“If you’re taking Prozac or some other medication, you really need to think carefully about what you’re doing, because it can harm you, and you should talk to your doctor about it,” says Blessing. Blessing does note that while the drug interactions are potentially very serious, the doses in consumer CBD products are so low that the risk is likely minimal. Regardless, the fact that CBD has drug interactions should indicate that it is, at least sometimes, in some doses, actually doing something.
CBD has noted effects on many systems the brain uses to send signals to your body. One of these is the endocannabinoid system. When used, CBD can have beneficial effects on people who suffer neurological disorders. The research in this area is still new. However, there were many studies where CBD was tested for its effect on treating MS and epilepsy.
CBD creams are produced with the extracted oils from cannabis or hemp infused into a topical base. They act upon the body’s naturally occurring CB2 receptors by binding with these components. The CB2 receptors are activated by either the body’s own, already present endocannabinoid system (ECS), or through the presence of phytocannabinoids, which are typically in the form of either CBD or THC.
According to West, who says her team is “drawing on a wealth of anecdotal evidence,” CBD in your java can really take the edge off. “My colleagues, friends, and I have found that CBD-infused coffee largely does away with the anxiety and acid belly typically associated with coffee,” she says. “That makes sense, because research suggests CBD has anti-anxiety and [anti-nausea] effects. We’ve also found that compared to the coffee we reach for regularly, testers experience a less jittery, elevated burst of energy after drinking CBD-infused coffee.”
Ingredients: Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Stearic Acid (Vegetable Derived), Cetyl Alcohol (Coconut Alcohol), Sodium Hydroxide (non-GMO, mineral-salt), Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, Aloe barbadensis Leaf Juice, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Glycerin (non-GMO, vegetable-derived), Potassium Sorbate (non-GMO, mineral-salt), Xanthan Gum (non-GMO, vegetable-derived), Carthamus tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil*, Menthol (Mentha arvensis), Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil*, Ocimum basilicum (Basil) Leaf Oil*, Citrus aurantium bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil*, Whole Hemp Derived CBD Isolate, Montana (Arnica) Flower Oil, Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil, Zingiber officinale (Ginger) Root Oil*, Citrus medica limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil*, Citrus aurantifolia (Lime) Peel Oil*, Citrus aurantium dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil*, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Salvia sclarea (Clary) Oil*, Phenoxyethanol
I tell several sellers of CBD food and drink what I learned from Blessing and ask what they think. “Return customers who come back, and swear by it and love it, buy two at a time to stock up for the week because they do find it to be very helpful,” says Tavares. Clancy echoes this: “We rely a lot on consumer feedback and testimonial, and generally it’s positive when taking that minimal amount. Now, that very well could be a placebo effect, but either way, people have come back and reported significant benefits when it comes to easing social anxiety.”
Two cannabis-based pharmaceutical drugs, manufactured in the UK, are licensed for prescription but only for very specific uses. Sativex has been available in the UK since 2010 and uses THC and CBD to treat spasticity in multiple sclerosis. And a new CBD-only drug, Epidiolex, was approved in June in the US to treat rare childhood epilepsies, with a similar decision expected imminently for Europe and the UK.
Scientifically, the difference between what we refer to as hemp and marijuana comes from the intention the strain was bred for. The main difference between hemp and marijuana is the level of THC in the plant. Hemp has high levels of cannabidiol (CBD) and very low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Marijuana is recognized for having high levels of THC and lower in CBD. In order to be considered hemp, the plant must have less than 0.3 percent THC. High levels of THC are responsible for the intoxicating feeling that marijuana is known for.
CBD interacts with the body through the endogenous cannabinoid system (ECS) or endocannabinoid system. First discovered in the late 1980’s, the endocannabinoid system regulates the body’s homeostasis, or general state of balance, impacting such functions as mood, sleep, appetite, hormone regulation, and pain and immune response. Like an acrobat on a highwire, as the environment around us impacts our normal balance, the endocannabinoid system “corrects” by mediating our body’s reaction to keep us level.
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Cannabis has been used for centuries to treat nerves and anxiety, as well as other mood problems. CBD may help to improve both depression and anxiety, at least in part through its interactions with serotonin receptors in the brain. Research shows that CBD can reduce both mental and physical symptoms of anxiety. A study of CBD given to people before a public-speaking event indicates that CBD can help reduce stress—this and other research has shown that CBD can be an effective treatment for social anxiety.
Medical reviews published in 2017 and 2018 incorporating numerous clinical trials concluded that cannabidiol is an effective treatment for certain types of childhood epilepsy. An orally administered cannabidiol solution (brand name Epidiolex) was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in June 2018 as a treatment for two rare forms of childhood epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
Scientists have made a lot of progress in understanding how CBD produces its calming, pain-reducing, anti-inflammatory effects in the body—and there’s still more to learn. We know that CBD interacts with many different receptors, proteins, and other chemicals in the brain. These interactions create changes in the activity of neurotransmitters, hormones, and other cells throughout the brain and body. Through these interactions, CBD appears to be able to affect many of the body’s functions, from sleep-wake cycles and emotional regulation to inflammation, pain perception, and seizures.