Of course, there are many different treatments for both anxiety and depression. However, they have a lot of side effects. These include agitation, drowsiness, insomnia, headaches, and sexual dysfunction. In addition, certain prescription drugs can be very addictive, like BZDs. In fact, they can be more addictive than hard drugs such as crack cocaine or heroin.
While researchers are calling for more robust studies on the role of CBD on mood disorders, there is promising research that points to CBD’s role as an anxiolytic – which means it has anti-anxiety effects. Another study showed CBD to have antidepressant effects comparable to those of the prescription antidepressant Imipramine. We noted above that CBD increases levels of glutamate and serotonin – and it’s these same neurotransmitters that play a crucial role in mood regulation.
Historically, hemp could legally be grown and cultivated for academic research purposes only. However, the legality of hemp growth has changed in the past year. In April 2018, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky introduced the Hemp Farming Act of 2018, a piece of legislation that proposed legalizing all hemp products at the federal level. The act was incorporated in the 2018 United States Farm Bill, which passed in both the House and Senate in December 2018. Per the farm bill, industrial hemp will be descheduled as a federally controlled substance.
The good news is that in 2017, the National Institutes of Health funded cannabinoid research to the tune of $140 million, including $15 million on CBD. The F.D.A. also loosened restrictions on CBD research in 2015 and has announced that it is considering “pathways” to allow the sale across state lines of CBD in food and beverages, sales now confined to states that have approved CBD use.
Both Bonn-Miller and Ward stress that it's up to the consumer to be well-educated about the material they're purchasing and the research that's out there. "The companies that are creating [cannabis oils] are offering lots of claims about its use that are not necessarily substantiated by any research," Bonn-Miller said. So "I think there needs to be, from a consumer standpoint, a lot of vigilance," he added.
CBD primarily interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, a grouping of millions of cannabinoid receptors found throughout your body, but are primarily clustered in the brain and central nervous system. While CBD is a phytocannabinoid, or plant-based cannabinoid, your body also naturally produces cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids. Almost every organ of your body, including your skin and digestive tract, contains cannabinoid receptors. The endocannabinoid system has four primary purposes including neuroprotection, stress relief, immune response, and regulating the body’s general state of balance, impacting faculties such as appetite, sleep, mood, and pain.
Condensed CBD oil can be taken as a thick paste, but this is the least pleasant option. More commonly, the CBD oil is mixed with a carrier oil, such as hemp oil or coconut oil, to a specific concentration of CBD. The distinctive taste — which comes from the terpenes and not the cannabinoids — is often masked with chocolate, mint, or other flavorings. It typically comes in a small bottle with a dropper to administer the oil mixture.
Understanding CBD’s analgesic, or pain-relieving, interactions with the ECS can shed light on CBD’s other interactions and effects. Importantly, the ECS participates in our bodies’ pain processing, but when CBD is introduced to our ECS, it stops the body from absorbing a pain-regulating compound known as anandamide — one of our body’s’ own natural cannabinoid molecules. Inhibiting the absorption of this compound shunts excess quantities into the bloodstream that in turn reduces pain. One study has revealed that CBD targets alpha-3 (α3) glycine receptors to suppress chronic pain and inflammation associated with dysfunctional glycine receptors, which are an important target for pain processing in the spine. In both humans and animal models, CBD has been shown to have a variety of anti-inflammatory properties.
One of CBD’s chief properties is its anticonvulsant nature. Clinical trials have shown that CBD is effective at reducing seizures in children, and the FDA is likely to approve Epidiolex, a pharmaceutical-grade version of CBD for this use, in summer 2018. Although CBD has been documented as an antiepileptic since 1881, CBD’s anticonvulsant mechanisms still remain unclear. Not enough studies have been conducted to understand this relationship fully. One possible explanation for CBD’s neuroprotective effects is its interaction with NMDA receptors, which play a key role in the overly active neuron activity that is a hallmark of epilepsy.
Prolonged use is not associated with an increased risk of side effects. In research studies, up to 1500 mg of purified CBD per day has been used to address various medical illnesses without reported harmful effects including changes in heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, electrolyte balance, gastrointestinal function, psychomotor functions, or sleep cycles.
Selective breeding of cannabis plants has expanded and diversified as commercial and therapeutic markets develop. Some growers in the U.S. succeeded in lowering the proportion of CBD-to-THC to accommodate customers who preferred varietals that were more mind-altering due to the higher THC and lower CBD content. Hemp is classified as any part of the cannabis plant containing no more than 0.3% THC in dry weight form (not liquid or extracted form).