Nothing makes me more jealous than hearing people talk about sleep. I’ve struggled with sleep for as long as I can remember, and I’ve tried just about everything to get more of it: Regular exercise, meditation, solid sleep hygiene, melatonin and magnesium, to name a few.
Some of it has certainly helped, but only for certain periods of time when I didn’t have much on my mind. As soon as I found something to worry about, all hope was lost. That no-tech-before-bedtime rule plus a melatonin tablet didn’t get me anywhere fast.
Perplexed doctors eventually gave me a prescription for Klonopin, a medication many clinicians assign to patients for anxiety. While it helped me fall asleep, I spent the entire next day feeling like a slightly nauseous zombie. I felt equally as terrible as I did after a night of poor sleep, so I decided it wasn’t worth it.
That’s precisely why I was intrigued when I started hearing about CBD, or cannabidiol, a nonpsychoactive compound found in the cannabis or hemp plant that apparently helps with sleep and anxiety. I didn’t exactly get my hopes up ― after all, tons of natural remedies that worked for other people hadn’t worked for me ― but I figured it was worth a shot.
Putting CBD To The Test
CBD can be taken in a few ways. Oil is probably the most popular, but it can also be taken in capsule form, or even as a chocolate or gummy. After a week of taking CBD in oil form every night, it was clear I’d stumbled across something kind of remarkable. I often slept well the first few nights of trying something new before it stopped working its magic, which I partially attribute to the placebo effect. With CBD, however, the good nights of sleep kept on coming.
My racing thoughts seemed to come to a screeching halt within an hour of taking it, and when I got into bed I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. Even better, I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. And this isn’t unusual: As Michael Breus, a clinical psychologist and board-certified sleep specialist, explained in a 2017 HuffPost article, there’s a good chunk of research to suggest that CBD can be beneficial for rest. Research shows CBD may increase overall sleep amounts and reduce insomnia. CBD has also been shown to improve sleep in people who suffer from chronic pain.
“These studies mainly point to CBD’s ability to interact with ... serotonin receptors and GABA receptors in the brain,” she explained. “Serotonin plays an important role in mood and anxiety, and GABA is known as the main ‘inhibitory’ neurotransmitter, meaning it calms excess activity in the brain and promotes relaxation. GABA receptors are the target of benzodiazepines, which are a class of anti-anxiety drugs.”
Lidicker noted that one study on humans, published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, showed that CBD was able to help with public speaking-induced anxiety. She also pointed to a clinical trial that started in August at a hospital in Massachusetts, in which researchers are administering 10 mg of CBD three times a day for a month to test its effects on patients with anxiety.
“Hopefully we’ll know more and more as clinical trials like this are conducted,” Lidicker said.
And how does CBD compare to other sleep supplements like melatonin? Lidicker explained that while she thinks melatonin is great, it has a different impact on the brain and body.
“CBD appears to help with sleep because of its anti-anxiety properties and ability to promote relaxation,” she said, noting that melatonin directly signals to the body that it’s evening and time to go to sleep by raising the naturally occurring levels of melatonin already in the body.
That explained why melatonin made me sleepy and helped with jet lag, but didn’t to help with the underlying anxiety that was causing my insomnia in the first place.
Can You Use Too Much CBD?
Everyone’s body is different, and Lidicker said that for some people, CBD might actually energize them.
“In that case, it could keep them up at night,” she said. “This interpersonal variation is a common theme with cannabis-derived therapies, because the way you react to cannabis is highly individualized.”
Lidicker added that people’s responses have a lot to do with how they personally process the product, and how cannabinoid receptors are distributed throughout the body. This is why it’s also difficult to standardize dosing recommendations for CBD. I was administering 0.5 ml of CBD oil under the tongue about half an hour before bed every night (that was the amount recommended on the bottle), but it’s worth noting that the concentration of cannabidiol may vary by product and that some people require more or less to feel the effects.
And what happens if you use it regularly? Lidicker said that while there’s still not enough published research available on CBD, there’s very little reason to believe people develop a resistance to CBD over time, which was my main fear.
So, is CBD the miracle sleep supplement it appears to be? There may not be enough scientific data yet to say for sure, and it obviously depends on the person. But I certainly hope so ― because I’m not willing to give up these blissful eight-hour nights and energy-filled days I’m experiencing anytime soon.
Over the past few years, cannabis experts, chefs, enthusiasts, and even those craving have tried to set cannabis in everything edible. Moreover, with the proven advantages to uphold their marijuana seed growing, cannabis-infused dinners and desserts become popular. Possibilities are endless in cooking with cannabis-infused recipes.
Cannabis oil can be ingested or consumed when added to cookies, pastries, candy, cakes, sauces, gravies, salad dressings, and several meals. Cannabis brownies and cookies are the mainstream cannabis-infused delicacy.
The cannabinoids need to be melted with heat into some fat to either oil or butter before digested. That is why eating raw cannabis buds will not typically get someone high. Edibles are compact, safe, provide long-lasting effects and of course, yummy.
Canna-butter, the ultimate recipe.
After harvesting and collecting loose trims of your nirvana seeds weed, it's time to make Canna-Butter. A particular strain may not affect the taste, but the effect may be the same— sometimes high, sometimes low depending on the quality of the trims.
Most recipes for delicious edibles call for "canna-butter." It can then be used generally in any recipe calling for butter. Making canna-butter is almost the same method in making concentrates in a simplest way.
To prepare the canna-butter, mix a stick of butter or margarine and two cups of water into a pot at Three hundred degrees Fahrenheit (300⁰F). Next, add about one-fourth cup finely minced cannabis. Cook for three hours and a half hours, mixing occasionally, then reduce heat to One hundred fifty degrees Fahrenheit (100⁰F) and simmer for one more hour.
The cooking process generates a dark green, oily liquid. Pour the liquid through a triple-layer of cheesecloth into a tapered bowl to separate the plant residues. Let it cool to handle and gently squeeze the cheesecloth, but not very much or it will make the canna-butter taste bitter without increasing potency.
Place the bowl in a cooler or fridge for a couple of hours, and the canna-butter will separate and harden on the top. Then, holding over a sink, turn the bowl upside down to remove the residual water. The tapered sides help it release easier than usual. Rinse the green mud from the bottom of the "canna-butter" since that is what contributes to any bad taste. Place the canna-butter to a clean and dry container and store in the refrigerator.
Ganja de Pastillas
A soft candy made with cannabis, the "Ganja de Pastillas" of the Philippines. One of the most popular native delicacies from the suburb provinces in the Philippines, Pastillas is a sweet sugary rolled cylindrical thumb size milk-based dessert soft candy. Infused with canna-butter, Ganja de Pastillas gives a low dose of either THC or CBD depending on the marijuana strain used in preparing the canna-butter.
(2) Two cups of powdered milk (skimmed or full cream milk will do)
(1) One can of condensed milk (approximately fourteen ounces)
(1) One tablespoon of canna-butter
(1/2) One and a half cup of sugar for coating
CBD crystals (optional)
This recipe should create around Seventy to Eighty candies.
Pour the powdered and condensed milk in a bowl.
Pour two cups of powdered milk and a can of condensed milk into a bowl. Combine and mix the powdered and condensed milk synchronically. The mixture may be a concise dense and firm to mix, so have patience and a thick and sturdy spoon. A portable electric mixer can be the right choice in mixing the ingredients.
Add the canna-butter.
Add one tablespoon of canna-butter to the mixture. Blend it in including the other ingredients. Gently stir the mixture to dissolve the canna-butter completely. Continue mixing until all ingredients combined thoroughly. For a potent dose of CBD, you may add a drop CBD oil to the mixture.
Shape your candy into circles or cylinders.
Make a dough-like mixture by adding condensed milk and continue mixing the dough to diffuse the ingredients evenly. Choose the form you'd prefer for your pastillas; they can be circular, or they can be more cylindrical. Use your palms to give them their desired shape; you can wear gloves if you wish to. Place the molded candies on a plate.
Pour the sugar on a plate.
Pour about half a cup of sugar on a plate. Roll the pastillas into the sugar. Make sure that all part is covered.
Chill for about an hour.
It is necessary to chill the pastillas first before wrapping it with your favorite color cellophane wrapper.
Wrap the pastillas in cellophane.
You can trim the cellophane in advance to get the desired shape. Next, place the pastillas in the cellophane and wrap the ends of it. Viola, Ganja de pastillas.
Serve and store.
Put the pastilles on a fancy plate and enjoy. You can serve them as a snack or a quick bite of a dessert whenever you like. Store in a tight mason jar in room temperature. Keeping the Ganja De Pastillas in a refrigerator for an hour before consuming is an option but not recommended because it may harden the pastilles.
Natalie Gray is a Biochemical Engineer. She works in the Research and Development team that focuses on the design and construction of unit processes. She is a recreational marijuana supporter and her love for organic chemistry brought her to medical cannabis. She grows her own flowers, working on different projects and study everything above and under cannabis roots.
The ancient doctors and healers across the globe who prescribed cannabis thousands of years ago did so because they witnessed its medical benefits firsthand. In the last half century, modern science has begun to shed light on the biological processes behind the healing, where plant and animal chemistry work in concert. The body of research on cannabidiol, CBD oil benefits, THC, and other cannabinoids has grown exponentially in the past decade.
