A bit of online digging led me to realize that the active ingredient in Charlotte's Web Everyday Plus Hemp Oil, the product I'd been offered to test, was the chemical compound CBD, which stands for Cannabidiol. Unlike THC, the other crucial compound in hemp and marijuana plants, CBD does not produce the psychoactive effects that make you feel "high"; instead, it actually eases anxiety and makes you less likely to freak out.
CBD directly interacts with a number of proteins in the body and central nervous system, a few of which are components of the endogenous cannabinoid system. For instance, CBD binds to both the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, but it binds in a way that sets off a reaction that is essentially the opposite of what THC does. CBD is an inverse agonist, while THC is an agonist at CB1. Simply put, CBD is not intoxicating; at the molecular level, it does the opposite of what THC does. Our bodies have several other receptor proteins that participate in the endogenous cannabinoid system (GPR3, GPR6, TRPV1 and TRPV2, for example). CBD binds to all of these, and many of its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects may occur through these pathways.
While most supplements have a single recommended dose, CBD is different. The amount of CBD you take depends on your doctor’s recommendations and your own research into how CBD will work for your unique needs. In general, it’s smart to start with a medium dose of CBD. This way, you can increase or decrease the dose as needed. In addition, it’s recommended to start with one half ML (half a dropper) of CBD oil, because you can always take more if needed.
Another concern is about medications with which CBD might interact. This won’t be an issue with most drugs, says Sunil Kumar Aggarwal, M.D., Ph.D., a palliative medicine physician and scientist who studies cannabis and integrates it into his Seattle medical practice. The exceptions are blood thinners, IV antibiotics, and other drugs whose exact dosing is crucial and must be monitored closely, he says. (Of course, if you have a health problem, talk to your doctor before using CBD, and never take it instead of seeing your physician for a serious condition.)
Cutting-edge science has shown that the endocannabinoid system is dysregulated in nearly all pathological conditions. Thus, it stands to reason that “modulating endocannabinoid system activity may have therapeutic potential in almost all diseases affecting humans,” as Pal Pacher and George Kunos, scientists with the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), suggested in a 2014 publication.
That being said, it was unlikely that the federal government was interested in pursuing individuals complying with state-mandated regulations surrounding legalized cannabis for recreational use, although the CSA law still gives them authority to do so. However, the new Trump administration may change this thinking and users of legal marijuana and legal dispensaries await further action and clarifying rules.
Dosage is important, because CBD can have side effects—the most common are tiredness, diarrhea, and changes in appetite and weight—so it’s best not to take more than you need. As CBD becomes more prevalent, says J. Michael Bostwick, M.D., a psychiatrist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, “I’m reasonably certain new kinds of side effects will emerge.”
High-CBD strains tend to deliver very clear-headed, functional effects without the euphoric high associated with high-THC strains. They’re typically preferred by consumers who are extremely sensitive to the side effects of THC (e.g., anxiety, paranoia, dizziness). A high-CBD strain would also be a great choice for someone needing to medicate throughout the day to control pain, inflammation, anxiety, or other chronic conditions.
The pulp and paper industry based on wood has considered the use of hemp for pulp, but only on an experimental basis. Hemp’s long fibers could make paper more recyclable. Since virgin pulp is required for added strength in the recycling of paper, hemp pulp would allow for at least twice as many cycles as wood pulp. However, various analyses have concluded that the use of hemp for conventional paper pulp is not profitable (Fertig 1996).
In addition to the daily pain management program outlined above, many people find they still need a safe way to manage acute flare ups. Whether it’s caused by a recent injury, cold weather, or general aggravation – we recommend vaporizing CBD isolate to combat these acute pain flare ups. The benefit of vaporizing or dabbing CBD isolate is that the relief can be felt almost instantaneously. CBD isolate is 99% pure CBD and provides a wave of relief that can be felt throughout the whole body.
Grant says this may lead to a “dampening” or mellowing of some neurochemical processes, including those linked to pain. “CBD may also react with other receptors, like those for serotonin, and it may have actions that reduce the inflammatory molecules produced whenever there is tissue damage or bacteria coming in,” he says. “But we really don’t know the mechanisms.”
