume fewer calories and lose excess weight.
If you live in a state where CBD is legal for your condition, it’s best to buy it from a state-regulated dispensary. But even there, oversight is uneven. “I feel safe being a cannabis consumer in Colorado, since the state tracks everything from seed to sale, but I didn’t the first few years after cannabis became legal,” when the rules were still taking shape, says Robyn Griggs Lawrence, the Boulder author of The Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook, which features recipes for cannabis edibles.
The inquiry upon the manner in which THC produces its psychoactive effects on the human body led, in the 1980’s, to the discovery of the endocannabinoid system – a rather loose complex of nerve receptors which under the influence of compounds called cannabinoids trigger many physiological and psychological reactions. Because cannabinoid receptors are present in almost every tissue of a mammal’s body (although they are not limited to mammals), it has wide-ranging influences on the well-being of an organism. Therefore cannabinoids are definitely substances that deserve further attention from scientists.
A 2016 study in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry explored how CBD contributed to the fat browning process. Brown fat is a particular type of fat that works to increase energy expenditure, and it produces heat. This allows brown fat to burn more calories, but adults are mostly composed of white fat. In the study, the following was observed as a result of cannabinoid usage: