CBD 101: How Does It Work?

Author Article

As many of you might already know, CBD oil is a miracle, anti-inflammatory drug that is, according to user reports, able to cure or at least alleviate certain symptoms and conditions, such as muscle and joint pain, as well as anxiety. Nevertheless, it seems that we still don’t know which exact medical issues it can cure.

So how can we then know if it works or not? Well, even though CBD is still quite mysterious, science has determined how it can affect the brain. What’s more, scientists believe in its positive effects. Thus, we can use that knowledge to determine how it can be used for medical purposes.

How CBD affects the human body

CBD, just like all other cannabinoids, actually attaches itself to the brain’s endocannabinoid system. The two important types of receptors we should remember here are CB1 and CB2.

THC usually binds to both of these receptors, which affect various bodily functions that medical marijuana may treat. In fact, the “high” feeling we get after using psychoactive marijuana products is due to the neurotransmitters that the CB1 receptors release.

Meanwhile, CBD also attaches itself to those same receptors, but its MO is a bit different. It can reduce inflammation, pain and even manage our body temperature. Once it finds itself in the brain, it stimulates other receptors, including:

  • Serotonin receptors — these alleviate depression symptoms and regulate our mood
  • Adenosine receptor — does wonders for our heart and bone health
  • Capsaicin receptor — the same receptor that’s at play when we eat spicy food.

Now, we know what everyone’s thinking: can we get high from CBD? The answer is — no. In fact, once our bodies start breaking it down, it becomes a FAAH inhibitor, short for fatty acid amide hydrolase.

Since CBD can inhibit the activity of the said enzyme and block it, it will essentially disrupt CB1 receptors, which may bring about various health benefits. As a result, the non-psychoactive CBD can squash the “high” most of us feel when we ingest THC.

So will it help us cure our health problems or not?

No one is 100% sure whether CBD has real health benefits, but we do have some user reports and studies. These suggest it can alleviate or possibly even cure certain conditions.

For example, people with epilepsy can use CBD to keep their seizures under control, and the same goes for those who have arthritis. Arthritis patients could benefit from a CBD tincture or a topical product, although results are still inconclusive.

In addition, one study even said that this compound could help addicts, especially those who are addicted to nicotine. If a cigarette addict turns to a CBD inhaler, it will smoke 40% fewer cigarettes, all because of the effect CBD has on CB1 receptors. The study also suggests it can even help animals get over addictive behavior, especially in the case of drugs such as methamphetamine, which are harder to shake off.

Mental health

We’ve seen that CBD may cure physical conditions, but when it comes to mental health, we still don’t understand its effects fully. However, some users say it has helped them with their focus, depression and even anxiety, lowering the overall pressure they usually feel and the risk of experiencing side effects that come with prescription pills.

Nevertheless, not all doctors are convinced in CBD’s superpowers. Some say that patients should try it and see if it works for them. Others, however, are wary and need more proof of its success. Yet, what’s certain is that, if one wants to try it, they have to get it from a reputable manufacturer. Otherwise, even the effects we are aware of might not happen, and we might even endanger our health.

Cannabis Cafes are Popping Up Across the Country

Author Article

On April 10, 2018, Eric Cahan and his friends started the art café Mamacha in East Village, Manhattan. Ten days later Mamacha decided to include cannabidiol (CBD) in their drinks to celebrate 420, a unique and famous holiday to celebrate marijuana and the culture around it.

The marijuana theme started to attract customers to the café, and a lot of people are waiting outside of the door in a line. Mamacha’s business was booming during that day.

Cahan and his business partners realized that it could be an opportunity to keep their business successful. They tried to learn all that they can about cannabidiol. Soon, the Mamacha café incorporated CBD into its drinks. It also sells tinctures, curated oils, and other products to its customers.

Mamacha owes half of its total sales to its CBD products and beverages. The other half of the sales come from coffee and matcha drinks. The art café is making a move to introduce “functional elixirs” that will have positive effects on a person’s sleeping problems, inability to focus, and pain.

A phytocannabinoids found in cannabis plants contains the benefits of marijuana like inducing tranquility and sleepiness without registering the high feeling THC can give. Many companies are starting to get into the CBD-mania by adding the compound to just about everything. The trend will grow at an increasing rate as interests grow and rules on CBD use start to ease.

CBD BECOMES LEGAL
President Trump’s decision to sign the farm bill makes CBD legal. Companies are adding the compound to drinks, supplements, and food despite knowing that it is still awaiting approval. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is starting to make plans to enforce the ban while trying to find a new way for the products with CBD to arrive on the market.

