Cannabidiol – Use and Information

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 In 2009, a handful of CBD-rich cannabis strains were discovered serendipitously in Northern California, America’s cannabis breadbasket, where certified patients could access medical marijuana legally. Thus began a great laboratory experiment in democracy involving CBD-rich cannabis therapeutics.

The advent of whole plant CBD-rich oil as a grassroots therapeutic option has changed the national conversation about cannabis and hemp. It’s no longer a question of whether cannabidiol works—today the key question is how to use CBD for maximum therapeutic benefit.

We have curated the CBD User’s Manual for you that addresses key questions about cannabidiol and therapeutics.

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol or CBD is a non-intoxicating component of the cannabis plant with enormous therapeutic potential. Although CBD doesn’t make people feel high like THC does, it’s causing quite a buzz among scientists, health professionals, and medical marijuana patients who are using CBD-rich products to treat a wide range of conditions—chronic pain, cancer, Crohn’s, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, PTSD, cardiovascular disease, anxiety, antibiotic-resistant infections, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, and more. Academic research centers in the United States and elsewhere are currently studying the effects of CBD on these and other ailments. Scientists refer to CBD as a “promiscuous” compound because it confers therapeutic benefits in many different ways while tapping into how we function physiologically and biologically on a deep level. Extensive preclinical research and some clinical studies have shown that CBD has strong anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, anti-depressant, anti-psychotic, anti-tumoral, and neuroprotective qualities. Cannabidiol can change gene expression and remove beta amyloid plaque, the hallmark of Alzheimer’s, from brain cells.

Which is better CBD or THC?

Cannabidiol and THC (The High Causer) are the power couple of cannabis therapeutics; they work best together. CBD and THC interact synergistically to potentiate each other’s curative qualities. CBD enhances THC’s painkilling and anticancer properties, while lessening THC’s psychoactivity. CBD can also mitigate adverse effects caused by too much THC, such as anxiety and rapid heartbeat. When both compounds are present in sufficient amounts in the same cannabis strain or product, CBD will lower the ceiling on the THC high while prolonging its duration. (“Relaxing but not intoxicating” is how one patient described CBD-rich cannabis.) CBD broadens the range of conditions treatable with cannabis, such as liver, cardiovascular and metabolic disorders, which may be less responsive to THC-dominant remedies. CBD and THC both stimulate neurogenesis, the creation of new brain cells, in adult mammals.

What’s the best way to take CBD?

The most appropriate delivery system for CBD-rich cannabis is one that provides an optimal dose for a desired duration with few unwanted side effects. CBD-rich cannabis flower varietals for smoking or vaping are available in many medical marijuana dispensaries, but most CBD patients prefer non-inhalable products made with cannabis oil concentrates. Although banned by federal law, measurable doses of potent CBD-rich cannabis remedies are available in many non-smokable forms and can be utilized in various ways. The time of onset and duration of effect vary depending on the method of administration. CBD-rich cannabis oil products can be taken sublingually, orally (as edibles, lozenges, beverages, tinctures, and gel caps), or applied topically. Concentrated cannabis oil extracts can also be heated and inhaled with a vape pen. Inhalation is good for treating acute symptoms that require immediate attention; the effects can be felt within a minute or two and typically last for a couple of hours. The effects of orally administered CBD-rich cannabis oil can last for four hours or more, but the onset of effects is much slower (30-90 minutes) than inhalation.

Can CBD cure epilepsy?

Marijuana has a rich history as a medicine for quelling seizures and convulsions going back thousands of years. In the mid-19th century, the U.S. Pharmacopeia listed cannabis tincture as a treatment for pediatric epilepsy, and subsequent scientific studies have documented the anticonvulsant effects of CBD, THC, and whole plant cannabis. CBD-dominant/low- THC cannabis strains and oil extracts can facilitate dramatic improvement in some children with intractable seizure disorders. Between 10-15 percent of severe childhood epileptics who are given CBD oil products experience a near complete cessation of seizures; most improve (with a decrease but not total elimination of seizures); and some children have worse seizures when they take CBD. Many parents of epileptic children have learned through trial and error that augmenting CBD-rich oil by adding some THC—or better yet, THCA, the unheated, non-psychoactive form of THC that’s present in raw cannabis flowers and leaves—helps with seizure control. The take-home message: Low-THC cannabis oil products don’t work for everyone. Patients of all ages need access to a wide spectrum of whole plant cannabis remedies, not just high CBD oil.