The following brings together the latest scientific studies and stories from patients and doctors with advice on treating specific symptoms. It also includes dosage suggestions and information on recommended types of cannabinoid-based medicines for the particular condition.
A 2016 opinion statement from the authors of a study on cannabinoids and gastrointestinal disorders summarizes the current climate and calls for action from the medical community to bring cannabis-based medicine into line with our current understanding of neurochemistry.
Despite the political and social controversy affiliated with it, the medical community must come to the realization that cannabinoids exist as a ubiquitous signaling system in many organ systems. Our understanding of cannabinoids and how they relate not only to homeostasis but also in disease states must be furthered through research, both clinically and in the laboratory.
The words of these scientists convey the significance of the endocannabinoid system, first identified by Raphael Mechoulam in the mid-1990s and possibly one of the most important recent discoveries about the endogenous chemical transmitters involved in maintaining health. Endogenous (created naturally within the body) cannabinoids and their receptors are found not just in the brain but also in many organs as well as connective tissue, skin, glands, and immune cells. The list of CBD oil benefits and health concerns treatable by CBD is so long because these receptors are integral to so many bodily systems.
This is also the reason cannabinoids can be used as a general preventative medicine, protecting the body against the damages of stress and aging.
CBD as Preventative Medicine
Cannabinoid therapy is connected to the part of the biological matrix where body and brain meet. Since CBD (cannabidiol) and other compounds in cannabis are so similar to the chemicals created by our own bodies, they are integrated better than many synthetic drugs. According to Bradley E. Alger, a leading scientist in the study of endocannabinoids with a PhD from Harvard in experimental psychology, “With complex actions in our immune system, nervous system, and virtually all of the body’s organs, the endocannabinoids are literally a bridge between body and mind. By understanding this system, we begin to see a mechanism that could connect brain activity and states of physical health and disease.”
1. Reduced Risk of Diabetes and Obesity
Several studies have shown that regular cannabis users have a lower body mass index, smaller waist circumferences, and reduced risk of diabetes and obesity. One 2011 report published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, based on a survey of more than fifty-two thousand participants, concluded that rates of obesity are about one-third lower among cannabis users. This is despite the findings that participants tend to consume more calories per day, an activity that is potentially related to THC’s stimulation of ghrelin, a hormone that increases appetite but also increases the metabolism of carbohydrates. CBD on its own was shown in 2006 to lower the incidence of diabetes in lab rats, and in 2015 an Israeli-American biopharmaceutical collective began stage 2 trials related to using CBD to treat diabetes. Research has demonstrated that CBD benefits weight loss by helping the body convert white fat into weight-reducing brown fat, promoting noatherogenesisrmal insulin production and sugar metabolism.
In studying over 4,600 test subjects, researchers found that current cannabis users had fasting insulin levels that were up to 16 percent lower than their non-using counterparts, higher levels of HDL cholesterol that protects against diabetes, and 17 percent lower levels of insulin resistance. Respondents who had used cannabis in their lifetime but were not current users showed similar but less pronounced associations, indicating that the protective effect of cannabis fades with time.
Excess insulin promotes the conversion of sugars into stored fat and leads to weight gain and obesity. The research emerging about the interplay between cannabinoids and insulin regulation may lead to some major breakthroughs in the prevention of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
2. Better Cholesterol Profiles and Lowered Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
A 2013 study that measured data from 4,652 participants on the effect of cannabis on metabolic systems compared non-users to current and former users. It found that current users had higher blood levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL-C) or “good cholesterol.” The same year, an analysis of over seven hundred members of Canada’s Inuit community found that, on average, regular cannabis users had increased levels of HDL-C and slightly lower levels of LDL-C (“bad cholesterol”).
Linked to diet and lifestyle, atherosclerosis is common in developed Western nations and can lead to heart disease or stroke. It is a chronic inflammatory disorder involving the progressive depositing of atherosclerotic plaques (immune cells carrying oxidized LDL or low-density lipoproteins). A growing body of evidence suggests that endocannabinoid signaling plays a critical role in the pathology of atherogenesis. The condition is now understood to be a physical response to injuries in the arterial walls’ lining, caused by high blood pressure, infectious microbes, or excessive presence of an amino acid called homocysteine. Studies have demonstrated that inflammatory molecules stimulate the cycle leading to atherosclerotic lesions. Existing treatments are moderately effective though carry numerous side effects. CB2 receptors triple in response to inflammation, allowing anandamide and 2-AG, the body’s natural cannabinoids, to decrease inflammatory responses. The CB2 receptor is also stimulated by plant-based cannabinoids.
A 2005 animal trial showed that low-dose oral cannabinoids slowed the progression of atherosclerosis. Researchers the following year wrote that the immunomodulatory capacity of cannabinoids was “well established” in science and suggested they had a broad therapeutic potential for a variety of conditions, including atherosclerosis.
A 2007 animal study on CBD effects showed it had a cardio-protective effect during heart attacks, and more details were published that year about the involvement of the CB1 and CB2 receptors in cardiovascular illness and health.
3. Reduced Risk of Cancer
Could cannabidiol help prevent tumors and other cancers before they grow? A 2012 study showed that animals treated with CBD were significantly less likely to develop colon cancer after being induced with carcinogens in a laboratory. Several studies had already shown that THC prevents tumors and reduces them, including one in 1996 on animal models that found that it decreased the incidence of both benign and hepatic adenoma tumors. In 2015, scientists analyzed the medical records of over eighty-four thousand male patients in California and found that those who used cannabis, but not tobacco, had a rate of bladder cancer that was 45 percent below the norm. Topical products can be used to treat and prevent skin cancers. Continuing research is focused on the best ratio of CBD to THC and the most effective dose level in cancer prevention and treatment.
4. Helps Maintain Brain Health and Create Resilience to Trauma and Degeneration
Cannabinoids are neuroprotective, meaning that they help maintain and regulate brain health. The effects appear to be related to several actions they have on the brain, including the removal of damaged cells and the improved efficiency of mitochondria. CBD and other antioxidant compounds in cannabis also work to reduce glutamate toxicity. Extra glutamate, which stimulates nerve cells in the brain to fire, causes cells to become over-stimulated, ultimately leading to cell damage or death. Thus, cannabinoids help protect brain cells from damage, keeping the organ healthy and functioning properly. CBD has also been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect on the brain.
As the brain ages, the creation of new neurons slows down significantly. In order to maintain brain health and prevent degenerative diseases, new cells need to be continuously created. A 2008 study showed that low doses of CBD- and THC-like cannabinoids encouraged the creation of new nerve cells in animal models, even in aging brains. CBD also benefits the brain by helping to prevent other nerve-related diseases like neuropathy and Alzheimer’s disease.
5. Protects against Bone Disease and Broken Bones
Cannabinoids are facilitative of the process of bone metabolism—the cycle in which old bone material is replaced by new at a rate of about 10 percent per year, crucial to maintaining strong, healthy bones over time. CBD in particular has been shown to block an enzyme that destroys bone-building compounds in the body, reducing the risk of age-related bone diseases like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. In both of those diseases, the body is no longer creating new bone and cartilage cells. CBD helps spur the process of new bone-cell formation, which is why it has been found to speed the healing of broken bones and, due to a stronger fracture callus, decrease the likelihood of re-fracturing the bone (bones are 35–50 percent stronger than those of non-treated subjects).
6. Protects and Heals the Skin
The skin has the highest amount and concentration of CB2 receptors in the body. When applied topically as an infused lotion, serum, oil, or salve, the antioxidant (a more powerful antioxidant than vitamins E and C) in CBD oil has many benefits and can repair damage from free radicals like UV rays and environmental pollutants. Cannabinoid receptors can be found in the skin and seem to be connected to the regulation of oil production in the sebaceous glands. Cannabis-based topical products are being developed to treat related issues from acne to psoriasis and can promote faster healing of damaged skin.
In fact, historical documents show that cannabis preparations have been used for wound healing in both animals and people in a range of cultures spanning the globe and going back thousands of years. The use of concentrated cannabis and CBD oils to benefit and treat skin cancer is gaining popularity with a number of well-documented cases of people curing both melanoma and carcinoma-type skin cancers with the topical application of CBD and THC products. The best known of these is the case of Rick Simpson, who cured his basal cell carcinoma with cannabis oil and now has a widely distributed line of products. Cannabis applied topically is not psychoactive.
7. Anti-inflammatory Benefits of CBD
Cannabinoids have been proven to have an anti-inflammatory effect in numerous studies. CBD engages with the endocannabinoid system in many organs throughout the body, helping to reduce inflammation systemically. The therapeutic potential is impressively wide-ranging, as inflammation is involved in a broad spectrum of diseases.
8. Anxiety and Stress
The oral use of cannabis and CBD for anxiety appears in a Vedic text dated around 2000 BCE, and it is one of the most common uses of the plant across various cultures. While THC can increase anxiety in some patients, it lowers it in others. However, CBD effects have been shown to consistently reduce anxiety when present in higher concentrations in the cannabis plant. On its own, CBD has been shown in a number of animal and human studies to lessen anxiety. The stress-reducing effect appears to be related to activity in both the limbic and paralimbic brain areas.
