The ABC’s of CBD
Even if you’re Jeff Sessions or a Big Pharma exec, you know that CBD is taking the health and wellness world by storm. This article will help CBD newbies and experts alike understand why it provides relief for so many conditions and how to find a good supplier.
Although it’s new to many people today, Cannabis aka “Marijuana” has been used in Chinese medicine since 10,000 BC! How’s that for a track record? And despite whatever propaganda we’ve seen, it has always been safe–unlike synthetic drugs which are killing and poisoning people daily.
In the mid-1960s, western scientists identified CBD and THC — the two main cannabinoids present in the cannabis plant. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is a chemical compound that delivers the “high” that occurs from ingesting cannabis.
CBD, on the other hand, cannot make you psychoactive or “high.” Rather, this compound has much of the non-psychoactive properties of Medical Marijuana. In fact, you can use CBD to counteract THC’s mind-altering effects. Pretty amazing that the plant has a built-in safety mechanism!
Since the 60’s, over 400 individual cannabinoids have been discovered which show great symptom-relieving and disease-fighting abilities. They each have distinctly different effects within the body, and different potential uses for health and disease.
CBD, however, has captured the most attention for its wide-ranging health benefits. At our clinics across Florida we’ve seen thousands of lives positively impacted by this miraculous substance.
- CBD Oil Helps You Sleep
“Almost every clinical study that’s looked at cannabis-based medicines has shown an improvement in sleep. To say otherwise is to be staring in a deep hole — a deep hole of ignorance.” Dr. Ethan Russo, world renowned cannabis researcher.
Sleep disorders are pervasive, and 25%-30% of adults in the US have a disorder that results in some impact on their lifespan and overall health. From jet lag, restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, narcolepsy to the most common — insomnia — our ability to get a good night’s sleep can be challenging.
Anxiety, stress, and depression are some of the most common causes of chronic insomnia. The majority of us have trouble sleeping sometimes. This is even more likely, though, if you have PTSD. Trouble sleeping and nightmares are two symptoms of PTSD.
And honestly, in these uncertain and stressful times, most of us probably fall somewhere on the PTSD spectrum. You don’t have to have fought in a war to suffer from the traumas of modern day life.
Enter CBD Oil.
Again, CBD Oil will not get you high! It is as safe as the Omega 3 Oil or other health supplements that you might take. But it packs an incredibly powerful punch when it comes to sleep disorders.
In one study, scientists found in healthy volunteers with regular sleep cycles, 600 mg of CBD induced sedative effects, whereas in subjects with insomnia, daily use of CBD (160 mg/day) was associated with an increase in total sleep time and less frequent awakenings. Daily CBD doses of 40, 80, or 160 mg were shown to reduce dream recall and did not cause ‘hangover’ effects compared to placebo. (Nicholson AN, Turner C, Stone BM, Robson PJ. Effect of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol on nocturnal sleep and earlymorning behavior in young adults. Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 2004)
More recently, a study in 2014 investigated the effects of daily doses of CBD (75–300 mg per day for 6 weeks) in patients with Parkinson’s disease and found a reduction in symptoms of REM sleep behavior disorder. After discontinuation of the drug, the frequency of symptoms returned to baseline levels, prior to treatment with CBD. (Cannabidiol can improve complex sleep-related behaviours associated with rapid eye movement sleep behaviour disorder in Parkinson’s disease patients: a case series, Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 2014, NIH).
This has big implications in the treatment of PTSD, as a reduction in REM sleep reduces the nightmares associated with this condition.
Similarly, CBD-enriched extract was described as a safe treatment for reducing anxiety and improving sleep in a young girl with post-traumatic stress disorder. (Effectiveness of Cannabidiol Oil for Pediatric Anxiety and Insomnia as Part of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Case Report. Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Fall 2016)
Other studies investigating cannabinoids and obstructive sleep apnea suggest that synthetic cannabinoids such as nabilone and dronabinol may have short-term benefit for sleep apnea due to their corrective effects on serotonin-influenced apneas. “CBD may hold promise for REM sleep behavior disorder and excessive daytime sleepiness, while nabilone may reduce nightmares associated with PTSD and may improve sleep among patients with chronic pain.” (Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature, Current Psychiatry Reports, April 2017)
- CBD Oil Provides Anxiety Relief
The scientific evidence for CBD’s ability to quell anxiety, dampen psychosis, and lift the mood is inconsistent at the moment, although the National Institute on Drug Abuse is optimistic: “CBD has shown therapeutic efficacy in a range of animal models of anxiety and stress, reducing both behavioral and physiological (e.g., heart rate) measures of stress and anxiety.”
In this study, Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naïve social phobia patients. (Neuropsychopharmacology, May 2011, NIH), scientists monitoring the anxiety levels of volunteers with Social Anxiety Disorder who had to give a mock public speech found that only one 600 mg dose of CBD significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment and discomfort in their speech performance, and significantly decreased alert in their anticipatory speech. In fact, the study found that the high levels of anxiety experienced by the placebo group were almost abolished in the CBD group.
