CBD OIL (CANNABIDIOL)
Cannabidiol (CBD) is emerging as a powerful supplement, a safe anti-inflammatory that can help several previously untreatable diseases. CBD oil can help fight cancer and irritable bowel disease, improve schizophrenia symptoms, relieve anxiety and help you get more sleep.
WHAT IS CBD?
CBD is short for Cannabidiol which is a type of Cannabinoids chemical compounds unique to cannabis. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is also a cannabinoid, but known for its psychoactive effects leading to addiction and side effects.
It is very interesting that human body naturally produces cannabinoids (endocannabinoids). Human nervous system contains receptors for cannabinoids. When cannabinoids enter the body, they bind to these receptors, effecting the body and health.
Apart from Cannabis family also other plants make small amount of cannabinoids (phytocannabinoids).
CBD and THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) are the 2 main active compounds found in the cannabis plant and the best recognized and studied.
Unlike THC, CBD is not psychoactive. This means it won’t cause all the negative effects linked to THC, like paranoia, anxiety, and memory problems. Instead, it seems to naturally protect against the marijuana high [R, R].
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HEMP & MARIJUANAS
– Hemp (Cannabis ruderalis) – contains only traces of THC and CBD.
– Marijuana (Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa) are high in psychoactive THC (TetraHydroCannabinol) and non-psychoactive cannabinoids such as Cannabidiol (CBD).
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CANNABIS SATIVA, CANNABIS INDICA & CANNABIS RUDERALIS (HEMP)
Since Cannabis ruderalis (Hemp) is very Low in THC and CBD it is mostly used for industrial purposes, although some maintain hemp seeds and oil can still have some curative properties.
Due to high content of psychoactive THC both Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa have harmful hallucinogenic and addictive effect. However, Cannabis sativa has more stimulating while Cannabis indica more relaxing and sedative effect. Cannabis indica seems to be the most beneficial for medical use as it contains more CBD and less THC.
A specially extracted from indica oil (also known as Rick Simpson oil) is regarded by many as the best remedy due to higher levels of beneficial active ingredients (CBDs) and due to sedative effect. In addition the extracted oil from indica does not seem to impose the hallucinogenic and other negative effects of THC.
Although sativa, indica and ruderalis are three very distinct and different families of cannabis, they are all interbreedable. Because of this, there are now many breeds or strains out there that possess the qualities of multiple families. For this reason, they are also often named cannabis or hemp, making the confusion about the names and properties of cannabis family plants even greater. However, whatever the source is the most important is that the supplement you buy should contain enough CBD and be free from THC.
Seizures & Epilepsy
In a 3-month study (observational) of 23 children and young adults (3-26 years of age) with treatment-resistant epilepsy, a purified 98% oil-based CBD extract reduced seizures by half in 39% of the participants. The maximum used dose was 25 mg/kg/day, which would be 1,750 mg per day for a person weighing 155 lbs [R].
CBD also reduced seizures in another trial of 214 children and adults with epilepsy (open-label). CBD was safe even at the maximum dose, which was double of the previous study (50 mg/kg/day) [R].
In one survey, parents of children who suffer from treatment-resistant epilepsy and use CBD were asked about the benefits. 19 parents were included, 84% of which said that CBD reduced the frequency of seizures. Two parents said that CBD completely resolved seizures. Parents also reported improved alertness, sleep, and mood. Some side effects were drowsiness and fatigue [R].
In 15 patients with epilepsy who didn’t respond to drugs, 200 – 300 mg of cannabidiol per day over 4.5 months reduced seizures. 7 out of 8 patients who took CBD improved (while only 1 patient in the placebo group did) [R].
CBD (Cannabidiol) has shown to reduce anxiety and researchers suggest that it may also be effective for panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and social anxiety disorder (R) (R).
A single CBD dose of 400 mg reduced anxiety in a brain imaging study of 10 people with seasonal affective disorder (DB-S). CBD reduced blood flow to parts of the limbic system that are often overactive in anxiety. It increased blood flow to another region important for cognition and motivation (the posterior cingulate cortex) [R, R].
In a study of 10 healthy volunteers (DB-CT), 300 mg of CBD reduced anxiety after a stressful task (public speaking) [R]. In 24 patients with social anxiety (DB-RCT), 600 mg of CBD given before public speaking reduced anxiety and discomfort while improving cognition [R].
In 8 volunteers, CBD prevented anxiety from THC use (DB-CT) [R].
With more studies, the benefits of CBD could be expanded to people with various types of anxiety (including panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder) [R].
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Research suggests taking CBD before bed improves sleep in people with insomnia. It helped a 10-year-old girl struggling with insomnia, anxiety and PTSD [R].