A 2012 research review assessed a number of international studies and concluded that CBD has been shown to reduce anxiety, and in particular social anxiety, in multiple studies and called for more clinical trials. Two years later, researchers in an animal study related to stress and the endocannabinoid system wrote that augmentation of the endocannabinoid system might be an effective strategy to mitigate behavioral and physical consequences of stress.
In addition to elucidating the relationship between CBD and anxiety, these findings appear to support that the anxiolytic effect of chronic CBD administration in stressed mice depends on its proneurogenic action in the adult hippocampus by facilitating endocannabinoid-mediated signaling.
9. Depression and Mood Disorders
Clinical depression is a serious mood disorder characterized by persistent sadness and loss of interest, sometimes leading to decreased appetite and energy and suicidal thoughts. Commonly used pharmaceuticals for depression often target serotonin, a chemical messenger that is believed to act as a mood stabilizer. The neural network of the endocannabinoid system works similarly to the way that serotonin, dopamine, and other systems do, and, according to some research, cannabinoids have an effect on serotonin levels. Whereas a low dose of THC increases serotonin, high doses cause a decrease that could worsen the condition. In 2009 researchers concluded that there was substantial evidence pointing to endocannabinoid signaling as a target for the pharmacotherapy of depression. Authors of a 2016 study wrote that “CBD could represent a novel fast antidepressant drug, via enhancing both serotonergic and glutamate cortical signaling through a 5-HT1A receptor-dependent mechanism.”
It is suggested that patients work with a health care practitioner experienced in recommending cannabidiol or medicinal cannabis so that dosage and delivery methods can be developed and fine-tuned on an individual basis. At the same time, educated and aware patients can be their own highly informed health consultants.
CBD products with a ratio of 20:1 or higher are recommended and administered as drops, capsules, or edibles. Specifically, products made with Valentine X or Electra 4 are more energizing, helping relieve depression. When low energy is an issue, sativa or other stimulating strains can be helpful for improving energy and focus when THC can be tolerated. Varieties that are high in the terpene limonene are recommended for mood elevation.
Always start with the micro dose to test sensitivity and go up as needed within the dosing range before going to the next, until symptoms subside. The micro to standard dose is usually recommended to treat depression. Vaporized or smoked cannabis is recommended for relief of immediate symptoms, or a boost in dosage, and it can also be useful for sleep issues. Sublingual sprays or tinctures taken as liquid drops take effect quickly and last longer than inhaled products.
Effectiveness: Current Science—CBD Benefits for Depression
The Cannabis Health Index (CHI) is an evidence-based scoring system for cannabis (in general, not just CBD effects) and its effectiveness on various health issues based on currently available research data. Refer to cannabishealthindex.com for updated information. Using this rubric and based on twenty-one studies, cannabis rated in the possible-to-probable range of efficacy for treatment of depression.
Research in 2005 called for clinical trials to look into the effectiveness of cannabinoids for bipolar disorder (manic depression). In 2010, a study suggested that CBD was not useful for the manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder. However, for depressive episodes, the evidence points to greater potential for effectiveness.
Authors of a 2013 review of animal studies wrote that CBD showed antianxiety and antidepressant effects in several models and suggested that the compound worked by interacting with the 5-HT1A neuroreceptor.
“It is important to remember that CBD benefits and improves the activity in the endocannabinoid system by increasing the time anandamide works on the CB1 and CB2 receptors,” writes Dr. Michael Moskowitz. “Anandamide works on the serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine systems. It also works on the GABA-glutamate system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Its main role is restoring balance through inhibition when levels are too high and enhancement when they are too low. This is the most likely reason phytocannabinoids in general and CBD specifically are able to regulate depression and anxiety.”
“For the relief of certain kinds of pain, I believe, there is no more useful medicine than Cannabis within our reach,” wrote Sir John Russell Reynolds, neurologist, epilepsy research pioneer, and physician to Queen Victoria back in 1859. In fact, cannabis was used for pain relief in all of the major ancient civilizations from Asia through the Middle East and into Europe and the Americas. The scientific inquiry into cannabis over the past several decades has confirmed that it is an effective and safe analgesic for many kinds of pain.
Of all the reasons that people use CBD today, pain is the most common. The same can be said of cannabis in general. In the United States, over seventy million people suffer from chronic pain, which is defined as experiencing over one hundred days per year of pain. Physicians differentiate between neuropathic (usually chronic) and nociceptive pains (usually time-limited), and cannabis works on most neuropathic and many nociceptive types of pain. A number of studies have demonstrated that the endocannabinoid system is both centrally and peripherally involved in the processing of pain signals. Most discussions of using CBD for pain treatment suggest that finding the right dosage is critical.
Cannabinoids can be used along with opioid medications, and a number of studies have demonstrated that they can reduce the amount of opioids needed, lessen the buildup of tolerance, and reduce the severity of withdrawal. At least ten randomized, controlled trials on over one thousand patients have demonstrated efficacy of cannabinoids for neuropathic pain of various origins.
How to Take the Medicine: Dosage and Delivery
It is suggested that patients work with a health care practitioner experienced in recommending CBD oil or medicinal cannabis so that dosage and delivery methods can be developed and fine-tuned on an individual basis. At the same time, educated and aware patients can be their own highly informed health consultants.
Oral CBD products with a ratio of 20:1 or higher and administered as drops, capsules, or edibles can be very effective in treating pain, especially the inflammatory type. Most discussions of treating pain with CBD suggest that finding the right dosage is critical. Always start with the micro dose to test sensitivity and go up as needed within the dosing range by body weight until symptoms subside. The micro to standard dose is usually recommended to treat pain, but patients need to carefully monitor their condition and experiment to find the right formula; 10–40 mg of CBD or CBD+THC together is usually enough.
If CBD-dominant products alone are not enough to treat a particular case, products with a higher ratio of THC are sometimes recommended to better manage pain. For day use, more stimulating, sativa varieties with higher concentrations of myrcene could be added to the formula. In general, for pain, and especially for evening and nighttime, indica strains are favored for their relaxing, sedative effect. A person without experience with THC should use caution and titrate slowly up to higher doses. Research as well as patient feedback have indicated that, in general, a ratio of 4:1 CBD:THC is the most effective for both neuropathic and inflammatory pain. Each individual is different, however—for some, a 1:1 ratio of CBD:THC can be more effective, and others prefer a high-THC strain when it can be tolerated. Each patient’s tolerance and sensitivity will differ, and through titration the correct strain and ratio combination can be found.
Other cannabinoids are also shown to relieve pain, including CBC, CBG, THCV, and THCA. Chemotypes high in beta-caryophyllene, myrcene, and linalool provide additional pain relief and increase the effectiveness of other cannabinoids for analgesia.
For relief of immediate symptoms, as in a flare-up of pain, vaporizing or smoking work well. The medication effect is immediate and lasts one to three hours, whereas most ingested products take thirty to sixty minutes before taking effect (faster on an empty stomach) and last six to eight hours. Vaporizers that use a cartridge filled with the CO2 concentrate are highly effective, and these are available in various ratios of CBD to THC. Herbal vaporizers that use the whole plant are also an effective delivery method. Sublingual sprays or tinctures taken as liquid drops also take effect quickly and last longer than inhaled products.
When pain is localized, topical products can be applied. These can be made using CBD-dominant cannabis as well as THC strains. Topicals affect the cells near application and through several layers of tissue but do not cross the blood-brain barrier and are, therefore, not psychoactive. These may be available as CBD oils, ointments, salves, or other forms, and with varying ratios of CBD and THC (a ratio of 1:1 is often recommended as ideal for skin application). The skin has the highest amount and concentration of CB2 receptors in the body.
Effectiveness: Current Science—CBD Benefits for Pain
The Cannabis Health Index (CHI) is an evidence-based scoring system for cannabis (in general, not just CBD effects) and its effectiveness on various health issues based on currently available research data. Refer to cannabishealthindex.com for updated information and more about studies related to specific types of pain. Considering all of the studies together, which number over forty (for various types of pain), CBD and cannabis are shown to have a rating of likely probable efficacy. It is one of the best-substantiated medical uses of cannabinoids.
Sativex, a cannabis plant–derived oromucosal spray containing equal proportions of THC and CBD, has been approved in a number of countries for use to treat specific types of pain. Numerous randomized clinical trials have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of Sativex for treatment of central and peripheral neuropathic pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and cancer pain. 
Cannabinoids affect the transmission of pain signals from the affected region to the brain (ascending) and from the brain to the..
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the non-psychoactive cannabinoids found in the cannibas plant. THC is what is credited with the "high" associated with marijuana. CBD on the other hand, will not get you "stoned" but may offer you many other benefits.
Benefits of CBD
The research is still ongoing for most of the reported benefits of CBD but it's treatment of epilepsy has been acknowledged by the FDA when they apporved a medicine that treats two rare forms of the childhood disease.
Other potential uses of CBD include:
What about CBD for skin care or body care?
