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Discussing various cannabinoid effects and benefits 

The marijuana plant is very complex, as are cannabinoid effects on the body. Experts have discovered more than 100 unique cannabinoids from their research on cannabis and cannabinoids. Studying these compounds in-depth is key to determining the effects of marijuana, although scientists are only just getting started. 

There are two cannabinoids that just about everyone with medicinal or recreational knowledge of cannabis is aware of: cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD is non-intoxicating, and is highly touted for having novel therapeutic value. THC is psychoactive and integral to the cannabis ‘high’, but is medicinal in its own right. The conflicting properties of THC has made endorsing medical marijuana a conundrum for doctors and politicians alike.

Then there are other, less-discussed cannabinoids which adorn marijuana and hemp. These include cannabigerol (CBG), cannabinol (CBN), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabidivarin (CBDV), and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV). These generally only naturally appear in small concentrations, but can be crucial to determining the effects of a strain. 

In this post, we are going to analyse the effects of CBD and THC, and the five second-tier cannabinoids that we have mentioned. We’ll cover all of this, and more:

  • The physical and mental benefits of CBD
  • THC’s medicinal value and its popularity as a recreational substance 
  • CBC’s benefits for the brain 
  • The anti-inflammatory properties of CBG
  • The effects of CBN, CBDV and THCV

But let’s get started with CBD.

Getting to know CBD 

The potential benefits of CBD are numerous, and the cannabinoid also comes with hardly any side effects. CBD’s effects change from a low to high dose, and also depending on the way that the compound is taken. Oils and e-liquids deliver the effects rapidly, while capsules and edibles promote a long-lasting experience. This all comes down to the changing pharmacology of CBD with different intake methods.

CBD works with receptors and neurotransmitters all over the body to produce therapeutic effects. Many of these can be traced back to the endocannabinoid system (ECS), but CBD has been shown to influence other biological networks too, such as the serotonin system. 

But in the ECS, CBD serves a regulatory purpose. All the cannabinoids in the cannabis plant have a role to play here. However, CBD encourages ECS regulation through natural means, by ensuring the body has the right levels of endocannabinoids, so they can bind with cannabinoid receptors.

CBD’s mental benefits 

CBD is considered by some to be the anxiety and depression drug of the future. The chemical also has possible anti-addiction properties which should be of interest to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Beyond that, CBD may be effective for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), bipolar disorder, psychosis and schizophrenia.

Starting with anxiety, CBD is not just beneficial here because of the changes it makes to the body. Key to CBD’s anti-anxiety value is the speed in which the effects occur. The SSRI drugs that anxiety patients are currently stuck with may have an effect in the long-term. But they can’t be used to suppress anxiety at short notice. In contrast, vaping CBD or taking it via tincture oil quickly restores neurotransmitter balance in the brain. This stops the excessive electrical activity and increased thought processes that are attributed to anxiety. This is not dissimilar to how CBD relieves epilepsy.

Depression and more

In regard to depression, CBD may be most useful by treating brain inflammation, as opposed to changing neurological chemical makeup. Scientists are still trying to work out exactly how the human body functions. Recent studies suggest that inflammation can cause damage to parts of the brain that are associated with depression – these include the amygdala, the hippocampus, and the prefrontal cortex. By lowering levels of inflammation, and supporting the growth of new brain cells, CBD can provide sustained antidepressant effects. 

With PTSD, trials have found that CBD can block the consolidation of bad memories, while helping to extinguish them. CBD also has antipsychotic effects, by virtue of how it impacts the CB1 receptor. CBD’s effect on this receptor couldn’t be more different than THC’s. This is why the former may help with schizophrenia and psychosis, while the latter seems to make it worse. CB1 receptor regulation is likely the mechanism that CBD reduces bipolar disorder symptoms. The CB1 receptor is implicated in many mental variables, including mood.

CBD’s physical benefits

The immune system is key to many of the physical benefits of CBD. When researchers learned that there was a connection between this system and the ECS, this marked a huge breakthrough in the development of anti-inflammatory drugs. It showed that CBD oil, among other hemp-based products, could be used to safely manage inflammation levels. In doing so, this has opened up new, and more effective treatments for arthritis, coeliac disease, hepatitis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and even allergies.

Moreover, CBD could prove to be vital to treating the root cause of autoimmune diseases. These are the result of a dysfunctional immune system. But by regulating the ECS, and specifically the CB2 receptor, this promotes balance in the body’s immune system response. 

CBD may also be useful for relieving chronic pain. The ECS is implicated in pain perception and sensitivity, with CBD helping via CB1 receptor regulation. CBD and anandamide, the most influential endocannabinoid in the ECS, also exert therapeutic effects on the vanilloid receptor, where pain is also controlled. 

Other possible positive health effects of CBD include boosting reproductive health, speeding up recovery time from bone breakages and fractures, and enhancing skin condition. As well as being an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, CBD mitigates infection risks, boasting antibacterial and antimicrobial effects. CBD also helps to reduce nausea and vomiting. 

THC effects and benefits 

THC has psychoactive effects, and is best-known as a recreational substance.  This intoxication is mostly felt psychologically, with THC bringing major short-term changes to mood and appetite levels. However, these alterations can also bring about some negative side effects, notoriously anxiety and paranoia. 

There is also a slim chance that first-time cannabis users can experience psychotic or schizophrenic outbreaks. However, this only seems to happen in those already predisposed to these mental conditions. Also, those who take THC at a young age also risk adversely affecting their brain development. 

As a medicine, most of the interest surrounding THC revolves around its pain-killing effects. Indica-dominant strains are really helpful for pain management. THC’s main role is to reduce pain perception as a CB1 receptor agonist. THC is more potent than anandamide, the ECS’ natural CB1 receptor agonist. This is why THC is such an effective painkiller. 

THC also has huge potential as an anti-inflammatory. The compound works with the CB2 receptor in the same way, as an agonist, outdoing anandamide. This effect is interesting in relation to brain inflammation and depression. THC is beneficial. But the intoxicating effects have long been considered a problem. Perhaps the dosage of THC is key to whether full-plant cannabis can be used as an antidepressant.

Full-spectrum cannabis and the entourage effect

Experts are confident that whole-plant cannabis is more powerful than when the cannabinoids are isolated. This is all to do with the ‘entourage effect’. The synergy that the likes of THC and CBD generate when used in conjunction makes them more beneficial. This may be vital in treating conditions such as fibromyalgia. 

Studies have identified the ECS as a potential root cause of the illness. A natural cannabis remedy, which incorporates all the compounds in the herb, looks to be more helpful than just THC, or just CBD. This is according to those researching the concept of ‘Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency’.  

CBC cannabinoid effects and benefits

CBC is a cannabinoid that appears in many full-spectrum cannabis and hemp products. This compound is never present in the quantities of CBD or THC. But CBC isn’t intoxicating, and likely has medicinal properties. CBC stimulates new brain cell growth, just as CBD does. For the hippocampus, this translates to a cognitive boost, for memory and motivation. Therefore, a hemp product centered around CBD and CBC could provide extra benefits. 

CBC also appears to help with limiting swelling after an injury. The anti-inflammatory effects of this compound have not been fully studied, but are unusual. CBC limits inflammation in the intestinal tract. However, it doesn’t produce these effects through cannabinoid receptor activation. It is feasible that CBC functions with another ECS receptor, and that it hasn’t yet been identified. Some have proposed that the GPR-55 receptor is part of the ECS, and should be called the CB3 receptor. 

CBN effects 

Cannabinol is another cannabinoid that won’t make you high. As with CBC, CBN hasn’t been studied too much. But it may be helpful for easing pain, and could also be used in natural antibacterial products. CBN is like most cannabinoids in that it has anti-inflammatory qualities. CBN levels in strains are typically below 1 percent. But it often pops up in full-spectrum CBD products, as a way of bringing out the entourage effect. 

CBDV benefits 

Cannabidivarin is popular for its anti-nausea and vomiting properties. CBDV has anti-seizure effects, and is likely effective at treating intractable epilepsy symptoms. Combinining this cannabinoid with CBD may make for a powerful, cannabinoid-based anti-epileptic drug. CBDV also indirectly stops the synthesization of 2-AG, a key endocannabinoid. What effect this has on the body is unclear, however. Although, one would assume it has some kind of health benefit, that is yet to be uncovered. 

CBG effects

Cannabigerol is perhaps the most well-known of the cannabinoids that aren’t named CBD or THC. Some brands are making products with a mixture of CBD and CBG. A potent antibacterial substance, CBG is great for managing and clearing up infections. CBG is really good for the bones, supporting growth. The cannabinoid also helps to relieve inflammation. CBG is a weak agonist of the CB1 receptor. Its effect on the CB2 receptor is so far unknown. But as CBG reduces inflammation, it is perhaps an agonist – to some degree – of this receptor. 

THCV effects

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) has some mild psychoactive effects. For this reason, strains like Durban Poison and Doug’s Varin that have lots of THC and some THCV can be more psychoactive than regular marijuana. Users find that THCV is an energizing strain, and can have a euphoric effect. That said, some report that THCV clears their head and brings about mental clarity. 

From a medical point of view, THCV is a CB1 and CB2 receptor agonist. This means it has anti-inflammatory effects, and is also an appetite stimulant. THCV may help with diabetes, and perhaps even Parkinson’s disease, according to the few studies that have been carried out. 

Final thoughts

The various types of cannabinoids found in hemp and cannabis are, as we have seen, all different. This suggests that cannabis-based medication could be dynamic. Different mixes of cannabinoids could help with totally unique conditions.

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CBD vs Prescription Drugs – what does the future hold?

One of the big questions that will be answered over the next few decades is just how many illnesses and conditions cannabidiol (CBD) treatment will replace prescription drugs for. CBD appears to have lots of medical potential for mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety, and physical conditions including chronic pain. CBD products are currently sold as dietary supplements, enhancing general wellness by boosting the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Our understanding of CBD’s true therapeutic value, in consideration of its beneficial properties and side effects, compared to existing prescription drugs is set to grow. Demand for high-quality clinical trials is at an all-time high, as CBD consumption across America and around the world goes through the roof. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is slowing starting to get its act together. But as of July 2019, the only FDA-approved CBD drug is Epidiolex, an epilepsy treatment made by GW Pharmaceuticals of the United Kingdom.

