Another field in which CBD is creating a buzz is in the area of mood disorders like anxiety and depression. Both conditions have been treated with a variety of medications, courtesy of Big Pharma, that have had varying levels of success. Again, the long list of side effects can be off-putting to someone who just wants to get through the day without the sweaty tension of anxiety or the gray haze of depression.
As is the case with any plant that constitutes a crop, cannabis plants have been selectively bred over the years to bolster one or another desired characteristic. This means that some plants provide a more potent psychotropic effect, others possess more prominent seeds (used in the production of cooking oil traditionally), while others may make for sturdier textile fibers.
This turn is due to a comprehensive 2015 study aimed at two notoriously difficult manifestations of epilepsy – Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome – most often encountered in children. Seizure frequency was found to decrease between 54 percent and 67 percent for the six months cannabidiol medication was used, although a small part of individuals did not continue after three months, as their condition did not improve.
THC does typically come with a long list of health benefits, but the clinical use of this cannabis compound is often limited by its unwanted psychoactive side effects in people. For this reason, interest in non-intoxicating phytocannabinoids, such as CBD, has substantially increased in recent years. In fact, CBD is being used in conjunction with THC for more favorable effects.
Some CBD manufacturers have come under government scrutiny for wild, indefensible claims, such that CBD is a cure-all for cancer, which it is not. We need more research but CBD may be prove to be an option for managing anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. Without sufficient high-quality evidence in human studies we can’t pinpoint effective doses, and because CBD is currently is mostly available as an unregulated supplement, it’s difficult to know exactly what you are getting. If you decide to try CBD, talk with your doctor — if for no other reason than to make sure it won’t affect other medications you are taking.
Here’s the thing, though—CBD oil isn’t just helpful for people with epilepsy. Turns out the oil is highly anti-inflammatory, and according to a 2013 review published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology it’s also beneficial for treating anxiety, depression, neurodegenerative disorders like dementia, and even has anti-tumoral properties. Sounds like the ultimate superfood, right? I decided to give this magic oil a whirl and see if I noticed a difference in my mood, anxiety, and stress levels.
There are likely very complex relationships also occurring between various Cannabinoids in Cannabis that may lead to certain medical efficacy. That is important to remember when considering the consumption of products that contain Cannabinoids. There is an attractiveness to isolating a specific chemical, researching it, patenting synthetic derivatives, and marketing specific drugs. That said, the relationships are complex, will likely take years to understand, and many patients I’ve met appear to find the most medical benefit from a diverse group of Cannabinoids whose interactions are not particularly well understand, but the results are hard to argue with.
More recent experiments, involving the administration of a part CBD part THC solution, have yielded results that contradict the first supposition. At present, on the evidence that cannabidiol reduces some of the psychoactive effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (acting as a de facto antidepressant), scientists argue that cannabidiol has a holistic but indirect influence on all cannabinoid receptors in the endocannabinoid system. The main consequence of this impact seems to be an increase in the production of endocannabinoids. This is now the prevailing idea that accounts for the mountains of empirical evidence of how the benefits of cannabidiol are expressed at the cellular level.
“Buying from a reputable manufacturer is crucial, because it matters how the plant is cultivated and processed,” Dr. Maroon says. One clue that a company is cutting corners: too low a cost. Good CBD is pricey—a bottle of high-quality capsules is sold in Cohen’s office for $140. But for many, it’s worth the money. Roth spent $60 on her tiny bottle. But when her energy returned the day she started taking CBD, she decided that was a small price to pay.