What is the right CBD:THC ratio for me?

Cannabis therapeutics is personalized medicine. There is no single ratio or strain or product that’s right for everyone. Optimize your therapeutic use of cannabis by finding the proper combination of CBD and THC that works best for you. A person’s sensitivity to THC is a key factor in determining the appropriate ratio and dosage of CBD-rich medicine. Many people enjoy the cannabis high and can consume reasonable amounts of any cannabis product without feeling too high or dysphoric. Others find THC unpleasant. CBD can lessen or neutralize the intoxicating effects of THC. So a greater ratio of CBD-to- THC means less of a high. In some states with medical marijuana laws, cannabis oil concentrates and other products with varying ratios of CBD:THC are available so users can adjust or minimize psychoactive effects to suit their needs and sensitivities. Those who don’t like THC have the option of healing without the high by using a CBD-rich remedy with only a small amount of THC. But a low THC remedy, while not intoxicating, is not always the most effective treatment option. In essence, the goal is to administer consistent, measurable doses of a CBD-rich remedy that includes as much THC as a person is comfortable with.

Are specific CBD:THC ratios better for different conditions?

Some patterns are beginning to emerge. For anxiety, depression, spasms, psychosis, and seizure disorders, many people report they do well starting with a small dose of a CBD-rich remedy with little THC. For cancer, autism, and many other diseases, some say they benefit more from a balanced ratio of CBD and THC. Extensive clinical trials conducted outside the United States have shown that a 1:1 CBD:THC ratio can be effective for neuropathic pain. Some people use cannabis products with different CBD:THC ratios at different times of the day (more CBD for sunlight hours, more THC at night). Almost any cannabis strain or product theoretically could benefit a wide range of autoimmune and inflammatory disorders because THC and other cannabis components activate the CB2 cannabinoid receptor, which regulates immune function. Note: The CBD:THC ratio in not an indication of how much CBD or THC is present in a given cannabis product or strain.

What is the optimal dosage of CBD?

An effective dosage can range from as little as a few milligrams of CBD-enriched cannabis oil to a gram or more. Begin with a small dose of high CBD/low THC oil, especially if you have little or no experience with cannabis. Take a few small doses over the course of the day rather than one big dose. Use the same dose and ratio for several days. Observe the effects and if necessary adjust the ratio or amount. Don’t overdo it. Cannabis compounds have biphasic properties, which means that low and high doses of the same substance can produce opposite effects. Small doses of cannabis tend to stimulate; large doses sedate. Too much THC, while not lethal, can amplify anxiety and mood disorders. CBD has no known adverse side effects, but an excessive amount of CBD could be less effective therapeutically than a moderate dose. “Less is more” is often the case with respect to cannabis therapy.

What should one look for when choosing a CBD-rich product?

Look for products with clear labels showing the quantity and ratio of CBD and THC per dose, a manufacturing date, and a batch number (for quality control). Select products with quality ingredients: No corn syrup, transfats, GMOs, artificial additives, thinning agents or preservatives. CBD-rich products should be lab tested for consistency and verified as being free of mold, bacteria, pesticides, solvent residues, and other contaminants. Best to avoid products extracted with toxic solvents like BHO, propane, hexane or other hydrocarbons. Opt for products that utilize safer extraction methods such as supercritical CO2 or food-grade ethanol.

If CBD is so good, won’t pure CBD be even better?