“I think there’s good evidence to suggest that CBD could be an effective treatment of anxiety, addiction and other disorders,” says Dr. Esther Blessing, a psychiatrist and researcher at New York University. “These results suggest that CBD reduces anxiety in SAD and that this is related to its effects on activity in limbic and paralimbic brain areas.”
Now, with funding from the National Institutes of Health, Blessing and group of collaborators are about to begin a clinical trial to test whether CBD can help people with post-traumatic stress disorder who also have moderate or severe alcohol use disorder.
During the study, 50 participants with PTSD coexisting with alcohol use disorder will be given either 400 milligrams of CBD daily, or a placebo. The goal is to see if the participants who take CBD end up drinking less and whether this leads to an improvement in PTSD symptoms.
And because anxiety and PTSD are often comorbid with addiction and substance abuse, another Phase 2 clinical trial is exploring whether CBD might help prevent relapse in opioid abusers by reducing cravings for the drug. The study is led by Yasmin Hurd, a neuroscientist who directs the Addiction Institute at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
Hurd has been trying to rally other top scientists to study CBD’s effects and potential benefits in the treatment of substance abuse.
It may seem counterintuitive that a component of marijuana could be useful in treating addiction to another drug. But using CBD is very different from using marijuana in the mainstream view of getting high. Though CBD is extracted from cannabis, it does not lead to altered perception and cognition.
In a recent study linking the two conditions, Cannabidiol regulation of emotion and emotional memory processing: relevance for treating anxiety-related and substance abuse disorders. (British Journal of Pharmacology, Oct 2017, NIH), scientists found:
“Studies show that cannabidiol, the main non-psychotomimetic phytocannabinoid found in Cannabis sativa, reduces anxiety via 5-HT1A and (indirect) cannabinoid receptor activation in paradigms assessing innate responses to threat. There is also accumulating evidence from animal studies investigating the effects of cannabidiol on fear memory processing indicating that it reduces learned fear in paradigms that are translationally relevant to phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder. Cannabidiol does so by reducing fear expression acutely and by disrupting fear memory reconsolidation and enhancing fear extinction, both of which can result in a lasting reduction of learned fear. Recent studies have also begun to elucidate the effects of cannabidiol on drug memory expression using paradigms with translational relevance to addiction. The findings suggest that cannabidiol reduces the expression of drug memories acutely and by disrupting their reconsolidation.”
Once again, the use of CBD to treat the precursors to our current scourge of addiction is a huge deal and must be further investigated to help end this heartbreaking epidemic.
- CBD Oil is an Anti-inflammatory and Fights Oxidative Stress
CBD can be looked upon as one of the most efficient anti-inflammatory substances available! It even beats out traditional options such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Omega 3 supplements! Government sponsored research undertaken in 1998 bore out this discovery and led to a federal patent on both THC and CBD.
“Cannabidiol (CBD) was more protective against glutamate neurotoxicity than either ascorbate (Vitamin C) or alpha-tocopherol (Vitamin E), indicating it to be a potent antioxidant. These data also suggest that the naturally occurring, nonpsychotropic cannabinoid, cannabidiol, may be a potentially useful therapeutic agent for the treatment of oxidative neurological disorders such as cerebral ischemia.” Cannabidiol and (-)Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol are neuroprotective antioxidants (Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Regulation, National Institutes of Mental Health, 1998)
According to a more recent cannabis related study published by the National Institutes of Health, it is now understood that cannabinoids exert anti-inflammatory properties as they go the extra mile in reducing the activity of the pathway most important to the inflammatory process. (Anti-inflammatory Properties of Cannabidiol, a Nonpsychotropic Cannabinoid, in Experimental Allergic Contact Dermatitis, The Journal of Pharamcology and Experimental Therapeutics, June 2018, NIH).
Furthermore, cannabinoids help stop inflammation as they contain beta-carophyllene, a terpene found in a variety of plants which are used for inflammatory diets.
Cannabidiol as an emergent therapeutic strategy for lessening the impact of inflammation on oxidative stress. (Free Radical Biology & Medicine, Sep 2011)
“However, growing evidence suggests that the endocannabinoid system, which includes the CB₁ and CB₂ G-protein-coupled receptors and their endogenous lipid ligands, may be an area that is ripe for therapeutic exploitation. In this context, the related nonpsychotropic cannabinoid cannabidiol, which may interact with the endocannabinoid system but has actions that are distinct, offers promise as a prototype for anti-inflammatory drug development. This review discusses recent studies suggesting that cannabidiol may have utility in treating a number of human diseases and disorders now known to involve activation of the immune system and associated oxidative stress, as a contributor to their etiology and progression. These include rheumatoid arthritis, types 1 and 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer disease, hypertension, the metabolic syndrome, ischemia-reperfusion injury, depression, and neuropathic pain.”
And in this study, Cannabidiol reduces intestinal inflammation through the control of neuroimmune axis. (Plos One, 2011, NIH) CBD was found to be a “new” therapeutic strategy to treat inflammatory bowel diseases.