Research company Brightfield Group predicts that the CBD market will reach about $22 billion after three years. A lot of CBD users shares that the compound helps ease pain or lessen anxiety. Some people believe that it makes it easier for them to sleep. The list of CBD users is starting to include pets and mothers.

While a majority of users stand by the benefits of CBD, it has yet to be proven scientifically. CBD products have yet to receive regulation, which means that the quality of products varies.

John Hopkins professor Ryan Vandrey is studying cannabis’ behavioral pharmacology. Vandrey believes that the interest that CBD is garnering is making people push the product forcefully while concluding its benefits without proper studies.

LACK OF EVIDENCE
Psychological and Brain Sciences professor Ken Mackie of Indiana University shares that the precise effect of how CBD interacts with the body and the brain remains uncertain. Mackie also adds that researches are leaning towards CBD having the ability to lessen abnormal signaling in a person’s brain. The finding can help explain how CBD is giving people the idea that it mitigates suffering from sleep problems, depression, anxiety, and epilepsy.

Compounds like ketamine, nicotine, and opioids turn systems in the body on and off. Cannabis compounds like CBD tweak the systems, which Mackie believes is a process that is comparable to lower their volume.

Studying cannabis remains a problematic field because federal law still maintains that it is illegal. There are not a lot of clinical studies about the safety of using CBD as well as its effects. Researchers struggle to conduct proper research for CBD without breaking any law, which makes it harder for them to prove anecdotal evidence that the compound is helping people with pain, sleep, and anxiety.

The Epidiolex, a formulation of CBD, is taking strides in the medical market after the FDA approved its use on patients suffering from Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Dravet syndrome is an uncommon genetic condition that shows up mostly among infants. Symptoms of Dravet syndrome include fever and different types of severe seizures. Dravet syndrome patients experience poor development in motor skills and language. Lennox-Gastaut syndrome patients have intellectual disability starting at ages three to five.

Epidiolex helps treat or lessen epilepsy, returning children suffering from Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome back to normal function. According to studies, Epidiolex will provide an essential improvement to the approach of therapy and treatment for people with the said conditions. The substance is already legal in 29 US States as well as Guam and Puerto Rico. GW Pharma studied the effects of Epidiolex in clinical trials, which provides proper evidence of its benefits for the FDA to proceed with its approval.

Cannabis and Pain

Author Article

This could be the delicious anti-inflammatory treat you’ve been looking for.

Cannabis and Pain

For more than 20 percent of Americans, chronic pain is part of daily life. Many aren’t getting the relief they need.

Pain treatments have been typically limited to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and opioid medications, which carry the risk of addiction. Both have risks of side effects. With opioids frequently in the headlines, many people with chronic pain can’t get access to the medication they depend on to get through the day without intense pain.

As a possible alternative to long-term opioid use for chronic pain, many people are turning to cannabis. Cannabis has a long history of medical use and is especially effective in the treatment of pain.

Cannabidiol (CBD) has gained mainstream attention for its effectiveness in treating a number of conditions including pain, both acute and chronic.

Combining CBD and THC

In states where medical marijuana is legal, a combination of CBD and THC can be used for pain to great effect, and is more potent than when CBD is used alone. The complementary nature of the compounds is known as the entourage effect.

Best 3 Recommended CBD Oils

If medical marijuana isn’t available legally in your state, you might still be able to find relief from chronic or acute pain by using hemp-derived CBD.

CBD extracts are available in multiple forms, but the most popular is an oil base. CBD oils can be mixed into many different recipes for ingestion or added to lotions, massage oils, or balms at different concentrations to match your need.

Below are CBD oils recommended by Green Flower Media and CannaInsider:

CBD Mango Smoothie Recipe for Pain Relief

Author and cannabis advocate Sandra Hinchcliffe shares a favorite smoothie recipe from her forthcoming book “CBD Every Day.”

CBD oil is mixed with mango and orange juice for a refreshing drink to ease your aches and pains.

Research has shown that mango can heighten the effects of cannabinoids because they share a compound called myrcene which is a terpene found in both cannabis and mango.

The result? A more effective, longer-lasting experience.

Citrus fruits also contain a large quantity of antioxidants, giving them anti-inflammatory properties. That makes this smoothie the perfect vehicle for your pain-relieving CBD oil dose.