Single-molecule CBD will inevitably become a federally approved Big Pharma medicine. Products infused with a crystalline CBD isolate, derived and extensively refined from industrial hemp, are already being marketed by unregulated internet storefronts. But single-molecule CBD is less effective therapeutically than whole plant CBD-rich oil extract. Scientific studies have established that synthetic, single-molecule CBD has a very narrow therapeutic window and requires precise, high doses for efficacy, whereas lower dose, whole-plant, CBD-rich treatment regimens are already showing efficacy for many conditions among patients in medical marijuana states. Whether synthesized in a Big Pharma lab or derived from industrial hemp, single-molecule CBD lacks critical secondary cannabinoids and other medicinal compounds found in high-resin cannabis strains. These compounds interact with CBD and THC to enhance their therapeutic benefits. Scientists call this the “entourage effect.” Numerous cannabis compounds have medicinal attributes, but the therapeutic impact of whole plant cannabis is greater than the sum of its parts.

Is there a difference between CBD derived from hemp and CBD derived from marijuana?

If you live in a state where medical marijuana is legal and available, look for CBD products made from high-resin cannabis (rather than low resin industrial hemp) that are sold in medical marijuana dispensaries. Hemp-derived CBD-infused products of varying quality are also available via dozens of internet storefronts. Compared to whole plant CBD-rich cannabis, industrial hemp is typically low in cannabinoid content. A huge amount of hemp is required to extract a small amount of CBD, thereby raising the risk of contaminants because hemp, a bioaccumulator, draws toxins from the soil. That’s a great feature for restoring a poisoned ecosystem, but it’s not recommended for extracting medicinal oil. Heavily refined CBD paste or terpene-free CBD powder is poor starter material for formulating CBD-rich oil products. The FDA has tested dozens of so-called CBD “hemp oil” products and found that in many cases these products contained little or no CBD. CBD-infused nutraceuticals have not been approved by the FDA as food supplements; nor are these products legal in all 50 U.S. states. By and large, however, interstate CBD commerce is tolerated by federal authorities.

Is it safe to inhale hemp CBD oil fumes from a vape pen?

Many cannabis- and hemp-derived CBD vape oil products include a thinning agent, which dilutes the oil that is heated and inhaled by vape pen users. Beware of vape pen oil that contains propylene glycol. When overheated, this chemical additive produces formaldehyde, a carcinogen, as a byproduct, according to a 2015 report in the New England Journal of Medicine. Why do so many vape oil products contain this thinning agent? It’s because of the dubious quality of the extracted material from which these unregulated cannabis oil products are made.

Does CBD have any adverse side effects? What about drug interactions?

CBD is a very safe substance, but patients taking other medications should check with their doctor about drug interactions, which are more likely when consuming high doses of single-molecule CBD products. At sufficient dosages, CBD will temporarily deactivate cytochrome P450 enzymes, thereby altering how we metabolize a wide range of compounds, including THC. Cytochrome P450 enzymes metabolize more than 60 percent of Big Pharma meds. CBD is a more potent inhibitor of cytochrome P450 than the grapefruit compound Bergapten, so ask your doctor if grapefruit interacts with your medication. If grapefruit does, then CBD probably does, too. Patients on a CBD-rich treatment regimen should monitor changes in blood levels of prescription medications and, if need be, adjust dosage.

Physicians Speak About Cannabidiol

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Doctors are speaking out about the many aspects and benefits of CBD.

In this video, Dr. David Allen, Dr. Rob “Doc Rob” Streisfeld, Dr. Alan Shackelford and Dr. Julie Holland are interviewed on the aspects of CBD.

Dr. Rob Streisfeld on CBD.

“Recent research has been looking at cannabis and the different cannabinoids as it’s over 80 plus cannabinoids discovered in the cannabis plant. The second most dominant one besides THC is cannabidiol or CBD.

The research now is over 200 peer-reviewed journals on CBD.

It’s probably the most exciting and researched ingredient or substance right now around the world.

It doesn’t have a psychoactive or high as associated with THC but has a tremendous amount of other benefits,… including… research shows anti seizure, anti epileptic which is why it’s gotten a lot of popularity even with children with seizure disorders.

They are getting benefits from this plant in a safe, non-toxic waivers.

All these drugs (Pharmacetical drugs, synthetic drugs) typically don’t work.

There’s neuroprotective benefits.

So you see it a lot with concussions and the NFLs in our research being done now,… with the chronic traumatic encephalopathy or chronically banging the head a lot.

There’s anti-anxiety which is really important.

It’s the anti THC of sorts that calms you down and it helps you manage stress better which is how I look at it,… as much more as a preventative or daily use substance than just treating disease states.