It could help with sleep due to its relaxing, anxiety-reducing effects [R].
It actually appears to have benefits over THC, which can worsen sleep quality long-term [R].
In fact, cannabis users with insomnia prefer strains much higher in CBD as a sleep aid and are less likely to become dependent (according to a survey of 163 adults purchasing medical cannabis) [R].
Cannabinoids are useful in pain modulation by inhibiting neuronal transmission in pain pathways. A 2012 study found that CBD significantly suppressed chronic inflammatory and neuropathic pain without causing analgesic tolerance. Researchers suggest that CBD and other nonpsychoactive components of cannabis may represent a novel class of therapeutic agents for the treatment of chronic pain. (R)
We have receptors for cannabinoids in the whole body, but the first type – CB1 – are very dense in the pain pathways of the brain, spine, and nerves. The second type – CB2 – is more important for the immune system but is also involved in inflammation. By gently acting on both pathways, our internal cannabinoids and CBD can balance both pain and inflammation [R].
In a large analysis (SR of 18 RCTs and 766 participants), cannabinoids strongly and safely reduced various types of chronic pain (neuropathic, arthritis, fibromyalgia, HIV and multiple sclerosis pain). In another (SR-MA) of almost 2000 participants, the benefits of using cannabis-based medicines to combat pain outweighed any risks [R, R].
A CBD/THC combination reduced pain in several studies of patients with MS and chronic pain (open-label and DB-RCT, 66 and 189 participants). It was tolerated well and used regularly for up to 2 years [R, R, R, R].
CBD offers benefits compared to synthetic cannabinoids, and even THC, because it’s not psychoactive. Many people want to avoid the “high”, paranoia, and drowsiness that THC can cause [R].
And importantly, neither CBD not THC seem to cause tolerance long-term (after 2 years), unlike opioids and most other painkillers [R].
Since cannabinoids like CBD don’t mix well with water, they have to be formulated as oils. However, the amount of CBD that’s absorbed from the gut can vary, and large amounts can remain unabsorbed. New products like CBD/cannabinoid patches, nose sprays, and lozenges are being developed for better absorption [R].
In addition to humans, pets with chronic pain issues can also benefit from CBD oil tinctures.
CBD is safe, non-psychoactive, and has strong anti-tumour effects. It could be used to improve the efficacy of standard treatments, or even as an anti-cancer substance on its own [R].
A 2006 study published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics found for the first time that CBD potently and selectively inhibited the growth of different breast tumour cell lines and exhibited significantly less potency in non-cancer cells. (10)
In 2011, researchers added light on the cellular mechanism through which CBD induces cell death in breast cancer cells. They showed that CBD induced a concentration-dependent cell death of both oestrogen receptor-positive and oestrogen receptor-negative breast cancer cells. They also found that the effective concentrations of CBD in tumour cells have little effect on non-tumourigenic, mammary cells. (11)
CBD behaves as a non-toxic compound and studies show that doses of 700 milligrams per day for 6 weeks did not show any overt toxicity in humans, suggesting that it can be used for prolonged treatment. Not only does the research show that CBD benefits including being effective in fighting breast cancer cells, data also suggests that it can be used to inhibit the invasion of lung and colon cancer, plus it possesses anti-tumour properties in gliomas and has been used to treat leukemia. (12)
Anticancer Mechanisms: CBD decreases energy production in cancers, triggering their death [R]; it has anti-proliferative, pro-apoptotic effects that inhibit cancer cell migration, adhesion and invasion (R); makes cancer cells more sensitive to tumour-killing white blood cells (lymphokine-activated killer cells) [R]; forces cancer cells kill themselves (apoptosis), thus stopping both cancer growth and spreading [R]; may act on new non-cannabinoid cancer pathways [R]; blocks a new cannabinoid cancer pathway [R, R].
Inflammation and Autoimmunity
CBD is a very promising remedy for a variety of inflammatory and pain-associated conditions. It acts on the body’s cannabinoid system to reduce inflammation, balance the immune system, and protect from oxidative stress [R].
Our immune system has sensors for the cannabinoids our own body produces, as well as for those we take in. This internal cannabinoid system can become unbalanced in autoimmune disease and inflammation, which was something scientists had no clue a couple of decades ago [R].
CBD acts on the immune cells to trigger a host of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant reactions:
CBD reduced both Th1 (IL-6 and TNF-alpha) and Th2 (IL-4, IL-5, IL-13) responses in rats with asthma [R].
CBD reduced inflammation and pain in mice [R].
