What is CBD?
CBD is simply short for “cannabidiol”, the second-most abundant cannabinoid molecule produced by the cannabis or hemp plant. The most abundant molecule, of course, being THC: the psychoactive chemical famous for making users feel “high” (CBD does not have this effect). Keep in mind that your body already has an endocannabinoid system, an extremely important molecular system that your body uses to regulate and perform various critical functions. CBD binds to receptors in this system; our bodies were designed to interface with cannabinoids from the very beginning — we even naturally produce them!
How does CBD work?
As we stated earlier, your body already has a wildly complex endocannabinoid system that affects several different areas and functions. That system is rife with “receptors,” sites that await cannabinoid molecules presence. When the cannabinoid nears, the receptor will bind it to itself, creating a sophisticated chemical interaction that modern science is only just beginning to scratch the surface of understanding.
Unlike its sister molecule THC, CBD does not make you feel high — but don’t think that a lack of psychoactive or intoxicating effect means that nothing is occurring. On the contrary, it’s very clear that there are many chemical responses that occur when CBD binds to those cannabinoid receptors. That being said, the endocannabinoid system is ubiquitous in the human body, affecting nearly all major functions in some way (especially homeostatic regulation). Because of this, it’s quite a task to discern everything that CBD does, exactly, when the binding occurs. That’s where the research is at right now: trying to solve that very mystery.
Again, CBD is not psychoactive, meaning it does not produce a “high” or change a person’s state of mind.
What are the benefits of CBD?
In the United States, CBD oil has varying legality across different states and at a federal level, yet it currently has a range of applications and promising possibilities. People have used CBD traditionally used for thousands of years to treat various types of pain, but the medical community have only recently begun to study it again. Here are some of the possible benefits of CBD oil:
- Relief from arthritis pain
- Relief from multiple sclerosis
- Relief from chronic pain
- Smoking cessation and drug withdrawal
- Treating seizures and epilepsy
- Anxiety treatment
- Reducing some of the effects of Alzheimer’s, as shown by initial research
- Antipsychotic effects on people with schizophrenia
- Future applications in combating acne, type 1 diabetes, and cancer
CBD and PTSD Case Studies
How to use CBD for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
A 2012 study investigated the anti-anxiety actions of CBD administration in a model of PTSD that was simulated by being exposed to a predator. The study found that “Repeated CBD administration prevents the long-lasting anxiogenic effects observed after predator exposure probably by facilitating 5HT1A receptors neurotransmission. Our results suggest that CBD has beneficial potential for PTSD treatment and that 5HT1A receptors could be a therapeutic target in this disorder.”
Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22979992
A 2012 medical review presents a “case report of a 19-year-old male patient with a spectrum of severe PTSD symptoms, such as intense flashbacks, panic attacks, and self-mutilation, who discovered that some of his major symptoms were dramatically reduced by smoking cannabis resin…This review shows that recent studies provided supporting evidence that PTSD patients may be able to cope with their symptoms by using cannabis products. Cannabis may dampen the strength or emotional impact of traumatic memories through synergistic mechanisms that might make it easier for people with PTSD to rest or sleep and to feel less anxious and less involved with flashback memories. The presence of endocannabinoid signalling systems within stress-sensitive nuclei of the hypothalamus, as well as upstream limbic structures (amygdala), point to the significance of this system for the regulation of neuroendocrine and behavioural responses to stress. Evidence is increasingly accumulating that cannabinoids might play a role in fear extinction and antidepressive effects.”
Learn more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22736575
A 2016 study evaluated the effects of CBD on contextual fear memory extinction. The study concluded that, “CBD both acutely inhibited fear expression and enhanced extinction to produce longer lasting reductions in fear. These observations provide further support for the potential translational use of CBD in conditions such as posttraumatic stress disorder and specific phobias.”
CBD and Epilepsy Case Study
CBD and Treatment-Resistant Seizures
Authors: G. Pesántez-Ríos, L. Armijos-Acurio, R. Jimbo-Sotomayor, S.I. Pascual-Pascual, G. Pesántez-Cuesta
Study Parameters and Results
A group of 15 patients who received CBD over a period ranging from one month to one year were surveyed to gather various data. The researchers sought information about the patient and the caregiver, changes observed in the seizures, neuropsychological effects, side effects and the family’s overall perception following the use of cannabidiol. This simple observational study identified some very encouraging findings:
- Frequency of seizures: Decreased in 40% of patients, disappeared completely in 27% of patients.
- Level of patient-control over seizures: 60% of patients were able to control 50% of their seizures.
- Neurocognitive changes: Many patients experienced improvements in behavior, language, sleep, and eating habits. Moreover, 100% of the patients reported that their mood had improved after the use of CBD.
- Side effects: Most common were drowsiness and fatigue.
The impact of this study could be far-reaching both for patients with refractory epilepsy as well as patients with epilepsy who feel compelled to try other treatment methods.
CBD and High Blood Pressure Case Study
Does CBD Reduce High Blood Pressure?
Authors: Khalid A. Jadoon, Garry D. Tan, and Saoirse E. O’Sullivan
High blood pressure is a globally ubiquitous issue. This study explores the connection between CBD and a reduction in blood pressure. It is particularly unique as it is noted that “there are no dedicated studies in humans to date, to our knowledge, looking at the effect of CBD on either resting cardiovascular measurement or on the responses to stress, with continuous monitoring of CV parameters.”
In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study, nine healthy male volunteers were given either 600 mg of CBD or a placebo. They were then monitored for changes in their cardiovascular system.
Using stress tests, such as math without a calculator, cardiovascular outputs were monitored. The study found that CBD reduced resting systolic blood pressure and stroke volume. It also “blunted the blood pressure response to stress[….]”
High blood pressure has a multitude of potential treatments, including diet and exercise. This study essentially adds CBD to the list. The data from this research is also important as information for potential side-effects of CBD.
How to use CBD and what we offer:
There are a few ways that you can use CBD oil for pain. Here’s a breakdown of what’s currently available and can be used orally or topically for pain relief:
The most effective CBD oils are full spectrum, which means that they include all compounds found naturally in the plant, including the cannabinoids (with trace amounts of THC), terpenes and essential oils. You can find CBD oils in a bottle with a dropper. This allows you to ingest the oil by placing it under your tongue, letting it sit for about 15 seconds and then swallowing it.
Tinctures are another popular way to use CBD, likely because you can easily gauge exactly how much cannabidiol you are ingesting, like CBD oil. A tincture is usually extracted with alcohol or another solvent. With a tincture, you use a dropper and place the drops under your tongue. Sometimes, manufacturers will use carrier oils, natural flavors or fatty oils in their tinctures.
CBD capsules can be taken orally with water. You’ll be able to find CBD capsules in a range of doses, typically in amounts of 10–40 milligrams. Capsules can be taken once to three times daily, depending on your severity of pain.
CBD powder can be added to smoothies, juices, water or any type of beverage. Check the label for dosage instructions.
Topical salves, lotions and gels containing CBD are available and can be applied directly to areas of pain, such as the lower back, neck, knees, hands and feet. Read the product label for directions and potency.
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