This post will focus on a few areas where CBD has demonstrated promise as a medicine. We’ll look particularly at fields where current drugs are not up to standard. We’ll look at how CBD could be used, discussing the most suitable forms of administration, and the most effective doses.

Our analysis will look at:

  • CBD’s antipsychotic potential for psychosis and schizophrenia
  • Why CBD may be better than opioids for pain
  • The promise of CBD for anxiety and depression 
  • Cannabis and CBD’s medicinal value for migraines 
  • Why CBD may be a preferable anti-inflammatory drug to NSAIDs

Why it’s vital to seek professional advice 

We get it. You are super excited to try CBD, a derivative of the cannabis plant that doesn’t produce a high. Perhaps your friends have tried it and are having great results. Maybe you’ve been reading up on the medical benefits the cannabinoid has to offer. Are you ready to get in on the growing trend, and try out some of these innovative products yourself?

But if you are planning to start taking CBD alongside – or instead of – you should definitely seek a doctor’s advice first. The drug interactions between CBD and other substances have not been thoroughly studied, and certainly don’t get the attention they should. But there is some evidence that CBD can slow activity in the cytochrome P450 system. This means that CBD interferes with the metabolization of some drugs, affecting how much of the dose becomes active. Typically, this leads to a dosage increase of the prescription drug, even if you are taking the same amount as usual. 

CBD doesn’t affect all drugs in this way, hence why it is perfectly fine to combine CBD hemp oil and other products with your current medication. But you’ll only know for sure if you make contact with your doctor, who can give you the full information related to your situation. And most importantly, they’ll put your mind at rest.

What drugs interact with CBD oil? 

So far, we know that the following drugs interact with CBD oil: steroids, immune modulators, HIV antivirals, calcium channel blockers, prokinetics, antihistamines and benzodiazepines. 

CBD for psychosis and schizophrenia 

Scientific research has found it harder to penetrate the brain and its workings than other organs in the body. Indeed, the human brain is commonly accepted as the most complicated object in the known universe. This has made deciphering the causes and finding safe and suitable treatments for illnesses such as psychosis and schizophrenia very, very difficult. Moreover, use and abuse of recreational marijuana high in THC has been linked to these disorders.

But with antipsychotics failing to help patients enough, new drugs are necessary. CBD is intriguing because of its moderating role on THC. With both indica and sativa strains of marijuana, the richer the CBD content, the less of an overall high the user receives. It is through this CB1 receptor mechanism that CBD has antipsychotic promise. 

Should CBD treatment mark a new era for psychosis and schizophrenia medicine, it would almost certainly be CBD-infused products only. Any amount of THC would probably have a negative effect due to its psychoactive nature.

CBD for chronic pain 

The United States is just one of many countries around the world where healthcare systems are experiencing serious problems in treating chronic pain. Prescription opioid painkillers have demonstrated analgesic effectiveness, but are held back by side effects and overdose risks. Patients who are put on chronic pain treatment plans often end up having to manage an opioid addiction as well. More than 10,000 Americans die annually from prescription overdoses. It is paramount that researchers find a new painkiller medication. And ideally, one that is equally effective, and crucially much safer.

Cannabis is a natural area of research. Medical marijuana has been used for pain relief by patients in legal states for many years, and cannabis has a painkiller history that dates back millennia. However, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) has always been considered the key ingredient to the pain relief provided by marijuana. Its psychoactive properties have rankled with medical professionals, politicians and patients. Anti-marijuana arguments center around how the intoxicating effects can have damaging short and long-term impacts on mental health. The debate, in the context of opioids, on whether the upsides of THC outweigh the downsides for pain relief will continue. But could CBD, a distinctly non-intoxicating cannabinoid, have serious potential as a natural, low-risk painkiller? And if so, could it quickly become adopted widely in the US?

CBD research gives cause for optimism

 

The evidence is uncertain, but highlights the real need for extensive research. More people are using CBD for pain than anything else, according to a recent survey. However, this does not equate to clinical evidence, and could perhaps be the result of a significant placebo effect. The small studies that have been conducted on CBD and pain are inconclusive, but show some promise, in particular for neuropathic pain. 

Full-spectrum CBD products would likely be best for pain management, as these produce the ‘entourage effect’. This is an interaction between cannabinoids that makes them more therapeutic than if consumed as a single substance. The wide array of CBD products – such as hemp flower, creams, vape juices and edibles – is also exciting. This suggests there are many ways that CBD could be beneficial. Patients may get better results from using two products together (e.g. a cream with a vape juice). 

CBD for anxiety and depression

As explained in the ‘psychosis and schizophrenia’ section, any cannabis-based treatment for mental illness tends to divide opinion. But non-intoxicating CBD must be explored for anxiety and depression. For one, because patients are already taking CBD capsules and other products. But also since existing drugs are showing diminishing returns. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) the primary class of drug for both since the late 1980s, work at a snail’s pace, and some patients receive no benefits. This indicates that simply tweaking serotonin levels doesn’t solve the problem, and perhaps that these illnesses – and depression especially – are even more complex than they appear.

CBD’s popularity for anxiety and depression is backed up by a few studies which show it can have a therapeutic effect. Granted, this is not the same as hard, clinical evidence. But the bar is set low for new drugs. Any CBD treatment that can be shown to work would perhaps be preferable to SSRIs, since there is much less of a problem with side effects. SSRIs are notorious for making users tired, dizzy, nervous and even nauseous. In contrast, sleepiness only seems to occur with CBD after taking a large dose. 

Which CBD products are most effective

Finding the right type of CBD and medication plans that work for patients is the next step. With anxiety, it seems that the more rapidly a treatment kicks in, the better. This brings tincture oils to the fore, and also vape juices and CBD joints for those who are less concerned about the health risks.

For depression, any product will likely have a potent antidepressant effect. Research suggests that one dose can remain effective for several days. It’s possible that full-spectrum CBD is a more valuable antidepressant than CBD-isolate product. Other cannabinoids have shown potential as promoting neurogenesis and reducing inflammation. Tackling neuroinflammation may be critical to dealing with depression.

CBD for migraines 

Migraines are very painful headaches, and make some patients more vulnerable to sound and light. These are the ‘aura’ symptoms that people talk about regarding migraines. Researchers have developed drugs that manage the condition, without nailing down the root cause. However, new studies related to marijuana and hemp propose that the very ECS that cannabis works in could be to blame.

The idea that a dysregulated ECS is responsible for migraines comes under a theory called ‘Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency’. Proponents argue that those who suffer from migraines and certain other illnesses may not be generating the required levels of endocannabinoids to bind with and regulate cannabinoid receptors. Cannabinoids from hemp and cannabis act as substitutes to endocannabinoids. It’s perfectly feasible that the unique compounds from these plants are essential for treating migraines.

Small investigations have highlighted how cannabis is comparable with current migraine drugs in terms of benefits, and that it outperforms them in regard to side effects. The question is whether a pure non-intoxicating CBD solution is therapeutic in its own right, or if the added influence of THC is vital, or merely helpful.

CBD for inflammatory illnesses 

A future crisis with anti-inflammatory drugs may be looming. Aspirin, ibuprofen and other over-the-counter and prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have dominated the market for dealing with arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and other inflammatory illnesses for decades. But recent reports have questioned just how effective and safe they are, in older patients especially. 

CBD research – and studies on other cannabinoids – have found that anti-inflammatory effects can be produced via the ECS. Cannabinoids nurture the immune system to find balance between pro and anti-inflammatory signals. THC does this by binding to CB2 receptors; CBD is more nuanced in boosting endocannabinoid presence so this role can be fulfilled naturally.

This link between the ECS and the immune system is a recent discovery. Cannabinoid science has historically been stunted due to prohibition. Many of the most important finds regarding CBD have come since that discovery in the early 1990s. With that in mind, it isn’t such a shock that CBD may treat conditions much more efficiently than drugs which have been used for many years do.

Final thoughts  

Various schools of medicine are going to need to pay much closer attention to cannabis and hemp plants going forward. The potential for CBD as a medicine looks enormous. Exactly what mental and physical conditions CBD is great for is, however, not crystal clear. But in 10 to 20 years’ time, it’s quite likely doctors will be prescribing cannabis and non-intoxicating CBD solutions for common ailments, that affect millions of us. 

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Cannabis and CBD – legal, or not? 

The law can be a complicated matter, especially in the United States where federal and state law can be conflicting. This has been a significant issue in relation to cannabis, and more recently non-intoxicating cannabidiol (CBD) products. Since the mid-1990s, American states have started to enact marijuana reform, starting with medical cannabis legislation. This has now extended to recreational marijuana, which is now legal in 11 US states as of 2019. 

But with so many different cannabis products available, it’s a struggle for the average marijuana or CBD user to know what’s legal and what isn’t, and what their rights are. In this article, we’ve trawled through federal and state law so you don’t have to, painting a clearer picture of the legality of cannabis in CBD. Most of our focus is on the US, but we’ll also briefly cover the cannabis law in Uruguay, Canada, Europe and beyond. 

We’re going to be answering the following questions, and more:

  • Is cannabis oil legal in all 50 states?
  • Where is cannabis legal?
  • Can you travel with CBD cream, e-liquid and oil?
  • Is CBD oil legal in all 50 states?
  • Can anybody buy recreational marijuana in legal states?

Is cannabis oil legal in all 50 states?

No. While the term ‘cannabis oil’ can technically be used to describe hemp-derived CBD products, it overwhelming refers to cannabis with psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Federal law still classes marijuana as illegal. Indeed, cannabis is under the most restricted Schedule 1 grouping of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). 

However, several states have taken matters into their own hands, making recreational and medicinal cannabis legal. The first to do was California in 1996, when the electorate voted to pass a medical marijuana bill called Proposition 215. The West Coast state set the tone for others to follow, despite there being no change in stance at federal level. Medicinal use of cannabis for epilepsy, chronic pain, chemotherapy symptoms has become more widespread. As of July 2019, 33 states – or two-thirds of the country – has legalized medical marijuana, along with Washington D.C. 

Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2014 

In 2014, Colorado became the first state to approve recreational marijuana. This allowed anyone over the age of 21 to walk into a recreational dispensary and purchase cannabis flower, oil, vape juices and more. This was the first time that any American could legally use cannabis, without a prescription, since the effective prohibition of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Oregon, Washington, California, Vermont, Nevada and more soon followed, with Illinois the most recent state to legalize in June 2019. To cash in on the soaring demand for potent weed, cannabis plants have become stronger thanks to modern cultivation methods. Although this is not without controversy, as some argue that this disruption of cannabinoids makes pot more dangerous, even more so with the production of high-strength concentrates.

The laws on marijuana vary from state to state. In Colorado, for instance, medicinal users are permitted to have up to 2 ounces of cannabis at any one time. Other states set limits on the amount of THC that is allowed. In Virginia, a medical cannabis dose must have no more than 10mg of THC. Critics say that this restricts the benefits that MMJ can offer to patients. Furthermore, many states limit the conditions where medical cannabis can be offered. This is in contrast to California, where patients can quite easily get hold of an MMJ card. They can then walk into a dispensary and purchase the products that they are entitled to. 

Even in some places where recreational marijuana is legalized, people cannot always access it easily. In Washington D.C., for example, while possession of cannabis is legal, the sale of it is not. 

Benefits of cannabis legalization 

Cannabis legalization is ultimately proving to be a great victory for the American people, in terms of freedom and health. More clinical trials are now vital because of the increased use. This is almost certain to throw up further medicinal uses, which for some conditions, could replace prescription drugs. Cannabis is popular as it causes fewer side effects. Many also report getting benefits from marijuana they weren’t expecting. This could be down to the unique effect that cannabinoids have on the body, by reacting with the endocannabinoid system (ECS).

Moreover, while the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has always had the power to override state law and raid dispensaries, attitudes are changing. The US public is now overwhelming supportive of legal marijuana. The social battle for cannabis has been won thanks to states legalization, and the clear medicinal benefits that is bringing. The DEA increasingly has bigger issues to handle, with the opioid crisis, and also the increasing presence of harmful, synthetic drugs.

Federal legalization of cannabis containing THC may still be a way off. Much depends on political circumstances. Although this would likely be a bipartisan issue that Democrats and Republicans could work together on. If cannabis is legalized soon, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would likely want to have a role in product regulation. 

Is CBD oil legal in all 50 states?

Now we have summarized the legal status of cannabis, let’s move onto the chemical compound of CBD, and the industrial hemp plant. This is an area where the federal government has become much more involved in during the 2010s. However, the emergence of a CBD industry was an unintended effect of the legalization of hemp products in 2014. The 2014 farm bill did not mention CBD once. The law simply allowed for the sale of hemp products with less than 0.3 percent THC. Hemp has a number of other uses, such as to make clothing and rope. 

However, this loophole meant that companies started to spring up selling CBD products to all 50 states. While the farm bill suggested there was nothing wrong with this, the Schedule 1 status of CBD as a cannabis-derived substance posed a problem. This was clarified in the 2018 farm bill, which legalized hemp cultivation across the country. Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell was a strong advocate for the bill. The Kentucky senator wants to kickstart hemp farming in his own state. Kentucky was big on hemp production before the plant was banned in the 1930s.

Yes, CBD is federally legal  

Therefore, according to federal law, we can now say that CBD is legal in all 50 states. There are very few FDA-approved products, however. Epidiolex is currently the only CBD medicine on the market, and is used to treat epilepsy. The CBD products that the average American citizen can buy are sold as hemp supplements. These work just the same, and are made from natural hemp extracts. 

But it has been up to manufacturers to effectively self-regulate. With the FDA not yet involved, CBD businesses send their hemp oil products to third-party labs for testing and analysis. This system works pretty well, and has served to distinguish reputable businesses from those selling snake oil. When the hemp-derived CBD industry first emerged, some dodgy companies were diluting the CBD, if they were even including it at all. 

CBD products must also be checked because of THC levels. The hemp plant is not THC-free, it just has a very low amount of it. CBD-isolate products are manufactured to have 0% THC. But full-spectrum CBD products are created with full-plant extracts, so may have a small concentration. Providing this is kept within the 0.3% maximum set by recent farm bills, there is no legal problem. 

Taking cannabis or CBD products on planes

Because cannabis remains prohibited at federal level, it’s illegal to take any THC-containing marijuana product on a plane. This still applies if you are travelling between legal states (e.g. California to Colorado). Airports are federal buildings, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) a federal agency that adheres to federal law. By the same logic, it’s not permitted to take cannabis across state lines – again, even between pro-cannabis, legal states. 

The law on taking CBD products on planes is not as clear-cut. But considering the recent changes in CBD law, there shouldn’t be an issue travelling with hemp-derived products. CBD could potentially be very useful for nervous travellers hoping to calm their anxiety before a flight. Products may also help with sleep if going on a long journey. 

A recent TSA update clarified that carrying some CBD oil is now okay. It’s probably best to only travel with the necessary quantity, and not to be using a product that looks too much like cannabis and may arouse suspicion.

The law on cannabis outside of America 

America gets the most attention regarding recreational cannabis, as the first major country where any form of legalization became a reality. But a month prior to Colorado’s new dawn, the South American nation of Uruguay also approved cannabis. However, the country holds a much different perspective, and has not capitalized on its early status as a trailblazer.

While Uruguay has legalized cannabis, it wasn’t out of any affinity for the plant. Rather, the law was to combat health problems and drug-related crimes. The country has never criminalized drug possession at a personal level. Uruguayans can grow up to six plants for personal use, or up to 99 if part of a registered growers’ club. Since 2017, approved pharmacies have been able to sell cannabis at a commercial level.

Canada made headlines in 2018 by passing The Cannabis Act. This made them the first G8 nation to legalize recreational pot. Canada hopes that a legal industry will reduce or eliminate the cannabis black market, and make it more difficult for those underage to get hold of marijuana. Cannabis is legal at 18 or 19 in Canada, slightly younger than in the US. 

Meanwhile, European nations are also getting curious about cannabis. The Netherlands leads the way, decriminalizing marijuana in the 1970s. This has made Amsterdam a hub for weed smokers worldwide. Coffeeshops can sell marijuana to Dutch people and foreigners. Patrons tend to smoke inside, but the police tend to turn an eye to public smokers, providing they aren’t making a nuisance.

CBD in Europe 

CBD is also making its mark in Europe. Some countries, including Switzerland, permit up to 1% THC in CBD products, more than three times the US limit. In the UK, however, the THC threshold is a little lower at 0.2%. There isn’t really any scientific evidence suggesting what the THC limit should be – politicians are just forced to choose a number. 

The UK also recently legalized medical cannabis. However, despite this happening almost a year ago, very few prescriptions are being made. Doctors are hesitant to do so without clinical research. This is likely an indication of the problem other countries will face if and when they legalize, and particularly those with government-run healthcare systems. It also emphasizes just how important more research is in the coming years. Now marijuana is more prevalent, public demand is likely to keep increasing. 

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13 famous people who use CBD or cannabis 

With cannabis and subsequently cannabidiol (CBD) use becoming more widespread in mainstream society, it’s no surprise that many celebrities are now using these products as well, for both therapeutic and recreational reasons. 

In this article, we are going to look at 13 celebrities who use CBD or cannabis and have become vocal advocates for both psychoactive and non-intoxicating products. You should always trust scientists over celebrities when it comes to understanding the benefits of CBD and cannabis. But their comments can give a good idea of – and put a human touch on – the benefits of this famous herb. 

Olivia Wilde 

The well-known American-Irish actress Olivia Wilde has become a strong supporter of CBD. She particularly likes CBD lotions and creams, which can be used on the skin to provide relief from aches and pains. This is really important for Wilde, who has a heavy schedule on Broadway, and needs to stay in tip-top condition. She has previously noted that Broadway plays tend to “wreck” her body, and cause tightness in the neck. CBD topicals are an excellent way of managing the pain, without having to use addictive opioid painkillers. 

The jury on CBD’s pain-killing potential is still out for now. There are many people who say that CBD hemp oil, e-liquid and creams work, but there is an absence of compelling clinical evidence. This is understandable, since CBD has not been extensively studied. Researchers must now establish if CBD is a powerful painkiller, or whether users are just enjoying a large placebo effect. 

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston has gone on the record saying that she takes CBD products, to help with “pain, stress and anxiety.” She has explained to the media how CBD offers the benefits of cannabis, but doesn’t give the ‘high’ that typically comes with the plant. 

Indeed, CBD is the perfect form of cannabis for those struggling with anxiety. The ‘high’ that comes from THC can actually make anxiety worse, as it briefly distorts the user’s perception of reality. CBD, in contrast, does not affect those who take it in such a way. Instead, CBD calms the brain down. This shows why it can also help with stress. Key to reducing stress levels is to stop excessive activity in the brain and to stay in a tranquil state. Research indicates that CBD makes a vital chemical change in the body to alleviate stress, limiting levels of cortisol, a stress hormone. 

Alessandra Ambrosio

Brazilian Victoria’s Secret model and actress Alessandra Ambrosio is yet another famous name who indulges in CBD’s benefits, for sleep and anxiety. She has commented that to perform at her best at a fashion show, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep. CBD appears to have value for sleep, having a regulating effect on the sleep-wake cycle via the endocannabinoid system. Moreover, relaxing the body and reducing anxiety is also conducive to better sleep, and less fatigue during the day. A healthy sleep pattern is also good for long-term brain health. 

Furthermore, Ambrosio has also spoke highly of another new medical marijuana-type product: CBD water, which she says delivers a natural boost. CBD water is certainly innovative, making the cannabinoids more potent than usual thanks to novel nanotechnology. This tech breaks down the CBD molecules so that the body can absorb them into the bloodstream more efficiently. Hence, a 5mg dose of CBD that has been subjected to nanotechnology brings about a stronger effect than a 5mg dose which hasn’t. 