CBD Soap and other natural body care products can be healthy for your overall skin health and may help to improve skin conditions. There are many forms CBD products come in and here are a few:
CBD Salve or CBD Balm
Due to the anti inflammatory properties of cannabinoids, CBD can help to alleviate dryness, redness, rashes, sores or irritatied skin. It's rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids which are known to promote skin health by reducing imflammation.
Why CBD Soap?
Here is a list of the top 10 benefits of CBD Soap:
Promotes healthy skin
May improve ezema & psoriasis
Healthy skin cells
While topical application of CBD products might not have the same intended effect as ingesting them internally, there are still many benefits to the skin and overall health.
While we don’t normally think of anxiety as desirable, it’s actually a critical adaptive response that can help us cope with threats to our (or a loved one’s) safety and welfare. These responses help us recognize and avert potential threats; they can also help motivate us to take action to better our situation (work harder, pay bills, improve relationships, etc.). However, when we don’t manage these natural responses effectively, they can become maladaptive and impact our work and relationships. This can lead to clinically diagnosable anxiety-related disorders. We’ve all heard the saying, “stress kills.” It’s true!
Anxiety-related disorders affect a huge segment of our population—40 million adults (18%) in the United States age 18 and older. In response, Big Pharma has developed numerous drugs to treat anxiety-related disorders, from selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac and Zoloft to tranquilizers (the most popular class being benzodiazepines such as Valium and Xanax).
While these drugs can be effective for many patients, some don’t respond favorably. Certain patients don’t see much improvement, or they can’t tolerate the side effects. Moreover, tranquilizers like Valium and Xanax can be highly addictive. Clearly, alternative treatments are warranted. Could cannabidiol (CBD), the most prominent non-intoxicating constituent in cannabis, provide a viable alternative for currently available anxiety medications? Quite possibly!
In recent years, CBD has generated a tremendous amount of interest among consumers, clinicians, and scientists. Why? Not only does evidence suggest CBD counteracts many of THC’s adverse effects, but numerous animal studies and accumulating evidence from human experimental, clinical, and epidemiological studies suggest CBD has powerful anti-anxiety properties. Administered acutely (“as needed”), it appears safe, well-tolerated, and may be beneficial to treat a number of anxiety-related disorders, including:
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
Mild to moderate depression
How Does CBD Work?
CBD exerts several actions in the brain that explain why it could be effective in treating anxiety. Before we dive in, it’s important to note that most research describing how CBD works is preclinical and based on animal studies. As the saying goes, “mice are not men” — and, results from animal studies don’t always neatly transfer to human therapies. However, preclinical studies provide insights that move us in the right direction:
5-HT1A agonist: 5-HT1A is a subtype of the serotonin receptor, which is important because anxiety and depression can sometimes be treated with medications that target the serotonin system. This is why drug companies developed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac and Zoloft. SSRIs work by blocking reabsorption of serotonin in the brain, which increases availability of serotonin in the synaptic space. This helps brain cells transmit more serotonin signals, which can reduce anxiety and boost mood in certain cases (although the full biological basis for this is more complicated and not fully understood).
Similar to SSRIs, CBD may boost signaling through serotonin receptors. In an animal study, Spanish researchers found that CBD enhances 5-HT1A transmission and may affect serotonin faster than SSRIs. Researchers noted:
“The fast onset of antidepressant action of CBD and the simultaneous anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effect would solve some of the main limitations of current antidepressant therapies.”
Hippocampal neurogenesis: The hippocampus is a major brain area, and plays a critical role in a variety of brain functions. It’s most famous for its role in memory formation and cognition. Brain scans of patients suffering from depression or anxiety often show a smaller hippocampus, and successful treatment of depression is associated with the birth of new neurons (neurogenesis) in the hippocampus. 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.
How Can CBD Help Anxiety?
Building on the foundation of animal studies, human studies are starting to provide evidence to demonstrate that CBD can improve many commonly reported anxiety-disorder symptoms, including acute stress and anxiety.
Human Studies Show How CBD Reduces Anxiety
Brazilian researchers conducted a small double-blind study of patients afflicted with generalized social anxiety. After consuming CBD, participants reported a significant decrease in anxiety. Researchers validated patients’ subjective reports by performing brain scans showing cerebral blood flow patterns consistent with an anti-anxiety effect. In another small study, researchers had patients suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder perform a simulated public speaking test. Participants reported significantly less anxiety, findings supported by objective anxiety indicators like heart rate and blood pressure. Researchers concluded, “[CBD] significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort in their speech performance,” whereas the placebo group experienced “higher anxiety, cognitive impairment, [and] discomfort.”
Evidence from animal studies have begun to characterize the details of how CBD acts in the brain, and human studies of patients with and without anxiety disorders are starting to validate CBD’s efficacy as an anti-anxiety treatment. Given the huge social and financial costs of anxiety disorders in the U.S., CBD has the potential to play a significant role in treating a myriad of anxiety-related disorders. While more research, including large randomized-control trials (RCTs), is clearly warranted to examine the long-term effects and potential for CBD, its demonstrated efficacy and highly favorable safety profile (particularly when compared to currently available drugs) make it a viable alternative or adjunct to currently available pharmaceuticals.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, already being researched and used for anxiety, insomnia, epilepsy and pain, may be the next superbug fighter for resistant infections, a new study suggests.
The researchers tested CBD against a wide variety of bacteria, ''including bacteria that have become resistant to the most commonly used antibiotics," says Mark Blaskovich, PhD, senior research officer at the Centre for Superbug Solutions at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland in Australia.
The development is important, as antibiotic resistance is reaching dangerously high levels, according to the World Health Organization.
What the Research Shows
CBD is a non-psychoactive compound taken from cannabis and hemp; it does not produce the high that regular marijuana does. To date, the FDA has only approved CBD for treating rare and severe forms of seizure, although it is promoted for many other health benefits.
Blaskovich presented the research Sunday at the American Society for Microbiology annual meeting. The research includes work in test tubes and animal models. Research presented at meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
"The first thing we looked at is CBD's ability to kill bacteria," he says. "In every case, CBD had a very similar potency to that of common antibiotics."
The researchers tested the CBD against some strains of staphylococcus, which cause skin infections, and streptococcus, which cause strep throat.
They compared how effective CBD was compared to common antibiotics, such as vancomycin and daptomycin. "We looked at how quickly the CBD killed the bacteria. It's quite fast, within 3 hours, which is pretty good. Vancomycin (Vancocin) kills over 6 to 8 hours."
The CBD also disrupted the biofilm, the layer of ''goop'' around bacteria that makes it more difficult for the antibiotic to penetrate and kill.
Finally, the lab studies showed that "CBD is much less likely to cause resistance than the existing antibiotics," Blaskovich says.
The CBD ''is selective for the type of bacteria," he says.
He found it effective against gram-positive bacteria but not gram-negative. Gram-positive bacteria cause serious skin infections and pneumonia, among other conditions. Gram-negative bacteria include salmonella (found in undercooked foods) and E. coli (the cause of urinary tract infections, diarrhea, and other ailments), among other bacteria.
In another study, also presented at the meeting, the researchers tested topical CBD to treat a skin infection on mice. It cut the number of bacteria after 48 hours, Blaskovich says, although it did not clear the infection. That research is ongoing.
How It Might Work, Caveats
The researchers can't say exactly how the CBD may prove to be a superbug infection fighter. "We thought it might work by damaging the outer membrane of the bacteria, to make it leaky," Blaskovich says. "It doesn't seem to do that. It might be a completely new mechanism of action."
He says the research results are promising but in early stages. He also warns people that it's much too early to self-treat infections with CBD.
The study was funded by Botanix Pharmaceuticals Ltd., which is researching uses of CBD for skin conditions, and the Australian government. Blaskovich is a consultant for Botanix.
Brandon Novy, a microbiology researcher at Reed College in Portland, OR, calls the study findings ''very promising,'' since the results show the bacteria were not able to form resistance to the CBD, and since the bacteria were not able to form a biofilm.
Both findings are important. "The biofilm is an important part of the whole infection process," he says. "It helps the bacteria attach [to whatever surface or host] and survive."
At the same meeting, Novy presented a preliminary study, finding that CBD also looks promising to fight some gram-negative infections.
"It is an important study that deserves to be followed up on," says Amesh Adalja, MD, an infectious disease doctor and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
He was not involved in the new study. But he cautions that ''it is important to keep it all in context. I think it is a good thing that people are looking at the use of CBD for infectious uses in a systematic way."
But the work so far is only in test tubes and animals. Many question remain, such as looking at whether it is toxic, doses, and the best way to deliver the CBD, Adalja says. He, too, cautions against self-treating with CBD for infections.
When Catherine Jacobson first heard about the promise of cannabis, she was at wits’ end. Her 3-year-old son, Ben, had suffered from epileptic seizures since he was 3 months old, a result of a brain malformation called polymicrogyria. Over the years, Jacobson and her husband, Aaron, have tried giving him at least 16 different drugs, but none provided lasting relief. They lived with the grim prognosis that their son — whose cognitive abilities never advanced beyond those of a 1-year-old — would likely continue to endure seizures until the cumulative brain injuries led to his death.