By the 1930s, marijuana was banned in 24 states. The newly minted Federal Bureau of Narcotics launched a campaign against the drug, and newspapers fueled hysteria with headlines like the 1933 Los Angeles Examiner's "Murder Weed Found Up and Down the Coast — Deadly Marihuana Dope Plant Ready for Harvest That Means Enslavement of California Children." By 1937, Congress passed the Marihuana Tax Act, which effectively banned marijuana except for a few medicinal purposes, according to "Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana – Medical, Recreational and Legal" (Scribner, 2012).
Health, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), is "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." This definition has been subject to controversy, as it may have limited value for implementation. Health may be defined as the ability to adapt and manage physical, mental and social challenges throughout life.
Cohen has found that chronic conditions including autoimmune diseases and pain syndromes can be helped with a 6-mg under-the-tongue tincture (the fastest delivery system) or a 25-mg capsule taken twice a day. Dosages for topical products like lotions are especially hard to determine—there’s no clarity on how much CBD gets into the system through the skin.
Cannabis sativa is extremely unusual in the diversity of products for which it is or can be cultivated. Popular Mechanics magazine (1938) touted hemp as “the new billion dollar crop,” stating that it “can be used to produce more than 25,000 products, ranging from dynamite to Cellophane.” Table 1 presents the principal products for which the species is cultivated in Europe, all of which happen to be based on fiber. This presentation stresses the products that hold the most promise for North America, which also include a considerable range of oilseed applications (Table 2; Fig. 1).
Hemp plants are varieties of Cannabis sativa L. Hemp is a dioecious plant, which means it can be separated into male and female plants. Hemp plants have served a wide variety of purposes for more than 10,000 years for fiber (from the plant’s stems) and protein (from seeds). Hemp fibers can be used to make countless household items, including paper, clothing, furnishing fabric, rope, food, and building materials.
Last year, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released a nearly 500-page report on the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids. A committee of 16 experts from a variety of scientific and medical fields analyzed the available evidence — more than 10,000 scientific abstracts in all. Because so few studies examine the effects of CBD on its own, the panel did not issue any findings about CBD specifically, but it did reach some conclusions about cannabis and cannabinoids more generally. The researchers determined that there is “conclusive or substantial evidence” supporting the use of cannabis or cannabinoids for chronic pain in adults, multiple sclerosis-related spasticity (a kind of stiffness and muscle spasms), and chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. The committee also found “moderate” evidence that cannabis or cannabinoids can reduce sleep disturbances in people with obstructive sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, chronic pain and multiple sclerosis, as well as “limited” evidence that these substances can improve symptoms of Tourette’s syndrome, increase appetite and stem weight loss in people with HIV/AIDs, and improve symptoms of PTSD and anxiety.
Only since the flower-power-time of the 1960s, the smoking of Cannabis as a recreational drug has become a widely known phenomenon in the Western world. From then on, import of stronger varieties from the tropics, combined with a growing expertise in breeding and cultivation, led to a steady increase in psychoactive potency. Contemporary recreational Cannabis has increasingly become a high-tech crop, grown indoors under completely artificial conditions.
Hemp isn’t completely absent of psychoactive compounds, but that doesn’t mean it will get you high. Hemp plants simply don’t produce enough THC to have an intoxicating effect. CBD, though psychoactive, is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid and won’t produce any form of a euphoric high on its own. In other words, hemp has plenty of therapeutic potential, but you’ll have to look elsewhere if you want to get high.
If you live with chronic pain, you may have experienced how it can disrupt sleep and, in some cases, can contribute to anxiety and depression. Natural therapies, including exercising and taking up mind-body practices like meditation and yoga, and following an anti-inflammatory diet may help improve quality of life for some people who experience pain regularly.
ECS is made up of endocannabinoids and the receptors associated with them. These receptors are literally found from head to toe, and are in such places as the glands, organs, and the brain. While receptors and endocannabinoids are located in all parts of the body, they have different functions depending upon where they are located, with the primary role being to regulate what is referred to as homeostasis or the regulation of the body so that it is at equilibrium.
The list includes marijuana (undifferentiated by strain) and heroin. (While the federal government oversees marijuana research, marijuana use is regulated, in part, by state laws.) As a result, scientists who study the compound must follow a host of restrictive rules. Last year, responding to a request from several governors to change marijuana’s designation, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced that all cannabis would remain a Schedule 1 drug.
In general, the majority of people end up using higher-strength products for pain than they would for things like anxiety, stress, or depression. The majority of today’s best CBD oil manufacturers offer tinctures in three different “potencies,” usually in 100, 300, or 600 mg options. Many people start on a middle ground with a 300 mg option, and work your way up from there, but it is extremely important to consult with the brand you are purchasing from before consumption.