Nate Diaz 

Mixed Martial Arts fighter Nate Diaz caused a real stir a few years ago when he was spotted vaping CBD in a post-fight press conference. Asked about what he was taking (many had assumed it was cannabis with THC!), Diaz went into detail about the properties of CBD and how it enhances quality of life. He focussed particularly on CBD helps with recovery after a taxing fight in the octagon. 

Nate Diaz’s CBD use may have been controversial, but he has perhaps helped to normalize the substance, and eliminate the stigma surrounding it. Athletes who use CBD may want to thank Diaz for the positive publicity, as it all has helped with getting the World Anti-Doping Agency to take CBD off their banned list. This move was finally taken at the beginning of 2018. 

Michael J Fox 

Michael J. Fox is a Canadian-American actor perhaps best remembered for his starring role in the popular trilogy Back To The Future. But more recently, Fox has made headlines for his CBD advocacy, especially in regard to its potential therapeutic effects for Parkinson’s disease. Fox was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative condition at 29, and has spoken openly about it in an attempt to increase awareness and promote increased research. 

Evidence on CBD for Parkinson’s indicates that the compound boosts dopamine safely, without adverse effects. This seems to improve mobility, reduce seizures and shaking, and ease pain. Many clinical studies still need to be carried out, but CBD certainly holds promise for Parkinson’s. Fox started the Michael J Fox foundation several years ago, which has pumped more than $600 million into clinical research for Parkinson’s. Fox also uses CBD himself to manage symptoms, allowing him to keep up to speed with his busy life. 

Kim Kardashian 

Kim Kardashian is one of the most famous people in the world, with a Twitter following in excess of 60 million. Anything that the American personality and socialite does gets notice, which recently has been fantastic news for CBD. Kardashian brought the compound even more into the limelight by hosting a CBD-themed baby shower for her fourth child. 

Products featured included CBD body oils and bath salts, and the baby shower also focussed on sound healing and meditation. While some thought that it was all a little over the top, nobody can deny that CBD promotes wellness. Hemp oils and bath oils are wonderful for the skin, with the antioxidants having a unique anti-aging effect. Infused salts make for extra muscle relaxation and pain relief while bathing. We look forward to Kim talking more about CBD to her social media followers. 

Mike Tyson

Former heavyweight champion boxer made the news in 2019 after referring to CBD as a “miracle” oil. He made the comments on Joey Diaz’s podcast. Tyson went on to talk about the various types of CBD-infused product available, such as gummies and tincture oils. 

Tyson has made a few waves by being a cannabis advocate. He is now operating a marijuana farm, called ‘Tyson Ranch’, which creates products for a dozen dispensaries across America. Tyson features products made from hemp, as well as psychoactive weed. There is some talk about using CBD for athletic performance. We are keen to see if Tyson makes products with this in mind in the future. 

Morgan Freeman

Actor Morgan Freeman has pushed strongly for medical cannabis reform in the past. He is now showing his support of CBD, too. This has come after being involved in a car accident in 2008. Before which, it seems Freeman only used to stump for cannabis from a freedom perspective. 

But the 82-year-old has gone on the record about how he uses CBD to relieve chronic pain. Freeman’s story is a familiar one for many seniors. While cannabis use has been frowned upon for decades, and elderly patients have tended to avoid it, many have now reached the age where they simply want a treatment that works. 

Tom Hanks 

Tom Hanks has become a very powerful voice for CBD over the past few months. The Forrest Gump actor was diagnosed with Type II diabetes several years ago. he went public about it back in 2013 during an interview on David Letterman’s chat show. Hanks has also told CNN about how CBD has helped him to manage anxiety, and various “aches and pains.”

The American is now working with a Cornell University student, who is looking into the possibilities of CBD for diabetes. There is little definitive yet about the effects of CBD for the condition. However, hopefully, with Hanks’ financial muscle, we’ll get some high-quality, comprehensive studies soon. 

Tommy Chong

Tommy Chong has always been immersed in counter-culture movements and has talked about the value of cannabis to anybody who will listen for decades! And he has also given the thumbs up to CBD products, too, even developing his own range. Chong has even gone so far as to say that CBD will “change the world”. Big talk, but there are plenty who would agree given the recent scientific breakthrough, and people’s own use of the cannabinoid.

Snoop Dogg

He is one of America’s most famous rappers. And the one thing that just about everybody associates with Snoop Dogg, after his music, is marijuana. Snoop is often seen puffing on a joint, or looking pretty stoned if he isn’t! He now uses his mammoth social media followings to talk about weed, spreading the word. 

The ‘Young, Wild and Free’ singer has developed his own cannabis products, and accessories. He caused a stir in the summer of 2019 after publishing a viral meme about how cannabis was safer than alcohol. Footballer and notoriously heavy drinker Paul Gascoigne, who was featured in the meme, went so far as to call out Snoop Dogg for a boxing match.  

Rihanna

Despite her huge media profile, the singer Rihanna wasn’t even afraid to show her support for cannabis, even before it was cool. Several times the Barbadian has been pictured smoking a joint. Some have been critical about her marijuana use, since she has a young daughter, but that hasn’t stopped her. 

However, it’s not always been pretty. A hotel kicked RiRi out after she was caught smoking marijuana back in 2010. In 2012, she was even bold enough to roll up a joint on a bodyguard’s head. A couple of years later, there was talk that Rihanna was trying to cut back on her weed consumption somewhat, to healthier and more sustainable levels. 

Seth Rogen 

The actor Seth Rogen has become more associated with cannabis and CBD has his fame and grown, trying to make good on his increased public profile. Rogen has even gone to Congress in an effort to get the laws on CBD changed for the better. 

Rogen is not shy to be seen smoking a joint. But one of his main interests is for the legalization of CBD has medication for Alzheimer’s disease. As with many areas of CBD science, there is a lack of firm clinical research. However, there is some encouraging data from small trials.  

Conclusion

CBD has relaxing benefits and the idea of taking it is less controversial than ever. Here’s a quick summary of who it can help: 

  • Those who want to avoid using too many painkillers 
  • People with high anxiety and stress levels 
  • Those not getting enough sleep 
  • Anyone who wants to enhance skin quality 
  • People looking to maintain and boost brain health

 

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A comprehensive review of CBD for addiction 

Addiction is a brain disorder that can have obvious or subtle effects. But either way, they ultimately prove to have an utterly devastating effect on quality of life. Finding working treatments for addiction has been a testing challenge for experts, due to the brain’s complexity. New drugs are being explored. These include psychedelics such as psilocybin (the main ingredient in magic mushrooms), and also the totally non-intoxicating cannabidiol (CBD) from the hemp plant. 

Research for addiction arguably hit its highest heights in the 1950s and 60s, when scientists in America and Canada were studying substances that have ultimately become banned. Cannabis is one such prohibited drug. While the ban was installed in the 1930s, the later Controlled Substances Act has made cannabinoid research more difficult ever since. 

But the revival of medical cannabis has set the stage for a new scientific era. Experts are increasingly optimistic about the value of CBD and the cannabis plant for opioid addiction and more. Even better, it appears that CBD oil produces few side effects, while working to reduce cravings. 

This post will concentrate on the following areas:

  • How the effects of CBD may help with heroin addiction 
  • Which cannabis product is best for addiction 
  • How to get the dosage right 
  • Why combining CBD with a holistic approach may yield better results
  • How the mild psychoactive properties of THC may combat addictive tendencies

CBD: a treatment for heroin and prescription opioid addiction?

Addictions don’t just affect physical health – they have a scarring mental effect too. Not being able to break an addictive habit can cause severe psychological torment. Many opioid users are finding themselves in this conundrum, and not all of them through their own doing. While heroin is a huge problem, prescription opioids have made drug addicts out of those who never imagined they would be. These drugs are also extraordinarily dangerous, due to the extreme overdose risk. In all, overdoses from prescription drugs have accounted for almost 200,000 American lives in the past 20 years. 

In 2019, the peer-reviewed American Journal of Psychiatry featured a study on CBD’s anti-addictive effects for heroin, and therefore prescription opioids, too. The experiment involved assessing the short and long-term benefits of CBD for opiate addiction. Cravings for heroin diminished, as did anxiety about getting a fix. Furthermore, the research found no serious side effects from CBD treatment on mental health. 

Yasmin Hurd, the lead researcher of the study has lots of experience in researching addiction treatments. Previous experiments on CBD’s benefits for heroin in animal models produced good results. Hence the desire for a similar study on humans. She said that the effects of CBD on “cue-induced drug craving and anxiety are particularly important.” Hurd noted how environmental cues are prone to triggering relapse and continued drug use.

The next step is for a more extensive study on CBD oil for addiction, to determine how the cannabinoid produces its effects. Neuroimaging studies should make it clearer which neuronal circuits CBD operates on to decrease anxiety and cravings. Then it will be vital to find out the “right dosing and dosing regimen.” 

Other promising research 

In 2015, a review found CBD beneficial for those with opioid, tobacco and cocaine addictions. Moreover, the treatment was successful without causing severe side effects or intense withdrawal symptoms. Even if psychoactive cannabis was being used to manage addiction, it is surely better for users to be on that than drugs with a high overdose risk. 

Several countries are studying the medical potential of CBD and marijuana in general. Clinical trials are still fairly sparse, but surveys and small studies are starting to come thick and fast. A 2009 study in the Journal of Neuroscience found that CBD may reduce addictive tendencies by affecting pleasure-reward mechanisms in the brain. Regulating opioid receptors appeared to be essential to this response. 

Which is best: CBD for addiction or cannabis? 

CBD certainly has intriguing anti-addiction potential. But could a full-plant cannabis extract that features delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) be even more effective? The whole plant offers extra benefits to the endocannabinoid system (ECS), courtesy of the ‘entourage effect’, a synergistic reaction between cannabinoids. However, products with THC come with some risks due to the psychoactive properties. Really strong pot may even be addictive, hence why some tout CBD for weed addiction.

Full-spectrum CBD products are the middle ground. These are made with CBD-rich hemp, but can incorporate all of the plant’s compounds, such as other cannabinoids and therapeutic terpenes. Hemp naturally generates hardly any THC, and hemp products with less than 0.3 percent THC are federally legal. Fast-acting CBD products are perhaps best for managing addiction anxiety and cravings. Tincture oils, smoked hemp flower and vape juices deliver the effects just a few minutes after consumption. 