Sandra’s Mango Canna-Booster Smoothie

Serves: 2 smoothies (8 oz each)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh-squeezed blood orange juice, room temperature (you can substitute any fresh-squeezed orange juice)
  • ⅓ cup fresh coconut milk
  • Preferred or specific dose of CBD oil
  • 2 large or 3 medium mangoes, sliced and partially frozen
  • ½ cup ice

Directions

  1. To a blender, add the orange juice, coconut milk, and CBD oil. Blend until creamy.
  2. Add the frozen mango and ice into the blender. Blend until icy and creamy.
  3. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Even if marijuana is legal in your state, it continues to be illegal under federal law. While there are some claims that CBD derived from hemp (rather than a cannabis plant) is legal in all 50 states, other reports point out legality isn’t so straightforward. We suggest checking your state’s laws regarding CBD oil.

Kristi is a freelance writer and mother who spends most of her time caring for people other than herself. She’s frequently exhausted and compensates with an intense caffeine addiction. Find her on Twitter.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.

CBD Oil for Depression, Schizophrenia, ADHD, PTSD, Anxiety, Bipolar & More

Psych Central Article Here
By John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

You can extract more than 70 different components from a marijuana plant, technically known as cannabis sativa. Two of the most common constituents are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (known colloquially as THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

Because CBD is not as regulated as THC (though it may be technically illegal under federal laws), nor does it provide any accompanying “high” as THC does, it has become increasingly marketed as a cure-all for virtually any ailment. You can now find CBD oil products online to treat everything from back pain and sleep problems, to anxiety and mental health concerns.

How effective is CBD oil in the treatment of mental disorder symptoms?

Unlike it’s sister THC, CBD doesn’t have any of the associated negative side effects of tolerance or withdrawal (Loflin et al., 2017). CBD is derived from the cannabis plant, and shouldn’t be confused with synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists like K2 or spice.

Because of its relatively benign nature and more lax legal status, CBD has been more widely studied by researchers in both animals and humans. As researchers Campos et al. (2016) noted, “The investigation of the possible positive impact of CBD in neuropsychiatric disorders began in the 1970s. After a slow progress, this subject has been showing an exponential growth in the last decade.”

Research has shown that CBD oil may be effective as a treatment for a variety of conditions and health concerns. Scientific studies demonstrate the effectiveness of CBD to help relieve some of the symptoms associated with: glaucoma, epilepsy, pain, inflammation, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Alzheimer’s. It appears to help some people with gut diseases, such as gastric ulcers, Crohn’s disease, and irritable bowel syndrome as well (Maurya & Velmurugan, 2018).

You can find low-end and high-end CBD oil products. The most popular CBD oil product on Amazon.com retails for around $25 and contains only 250 mg of CBD extract.

ADHD

In a pilot randomized placebo-controlled study of adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a positive effect was only found on the measurements of hyperactivity and impulsivity, but not on the measurement of attention and cognitive performance (Poleg et al., 2019). The treatment used was a 1:1 ratio of THC:CBD, one of the common CBD treatments being studied along with CBD oil on its own. This finding suggests more research is needed before using CBD oil for help with ADHD symptoms.

Anxiety

There are a number of studies that have found that CBD reduces self-reported anxiety and sympathetic arousal in non-clinical populations (those without a mental disorder). Research also suggests it may reduce anxiety that was artificially induced in an experiment with patients with social phobia, according to Loflin et al. (2017).

Depression

A review of the literature published in 2017 (Loflin et al.) could find no study that examined CBD as a treatment for depression specifically. A mouse study the researchers examined found that mice treated with CBD acted in a way similar to the way they acted after receiving an antidepressant medication. Therefore, there is virtually little to no research support for the use of CBD oil as a treatment for depression.

Sleep

Loflin et al. (2017) only found a single CBD study conducted on sleep quality:

Specifically, 40, 80, and 160 mg CBD capsules were administered to 15 individuals with insomnia. Results suggested that 160 mg CBD was associated with an overall improvement in self-reported sleep quality.

PTSD

There are two human trials currently underway that are examining the impact of both THC and CBD on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. One is entitled Study of Four Different Potencies of Smoked Marijuana in 76 Veterans With PTSD and the second is entitled Evaluating Safety and Efficacy of Cannabis in Participants With Chronic Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. The first study is expected to be completed this month, while the second should be completed by year’s end. It can take up to a year (or more) after a study has been completed before its results are published in a journal.

Bipolar Disorder & Mania

The depressive episode of bipolar disorder has already been covered in the depression section (above). What about CBD oil’s impact on bipolar disorder’s manic or hypomanic episodes?