In early 2012, when Jacobson learned about cannabis at a conference organized by the Epilepsy Therapy Project, she felt a flicker of hope. The meeting, in downtown San Francisco, was unlike others she had attended, which were usually geared toward lab scientists and not directly focused on helping patients. This gathering aimed to get new treatments into patients’ hands as quickly as possible. Attendees weren’t just scientists and people from the pharmaceutical industry. They also included, on one day of the event, families of patients with epilepsy.
The tip came from a father named Jason David, with whom Jacobson began talking by chance outside a presentation hall. He wasn’t a presenter or even very interested in the goings-on at the conference. He had mostly lost faith in conventional medicine during his own family’s ordeal. But he claimed to have successfully treated his son’s seizures with a cannabis extract, and now he was trying to spread the word to anyone who would listen.
The idea to try cannabis extract came to David after he found out that the federal government held a patent on cannabidiol, a molecule derived from the cannabis plant that is commonly referred to as CBD. Unlike the better-known marijuana molecule delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, CBD isn’t psychoactive; it doesn’t get users high. But in the late 1990s, scientists at the National Institutes of Health discovered that it could produce remarkable medicinal effects. In test tubes, the molecule shielded neurons from oxidative stress, a damaging process common in many neurological disorders, including epilepsy.
Jacobson had a Ph.D. in neuroscience. She had started her postdoctoral research at the University of California, San Francisco, by studying how cancer cells metastasize and spread, but after Ben was born, she moved to Stanford and switched her focus to epilepsy — a shift that compounded her anguish. She often wept in the parking lot before heading into the lab, overwhelmed by dread at the prospect of deliberately causing epilepsy in rodents. “I couldn’t watch animals seize all day and then watch Ben seize all night,” she told me. “It was just too much.”
After meeting David and reading through the small body of published work on CBD, Jacobson changed postdoctoral directions once again, from primary research to the study of this community of parents who were treating their epileptic children with cannabis extracts. In reality, she was preparing to join it herself. One small, double-blind studyparticularly caught her attention. In 1980, scientists in Brazil treated eight epileptic patients with CBD and eight patients with sugar pills as a placebo. For half the group that received CBD, the seizures almost completely disappeared; another three experienced a reduction in the intensity of their seizures. Only one person in the placebo group got better.
The epilepsy drugs that had been approved to date, none of which had helped Ben much, typically targeted the same few ion channels and receptors on the surface of neurons. But CBD worked on different and still somewhat mysterious pathways. If she could find a suitable CBD extract, Jacobson thought, she might have a truly new class of drug for Ben. The other experimental drugs and devices she had heard about at epilepsy conferences were under development, unapproved by the F.D.A. and thus largely unavailable. But medical marijuana had been legal in California since 1996, so CBD was theoretically accessible right away.
Seven years later, cannabidiol is everywhere. We are bombarded by a dizzying variety of CBD-infused products: beers, gummies, chocolates and marshmallows; lotions to rub on aching joints; oils to swallow; vaginal suppositories for “soothing,” in one company’s words, “the area that needs it most.” CVS and Walgreens each recently announced plans to sell CBD products in certain states. Jason David now sells a cannabis extract called Jayden’s Juice, named for his son — one of several extracts on the market, including Haleigh’s Hope and Charlotte’s Web, that are named after children who are said to have benefited from being treated with CBD.
Many of these products are vague about what exactly CBD can do. (The F.D.A. prohibits unproven health claims.) Yet promises abound on the internet, where numerous articles and testimonials suggest that CBD can effectively treat not just epilepsy but also anxiety, pain, sleeplessness, Crohn’s disease, arthritis and even anger. A confluence of factors has led to this strange moment. Plenty of legitimate, if still inconclusive, research is being done on CBD. Many scientists are truly excited about it. The laws governing cannabis and its chemical components have loosened up. And the anecdotes that have emerged from what Elizabeth Thiele, an epileptologist at Harvard, calls the “vernacular” cannabis movement have lent emotional force to the claims made for CBD.
Amid the current deluge of products, it now seems almost quaint that, back in 2012, after deciding to try treating Ben with CBD, Jacobson couldn’t actually locate the stuff. Other parents of epileptic children were using D.I.Y. techniques to treat their children: tinctures; cannabis-infused butter in baked goods; crushed cannabis buds in capsule form; even cannabis suppositories. Some reported positive results. Over the years, Jacobson has had many of these products tested at labs; almost invariably they contained very little or no CBD and too much THC. It has psychoactive effects, and there wasn’t much science suggesting THC could treat seizures.
Catherine Jacobson and her son, Ben, at home in Mill Valley, Calif. His seizures have left him with very little ability to communicate, but one of his main ways of showing affection is hugging his mother’s head close to his chest. September Dawn Bottoms for The New York Times
Jacobson describes her family’s existence as akin to living under the threat of terrorism. Ben’s seizures could strike at any time. He was at high risk of what epileptologists call Sudep, or sudden unexpected death in epilepsy. “I would have done anything to save Ben,” Jacobson told me. And so one day in 2012 she found herself driving her black S.U.V. to a rundown Oakland neighborhood, past a police car, to purchase a kilo of what she had been told was CBD-rich cannabis.
In the early 1960s, a Bulgarian-born Israeli chemist named Raphael Mechoulam asked a simple question: How does marijuana make you high? The biochemistry of major psychoactive molecules from other recreationally used drugs, like cocaine and opium, was already understood. But scientists still didn’t know how cannabis worked. Mechoulam was the first scientist to map the chemical structure of both cannabidiol and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Two decades later, Allyn Howlett, a scientist then at St. Louis University Medical School, used a radioactive THC equivalent to trace where cannabinoids ended up in the brain and discovered what she would later call CB1 receptors. They were subsequently found in the kidneys, lungs and liver, too. White blood cells of the immune system, the gut and the spleen also have another type of cannabinoid receptor, known as CB2.
There is a long history of scientists gaining insight into human physiology by studying how plants interact with our bodies. Poppy flowers and the opium derived from them led to the discovery of the body’s native opioid receptors, which help regulate pain, stress responses and more. Nicotine, a stimulant found in tobacco, long used by Native Americans, taught scientists about the existence of our own nicotinic receptors, which influence neuronal excitement.
Why plants produce molecules that seem perfectly designed to manipulate human biochemical circuitry is a mystery. It could be a kind of molecular coincidence. But many plants, including cannabis, might make these molecules to defend themselves from other organisms. Modern industrial agriculture employs a whole class of pesticides based on nicotine — the neonicotinoids — meant to repel insects by over-exciting their nervous systems. Cannabinoids display antibacterial, antifungal and insecticidal properties as well. Their ability to engage our native cannabinoid receptors may be a result of millions of years of biochemical warfare directed at would-be grazers: insects and other creatures that happen to share biochemical signaling pathways with humans. If plants target the cannabinoid receptors of other organisms to protect themselves, it follows that whatever signals those receptors evolved to receive have to be vital for these animals’ physiological health. Otherwise, why interfere with them?
Mechoulam concluded that our bodies must produce their own cannabinoids — endogenous molecules that, like the native opioids and nicotinelike molecules our bodies also make, engage the cannabinoid receptors throughout the human body. In 1992, he identified the first one. Mechoulam, who is often called the godfather of cannabis research — he was a senior scientist on the Brazilian CBD epilepsy trial that inspired Jacobson — and his colleagues christened it “anandamide,” after the Sanskrit word for “supreme joy.” They suspected that the molecule played a role in the formation of emotions.
The native network of cannabinoid receptors and transmitters described by Howlett and Mechoulam is now known as the endocannabinoid system. It’s central to homeostatic regulation, that is, how the body maintains, and returns to, its baseline state after being disturbed. If a person is injured, for example, native cannabinoids increase, presumably in order to resolve the inflammation and other damage signals associated with injury. They also increase after strenuous exercise, another stressor, and some scientists have argued that they, not the better-known endorphins, are really responsible for the pleasant postexercise feeling known as runner’s high.
Endocannabinoids help regulate immune activity, appetite and memory formation, among many other functions. (Heavy marijuana use is associated with memory deficits, possibly because THC short-circuits the formation of memories.) “Perhaps no other signaling system discovered during the past 15 years is raising as many expectations for the development of new therapeutic drugs,” Vincenzo Di Marzo, an endocannabinoid researcher at the National Research Council in Naples, Italy, wrote in 2008, in the journal Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. But realizing such medical benefits has proved trickier than once imagined.
When scientists at the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis (now Sanofi) understood that THC could whet a user’s appetite, they created a weight-loss drug that blocked CB1 receptors, hoping to suppress appetite. Rimonabant was first released in Europe in 2006. Two years later, regulators pulled it from the marketplace because of its severe side effects, including depression and suicidal behavior. The episode seems to exemplify endocannabinoids’ importance to our sense of well-being and the difficulty of manipulating them therapeutically. Attempts to increase native cannabinoids with synthetic drugs have fared no better. In 2016, French scientists halted a study of a drug designed to boost endocannabinoids. For reasons that remain unclear, six patients who took the medicine, meant to treat pain, were hospitalized. One died.