It also decreased the production of inflammatory substances in immune cells (Th1: TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma, and IL-6; Th2: IL-4 and IL-8) [R].
It can help with some Th17-dominant autoimmune diseases [R].
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In a small study (open-label) of 5 patients with movement disorders, CBD reduced uncontrollable muscle twitching, higher doses having a stronger effect. The patients received 100 to 600 mg of CBD per day over a 6-week period. 2 of the included patients with Parkinson’s disease did not do well with doses over 300 mg per day, however [R].
A combination of CBD and THC consistently relieved muscle spasms in patients with multiple sclerosis in one study of 219 participants [R].
However, CBD combined with THC did not improve symptoms in a study of 17 patients (DB-RCT) with Parkinson’s disease [R].
CBD protected from brain damage in animals (reducing beta-amyloid toxicity), which could potentially help in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease [R, R]. It was able to reverse poor cognitive function in animals with Alzheimer’s disease [R].
CBD is a stronger antioxidant than vitamin C (ascorbic acid) or vitamin E (α-tocopherol) in cells [R].
Due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, CBD holds promise for helping those with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and possibly prolonging their life [R].
Overall, it seems that CBD may protect the brain from damage and inflammation, but does not beneficially affect all movement problems that are a result of brain damage.
Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms
Cannabinoids may relieve symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). In a study (open-label) of 66 patients with MS and chronic pain, a combination of CBD and THC reduced pain over 2 years. The patients determined the dosage by themselves, taking as much as they felt was needed to alleviate the pain [R].
A combination of CBD and THC helped with muscle tightness, pain, sleep disturbances, and bladder control in 189 people with multiple sclerosis over 6 weeks (DB-RCT). The CBD/THC combination was tolerated well [R, R, R].
In another study of 50 MS patients, a CBD/THC combination somewhat reduced muscle tightness and helped with sleep. Lower doses had a weaker effect, so some patients with MS may need higher doses to get relief [R].
CBD has a pharmacological profile similar to that of antipsychotic drugs. CBD prevents human experimental psychosis and is effective in patients with schizophrenia, with a remarkable safety profile (R).
While the psychoactive THC in cannabis seems to trigger psychotic episodes, especially in those with schizophrenia, CBD has opposite, antipsychotic effects. More and more studies are pointing to CBD as a natural alternative to antipsychotic drugs, but with far fewer side effects [R].
People who experience psychosis may produce too much or even too little cannabinoids (from overactive dopamine receptors). CBD is milder than our internal cannabinoids and helps to re-establish a balance of cannabinoids in the brain. CBD also helps lower inflammation, which is often increased in schizophrenia. THC, on the other hand, is stronger than our internal cannabinoids (anandamide and 2-AG), this way potentially triggering psychosis [R+, R].
In 42 patients with acute schizophrenia (DB-RCT), CBD (up to 800 mg daily) improved all symptoms after 4 weeks. It worked as well as a strong antipsychotic (amisulpride) but was much better tolerated. Interestingly, CBD also reduced the breakdown of anandamide (by blocking FAAH), which was linked to the beneficial effects [R, R].
Many animal studies also support the antipsychotic benefits of CBD [R+].
It seems the cannabinoid system is not that straightforward, and we have yet to understand much about it. In the meantime, the evidence for CBD helping hard-to-treat schizophrenia symptoms is promising.
As natural anti-inflammatories and antioxidants, cannabinoids may provide relief of joint pain and swelling. They could also help decrease joint destruction and disease worsening in inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis [R, R].
A CBD/THC combination (Sativex) reduced arthritis symptoms (including pain) in the first study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (DB-RCT, 58 participants). Over 5 weeks, this combination reduced pain on movement and at rest, improved sleep quality, and inflammation with no serious adverse effects [R].
CBD protected the joints from damage, reduced inflammation, and improved symptoms in mice with arthritis [R].
Cannabis has been used for centuries for the suppression of nausea and vomiting.
CBD in low doses suppresses toxin-induced vomiting, but in high doses it increases nausea or has no effect.
For cancer patients, a balanced THC/CBD combination may be the best option for increasing appetite and reducing nausea. The “high” of THC is usually too strong, and CBD can help reduce these psychotropic effects but doesn’t reduce the appetite stimulation [R].
Cannabidiol could prevent and delay the destruction of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas in a mouse study. It could also reduce inflammatory cytokines in these diabetic mice, shifting the immune response from Th1 (autoimmune) to Th2. This would be especially important for type I diabetes, which is an autoimmune disease [R].
CBD may be used to prevent both type 1 and type 2 diabetes [R].
So far, some animal and cellular studies suggest that CBD could protect the heart by relaxing blood vessels, reducing inflammation, and combating oxidative stress.