Sadly, this has not yet been studied. What has been studied is cannabis use on the effect of bipolar disorder symptoms. More than 70 percent of people with bipolar disorder have reported trying cannabis, and around 30 percent use it regularly. However, such regular use is associated with earlier onset of bipolar disorder, poorer outcomes, and fluctuations in a person’s cycling patterns and severity of manic or hypomanic episodes (Bally et al., 2014).

More research is needed to see whether supplementing CBD oil might help alleviate some of the negative impact of cannabis use. And additional research is needed to examine whether CBD oil on its own might provide some benefits to people with bipolar disorder.

Schizophrenia

Compared to the general population, individuals with schizophrenia are twice as likely to use cannabis. This tends to result in a worsening in psychotic symptoms in most people. It can also increase relapse and result in poorer treatment outcomes (Osborne et al., 2017). CBD has been shown to help alleviate the worse symptoms produced by THC in some research.

In a review of CBD research to date on its impact on schizophrenia, Osborne and associates (2017) found:

In conclusion, the studies presented in the current review demonstrate that CBD has the potential to limit delta-9-THC-induced cognitive impairment and improve cognitive function in various pathological conditions.

Human studies suggest that CBD may have a protective role in delta-9-THC-induced cognitive impairments; however, there is limited human evidence for CBD treatment effects in pathological states (e.g. schizophrenia).

In short, they found that CBD may help alleviate the negative impact of a person with schizophrenia from taking cannabis, both in the psychotic and cognitive symptoms associated with schizophrenia. They did not find, however, any positive use of CBD alone in the treatment of schizophrenia symptoms.

Improved Thinking and Memory

There is little to no scientific evidence that CBD oil has any beneficial impact on cognitive function or memory in healthy people:

“Importantly, studies generally show no impact of CBD on cognitive function in a ‘healthy’ model, that is, outside drug-induced or pathological states (Osborne et al., 2017).”

If you’re taking CBD oil to help you study or for some other cognitive reason, chances are you’re experiencing a placebo effect.

CBD Summary

As you can see, CBD research is still in its early stages for many mental health concerns. There is limited support for the use of CBD oil for some mental disorders. Some disorders, including autism and anorexia, have had little research done to see whether CBD might help with the associated symptoms.

One of the interesting findings from research to date is that the dosing found to have some possible beneficial effects in research tends to be much higher than what is found in products typically sold to consumers today. For instance, most over-the-counter CBD oils and supplements are in bottles that contain a total of 250 to 1000 mg.

But the science suggests that an effective daily treatment dose might be anywhere from 30 to 160 mg, depending on the symptoms a person is seeking to alleviate.

This suggests that the way most people are using CBD oil today is not likely to be clinically effective. Instead, at doses of just 2 to 10 mg per day, people are likely mostly benefiting from a placebo effect of these oils and supplements.

Before starting or trying any type of supplement — including CBD oil or other CBD products — please first consult your prescribing physician or psychiatrist. CBD may interact with psychiatric medications in a way that is unintended and could cause negative side effects or health problems.

We also do not really understand the long-term effects and impact of CBD oil use on a daily basis over the course of years, as such longitudinal research simply hasn’t yet been done. There have been some reported negative side effects experienced in the use of cannabis, but it’s hard to generalize such research findings to CBD alone.

In short, CBD shows promise in helping to alleviate some symptoms of some mental disorders. Much of the human-based research is still in its infancy, however, but early signs are promising.

 

For further information

Reason Magazine: Is CBD a Miracle Cure or a Marketing Scam? (Both.)

Thanks to Elsevier’s ScienceDirect service in providing access to the primary research necessary to write this article.

 

References

Bally, N., Zullino, D, Aubry, JM. (2014). Cannabis use and first manic episode. Journal of Affective Disorders, 165, 103-108.

Campos, AC., Fogaça, M.V., Sonego, A.B., & Guimarães, F.S. (2016). Cannabidiol, neuroprotection and neuropsychiatric disorders. Pharmacological Research, 112, 119-127.

Loflin, MJE, Babson, K.A., & Bonn-Miller, M.O. (2017). Cannabinoids as therapeutic for PTSD
Current Opinion in Psychology, 14, 78-83.

Maurya, N. & Velmurugan, B.K. (2018). Therapeutic applications of cannabinoids. Chemico-Biological Interactions, 293, 77-88.

Osborne, A.L., Solowij, N., & Weston-Green, K. (2017). A systematic review of the effect of cannabidiol on cognitive function: Relevance to schizophrenia. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 72, 310-324.

Poleg, S., Golubchik, P., Offen, D., & Weizman, A. (2019). Cannabidiol as a suggested candidate for treatment of autism spectrum disorder. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 89, 90-96.