And yet, for millenniums people have used cannabis itself with relatively few side effects. (These can include dry mouth, lethargy and paranoia.) THC hits CB1 and CB2 receptors, but how CBD works is less clear. It seems to interact with multiple systems: increasing the quantity of native cannabinoids in the human body; binding with serotonin receptors, part of the “feel good” molecular machinery targeted by conventional S.S.R.I.s; and stimulating GABA receptors, responsible for calming the nervous system. With more than 65 cellular targets, CBD may provide a kind of full-body massage at the molecular level.
This biochemical promiscuity is one reason CBD seems so medically promising, according to Yasmin Hurd, a neuroscientist at Mount Sinai, in New York. Modern neuroscience often tries to target one pathway or receptor, Hurd told me; that approach is easier to study scientifically, but it may not address what are often network-wide problems. “The brain is about a symphony,” she says. And CBD, she suspects, can “bring the entire symphony into harmony.”
Cannabis has beenused medicinally for thousands of years in Asia, where it was probably first domesticated before traveling to, among other places, Africa. It was almost certainly introduced multiple times to the Americas, first from Africa to South America through the slave trade — in Brazil it’s still known by an African name, diamba — but also to the Caribbean. Indian indentured laborers probably brought it to Jamaica, where it’s called by an ancient Indian name, ganja.
White Americans also had some history of using cannabis in tinctures. In the early 19th century, an Irish doctor working in India, William Brooke O’Shaughnessy, had observed that cannabis was used extensively in Indian medicine. He began experimenting and found it quite efficacious not only for infantile seizures but also rheumatism and spasms caused by tetanus. O’Shaughnessy usually gets the credit for introducing the plant to the English-speaking world, but while he popularized its use in Britain, he was not the first European to bring it back to Europe. Garcia Da Orta, a Portuguese physician, had, after living in India, written about cannabis as medicine in the 1500s.
After O’Shaughnessy published his treatises on the plant, its use spread rapidly among physicians. By the late 19th century, cannabis was an important component of British and American physicians’ pharmacopoeia. (Researchers suspect that these older cannabis cultivars, and the tinctures made from them, probably contained much less THC and much more CBD than modern varieties.) Of course, hemp, a variety of cannabis bred not for consumption but for the fiber that goes into ropes and sails, among other things, had been an important crop in Europe and the Americas for centuries. George Washington grew it. The English word “canvas” derives from the Greek kannabis.
But in the late 19th century, our ancient relationship with this plant began to fray. In 1930, Harry Anslinger, a former official at the Bureau of Prohibition, assumed a new job running the Bureau of Narcotics. The Mexican Revolution that began in 1910 had led to waves of immigrants crossing into the United States. Whereas many Americans took their cannabis orally in the form of tinctures, the new arrivals smoked it, a custom that was also moving north from New Orleans and other port cities from which African-Americans were beginning their own migration.
Anslinger disdained Mexican-Americans and African-Americans. He loathed jazz. Modern scholars argue that his demonizing cannabis both justified his position and provided a way for him to gain legal leverage over peoples he despised. The high cost paid by people of color, once he had begun what we now call “the war on drugs,” may not have been an incidental byproduct of his efforts but an unstated goal from the start. His protestations still echo today. Cannabis made people crazy, violent and prone to criminal behavior, Anslinger said.
Yet when 30 American Medical Association members were surveyed, starting in 1929, 29 disagreed with claims about the dangers posed by cannabis. One said the proposals to outlaw it were “absolute rot.” But the hysteria Anslinger helped stir up worked politically. In 1937, Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act. High taxes made cannabis much more expensive and difficult to obtain decades before President Nixon — scientists of his era disagreed with him, too, about marijuana’s supposed dangers — signed the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. A plant that people had used medicinally for thousands of years was now driven underground.
Jacobson’s dealer in Oakland seemed to be selling harder stuff as well, which made her very nervous. But her impression was that he was having a difficult time selling this particular product — kilos of California-grown cannabis — precisely because it wouldn’t get anyone very high. With her black-market stash in hand, Jacobson entered what she calls her R.& D. phase. As suspected, the cannabis she had acquired illegally in Oakland was high in CBD and low in THC. She set up a lab in her garage — and then proceeded to fail miserably, for months, to extract anything of much use. Only under the tutelage of two University of California, Davis, scientists did she make progress. The technique she developed required heating cannabis plants in ethanol to extract the cannabinoids. Next, a machine that created a vacuum sucked the green-tinted liquid through a tube filled with carbon powder. The molecules in the extract moved through the powder at different speeds, depending on their weight and other characteristics, yielding different “fractions” that she could test for CBD and THC content. Then she heated the resulting green solution until the alcohol evaporated, leaving a green paste. It took her about six months to perfect the process. Finally, nearly a year after starting, she had a cannabis extract that was high in CBD and lacked measurable THC.
Ben improved somewhat after taking it, but it was another boy with severe epilepsy, 11-year-old Sam Vogelstein, who responded most significantly. Jacobson and Sam’s mother, Evelyn Nussenbaum, had met and become close friends as together they sought a safe and reliable source of CBD for their children. But now Jacobson felt a different sort of pressure. Making the medicine was difficult. Despite all that she had learned, some batches of her extract were unusable. And who knew if the source material she was buying illegally would remain available? If this was to be their sons’ medicine, Jacobson wanted a pharmaceutical-grade product that she could always obtain.
Across the Atlantic, Geoffrey Guy, the founder of a company called GW Pharmaceuticals, had successfully brought one cannabis-derived medicine, called Sativex, to market in Britain and other European countries. The first such medication permitted by a government, it was approved to treat the symptoms of spasticity (as well as pain) caused by multiple sclerosis, a progressive autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. It contained both CBD and THC. Guy was intrigued when, through a mutual acquaintance, a California family seeking CBD to treat epilepsy reached out to him — Evelyn Nussenbaum and her son Sam.
Guy agreed to treat Sam. Jacobson had her extract analyzed and the results sent to Guy. In December 2012, Sam and Nussenbaum flew to London for two weeks to try a purified CBD drug that Guy had created just for him. He started with a small dose and, as it was gradually increased, his seizures faded. Before his trip, Sam was taking three conventional medications and still having dozens of seizures daily. But after he reached the highest daily dose of CBD — 250 milligrams — his seizures stopped almost entirely for a week. He became more articulate and coherent than he had been since he was 5, when his condition took a turn for the worse. He rode a zip line in Hyde Park, took the subway and did other things that Nussenbaum had always avoided for fear that he would seize and hurt himself. Nussenbaum describes that week as “Twilight Zone weird,” as if she had entered a parallel dimension.
The high cost paid by people of color from what we now call “the war on drugs,” may not have been an incidental byproduct but an unstated goal from the start.
After he returned to the United States, it was six months before Sam could take Guy’s extract again. Medical marijuana is illegal under federal law — its designation as a Schedule 1 drug means it is considered to have a high potential for abuse and without any known medical application — but Sam gained access to Guy’s extract through the F.D.A.’s compassionate-use program, which makes still-unapproved drugs available to patients with serious conditions. (In 2015 Sam’s father, Fred Vogelstein, a journalist, detailed Sam’s story in Wired..
People frequently wonder what is CBD or what is cannabidiol? Cannabidiol is also called CBD, so these two are the same thing, and they are a compound derived from cannabis that is said to have medical and therapeutic benefits. Proponents of CBD say that it can help deal with conditions including inflammation, chronic pain, psychosis, anxiety, and seizures among others.
Despite the fact that people in favor of using cannabidiol therapeutically say that it does have benefits, the U.S. government has done research that isn’t necessarily completely conclusive or in favor of these assertions, although there is some early evidence showing the use of CBD does have some benefits. The following information provides an overview of answers to the following questions:
What is CBD and what is cannabidiol?
Is CBD hemp oil marijuana?
Are CBD and marijuana the same thing?
What’s the difference between low THC and high THC CBD?
As touched on above, cannabidiol or CBD is derived from cannabis. The CBD is one of the most prevalent chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant, but it’s different from something called THC that’s also derived from CBD because it’s not psychoactive. People in favor of the use of CBD often say that it’s a way to get relaxation and therapeutic benefits without feeling high, but undoubtedly the compound does have effects on the person using it. Although it is one of the most numerous compounds found in the cannabis plant, CBD isn’t the only one, and there are different concentrations of CBD oil as well.
CBD, which is often used in therapeutic and medical contexts, comes from the hemp part of the cannabis sativa plant, as does marijuana, but though they are both processed from the same component of the plant, CBD and marijuana are thought to be very different. For example, in the past marijuana farmers have tended to breed their hemp plants to have high amounts of THC because of the effects that component has to the user, but when people are farming hemp to get CBD oil, they don’t try to make it higher in THC. It’s actually better to reduce the amount of TCH as much as possible. People frequently wonder is CBD hemp oil marijuana? Or Is CBD marijuana? The answer is no. These substances are derived from the same type of plant, but they’re not exactly the same nor do they have the same uses.
A big part of understanding what CBD is and whether or not CBD hemp oil is the same as marijuana is knowing what hemp is, and also what the cannabis plant is. All-too-often terms like hemp, cannabis, and marijuana are used interchangeably, but this might not always be accurate. Hemp is a term used to refer to the cannabis plan, and it’s the fibrous elements of the plant. Often hemp is extracted from the stem of the cannabis plant and is used to create fabrics, rope, and other materials. Hemp is one of the oldest domesticated crops, and it’s been in use for thousands of years.