Considering the risk of mental dependence due to THC’s psychoactive effect, anybody using cannabis for addiction must be careful. Strains with high levels of THC, which are typically taken for recreational purposes, are not likely to help. One-to-one strains where there is a roughly even balance of CBD to THC may work better. 

That said, a small study did find that THC helped to wean heroin-addicted monkeys from the drug. Any treatment that could help with opiate addiction should be explored extensively given America’s current crisis. And since the risk of addiction with THC is merely mental and not physical, it would still mark progress to get a patient off opioids and onto cannabis. 

Finding the perfect dose for addiction 

Getting the dosage right with both CBD and THC is tricky as the substances have biphasic properties. This means they affect the body completely differently depending on the amount. CBD, for instance, is energizing in small amounts and sedating in large doses. THC, meanwhile, alleviates anxiety in low doses, but can trigger it in higher levels. 

A study published studied how low doses of CBD and THC were effective at treating rodents addicted to cocaine and amphetamines. Combining a 5mg/kg dose of CBD with a 0.5mg/kg dose of THC treated the reward patterns and learned behavior associated with addictions. The CBD continued to benefit the rats for nearly two weeks after the cessation of treatment. 

Other important factors for treating addiction 

Getting to the root cause for an addiction is key when helping to treat a patient. There is usually a reason why someone becomes addicted to drugs or any negative habit. Addictions offer a brief period of pleasure and escapism from traumatic events and other life stresses. Talking through these issues with a counsellor or therapist, and identifying the thought processes that lead to addiction are vital in conjunction with any medical treatment. Digging into uncomfortable thoughts can be troubling in itself, but is ultimately beneficial providing the care is good. 

Interestingly, CBD combats the learned fear that can lead to addiction. This is perhaps down to CBD’s actions on the hippocampus, where short and long-term memory is regulated. An investigation studying learned fear found that patients given CBD were less scared of an electric shock than those treated with a placebo. Hippocampal neurogenesis (the creation of new brain cells) is one of CBD’s primary benefits. Studies have also found that CBD calms the brain, reducing anxiety by promoting balance between various neurotransmitters. An additional anti-anxiety comes from CBD being a 5-HT1A (serotonin 1A) receptor agonist. 

Reducing learned fear and anxiety can be helpful when tackling addiction. It makes it slightly easier to dredge up the truth and talk honestly about bad habits. This could be useful if taking CBD for alcohol addiction, perhaps. 

Managing addiction holistically 

Some find that a holistic approach to addiction works best. There may be other reasons why someone has an addiction to a particular substance, and is struggling to quit. It’s harder to quit alcohol, perhaps, in societies where alcohol is very prominent socially. The triggers for relapse are going to be much harder to avoid. CBD can help, but developing strategies to avoid relapse situations is important too. For most, willpower only goes so far. 

In addition, tackling an addiction indirectly could make all the difference. Someone taking opioid painkillers to manage a painful inflammatory illness should look at what’s causing the addiction. If a poor diet is to blame, then maybe eating healthier would reduce inflammation and the need to take opioids. On this post, there is also potential with CBD for food addiction, CBD for sugar addiction and CBD for comfort eating.

What’s the most effective way to beat an addiction? 

Scientists specializing in addiction are best in how to treat this issue. One side favors a ‘cold turkey’ approach, where the patient immediately stops taking the drug. Others prefer ‘harm reduction’, where intake of the addictive drug or habit is gradually rolled back, either by reducing the dose or changing to a less harmful substance. 

Some patients are able to successfully go ‘cold turkey’. Their willpower is able to hold off cravings and suppress anxiety. But a strong network of support is also vital for this risky strategy to work. Why risky? Should the ‘cold turkey’ approach fail, the patient not only has an addiction to manage, but it can become even harder to quit as they have already failed at least once. 

Harm reduction, however, allows the patient to build on progress. Consider someone taking CBD for THC addiction: reducing the number of joints smoked over a set period enables the patient to build on their good work, and cut intake back even more the next time. This lets the addict focus on the positives, rather than the ‘cold turkey’ method which can leave patients troubled by the psychological blows of relapses. 

Can psychoactive drugs help with addiction? 

We have spoken a little about THC’s anti-addictive effects. Research has shown that potent psychedelics can reduce alcohol and tobacco dependence. However, studies into the likes of LSD and psilocybin have been hard to come by, never mind a drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Psychedelics, of which THC is a mild one, have an effect on the central nervous system, but their impact appears much more profound than that. 

Chemically and physically, these drugs help to form new brain patterns. But the psychedelic experience itself is renowned for giving the user visuals, which sometimes help them to put their life in perspective. A heroin addict, for example, may be able to perceive how their addiction is hurting those around them while undergoing a psychedelic experience. However, much of this must be viewed as speculation, since we mostly only have anecdotes to go on, as opposed to hard scientific evidence. 

Final thoughts

CBD, cannabis and several other drugs have all demonstrated anti-addictive properties. With society facing huge addiction problems, all drugs with potential must be researched thoroughly in the coming decades. CBD is perhaps more promising than others since it is non-intoxicating.

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Assessing the risks of high cannabis potency 

The marijuana plant is enjoying a phenomenal renaissance, going from a prohibited and demonized substance to a medicinal marvel and in-demand legal recreational drug in the space of 20 years or so. Several states across America have embraced full legalization, while more than 30 permit cannabis for medicinal use. Uruguay and Canada have also legalized cannabis medicinally and recreationally. A long list of nations have also embraced medical marijuana to varying degrees, such as the United Kingdom. 

But while the new dawn for cannabis is a huge win for anyone in favor of natural medicine and, on a more fundamental basis, freedom, there is one key reason why all of us – including rmarijuana advocates – should be concerned about the 21st century weed industry: cannabis potency. 

Weed is getting stronger

There’s no getting around it. Today’s pot is many times stronger than what was being smoked in ancient times, and even that which was enjoyed during the 1960s and 70s. The average recreational cannabis user wants to get higher, and higher still, preferring weed with rich concentrations of the psychoactive cannabinoid delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). 

This is possible thanks to modern science, and savvy growers who have learned how to increase cannabis potency. Research showed that THC was responsible for the ‘stoned’ effect, and new cultivation techniques have taken levels of THC from single digits to in excess of 20 percent. A strain with 20 percent THC contains 200 milligrams of THC per gram. 

Less mentioned in this cannabinoid manipulation is the declining amount of non-intoxicating cannabidiol (CBD) in strains and cannabis products. Research has shown that CBD naturally reduces the ‘high’ caused by THC, hence why recreational growers have sought to breed it out of strains like Gorilla Glue and Girl Scout Cookies as much as possible.

But what are the consequences of stronger marijuana? While the proliferation of this type of weed has been seized upon by anti-cannabis organizations and journalists, the dangers of high-THC weed shouldn’t be simply thrown out as “reefer madness”. In this post, we’ll assess the legitimate risks of super-strength weed, judging from the existing scientific research. Then, we’ll analyze the role CBD may have in promoting more sustainable relationships with cannabis. 

By the time you’ve finished reading, you’ll know all about:

  • How THC and CBD impact the brain
  • The dangers of cannabinoid manipulation
  • The short and long-term dangers of excessive THC consumption
  • How CBD can ease cannabis side effects
  • Why CBD may help to reverse THC-induced cognitive decline 

CBD vs THC for the brain 

The effects of CBD and THC on the brain occur mostly in the endocannabinoid system (ECS), although there is evidence that the former also influences the serotonin system. CBD is non-intoxicating and considered non-psychoactive. 

CBD products made from the industrial hemp plant are popular herbal remedies for managing anxiety. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has also approved a CBD drug for Dravet’s syndrome, an unusual type of epilepsy – CBD helps to reduce seizures. Both the anti-anxiety and anti-epileptic properties of CBD are a result of calming brain activity. 

In contrast, THC has an excitation effect on the brain, increasing activity, and producing a psychoactive response through binding to CB1 receptors in the ECS. This connection also explains the analgesic and appetite-boosting qualities of THC. The cannabinoid is a highly potent version of the endocannabinoid anandamide, and binds to both cannabinoid receptors in the ECS. 

Which compound is ‘better’ for the brain depends entirely on one’s reasons for using marijuana. The high potency of a THC-rich recreational strain is essential for those who want the psychoactive effects of cannabis. However, for users who don’t want a ‘high’, but mental relaxation and a subtle mood boost, pure CBD products are preferable. Some even use cannabis with a higher CBD and lower THC content for balance – this extracts the synergistic ‘entourage effect’. 

Why interfering with a strain’s natural cannabinoid profile is risky

The ECS is new to modern scientists, but is not a recent evolution in humans. Researchers are confident that it has existed in humans and other life forms for hundreds of millions of years. It’s clear that the ECS is integral to our overall health. Understanding that the ECS is ancient and that our body has learned to interact with phyto-cannabinoids from cannabis and hemp just emphasizes how important it is to keep the plant as natural as possible. 

Some marijuana users fall into the trap of thinking that today’s potent strains pose no risk, because it’s natural and non-synthetic. While this is true to an extent, the 20% THC strains we see now are novel, having emerged only in the past few decades. Our bodies may have worked with cannabinoids for thousands of years. But never have humans been taking such high concentrations of THC before, nor weed with such a lopsided THC to CBD balance. 

The damage this may be causing cannot be fully appreciated, as there simply hasn’t been enough research yet. We simply know that cannabis users are being exposed to a new chemical cocktail. 

However, it’s the fact that CBD and THC can have distinctly opposite effects that is concerning. For instance, research points towards CBD growing the hippocampus, a brain region in the medial temporal lobe. However, large amounts of THC are neurotoxic to the hippocampus. That memory loss and lack of motivation are often experienced by heavy marijuana users perhaps makes more sense now, since the hippocampus is implicated in memory and motivation regulation. 

The dangers of excessive THC consumption and how CBD helps

In addition to super-strength strains, concentrates are also making a splash on the modern marijuana market. These products – such as crystals and wax – are akin to a high potency cannabis strain multiplied by four or five. THC levels often exceed 80% and can go as high as 99%, with THC-isolate products not having any THC at all. While this may deliver a crazy high for weed lovers, the risks posed by such products are clear to see. 