CBD relaxed the arteries and protected blood vessels from damage in animal models of heart disease [R].
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
CBD is beneficial for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This is not surprising, having in mind its proven anti-inflammatory effects that can be extended to the gut.
The combination of CBD and THC reduced inflammation and IBD-causing symptoms in tissue models of IBD. It may help with as abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and reduced appetite [R].
CBD showed some microbe-killing activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), which often causes tricky, difficult-to-treat, hospital infections [R].
Mad Cow Disease
Studies show cannabidiol inhibits prions, the proteins that cause fatal brain diseases (such as mad cow disease). It increased the survival time of infected mice by almost a week [R].
CBD could enhance the healing of broken limbs in mice. Both CBD and THC were tested, but only CBD activated genetic pathways that also increase collagen structure [R].
Movement Disorders (Dyskinesia)
CBD (together with a TRPV-1 antagonist) reduced dyskinesia via the cannabinoid system (CB1) and inflammation pathways [R].
In those suffering from chronic pain, cannabis use, in general, reduces the use of opioid painkillers [R].
There is a lack of effective and safe treatments for the growing number of people suffering from opioid use disorder. CBD is a promising, safe alternative [R].
CBD may help reduce or quit smoking. In a pilot study of 24 smokers (DB-RCT), cannabidiol reduced the number of cigarettes smoked by about 40%, without increasing cravings for nicotine [R].
CBD decreases the production of oils (sebum) by the skin’s oil-producing glands and reduced the number of these glands in a study on human skin (tissue study). It also had anti-inflammatory effects, all of which would be very beneficial for acne [R].
CBD reduces excessive division of skin cells (keratinocytes), which could be beneficial for psoriasis [R].
SIDE EFFECTS & SAFETY
CBD is generally well tolerated, and safe at high doses, and with chronic use in humans [R].
At very high doses, CBD may actually cause anxiety (via activation of TRPV1 receptors) (R).
CBD dosage can vary anywhere from 100 mg up to 3 g per day, depending on the health issue being targeted.
Experts recommend 150 mg of CBD oil 2 times a day for anxiety and inflammation relief.
For Alzheimer’s and reducing inflammation and muscle twitching (MS), doses of 100 to 600 mg of CBD were used in clinical studies. In some studies, patients took as much CBD oil as they needed to feel pain or muscle spasm relief.
Doses up to 800 mg CBD daily were used for psychosis and schizophrenia.
The highest CBD doses used in studies were up to 3.5 g of CBD oil daily for very severe drug-resistant seizures in children and young adults with epilepsy.
300 mg per day was enough to reduce anxiety.
Overall, at higher doses (somewhere over 400mg), CBD becomes less effective for anxiety but better for pain relief. At higher doses, CBD activates TRPV1, which can cause anxiety and increased body temperature, while also decreasing pain (R, R).
TAKE CBD OIL UNDER THE TONGUE
CBD is best absorbed sublingually (from under the tongue). Unfortunately, it has a strong taste, which can make this difficult. However, taking CBD in a base of MCT (coconut) oil helps to make it more palatable. In addition, MCT oil increases the absorption of CBD.
CO2 extraction uses a combination of temperature and pressure to remove the cannabinoids and terpenes from the plant. This method preserves as much of the CBD extract as possible with minimal damage to the chemical compounds themselves. CO2 extraction requires expensive, advanced machinery and is performed by trained professionals.
Solvent extraction uses solvents like butane and ethanol. However, the heat can alter the chemical compounds damaging their natural state. The solvents also have to be burned off at the end of the process and if this is not done thoroughly, residual solvent matter can remain in the final extract contaminating it.
COLOUR OF CBD OILS
Extracted raw CBD oil will be dark green or brown. Raw oil may contain chlorophyll or plant residue and will taste tart or bitter. Raw oil may contain impurities from the extraction process itself. The filtering process brings it to a lighter more gold colour.
CBD oil can be mixed with a carrier fluid like MCT oil, coconut oil, hemps seed oil, or olive oil. The latter may contribute to a darker yellow tint.
FORMS OF CBD OIL
Capsule: CBD oils may be manufactured as small capsules that are orally ingested.
Edible: CBD oils may be stirred into food or drinks, or baked into different dishes. With regards to heating this oil it is important to remember that CBD has a boiling point of about 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176.6 degrees Celsius), and therefore exceeding this temperature will weaken the oil’s therapeutic effects.
Tincture: Another form of oral CBD oil ingestion is the tincture, often used as a food additive. Tinctures are sold in dropper bottles; most users place one or two drops beneath their tongue for several minutes in order to experience the full effects.