This article will attempt to present information concerning cannabinoid mechanisms of analgesia, review randomized clinical trials (RCTs) of available and emerging cannabinoid agents, and address the many thorny issues that have arisen with clinical usage of herbal cannabis itself (“medical marijuana”). An effort will be made to place the issues in context and suggest rational approaches that may mitigate concerns and indicate how standardized pharmaceutical cannabinoids may offer a welcome addition to the pharmacotherapeutic armamentarium in chronic pain treatment.
Cannabis sativa L. subsp. sativa var. sativa is the variety grown for industrial use, while C. sativa subsp. indica generally has poor fiber quality and female buds from this variety are primarily used for recreational and medicinal purposes. The major differences between the two types of plants are the appearance, and the amount of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) secreted in a resinous mixture by epidermal hairs called glandular trichomes, although they can also be distinguished genetically. Oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis approved for industrial hemp production produce only minute amounts of this psychoactive drug, not enough for any physical or psychological effects. Typically, hemp contains below 0.3% THC, while cultivars of Cannabis grown for medicinal or recreational use can contain anywhere from 2% to over 20%.
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), "the amount of THC present in a cannabis sample is generally used as a measure of cannabis potency." The three main forms of cannabis products are the flower, resin (hashish), and oil (hash oil). The UNODC states that cannabis often contains 5% THC content, resin "can contain up to 20% THC content", and that "Cannabis oil may contain more than 60% THC content."
Online retailers: Most CBD oils are sold through online retailers. These establishments tend to have the widest product range, and many offer free doorstep delivery. Online retailers also frequently post product reviews, allowing buyers to compare different oils based on customer experiences to determine which is best for them. These reviews can also be used to evaluate the retailer based on customer service, delivery, and product quality.
In a July 1998 study issued by the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Kentucky, researchers concluded that Kentucky hemp farmers could earn a net profit of $600 per acre for raising certified seeds, $320 net profit per acre for straw only or straw and grain production, and $220 net profit per acre for grain only production. The only crop found to be more profitable was tobacco.
"The presence of THC in these products has been a source of concern for the military and other workplace drug-testing programs. Ingestion of hemp products has been historically used as a defense in military and civilian trials for many years and continues today despite decreased concentrations of THC in hemp products (10-12). The Division of Forensic Toxicology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology is often asked to analyze hemp products to determine their THC content in addition to rendering an opinion as to whether or not this THC concentration could be a reasonable cause for a positive THC metabolite urine analysis result."
Reflecting the next morning, I was most surprised by the fact that I never felt "high" in any way—there was never a moment of It's kicking in; I can feel it now like with pain medications or even anti-anxiety drugs. Considering it takes time, consistency, and the right dosage to experience the full effect, I continued taking the oil once a day for the next six days. Here's what went down.
Despite advanced analytical techniques, much of the cannabis used recreationally is inaccurately classified. One laboratory at the University of British Columbia found that Jamaican Lamb's Bread, claimed to be 100% sativa, was in fact almost 100% indica (the opposite strain). Legalization of cannabis in Canada (as of October 17, 2018) may help spur private-sector research, especially in terms of diversification of strains. It should also improve classification accuracy for cannabis used recreationally. Legalization coupled with Canadian government (Health Canada) oversight of production and labelling will likely result in more—and more accurate—testing to determine exact strains and content. Furthermore, the rise of craft cannabis growers in Canada should ensure quality, experimentation/research, and diversification of strains among private-sector producers.
"Acreage in hemp cultivation worldwide has been mostly flat to decreasing, reported at about 200,000 acres globally in 2011.31 Although variable year-to-year, global production has increased overall from about 250 million pounds in 1999 to more than 380 million pounds in 2011, mostly due to increasing production of hemp seed (Figure 3). Upward trends in global hemp seed production roughly track similar upward trends in U.S. imports of hemp seed and oil, mostly for use in hemp-based foods, supplements, and body care products (Table 1).
Despite its centrality in human cultures across the globe, the European taxonomists who bequeathed Cannabis sativa its name didn’t quite get it right. When Carolus Linneaus came to naming the marijuana plant’s genus, he thought there was only one species, instead of the three we now know exist. Hence the confusion surrounding the fact that there are three distinct species of the genus Cannabis sativa, one of which is the sativa species.