There are different varieties of the cannabis plant, and hemp is the nonpsychoactive type of cannabis. Hemp and marijuana are derived from the same the species of cannabis, but their uses, chemical components and how they’re cultivated are different from one another. Hemp is favored in use for a variety of industrial applications because it’s renewable and versatile. It’s relatively easy to grow, requiring minimal water and no pesticides, so it’s environmentally friendly as compared to many of its counterparts. Also, since hemp doesn’t contain THC, it can’t produce the high associated with marijuana.
Despite the advantages of hemp and the fact that it can’t be used to get high, the Controlled Substances Act describes it as a Schedule I drug, so it’s illegal to grow it in the U.S. and it’s imported from other countries, as long as minimal amounts of THC are present. Regarding CBD and hemp, CBD oil is found in both marijuana and industrial hemp, and it’s the CBD derived from industrial hemp that’s most often used since it contains less than 1% THC. There have been moves in many states to legalize medical marijuana, at least in a limited way, in order to provide greater access to CBD for the treatment of certain medical conditions.
This brings about the importance of understanding the distinctions between industrial hemp-derived CBD and CBD derived from cannabis. It’s much easier to access CBD derived from industrial hemp, and it has the same properties as cannabis-derived CBD, which is why it’s become a viable alternative for people who live in states that don’t allow them to access medical marijuana but they can legally get access to CBD derived from hemp. So, is CBD hemp oil marijuana? No, not technically in most cases. There is CBD from marijuana, but it’s not what’s used for medical reasons in most cases.
While CBD doesn’t necessarily have to be marijuana as was touched on above, there are CBD products that are used with the entire cannabis plant. Some proponents of industrial hemp-derived CBD cite problems including the fact that industrial hemp tends to have less cannabidiol than other cannabis strains. It can take a massive amount of industrial hemp to derive enough CBD, and there are also worries that when CBD comes from hemp, it doesn’t have some of the valuable secondary cannabis of cannabis oil. Despite the fact that some people only see value in cannabis oil as opposed to hemp oil, again it can be difficult to source cannabis oil because of various laws, and this is also an area that’s debated because many people see hemp oil to be as valuable medicinally as cannabis oil.
So how does CBD work? Essentially, as with other compounds found in the hemp plant, when someone uses CBD, it attaches to certain receptors in their brain. Many people take CBD for chronic pain, and as mentioned, it doesn’t cause a high which is often associated with the use of cannabis including THC and marijuana. Some studies have shown promise as far as using CBD hemp oil as a way to deal with chronic pain and other health issues, and it’s being looked at in particular as an alternative to opioids which are so widely used and abused in the U.S. by sufferers of chronic pain and other conditions.
When someone takes CBD, it impacts the endocannabinoid system which includes receptors that are located throughout the body and brain. THC specifically activates two receptors, which are the CB1 and CB2 receptors. On the other hand, CBD doesn’t stimulate these receptors, at least not directly. The cannabinoid receptors that are found inside the human body regulate a lot of different processes that we experience daily including mood, appetite, memory and pain sensation, and when they’re activated, it can be by naturally-occurring endocannabinoids, as well as the plant cannabinoids found in hemp and cannabis.
CB1 receptors are found primarily in the central nervous system, although also in smaller amounts throughout the body including in the liver and lungs. CB2 receptors, on the other hand, are part of the human immune system, and they’re found in certain blood cells. CB1 receptors are part of how the body and the central nervous system produces and releases certain neurotransmitters, which is why there are psychoactive effects of using certain types of cannabis. The CB1 receptors also deal with various processes in the liver, and they can impact things such as pleasure, appetite, and tolerance for pain. As was touched on, CB2 receptors interact with the immune system.
However, while the CB1 and CB2 receptors are activated by the use of cannabis with THC contents, CBD is different. CBD activates receptors such as the serotonin and adenosine receptors. Because of the receptors activated by CBD, using CBD hemp oil can change things like pain perception and inflammation. CBD also activates the adenosine receptors, which helps with anxiety because these receptors release dopamine. In some cases when people take higher concentrations of CBD it may activate the 5-HTIA receptor, which is a serotonin receptor, and this is why people feel CBD has an anti-depressant effect. Also important to understand when looking at how CBD works is the fact that when someone takes it, it blocks the psychoactive effects of THC, so people can take advantage of what some say are the benefits of CBD without the mind-altering effects of THC.
There are several steps that go into making CBD oil, particularly when it comes to producing a high-quality product. First, it’s important to choose the right strain of plant when you’re creating it, regardless of whether it’s going to be derived from hemp or marijuana. Choosing high-quality plants are relevant because the right plant strains will be naturally high in CBD. Once plants are grown, they may be turned into CBD oil using something called a whole plant extraction process, or manufacturers may isolate what they determine is pure CBD.
With whole plant CBD oils, there are several methods that may be used including soaking the plant in a solvent like alcohol and then using the liquid, evaporating the solvent, and taking what’s left of the CBD oil. There’s also a process of extraction that relies on C02, which is a more complex procedure. With this, there are various pressure and temperature controls that have to be monitored as the CO2 is pushed through the plant. The cannabinoid solution needed for the CBD oil then reacts and separates from the rest of the plant. As people have started increasingly relying on CBD oil as an everyday supplement, many manufacturers are adding flavors so that it’s more palatable.
THC is a shorter name for tetrahydrocannabinol. When someone uses marijuana, it’s the chemical THC that’s primarily responsible for the psychoactive or psychological effects of the substance. In many ways, THC replicates the actions of the body’s naturally created cannabinoid chemicals. People have cannabinoid receptors throughout their central nervous system that influence things like thinking, coordination, and memory. When you use marijuana, the THC found in the substance attaches to these receptors, thus the changes in things like sensory and time perception that may occur when a person is high.
THC is just one of the compounds that are derived from the marijuana plant, and more specifically it’s found in the resin secreted by the plant. Cannabinoids, on the other hand, are just another compound found in these plants, both marijuana and hemp. THC can affect your body in many ways because when you use it, your brain is then triggered to release the chemical dopamine. This is why you may experience a euphoric high, and this is not unlike what happens with other drugs. THC also changes how information is processed in your brain, particularly in the hippocampus. This can create changes in thinking, and there’s also the potential for someone to experience delusions or hallucinations. When someone takes THC, it will usually start to affect them in anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes, and these effects may last for up to two hours.
Some of the general side effects of THC can include:
Though marijuana and THC are so commonly used throughout the U.S. and are even legal for recreational use in some states, it doesn’t mean its use isn’t without risks. Some of the potential risks of THC can include:
Impaired motor skills that can contribute to accidents
In some cases taking substances containing THC can lead to a relapse in symptoms associated with schizophrenia
When THC is chronically used by younger people, it can lead to a decrease in IQ as well as continuing memory and cognition problems
THC can also have potentially dangerous interactions with other medicines or substances
Another risk that’s gaining more attention in recent years is the fact that edibles have become more popular and that may increase the risk of overdosing. People are eating larger quantities of these edibles and thereby ingesting more THC as well. With edibles, there is the potential to have more THC that’s more potent, leading to drug effects that last longer and are more powerful. Despite the potential risk, there is some evidence that THC and marijuana may be helpful for cancer patients and other medicinal purposes. In some cases, researchers are working on extracting THC from marijuana for FDA-approved drugs to help with symptoms such as nausea and loss of appetite.
There are differences in the amount of THC in cannabis as well. The concentration of THC depends on factors including whether or not it’s exposed to air and the cultivation of the marijuana plant. Hemp is an example of a type of cannabis with a low THC concentration. There are some strains of cannabis with as little as 0.3 percent THC, and then in other types, the THC may account for up to 20 percent of the weight. The average concentration of THC found in marijuana ranges from 1 to 5 percent, and in hashish, it’s 5 to 15 percent. With hashish oil, which is different from CBD oil, it’s on average 20 percent.
You may be wondering the differences between CBD and THC. The biggest difference between CBD vs. THC is the fact that CBD isn’t psychoactive. The big difference in CBD vs. THC boils down to the CB1 receptors, which as was touched on above, are located in the central nervous system. When you take THC, it binds to the CB1 receptor in the central nervous system. CBD, on the other hand, doesn’t bind with CB1 receptors, and this creates the difference in these two components which are both derived from the same plants.
When someone takes THC, and it binds to the CB1 receptors, it stimulates them, and that activation leads to the effects of the drug, such as the euphoric high or the sense of relaxation. In a lot of ways, THC replicates the action of a certain neurotransmitter, which is anandamide, and this increases the appetite of the user and leads them to eat more than they would normally because of the pleasure and reward reactions it creates.
On the other hand, the difference between CBD vs. THC is in the fact that CBD doesn’t fit with the CB1 receptors. It’s an antagonist of these receptors, so it doesn’t suppress or activate them. Instead, CBD actually would suppress the elements of THC that would activate the CB1 receptors. Because of the difference in receptor activation, some have dubbed THC the bad cannabinoid and CBD the good one, and there are differences in state laws regarding access to the two substances, but some researchers believe CBD and THC work better together than separately when it comes to using these cannabis derived substances medicinally. The variances seen when looking at CBD vs. THC boil down to very small anatomical differences between the two. Their chemical makeup is actually the same but just arranged slightly differently which is why THC has psychoactive effects and CBD doesn’t.