Vapour: CBD oil can be vaporized using vaporizer pens.
Topical: This form of CBD oil is applied directly to the skin.
Suppository: Some manufacturers offer CBD suppositories that are inserted into the rectum.
The majority of CBD oils come in bottles measuring either 15 or 30 millilitres.
However, CBD concentration is more important than bottle size. Concentration refers to the ratio of hemp oil solution (measured in ml) compared to the amount of CBD cannabinoid (measured in milligrams, or mg).
A 15-ml bottle may contain 100 mg of CBD, 300 mg, 500 mg, or more. The higher the mg amount, the stronger the CBD oil will be. For this reason, the ‘mg’ measurement is also referred to as the oil’s strength; i.e., 400-mg oil might be called 400-strength oil.
CBD oil may be unscented (‘natural’) or manufactured in different flavours, such as peppermint, vanilla, lavender, and cinnamon.
How much CBD oil you should take largely depends on your bodyweight, as well as the desired effects. Always consult your physician to determine the best dosage for you.
Most information about CBD oil dosage comes from clinical trials, which use a range from 10 – 800 mg per day (or 2-3 mg/10 kg body weight).
Some studies even go as high as 1,300 mg / day, but products you can find on the market need not be any higher than 10 – 150 mg servings. Depending on individual predispositions, a daily intake of up to approx. 200 mg is recommended.
As with all nootropics and brain altering compounds, a good CBD oil dosage to start might be in the 10 mg range to determine safety for your brain. Afterwards, increasing (also known as titrating) the dosage can be effective.
The objective is to avoid taking too high of a first dose and finding yourself feeling unusual.
CBD/CBDA is considered to be extremely safe and can therefore be used even at high doses, as well as by children and the elderly.
In 2011, it was confirmed that CBD is safe even in large amounts and the only side effect may be a feeling of relaxation, blissfulness or sleepiness. CBD oil may result in the following adverse effects:
– Dry mouth.
– Diarrhoea may occur in people who take relatively large doses of CBD oil.
– Increased appetite.
– CBD oil may make some users feel tired or drowsy which may be the desired effect but not while driving a vehicle.
Products with CBD/CBDA are fully safe, however some pharmaceutical medications may react with it, causing side effects. Therefore, when taking a course of prescription medications it advisable to consult a GP who should decide whether taking CBD/CBDA products is recommended for you.
– Higher-than-average doses of CBD oil can slow the hepatic drug metabolism process. As a result, users may not be able to process other medications as quickly.
– CBD oil may incite a small drop in blood pressure immediately after it is consumed. People who take prescription medication should check with their doctor to ensure the oil won’t counteract the effects of other drugs.
LEGAL STATUS OF CBD IN UK
Until 2017, products containing cannabidiol marketed for medical purposes were classed as medicines by the UK regulatory body, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and could not be marketed without regulatory approval for the medical claims.
Since 2018, cannabis oil is legal to possess, buy, and sell in the UK, providing the product does not contain more than 0.2% THC and is not advertised as providing a medicinal benefit.
In January 2019, the UK Food Standards Agency indicated it would regard CBD products, including CBD oil, as a novel food in the UK, having no history of use before May 1997, and indicating such products must have authorization and proven safety before being marketed.
Unfortunately, this strange and unreasonable decision threatens to destroy a market that is now worth up to £100 million pa, employs hundreds of people and is meeting the healthcare and wellness needs of hundreds of thousands of UK citizens.
A ‘novel food’ is defined as a food or food ingredient that was not in widespread consumption in the EU area before 1997. In reality, cannabis, in varieties known as hemp, has been consumed as food for thousands of years and is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s oldest cultivated crop. The FSA’s action is irrational, defies history and reverses previous statements by the FSA that cannabis and hemp are not ‘novel’.
Peter Reynolds, president of CannaPro, said: “The FSA has made a series of errors in the way it has handled this. The whole process has been misguided and unlawful, not to say that the whole idea CBD products can be regarded as novel is nonsense. It has undertaken no proper consultation and although there have been vague discussions around the issue for a couple of years, the FSA has changed its position time and time again. What’s really going on here is that big business and powerful vested interests have been caught on the hop while enterprising small businesses have established a market which is now worth an awful lot of money. Improper pressure has been brought on the regulator to find a way of clamping down. It would suit these vested interests to see the market so strictly regulated that small businesses are unable to compete. CannaPro is not going to stand by and let that happen.” Watch VIDEO >
The World Health Organisation has given CBD a clean bill of health, not in the equivocal way that most such decisions are made but absolutely. It says CBD is safe.
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