- CBD Oil Lowers Blood pressure
According to an abstract from the, “Journal of Clinical Investigation,” Cannabidiol (CBD) was found to have numerous cardiovascular benefits, including a reduced blood pressure (BP) response to stress.
Nine healthy male volunteers were given 600 mg of CBD or placebo in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study.
“Our data show that a single dose of CBD reduces resting blood pressure and the blood pressure response to stress, particularly cold stress, and especially in the post-test periods. This may reflect the anxiolytic and analgesic effects of CBD, as well as any potential direct cardiovascular effects. … Further research is also required to establish whether CBD has any role in the treatment of cardiovascular disorders such as a hypertension.”
And further from the same study, A single dose of cannabidiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study (Journal of Clinical Investigation, June 2017):
“These findings build upon previous research that shows CBD is a vasodilator, which means it makes your arteries and blood vessels wider, allowing for greater blood flow with less pressure. There is a growing body of medical research showing that CBD’s neuroprotective effects are beneficial with cardiovascular diseases, especially in recovery from stroke and heart attack.”
- CBD Oil Regulates Blood sugar
CBD Oil is showing huge promise in treating blood sugar disorders, especially diabetes — another growing epidemic. This also has implications for diabetic complications and cardiovascular health.
The Impact of Marijuana Use on Glucose, Insulin, and Insulin Resistance among US Adults. (The American Journal of Medicine, July 2013) We found that marijuana use was associated with lower levels of fasting insulin and HOMA-IR, and smaller waist circumference.
Cannabidiol attenuates cardiac dysfunction, oxidative stress, fibrosis, and inflammatory and cell death signaling pathways in diabetic cardiomyopathy. (Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Dec 2010) Ralph Mechoulam. Remarkably, CBD attenuated myocardial dysfunction, cardiac fibrosis, oxidative/nitrative stress, inflammation, cell death, and interrelated signaling pathways. Furthermore, CBD also attenuated the high glucose-induced increased reactive oxygen species generation, nuclear factor-κB activation, and cell death in primary human cardiomyocytes. Collectively, these results coupled with the excellent safety and tolerability profile of CBD in humans, strongly suggest that it may have great therapeutic potential in the treatment of diabetic complications, and perhaps other cardiovascular disorders, by attenuating oxidative/nitrative stress, inflammation, cell death and fibrosis.
Cannabidiol lowers incidence of diabetes in non-obese diabetic mice. (Autoimmunity, June 2006) We now report that CBD treatment significantly reduces the incidence of diabetes in NOD mice from an incidence of 86% in non-treated control mice to an incidence of 30% in CBD-treated mice.
ISA Scientific, an Israeli company, recently signed a worldwide collaboration and licensing deal to establish therapies containing CBD.
In a statement, ISA Scientific Chief Executive Officer Mark J. Rosenfeld said: “The licensing agreement is very well timed because our Phase 1 clinical trials on dosing and safety are now underway in Israel, and arrangements for Phase 2 trials on treating diabetes and chronic pain are in process.”
“Unlike insulin and other existing medications for diabetes, CBD may actually suppress, reverse and perhaps cure the disease,” Rosenfeld added.
- CBD Oil Fights Cancer
This is some of the most exciting research and anecdotal evidence emerging in the Medical Marijuana movement…Is marijuana not only effective in reducing the side effects of cancer such as pain, nausea and wasting…but could it also possibly be an important component of curing it?
We know from both lab testing, where Medical Marijuana and specifically the cannabinoids THC and CBD, and in tests in animals, that they were shown to have antitumourigenic properties. In other words, they inhibited the growth of tumors in five key ways:
CBD and THC
- hasten cell death or apoptosis.
- stop cancer cells from proliferating.
- reduce the ability of cancer cells to stick to other cells.
- cut off cancer cells nutrient sources by inhibiting angiogenesis (the development of new blood vessels).
- halt metastasis.
In this study, Cannabidiol inhibits angiogenesis by multiple mechanisms (British Journal of Pharmacology, Nov 2012) scientists concluded unequivocally that “CBD inhibits angiogenesis by multiple mechanisms. Its dual effect on both tumour and endothelial cells supports the hypothesis that CBD has potential as an effective agent in cancer therapy.”
This is huge! CBD has been shown to effectively starve the cancer cells which form tumors! Unfortunately, there have been no human trials as of yet because of the government’s militant stance — we kind of get tired of repeating this — yet many brave doctors, scientists and activists have been carrying the torch for decades.
Rick Simpson, Dr. Ethan Russo, Justin Kander, Dr. Jeffrey Hergenrather, Mara Gordon, Prof. Donald I. Abrams MD…the entire country of Israel…and so many others including our own Dr. Hashim are tirelessly presenting evidence and case studies from their own practices and observations.
Dosing regimens vary according to your specific diagnosis, genomic profile and sensitivity to THC but most doctors recommend a high dose combination of THC/CBD for cancer eradication with a maintenance program consisting of high daily doses of CBD Oil.
We encourage you to further educate yourself and decide if CBD Oil will become one of your most powerful health allies.