Potency is a big topic of discussion when comparing CBD vs. THC and looking at the cannabis plant in general.In the traditional cannabis market where people wanted these products to get high, the goal was to use strains of the plant with high levels of THC. However, as cannabis has increasingly become seen as a medicinal option, there is more focus on sourcing strains that are high in CBD and low in THC. Anything over 4% when it comes to CBD is considered high CBD, while when it comes to THC, strains with more than 20% of this component considered high.
Another common question people have when looking at CBD vs. THC, and low THC versus high CBD is whether or not there is CBD in marijuana. While there is CBD in marijuana, most marijuana as we know it is high in THC as well, so it’s going to have a psychoactive effect. There are marijuana products that are low THC and low CBD however.
So, what are the effects of CBD and the benefits of CBD? Are there potential risks of using it? What are the potential therapeutic effects of CBD?
According to the NIH, there are more than 80 active cannabinoid chemicals in the marijuana plant, and CBD is only one of those. However, the NIH confirms that when someone takes CBD, it doesn’t create euphoria or intoxication. This is because CBD doesn’t interact with the CB1 or CB2 receptors in the brain and body. The NIH goes on to say that while there is still the need for in-depth clinical studies regarding the effects of CBD and CBD benefits for specific conditions, preclinical research has shown there may be some positive effects of this substance. The effects of CBD and potential CBD benefits are detailed below.
Anti-Seizure: One of the first ways the concept of CBD benefits came to light in a large-scale way was because of the anti-seizure effects of the substance. There have been quite a few research studies over the past 20 years showing that CBD has the potential to reduce seizure activity, and there is some evidence showing CBD can be used to help treat children who are resistant to epilepsy medicines. Research studies focusing on the antiseizure effects of CBD have been somewhat limited and small thus far, but they do show some benefits.
Anti-inflammatory Effects: Some research has also shown CBD may have neuroprotective properties, meaning CBD benefits could include helping with neurodegenerative diseases. These diseases could include Alzheimer’s, stroke, Parkinson’s, and neurodegeneration caused by alcohol abuse. There is something called nabiximols which contains equal proportions of CBD and THC that’s approved in much of Europe to help treat certain symptoms of MS as well. In the small studies looking at the role of CBD in helping deal with symptoms of diseases like Parkinson’s, its use has been shown to improve quality of life.
Analgesic Effects: Other studies of the effects of CBD and CBD benefits have looked at the substance regarding its potential analgesic effects. It could be helpful to use CBD as a way to treat neuropathic pain and pain from rheumatoid arthritis.
Anti-Psychotic and Anti-Anxiety: When people use marijuana, it increases their chances of chronic psychosis, at least in high doses. There is some belief that the use of CBD could reduce these THC effects. There have also been some clinical trials looking at situations such as patients having Parkinson’s with psychosis who took CBD and got good results from it. One of the biggest reasons people use CBD is also to help with anxiety. There have been research studies that have looked at anxiety and stress in animals and small human tests, and the use of CBD has seemed to reduce anxiety.
Another way the effects of CBD/cannabidiol can be beneficial includes in helping with substance use disorders. There are early findings that show they could help when people are addicted to drugs such as morphine and heroin. While there are potential CBD benefits being looked at, it’s important that people do understand scientific research backing up these effects of CBD is still limited. In terms of looking at the safety of the effects of CBD, according to the NIH while there is limited research, thus far there hasn’t been much evidence of significant adverse effects stemming from its use. At present, research on the effects of CBD is focused on the treatment of substance use disorders, looking at whether it could be helpful to help treat neuropathic pain and looking at the use of CBD as a way to help with seizure disorders.
As was touched on above, one of the primary reasons people use CBD, particularly high CBD strains, is to treat anxiety. Anxiety affects millions of people, and they often don’t want to use traditional pharmaceuticals because of the side effects, the cost or their ineffectiveness. There has been promising research showing that CBD, particularly high CBD strains, may work to help people reduce their symptoms of stress and anxiety, however as with everything else related to CBD, more research will need to be done.
Proponents of using high CBD strains for the treatment of anxiety symptoms say it can help with panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder, PTSD and mild to moderate depression. So why does CBD work on anxiety, and do high CBD strains help anxiety or could they make it worse?
Edible cannabis is one of the active diffusion processes out there. Unlike inhaled cannabis, edible marijuana is metabolized by the liver. Metabolized marijuana indicates that more Cannabinoids are transformed into valuable forms by the body.
When you consume an edible cannabis, the body creates more of specific metabolites of both CBD and THC Cannabinoids. This metabolite are stronger than cannabinoids alone. It also can pass the blood-brain block more efficiently. The efficient passage of such cannabinoid implies that you’ll get one dominant high from an edible.
One research found that up to one hundred percent of certain cannabinoid from a certain marijuana seed strain can be transformed into an active metabolite when consumed orally. Other studies put this number at the half. The research shows why edibles are so much more beneficial and lasting than inhaled cannabis.
Edibles are compact, safe and provide long-lasting effects. Cannabis oil can be ingested or consumed when added to cookies, pastries, candy, cakes, sauces, gravies, salad dressings, and various meals. It can also be concocted into a coffee, beer, tea, or any other refreshment of your choosing.
One advice of discretion for those with limited or no knowledge of edibles is "go easy." Free your schedule and take a low to moderate dose on an empty stomach the first course, so you get your bearings. Because this high is unusual from regular smoking of a seedsman marijuana, it can seldom develop as quite a surprise.
After consuming, it takes one to two hours before the high kicks in. Once it does, it can remain up to five or six hours. Don’t get delusions of going back for seconds too soon because you don’t sense anything right away to kick in. This delusion is a common mistake.
These steps on the way to consume edibles are supposed to assist you in avoiding a negative cannabis experience:
Pay attention to your surroundings
Don’t have a false expectation for your first-time course with an edible. Many people take edibles and instantly want to consume like a belgian chocolate for medication or recreationally. This manner is a dubious proposition as the edibles market is very diverse in its dosing and concentration.
Create an expectation of discovery to your first feed with any new edible. You won’t recognize how it affects your body until you endeavour it. Make sure your surroundings and mental space are ready for a relaxing time, and that you’re in a secure place. It’s also a moral sense not to attempt any new edibles alone.
Fine-tune, begin with a small bite and wait
Most edibles now are marked with information about the cannabis used in edibles such as recipes or ingredients, strain and cannabinoids. Do some simple counting and divide the edible up so that you have approximately ten milligrams per dose, based on the edible’s complete cannabinoid content. If it’s a twenty milligrams (20mg) edible, break off a half. Ingest this much
and wait for an hour to recognize what are the effects. It can take up to a couple of hours for an edible to completely metabolize.
If you are not feeling anything after an hour, wait at least for further Thirty minutes. Then, eat an extra half of what you just had. If you initially ate half of that twenty milligrams edible, break off another half, leaving a quarter of the consumable. Wait another Thirty minutes again. Repeat until you discover a dose that works for you.
Eating edibles gradually has something to do with how our body metabolizes substances, mainly orally. A lot of the active components are used and building up a base level of the content in the body. For example, boiling water: it takes a lot of heat to get it to the boiling point, and later once it starts to evaporate it doesn't take much energy to maintain the reaction. This reaction is the same as the euphoric psychological state as well.
If you don’t sense anything on your initial dose, a lot of the cannabinoids are conditioning your body to a distinct condition. It is likely, "you might require adding fire to raise the temperature a few more degrees". What you need to do is find the precisely right amount to start something out, without boiling over.
Use a weighing scale
Eating in gradual notes a great instruction until the cookie breaks down, which makes it challenging to estimate out how much is adequate. Even you have ended up exaggerating it sometimes. The resolution here is to get a weighing scale precise to a tenth of a gram so that you can weigh how much you are consuming.
If you’re sober at all about responsibly tempering your consciousness, a scale is an excellent investment. This manner is the best way to obtain your edibles content and be able to go back there from time to time reliably again. The weighing scale will pay for itself somewhat instantly as you’ll consume insufficient medicine.
Natalie Gray is a Biochemical Engineer. She works in the Research and Development team that focuses on the design and construction of unit processes. She is a recreational marijuana supporter and her love for organic chemistry brought her to medical cannabis. She grows her own flowers, working on different projects and study everything above and under cannabis roots.
CBD (Cannabidiol) has been around for ages, yet in recent years this cannabinoid found in hemp, cannabis and other plants has attracted quite a bit of attention from the medical community and those seeking out all-natural alternative options for their health.
Taking a regular daily dose of CBD before and during your workday can help keep anxiety and other common stressful moments of the day.
Because CBD is so versatile, companies are taking consumer feedback to heart, releasing new and innovative ways to consume CBD and accompanying products that consumers can use and enjoy.
The most common ways to use CBD are these:
If you’d like to improve your quality of life, wellbeing and achieve much needed relief, consider implementing a CBD-based product or two into your daily life.