Short-term

Not all users respond well to even a small dose of THC, from a joint or cannabis edible. The distorting effect that the psychoactive substance has on reality can cause bouts of paranoia and anxiety, which often do not subside until the THC wears off. This can be quite scary for first-time cannabis users with no psychoactive experience. Even though marijuana is only a weak psychedelic in comparison to other drugs, it shows the importance of a relaxing ‘set’ and ‘setting’ while tripping. A good mental state beforehand can be key to a happy trip. 

In the event of a THC-induced anxiety attack, CBD is great for cooling off a high. The anxiolytic effect is enhanced by CBD suppressing THC’s psychoactive effect as a CB1 receptor antagonist. A hemp CBD tincture oil promotes quick anxiety relief. All cannabis users could benefit by having a CBD product close by should a trip go wrong. 

Long-term 

In the long run, the effects of excessive THC consumption can be significant on mental health. Psychotic and schizophrenic outbreaks can occur in people who are predisposed to these illnesses. Prescription antipsychotic drugs are available for these disorders, but research suggests CBD may be more effective. 

Experts are studying the CB1 receptor antagonist mechanism that CBD functions in to determine if it could more efficiently treat these conditions, with fewer side effects. That said, it is not recommended that people with psychosis and schizophrenia treat their ailments with CBD oil or any other CBD product, without a doctor’s recommendation. 

For cognitive problems – and especially motivation and memory issues – attributed to abuse of THC, a study has shown that CBD may help. Going back to an earlier point on how CBD and THC are neuroprotective and neurotoxic for the hippocampus respectively, using the former could reverse hippocampal damage. A small investigation featured in the Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research journal found that CBD repairs this brain region. And it appears that those worst affected enjoyed the most help from CBD. 

The best cannabinoid mix for hippocampal repair is not clear. Cannabichromene (CBC), another non-intoxicating cannabinoid, also has a neurogenesis effect. Moreover, further research, and a bigger study, is needed to confirm if CBD is a genuine solution here. But the good news is that CBD is safe and can be taken by any otherwise healthy person who has previously had cannabis addiction problems. 

How to test cannabis oil potency

Cannabis potency testing is a job typically left to third-party labs. These have sprung up to give validity to marijuana companies selling their products in an unregulated market. A test looks for the cannabinoid levels in various products. For a recreational weed product, this is usually to confirm the level of THC. For CBD products, a third-party test shows how much CBD is present. The test also shows whether the product is legal. The THC level in hemp-based CBD products must be less than 0.3% of the overall dry weight. 

Purchase a testing kit to find out the potency of a cannabis or hash oil product for yourself. Cannabis potency testing equipment kits vary in price, with some kits able to test for other cannabinoids (aside from CBD and THC), as well as terpenes. CBD potency is less of an issue, as it’s non-intoxicating and not possible to overdose on. Nor do drug tests flag up CBD. 

Which CBD products effectively moderate THC?

Any CBD product will help to reduce the psychoactive effects of THC. The ideal product for you depends on how quickly you want it to work. Standard potency CBD gummies made from hemp oil can take up to an hour to fully kick in. However, vape cartridges provide an active hit of CBD in just a few minutes. The ideal dosage will be decided on how much THC you have taken and need to suppress. 

Get more from hemp and CBD with a full-spectrum product. The likes of HempBombs and CBDistillery bring the whole plant into play. This makes their CBD more therapeutic than CBD-isolate solutions because of the entourage effect. Although, some find when calming their high that a product with just CBD is better. Trying both is the only way to know which is best for you. 

Final thoughts 

There are certainly risks with the high-strength weed that dominates the cannabis industry today. In the coming years, as cannabis research increases, our currently thin knowledge will increase. But while the dangers may become more apparent, the benefits of CBD products are  also incredibly promising. 

It could be that even those who have abused cannabis previously can recover their full cognitive abilities with CBD treatment. New cannabis users, however, may be best off using one-to-one strains. These balance the CBD and THC. And for no high at all, high-CBD strains work even better. The weed market has expanded so much, and there are now premium products for all users.

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Why CBD is good for the brain

Cannabis has a profound effect on the brain, and this fact was first realized by humans thousands of years ago. More recently, marijuana has been considered to be a net negative for mental health and the brain. But this was before the properties of cannabidiol (CBD) were extensively explored. The cannabinoid, which can be legally derived from hemp, has become a medicinal wonder over the past few years, and it is showing impressive, wide-ranging potential for brain health.

This article will help to improve your understanding of CBD’s neurological effects. We will cover:

 

  • How CBD differs from regular cannabis
  • How CBD works in the brain
  • The benefits of CBD for various mental conditions
  • Which CBD products may be most helpful for the brain
  • Why CBD is of therapeutic value to chronic cannabis users

We have tons of fascinating information to share with you. But please keep in mind the following is just informational content, and not a substitute for medical advice.

How does CBD work in the brain?

CBD works in the brain by acting on cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) that comprise part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). CBD optimizes the ECS, which promotes homeostasis in the body. A healthy ECS is thought to reduce the likelihood of mood disorders and cognitive problems, and more serious mental illnesses like psychosis and schizophrenia.

CB1 receptors are more dominant than CB2 receptors in the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain and spinal cord. These are implicated in regulating mood, appetite, memory and pain sensitivity. The receptor has become a target for various conditions, including depression and anxiety. But a dearth of clinical trials has so far stopped us from knowing the true effectiveness of CBD.

CBD is non-psychoactive

One huge benefit of CBD in comparison to typical cannabis products is its non-psychoactive status. The intoxicating effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), generally the most abundant cannabinoid in marijuana, is thought to aggravate certain mental illnesses.

The psychoactive effects mean that cannabis has been outlawed in many countries, including the United States, for several decades. Marijuana research has been hard to come by for this reason. But as CBD is safe with few side effects, and can be taken in rich quantities from hemp, which is now legal, the compound is being studied and used by the American public at a greater rate than ever before. It’s even popular for several mental disorders that cannabis was thought to be problematic for, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

CBD effects on brain health

CBD has numerous nuanced effects on brain health. Due to the complexity of neuroscience, and the limited cannabinoid research conducted, much of the evidence on CBD’s therapeutic neurological benefits is preliminary. However, some fascinating studies offer an insight into how CBD could be used for the brain. And coupled with our knowledge on what people are taking CBD for, we can join a few dots to get a good idea of what the compound has medical benefits for.

CBD for anxiety

An overactive brain is responsible for the mental disorder anxiety. Treatments for the condition have historically looked at involving the 5-HT1A receptors in the serotonin system, of which CBD is an agonist. CBD also regulates brain levels of gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter that inhibits electrical impulses in the brain. This is a key effect, as a balance between inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitters like glutamate is vital. Otherwise, the brain becomes excessively active, which increases the risks of epileptic seizures as well as anxiety.

Most people using CBD for anxiety prefer the efficient qualities of CBD vape pens, or tincture oils if they want to stay healthy. CBD is likely much better than regular medication for generalized and social anxiety, as the benefits are noticeable in minutes, not weeks.

CBD for brain inflammation

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans on the brain are showing the differences in brain structures between healthy people, and those with depression and other mental disorders. MRIs are transforming views on mental illness. Disorders aren’t just due to chemical issues, but physical problems, too. Major depressive disorder may explain brain inflammation. Neuro-inflammation causes structural changes to the brain.

Studies have linked depression to damage in various regions of the brain, notably the hippocampus, where motivation and memory is controlled, and the prefrontal cortex. Research also shows that CBD, cannabichromene (CBC) and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids have neuroprotective qualities, which not only reduce symptoms but have a healing effect on the brain.

The anti-inflammatory influence of CBD on the brain suggests that it may provide more potent and enduring benefits for depressed patients than current drugs. While animal studies are merely a precursor for human, clinical trials, such research has highlighted how an antidepressant effect lasting several days can be obtained from just one dose of CBD.

CBD for neuropathic pain

Neuropathic pain occurs when nerves involved with the transferral of information between the brain and spinal cord and other regions of the body. Symptoms of conditions like multiple sclerosis (MS) tend to be intensely painful, and hard to manage.  Neuropathic pain severely affects quality of life, due to loss of mobility.

A study in Anesthesia and Analgesia in 2017 showed why CBD may be helpful for chronic nerve pain. Treatment may also help to combat fatigue and enhance sleep quality by easing pain at night. To relieve this type of pain in the daytime, vaping or smoking hemp-derived CBD products may be best. At night, a CBD edible product like CBD gummies will last for longer. Boost CBD’s sedative effects with a product that contains indica terpenes. 

CBD oil for brain injuries

It may be possible to alleviate the damage caused by strokes, traumatic brain injuries and concussions by using CBD, and hemp-derived CBD products. A rat model found that CBD treatment could reduce brain damage from an artificial ischemia stroke. MRI scans showcased the benefits of CBD administration. Researchers found that CBD reduced neuronal loss and helped with long-term recovery, by regulating various factors, including brain inflammation and apoptosis.

A 2018 study looked at the potential of medicinal cannabis to treat concussion syndrome and concussion-related pain in humans. They suggested that medical cannabis could be helpful, and that treatments with 1:1 THC to CBD were better than 20:1 THC to CBD. Therefore, CBD looks to have a medicinal effect that is worth studying in more depth.

CBD for brain fog

Most of us experience a mental slump at some point in life. This brain fog can be due to symptoms of other illnesses, like fibromyalgia. But there are several factors that could lead to a decline in cognition, from brain inflammation to poor gut health. The good news is that the ECS regulates cognitive function and memory, and could help to ease brain fog symptoms, and bring back mental clarity.

Any CBD product where the cannabinoids are taken into the brain can help with mental fogginess. Those wanting a rapid boost and perhaps a creative spark may want to try products with sativa terpenes. Sativas enhance mood, and have pleasant cerebral effects.