There’s immune support, it’s a huge antioxidant.”

 

The Endocannabinioid System: A Look Back and Ahead

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Raphael Mechoulam, Ph.D., who is considered “the father of cannabidiol research,” will present the inaugural Mechoulam Lecture to commemorate the groundbreaking discoveries that have paved the way for contemporary cannabis research.

Ironically, Dr. Mechoulam has never consumed cannabis at all. Not even once. Instead, Dr. Mechoulam approaches his research with a scientist’s curiosity rather than a desire to simply advance or detract from cannabis culture.

Despite Mechoulam’s distinction in small sectors of the science community, his name is seldom attached to mainstream discussion of the endocannabinoid system, THC and CBD.

Mechoulam has received numerous awards for his work, but has failed to reach a mass audience until recently. Mechoulam received his master’s degree in biochemistry from the Hebrew University, before completing his Ph.D. at the Weizmann Institute. In 2000, Mechoulam received the distinct honor of the Israel Prize.

He has been awarded multiple lifetime achievement awards and received the Rothschild Prize in 2012 for his discoveries on the influences of natural chemical substances on human behavior.

Dr. Mechoulam is currently 86 and teaches at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. His research has been cited over 40,000 times and is considered to be the standard on which further scientific development will be based. As Mechoulam himself professed “I found the independence of research to be an addiction from which I do not want to be cured.”

Learn more about Dr. Mechoulam:

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raphael_Mechoulam and https://www.cannabis.info/en/blog/dr-raphael-mechoulam-worlds-foremost-cannabis-reseacher

 

Dr. David Allen on the Discovery of the Endocannabinoid System

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Dr. David Allen, a leading medical doctor who is dedicated to studying the medicinal aspects of cannabidiol (CBD), speaks on the discovery of the Endocannabinoid system and the effects of CBD.

Dr. Allen is quoted stating:

“I’m a retired cardiac surgeon and a member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS) that means I’m a cannabinoid research scientist and I’m here to tell you about the discovery of the endocannabinoid system (the ECS) and the significance and how it will change Madicine.

We discovered the endocannabinoid system about thirty years ago and we really didn’t understand the significance of this discovery.

So we found out that this is a chemical communication that your body has. It’s not electrical, it’s chemical and it’s kinda like the hormone systems that people are familiar with and your body makes these cannabinoids, they’re endogenous so they’re endocannabinoids and they perform some miraculous functions in the body and we’re just learning the significance of these functions.

Basically the endocannabinoid system is responsible for homeostasis.

Most people don’t understand what that really means but it’s the body’s ability to maintain itself and function in a proper environment.

So it’s critically important that that doctors in the future understand this control mechanism.

We’re finding out that manipulation of this endocannabinoid system will control diabetes, it controls cancer, it controls whether you can survive a heart attack or a stroke.

So this is critically important for doctors to understand this new science.

The discovery of the endocannabinoid system is the single most important medical scientific discovery ever and will save more lives then the discovery and application of sterile surgical technique.

I’m a heart surgeon saying that.

So more people will be saved by manipulation of the endocannabinoid system then are currently saved by surgery.”

Dr. Allen has authored several articles on cannabidiol’s (CBD) and the endocannibinoid system at Cannabis Digest.

Dr. David Allen’s Cannabis Digest articles: https://cannabisdigest.ca/author/davidallen/

Dr Sanjay Gupta CBD News Report

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Dr. Sanjay Gupta has had an interesting past with Hemp/Cannabis and CBD, in 2013, on the news channel CNN, he stated that Cannabis had no medicinal value. His statements drew challenging outcry. Doctor Gupta was listening and he honored the words he heard. He began a deep dive study into the effects of all the amazing compounds found in the Cannabis plant. He was incredibly astounded by what he had discovered, he pivoted his stance and publicly announced his profound new awareness on his show on CNN. In the video below, Doctor Gupta discusses the difference between THC and CBD and the incredible effects CBD has on our bodies.

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Please learn more about about Dr. Sanjay Gupta here: https://www.cnn.com/profiles/sanjay-gupta-profile

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