CBD for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease

Could CBD really help with Alzheimer’s disease? There is certainly optimism among the CBD community, because of the neurogenesis that CBD provides to the hippocampus. Memory is regulated here, and hippocampal atrophy, or shrinkage, has been linked to Alzheimer’s. A Brazilian patient is now being prescribed CBD for Alzheimer’s after getting special permission, and it will be intriguing to see the long-term effects of treatment for this form of dementia. 

Parkinson’s groups all over the world are expressing their support for the relaxation of laws surrounding medical cannabis. CBD’s potential for this neurodegenerative illness is unclear. But studies have shown that CBD can reduce psychotic symptoms, and relieve depression and anxiety. It may also help with tremors and sleeping problems. CBD is an inverse agonist of CPR6 receptors in the basal ganglia, a potential target for future Parkinson’s medication.

Huntington’s is a brain disorder that adversely affects cognition, emotional processing and motor control, and the illness is inherited.Huntington’s develops in the 30s and 40s, and damages nerve cells in the brain. CBD has actually been researched for Huntington’s for many decades. In 1991, a controlled clinical trial showed that CBD had no effect on the disease. Other studies have found that cannabinoids are neuroprotective and may help. We require more research to be confident of the effects.

Can CBD reverse brain damage?

CBD for brain disorders is an exciting prospect. Initial research for many brain issues looks promising. However, it is also clear that while CBD is good for some conditions, it may not help with all. It’s tempting to talk about CBD as if it were some kind of panacea. But this only discredits the treatment for what it is useful for.

However, as a means of damage limitation, CBD certainly looks like it helps to reduce the impact of strokes and traumatic brain injuries. CBD treatment could be an effective tool for doctors and paramedics to have on hand.

CBD for brain healing following chronic cannabis use

A growing number of people are worried that they have damaged their brains irreversibly by consuming too much super-strength high-THC cannabis for too long. These concerns are legitimate. THC can be neurotoxic in large quantities, and especially so without the balancing effects of CBD.

But it is this moderating influence of CBD which makes it the perfect candidate for brain healing. While the brain’s structure can become damaged, it can just as easily be repaired with a neurogenesis treatment like CBD. Indeed, research has found that the more devastating the effects of chronic cannabis consumption, the more therapeutic that CBD can be.

What is CBD brain disease?

If you have researched CBD and the brain for yourself, you may have come across another type of CBD, which stands for corticobasal degeneration. This describes a condition that can impair memory, while making speech and movement more difficult. CBS is another acronym for this illness. It causes increased damage to brain cells, and eventually brain cell death.

Just to reassure you, this type of CBD has nothing to do with cannabidiol, the cannabinoid! And if you are doing your own research, remember to make this distinction!

Final thoughts

The true benefits of CBD for the brain may take years to fully show. Research is really promising for many areas. But we are a long way off knowing for sure just exactly how valuable CBD can be for various illnesses. However, thanks to the safety of CBD products, you can have the confidence to experiment, and find out whether they work for your health problems. CBD is legal. But CBD hemp oil companies must keep the THC level below 0.3 percent. Already using CBD? Let us know how it helps you! 

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CBD vs THC: the full guide  

Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two remarkable and rare compounds that define the cannabis and industrial hemp plants as we know them. You have probably heard of hemp-based CBD products, which are now being sold online and in health stores in all 50 US states. And if you have previously used recreational cannabis, you have likely noticed how the THC and CBD content is stated when you purchase a product.

This post intends to cover the following areas:

  • What THC and CBD are, and how they affect the body
  • The therapeutic value of CBD and THC for pain
  • Whether you should use CBD or THC for anxiety
  • The impact of CBD and THC on the brain
  • The negative side effects of THC

In addition to providing scientific insight and boosting your understanding of the compounds, we’ll study how to use CBD and THC products safely and effectively. Ready to learn? Let’s get started.

What exactly are CBD and THC?

While you may have heard of CBD and THC, do you know specifically what they are and why and how they affect the body? Cannabis science is undeniably complex, but we have broken it down so that you can easily understand the broad influence of these two compounds.

CBD and THC are cannabinoids – a type of compound that interacts with receptors in the endocannabinoid system (ECS). CBD and THC are just two – but easily the most abundant – cannabinoids of more than 100 that have so far been discovered. Cannabinoids are found sparingly in the plant kingdom, and are contained almost exclusively within the cannabis species.

CBD vs THC effects

THC is a psychoactive cannabinoid, but CBD is not. This stark contrast between the cannabinoids comes down to how they interact with CB1 receptors – these ECS receptors are located in the central nervous system. THC latches onto CB1 receptors as an agonist. This has an effect on several variables, such as pain perception and appetite, but most notably mood. CBD, meanwhile, is a CB1 receptor antagonist, so blocks rather than stimulates activity at the cannabinoid receptor. However, CBD does regulate CB1 receptors. This explains the therapeutic effects we will later explore in more detail.

Other cannabinoids to be aware of include cannabigerol (CBG), cannabichromene (CBC), cannabinol (CBN), cannabidivarin (CBDV) and tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV). Some, or all of these are present in small concentrations in cannabis and hemp strains. The subtle influences of these compounds can change a strain’s overall effects.

CBD oil vs THC oil

CBD oil – whether it’s full-spectrum or isolate – is very easy to find. Hemp products with less than 0.3 percent THC content are no longer restricted by federal law. They can be sold by companies providing they are styled as “dietary supplements” and not medicines.

This has been great for CBD’s advance into the mainstream. People can do their own research on the potential of various products, and then try them out. And with CBD not causing a high of any description, users are generally comfortable about trialling products, dosing at different times of day. High-CBD oil’s benefits have been discussed often by the media, with the difference between them and regular cannabis being made crystal clear.

In contrast, THC oil is nowhere near as accessible. This is because THC is still a Schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act. The United States federal government has not yet changed its stance on recreational or medical marijuana. The relaxation on laws surrounding therapeutic and recreational THC-rich products has all come at state level.

This has been great for spreading the word about the cannabis plan. We are beginning to see how a legal market can work. But it does restrict the types of cannabis product that Americans are able to access.

CBD vs THC for pain

Cannabis has re-emerged as a popular remedy for chronic pain management. There is a history of cannabis use for this purpose which dates back thousands of years. But with our modern understanding of cannabis and its cannabinoids, what form of the plant is most effective for pain?

For many years, it was believed that the psychoactive THC was necessary in any cannabis mix that was used for pain relief. And the ECS logic was fairly sound. As a CB1 receptor agonist, THC reduces the body’s sensitivity to pain. THC is, therefore, very therapeutic for migraines, a nerve pain condition called multiple sclerosis (MS) and other illnesses with pain symptoms.

However, more recent studies have revealed that CBD is also beneficial for pain. This is thanks to its indirect regulating of the CB1 receptor, and actions on other receptors. It is great to know that it’s possible to treat pain in this way. The intoxicating effects of THC have certainly stopped cannabis from becoming legal earlier and being widely used.

Both CBD and THC are much safer to take for pain relief than opioid painkillers, however. These drugs have acquired a horrible reputation for causing addiction and overdoses. If you are going to use a CBD or cannabis product to ease pain, a strain or vape juice with indica terpenes may be preferable to a sativa. Indica-dominant products have more of a relaxing effect on the body.

CBD vs THC for anxiety

CBD has shown really promising effects on anxiety disorders. A few scientific studies have now been conducted on CBD’s value for the condition. The relief is quickly administered, with CBD appearing to address imbalances between inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitters. The serotonin system may also be implicated in CBD’s anxiolytic properties.

The value of THC for reducing anxiety is less clear. The cannabinoid may even have negative side effects – anxiety and paranoia are quite common among recreational cannabis users. This is understandable. CBD increases activity in the brain, rather than decreasing it as CBD does. This causes the brain to think more than it would in normal circumstances.

However, the setting in which the user is taking cannabis may also influence if it causes anxiety. A negative environment is likely to lead to unhelpful thoughts. In contrast, a positive environment is conducive to a better experience. Psychoactive substances are poorly understood, and the overall effect they have on mental functioning is unclear.

But CBD products look to be better for anxiety patients than THC products. No psychoactive effects are better than some when tackling this mental condition. For best results, use a product that acts fast, such as a tincture oil or e-liquid.

CBD vs THC for sleep

Better sleep quality is achieved by ensuring both the mind and body is relaxed and soothed. The cannabis plant is used in its entirety to combat insomnia. But most users prefer indica-rich strains to amplify the calming properties. This suggests that a high-CBD product may be more effective than a high-THC option. A highly psychoactive cannabis product could make the brain too active for sleep. Hence why energizing sativas are preferred in the daytime, rather than the evening.

CBD is a sleep regulator. The circadian rhythm is vital for our sleep pattern, as it releases and suppresses hormones at specific times of day. For instance, the uptick in melatonin at night naturally relaxes the body for sleep. By getting the circadian rhythm in check, CBD simply helps the body to do its job. A regulated circadian rhythm is also key to deep sleep. Mental and physical healing occurs in this phase of sleep. Most people opt for an enduring CBD product for sleep, like edibles. The longer effects are necessary for relieving pain symptoms which may disrupt sleep, and for keeping sleep apnea at bay throughout the night.

CBD vs THC for the brain

CBD and THC influence the brain quite differently. The former is neuroprotective, and while the latter can be helpful, it is also neurotoxic in large quantities. This suggests that using high-THC products often could cause cognitive problems in the short and long-term. The risks of regular THC usage are further exacerbated by a lack of CBD.

Some take CBD to boost memory and general cognition. The nootropic market is flourishing, to help in day-to-day life and as study aids. CBD appeals because we know it’s safe, unlike some of the synthetic products available. The cannabinoid impacts the hippocampus positively, spurring growth – this effect is called neurogenesis. CBD also repairs sections of the brain, such as the prefrontal cortex, which may help to manage depression.

However, some people swear by THC. Many believe psychoactive substances to have a helpful mental effect if used sensibly. THC is a light psychoactive drug in the grander scheme of things. Altering consciousness may help the brain to form healthier patterns. This applies if you are doing something rather productive while under the influence, as opposed to laying on the couch watching movies. Everyone responds uniquely to psychoactive drugs. It’s impossible to say how any single person will be impacted.

Negative side effects of THC

THC comes with more risks than CBD, and everyone should be aware of these before using high-THC products. The anxiety and paranoia side effects do not occur in everybody. But those who have not experienced cannabis previously should start in a relaxed environment. This will allow the brain to adjust to the changes, without causing a freakout.

Researchers need to assess the dangers of regular THC-rich product use. But some cannabis users do suffer from motivational and memory drop-offs. CBD studies have found that these declines can be reversed. This strengthens the argument that people should take natural cannabis products, and not super-strength THC products. Be wary about THC-isolate products for that reason.

There is also a slim chance of THC triggering psychotic episodes. People predisposed to psychosis and schizophrenia are the only ones at risk. But those with a history of mental illness should be cautious about smoking weed or taking edibles.

Final thoughts

It’s perhaps impossible whether CBD or THC is better. Their health benefits are quite different and people have different reasons for using each. The former is preferable among those who just want the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, and are not willing to expose themselves to the psychoactive effects. THC is more suitable for recreational users, who want a pleasant ‘high’ from their cannabis use.

However, a CBD and THC treatment may be better for some medical conditions. The ‘entourage effect’ provides a synergy that boosts the therapeutic value of cannabinoids. Furthermore, recreational marijuana usage may be healthier and more sustainable with strains that have balanced concentrations of the two. Personal preference and requirements are ultimately the biggest factor.

Do you use CBD products, or smoke weed medically or recreationally? Drop us a line about the type of products you use. Please share why you use them and how they affect you. We want to hear from you!

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Exploring the benefits of CBD oil for migraines

Cannabis supporters have, on many occasions spoken about the medicinal benefits of plant. marijuana has been historically used as a remedy for both mental and physical disorders. It was also used in Western medicine from the mid 19th century until it’s prohibition in the 20th century as a treatment for migraines. Today, migraines affect nearly 40 million Americans.

While cannabis has a long history of use, we know more about the herb today than we ever have done. We are now aware of the cannabinoids in cannabis, and the endocannabinoid system (ECS) where they work their magic. Indeed, the ECS may hold all the clues that we need to develop an efficient, effective and side effect-free remedy for migraines.

In this post, we are going to cover cannabis and migraines in detail, including:

  • How cannabidiol (CBD) oil for migraines works
  • The most therapeutic CBD strains for migraines
  • How CBD capsules and pills can be used to ease migraines
  • The ideal CBD dosage for migraines
  • And ultimately, whether CBD is effective for migraines

The science behind CBD’s therapeutic effect for migraines

Cannabis contains a whopping 113 cannabinoids. We know hardly anything about most of them. But thankfully, our understanding of the two most concentrated cannabinoids, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD is fairly detailed. The former is psychoactive, and not legal everywhere, so will only receive limited attention in this article. The latter, however, is non-intoxicating, and a popular healing solution for inflammation, anxiety, seizures, stress, arthritis and more.

THC works by linking up with both the CB1 and CB2 receptors in the ECS as a partial agonist. CB1 receptors are abundant in the central nervous system, whereas CB2 receptors are mostly located in the immune system. CBD is neither an agonist of CB1 nor CB2, but ensures that both function smoothly by regulating them. As an anandamide reuptake inhibitor – anandamide (AEA) is the body’s main endocannabinoid – CBD keeps more of the natural chemical in the body. AEA then acts as a less aggressive treatment to CBD, but similarly, as a CB1 and CB2 receptor agonist.

The view is that both cannabinoids can be complementary to each other. When combined, they produce the ‘entourage effect’, which makes the entire cannabis plant and all of its compounds more effective. While we still need to find out more about all the ways in which cannabinoids interact and influence the ECS, researchers are increasingly confident about the therapeutic value of cannabis, and particularly the benefits of CBD.

Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency (CECD)

To understand why CBD for migraines is such a promising concept, we must get stuck into CECD. Systemic ECS issues are now believed to contribute to migraines, fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). But why?

The proposed condition was first brought to life by Dr Ethan Russo, a neurologist, in the early 2000s. Since then, he and his team have published several peer-reviewed articles, building on the concept. The only downside is that the legal barriers to studying cannabis has made progress slow. But they have made some crucial discoveries, highlighting the potential cause for the aforementioned conditions with solid evidence. Furthermore, they have shown how the ECS and serotonin system is closely related – anandamide is an agonist of the 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A (serotonin 1A and 2A receptors).

And they have found that regulating the ECS, with compounds like CBD, helps to alleviate symptoms of migraines. Firstly, the horrible ‘aura’ symptoms of migraines which make the patient more sensitive to light and sound may be caused by CB1 receptor dysfunction. These symptoms are perhaps due to an overactive sensory hyperalgesia. CBD manages this by acting therapeutically on the central nervous system, via the ECS.

Migraines and the ECS

Researchers have also identified a connection between migraines and the trigeminovascular system. We know that endocannabinoids have an effect here, and this adds to the narrative that the ECS is heavily implicated in migraines. Some scientists are confident that a CB1 receptor agonist may treat migraines and cluster headaches. They have argued that CBD may be more helpful than THC, due to the latter’s psychoactive properties.

Another study showed that migraine patients have lower levels of AEA, which is caused by a higher rate of AEA hydrolysis. This has led to theories that reduced concentrations of AEA means the patients is more likely to suffer from migraines, due to having a lower pain threshold. Researchers have also argued that with AEA not regulating the trigeminovascular system, this further demonstrates how the body fails to regulate the ECS.

Until more research is conducted on the direct effect of THC and CBD on migraines, it will be difficult to understand the full impact of a problematic ECS. Studies have shown that cannabis treatment can help with migraines, but these haven’t clarified the concentrations of CBD and THC being used. But it’s still promising that cannabis medication appears to cut migraine attacks down by more than half, as found by a newly-published Colorado study.

Best CBD strains for migraines

When we talk strains, we usually mean cannabis that is high in THC. But the growing interest in CBD means that CBD-rich hemp and cannabis is also being cultivated. These are very similar, in a sense, to regular cannabis. They have terpenes, so smell and taste like normal weed. But they also have hardly any THC, but lots of CBD.

The ideal strain for migraines would probably be an indica rather than a sativa. This is because indicas are more relaxing, and better-suited to delivering pain relief. However, there are literally so many strains to choose from, you really need to try them for yourself to get the full picture.

Other CBD products for migraines

There are plenty of other CBD products for migraines worth considering, beyond hemp flower. And there’s more to these products than the fact they aren’t attached to the downsides of smoking.

Vape juices

With vape juices, though, perhaps the main benefit is that they don’t cause the problems that smoking does. But they essentially work in exactly the same way. When an e-liquid is heated, it generates a CBD-rich vapor that is inhaled into the lungs. It then becomes active almost straight away. This rapid reaction is key to dealing with the painful effects of migraines.

CBD concentrates are even more potent than vape juices, but are also consuming mostly by vaping, or dabbing. This richer form of CBD is perfect for really severe migraines, where the patient knows they need strong relief. To make your vape juice stronger, purchase some CBD-isolate crystals and combine them with your vape oil.

CBD hemp oil for migraines  

CBD tinctures for migraines are good for the migraineur who is totally opposed to smoking or vaping. The CBD in the oil becomes effective through a method called sublingual absorption. It’s a healthier way of relieving the chronic pain of migraine headaches. You just take the oil by applying it under the tongue. Then let the blood vessels do the hard work of getting it into the bloodstream.

CBD hemp oil for migraines can be bought in CBD-isolate and full-spectrum form. Isolate products are more limited, as you only get the therapeutic benefits of CBD. Full-spectrum CBD products are more effective as a way to ease migraines. With these, you get a tiny quantity (less than 0.3% of THC), and the rest of the cannabinoids and terpenes in the hemp.

CBD pills for migraines (capsules)

CBD pills have different effects to vape juices, hemp flower and tincture oils due to having a unique pharmacology. The effects are slower, but they last far, far longer than any of the other products. While this is counterproductive for acute migraines, those who experience less intense but prolonged migraines may get better and more economical relief from CBD capsules.

Capsules are slower to work because of the way that the body takes in the CBD oil. The capsule must be digested and broken down before the CBD takes effect. Only then can the CBD oil be released into the rest of the body through the stomach. The gradual effects will not be for everybody, but if you are finding that you have to dose with CBD too regularly, and that this is causing an inconvenience, then CBD pills are worth a go.

CBD dosage for migraines

“How much CBD should I take?” is one of the most difficult questions to answer in the world of CBD. First you must consider what is in your product – is it isolate or full-spectrum? Does it have terpenes, or MCT oil for extra potency? How intense are your symptoms? How does your body respond to CBD treatment.

This makes it impossible to come up with an accurate dosage guide, and suggest how much CBD should be taken right down to the milligram. What really works best is to just experiment with various dosages for yourself.

Unlike other migraine treatments you may have used in the past, where you have to be careful with the dosage because of side effects, CBD is not addictive, and doesn’t have any psychoactive properties. The worst that can happen with a really big dose is that you get very sleepy. For that reason, it’s best to experiment with higher doses in the comfort of your own home first!

Since you have to find out the perfect dosage on your own, it also makes sense to keep a detailed diary on how each dose of CBD affects you. By maintaining a written record on the impact of each dose, the product you were using, and the severity of the migraine, you can begin to dial in on the most advantageous dose. This, in turn, will make your usage of CBD more cost-effective.

Final thought: does CBD work for migraines?

The research on CBD for migraines – and the cannabis plant as a whole – is really promising. After decades of scientists not even finding a definite cause of the condition, we certainly seem to be making progress with studies on the endocannabinoid system and Clinical Endocannabinoid Deficiency.

Some research proposes that CBD is effective as a solo remedy, others suggest that a balanced mix of CBD and THC may deliver better results. But given that CBD is the preferred option for many users, there are clear signs that it has a therapeutic effect. The whole idea of CECD is that the ECS is dysregulated, and we know that CBD can solve this problem.

There are so many different CBD products to work with when it comes to relieving migraines. Hemp oil can uniquely impact the body to alleviate symptoms through different mechanisms – and this explains why CBD can work where other treatments fail. Have you been using CBD for migraines, and have you picked up any tips? If so, why not share them with us by leaving a comment!